How to Tune Up a Small-Block Chevy, Part Two
Cleaning up the cooling system with the help of Duralast & AutoZone.
How to Tune Up a Small-Block Chevy, Part One
Installing Cragars and Skinny Whitewalls on our 1964 "GMC"
Installing a Custom Glory Grille in Our 1964 "GMC"
Way back in the day, we took our '64 "GMC" out to an open house at Edelbrock headquarters and parked it with all the other vehicles on display, most of which were high-dollar muscle cars. While we rarely pop the hood to show it off, primarily because there is nothing much to show off, we raised the hood on this day since we were running an Edelbrock intake manifold. We were glad we did. At one point, Vic Edelbrock Jr., himself walked by, said "This yours?" and then said, "That's an old manifold. Someone probably put that and the Holley on it when it was just a few years old."
And that, friends, is why we've left the engine basically untouched all these years. Vic was right. These C3BX Edelbrock intake manifolds came out in about 1970, and as far as we can tell this engine has never been rebuilt and never even been out of the truck. It's a minor period piece that we intend to keep around a while, either for this truck or for something else from the era. But like we said last month, all of the recent outings in the truck made us realize we were long overdue for some maintenance. And then we proceeded to replace most of the ignition components and actually put a dwell meter and a timing light on the engine for the first time in the almost 20 years of owning the truck.
Today, we're continuing on with cleaning up the cooling system. Many years ago, we installed a set of metal flex hoses and accompanying thermostat housing as a tech story. They worked fine for probably 15 years, but all of the sitting around this truck has done caused enough corrosion to finally make the unit start to leak. We decided to bring the cooling system back to basics and once again made a list to bring to our friends at the Hawthorne, California, AutoZone. We ordered up a thermostat housing, thermostat, and gasket, as well as upper and lower hoses, clamps, sealant, and coolant. We got all the parts installed in just a couple hours, and soon we were back on the road and ready for the next cruise. But check back because we also performed a basic transmission service on our 700R4 that we installed over 15 years ago!