Ask the Expert

On this page, we hosted a feature whereby hot rodders could ask a personal question of our Expert of the Month via e-mail. The Expert, most often a pioneer, would answer the question over the telephone to us, and we would then post an audio clip on this page (see below). Unfortunately, we have had to end the feature, primarily because most of the pioneers did not want to answer a question “off the cuff”, but wanted instead to think it through, write it out, and then read it. We felt we were asking too much of them. In addition, many questions we received were not about hot rod history or traditional builds, but more about a muscle car or street rod (or even a question better put to Click and Clack!). So we were forever writing e-mails to say, “sorry, we can’t ask them that one.”

At any rate, we now have a nice archive of questions, many answered by the pioneers themselves, and we hope you will find this fun and useful.

Thanks to all rodders who participated in Ask the Expert!

Browse our Q & A Archives

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Latest Postings

QUESTION

will pure 100% propylene glycol coolant help my ford flathead run cooler than a 50-50 mix, such as Evans or Prestone?

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QUESTION

This is in a 37 chev street rod. The supplier of the brakes says "The master cylinder supplied with the booster is a Corvette 4-wheel disc brake unit." The supplier of the brake line kit says "DO NOT use a built-in residual check valve for 4-wheel disc systems." I would like to know if the Corvette master cylinder has a built-in residual check valve. I'm having some drag problems with the front brakes. I have installed 2 lb. residual check valves in the front and back. Thanks, Dan

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QUESTION

I have an original 1930 model a coupe that I purchased from the original owner and I now have it running. I would like to keep it in its original look so I have been soaking it in WD40 oil to keep it from rusting more. Is WD40 good for this or is there something better. I have been told that WD40 is water based and can cause metal to rust more. Please help me out. Thanks for your time!

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QUESTION

My question deals with installing a '40 rear end in a stock '32 chassis. I would like to retain the stock '32 spring and mech. shocks and not have to change the rear crossmember. The spring hangers are too long on the '40 rear Back in the day,how was this installation done and still retain the stock '32 wheelbase? Thanks for your time, super site. Brad

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QUESTION

This is my first try at building a flattie so consider me a rookie in regards to flatheads. My 48 Merc coupe was done in the 5os and equipped with an early "block letter" Edelbrock "regular" hi rise with duel 97s, fentons and milled stock heads. I am restoring it to when it was first hot rodded. My question are how do those early hi rise intakes perform against todays intakes? My last question is what type of flywheel- light aluminum or the stock heavy steel would you suggest for a car the weighs in at 3300 lbs? I enjoy all the early pictures on the site.

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QUESTION

i am working on a 1950 chevy styleline deluxe and i am trying to make it into a mild custom.my question is what would be the best way to lower this car and keep it as original as possable? i have looked everywhere for drop spendals and lowering blocks for it and have yet to find anything. could you please help me out. im trying to lower it as much as i can but still retain a good everyday and safe drive height. thanks

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QUESTION

Hi guys, great site. my question is regarding a chevy 235 six. I have installed a offenhauser manifold with three singles. I,m having trouble getting a good ideal. Should i have installed less carberation? thanks ron

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QUESTION

32 radiator cap, which position is correct to the factory position, the high portion of the cap forward or rearward?

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QUESTION

Hi Jerry, I see your front suspension systems in all the mags I read and I expect to incorporate one in a future rod, probably a 49 ford pickup. MY current question does not pertain to cutting edge suspensions like you build but to an old style setup. My current plans are to run a 27 T, lakes style roadster, all old school. Flathead 8, 39 toploader etc. I am currently considering front suspension. For some twisted reason I like the look of a ford straight axle hung on the front end with quarter eliptic springs. In your mind, what are the pros and cons of this arrangement, likely hooked up with a parallel four bar step. Would I need a panhard?. Thanks for your time Terry

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QUESTION

What became of the Mosier twin cam heads for chevys? I think they were made for sprint car engines. Thank you.

