Modified Engine - Restoration vs Renovation


When time and miles finally make it necessary to dig into the engine of a vintage car or truck, decisions need to be made. Some owners choose to make updates at that point, taking advantage of the power and reliability of a factory-built crate engine.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2015/12/01/classic-looks


Building for leisurely tours and good-weather top-down cruises … yes, tend toward the minimum clearances for well-lubricated, quiet and long-lasting engine life. But if a collector enjoys burning the rear rubber occasionally and leaving traffic behind when the light changes, more horsepower will generally result from the lower internal friction of more generous tolerances on 2nd and 3rd ring gaps, main and rod bearings (you’ll want a high volume oil pump and the deep sump with extra-oil capacity). True to your Dad’s predictions, you WILL need to refresh that engine more frequently than the quiet/long-lasting engine, but there’s a lot of enjoyment in the faster lane. (see “Smokey Yunick” engine tricks; his pistons and rings were so loose his cars smoked while running away from all the competition. He engineered an external oil fill tube in the driver’s area so oil could be added while pitted for fuel/tires…)