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Old 09-19-2014, 06:22 PM
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69 Mustang Mach 1

Finally seeing the light at the end of tunnel. Got this beautiful project car in about 6 weeks ago. The new owner purchased it from the builder who had done a fine job of building a show quality resto mod specimen. Resto mod in part because of all the non OE polished and chromed underhood pieces and even more because of the 351C motor which wasn't available in the 69 Mustang. Fortunately the combination of parts is well balanced so that the look is really quite clean and tight. The car looks and feels nice enough that we can forgive the slight of hand on the engine. The unfortunate part of the project was the engine build itself.

The builder stated in the build sheet that the car was originally intended for racing, until he decided it was too nice to be abused that way. He claimed 435HP from the 351C motor with "solid cam". He even provided lash specs of .025". The car came to me because the new owner wanted to be able to enjoy it more than just as a trailer queen. He wanted to be able to drive it. This was a problem as the car stood at the time.

The Race Demon carburetor didn't help things but there was an obvious issue with the cam and valve train. Either the lash was way loose, or there was lobe damage because the noise from the engine bay, even with the engine warmed up, was awful. The engine barely ran. Idle was very unsteady and literally beyond tuning. No amount of mixture adjustment, timing adjustment or even cheating the idle speed up would get the car to maintain idle with the C6 trans in gear. I started out by switching the carb to a more street friendly, owner provided, Holley Street Avenger with choke to help cold starting. I connected the choke heater to the alternator stator for a lower(7volts) voltage to provide a softer, slower opening. Then I dug into the valve train, first for a quick adjustment of the lash, just to see where it sat. I found several of the rockers loose at .025, but not enough to explain the severe valvetrain noise. I also noticed that the poly locks on the roller rockers were barely engaging the rocker studs.

The owner was hopeful that the carb swap and valve adjust would make the difference when he brought the car in. I had to warn him that we were on certain ground here not knowing more about the build.

Next step had to be digging into the motor to access the cam. During the valve adjustment I couldn't see any flat or damaged cam lobes. The lifter action was smooth throughout. Something else was going on and I had my suspicions what it was. An overly heavy cam with way too much overlap and late intake closing events would explain the lack of idle torque, but not the noise. There was something else wrong here. I got approval to tear the nearly new motor down. This also gave me an opportunity to check intake seal and clean up and repaint areas of the block that had been discolored, probably from fuel leaks during the original fuel system assembly.

Once into the motor, cam out, it didn't take long to see the problem and prove my suspicions correct. A pop quiz for all of you engine builders out there. What can make an otherwise fine cam noisy as hell and run like snot? How about a hydraulic cam installed with solid lifters? That was my suspicion and just what I found. It was really unfortunate too because the cam wouldn't have been a bad choice for the Cleveland motor with 4V heads. It was an Erson TQ20H grind, which is 292 degrees at .001 and 215/217 at .050 with right at .300" lobe lift. It would have required some tuning on the street but it would have worked, except for the sad choice of lifters. I was never able to verify CR, as I stopped short of pulling a head to check chamber size. The build sheet with the car stated "TRW forged flat top pistons" but at this point I wasn't too sure of anything about the engine build.

To play it safe and maintain as much of the Mach 1's charracter as I could, I went with a Comp Cams high energy grind it's the 268H, which is the largest of the high energy grinds for this engine family. Just a little smaller than the Erson TQ20H. Once I had the cam in, along with the correct springs, I was able to check pushrod height. The problem was the roller rockers. Since the rockers did work fine, aside from altering the pushrod to valve tip geometry, I decided the easiest, best way to solve the issue was by going with slightly shorter pushrods. Going from the OE length 8.5" to 8.150" did the trick. I did have to relieve a hair from the base of each guide plate for clearance at valve closed. Now the rocker tip was jsut about perfectly centered on the valve tip and the pushrod/valve stem height was balanced. Plus, we now have 1/2 inch of thread engagement on the poly locks.

