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Old 03-17-2006, 04:40 PM
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Tuning - Troubleshooting

I have a '69 351W with major modifications... not all out... This is in a '57 Tbird...
The engine/car set up for one year... I am trying to start and tune the engine...
I've replaced the coil (MSD Blaster 2); inspected and cleaned out the 750 Holley double pumper - I ran the engine dry of fuel just before it went to the suspension shop; adjusted the valves (hydraulic roller) and inspected the MSD distributor (all appears good inside the cap); ran an ohms test on the spark plug wires... 1st test shows 450 ohms on the #4 wire, ran the same test on a new set of wires (same length) -0- ohms...
It is extremely hard to start (cranks easily); when it does fire up, it back fires a lot and is difficult to keep running... It has a Comp Roller Cam, but the balances is not standard... Three years ago, the engine builder put a balancer that is not correct for a 351W... In order to time the advance, I have to use #5 instead of #1 cylinder...something about the cam and the bolt pattern on it...
Anybody have an idea as to what it will take to specifically identify why this will not start easily and continue to run?

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Old 03-17-2006, 04:47 PM
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Are you running the correct 351W firing order? Or did you put in an older 289/302 cam?
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:47 PM
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Tuning - Troubleshooting

I have the card that came with the Crane Cam... Engine ID is for a 1969 351 Windsor...
It has the firing order of 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8...
I did not replaced all the spark plug wires last time I tried starting... I have a problem with the #5 exhaust manifold... So, I replaced #5 wire... Thinking this may solve the problem... Not...
This weekend I will replace all the wires, attempt to reset the timing without starting the engine by getting the #1 to TDC, aligning the rotor with #1 cap terminal to make sure that it's within the ball park... Not absolutely sure this is the correct procedure, but what else can be done if it will not fire?
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Old 03-18-2006, 04:51 AM
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clarify....it's a new engine or it just sat a yr in the garage and ran ok before?
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Old 03-18-2006, 07:49 AM
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Tuning - Troubleshooting

Good point I forgot to add... The engine was rebuilt in 2001... Ran fine... Every weekend I drove it... And in 2003 I was run off the road and damaged the body... It ran fine then until then... It set up for about 1 year... Early 2004 thru early 2005... This is when it was not cranked... Since early 2005 I have cranked it regularly and this is when problems began... To compound the problem, I had work done on the #5 exhaust manifold and this caused shorting from the spark plug wire... I've corrected this but it is still hard to start and keep running... and the backfiring is not good at all...
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:29 AM
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It sounds like your timing is very retarded. How do you fix it with a timing tab that isn't accurate? Guess! The other reason I suspect it's retarded is you aligned the rotor with #1 terminal at TDC, versus slightly leading the terminal.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:21 AM
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Tuning - Troubleshooting

Rick... thanks... I put the rotor to the #1 terminal to get the timing close enough to start... Once the engine fires up, then I put a timing light and make the fine adjustments... The distributor is set at 28 degrees and the balancer is set at 4 degrees for a total of 32 degrees... This is where it ran best before the accident and where the engine builder designed it...
How else could I get the timing close enough to get the engine firing?
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Old 03-19-2006, 03:46 AM
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footnote first:
for others reading this thread there are a bunch of good threads in the data base how to prep and start a motor that has sat a yr +....don't touch anything till you read them!

Blackhawk,
darn tough to write a response because you adjusted the varnished lifters and timing and ignition parts...test/eliminate one thing at a time

add a $5 clear Fram gas filter BEFORE the pump, to catch the storage rust scale coming from the tank, "full" filter = dirty filter

5W30 oil in the pan to clean the varnish in the lifters (and the whole motor)....turn all the lifters back 1/2 turn to be sure one or more is not too tight and help them clean faster, see if it runs better and all lifters sound the same... you can't adjust varnished lifters...adjust after 500 miles of cleaning...
(I use the rocker clips, turn them back a full turn till they clack a little running, let them clean 20 minutes @ 500rpm/no load then add 1/2 turn for 500 miles...change the oil, make final adjust)

the 4* base has me scratchin' my head why?
6*base is stock and more is usually better, stock Ford manual says "up to 5*additional allowed for max performance depending on gas and altitude"
32* total is normal for a 351W "strong street" motor....but usually like 12b/20c

anyway, to identify if it is a timing problem move the base up to 8*, adjust each carb idle screw, take it for a "GENTLE" test drive (possible detonation if you beat on it)

post again with the results

???? plug wires and coils don't go bad in storage, your ohms results "0" make no sense (2' of solid copper house wire= 0 ohms), anywhere from 1500-5500 ohms is normal depending on the type of plug wire..carbon or spiral wound

Last edited by red65mustang; 03-19-2006 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 03-19-2006, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black-Hawk

It is extremely hard to start (cranks easily); when it does fire up, it back fires a lot and is difficult to keep running...

