Boys’ Life: Crossover How-To

The year is 1960, and on the way to school your big brother’s car conks out, to coin a phase, and there is stands with a big question mark over his head. What do you do? Why, pipe up from the backseat with unsolicited, yet right on the money advice! This little comic-book style how-to is straight out of Boys’ Life magazine, and can help little brothers and big brothers alike to save the day. I have been holding on to this one, but since last week ended with a bit of an automotive twist here at Atomic Toasters I though it would be fitting to break out. Take a look, and see how much could still be useful!

Click to enlarge for enhanced troubleshooting.


  • CaptianNemo2001

    We actually got a small vacuum in our gas tank once… solved with a very small drill bit and a hole into the gas cap.

    1953 GMC 1/2 ton Long Bed. Got to love all 90 hp out of the 228 inline 6. Scares the hell out of me for its lack of crash protection but I know I can run over things with out denting up the truck. Nothing like solid steel bumpers (about 3/16ths thick or more of steel).

  • Seems okay to me. The one new trick is cupping a hand over the carb to clear out water or dirt; I'll have to remember that one.

  • What are these Carburetor points they speak off…?

    • I think they're the things that spark when you "have someone pump the brake pedal to flash your stop lights."

      That is, of course, for cars with more than one stop light.

  • OA5599

    Certainly I'm not the only one who tried identifying the engine by the firing order.

    • I didn't, although I did notice a discrepancy between the three larger drawings of distributor caps having room for only six plug wires (unlike the one on the engine), yet the close-up of the points at the bottom of the page showing an eight-lobed cam. Might be why it isn't running right….

      • CaptianNemo2001

        Hey now, this is one of those magical universal distributor caps… Its all good.

    • Deartháir

      It's a Cadillac V8, but they've got the 4 and 7 cylinders backwards. No wonder it's not running properly.

  • I'm surprised by 1960 with more automatics that they would still recommend push starting.

    • Automatics with rear pumps can be push-started, but yeah, by 1960 I think most models couldn't.