With the new cam and supporting players, the engine runs great. I still need to address a cooling system issue. I'm going to pull the radiator Monday and send it in to have the core checked my temp gun doesn't find any issue but I still think it may be resticted. If so, it will be rodded out. One weird issue I found also was with ignition timing. The engine is set up with an MSD pro billet dist and digital 6 plus module. I have the same system on my IROC Beasty and it works great. The system on the Mustang was doing some weird things. I swore that the distributor was turning and had double checked tension on the hold down bolt. Today I set the timing at 10 BTDC, drove the car, brought it back to the shop and rechecked timing to make sure it was still at 10 BTDC. Then I shut it down and sure enough it was retarded 20 degrees from where I had set it. Now I knew it wasn't the dist turning. It had to be something with the module setup. I've never had this issue with mine, something was funny with this one.

I did some research on MSD's website and found a reference to optional "start retard", which pulls 20 degrees on engine crank and drops out when the motor reaches 800rpm. looking at the selector switch on the box, I saw that it wasn't set at any of the positions listed. It should be set at position 2 for V8. It was set at position 6. That was causing the start retard to activate on start up and not drop out like it should. What a pain. put the switch where it belonged and problem solved. Now, the engine starts and runs great consistently. Still a bit of fine tuning to do. The secondaries on the carb aren't opening quite quick enough. Maybe swap in the lighter spring. The intake is also a single plain Weiand Xcelerator which isn't ideal for this set up, but it runs just fine, so it will stay where it is.

Soon the car will be done and go home to its owner who I hope will really enjoy it, now that it runs as good as it looks.

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Old 09-20-2014, 03:43 PM
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thats cool , keep this updated. thanks
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:15 PM
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thanks for all the info, but post some pictures!!!
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:14 PM
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I'm sorry about the lack of photos. It's a combination of laziness and lack of technical savvy. I always take photos of the nicer cars I get in. I have a few of the Mustang. I'll see if I can't up load a couple of the ones I have. I always think that I'll stop and snap a photo or two, in progress to illustrate some of what I find. But I always end up getting so caught up in the job that I never stop to grab the camera. I'll try to do better. I'll be doing (I hope) alot of work on the IROC this winter and I'll try to get photos posted of that.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:38 PM
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I'm dealing with another serious issue on the Mustang and I hope that some of you may be able to help me with this. The motor now runs great. Trouble is, now that it is actually producing some combustion, the cooling system isn't able to manage the heat. I have water flushed the system til it's clear of rust and replaced the coolant with 50/50 G-05. The T-stat is a new 180 degree. I verified that the system is bled of air. One of the changes that has been made from stock is aftermarket billet under drive accessory pulleys. My boss believes that the stock water pump/crank ratio is maintained with these pulleys, that the water pump pulley is smaller to match the crank pulley. I'm not sure. I don't know what brand of pulleys these are so I have no way to check specs. I don't generally use things like this so I don't have much experience with them.

The fan is a thermostatic clutch unit that seems to function okay. The water pump is in good condition and the water pump casing in the timing cover is not damaged.

The temp will stay down fine with the car moving. It gets hot when it sits at idle. I have verified that the top hose is in fact reaching 240+. When the system is good and hot, there is only a 20 degree drop through the radiator. I would normally suspect the fan but it seems to be turning right at engine speed when the engine gets hot. My concern is that the radiator is restricted and not exchanging heat effectively. Right now the radiator is back out and going in for flow testing and to be rodded out if needed. I could not verify for sure if there were cold spots using my infared.

My question is has anyone else had this type of issue with the under drive pulleys? Is my boss correct to think that the water pump speed is still the same as stock with these pulleys?
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Old 09-22-2014, 05:55 PM
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You had a lot to sort out on that one.
As soon as you said the cam looked fine....solid lifters popped into my brain.
Cant help on the pulley size measurements, but you need to get the correct ones (measurments) so you can determine if the w/pump is turning to slow at Idle.
Sounds like that's the problem.The radiator, if plugged, would cause the car to heat up worse when cruising, than Idling.
Also what about water pump impeller to backing plate clearance? May be something to gain there also.
My money is on the pulley ratio / sizes being wrong.
Good work.
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Old 09-24-2014, 03:49 AM
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Do you have the infamous Cleveland brass restrictor plate pressed into the block under the tstat and are you absolutely sure you are using the correct Cleveland style tstat (not Windsor)?

