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Old 10-10-2009, 08:27 AM
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1971 400 Ford timing

The timing is about 4 deg. off. I've loosened the hold down but the distributor will not turn. I was just told that on this engine the distributor has to be pulled out and turned 1 tooth at a time... I have never heard of having to do this so I was just wondering if anyone can verify this before I go yank it for no reason.

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Old 10-10-2009, 10:25 AM
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Are you sure about the year, and engine size? Could you meen 1981 Ford 400, in a 1971?
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:20 PM
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Positive... 1971 Ford LTD 400ci, 6.6L, 2 barrel autolite, 3 speed auto, all original. 6 of the 8 plug wires that I changed 2 weeks ago were original.
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Old 10-10-2009, 12:48 PM
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Your distributor should turn, spray some penetrant on it. Check your vacuum advance to make sure it still works, I doubt if it does. Also the breaker plates get loose, and the spark scatters all over.

Just be careful while trying to break it loose, the housing could break right off.

Here are the timing spec's for the 429, and 460 from that model year.

Timing 6 degrees BTDC, distributor vacuum hose removed and plugged.

The 400 6.6L was not made until 1974, I believe you have the 429.

The 5th digit of the VIN should be a K on your vehicle, which makes it a 429. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing, is it?

Last edited by carsavvycook; 10-10-2009 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:41 PM
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how many valve cover bolts are in it? alot of old dizzy's do tend to get stuck i lifted the front end of an old bronco off the ground before i got it broke loose just be careful and it should be ok the 400 did come out in 1971 they didnt use electronic ignition until 1974 just to be clear on that i once was a ford fan but have since seen the light lol
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Old 10-10-2009, 02:50 PM
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The 400 came out in 1971 and was the replacement for the FE engines in cars. It eventually replaced the FE/FT in pickup trucks but that would be a few years later.
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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Ford 400

To the naysayers; None of my repair manuals, or cylinder head torque books, list the 400 as being available in 1971.

Here is a wikipedia link to the Mercury Cougars, it clearly does not list the 400 available until 1974, after the production changes to the 351C. (this was after a quick search for Ford 400 engines)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury..._.281971-73.29
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsavvycook
To the naysayers; None of my repair manuals, or cylinder head torque books, list the 400 as being available in 1971.

Here is a wikipedia link to the Mercury Cougars, it clearly does not list the 400 available until 1974, after the production changes to the 351C. (this was after a quick search for Ford 400 engines)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury..._.281971-73.29
Your manuals are wrong, the 400 came out in 1971 and the Wiki only refers to Cougars. The 400 was designed to replace the FE engines in cars in 1971. It was specifically designed for use in mid to full sized cars. There is even a rare 400 block cast in 1973 only, that has two bellhousing patterns cast into it. It was only available in a 1973 LTD with a FMX transmission. This is the holy grail of Ford 400 engines and one year earlier than your 1974 date.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:08 PM
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http://www.fordclassics.com/enginespecs.html
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:54 AM
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Well, this tennis match of motor size knowledge is highly entertaining. However unless someone has gone through all the trouble to load false info into the data base of Advance, NAPA, and autozone, it is deffinately a 400, and considering the original owner sold it to my father in laws 80 something dad in 02 I'm pretty sure it's all stock and original. It still has the H-85-15 spare in the trunk(never been bolted on) oh and did I mention the owners manuals in the glove box? Now back to my question... Do I pull it or keep spraying untill it turns?
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:26 AM
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dist removal

somewhere on the net I saw test results of penetrating oil, Acetone mixed with ATF worked best so now I buy nail polish remover that is 100% acetone and mix it.... I bought an engine that had the Dist stuck for $ 25 and had to use a 3 ft cheater bar with a 2 ft pipe wrench on the Dist to get it to turn and finally out. I figured I had really tweaked the housing so I bought one for $ 10 at the bone yard and cleaned it up and used it.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelbill1972
Well, this tennis match of motor size knowledge is highly entertaining. However unless someone has gone through all the trouble to load false info into the data base of Advance, NAPA, and autozone, it is deffinately a 400, and considering the original owner sold it to my father in laws 80 something dad in 02 I'm pretty sure it's all stock and original. It still has the H-85-15 spare in the trunk(never been bolted on) oh and did I mention the owners manuals in the glove box? Now back to my question... Do I pull it or keep spraying untill it turns?
Napa, Autozone, Advance are not right all the time. Yesterday I went to check on some pads and shoes for my 73 Cougar. The computer at Autozone listed the 429 and 460 as options. In 1973 Mercury never used a 429-460 in the Cougar, just a 302, 351C two and four barrel engine. I checked at Checkers and they were the same as Autozone.

Ok now to your original question, try spraying penetrating oil around the base of the distributor. Try to work it back and forth, if it doesn't move you will have to pry it out. You will most likely have to get another distributor if you have to pry it out with a bar. I had a 352 do the same thing, ended up using a pry bar and it broke the housing getting it out. It also pulled the oil pump drive shaft out with it. It didn't matter though since it was a old worn out engine that was just replaced with a 390.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebelbill1972
I was just told that on this engine the distributor has to be pulled out and turned 1 tooth at a time... I have never heard of having to do this so I was just wondering if anyone can verify this before I go yank it for no reason.
No it doesn't have to b removed to set the timing. You do have the hold down way loose I hope.

Patience and stuborness will come into play here. Some of these things are a real bear when trying to move them after years of not being moved. I use a small dead blow hammer along with penetrating lubes. Just be light handed when tapping or you'll breakit. Tapping the advance mounting area usually will free them up with patience (I've spent hours doing this to save a dist.). Just continually tap it every direction you can get to it and keep it soaking.

Tony
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for all the info it is much appreciated. I'll just keep squirtin n tappin till something happens... I'll let yall know.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:21 PM
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Pack dry ice around the housing and let it sit for a while. That'll shrink it and it may pop right out. Not sure if the distributor goes through the intake manifold or the block itself, but whichever, don't put the dry ice on either, just the distributor housing. Insulate the block/manifold from the dry ice with a couple of layers of towels. If you're real gutsy, after the dry ice has shrinked the distributor housing, play a little flame on the block/intake with a propane torch to heat it up and expand it.

My dad taught me this many years ago. He was a tool & die maker and got some over-thick sheet metal jammed on a 50-ton press one day. He heated the female and dry-iced the male and she popped free.
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