From the Blog

Accelerating Your Vintage Car

Most classic cars barely touch 65 miles per hour, and with everyone else doing 85 to 90 miles on the highway, classic car owners see themselves constantly avoiding close call coalitions just because they can’t keep up with speed. Road conditions demand for higher performance from classic cars, and with only a few modifications your classic car can be running at the same speed as a new car in the market today, even if was not designed for high performance.

1964 Morris Minor – ©TatyCohen

To achieve higher performance and greater acceleration ability for your classic car, you must first have your car performing as the factory intended. Remember, maintenance is key for higher performance, so consider the following:

Engine Tune-up – People underestimate the power of a tune-up. A true tune-up consists of changing spark plugs, cap and rotor, points and condenser, and spark-plug wires. It also involves timing adjustment, valve lash adjustment, oil and oil filter change, air filter change, and fuel filter change. This procedure should maintain your car running within the specified parameters of the factory. It will also make the car run in unison with all its components; if you want to get in it and enjoy it, this should be something you do at least once a year.

Exhaust system inspection – Most car manufacturers require a specific length of exhaust in order to produce the manufacturer specified amount of horsepower. Visually inspect your exhaust package from start to the end. Pay special attention to any crack pipes or any evidence of exhaust leak (black sod), particularly where the gaskets meet.

Transmission Check – One of the most overlooked points of a classic car is the transmission, people tend to do a lot of things to the motor, but they random service the transmission. Visually inspect the transmission for leaks and try to replace your transmission fluid or gear oil every three oil changes. Use the same procedure for the rear end and differential of your car.

Once your car performs as the factory intended, you can move on to do things that will help your car exceed the manufacturer’s specified horsepower. Here are some things you can do:

Ignition – The first thing to do to get higher, and reliable, horsepower is to replace   the contact breaker points with a high-output coil electronic ignition, and install a set of low resistance spark plug wires. Tip:The MSD Super Conductor Wires are one of the best options. Get the universal V8 set; by splitting the cost with a friend you will get two full sets for two four cylinder cars for the price of one!

With a better ignitable source, you will feel an instant change in your car. Your car will idle substantially better and you will probably gain from 3 to 5 horses just by doing this. Here are some other things you can install for a performance upgrade in the ignition department, which will take your car from mild to wild!

  • Pertronics pointless ignition.
  • Crane XR 700/3000 pointless ignition spark amplifier kit.
  • MSD 6AL Ignition Box with coil wires and distributor (if MSD makes the distributor for your vehicle, if not, use your standard distributor as a trigger for the box).

Motor – One of the main things to do to gain horsepower for the motor without doing much work is install a set of high lift rocker arms. Doing this will change the rocker assembly triangulation resulting in a higher lift of the valve and change your cam parameters in the low lift. More lift equals more air and combustible mixture into your cylinder, therefore more compression and more power.

If you would like more suggestions and if there is anything you are trying or would like to try for your car, feel free to post your questions.

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