Ownership Verified: 1967 Ford Fairlane 500

Maybe I missed it, but did you change your proportioning valve when you went to rear discs? If you've still got a disc/drum proportioning/combination valve installed, it'll never send enough volume to the rear to make the discs work. You need a disc/disc valve or (even better) an adjustable one.

That's not to say you don't still have some air in there somewhere, but it may be compounding your problems.


If that image is accurate and no changes were made after it was taken, your rear calipers are installed backwards (driver's side caliper on passenger side and vice versa). Bleed screws need to be on top to get the air out, in this pic the caliper on the divers side is a passenger-side caliper as you can see the bleed screw is on the bottom side of the piston housing - they will never bleed correctly like that. You can just see where the bleed screw should be on the passenger side caliper as well, and since it's not there I can safely say the calipers are just swapped rather than you having two passenger-side calipers installed.

The proportioning valve is an adjustable one, also from Wilwood, that was installed about a year ago.

There were no changes to the master or the proportioning valve for the swap, but the master has no residual valve, so it is good for a disk/disk setup.

There was also no residual valve in the system for the rear drums, so they probably were not working right :dunno:

Either way, good spot on the calipers; they were indeed not changed since that picture. There was a reddit post on Tuesday that I saw not long after my post here that clued me in, and I went out and checked:



The calipers are indeed upside down?

Its going to be fixed this weekend. I was going to post up about it after I had fixed it, but you beat me to it ?
RE: valving - often-times the residual valve(s) were part of the OEM proportioning valve (hence "combination valve") instead of a separate item. Chevy truck combination valves are super common for front disc swaps for that very reason - everything you need in a single package. I think Ford did use separate residual valves for drum-drum cars in those years, who knows what happened to yours.

Glad you figured out the brake orientation issue, be sure to give your dad a ribbing for the ol' rookie mistake!
I think the old master cylinder had the residual valve built into it, that, or the combination valve that came with my front disk conversion did.

Either way, both of those were junked last year when I replaced the master cylinder for leaking, and and combination valve for being a POS.

The wilwood master/proportioning valve has no residual valve, so I think all will be well once I swap the calipers around.

I'll be sure to give my dad at least a little crap, but I should have noticed it too, since it's not like I didn't know lol.

I'm really just glad that I've got a smoking gun to point at. It irritates me when I have an issue and I don't know the root cause.
Holley's wiring documentation for Coil Near Plug distributor-less ignition sucks.

In other news, I now am in possession of a '98 ford explorer's cam position synchronizer/sensor, as well as 8 new D585 Gm truck coils. Next up on the buy list is a solution for a crank trigger wheel and sensor. Looking into aftermarket 36-1 wheels (such as the DIYAutotune one), and ideally, an OE sensor. Perhaps from the GM catalog.

The Fairlane has been running great, but the broken bushing in the distributor is a problem, and I have decided to fix it.

That is all for today.
Holley's wiring documentation for Coil Near Plug distributor-less ignition sucks.

In other news, I now am in possession of a '98 ford explorer's cam position synchronizer/sensor, as well as 8 new D585 Gm truck coils. Next up on the buy list is a solution for a crank trigger wheel and sensor. Looking into aftermarket 36-1 wheels (such as the DIYAutotune one), and ideally, an OE sensor. Perhaps from the GM catalog.

The Fairlane has been running great, but the broken bushing in the distributor is a problem, and I have decided to fix it.

That is all for today.

Erm... why not adopt the entire EDIS8 system from an Exploder with the 5.0?
Erm... why not adopt the entire EDIS8 system from an Exploder with the 5.0?

So, I can't use the trigger wheel from an explorer directly because its pressed onto the backside of the explorer's 50oz harmonic balancer. I need the trigger wheel to be on a 28oz balance. so right there, I'm already doing custom fab. Of course, I have to do that no matter what, and it's one of the big issues with the whole conversion.

The easy solution is to sandwich a trigger wheel between the balancer and the crank pulley, and then space the water pump pulley and alternator out accordingly. That's actually what I am going to do for now, but I don't like that solution much. I think getting the runout on the wheel to be small enough to make me happy is going to be a PITA.

When I add AC to the car, I may end up going serpentine, and possibly that will happen by way of adopting most or all of an explorer or mustang's front accessory drive.
It's a project for later and rife with it's own problems, but when it happens and when I am solving those problems, I think I may try to get some time on one of the mills at work to machine a custom crank pulley that does what I need.

