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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

ARCHIVES

Steering Wheel Removal

Beginners Corner
Many people think their steering wheels are fixed, welded or in some other way unremovable. Actually, they come off surprisingly easily …keep reading

1952 Ford F1 Truck Restoration Part 2 - Jumping In

52 Pickup
It's time to start work on our '52 Ford pickup, and there's no better place to begin than determining if the parts really fit together! Complicating this process is the retrofit to a 5-speed transmission, so here we go …keep reading

Don't Be Afraid to Change Those Plug Wires

Beginners Corner
It might seem like a daunting task, but changing plug wires is really very simple …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project - Part 3

Feature Articles
After stripping out all the parts it was time to get the body off the frame. Limited space was a consideration, and we came up with a solution …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

SCG Road, er, Bench Tests Eastwood's Metal Blackener

Product Reviews
We've been waiting for a chance to test Eastwood's Metal Blackener on a meaningful project. We've had the solutions for several months and resisted testing them because the only objects we could come up with were some miscellaneous bolts and washers. In our opinion that's not very exciting nor useful, so we waited …keep reading

1967 Austin Healey 3000

1967 Austin Healey 3000

Auto Biography
Donald Healey joined in partnership with the Austin Motor Company in 1952. His plans at the time were to produce a medium-high performance sports car that would be affordable to the masses …keep reading

Dabney Puts Up Resistance

Dr Crankshaft
After much resistance, the Doctor had joined the 21st century and bought a cell phone. Knowing that, Dabney couldn't resist. He called the Doctor with his resistance problems …keep reading

Calculating Compression Ratios

Car Restoration How To
Just because your engine was manufactured to have a certain compression ratio doesn't mean its true "as-assembled" ratio is close to that specification. It is very important to know your compression ratio, because ignition timing, fuel delivery and overall performance depend on it. This article shows you how to do the calculations …keep reading

The Chrysler Turbine Car

The Chrysler Turbine Car

Auto Biography
Early in 1962 Chrysler announced plans to build 50 to 75 turbine-powered cars which they would loan to "typical" motorists. The campaign was a stroke of genius, but the execution was a marketing disaster …keep reading

How to Clean Battery Terminals

Beginners Corner
Greasy, dirty, corroded battery terminals are perhaps the leading cause of vehicles failing to start. Besides that, nobody wants to look under the hood and see crud globbed up on the battery …keep reading

There Are Days When It Just Doesn't Pay to Get Out of Bed

Dr Crankshaft
Sometimes the most obvious isn't always the most obvious …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

Ford Truck Project Part 1 - Assessing The Scope

52 Pickup
Join us as we check out our "adopted" truck restoration project. Something tells us that just because it's free doesn't mean we won't be paying for it …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

T-Bird Car Restoration Project - Part 2

55 Tbird
The Thunderbird is coming apart. Once it was positioned in the garage we removed the hard top, hood and trunk lid and stored them away from harm. We then went through all the boxes of parts in the trunk and sorted out what was in good condition, what wasn't, and started a list of missing pieces. In the process we discovered a number of missing interior trim pieces, so the budget will have to bulge a little to compensate …keep reading

Putting Spark Back in those Antique Spark Plugs with Thermal Heating

Car Restoration How To - By Allen K. Williams
The search for a serviceable replacement entails a lot of research because modern engines use High Energy Ignition and sophisticated combustion controls that require a wider gap. Revitalizing old plugs can be a better way …keep reading

Nash Metropolitan - Before Its Time

Nash Metropolitan - Before Its Time

Auto Biography
Two months before the formation of AMC in 1954, the Nash company announced its production of what had been an experimental two-seater, fuel-efficient car, the Metropolitan. It was believed at Nash that the new phenomenon of the suburb would necessitate the purchase of a second automobile by most families …keep reading

Upholstery How-To: A Complete Interior: Part 2

Car Restoration How To
When we left off on the Jaguar's interior we had reupholstered the hated [only the Brits would come up with such a stupid, time-killing] console assembly. Next came the seats, mainly because there was a spate of cold, rainy weather and we just felt like working in the heated workshop rather than the garage …keep reading

Dabney's Smoking Engine

Dr Crankshaft
The other day our friend the Doctor was taking his usual stroll down the street and passed Dabney's cavernous garage. From under the partially-open door of one of the bays was emanating a thick, blue cloud of smoke that simply couldn't go unnoticed. He stepped in and found Dabney hunched over his engine test stand …keep reading

