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looking to fix my old gal

looking to fix my old gal

Joined: June 25th, 2004, 11:51 pm

June 26th, 2004, 12:22 am #1

I've got a '68 4dr galaxie with a 390. I freshened it up a couple summers ago but it never ran the way it should. I added a pair of 406 heads with smaller combustion chambers and new adjustable rockers and new rocker shafts. I haven't touched the distributor or the carburetor though. Are these the next 2 good things for me to check out replacement wise? i really just want a decent running machine (with some old ford class) to haul the ladies around on a college student/roofer's budget. Anybody in the central IL area have any good suggestions or help for me?
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Joined: December 7th, 2000, 3:26 am

June 26th, 2004, 6:39 am #2

.....next step is to set your timing first. Only then you might take a look at the carburator. If you follow this route in the right order things can only get better.

If you're using your orig. distributor w. points, replace the points and get the new points' dwell adj. properly. If you can afford to buy a pertonix electronic module this would be the best upgrade I can think of.

If you're not familiar with tune up and carb adj. procedures then spend a few bucks for a professional tune up at a garage or get back to the forum.
Good luck
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Joined: June 25th, 2004, 11:51 pm

June 28th, 2004, 10:37 pm #3

well i know i've got the timing down right, (spent alot of time on that),
and as for the carb, i'm pretty sure it's the original and as for functionality the thermostat/choke plate doesn't work, and i'm not exactly sure what else doesn't either but I have rebuilt it and it doesn't leak(hurray for that).

The engine starts up fairly decently and runs without much trouble, but there is a slight hesitation/even a hickup if you stomp on the gas from a stop; there is practicly no difference in power from 1/4 throttle to full throttle; and it won't want to start sometimes after it's been running for over 30 mins or so. It's also a DOG on gas.(even worse a dog than it should be)

I have replaced the points a couple of times and that has helped, but it still did not improve the engine much.
Other things i've doen are replacing plugs/wires/coil/ground wires, etc.
I've been thinking about upgrading to a pertronix module, what advise would you have on that? (I've looked around on ebay and they don't look too expensive)

Thank you very much for your help, hope to hear from you again soon
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Joined: December 7th, 2000, 3:26 am

June 30th, 2004, 7:41 pm #4

Curt, first thing in mind is that your timing could be too much. Initial timing w/o the vac. hose at the distributor (plugged) @ 500 RPM (no centrifugal and no vac. advance) should be at about 6 degrees BTDC or @ what ever the shop manual or cam manufacturer recommends.
The centrifugal advance could come in too early too. Proper weights on stck. distr. or proper adjustments on aftermarket vac. diaphragm devices should be set.
2. Thought is that your carb might have accumulated dirt in the bowl and duct areas. I have been there twice even w. a good fuel filter. There was bogs and strange idle behavior in the transition throttle position just like an air leak thing. Flooring the pedal deeper was doing o.k.

3. Possibility could be an air leak or a combination between 1-3.
Can't think of anything else in the moment.

The pertronix is a good idea. I don't know the current prize on these, but they're worth the expense. Just make sure that they're for an FE engine. I think it just says ....FORD 19xx - 19xx.
Can't remember the years.
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Joined: January 9th, 2001, 10:20 pm

July 6th, 2004, 3:34 pm #5

.....next step is to set your timing first. Only then you might take a look at the carburator. If you follow this route in the right order things can only get better.

If you're using your orig. distributor w. points, replace the points and get the new points' dwell adj. properly. If you can afford to buy a pertonix electronic module this would be the best upgrade I can think of.

If you're not familiar with tune up and carb adj. procedures then spend a few bucks for a professional tune up at a garage or get back to the forum.
Good luck
.....I totally agree the Pertronix ignition module would be the best and least expensive thing you could do, that would make the biggest difference.

The difference wouldn't be in power, necessarily, it would be in running quality and reliability.

