How to Post on the Hotrodders Bulletin Board
There's a few simple things you should know before you ask your first question on the Hotrodders Bulletin Board.
The people here are a curious, intelligent, and helpful group. We have everyone from retired mechanics and mechanical engineers to people just getting interested in hotrodding for the first time. Everyone likes to come together around a good discussion, and if you can provide us with one by asking a good question, we will be in your debt.
But, if you don't take the time to consider your question before you ask it, you probably won't get a good reply, if you get one at all.
The effort you put into asking your question is equal to the quality of the responses you will receive in return.
Before You Ask
Before you make a single post on the board, you should have already read at least 100 other posts. Just skimming through several pages of posts will give you an idea of how people act around here.
If you make a post without having read any previous posts, it will be very obvious to everyone.
We have several tech forums here, for everything from engine to interior questions, as well as forums for non-automotive discussions. Put your posts in the correct forums. If you aren't sure where a tech question should go, put it in the General Rodding Tech forum. If you have a tech question that could be placed in one of multiple tech forums, then just choose one. You can put a clutch question in the Engine forum or the Transmission-Rearend forum -- either one will be fine. Put it in the Body-Exterior category, and it will be obvious you weren't paying attention.
If you have a non-automotive question, or discussion to start, don't put it in a technical forum. Put it in the Hotrodders' Lounge. Questions about Hotrodders.com, or the Hotrodders Bulletin Board, go in the Hotrodders Q&A forum. Questions or discussions about the Hotrodders Knowledge Base should go in the Hotrodders Knowledge Base forum. Smack talking threads, or threads you think might get out of hand, go in the Dump.
The question you are about to ask may very well have been asked, discussed and answered before. So before you ask, look around. Use the board search function. Do a search in the Hotrodders Knowledge Base.
Then, when you post, demonstrate that you've already looked for an answer. Say "I looked at such-and-such website" or "I talked to so-and-so about this" or "I searched through the board archives". This shows everyone that you respect their knowledge, and you didn't just run to them for an answer without thinking it through.
When you ask a question, you are asking someone for a favor. Nobody owes you an answer. So be polite.
Composing Your Question
The way you are perceived on the internet is dictated by one thing alone -- your words. So use them carefully.
We aren't English professors here, but we do ask that you try to spell reasonably. Use periods. Don't use ALL CAPS, it's considered shouting. Write a descriptive title, not "having a problem", or "need some help". Everyone here is having a problem, and needs some help .
Read your post over before you post it. Then, read it after it's posted. If you need to change anything, use the edit button. Use the preview post feature.
Here is an example of the same question, asked by two different new users.
User 1 can't get his engine to start in cold weather, so he posted the following:
Title: NEED HELP!
NEED HELP ENGIN NOT WORKING CANT START IN COLD WEATHER TOO COLD 350/350 HOLLEY 850. WHAT DO I DO NEED ANSWER IMMEDIATELY!! EMAIL CAR5425DUDE @HOTMAIL.COM.
User 2 also can't get his engine to start in cold weather. He posted the following:
Title: Engine won't start below 40 degrees
Hi guys -- new member here. I'm having a problem getting my engine to start when the temperature is below 40 degrees. I've searched through the old posts and the Knowledge Base, and I've done such-and-such as was recommended, but it still won't work.
Here's exactly what happens when I try to start it...(followed by a DETAILED listing of the problem).
Here's my setup...(followed by a detailed listing of all parts that might be relevant to this problem).
What's the next step for me to take to troubleshoot this problem?
Thanks in advance.
Which user would you answer?
User 2 started off with a descriptive title for his post. Then, he demonstrated that he had already searched for an answer. He gave a detailed description of his problem, and a detailed description of all relevant parts. He described the steps he had already taken. Then, he asked an outright question -- "What's the next step for me to take to troubleshoot this problem?". And he was polite. He'll probably get plenty of answers to his question, and plenty of people willing to help him out.