Trace That Shape Accurately

Beginners Corner
Sometimes it's necessary to duplicate a shape. A contour gauge is the easiest...but what if you don't have one? …keep reading

Dabney Puts A Brake on a Project

Dr Crankshaft
Mushy brakes on Dabney's LaSalle caused a little consternation. Doctor Crankshaft to the rescue …keep reading

Starter Restoration

Car Restoration How To
When checking over our truck project, we realized that somewhere down the line this truck will have to start. So we started on the starter. Got that? …keep reading

Selecting the Right Welder for Car Restoration Projects

Feature Articles
Everything on a car eventually needs to be assembled, including body and frame panels. That's where welding comes in. Here's some thoughts to consider before laying your cash on the line …keep reading

Cutting Safety Glass: I Can See Clearly Now

Car Restoration How To
Many older cars used flat glass for side and vent windows...cars with split windshields also use flat glass. Safety glass, with its clear plastic membrane between laminated glass presents its own special problems. The good news is that you can safely cut safety glass …keep reading

	How to Drill

How to Drill

Beginners Corner
Nearly everyone owns a drill, but relatively few actually know how to efficiently and safely use one. Here are a few techniques and tricks …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

1956-1958 Dual Ghia

1956-1958 Dual Ghia

Auto Biography
In the late '50s, the TV program "The Thin Man" opened each week with an incredibly exotic car gliding past the camera, its chrome grill sparkling as it went past...it was Chrysler's Dual Ghia …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

The Case of the Hungry Buick

Dr Crankshaft
Dabney's Buick has a strange appetite for points …keep reading

Aston Martin DB4

Aston Martin DB4

Auto Biography
The racing versions of the DB4 won just about every victory attainable in the sports car field, including the 1959 Le Mans. James Bond would have been proud …keep reading

SCG Gas Pump - Part 3

Feature Articles
We've wrapped up our gas pump project and are pleased with the results …keep reading

How to Solder

Beginners Corner
Soldering is the most effective of all electrical connections, making them less prone to failure than any other connections. Learn how to properly solder here …keep reading

Upholstery How-To: A Complete Interior - Part 1

Car Restoration How To
A simple question at a car show has turned into a complete interior installation project. Join us as we work through our 1967 Jaguar XKE roadster interior step by step …keep reading

1955 Thunderbird Car Restoration Project - Part 1

55 Tbird
A solid project candidate revealed itself within one week of searching. What we believed would be a 6-month to one-year search turned out to be virtually instantaneous …keep reading

Steering Column Rebuild

Steering Column Rebuild

Car Restoration How To
Rebuilding the steering box and steering column on our 1952 Ford F-1 pickup restoration project is a pretty straightforward proposition. …keep reading

Metal Cutting 101: Choosing Tin Snips

Beginners Corner
Cutting metal is a bit more involved than cutting out paper dolls …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

Datson 240Z

Datson 240Z

Auto Biography
By the early '60's, both Toyota and Nissan had decided that the American market was the key to selling large amounts of cars worldwide...Nissan was looking for some excitement and decided to compete against the MGB …keep reading

$80 Car Lift

Car Restoration How To - By Jim Honeywell
If you need space under that low-slung sports car that you just restored, Guest Writer Jim Honeywell's inexpensive lift might be the answer …keep reading

How Do You Know Something Was Rebuilt Properly?

Feature Articles
The advertisement says that the engine you're interested in has been rebuilt. This article tells you what to look for when buying a "pig-in-a-poke" …keep reading

There Are Sealants...And There Are Sealants

Dr Crankshaft
The right sealants can go a long way to making your life easier …keep reading

Dabney's Smokin' Cougar

Dr Crankshaft
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but oil smoke is hard to pin down …keep reading

The Gas Pump Stages a Comeback - Part 2

Feature Articles
Ahah! You thought we couldn't save this old relic, but we're actually making progress …keep reading

1932 Bugatti Royale

1932 Bugatti Royale

Auto Biography
Yeah, we know none of us can ever afford one, but why not tell about it …keep reading

How to Mix and Spread Body Filler

Beginners Corner
Plastic body filler (Bondo) has a reputation for being an inferior way of smoothing dents and patching holes. The real problem is that plastic body fillers are not used correctly. Here's the right way …keep reading