P
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Joined: June 25th, 2004, 11:51 pm

July 7th, 2004, 2:06 am #6

I've got a '68 4dr galaxie with a 390. I freshened it up a couple summers ago but it never ran the way it should. I added a pair of 406 heads with smaller combustion chambers and new adjustable rockers and new rocker shafts. I haven't touched the distributor or the carburetor though. Are these the next 2 good things for me to check out replacement wise? i really just want a decent running machine (with some old ford class) to haul the ladies around on a college student/roofer's budget. Anybody in the central IL area have any good suggestions or help for me?
Thanks alot Theo and P for the comments!
I couldn't find a pertronix ignition module in town (Peoria, IL) but I did pick up a crane fireball is that pretty much the same quality? (I haven't installed it yet)
I did a compression test on the engine and all cylinders were so close to the same i couldn't notice a difference (150 psi that's about 10.1 to 1 isn't it?)

I have dropped quite a bit of money (for a poor kid like me) and alot of hard hours into this car and i think there's some decent driving hiding inside of her but i just haven't been able to sort out the problems. (that no doubtedly I caused myself!) but anyways, here's the main list of engine problems that i've come up with for you guys to ponder over

1. It percolates whever it gets hot and floods
2. It takes about 10 minutes to get warmed up and run half-assed
3. Even when warmed up theres a miss and very low performance
4. terrible gas mileage
5. Upper end oiling problem, the rocker shaft has clearence worn between it and the rockers (most notobly those on the ends away from the oiling bolt) and the upper end makes a terrible amount of noise (I'm taking the pan off as soon as possible and plastigaging the rods)

I'm not driving it right now and won't until i figure out what's going on with the oiling.

Sorry for righting a book but you guys are an increadible help for someone like me who's really out on his own!
thanks again, Curt
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Joined: December 7th, 2000, 3:26 am

July 12th, 2004, 8:35 pm #7

Curt, those problems you mentioned are hard to diagnose from the desk. They're mostly a culmination of various problems. Here a few incomplete thoughts.

1. Check your carb's float level. You'll have to look for the orig. manufacturer's specifications. Adjustments can be made by simply bending the float at the hinge. If that don't help you might take your way through a rebuild. Just take it apart, clean it and see what's up inside. Not a big deal and a good exercise anyway.
I use a phenolic spacer that I purchased from summit. It really helps keeping the carb cool.

2. Are you using an automatic choke? Which style? Is it the old style w. the asbestos pipe running from the exh. manifold to the choke device or is it cabled to 12 V?
The old style definately requires the pipe. Actually two pipes. One draws hot air from the ex. manifold while the other one draws filtered air from the air filter base to the exh. manifold (positive circulation). Proper adjustment of the choke is important and is perfectly described in FORD shop manuals just in case you run an original fire cracker.
The new style,...I don't know man,..just dump it and get a manual choke conversion kit, just my preference.

3. Make sure to run the right octane rating gas and the right spark plugs. Check the alternator voltage and most important of all. Spy out for air leaks at the motor and especially at the brake booster. To check for air leaks at the brake booster find a quite place, idle the engine in park and listen to possible air escaping sounds while you floor the brake.

4. 19-20 miles / gallon is good for that motor, 17 or less is probably normal for an old gal.

5. The shafts are pretty lose in stock form and the marks on them are mostly grave. But they do run and run and run and run no problem. I personally would take the whole engine into consideration. I wouldn't spend my $$ on parts that wouldn't really help on an engine that's in an overall poor condition. I'd either run it to death or do a rebuild from scratch. However you should inspect and decide on what you see. Those shafts are most likely severly restricted from accumulated grime. If you can find the proper diameter shaft plugs then you could give them a brush at least. That's probably the best bringer for the money. I don't think it's a good idea to crawl under the oil pan and get smeared. Your rods are probably not perfect to say it diplomatically. You're not going to bring back the engine's performance with a cognition like that and I can asure you, that the rods are not the reason for your engine's problems.

Good luck and stick around
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