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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Auto Theory

To successfully pursue the car restoration hobby, you will need to know how and why your car's various systems work.

The SGG Car Restoration: AUTO THEORY is necessary reading if you're to understand the principles behind the engineering that has gone into your car.

Our motto: "If you don't know how it's supposed to work, you can't fix it!"

How Automotive Temperature Gauges Work

Auto Theory
We rely on a temperature gauge to tell us the conditions inside the engine's cooling system. The gauge typically sit in the car's dash and never needs maintenance. How's that happen? …keep reading

Automotive Paints - Just What Is This Stuff?

Auto Theory
This article examines the components that make up automotive paints …keep reading

Understanding Automotive Cooling Systems

Auto Theory - By Tom Benford
Even though you may like to think of your car as being pretty "hot", you really don't want your car to be hot! …keep reading

How Light Bulbs Work

Auto Theory
While light bulbs might seem trivial, simple things to talk about, relatively few people really know the complex physics process that takes place when a lamp turns on. These commonplace items haven't significantly changed since the days of Thomas Edison, but they are nonetheless marvels of science. We thought it appropriate to explain this process in a little detail …keep reading

Combustion Chambers (and a little engine theory)

Auto Theory
The combustion chamber is the area inside the engine where the fuel/air mixture is compressed and then ignited. This article discusses some of the combustion chamber designs that greatly effect your engines efficiency …keep reading

The Tachometer

Auto Theory
Tachometers have been around for a long time. Devices to count revolutions were used on water wheels, steam engines and many other rotating machinery devices for the purpose of maintaining safe speeds …keep reading

Body Filler - What Is It?

Auto Theory
Ever wonder what Bondo (the body filler brand name turned generic), is made of and how it works? We did a little investigating into its makeup, and here's what we found …keep reading

How a Fuel Pump Works

Auto Theory
How a mechanical fuel pump is deceptively simple. Our animated diagram helps you see how it works …keep reading

How A Car Horn Works

Auto Theory
A car horn is (well, it was before the age of electronic devices) a very simple electromechanical device that uses the principle of electromagnetism to create noise …keep reading

Catalytic Converters

Auto Theory
The first cars that first started using catalytic converters are now 30 years old, making them easy candidates for "antique" or "collector car" status. Since some of us are now - or will be shortly - collecting these vehicles it's high time we explain how the converters work …keep reading

Car Restoration Chemicals: What Are They and When Do You Use Them?

Auto Theory
A general discussion of the common chemicals used in car restoration: their composition, use and safety considerations …keep reading

How Manual Transmissions Work

Auto Theory
If you think gears slide around when you shift, you've got it all wrong. Find out how transmissions really work by reading this …keep reading

Let's Create a Carburetor!

Auto Theory
An inside look at your carburetor helps take away any apprehension you may have about digging into these little beasts …keep reading

A Slightly Confusing History of Automatic Transmission Fluid and How It Works

Auto Theory
Selecting the proper quality of Automatic Transmission Fluid is not as easy as it once was. This article should help you decided which ATF is best for your application …keep reading

So What's the Deal about Horsepower, Anyway?

Auto Theory
It's a shame the term "horsepower" didn't come from the horse's mouth …keep reading

Automotive Electrical Systems - Conclusion

Auto Theory
This article concludes our 6-part series on Automotive Electrical Systems. We hope that you have found it to be informative and interesting …keep reading

Automotive Electrical Systems - Part 5 - Ignition Systems

Auto Theory
Part 5 in our series on Automotive Electrical Systems answers that age-old question: What is my car's ignition system and how does it work? …keep reading

Automotive Electrical Systems - Part 4 - Starters

Automotive Electrical Systems - Part 4 - Starters

Auto Theory
Starters are incredibly strong motors that work in a hostile environment. They are the most important part of the starting system and Part 4 of our Automotive Electrical Systems series explains how they work …keep reading

Automobile Electrical Systems - Part 3

Auto Theory
In our 3rd installment, we continue to work our way through your car's electrical system. This month we discuss Voltage Regulators, what they do, and how they do it …keep reading

Automotive Electrical Systems - Part 2

Automotive Electrical Systems - Part 2

Auto Theory
The second installment of this Auto Theory segment discusses the ins and outs of generators and alternators. Valuable information you don't want to miss …keep reading

Automotive Electrical Systems - Part 1

Auto Theory
This is the first installment of a 6-part series on automotive electrical systems. You will learn what you need to know to build, troubleshoot and repair your car's electrical system. Covering everything from batteries to voltage regulators, from ignition switches to distributors, this series will go a long way toward bringing clarity to an oftentimes difficult subject. This month's installment will discuss basic electrical theory and batteries …keep reading

The Lowly Oil Filter Does a Princely Job

Auto Theory
Oil does a number of important things in an engine. It helps cool the engine by transferring heat; seals the gap between piston rings and cylinder walls; absorbs contaminants; and suspends soot particles that are the residue of combustion. It's just nice to have around! …keep reading

Lubrication Part 2: Greases

Auto Theory
They are messy and smelly, but we need to learn to love them …keep reading

Leaf Springs

Auto Theory
Rear axles in most classic cars were suspended by semi-elliptical leaf springs. There's more to these systems than meets the eye …keep reading

Lubricants Part 1 - Oil

Auto Theory
Okay, oil is messy and ugly, but we think you need to love and understand it anyway …keep reading

Turn Signals

Auto Theory
Everyone takes the turn signals for granted. They serve an important safety benefit, of course, and seldom fail to operate …keep reading

Shock Absorbers

Auto Theory
True or False? Shock absorbers are installed in a car to make the ride soft and smooth. You might be surprised at the answer …keep reading

Camshaft Theory

Camshaft Theory

Auto Theory
If the crankshaft is frequently called the "heart" of an engine, the camshaft is definitely the "brain." …keep reading

Wheels and Hubs

Auto Theory
Today's cars are widely fitted out with alloy, spoked wheels that are largely a styling exercise. Our older cars utilized "stamped steel" wheels. Actually, these wheels are technically called "drop center, steel disc-type wheels." If you look at one of these wheels you will notice that it's made in two sections …keep reading

Engine Theory: A First Look

Auto Theory
Simply speaking, an engine is a group of related parts that are assembled in a way to convert energy into motion that, in turn, can be harnessed to do work. Ok, so just how does it do that? …keep reading

Air Conditioning

Auto Theory
Air conditioning has been around for well over 100 years, but its use in the automobile didn't really catch on until the late '50s. The reasons are many …keep reading

Suspension & Steering: How It Works

Auto Theory
Suspension does a whole lot more than just keep your ride smooth; and with out steering who knows where you'd end up …keep reading

Postive Crankcase Ventilation

Auto Theory
It's the little valve that gets forgotten all the time …keep reading

Automatic Transmissions - Part 2

Auto Theory
To understand how automatics work you have to go through the numbers, so here goes …keep reading

Automatic Transmissions Part 1 - The Torque Converter

Auto Theory
Unless you've taken an automatic transmission apart, you can't appreciate the technology that goes into them. Here's how and why they work …keep reading