Ownership Verified: 1967 Ford Fairlane 500

Dr_Grip

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Again, you have to set a static timing in the ECU (something like 15°) and turn the dizzy to match. If you try to set the timing without a static timing said, everything will go to shit as timing and MAP readings are influencing each other.
If that offsets the dizzy finger in relation to the spark plug terminals, then your reference angle is off (see above).

I believe you are overthinking this...
 
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NotLaw

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That's what I've been trying to do, and it's been causing the idle to increase substantially.

However, it's fixed now, thanks to a tooling change.
Using a super cheap timing light I borrowed from a friend at work, I was able to sync the timing to within ±2 of my cranking timing (15°) while cranking. Having done so, I started the car, and once again it was idling over 3000 RPM. I reviewed everything in the software I could think of that might potentially be causing such a high idle, but i found nothing. Stumped, I went out and started staring at the engine.

Whereupon i found this:


The seriously rigged throttle cable I mentioned before? the one I hated, and was just to get me up to my parents place, where I could fabricate something better?
Yeah.. that was hitting the throttle body, holding the throttle open. Hence, 3000 RPM idle.


Fixed it with a slightly less rigged system, redid the TPS autoset, and though I had to play with the throttle slightly to make it run (it was coughing a lot) it did eventually start.
It idled at 1000 RPM, before quickly settling down to a lovely 700 rpm idle.
There is a nut underneath all that tie wire btw, sandwiched between the two washers. There is also a scrap piece of aluminum fuel tube acting as a bushing between the bolt and the throttle lever. It all moves super freely, with no binding at all.


Anyways, as I was setting up the timing light to continue the syncing process, a problem developed, in that I think I may have discovered why the alternator was not charging.


The pulley fell off while it was idling.



I've been looking for the last hour for that stupid thing, but I have yet to find it. It's suuuuuuuper fucking irritating, because I think if i could find it, I could probably re-impact it back on at work (this time with plenty of red loctite) and be test driving the car, and starting to tune it properly tomorrow.

I did stab the throttle a few times before the pulley fell off though. It's nice and responsive, at least with no load. Better than the Q-Jet would have been on such a cold day and cold engine.


EDIT: I did finally find the pulley after about an hour and a half of searching. No apparent damage was done, and I'll be reattaching it via air impact tool at work, using the 1967 spec nut and lockwasher, rather than the flanged nut alone that held the serpentine pulley onto the 3G alternator...
 
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Dr_Grip

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Congrats! So you basically are out of the woods when it comes to the fuel injection - the starting problems might even tune themselves out once the fuel tables start self-learning. If the setup is mechanically sound and you can get her to idle cleanly (don't forget to set the idle screw to 10% or less IAC at hot idle) you should be good for the first 100 or so miles of driving to get your fuel tables in tune.
 

NotLaw

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So, the charging problem was fixed by changing out the alternator for another one. The one I got from RockAuto was apparently DOA.

With the alternator fixed, I did the Roadkill thing, and after a short test drive around town, pretty much immediately set out for my parents place, 200 miles away.

Unlike roadkill though, my junk worked, no problems, or at least, none related to the EFI conversion.

I've got some issues with the dash illumination; the wire for the speedo light pulled out of the socket, shorted to something, and popped the fuse, so I had no gauge illumination for the duration of the nighttime trip.

I also lost either power or ground to my hardwired radar detector.


oh, and I have a brake fluid leak, and dodgy brakes :lol: That'll get fixed today though.


but the engine ran great.

Only a minor improvement at the 3000 RPM cruise over the Q-jet, but massive improvement in drivability down low. Pulling away from a stop is vastly improved with much greater power and smoothness below 2100 rpm, and responsiveness is up below 2500 rpm.

I have yet to make a WOT pull yet, but from the little I did get into it, power is good up top too.



Over the course of the week, I think I'll put together some posts detailing what I did, and how I did it, as well as get some video of the now-running car.

Or maybe I'll just drive it.
a lot.
:mrgreen:
 

Dr_Grip

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Do drive it a lot!

Did the starting hesitation get better?
 

NotLaw

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Starting hesitation is better now, but I still need to adjust the idle screw for 5-10% IAC at hot idle. It's currently at 18%.

Idles fine now, and I put together a basic timing curve table based on the old mechanical/vacuum timing advance to use as a baseline for further tweeking.

