Welcome to the board. I feel this is the best site on the web. Jon has done a marvelous job creating a professional yet fun atmosphere here.
Your enthusiasm is obvious and infectious. Don't feel bad, we all started out just where you are. No problem, in hot rodding it is definitely the journey rather than the destination that is mos satisfying.
All of your questions are super and worthy of discussion. This is a great time to familiarize yourself with the "Search" feature of the board. Go to the "Advanced Search link at the button at the top of this column. Type in your topic and you will find a wealth of information. After you have done that and have questions, by all means ask them in the appropriate forum. By first doing the search, you will get a bunch more info than in a single thread like this plus us old timers will be spared answering the same question for the umpteenth time! Getting on in years you know!