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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Hi All,

Just thought I'd make a post dealing with this problem as it's been a frustrating one all on its own.

For all those who wish to convert to a hydraulic roller valve train you might want to check the lifter bore first. This is where I had all this kerfuffle.

If your lifter bores look like these then you have nothing to worry about.



But if they look like these, then you could have a problem.



You can notice the lifter bore is plunged or counter bored down from the top. This removes vital surface area for the lifter. Especially a hydraulic roller lifter.

Thanks to PSIG he had a great idea of just getting the lifter bores sleeved. But it turns out no seasoned machinist in ABQ could or ever has done that to an FE.

Back to square one.

Another kind forum poster suggested Morel lifters. OK cool beans, chatted with them and they suggested Morel 5329 lifters as they would sit lower in the lifter bore than set 5325.

But it wasn't until on this kind forum that was noted those are limited travel lifters and it may be hard to eliminated rocker noise.

If it's one thing I've learned in all this is to either ask the same person twice the same question but on different days or ask different people the same question on the same day. If the answers coincide, super, if they don't, well then....

Long boring story short, I talked with another from Morel sales team and he wondered why the other would sell me 5329's limited travel when the 5325's would be better. <sigh> He said they both have the same body. So in looking at the website one has a different roller wheel diameter.

See below





OK so I get that with the same body (axle height) the roller in one will push the body up in the bore. So I asked the first guy again and then I got the answer that both these lifters have the same size wheel.

HUH? What?

So the website is wrong then?

kind of open ended at this point.

Feeling frustrated I said screw this (actually it was F-it) and ordered both sets as long as I could return the unused set. So now I could compare both sets with my own eyes and see for myself.

Here's the result in picture form.



On the left is the Comp Cam lifter, the middle is the Morel 5325 and on the right Morel 5329. Both Morels do indeed have the same body, and same wheel size, so therefore the website is wrong, neither will sit any different in the bore.

As the cliche goes, the proof is in the pudding.

Interestingly enough I had called Crane Cams and received dimensions of the oil hole and top land height and it closely matches the Comp Cam lifter and my machinist suggested Lunati, of which I called and received dimensions and they closely match Morel.

So on the basis of phone conversations (non pudding proof) the Lunati lifters should also work in situations of an FE block with plunged or counter bored lifter bores.

I thought maybe someone at Ford was just having a bad day with this '66 FE block, as the other two '66 FE blocks I have don't seem to suffer from this, but when I checked my '68 FE 390 block from my XL the Ford sadist machinist struck again. So it isn't such an isolated case as I thought it was.

The problem is the Comp Cam lifters oil hole and notch (cut out) come out of the limited bore and jet hot thin pressurized oil from the lifter feed out like a scalding hot toxic squirt gun.

The Morels will be below the lifter bore at all times (I've checked).

Hopefully this helps someone else out if they come across this situation and if I can prevent anyone elses head from spinning around like the Exorcist I am only to happy to do so.

Cheers.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 03:20 PM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Desert,
I am glad it's you that had this problem, I would have gone ballistic by now. Why is your block like that? Something someone did to it? I fell saddened by your problems, but on another note, you are a champ for figuring it all out. You want one of these young kids to start a go fund me page for your knowledge?

All the best my dear. Keep the knowledge coming for us regular guys.

JIM
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-24-2017, 09:52 PM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

OK, now I'm getting a bit nervous. I just checked pictures from my block and cannot tell if mine seem to be the countersunk or regular type - can you tell from the picture?

My roller lifters are Howards Cam and you can see the oil passage in the third picture. They are installed and manifold set so I can't accurately measure them now. These were ordered as part of a "kit" including the cam, lifters and rockers from Survival so I tend to think I shouldn't have an issue. Do think I'll try the manual method of running the oil pump to check though.

Keep us posted and hope your issue works out.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:57 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Dang. You've had to buy lots of pudding for your proof. Good job! And, don't hit me (not the face!)... but with the odd OEM block machining, lower oil band placement, and your cam's base circle, you've double-checked there are no issues at the bottom of the lifter bore at minimum lift, right? Just to be sure before you button it up.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 05:00 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

The stepped bore is interesting, and It's been a while since we talked lifters, but I still maintain that you didn't have as much of a lifter issue as you are making it. I know you are being absolutely thorough,and that is awesome, but your oil pressure numbers were what is to be expected with a standard volume pump. If it was the dramatic leak, I do not see how you could have kept the idle and off idle pressure you originally held.