Even with what is effectively just the old-school timing advance curve, power is at least somewhat improved throughout, with large improvements in the low-to-midrange. It's also very nice to be able to go out on a cold morning, start the car, and just start driving with no hassle from the carb (the Q-jet never was very happy on a cold morning)

I have also adjusted in the target AFR's to be a little leaner at my cruising MAP readings, so I'm starting to see the fuel economy improvements that I was hoping for, but not really expecting. On the drive back to my home from my parent place, I had a fairly full load in the car, running on winter fuel, and maintaining the usual highway speeds of around 75-80 mph, and I still returned right around 19 mpg. Typically, with similar loads and conditions, the Q-Jet might only be expected to give me around 16 mpg.

Alltogether, I am very pleased with the Dominator though.


As for my other issues with the car, the brakes are fixed now. I had to toss the combination valve that originally came with my Masterpower disk brake conversion kit, and I am now running a Wilwood adjustable proportioning valve. The brakes are fantastic now. The speedo light turned out to be a broken socket, so I've going to be ordering another one with my next Summit order. The aluminum dash bezel will be left off until I have that fixed. The radar detector, it turns out, was just turned off. Apparently I hit the button accidentally at some point, and never noticed lol.
 

NotLaw

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So, I still need to do a full writeup on the conversion, as well as sort and upload the pics, but in the meantime, The car has been running (mostly) OK.

Last week was a big test of the car, but before that, I got a new part in:



I managed to score a pretty good deal on another grille for the car. It came from back east, so all the steel fittings need replacing, and overall, the whole grille needs refurbishing, but it's straight. The new grille didn't come with an emblem, so I stole the one off the grill that met a deer at some speed.


With the new grill fitted, It was time for a road trip to LA.

The view coming down I-15 into Victorville on a Thursday night:


Then, I was up early Friday morning, and made my way over to Irwindale Speedway, for the start of the Roadkill Zip-Tie Drags cruise:

NotLaw;n3545061 said:
So, about a week ago now, I went to a place, and I saw some things:









Unfortunately, it was at Irwindale, that I once again encountered symptoms of a problem that has turned out to be serious.

I had noticed while driving from my hotel to Irwindale, that the car did not seem to be running right. I was down on power, and having to ride the clutch much more than usual to get away from stops.
This had happened twice before, not long after I had the EFI installed, and it turned out at that time that for some reason I was never able to adequately explain, the ignition timing synchronization was walking.
The first time the sync was off from where I set it, I pulled the distributor, and noticed signs that the gear on the TFI dizzy was showing some wear. Since the gear only had 200 miles on it, I was concerned, and replaced it with a composite gear that I ordered from Summit (this was the week after Christmas.

Not long after I had the car back in cedar, it was misbehaving again, and the timing was off again. A simple re-sync of the dizzy fixed it.

with the issue happening a third time though, I was starting to get seriously concerned. I resynced the dizzy again at Irwindale, (the EFI had about 3200 miles on it at this time BTW) but, I also noticed that I was approaching the limit of just how far I could turn the distributor, before the body was going to start hitting fuel rails.

At the time, I was concerned, but not enough to abandon the trip quite yet. However, charging issues with the alternator, an impending blizzard at home, and my friend's car having mechanical issues that meant he was not going to make it to our meetup in Tucson all conspired to make me decide to abandon the trip, and book it back home.



With the snow storm that hit, the car has been off the road till last Friday, when I deemed that it had been long enough that most of the serious sand on the roads had been cleared away, and went for a drive.

It did not go well.


About halfway through the drive, I got on the car hard, as I was merging onto the interstate, and from that point on, it was running like dog-shit; no power at all; hills that I could usually climb at 80 without even thinking about it, I had to bury the pedal just to go 65, and it was idling terribly.
Anyways, I was dark at that point, and I didn't have my laptop to lock out the timing and retime it again, so I limped it home.

Yesterday (saturday) I started poking around the engine. I pulled the dizzy (it looked fine) and I looked at the cam gear as best I could (it looked fine too) and then I checked for play in the timing chain by rocking the crank back and forth by hand, and watching the dizzy rotor.

I have just over 10° of play in the crank, before the dizzy rotor starts moving.:cry:

*sigh*

I'm pretty sure that the timing chain is to blame, (though it could be cam gear too)
The chain that's in there is a double roller, but it's not a fancy one, being a $27 Melling unit.

I don't particularly like the stretched timing chain theory, since the chain that's in there is a double roller, and its less than a year old. I don't think it has more than maybe 10 or 12k miles on it. Hard miles, true, most of them have been at or above 3000 RPM, but I don't think that's outside what a timing chain should be expected to live through.

Anyways, I've got a small oil leak at the back of the intake manifold too, so timing cover and manifold are coming off over the course of the next week, and I'll be tearing things apart until I find a damaged part.




