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Question: I have a new Nissan Titan 5.6L pickup that I think is just great. I want to get a bit more performance out of the engine and a better sound from the exhaust. I have searched the Internet and can't seem to find an after-cat exhaust system for it. I would like to go with stainless steel if possible. Do you have any idea where I can get a good sounding system for my truck?
Oak Harbor, WA
Answer: There are a number of sources for your Titan's exhaust, including Stillen (866/250-5542, www.stillen.com), Banks Engineering (800/601-8072, www.bankspower.com), Dynomax (734/384-7806, www.dynomax.com), and Magnaflow (800/824-8664), as well as a system I found at Ultimate Truck (877/921-1531, www.ultimatetruck.com). It's made of mandrel-bent T304 stainless steel and comes with a lifetime warranty. It's a totally bolt-on system that they claim can be installed in 40 minutes or so. This is a very quality product, so expect to pay for what you get, as the system is in the $500 range.
Question: I have a brother who recently burned up a valve in his '95 Chevy 4x4 1/2-ton truck with a 305. How does that impact me, you might ask? Well, I'm the guy who gets to "help" him fix it.
Where can I find information on the feasibility of upgrading to a 350 in place of the 305? Or find out if there are some reasonable upgrades to perform to the 305? I have some compatibility concerns with regards to the existing computer and fuel-injection system. Any recommendations? This truck has always seemed underpowered when trying to tow anything.
Answer: 1995 was the last year of the throttle-body fuel injection and the last year of the 305. Luckily, the 350 was still offered and shared the same fuel-induction system. This is a super-easy swap. Take out the present motor and put in the throttle-body 350. You should change out the computer to one for a 350, but the one from the 305 will make it run OK. I am sure you could transfer the intake-manifold throttle body and distributor from the 305 to the 350 if you had to, but I'm not sure about port size on the manifold matching. I have also been told that the throttle body won't flow enough air/fuel mixture to get all the potential power
Question: I have an '00 Grand Cherokee that I bought a few months ago. I had it serviced by the dealer, and during a conversation with the service manager he said that I had to use a special power-steering fluid, not just the standard stuff that I can buy at the auto parts store. Is this true, or is he just trying to get me to buy my replacement parts and fluids from their part's department?
Answer: Actually, he is right. Grand Cherokee WJs, and their international-market counterpart WGs, do take a special p/s fluid. Most power-steering fluid is red in color, but the special fluid is amber in color. (However, both fluids will darken in color with use, and fluid color is not an indicator of fluid condition.) The correct fluid is Mopar MS5931, and the part number for a quart is 04883077. Something that I didn't do was to check and see if any of the products on the shelf of the local auto parts stores met the requirements for your vehicle. Just might be.
Now you're going to ask me why? Sorry, I don't have a clue, the only other Chrysler-built vehicle that uses this fluid is the 2004 Crossfire.
Question: I was writing in response to "Gearbox Options for '60s Suburban" ("Techline," Oct. '07). I was able to convert a '67 Chevy pickup to power steering using a p/s gearbox out of '72 Chevy pickup. Power steering was an option, I believe, in pickups from '68 on, and probably sooner in GMCs. The p/s box has the same mounting bolt pattern as the manual, although it does have a slight bulge on the frame side. On the models with power steering, the bulge is accommodated by an indent in the frame, which is not in the earlier models with manual steering. I was able to accommodate this with the use of some thick lock washers used to space the box out away from the frame. This was enough clearance to mount the box and had little if any effect on the steering geometry. Just about any GM pump and hoses should work on the other end, and depending on the motor, the brackets could be the hardest part. The Suburban may be a little different than the pickup, but shouldn't be much.
Answer: Yes, the Chevys built in the '60s did have power steering options, but they were a ram style. Several people have written to tell me that the later box will just bolt up, by either using a spacer or not using the fourth bolt. My information on the subject was flawed, so thanks for setting me straight.