I say bravo for checking, keep up good blueprinting, but consider this. If the valves seals and if you had an HV pump in there to bring idle oil pressure up, would you ever have thought you had a lifter issue?

I am not being a wise guy, but a LOT of these engines go together without people even checking, are you certain this isn't a red herring? Your oil pressure numbers weren't bad, although if the engine is out, I'd likely ask what the bearings look like.

A second lesser point, remember, as the body raises, to the extent the bore clearance can, it seals the oil galley, and lifters are in all kinds of different positions when running. I just think that if you get a good pump, maybe a little restriction, and good heads, this thing will purr


70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:23 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

67galconvert,
Your Howards lifters look exactly like the Morels and may in fact be from Morel. I'd say you have nothing to worry about.

Experimental Ford parts collector.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Hello all,

Just a quick note, it's back together. Valves do not leak, and even though there was a slight difference in push rod length with the Morel lifters versus the Comp Cams (~0.048") the through hole oiling push rods would still work so I decided to leave it push rod oiling and see if the Morels would meter better. If not I could always order solid ones and use pressurized head oil.

Long boring trivial story short, seems to work just fine. Hot oil pressure in idle is around 30-35 and wheels off the ground in third gear doing 50 MPH indicated about 50-55 psi hot oil pressure.

The vacuum is stable now, but it's a bit big of a cam for a ~395 CID and the 390's vacuum is only 11" at idle. I'll need an electric vacuum pump for the power brakes and HVAC system as there is little to no assist on the brakes and the heater control valve isn't opening all the way for max heat.

But otherwise it was just a faulty set of new heads and needing a different set of roller lifters. Oh and the leaky core plug was fixed too by having the core plug hole bored one size larger to clean up the pitted iron.

I should take a video of this, but today I had this half finished '66 LTD outside parked and idling next to our derelict '68 LTD with its Z code 390 idling. The '66 LTD with the quietest mufflers I could find that flowed reasonably along with resonators just drowns out the '68 Z code and that derelict has glass packs on it.

The cam in the '66 LTD's 390 is a bit too big, but for now I'll leave it alone and finish up the car and enjoy it, then decide what to do with it.

Me happy now

Cheers.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 08:19 PM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Glad you're satisfied. That's the name of the game. On the power brakes; I've a number of barely streetable cars with PB, and simply raising the rpm a bit and snapping the throttle shut or any deceleration to build vacuum should give you full braking power—if your PB check valve is good. A good hard engine decel is supposed to give 2 or 3 full power brake applications before depleting the low pressure by design. See if yours is working properly. The heater and similar vac valves will also work when the vac canister is charged, also assuming a good check valve on it as well and the canister is not leaking.

David

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 03:48 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

I agree with David, and you may want to look at advancing the initial timing, you might get a little bit of vacuum there too. Of course you'll have to change the mechanical limits and likely slow the rate down a smidge, but it can help both in vacuum and drivability if you have enough starter and battery to handle it


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-17-2017, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Quote:
Originally Posted by My427stang View Post
I agree with David, and you may want to look at advancing the initial timing, you might get a little bit of vacuum there too. Of course you'll have to change the mechanical limits and likely slow the rate down a smidge, but it can help both in vacuum and drivability if you have enough starter and battery to handle it
Thanks guys,

After a nights sleep on the subject I decided to stick to the original build intent of the car, driveability, longevity and comfort trump horsepower.

I'll buy a much tamer roller camshaft. Sure it'll neuter the engine but for this daily driver I'd much rather have a smooth engine than a rough one (my definition of rough is comparing it to our Grand Marquis's) at idle plus I don't want the hassle of a vac pump or having to snap the throttle in city traffic in order to stop. I had already timed the initial advance for maximum vacuum and smoothness and that's 11 inches of vacuum with about 24˚ BTC initial advance. The vacuum was much lower at 12˚ BTC.