Replacing Burned-Out Headlights

Beginners Corner
Lights burn out. Automotive bulbs can take the cold, heat, humidity and lots of vibrations, but they do eventually burn out and need to be replaced. This article shows you how …keep reading

Upholstery 101: Part 2 - Re-Covering Seats

Upholstery 101: Part 2 - Re-Covering Seats

Car Restoration How To
The final article in a 2-part series, this article shows you how to finish up your re-upholstery project …keep reading

Basket Case: A Case History

Basket Case: A Case History

Feature Articles
Be sure that you know exactly what you are getting into before taking on one of these projects...even then, they have a way of surprising you! …keep reading

The Nuts and Bolts About Nuts and Bolts

Feature Articles
Just about everything on your car is held together with "nuts and bolts". This article tells you about these "simple fasteners." Includes charts showing torque specifications …keep reading

The Pesky Pilot Bearing

Dr Crankshaft
Sometimes when mechanics won't do the trick...try hydraulics! …keep reading

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Auto Biography
Oldsmobile Division engineers wanted a small car for their front-drive concept. GM wanted something more substantial to showcase such a unique drivetrain. (Guess who won!) …keep reading

Upholstery 101: Part 1 - Seat Rebuilding

Upholstery 101: Part 1 - Seat Rebuilding

Car Restoration How To
First of a two-part article on restoring seats. This month, we discuss how to reconstruct the seat …keep reading

Getting Our Cars Out of Hybernation

Feature Articles
Most classic cars housed east of the Rockies get little or no use from November through March. Getting them ready for the road is a bit more complicated than turning the key …keep reading

Postive Crankcase Ventilation

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

SCG Gets an Old Gas Pump - Part 1

Feature Articles
And Now, For Something Completely Different …keep reading

Dabney Gets Tanked

Dr Crankshaft
Dabney was tinkering with his 1965 Ford Fairlane 500. Its engine wasn't running smoothly, and Doctor Crankshaft was due any minute so that they could take the Fairlane out for a ride …keep reading

Sharpening & Re-Shaping a Screwdriver

Beginners Corner
The humble screwdriver is more high-tech than you might think …keep reading

Muscle Car Classics of the '80s--Get 'em Before They're Hot!

Feature Articles - By Eric Peters
Eric Peters - automotive writer and Autos Columnist for America Online, Netscape and CompuServe - offers his insight into coming trends for the auto restoration hobby …keep reading

Paint Like a Pro with Spray Cans

Paint Like a Pro with Spray Cans

Car Restoration How To
For those times you don't want to fire up the spray gun and compressor...for those occasional small parts spraying jobs...you can still get the results you want with a spray can of paint …keep reading

Where to Get Those Parts

Dr Crankshaft
Sometimes there's more than one way to skin the cat, or locate that hard-to-find part …keep reading

1966 Griffith

1966 Griffith

Auto Biography
Introduced at the New York Automobile Show of 1964, the homely looking Griffith was only available for a short while...but boy what a ride! …keep reading

Small Parts Spray Booth

Car Restoration How To
How to build our small parts spray booth that disappears when not in use …keep reading

Restoring Vintage License Plates

Restoring Vintage License Plates

Car Restoration How To
Most states (in the US) now allow the use of original license plates on collector cars. This article shows you how to get them back into original condition so that they'll be appropriate for your prized classic …keep reading

Dr. Crankshaft and the Chirping DeSoto

Dr Crankshaft
The Doctor still has a few tricks in his pocket and sometimes Dabney needs all the help he can get …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

How to Replace Spark Plugs

Car Restoration How To
Even if you know how to do this, read on. It just might refresh your memory on how a spark plug works and how to get it right …keep reading

How to Read and Interpret a Voltmeter

Car Restoration How To
The voltmeter is one of the most useful tools you can own. Let us show you how easy it is to master its use …keep reading

Troubleshooting Nightmare - Continued

Feature Articles
Our rough-running Mustang revisited …keep reading

The Famous Duesenberg SSJ

The Famous Duesenberg SSJ

Auto Biography
The most prestigious car ever made in the US deserved its reputation. Here's the story of the Duesenberg …keep reading

How To Rebuild a Water Pump

Car Restoration How To
The more "non-mainstream" your car is, the more you need to rebuild components yourself. Here's how we saved over $500 by rebuilding this water pump …keep reading

