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Where Do I Go From Here?

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Posted 01-22-2011 at 06:30 PM by MacDee

Okay, it's time for an update...

The last thing I could think of that might be wrong was that maybe the cam timing was off. One of my vanpool co-riders has a couple of vintage Mustangs he's restored. He told me of a time he rebuilt one of his engines, but it "ran like crap!", and he couldn't figure out why. He was sure he had the cam timing was correct when he assembled it, but when he finally gave up and took it to a professional shop, they found the cam timing was off by a tooth.

Hoping that maybe this really was my problem, I broached the possibility to Carter. He agreed to take another look, so I nursed it over there and we tore the front off. The marks on the sprocket were pretty ambiguous, so we tried to check the valve actuation timing. We were having difficulty getting consistent readings on his dial indicator and discovered the indicator was defective. By the time we'd run down to Harbor Freight for a new indicator, there wasn't much time left for checking, but we were getting consistent readings of .050 lift at intake opening right at TDC. This was exactly correct according to the cam specs, so I'm satisfied the cam is timed correctly. While we had it apart, I discovered one of the push rods was cracked; right up at the cup where the ball on the end of the adjuster screw seats into it. Carter inspected the other push rods and noticed that some of them appear to be wearing only around the lip of the cup, as though the ball is not seating all the way into the cup. That would explain why one of the cups cracked, and it would also explain why one of the adjuster screws seems to be sticking further out than the others after I'd carefully adjusted all the valves. It might also explain why there is still lifter noise even after I've carefully adjusted all the valves!

Carter dug out the push rods from "engine #2", which had adjustable rockers, and we replaced the broken one with one of those stock ones. We put it back together and Carter tuned it up as best he could. In driving it home, it seems to be running about the best it ever has since swapping the engine. Even though it's still a bear to drive, and wouldn't want to drive it as a "daily driver", I think it runs well enough now I could drive it to shows. However, there's still a bunch of other issues to address before I'd be willing to even try to drive it to a show:

She's got electrical gremlins...
On the trip home after the engine swap, I noticed the turn signals weren't working. I checked under the dash and discovered a male and female wire separated, so I plugged them together. When I tried using the turn signal after that, it blew the fuse to the tail lights! I'm guessing I've got the wiring all mixed up, and just need to go chase it down.

The right exhaust pipe is almost dragging the ground and I've got the connection between the header outlets and the exhaust system all loused up. Kenny and Jeff will recall that the adapters between the header outlets and the x-pipe were not the correct size for my 2-inch header outlets. The system uses 1-3/4 inch pipes, and the adapters were fabricated to adapt to 1-3/4 header outlets. I "solved" that problem by jamming the adapters into the INSIDE of the header outlets. I've since discovered (and bought) some little 2-inch-to-1-3/4-inch adapters I could mate to my header outlets and then mate the x-pipe adapters to them. Would be much nicer. I just need to get around to re-installing the exhaust system.

I never got around to hooking up the lighting for the oil pressure and water temp gauges. When I drove it home from Carter's that last time, in the dark, it bothered me greatly that I couldn't monitor the water temp and oil pressure. Don't want to drive it in the dark again unless those gauges are lit up!

The drive shaft is too short....
In my attempt to have "everything" ready for the engine swap, I did my best to measure distances between the diff and engine mounts, and the difference in lengths between the Ford-o-matic and the C4. After much measuring, sketching and figuring, I decided 52 inches would be just right, and got the drive shaft built to that length. WRONG! It's just about 1 inch too short! I would really feel better about driving it if it were a tad longer. Just need to take it off and haul it back to Drivelines Northwest, tail between legs, and drop a couple more bills on the table.

I posted my sad story on the Ford Six Forum hoping someone might have some other ideas. Mike Winterboer P.M.'d me and told me my cam SHOULD be timed four degrees advanced. Advancing the cam timing improves low-end performance (at the expense of top end). Mine is timed straight up (zero degrees), so maybe there could be some improvement by re-timing the cam. Don't know how much difference it would make at idle, though.

I asked Mike if there had been any problems with his "special" push rods, and also if it might be possible to replace just the s-shaped adapters (the ones I jammed into the header outlets) from the Classic Inlines exhaust system if my mine were indeed too mangled to re-use. He admitted that others have had problems with his push rods and told me he would replace any that were defective. He also said the s-pipes could be ordered alone.

So, my planned activity:

1. Inspect the push rods. Box up any that are bad for shipment back to Classic Inlines.
2. Begin re-installation of the exhaust system using the 2-into-1-3/4 pipe adapters. Determine if s-pipes will need to be replaced.
3. Get the drive shaft lengthened to 53 inches.
4. Chase down and fix electrical problems.
5. Hook up the lighting to the gauges.

One of Carter's neighbors who is heavily into Fords and Holleys suspects the carb spacer may have something to do with my idling problems. He insists that I should remove it. I'd need to shave off some material from the intake manifold, and probably from the throttle lever as well, to get enough clearance to use the carb without a spacer, so...

6. Shave off some material from the intake manifold, and probably from the throttle lever, to get enough clearance to use the carb without the spacer.

Later, perhaps, but definitely on the agenda...

7. Re-time cam to 4-degrees advanced.


7.5. Replace cam with a 264-degree-duration cam.

Now I just need a Round Tuit and a 50-gallon barrel of time....
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  1. Old Comment
    Gary I would like to help you with your car not running right, you spent a lot to have something different and I ....being a car nut ... and been around this most of my life I feel it should run better than it does...if you like pm me...for my number ...thanks john h
    Posted 01-25-2011 at 05:12 PM by falcon cobra falcon cobra is offline

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