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Old 09-24-2014, 01:05 PM
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Thank you LATECH and TonmmyK. I didn't check impeller to backing plate clearance. The impeller looks good. I agree that the radiator would tend to create heating issue under load while driving. I have had one case though on a mid 90s Ranger that would operate fine on the road and heat up as soon as the vehicle came to a stop. It had a partially restricted radiator that was affecting heat transfer to the thermostatic fan clutch. Makes more sense though, the way it's acting, that the WP speed is too low at idle.

Another definite possibility would be the wrong thermostat, restricting coolant flow............. The T-stat that I just installed in this 351C looked nothing like the T-stat pictured. The block does have the restrictor as well. I will see about finding the correct T-stat and just see if that doesn't help.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:39 AM
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Did some more digging. Wish now that I had done this sooner. The WP pulley on the car is the larger(6.2") "high horsepower", which translates as lower WP speed. The crank pulley appears to be stock size(5.4"). There is a high flow WP pulley available that is 5.4". We'll be switching to that.

I am looking now at the thermostat issue. I see now that the restrictor below the T-stat appears to lead to the bypass. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears the thermostat, like on many other vehicles, is a dual action design. When it opens, it both allows coolant to pass from the main water passage to the radiator and blocks off the bypass. To do this effectively, it needs to have a large enough base or be designed for this purpose. F1HZ-8575-A, the bottom picture, has a large flange on the bottom that looks like it would completely block off the bypass. The others have somewhat of a flange cast into the wax plug housing that would certainly reduce flow through the bypass.

On checking yesterday afternoon, we found that according to our NAPA catalog and the local Ford dealer, the T-stat we have in the car now does fit by application. It is a typical domestic design. The wax plug will come down when the T-stat is open and certainly slow down bypass flow but it's not going to block it off. We got a Mr. Gasket T-stat delivered yesterday just to look at. It is of the design pictured above but it has just a small base on the wax plug that isn't going to block off the bypass.

I am going to look closer at the T-stats listed above. I'll see if I can get one here. If they have a larger base than the one I have in front of me, that has to be worthwhile. Not blocking the bypass obviously severely reduces the effectiveness of the cooling system.

The shop, MAC's Radiator, that had the radiator in for testing found nothing wrong with it. They did however recommend a larger radiator that they offer for the car. My boss passed on the option but I'm going to go back to that today and see how much of an issue it is to install. If it goes in without any long term modifications to the body and if it won't diminish the car's character, I think we have to consider it. If we can get the car to idle in the bay without overheating, just by changing the T-stat and pulley, then maybe the car can go home for the winter. Next spring when it comes back out to play, if it has any heating issues, we can go for the radiator. Another option of course would be an electric helper fan. I just don't want to add anything to the car that is going to change its character. Plus, on this chassis, space is limited. But, we'll see.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:59 AM
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I got some photos of the car for your viewing pleasure. Please forgive the dust. It's been sitting here for a while. Going to have it polished before it goes home.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASE Doc View Post
I got some photos of the car for your viewing pleasure.
That is razor sharp
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Old 09-25-2014, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ASE Doc View Post
Did some more digging. Wish now that I had done this sooner. The WP pulley on the car is the larger(6.2") "high horsepower", which translates as lower WP speed. The crank pulley appears to be stock size(5.4"). There is a high flow WP pulley available that is 5.4". We'll be switching to that.