Cheers
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 04:28 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Before you do that, can you post your build again?

I would be very interested to see if we can recommend a cam centerline alternative before a cam swap. I couldn't find which cam you ran, so it could very well be that you have too much cam for your intended use, but I couldn't find it in a search the other day

Some of the info that would help is: (answer whatever you can)

- How deep are the pistons in the hole?
- Deck height if available
- Chamber size if measured, which heads if not
- Head gasket part number and brand
- Piston part number and brand
- Cam part number and brand
- Was the cam degreed, if yes, where did you choose to put the intake lobe centerline?
- Intake and carb
- Current distributor and if available, initial timing and timing curve, both total and rate

The reason I think this is important, and we may have some wiggle room, is Edelbrock FE heads tend to be much larger chambers than advertised, and with the right head gasket/piston combo, you could have much lower compression than expected

That lower compression then could allow you to advance the cam significantly, but we need to see what you have now. Advancing the intake centerline can drive up idle vacuum and significantly change lower RPM part-throttle behavior.

It won't make up for too much cam and not enough compression, but you should know everything we'll discuss to pick a smaller cam too, or you could go the other direction and then have an engine that was fussy on fuel. So if naysayers consider this discussion a way to bandaid a mismatch, ignore it for a bit and let's see where it goes. Changes in cam indexing make a significant change in part throttle behavior, normally, guys like Brent Lykins and I think about this stuff before choosing a cam and where we will place it, but you can make gains after the fact too

I'll be happy to help before you open your wallet, but need the info


70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.

Last edited by My427stang; 02-18-2017 at 04:31 AM.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 08:04 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

OK, I found it in an old post. You are running a 286/290 adv HR with 222/226 @ .050 on 112 LSA, if installed as designed, on a 108 ICL.

That cam is relatively mild, and really not significantly rowdier than a stock Cobrajet. Now you have less cubes, but, I still would not consider that rowdy at all.

However, let's look at some numbers, I'll adjust when you get me real numbers

Edelbrock heads usually deliver very big unless you buy the 76cc machined chamber, then they are usually good. So with a 396 with 75 cc chambers, a 1020 Felpro (8554 would be even lower compression) .010 in the hole, and a 13 cc dish, you'd be at 9.06:1 static

Now add the intake valve closing point of 71 degrees ABDC, you have a DCR of 6.88:1. A good rule of thumb, using the calculator I have many builds under my belt with, with alum heads and 87-89 octane, you should be at 7.8-8.0:1 for a heavy vehicle. This low compression reduces torque, the late valve timing reduces vacuum, and the low compression requires more ignition timing. All clunky and would line up to what you are seeing. These are all guestimates, but pretty common numbers.

Right off the bat, advancing that cam to 102 ICL would bring you to 7.23, driving vacuum up significantly as well as torque and drivability.

Now if you run the blue Felpro head gasket, your static drops to 8.89 and dynamic at 108 ICL = 6.75.

So these numbers are all made up with common off the shelf parts I see regularly, but two things I am confident

1 - Your cam may need to be replaced but it is not a rowdy cam
2 - Before you pick any second cam, you need to publish your numbers so we can back you up.

BTW this also explains why you like so much initial timing.

If it was my engine, I would publish the real info so we can calculate better, then see if a cam advance and/or head gasket change would get you close, if not, pick a cam that will.

This could be as cheap as a small cut on the heads, a set of head gaskets, and advancing the cam.....


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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

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OK, I found it in an old post. You are running a 286/290 adv HR with 222/226 @ .050 on 112 LSA, if installed as designed, on a 108 ICL.

That cam is relatively mild, and really not significantly rowdier than a stock Cobrajet. Now you have less cubes, but, I still would not consider that rowdy at all.

However, let's look at some numbers, I'll adjust when you get me real numbers

Edelbrock heads usually deliver very big unless you buy the 76cc machined chamber, then they are usually good. So with a 396 with 75 cc chambers, a 1020 Felpro (8554 would be even lower compression) .010 in the hole, and a 13 cc dish, you'd be at 9.06:1 static

Now add the intake valve closing point of 71 degrees ABDC, you have a DCR of 6.88:1. A good rule of thumb, using the calculator I have many builds under my belt with, with alum heads and 87-89 octane, you should be at 7.8-8.0:1 for a heavy vehicle. This low compression reduces torque, the late valve timing reduces vacuum, and the low compression requires more ignition timing. All clunky and would line up to what you are seeing. These are all guestimates, but pretty common numbers.