User 1, on the other hand, apparently took little or no time to compose his question. He was rude and inconsiderate. He obviously didn't even read the page when he signed up, because he is breaking half of our rules. He must've just quickly clicked on the "I Agree" button. He will either be ignored, or he won't get a satisfactory answer.
Same problem, same question. Asked two different ways.
Questions Not to Ask
If you ask one of the questions below, or something similar, people will probably either make fun of you, or they will ignore you. Take your pick.
"How do I make flames come out of my exhaust?"
This has been asked numerous times before. If you don't know the answer, you aren't using the board search.
"Will 302 heads fit on a 350?"
"Should I get a Holley or Edelbrock carb?"
"Howdy, I got a 350 chevy 4 bolt main. It is in a chevy car with a chevy transmission. It has an intake. How much do you guys think horsepower I am making and torque power abilities at the peakness PRM's?"
You are making 500 horsepower with the intake turned on, and 600 horsepower with the ashtray in the upright position. Your RPM torque should reach peakness at 65 or 75, depending on the barometric temperature, and whether it's a Chevy or a GM.
Any answer you receive to the above question will be as useless as the answer we've just given. There is no magic dyno here. If you have solid numbers, cam specs, or other data, ask around and someone will run your figures through Desktop Dyno or some other similar program to give you an approximate horsepower and/or torque reading.
Before you ask how much horsepower or torque such-and-such part will add, you had best understand exactly what such-and-such part does. If you don't understand, just ask, and someone will be happy to explain.
After You Ask Your Question
After you ask your question, and get a few ideas from the people who answered you, be sure to come back and let us know what happened. We like to know how our ideas worked out, and if they helped you or not. We like to know how the problem was solved. Also, it helps other people who will look at the discussion later on.
Miscellaneous Stuff and Common Questions
Don't try to pretend that you know more than you do. Admit what you know, and what you don't, and people will be happy to help you learn. Try to show off, and someone who knows 10 times as much as you will make you look like a ******* in front of everybody.
Don't use foul language in the tech forums. We're not Mother Teresa here, but when asking or responding to questions in the tech categories, try to keep it PG-13. You can reserve the more casual talk for discussions in the Hotrodders' Lounge, or in the Dump.
Stay on topic. A question on gear ratios should not end up as a heated discussion on global politics. You can chit-chat all you like in the Hotrodders' Lounge. The tech forums are for on-topic technical discussions.
You'll probably find that most of the conversation at Hotrodders.com centers around domestic hot rod and muscle car era vehicles, but we appreciate automotive diversity in all its forms. If you are an import car enthusiast, we welcome you here. Please be sure to read this post.
You might be wondering how you can get your own custom picture under your name when you post on the board. Those are called "avatars". We'll be happy to make you your own custom avatar if you send us your username, plus a pic to: firstname.lastname@example.org
. It usually takes up to a week after you send your pic to see it on the board. No animated graphics, please.
You might see people using abbreviations like LOL or ROTFL. The most common ones are LOL (Laugh Out Loud), ROTFL (Rolling On The Floor Laughing), or HTH (Hope This Helps). If you see any others that you aren't sure of, just type them into the search engine at AcronymFinder.com.
If you are unsure of exactly how to post, click here for an explanation.
If you are having login problems, or password problems, click here for help.
If you have some other questions about how the Bulletin Board works, you might want to have a look at the Bulletin Board FAQ. If that doesn't answer your question, please feel free to post your question in the Hotrodders Q&A forum.
If you see someone on the board who seems like they might not have read this page, please remind them to do so. If you see someone on the board who appears to be repeatedly ignoring the above guidelines, please let me know immediately at email@example.com
. If you would like to suggest an addition or a modification to this page, please start a new topic with your ideas in the Hotrodders Q&A forum on the board.
Nobody expects you to get everything here right on the first try, and everybody screws up from time to time. We thrive on good discussions, and we're relying on you to ask good questions.
It doesn't matter if you've been wrenching on cars for decades, or if you've never done an oil change before. If you demonstrate respect, and show people that you're willing to learn, every door here will be opened for you.
Administrator, Hotrodders Bulletin Board