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.

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Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Best Performance Upgrades for a 283 Chevy Small Block Engine

Here’s a question you probably haven’t got before in your Ask Away! segments. I have a 0.060-over 283 that is now at 292 cubic inches. I just finished the short […]

This is the TBSS that we’ve used on several engines during dyno testing. We’ve outfitted it here with custom brackets to mount a Holley fuel rail. The throttle body mount is a four-bolt so there are plenty of options including Holley’s affordable Sniper 92mm unit. (Image/Jeff Smith)
Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Building a Performance Intake Manifold for a 5.3L LS

I’ve heard there is a really good factory LS intake manifold out there for cathedral port intakes but the friend who mentioned it didn’t know anything more than that. He […]

With a mild cam, decent heads, and a good carburetor and headers, 375 to 400 hp should be achievable. That may not sound like much today, but it is still 1.3 hp/cubic inch, which is pretty good. (Image/Jeff Smith)
Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: How Much Horsepower Does My Car Need for 12-Second ETs

  I would like your opinion on my ‘61 Comet 2-door wagon. It’s a car that will be used for local cruise nights and Friday night street-legal drags. My question […]

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Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Troubleshooting Hot Starting Problems in a Chevy 454

I have a ’69 Camaro with a 454. I went to fill it with gas on its first run for the spring and drove it perhaps 20 miles. After stopping […]

In our very unscientific test, we immersed this strip of sheet aluminum in E85 for 9 months. We allowed the fuel to completely evaporate followed by full immersion. Note the presence of actual rust on the aluminum. This wipes right off and is probably due to metal particles that were present in the tub when we added the fuel. There was evidence of very minor pitting in the aluminum strip but hardly worthy of comment. The Holley metering block was also not damaged and showed no sign of damage or corrosion. (Image/Jeff Smith)
Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: E85 Pump-Gas Additives—Not Ethanol—Cause Corrosion

Hi, I was wondering if you could help answer a few questions and doubts I have about moving forward with my E85 build. I know there’s a lot of hype […]

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Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Cylinder Wall Glazing – What it is and How to Get Rid of It

This may sound like a simple question, but what is cylinder wall glazing and how is it created? I hear about it all the time when people talk about piston […]

This is a comparison of a cold heat range plug (left) versus a much hotter heat range plug (right). Notice how the distance between the ceramic and the spark plug shell on the hotter plug requires heat to travel a farther distance, which maintains more heat in the spark plug. A hotter heat range plug is preferable for engines that only see light duty applications as in mild street driving. (Image/Autolite)
Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Determining Correct Spark Plug Heat Range

How do I tell the correct heat range spark plug for an engine? – Mark S. Jeff Smith: Simple questions sometimes require a bit longer answers. This is one of those […]

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Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Why Do I Keep Killing Alternators?

I did a LS2 swap in my ‘54 Belair. The engine came from an ‘05 GTO. It has a modest stereo system operating on a 10-amp fuse. It has a 16-inch […]

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Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Engine-Building Strategies for 700 HP in a ’71 El Camino

I’m asking this for a friend and I know you will have suggestions. He’s building a ’71 El Camino and has decided on an LS swap. He wants 650-700 hp […]

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Q&A

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Bottle Brush Honing vs. Machining Cylinders on Used Engine Blocks

I just bought a used 5.3L iron block engine out of a truck. I’ve decided to put new replacement pistons and rings because I found a set of cheap take-out […]