...but the balancer is not standard... Three years ago, the engine builder put a balancer that is not correct for a 351W... In order to time the advance, I have to use #5 instead of #1 cylinder...something about the cam and the bolt pattern on it...

adjusted the valves (hydraulic roller)
First...You need to find the correct balancer and install it to time the engine correctly. This sounds like an early three bolt/four bolt balancer/pulley problem.

If you adjusted the valve lash off the balancer and the wrong indexing of the timing ring, everything is out of kilter now.



Spring for a nice set of wires. Being in an early BIRD, pictures would be nice too...

Last edited by KULTULZ; 03-19-2006 at 04:49 AM. Reason: FORGOT SOMETHING AS USUAL
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Old 03-19-2006, 05:46 AM
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good point Kultulz.....if the balancer is wrong....how did he adjust the rockers?

Blackhawk, do try turning them all back 1/2 a turn....decent chance that's it, buy some clips and set them running....or get a correct balancer!

yeah a pic' please, I would have guessed a 351W is to tall for a 57' bird but don't recall Y block demensions
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:05 AM
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Tuning - Troubleshooting

To set the valves(rockers) I loosened the rocker, waited for one minute to allow the hydrolic roller tappet to expand, twisted the push rod while tightening the rocker until resistance was felt... then tightened 1/2 turn and locked it down... Several sources use this method...
I'll get back to work on it this afternoon and try to eliminate one thing at a time...
Timing is the first issue... When this engine was rebuild by Houston Engine and Balancing... the design was to have 32* total with as little initial as possible (ititial being 4*)... From 2001 to 2003 it ran great with this setup...
When a timing gets out of the envelope, what's the first thing to do?
My procedure was to observe the intake valve closing, determine TDC after this to find the compression stroke and at this point, the #1 lead at the distributor should be aligned with the rotor...
Is this a good procedure to get the ignition timing close enough to start the engine?
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:14 AM
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clarify: you did or did not rotate the damper/balancer position as you adjusted each valve rocker
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Old 03-19-2006, 11:20 AM
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Did anybody mention gasoline? Today's brew goes rancid in a few months and varnishes things quite badly. What does "clean the carburetor" mean? Every little passageway?

Lifter adjustment? Did they UN-adjust themselves while the engine was sitting?

Sounds like an ignition problem.

Last edited by xntrik; 03-19-2006 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 03-19-2006, 12:30 PM
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Tuning - Troubleshooting

XNTRIX.. When I put my Tbird up, I drained the tank and ran the remaining fuel out of the carb... No, they did not un-adjust... I wanted to eliminate the possibility that they were adjusted properly as I have slept since it was put up...

Red65Mustang... Yes, the balancer was rotated as i went from valve to valve...
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Old 03-19-2006, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black-Hawk
XNTRIX.. When I put my Tbird up, I drained the tank and ran the remaining fuel out of the carb... No, they did not un-adjust... I wanted to eliminate the possibility that they were adjusted properly as I have slept since it was put up...

Red65Mustang... Yes, the balancer was rotated as i went from valve to valve...

Let's think about this a moment. You said it ran well until it was parked. After you started cranking it while stored is when the problem started. WHAT CHANGED ?

As Red65 said, test everything systematically one thing at a time.

You need to analyze what happened after the engine got stored that might cause the problem. Running helter-skelter tearing into a bunch of stuff will only make the problem more undetectable.

Let's concentrate on what happened when the engine was sitting doing nothing. i.e. So I asked faceciously, "did the valves get out of adjustment while sitting there".

When the mixture gets too lean to run the engine will quit.
Running the carb out of fuel does NOT clean out all the little passages so they could be varnished quite heavily.
Gasoline varnishes by sitting. Oil doesn't. At least not in a year or two.

OK, Maybe the dampner needs to be changed. But that did not cause the engine to fail to start after it had been running well before.

Probably the timing curve needs to be redone, but that is not preventing it from running NOW.

As Red65 said, test everything systematically one thing at a time.

One thing that I would do is..... if the ignition seemed OK, I would spray gasoline down the carb throats and see if it will run that way. Your popping is probably a lean backfire.

If it will run at all by itself, I would put in 2 gallons of fresh gas and 4 bottles of carb cleaner in that gas and literally run the "cra-p" out of it trying to clean out the carb passages.

Last edited by xntrik; 03-19-2006 at 01:10 PM.
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