So How Did the British Settle On British Racing Green Byline:

Dr Crankshaft
The Doctor gives a little history lesson on the origin of one of the most famous automobile colors …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

Tire Removal

Beginners Corner
Ok, so technically, this is not a restoration article...but it does give you some insight into planning even for the simplest task. And it might save you some time and effort, not to mention your back …keep reading

Rebuilding/Restoring Chrome Wire Wheels

Car Restoration How To
In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, chrome wire wheels were the choice of thousands of owners who were looking for the right dress-up for their cars. This article describes how to bring these goodies back to their original condition …keep reading

Oil, Your Car, and Your Wallet, or Why I Don't Buy Aftermarket Additives!

Feature Articles
Knowing a little about oil can go a long way to helping you decide where to put your hard-earned cash …keep reading

1959 El Camino

1959 El Camino

Auto Biography
1959 was a strange year for Chevrolet. After the clean, crisp styling of the '57 Chevrolet, and the less-than-successful '58 styling, Chevrolet's management demanded that the '59 model fix the problem. The result was a very radical car …keep reading

Vehicle Condition and Relative Value Guide

Feature Articles
When looking for a vehicle for your car restoration project, this guide will help you define a particular vehicle's condition in such a way that you can obtain agreement from the seller …keep reading

Car Restoration and Collecting: How Do I Get Started?

Feature Articles
The world if full of old cars thar are gathering dust and gradually rusting away toward oblivion. The world is also full of people like yourselves, who are looking for some automotive treasure that they can restore to like-new condition …keep reading

Car Restoration Shop Safety

Feature Articles
Nothing is more important than safety while working on your car restoration project. Injuries are not only painful, but can put projects on indefinite "hold." Here are some guidelines to keep your car restoration project safe …keep reading

Auto Upholstery How-To: One Scenario

Auto Upholstery How-To: One Scenario

Car Restoration How To
No two upholstery jobs are the same, so this is just one of the many we'll deal with in upcoming issues. Over 40 photos will help explain the procedures we used on our TR6 seats …keep reading

The Case of the Leaky Tires

Dr Crankshaft
Fantastic 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. Terrific looking wheels. Great tires. Unfortunately, Dabney can't keep air in them …keep reading

Mr. Clean Carwash & Auto Dry

Product Reviews
Our experts tested out whether Mr. Clean Carwash & Auto Dry really lives up to the promise of "no more towels or chamois." …keep reading

Rust Repair - Approach No. 10

Feature Articles
No, we haven't actually done 9 previous rust articles, but we wanted you to know this technique is just one of many, many ways to attack the enemy of car bodies …keep reading

1956 Continental Mark II

1956 Continental Mark II

Auto Biography
There was a Lincoln Continental model produced during the '40s, as almost any auto buff knows. It was elegant and expensive for its time...but nothing like the price tag put on the Mark II …keep reading

How To Make Your Own Buffing Wheel

How To Make Your Own Buffing Wheel

Car Restoration How To
Our Restorations-on-a-Budget plan helps you set up shop without breaking the bank. Read how to set up a first-class buffer on the cheap …keep reading

The Right Way to Use a Buffing Wheel

The Right Way to Use a Buffing Wheel

Car Restoration How To
Patience and getting the feel for your equipment are vital to getting that trim work to shine like new. This article tells you how to get the results you're looking for …keep reading

Powder Coating: Easy & Effective

Car Restoration How To
You can get fantastic results with this simple, easy-to-use coating system. Great for those under-the-hood small parts Latest: no Add Edit Delete Main Menu Log Out …keep reading

Tires and Your Car: Stuff You Should Know

Feature Articles
Without doubt, the most important and by far the most ignored safety component of any vehicle is its tires. Four contact patches, the surface areas where the tires are in contact with the pavement and comprising about 25 square inches, are the only things controlling how well the car handles, stops and accelerates. And that's a lot to ask of our tires …keep reading

	1958 DeSoto: Fins and All

1958 DeSoto: Fins and All

Auto Biography
DeSoto's management had a lot riding on the 1959 model year, hoping that the company could stay solvent at least through their 30th anniversary as an automaker …keep reading

Sh-Sh-Sh-Shaky Driveshaft

Dr Crankshaft
Our man Dabney is perplexed. He just installed new U-joints. Why is he getting such bad vibrations? Time to call the Doctor …keep reading