Mike's Tech Tips
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In my various car projects, I've been able to collect a few handy little tech tips and stories along the way. I hope you find some of them useful.

Each of these pages typically started life as a small section on a page about one of the cars I work on, and grew from there. The various projects I do require learning obscure but important details, researching how to do things, and sometimes even some custom design and fabrication work. These things fall into the category of "stuff that should be documented better" and/or "things I needed to understand better to complete the project".

For pages where something just needs to be documented, writing these pages allows me to store this information for other to see and for me to refer back to at a later date. It is a way to share the "Ah-Ha!" moments when it all made sense and to hopefully share what I learned with others. The idea is that I share a bit of good info, others add to it share some more info, and the total pile of knowledge grows. I love to get emails from folks asking questions about various pages so I can help them understand things better. Even more that that, I love getting emails from folks who share new details with me to help me understand a piece of the puzzle better. A great example of this is my Buick HEI Conversions page. It started out as a simple collection of interesting tidbits I had learned that enabled me to swap a later model HEI distributor into the 455 engine in my 1973 Electra. Folks kept writing me with new details and asking me good questions to find out if it would work for them. Each time I learned something new, I added it to the page. Now, thanks to the many folks who have written to me, it is a comprehensive source of hard to find information about swapping HEI onto pretty much any Buick engine. Google for "Buick HEI" and it's the number one hit and has been for years. Wow. Cool.

For things that I needed to do design work on or that I needed to understand better, writing these tech pages is an excellent way for me to organize and collect my thoughts and design ideas on my projects. These pages typically start small and grow over time as I learn more things and gain a deeper understanding of the details. I tend to add to them as I understand each piece more, and the act of re-writing the details in my own words helps me to understand them even better - this is the principle that "the teacher learns more than the student". I also get to benefit from the feedback from the hundreds of folks who find my site and write me notes about various things. I am stunned and humbled at how many people find my explanations useful, and who take the time to write in with corrections, suggestions, and just general kudos.



I've done a fair amount of electrical-related work, and here's the tech tips I've collected.


Cooling system






Front Suspension and Brakes


Rear Suspension and Brakes


Interior Stuff


EFI Swaps



I work on a lot of Buick stuff, so I have acquired a collection of Buick-specific tech tips.



I've run across a few magazine articles that were very appropriate and dead-on. These are copied here for reference purposes only.


Identification Codes

In the process of understanding each of my cars, I usually have to find and decipher all of the codes on the various identification plates and stampings on them to know what's going on. Enjoy.


Other Tech Articles

These are links to individual tech articles on other web sites that I've found to be very useful and worth keeping around.

  •  Preventing flat tappet cam failure with quality lifters and the right oil - This article ran in Car Craft and has tons of great info on selecting a quality lifter and what oils to run so you can get maximum protection for your flat tappet camshaft. Short story: For this lifters, use quality US made lifters and not offshore junk - you get what you pay for. For the oil, use racing-style oils (conventional or synthetic), diesel engine oils, or an separate additive to get the right zinc phosphate in your oil. All of this will help keep your cam alive and keep a smile on your face when you mash the go pedal.
  •  Ford Cruise Control - I found this while working on the EFI swap into my 1979 F100, and it has a lot of great information, pictures, and helpful details. If you want to extract a cruise system and install it onto your Ford, this article/set of pages will be very helpful. Even if you're just diagnosing an existing system, this will be very helpful.

Other Web Sites

These are web sites I've found with great tech info and resources. There are many more on my links page.

Comments? Kudos? Got some parts you'd like to buy/sell/barter/swap? Nasty comments about my web page so far? You can email Mike or Debbie.

Pretty much everything on this website is copyrighted, if you want to use something, ask first.

Page last updated 01/02/2009 01:51:39 PM