I am looking now at the thermostat issue. I see now that the restrictor below the T-stat appears to lead to the bypass. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it appears the thermostat, like on many other vehicles, is a dual action design. When it opens, it both allows coolant to pass from the main water passage to the radiator and blocks off the bypass. To do this effectively, it needs to have a large enough base or be designed for this purpose. F1HZ-8575-A, the bottom picture, has a large flange on the bottom that looks like it would completely block off the bypass. The others have somewhat of a flange cast into the wax plug housing that would certainly reduce flow through the bypass.

On checking yesterday afternoon, we found that according to our NAPA catalog and the local Ford dealer, the T-stat we have in the car now does fit by application. It is a typical domestic design. The wax plug will come down when the T-stat is open and certainly slow down bypass flow but it's not going to block it off. We got a Mr. Gasket T-stat delivered yesterday just to look at. It is of the design pictured above but it has just a small base on the wax plug that isn't going to block off the bypass.

I am going to look closer at the T-stats listed above. I'll see if I can get one here. If they have a larger base than the one I have in front of me, that has to be worthwhile. Not blocking the bypass obviously severely reduces the effectiveness of the cooling system.

The shop, MAC's Radiator, that had the radiator in for testing found nothing wrong with it. They did however recommend a larger radiator that they offer for the car. My boss passed on the option but I'm going to go back to that today and see how much of an issue it is to install. If it goes in without any long term modifications to the body and if it won't diminish the car's character, I think we have to consider it. If we can get the car to idle in the bay without overheating, just by changing the T-stat and pulley, then maybe the car can go home for the winter. Next spring when it comes back out to play, if it has any heating issues, we can go for the radiator. Another option of course would be an electric helper fan. I just don't want to add anything to the car that is going to change its character. Plus, on this chassis, space is limited. But, we'll see.
The tstat must have the "hat" as it is known which blocks the orifice in the plate or it is not the right part (regardless of NAPA's application info). If a windsor style tstat (no hat) is used much of the coolant is left recirculating in the block and is not returned to the radiator for heat exchange.

It is also possible to install a block off plate in lieu of the restrictor plate and utilize a windsor tstat.

Water Restrictor Plate - 351C - New ~ 1970 - 1973 Mercury Cougar / 1970 - 1973 Ford Mustang (53234) at West Coast Classic Cougar :: Specializing in 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, and 1973 Mercury Cougar Parts

No experience with underdrive pulleys on a cleveland but my understanding is the stock system operates on a 1:1.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:01 AM
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2 things,
first since this is a Cleveland engine it needs the brass restrictor plate under the T-stat plus the correct T-sat for a Cleveland.

if it is only getting hot at idle or stop & go traffic, that is usually an air flow problem. it needs a bigger/better fan & shroud to cool properly.

Cleveland T-stats list:

auto zone #15468
napa 197
stant 29468
gates 33128
robert shaw 333-180
motorcraft rt-310
tridon TT2023-180
dayco DT66A

also I use a Flowcooler water pump on my Cleveland.
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ASE Doc (10-03-2014)
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Old 10-03-2014, 08:10 AM
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Thanks FASTFORD for your reply and helpful information. Thanks to everyone who read this thread and especially to those who took the time to reply. We did a parts list review and found that the T-stat we installed is the correct Stant P/N. It has a flange at the base of the thermal unit that closes off the bypass in the restrictor plate when the stat opens. I had determined that the WP pulley was an underdrive(6.2"). I replaced it with an overdrive(5.4"), which isn't really an overdrive since it runs the WP at crank speed, but whatever. That did seem to make the needed difference. I ran the car yesterday and it now maintains coolant temp between 195-200 at idle. I shut it down to recheck fasteners and it had heat soaked a little, bringing the gauge up some. On restart, the temp came smoothly right back down, indicating the cooling system is able to manage heat.

Don't know yet how it will do on a hot summer day. Yesterday was sunny and 75. Things could be different with ambient temps of 90+. I'll hold the Flowcooler water pump and large core radiator as trump cards if we have to revisit this next summer.

For now, she is beautifully ready to go back home. I even reinstalled the front grill which is pretty much a send off kiss. Til next time.
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