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ofi Classic Cars is an automotive restoration shop in the metro Atlanta area specializing in pre-1974 vehicles. We offer everything from minor repairs to full frame-off restoration of collectable cars and trucks, including chassis, drivetrain, electrical, body, paint, and upholstery

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C-Code Engines

April 2, 2012

A customer had concerns about whether he had the original C-code 289 engine in his car. He was pretty sure the manifold was a 1968 302.

I urged him not to get too hung up on the “date coding” unless he was after a concourse car – which is way more money than anybody should have to pay.  The 289 & 302 have all the same major components (basically the same engine) with different cranks. The 302 crank provides a slightly longer stroke & raises the displacement a whopping 12 inches. Don’t worry about it.

How seriously should I take the Mustang forums I see?

March 31, 2012

Read & enjoy them for what they are – some good information but primarily entertainment. Some guy will start a thread on changing out to poly motor mounts, you’ll get 12 different opinions from 8 different guys, & the next thing you know they’re arguing about whether or not a 66 K code had disc brakes. Some of these guys know & some don’t have a clue, but it makes good reading and can be helpful.

Running hot – how reliable are the gauges on my car?

March 29, 2012

Gauges are notoriously inaccurate. It sounds like it’s working & we can check it with a laser temp gun, but I suspect it’s OK & if it overheats, it will let you know by pegging in the hot range & boiling over. Sometimes (me included) put a little too much coolant into a radiator & as it heats, it expands and may “puke” a little bit when you shut it off. Nothings moving (air thru the radiator & coolant) and engines always get hotter after you’ve shut them off after they’ve been running. Typically the car’s telling you that it had too much coolant to handle the expansion & it’s letting you know. If it continues to do this, you may have a bad cap or a faulty thermostat.

Valvoline VR1 Oil

March 26, 2012

I also changed the oil last weekend, putting in Valvoline VR1 with a Purolator filter. I realized afterwards that the bottles were synthetic. Should I drain the synthetic and put conventional back in the car?


The oil isn’t going to hurt anything.  Just wait for your next oil change. We use Shell Rotella 15/40 in all our vehicles. It was designed for diesels & contains some zinc, which offsets the lack of lead in today’s gasoline and it’s cheaper than VR1 or “Purple power”.

Spark Plug Problems

March 24, 2012

My buddy determined that the reason for the spark plugs leaking was that they were simply loose. He tightened them properly when we changed them out last weekend and the leaks appear to be gone now.


Good to have a car buddy – no engine re-build ($5K) & no transmission re-build ($1200). Buy him a beer.


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