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QUESTION

I found some ford hubs on ebay and not sure what end of the car they came off of. The info provided by the seller is: O1A 1106 C1, A2, N"... the other is marked "O1A 1106 C1, B3, N"... they both have the letter F. I'm not sure if the F relates to the front or just some ramdom letter. Thanks Jeff

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QUESTION

just recently found a 1931 model "a" coupe in a barn still runs drives pretty crappy though but i really love this thing.what would be a good cheap chasis swap. just finished a 1929 model "a"tudor sedan turned out awesome thanks with any help

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QUESTION

I just got done painting my frame and fire wall on my model A coupe. I hear that Dot 5 break fluid dose not eat paint? Is this true? Will I have any problems using dot 5 with 4 wheel drum breaks manual master cylinder 2 lb in line risidual valve? or my hydrolic clutch?

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QUESTION

what engines did they put in the hot rods back in the 1930s and 40s (the most popular)? im doing a history project and i need to know the history of muscle cars and self made hot rods.

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QUESTION

I was wondering if you could put me in contact with some one who would have information about a photo in the Bob Morton collection. It is photo BM002 and mentions Reiff & Wells. Norwood Reiff was my friends wifes grandfather. I would like to talk to someone about the photo and anymore they may have. Thank you very much for your help. By the way. what a great site you have.

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QUESTION

Hello Mr. Xydias, I wanted to attatched a photograph of a 1934 Ford Cabriolet that belonged to my Uncle. I am unable to attatch the photo because I dont know how to convert it to JPEG however the car has a VERY interesting history and im trying to find out its origianal builder history and Im hoping the story may jog your memory. If it does please let me know and I will somehow get you some photos. I have several. This car was given to my Uncle by HIS uncle Sam Snead of the golfing fame. Sometime in the later 40's My mom , Grandmother (Sams sister) and my Uncle went to Hot Springs, VA to visit Uncle Sam at his home there. My Uncle being a young boy 16-17ish was of course admiring the car. Legend has it that Uncle Sam said " Buddy? Ya like that Hot Rod" Which Buddy quickly answered " Hell Yea" Then Uncle sam said take it home its yours." Uncle Buddy drove the car for a long time and when he was drafted, my mom drove it to work everyday in the early 50's. The car was sold in the mid 70's to some fella in NJ, I think? Anyway, to my question. Do you have any recolection of such a car. Legend has it that Uncle Sam aquired the car in California and had it flown to Roanoke, VA. It had a Eddie Meyers flathead with all 1941 Lincoln suspention, Trans, aircraft guages and 39 ford tail lights. I appologize if you are not old enough to have been apart of this car but I was told that you used to have a cabriolet in front of your shop years ago, so I thought I would start with you. My mom gets upset whenever she thinks about my Uncle letting the car get out of the family. No one really knows the true history of the car and I think it really needs to be found and told. How often do you hear a story about Hot Rods and sporting legends such as Sam Snead. Thanks so much for your time.. Sincerely, Todd Day Stanley, VA

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QUESTION

How exactly would you describe a Gasser?

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QUESTION

Dear Sir, I am a hot rod history junkie and love to hear old stories about the how and when of the beginings of this stuff. One car in my particular inteest is the fabled 777 streamier from Denver, Colorado built by Bill Kenz at the Kenz and Leslie V8 shop. My questiopn to you is what relationship did you have to Bill Kenz? I am trying to gather anough infomation to wrtie a book about the Bill and Roy. I hope that you do not mind sharing any information with me. Thank you- Mark Karol-Chik

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QUESTION

In trying to cut down on friction , what is your thoughts on running ATF in a muncie transmission and a quick change rear end ? This is for a Bonneville application. THANKS

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QUESTION

I would like to know where John Athans Model "A" is. I thought it was at Wally Parks museum,but when I called there the young lady I spoke to said she thought it was still at the Smithsonian. I am trying to plan a trip to see this car and several others. Any help you could provide concerning the location at this time would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Morris

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