Got questions?

We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we’re taking on electrical gremlins and traction problems.

Q: I own a second-gen. Chevelle with a moderately built small block and a four-speed. Recently, I installed a MSD Billet distributor, 6A ignition box, and coil. When I try to time the engine, I keep getting shocked. I tried new MSD 8.5mm wires and it still happens. The car runs great (no misfires), so I can’t figure out what is wrong.

Also, I have a bad, window rattling wheelhop. I had new polyurethane bushings installed on the 12-bolt rear-end. That helped the handling, but not the hop. Is there a ladder bar or traction bar I can use that won’t interfere with the exhaust system? I’d prefer a bolt-on.

Finally, the driver side motor mount bolts keep coming loose. I’ve tried ARP bolts and all sorts of threadlockers and sealants with no luck. Could this be related to the wheelhop problem?

red chevy chevelle fastback coupe
(Image/OnAllCylinders – Nicole Courey)

A: Let’s start with your electrical shocking problem.

This first thing we would check is your timing light. Try a different one and see if you are still getting shocked.

If you are, start examining the wiring harness around the engine and, specifically, near the ignition components you’ve installed. You’re looking for a loose connector or terminal—or worse yet, any ripped, worn wire insulation that perhaps has exposed the wire conductor underneath. (Exhaust headers have a nasty habit of melting wire jackets too.)

Since you’ve already swapped your ignition wires, the only alternative is to change one piece of your ignition system at a time until you find the cause.

Curing Wheelhop in a Chevelle Muscle Car

Now, for an easier diagnosis: Your wheelhop problem is very common on Chevelles of this era.

Ladder bars will cure the problem—but we can’t say for sure if they would interfere with your exhaust system or any other chassis modifications you’ve done. While you may get lucky with an application-specific fitment for a Chevelle, in our experience most ladders bars we’ve seen installed on a classic hot rod or muscle car are built from a universal ladder bar kit.

We know you mentioned a preference for a bolt-on set, but universal weld-on ladder bars are probably going to be the best solution for chassis strength and rigidity. That said, bolt-on ladder bars will still work pretty well too—though don’t be surprised if you have to drill the frame and do other modifications to the vehicle.

The best news here is, once you cure the wheelhop problem with a ladder bar kit, we think your motor mount bolt problem will go away as well.

On a related note, our pal Jeff Smith is a big Chevelle fan and has decades of experience racing and wrenching on these cars, so you’ll probably appreciate his insight on the wheelhop topic too—click below to read his take:

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Eliminating Wheel Hop in a ’60s Era Chevelle