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.

(Image/Super Chevy)
Q&A / Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Achieving an Efficient Charging System in a ’70 Camaro

I am looking to change my stock 1970 Camaro alternator with an external regulator to a one-wire internal regulator with 150 amps to run my dual electric fans and other […]

Muncie 4-speed manual transmission. (Image/HotrodHotline)
Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Choosing and Installing a Manual Transmision on a GEN IV 454

I hope you can help me. I have a GEN IV 454 engine and I would like to install a manual transmission behind it. The late model overdrive transmissions like […]

(Image/Steve's Nova Site)

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Can I Put a Blower on a 383 with 10:1 Compression?

Can I put a blower on my balanced and blueprinted 383 c.i.d. stocker motor that has 10:1 compression? I just want it for looks, not to race. – G.H. … […]

(Image/OnAllCylinders - Patrick Hill)
Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Does 40% Leakdown Test Results Require New Piston Rings?

I just bought a used 5.3L LS engine out of the junkyard and after we got the engine back to the shop and mounted it on an engine stand, we […]

(Image/ - Josh1892)
Tech Articles

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Diagnosing Ticking Noises and White Smoke in a Supercharged ’93 Ford Mustang GT

I’ve been looking online for help to figure out what is happening to my car and I thought your expertise may help. I have a supercharged ‘93 Mustang GT with […]

This is an image we pulled off MSD’s video on rotor phasing to show how an excessive rotor gap can make the spark jump too far. This will show up as all kinds of problems that can be easily fixed with an adjustable rotor. (Image/MSD Performance)

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: What’s the Best Rotor Tip and Terminal Spacing for my Ignition System?

I have a question about the optimum distributor rotor tip and terminal gap. Modern replacement parts for our classics are all over the place, either in terms of length, cap […]

Setting idle mixture appears easy but the reality is that achieving an ideal mixture will require patience and attention to detail to truly get it correct.

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: How Camshafts Relate to Exhaust Smell

I have a ’68 383 Road Runner, I bought it as a non-running car and it had a considerable cam in it when I got it—I think it is the […]

The disassembled fuel pressure regulator illustrates its simplicity. The spring can be adjusted externally with a screw and lock nut. Note the small nipple connection on the dome on both the small red version and the larger black Aeromotive regulator. (Image/Jeff Smith)

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: How to Install a Bypass Fuel Pressure Regulator on an EFI System

I’m building an LS engine to put into an early Chevy pickup and I’ve got a fuel delivery system question. I’m running one of those new Holley Sniper aluminum fabricated […]

If this API ‘donut’ appears on a bottle of oil, inspect the label as this means the oil is a current spec API legal oil with an SL, SM, or SN rating. This means it contains roughly an 800 ppm concentration of ZDDP and is probably not a good choice for a flat tappet camshaft engine unless the valvetrain is completely stock—and even then this might be taking chances with lifter/cam durability. (Image/Jeff Smith)

Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Can I Mix Zinc Additive with Off-the-Shelf Motor Oil to Save Money?

Why can’t I just add a bottle of zinc additive to my oil and then just use regular off-the-shelf oil? Won’t that work just as well as those more expensive […]


Ask Away! with Jeff Smith: Transmission Recommendations for a ’64 Chevelle

I have a 1964 Chevelle convertible. Several years ago I put a 700-R4 in it, which has never shifted correctly. It slips, doesn’t work right with the carburetor, etc. I […]