Anyways, as far as directly using an EDIS crank sensor, its an option that I have not ruled out yet. I'm still digging into the pro's and cons of Variable Reluctance vs Hall Effect sensors.
Either way, no matter what sensor I use, I'm going to have to fab a custom bracket, because my timing cover was designed in the 60's, and does not have the provisions the later covers use. (and I'm not switching unless I have no choice. It's a pain in the ass to get that thing to seal)

For the coils though, I was able to get the LS2/D585 coils for a good price (a little under $9.50 a coil) from a seller on facebook. When I saw how much he was asking, I jumped on it without even giving consideration to EDIS.

I don't think the EDIS coils are any better or worse though, it's just a different package really. There is an existing bracket to mount the things, but it's fugly, so I probably wouldn't want to use it anyways.

The main difference then between EDIS and an LS style coil-near-plug system is that EDIS uses a module to interface between the ECU and the coils, where the LS system has the ECU driving the coils directly.

The Dominator is compatible with both, but why add the complexity of an interface module? Driving the coils directly seems easier and more reliable to me.

I'm not really going for wasted spark anyways, since I have the cam position sensor already, it's not necessary to run wasted spark. I'm pretty sure I can though. It's just a dropdown menu change in the holley software.

Also, all that being said; in 466 posts, and 24 pages of this thread; have I ever chosen the easy or obvious solution? :mrgreen:
Custom is the name of the game 'round these parts.

If I was going the usual route, the fairlane would still have a carb and 3 speed automatic.
Ummmm... You can use any EDIS system with an external/aftermarket trigger wheel. That's what we did for a number of XJ6 MegaSquirt conversions - used the DIYAutotune wheel with an EDIS6 crank sensor and yes, a custom sensor mount I welded up (based on the original timing pointer mounted to the front of the engine, which we retained.)

Also, as for why you would use the EDIS8 module - the EDIS8 module includes limp-home functionality. If for some reason comms between the ECU and EDIS module are lost, the EDIS will go into safe mode with 10 degrees advance and sit there until the problem is resolved. It also completely removes the possibility of coil voltages accidentally getting dumped into the ECU, which is a known problem with some setups. Additionally, if your injectors aren't firing, the EDIS allows for you to easily diagnose whether it is the ECU or the crank sensor - if the crank sensor is fine, EDIS will continue to fire the spark plugs.

If you use an external trigger wheel, you will have to use a VR sensor (much like OEMs have used for the past couple decades) or you will have to glue/weld/fasten one or more magnets to your trigger wheel to "tell" the Hall-effect sensor what's going on (have fun with balancing it then). Few people in the MS or aftermarket EFI conversion world these days think that fabbing up a new Hall-effect system is a good idea when most parts on the market are oriented to VR.
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So, as it turns out I attempted to use a VR type sensor for my crank sensor, and it was being a humongous pain in the ass. (inconsistent and weak signal)

I switched to a hall effect sensor (mines specifically a DIYAutotune sensor, but its similar to the Holley sensor and the GM OEM sensor and all of a sudden I had a clean, strong signal, and it was working 100% fine, despite being outside the crank-case, and despite not having magnets glued to the trigger wheel.

In fact, so far as I can tell, the aftermarket seems to actually largely be geared towards using hall sensors, and not VR sensors.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I've not been having issues.

To back things up a bit, My first task for actually making the DIS conversion happen was to figure out where in the world I was going to put my LS2 coils that I had purchased some time ago.

I held the coils in various positions around the engine bay, and quickly started to narrow down on the front of the shock towers.
As it happens, with all the EFI and other upgrades I've made over the years, space is starting to come at something of a premium under the hood of the Fairlane, and the front of the shock-towers is largely un-occupied (theres a relay panel on the passenger side that's in the vicinity, but nothing on the drivers side)
The front of the shock-towers also offers some advantages as far as serviceability goes, since its fairly easy access.

I used some cardboard (Cardboard Aided Design?) to get some idea of what space is available to me, and then I transitioned over to Autodesk Inventor to design some brackets to hold the coils.

There was some design iteration, as well as alternate designs that would have had to be welded out of steel, but ultimately, I settled on a design that I could bent up out of aluminum, which has the advantage of looking nicer.
Drivers side:

Passenger Side:

I sent the design to an Orem, UT based company, called OSHCut, who laser-cut out all the detail parts from 5052 aluminum and sent them to me. Turnaround was about a week and a half, and cost was reasonable, so I was pretty pleased.

While I was waiting on my cut aluminum to arrive, I had about 60 some-odd new wires to merge into my wiring harness. Most of these wires would end up being little short ones in the vicinity of the coils themselves though (relay 12v key on hot, chassis ground, and a ECU reference ground for each coil that ended up going onto a common isolated stud, so that only 1 wire had to actually go back to the ECU)

I don't really have any pictures from when I was installing the wires since there wasn't really anything to see at this point.

When the aluminum brackets arrived, that's when the visual progress started to happen.

