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

I was wondering if you could talk a little about why you decided to work on injection systems, rather than building a better carburetor? Had you tried some of the factory systems, and found potential, or was it something you just wanted to try out? Thanks Stuart! Ben Carlson

ANSWER

Audio File Only.

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QUESTION

On 15th March Julian Doty answered my question on 4 bangers and asked for more on my set-up. Hi Julian, Thank you for the answer to my question regarding the 4 bangers. I'm running a flathead 'B' engine, 'C' crank, full pressure, insert bearings, scintilla magneto, dual 97's, stock valves, Lion Speed Head. I've had 100 hp on a chassis dyno at the rear wheels. The car is built for road and sprint events. Where can I go from here?!? I also have a reproduction Riley 2-port. Are there any secrets too these I should know about? Thanks again.

ANSWER

Audio file only.

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QUESTION

I am considering building a belly tank racer powered by a 1929 Maxwell. I need structural plans or advise. Also looking for any information on past efforts to increase output of a Maxwell.

ANSWER

Audio file only. To contact Jim Miller write to Info@ahrf.com.

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QUESTION

Tommy I was woundering if you had any if at all memories of Great Lakes Dragaway or The Grove as it was called I remember as a kid when you came there to race with the glass sided trailer it was so neat. Do you still own any of the cars or haulers that you had or is there a place to see some of your history or is it all at the NHRA and Don Garlits Museum.The image that I sent with my Question is from that era and in my collection because of watching you. Thanx for the cool memories Pete

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Do you remember a guy who used to crew for you named Ron Jelick if so he is a good friend of mine and I would like to surprise him if you could call him. he would shit !!

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Vern, I am building a 1927 lakes modified type roadster. Yes the wheel is on the wrong side I am in New Zealand. My question for you is regarding my choice of wheels/brakes. I have used 1940 Merc front drums and 1946 p/u truck diff, onto these I will be bolting 1935 Wire wheels, but the wheel centres dont contact properly and the fronts are distroting the drums when the nuts are tightened. What sort of spacer/adapters are available or should I consider ditching my wheels?

ANSWER

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QUESTION

I have an aluminem flathead head that has a groove worn between all 5 holes in the center of the head. Is it still usable? I've attached a pic. Thanks

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QUESTION

I HAVE A 32 FORD SEDAN,283 CHEVE POWER. THIS CAR WAS BUILT 20 PLUS YEARS AGO AN I BELIEVE IT HAS A F-1 STEERING BOX.I BOUGHT YOUR STEERING BOOK AND FROM THE PICTURES DECIDED THAT WAS IT. I BELIEVE I HAVE A FORD STEERING COLUMN ATTACHED.IT HAS THE SHIFTER ON IT,3 SPEED AUTO,WITH EMERG. FLASHER SWITCH ON RIGHT SIDE.IT IS A TILT.IT HAS TWO OPENINGS ON THE SHAFT ON TOP. CAN YOU GIVE ME WHAT TO LOOK FOR TO DETERMINE IF THIS IS A FORD OR CHEVE SHAFT.IS THERE A SOURCE FOR F-1 PARTS FOR THE FUTURE? THANKS AB

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Is there any possiblity,within reason, that it would be possible to put a supercharged 3800 v6 in a 1923 model a pickup. My plans would be to use a 4L60E transmission behind it. Please let me know what you think. Thanks, Paul Murphy

ANSWER

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QUESTION

As simple as this may sound, I've not found this in any printed material or anyone I've talked to. Question: What is considered the minimum cylinder wall thickness to run in a stock street driven engine and how is it determined?

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Are you still in the "custom-business" or just doing it for yourself as a passion?

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QUESTION

Have you ever thought about teaching or just showing the things you are famous of?

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Dick, This is Jim Luke from Roseville Ca. A while back I saw a truck that had a metal Bertolucci, Sacramento license frame.. Do you happen to have any more available? We have a mutual friend named Harry Blecca that I have asked to check with you but now that this is available to me I thought that I would e-mail you also. I have always been a fan of your cars and attached a picture of mine that I think would look even better with one of your license frames on it. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Jim Luke

ANSWER

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QUESTION

I would like to find some real old ISKY stickers for my 27 t coupe, any help would be great. Thanks for your time

ANSWER

Reproductions may be available in the future, untill then...Ebay?

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QUESTION

i have a 215 buick all aluminum v8 with 11:1 pistons and an isky cam that i would like to put into a 40 ford pickup with suicide front end, no fenders, hood or running boards.i will run either a 3 speed or 4 speed manual trans.it has a 57 chevy rear end.is this enough motor for a truck this size even with just cab and bed only?

ANSWER

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QUESTION

I am building a Model A Roadster with a 354cid Chrysler Hemi. The heads have been smoothed and blended but not ported. I am using stock sized valves, 10.5:1 pistons, and an old "u-Fab" intake with 6 strombergs. I'll be running a 4spd and 3.73 gears with 31" tall tires. My question is this: to try to prevent any engine problems and hopefully help reliability, would I be better off running a big cam to match my other components, or running a smaller cam and risk starving things? I'm not all that concerned about road manners, and I can't bring myself to cut off any of the carbs, I'm just hoping to have this car on the road more than on the rack. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanx, Norrie

ANSWER

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QUESTION

My son and I picked up a 1976 marine chevy 350 that we want to make a 383 stroker. It will have 400 crank, 9.5 to 1 flat tops, Holl 750 dbl on a Eld. Performer, Eld. Vlum. Victor Jr. 76cc heads. This will be a Street machine with light weekly driving on pump gas (w.additive?). What hydralic cam should I use to get best HP results ? A Lunati #07103 has been suggested (295/295, .534/.534)?? What do YOU think?

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Mr. Iskendirian I recently talked to you on the phone about Eddie Edmunds and you said you would look and see if you perhaps had any information about him. I was wondering if you have had a chance? I recently talked to Glen Volz from Salem Speed Shop and he said to say hello..... Thank You

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Greetings- I have a 1940 ford coupe with a 383 stroker chevy in her. I purchased the car for the body but the engine only has 10,000 miles on it. It idles at about 900RPMs because of the radical cam. I want to keep the engine, but I want to cruise, not race. What type of cam would give me a good cruising engine yet also a little lumpy sound/ (Engine has a new Holley carb with a standard distributor and Sanderson headers.) Thanks for you expertise- Rick

ANSWER

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QUESTION

Mr. Iskenderian, I was pleasently surprised to find your name listed here when I came looking for the answer to my question. I actually spoke to you by phone about a year ago about a similar issue. I have an original, unstamped, brass, Isky Cam data tag I want to have stamped with my Isky Cam info for my '41 plymouth hot rod. I originally wanted to send the tag to Isky to be stamped, but you informed me that the stamping would have been done by the cam installer/engine builder. However, since I've never seen another tag, I was hoping to find a picture of what the racers/engine builders would have been doing during the '50's & '60's for accuracy. Second, I host a carshow every year to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This year we're hoping to raise $5,000. As part of the fund raising efforts this year we will be raffling off some autographed apparel from some of the hobbies well known providers. We have already got items signed by the Edelbrocks, Chip Foose, Sal Perez, and others. We would be greatly appreciative if you could provide us with your signature on any item you see fit. I would gladly cover any expense involved for the item, shipping etc. Thank-you for your time in this matter, Marty Lindsley

ANSWER

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