Right off the bat, advancing that cam to 102 ICL would bring you to 7.23, driving vacuum up significantly as well as torque and drivability.

Now if you run the blue Felpro head gasket, your static drops to 8.89 and dynamic at 108 ICL = 6.75.

So these numbers are all made up with common off the shelf parts I see regularly, but two things I am confident

1 - Your cam may need to be replaced but it is not a rowdy cam
2 - Before you pick any second cam, you need to publish your numbers so we can back you up.

BTW this also explains why you like so much initial timing.

If it was my engine, I would publish the real info so we can calculate better, then see if a cam advance and/or head gasket change would get you close, if not, pick a cam that will.

This could be as cheap as a small cut on the heads, a set of head gaskets, and advancing the cam.....
Hi My427stang,

Thank you for the offer of advice. I'll gladly take it. . I'll dig up the specifics, but since you have the camshaft spec, the static compression ratio is 10.5:1. It'll take me a bit to dig the info out, but here off the top of my head is some of the build.

You're right in the Edelbrock heads are not the volume they spec it out. I CC'd the heads originally, asked Fel Pro about the compressed volume of the 8554 PT head gasket (if mem serves it's 9.9cc) then after the block was decked and bored I gave all that info to Diamond Racing and they made a custom set of pistons to bring the static compression ratio to 10.5:1 along with 1.5/1.5/3.0 mm ring packs standard tension on the oil ring.

The bore is 4.080" std stroke (the same 3U crankshaft) so I think that brings the total displacement to 395 and change (again off the top of my head).

The intake is an Edelbrock Performer, the carb a 750CFM vac secondary. I know it's big for the engine, but it's an intermediate carb as this 390 will get fuel injection in the future along with a 4R70W to replace the C6. So the carb I actually bought for my BBC.

I know it's not a rowdy cam, but I am being critical of driveability. Everyone who has seen and heard the engine run loves it. Don't get me wrong it does sound cool, just not in a loaded LTD. Actually since we have a 1966 standard galaxie 500 2 dr hardtop (not sure what to do with yet), this would be a good car to make into a little hot rod, the cam would do well in the 352 with 10.5:1 compression and since the car has manual brakes vacuum is not a problem.

I had thought about advancing the camshaft, the Cloyes double roller allows for it, just have to read up on what amount they allow for. But I'm a little skeptical on if that will raise the vacuum to around 18" for the brake booster.

See if that info helps and I'll get back later with the specifics.

Cheers and thanks again.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-18-2017, 05:28 PM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Why that intake?

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-19-2017, 06:29 AM
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Re: Ford FE Hydraulic Rollers Trials and Tribulations

Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertXL View Post
Hi My427stang,

Thank you for the offer of advice. I'll gladly take it. . I'll dig up the specifics, but since you have the camshaft spec, the static compression ratio is 10.5:1. It'll take me a bit to dig the info out, but here off the top of my head is some of the build.

You're right in the Edelbrock heads are not the volume they spec it out. I CC'd the heads originally, asked Fel Pro about the compressed volume of the 8554 PT head gasket (if mem serves it's 9.9cc) then after the block was decked and bored I gave all that info to Diamond Racing and they made a custom set of pistons to bring the static compression ratio to 10.5:1 along with 1.5/1.5/3.0 mm ring packs standard tension on the oil ring.

The bore is 4.080" std stroke (the same 3U crankshaft) so I think that brings the total displacement to 395 and change (again off the top of my head).

The intake is an Edelbrock Performer, the carb a 750CFM vac secondary. I know it's big for the engine, but it's an intermediate carb as this 390 will get fuel injection in the future along with a 4R70W to replace the C6. So the carb I actually bought for my BBC.

