Articles written by: Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith has had a passion for cars since he began working at his grandfather's gas station at the age 10. After graduating from Iowa State University with a journalism degree in 1978, he combined his two passions: cars and writing. Smith began writing for Car Craft magazine in 1979 and became editor in 1984. In 1987, he assumed the role of editor for Hot Rod magazine before returning to his first love of writing technical stories. Since 2003, Jeff has held various positions at Car Craft (including editor), has written books on small block Chevy performance, and even cultivated an impressive collection of 1965 and 1966 Chevelles. Now he serves as a regular contributor to OnAllCylinders.

Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Troubleshooting Stripped Cylinder Head Bolts

I’ve got an old, 327 c.i.d. small-block Chevy that I started to replace the heads with a better set. My problem is I’ve stripped the threads on two head bolts […]

Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Bearing Clearance, Cam & Oil Pump Advice for SBC Build

I have a 350 c.i.d. small-block Chevy that I’m rebuilding. It has Wiseco forged pistons with a 1/16-inch ring package and 10:1 compression, good I-beam rods, and a good steel […]

Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Figuring Piston-to-Deck with Protruding Pistons

I’m building a Chevy 350 engine for my son’s circle track race car. I started out with a 0.040-over block that I think has been severely decked but I’m not […]

Tech Articles

How to Use a Dial-Back Timing Light

It’s a sign of the times when late model engines with distributorless ignition systems (DIS) no longer require the services of the ubiquitous timing light. But for the remainder of […]

Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Solving SBC Ignition Timing Problems

I have a weird thing happening with my small-block Chevy crate engine that has me scratching my head. The engine is a 290-horsepower Chevy crate engine with a set of […]

Q&A

The Basics of Setting and Adjusting Valve Lash

The designers of late model engines like the GM LS, Ford Modular engine, and the Chrysler Gen III Hemi have in many ways made it easy for performance enthusiasts. Not […]

Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Getting 400+ HP From an Old Small Block Chevy

I want to build the cheapest, least expensive small-block 350 Chevy that can make around 400 to 450 horsepower. How would I do that? I have a 350 Chevy truck […]

Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Troubleshooting Small Block Chevy Compression Loss

I recently stripped down my 350 small-block Chevy because of loss of compression over the last three years. In 5,000 miles and three different checks of the cranking compression, it […]

LS Engines

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Explaining Violent Pop Sounds in Turbo Drag Cars

I was at the local drag races last weekend and we watched an LS-powered Nova with twin turbochargers run. It was very quick. My friends and I began talking about […]

Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Camshaft and EFI Advice for 540 Big Block Chevy

I’m building a street 540 big block Chevy with a mild hydraulic COMP Thumpr cam, rectangle-port heads, and 9.5:1 compression ratio that looks like a stock L88 to go in […]