I started by bending them up (minus the 2 bends on each coil bracket that was not possible with the tools I have, I'll have to bend them later, if at all)



I totally messed up, and bent my crank position sensor bracket wrong, so I had to manufacture some little extensions out of 1/2 x 1/2 square stock:
(see the 2 wire VR sensor from an explorer shown here, that ultimately ends up going away later)


and installed into the car:

Coils were assembled into their brackets, and installed into the car:


And then wired up: (with bonus plug wires that I also did

When the passenger side was wired up, I ran some continuity checks, ensuring that everything was wired right (and good thing I did, I found some swapped pins in a few places)

Once my checks were complete, imagine my disappointment when after a couple straight weekends of work, and a month of design and planning, there was no fire whatsoever when I turned the key.

The issue as it happened was the crank position sensor. The VR sensor that I had decided to use was generating an inconsistent signal, despite being between .040 and .060 away from the trigger wheel.

The above datalog shows the RPM signal, as the ECU was interpreting the crank sensor signal.
The whole time of that datalog, I was on the key, and cranking. The loss of RPM as it climbed almost up to 160 RPM was due to the crank sensor signal crapping out. In the crank log, the signal looked fine, but it was quite weak. I'm sure with enough fiddling and dicking about with filtering and minimum signal voltage settings, it probably could have been made to work, but at this time, I elected instead to go with my original gut feeling, and switch to a hall effect (also, switching to hall effect was a common suggestion by Danny and others on the holley forums and elsewhere)

I ordered a sensor from DIYAutotune and started working up a design for a bracket that I could make with the limited tools at my house in Cedar city.

The final bracket ended up looking rather like this:



When I get up to my parents place, where I've got access to way more fabrication tools, I might come up with something better that's actually more adjustable, but this will do for now.

With the hall effect installed, and wired up (I spliced into the regulated +12v signal that I was using for the cam sensor) the RPM signal was nice and strong (and steady)

I attempted then, to fire up the engine. It started but was running like dogshit (but running, that's important! it runs)

The problem is that I'm getting quite a lot of a knocking sound (which I can feel all the way into the floor BTW)
It's also backfiring a bunch, and the exhaust fumes are making my eyes burn and throat hurt (which is new, the fumes never used to be that bad, or even noticeable really)

I've checked, and all the plugs are firing, I also have good compression in all 8 cylinders (~130PSI +/- 6 psi)

I've adjusted the TDC tooth number in the EFI from the 6 tooth (which is where I'm physically installed) up as far at to the 9th tooth (it runs best on the 8th tooth, with the least backfiring and knocking, though the timing is most closely synchronized on the 7th tooth, being only about 6° retarded from the commanded timing)

Once my account at the holley forums gets approved (apparently I never made one, though I thought I did), I'm going to make a more detailed post over there about the issue, along with some datalogs I've taken.
Two posts in a row, but it's now figured out. I ended up adding an additional ground between my coil brackets and the cylinder heads, which may or may not have been necessary, but i believe that there's no such thing as too many ground paths.

The real solution was 2 fold. First, I increased the dwell on my coils to 4.5ms, which helped, but did not completely fix the issue.

After more diagnosis, I discovered that somehow, someway, cylinders 7 and 8 got swapped in the ECU firing order. Once I fixed that, most all of the ignition problems went away (the key was when I realized that it actually ran better with the entire drivers side bank of coils unplugged, despite being reduced to a 4 cylinder)

I've still got a lingering misfire, but I think I need new plugs before I pursue that issue further (the ones in there are 23000+ miles old, and i've not been kind to them at all the last few days)
So, bad and good news:

The car was hit while it was parked on the side of a dirt road by a group of people (henceforth known as 'the fools') who were chasing UP4014 'Big Boy'.

The fools were pacing the train, riding eachother bumpers, and in the dust, the 2nd or 3rd car in line hit the Fairlane because they couldn't see it.

Luckily, I was not in the car at the time, and no one else was injured.

The fairlane is totally fixable, and there is no substantial damage, but the sheetmetal in that corner is 100% toast.

This happened more than a month ago now, and the insurance is finally settled.

They are considering it a total loss, but I'm definitely keeping the car.

I've got a payout I'm OK with, and a suitable replacement has already been procured.

I'll make a new thread soon with the details on the replacement.

Ultimately though, I think this will be a net good for me and the project. The OG car had some fixable, but significant rust on the body, and a huge amount of bodywork was going to be needed.

The replacement is clean, straight, and 100% rust free. All my good parts will directly swap over too, so V2 is going to go much faster, especially with the injection of insurance money.

Steps have been taken with the new car to ensure that if, in the worst case, this shit were to happen again, the payout would be much, much, more substantial.
Sad to hear the news. Had a similar experience myself, so I know your pain.