I know it's not a rowdy cam, but I am being critical of driveability. Everyone who has seen and heard the engine run loves it. Don't get me wrong it does sound cool, just not in a loaded LTD. Actually since we have a 1966 standard galaxie 500 2 dr hardtop (not sure what to do with yet), this would be a good car to make into a little hot rod, the cam would do well in the 352 with 10.5:1 compression and since the car has manual brakes vacuum is not a problem.

I had thought about advancing the camshaft, the Cloyes double roller allows for it, just have to read up on what amount they allow for. But I'm a little skeptical on if that will raise the vacuum to around 18" for the brake booster.

See if that info helps and I'll get back later with the specifics.

Cheers and thanks again.
So, some comments

1 - Lots of experience with the 8554s and nobody seems to know their volume, including Felpro. In fact, their compressed and uncompressed thickness varies when actually measured, additionally, unless you are a true zero deck or above, you are losing some benefit of quench. So "IF" it comes back apart, recommend that you go with 1020s, the bore is a bit big, but they work fine. Another option is SCE makes a small bore .039, but I have only had one prototype set here, not sure how hard they are to get

2 - Your numbers don't add up for 10.5. So, we need to figure that out. A 4.08 bore 390, with a 73 cc head (you are likely more than that), a common .051/4.3 bore estimate for the 8554, and true zero deck (you are likely not there, Diamond off the shelf is designed for 10.155 stack height, so it depends how much you cut or if they gave you a custom compression height) requires a flat top with no valve reliefs or a domed piston with valve reliefs (and an FE won't cut it with no valve reliefs). So I am really interested in what they sold you for both compression height and dome/dish design.

3 - Not sure why 18 inches is a target, although that will certainly support brakes! I run at 11 in my PB 4x4 truck and they work great, there is no way going to 102 ICL will get you to 18, but it may get you to 13-ish.

4 - Your carb is in no way too big, a 390 can be happy all day long with a 750. CFM calculators really only tell the minimum requirement for a given VE, RPM and displacement. Especially with your mild cam and small intake, you have plenty of signal to that booster. Look back at my recent posts where we discuss this, not everyone agrees, but when you think closely about the effects of a plenum intake manifold, and the difference between an intake port and a venturi, you can see why they cannot be treated the same. In fact, in some cases a slightly larger carburetor can help off idle tuning because it allows you to keep the throttle plates closed a bit more. FYI, I ran a 3310 750 on my low compression 396 for years, plowing snow and using as a generic work truck with 3.50 gears and 36 inch tall tires, my 445 drives melllow as can be with a 1000 cfm vac secondary. Do not sweat it. As far as the intake, I agree that I likely would have went with an RPM intake, but, you can have a nice driving engine with the Performer, you just give up mid range and top end, I'd estimate about 15 hp average on your setup, and maybe 20 at the peaks with the cam that is in it.

5 - The real concern now is, if you want to get to 18 in vac (or something like that) you potentially could have too much compression, and we need to figure that out or you won't be able to run it on pump fuel. Let's say as a WAG, you are .005 below deck an a 6 ccs of valve relief (common Diamond design if you cut your deck), that gets you to 9.78:1. Again, all just play numbers until we get all the data. In that case, a 270/272 adv duration hyd roller on 106 with 112 LSA would likely get you closer to 18 inches, but likely not there. But, that would be the limit for compression with a DCR of about 8:1. That cam wouldn't work with 10:1 and certainly not 0.5:1 and is still likely not as Cadillac smooth as you are describing. I am a Diamond piston fan, and almost use them exclusively, but the nuances of FE parts choice may have steered them wrong. Unless it's a dome, I am seriously doubting the compression estimate

If you can get all your parts and machine work in a list, less the cam, I'll calculate everything, but I think both the behavior and description tell me you are at a lower compression than you think potentially more quench distance than you expected and we could find dramatic gains by advancing the cam OR if set on a cam change, we need to get you the right one the first time and then install it on the centerline it will behave the best at.

This is normal stuff, no worries, just need to get as much as you can for info


70 Sportsroof, 427 FE/489 cid, TKO-600, 31 spline 4.10, A/C. modified Mass-flo EFI/reprogrammed A9L/CnC ported Victor.

Last edited by My427stang; 02-19-2017 at 06:40 AM.
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