On the bright side, the EFI is working flawlessly :cool: The car starts, idles, and runs great (when the timing is synced)
It's also running very clean apparently, as even after just over 4000 miles, the oil is still translucent and honey colored. (yes, it's synthetic, but still 4K miles is not a small amount)
I also saw 25 mpg once, on the run between Cedar City and Las Vegas (loosing a lot of elevation there might have helped :mrgreen:)
 

Nabster

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Well that sucks. Something's definitely not right there, hopefully it's just something stupid you'll easily find looking for something else.

Also:

NotLaw;n3545062 said:
Serious case of déjà vu here :lol:

And I don't like the dark painted headlight buckets.
 
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Spectre

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Did you remember to check your distributor drive/driven gear metal compatibility before installing the cam and distributor? That, unfortunately, is actually a thing on Windsors. A mismatched distributor gear set will wear quickly (sometimes one will wear and the other won't, or both will chew themselves up at the same time, depending on what the mismatch was) and have increasing slop as you've described.
 
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Spectre;n3545064 said:
Did you remember to check your distributor drive/driven gear metal compatibility before installing the cam and distributor? That, unfortunately, is actually a thing on Windsors. A mismatched distributor gear set will wear quickly (sometimes one will wear and the other won't, or both will chew themselves up at the same time, depending on what the mismatch was) and have increasing slop as you've described.
I think he mentioned he installed a composite dizzy gear, that ought to chew up long before it hurts the cam gear.

NotLaw: was the engine ever line bored? Line bores shift the crank centerline and cause slacker timing gears as a result. That said, that shouldn't really cause a timing issue unless it's skipping teeth - the chain is only ever driven on one side and it would take a hell of a lot of stretch to cause the timing issues you've mentioned. It's possible (but perhaps remote) the cam thrust retainer has backed off and is allowing the cam to walk forwards, gradually changing the timing as the distributor drive gear moves.
 
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NotLaw

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Nabster: I agree lol. The photo-op is why I parked next to the 'Stang (he was already there when I arrived) and the black headlight buckets are awful. The car in general was actually not really all that nice. Your's is in much better condition.


Regarding the dizzy gear and timing:
It does have a composite dizzy gear right now, and there is only slight movement in the dizzy shaft when it's installed, perhaps more than I would like, but certainly within tolerance for typical gear lash. The composite gear looks brand new, and has zero wear.

I'm pretty sure the TFI dizzy had the same gear as the Pertronix unit I had before, but if not, the original gear for the TFI dizzy only had about 200 miles of runtime on it. It did show witness marks on the gear, but I don't really think there was any wear. I replaced it with the composite gear to eliminate the possibility, and (if the cam gear was worn) to stop any (possible) existing wear from getting worse.


The block has not been line-bored during my ownership, though the 302 was rebuilt before I bought it. The 302 block has more than 50,000 miles on it during my ownership though, and the timing walking is a recent development. It could possibly pre-date the EFI, but only so far back as the roller cam install.

The cam thrust retainer is certainly an option though. I need to get the timing cover off so I can start actually inspecting things.
Right now, it's just postulating and theorys. I'll be getting things pulled apart soon, so that root cause can be determined.

I've been holding off on the disassembly, because I've been busy working on another unrelated project, and given the time of year, the Fairlane is not exactly the highest priority on the list, but I should be able to get things disassembled before the weekend. The requisite gaskets have been ordered, as well as a new chain for GP's.
Hopefully the issue is either the chain, or something simple I can fix in a weekend, and I can have the car running again soon.
 

NotLaw

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So, I pulled the timing cover last night, after draining the water, and while the timing chain did have more slack than I like in it, it wasn't enough to cause the issue (almost 0.200" of deflection on the slack side)

I pulled the chain off, and found the smoking gun:



Spectre called it, and its a wasted cam gear. I had somewhat suspected this might be the issue since December, when I switched the dizzy gear to the composite one. I thought the distributor I bought had a compatible gear on it, but apparently not.
I suspect most of the damage was done during that one 200 mile drive with the TFI dizzy's original gear, but once the teeth were damaged on the cam, the composite gear did not stop the existing wear from getting worse.


*sigh*...

I suppose it's a good thing I never really liked that cam anyways :lol:
It was all but done by 5k, and (as Spectre has alluded in the past, several times) it was not particularly fun with my close ratio transmission.


I don't particularly like most of the roller retrofit shelf grinds that are available from the likes of Comp, Lunati, Howards, and others (most change the firing order, and I don't like the sound of the 302HO firing order at idle), so I will be investigating getting a custom ground cam to suit my particular interests and needs.



For what it's worth, this is what my distributor gear looks like right now:
 

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That sucks. At least it's a relatively easy fix.

I guess I've never noticed that an HO firing order sounds different. Weird.
 

NotLaw

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I don't think it's something that most people pay attention too, and at anything other than idle, it's hard to tell. I think if you had a X or H pipe in the exhaust (or a single exit) then you probably wouldn't be able to tell either.

Interestingly, when you look at hole locations, it's the same difference between the GM 5.7/Chrysler LA firing order vs the GM LS firing order. The GM firing orders are just offset from the Ford firing orders.


(source img here)
 
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bone

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NotLaw;n3545268 said:
I don't particularly like most of the roller retrofit shelf grinds that are available from the likes of Comp, Lunati, Howards, and others (most change the firing order, and I don't like the sound of the 302HO firing order at idle), so I will be investigating getting a custom ground cam to suit my particular interests and needs.
my question sounds so stupid that i'm probably missing something...but, how do you change the firing order without changing the crank?
you can only fire when the piston is TDC on power stroke, any other moment will result in a not running engine?
 

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bone;n3545276 said:
my question sounds so stupid that i'm probably missing something...but, how do you change the firing order without changing the crank?
you can only fire when the piston is TDC on power stroke, any other moment will result in a not running engine?
You can use valve (cam) and ignition timing to flip the exhaust stroke and power strokes for each cylinder independently.
 
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NotLaw;n3545268 said:
Spectre called it, and its a wasted cam gear. I had somewhat suspected this might be the issue since December, when I switched the dizzy gear to the composite one. I thought the distributor I bought had a compatible gear on it, but apparently not.
I suspect most of the damage was done during that one 200 mile drive with the TFI dizzy's original gear, but once the teeth were damaged on the cam, the composite gear did not stop the existing wear from getting worse.
The damage was done in the first five minutes of running. Camshafts are surface hardened; using an incompatible distributor gear material rapidly strips the surface hardening off and from there it's just straight up raw cast steel wear. Which will occur even with a composite distributor gear - cast steel is surprisingly soft in mechanical terms.

I suppose it's a good thing I never really liked that cam anyways :lol:
It was all but done by 5k, and (as Spectre has alluded in the past, several times) it was not particularly fun with my close ratio transmission.
https://lmr.com/item/M7003M6295/Trem...n-M-7003-M6295

I don't particularly like most of the roller retrofit shelf grinds that are available from the likes of Comp, Lunati, Howards, and others (most change the firing order, and I don't like the sound of the 302HO firing order at idle), so I will be investigating getting a custom ground cam to suit my particular interests and needs.
1. You're using an Explorer block, right? If so, that's a roller cam block and you don't need a retrofit roller cam - regular roller cams intended for a 5.0HO will work just fine as that is a native roller block.
2. If you're using an Explorer block, I strongly suggest you do *not* go back to the older "Flathead" or traditional 302 firing order. Ford changed the 302 block in 1982 to a new thin-wall design; while developing that block Ford quickly discovered that at the power outputs needed for the then-developing 5.0HO the new lighter thinner-wall block was more flexible; the initial 1-5 ignition (and therefore power) hits tended to stress the front end of the crank and forward bearings, massively accelerating wear - as in 'broken crank and worn bearings in 15-30K' wear. In a couple of prototype cases the block even cracked. The wear even happens in some non-HO engines (though not enough of them for Ford to care); with the post-84 non-HO block you can actually hear some of them knock occasionally.

Changing to the 351 (now 5.0HO) firing order reduced the stress on the front bottom end of the engine; it also reduced the 302's NVH issues. One happy accident with the change in the firing order was that it all but eliminated the classic 302 ignition crosstalk issue between the 7 and 8 wires. With all of this, Ford was more than happy to make all the post-HO new 5.0s (HO, Cobra, Exploder) use the HO firing order.

In any case, the Exploder block is a further refinement of the HO block and you really do not want to change that firing order unless you like rebuilding your engine on a frequent basis. If you really want to do that, I've got this 289-built-into-a-302 block (see my Bronco thread) that I will cheerfully trade you - it's the old thick-wall block that can deal with the old firing order at higher power levels.
 
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NotLaw

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The block is a D90E block, Indicating that it's a 1979-1983 block. The heads that were on it were 1979 heads, and I was told it was from a 1980 mustang.


I know the 302HO firing order is, on paper, better, but I don't like the way it sounds. It's purely subjective, and not reasonable, but it is what it is. I don't like it.

As for changing blocks, I have an actual 289 block that is a bore, hone, and cleanup away from being ready to use. (though the 289 crank needs some real attention, and if I wanted to make real power, I'd be better off replacing it)
 

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So, as you noted, put an X or H pipe on it and call it good as you wouldn’t be able to tell any more. :p
 

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Being on the "new" firing order with Lucille I can attest that with an X-pipe the sound is amazing.
 
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