351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm - Page 3 - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #31 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Actually checked again and it is 13-14 btdc

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #32 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-09-2018, 05:29 PM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

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Originally Posted by 462ho View Post
Thanks n2o
Moving the wires greatly helped allowed me to set the timing to a spot on the balancer that was clearly marked by someone prior.
It looks like 16 or so btdc
It starts easily and sounds good.
Rain, so no road test.
Should I plug the vacuum advance or leave it connected?
No bog with the carb at all, so I put that screw back into the linkage moved it a bit to force full opening of the butterfly. Just in case.
Someone on another site mentioned rotor phasing when I mentioned rotating the plug wires. Is that a concern?
Iím getting there!
Thanks.
Glad you're getting there!
Moving the plug wires has nothing to do with rotor phasing, so don't worry about that.
Make sure the vacuum advance hose is going to the ported advance, which is on the side of the carb, not the bottom plate.
Go ahead and run the vacuum advance, as it does provide better economy with regular driving. Of course, you can run/try it disconnected if you want. It won't hurt anything. It just needs unplugged to check the base timing so you can get a true reading.
Hope the road test goes well!

Good Luck!
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post #33 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-12-2018, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

The car runs better, but still not setting the world on fire.


I did learn more about the motor, as I tracked down and met the guy that owned it when this engine was installed. I have no reason to doubt what he told me about it.
He said this engine was built for a Dr. in NC who knew Bill Elliot and his brother well. Bill Elliot still has a farm here in Blairsville GA and may be from around here. The guy said it was built by Bill's brother and was a very expensive motor at the time.


The Dr. died of a heart attack before the motor could be installed in a car, and his son sold it, along with other parts. This jibes with what the mechanic who bought this engine, crated for quite awhile and then installed it in the Galaxie for the guy I met today. The guy today said the motor was not built for drag racing, was built for Nascar type stuff? He still has the remote oil cooler or pump and lines, along with the metal mounting crossmember for this engine.


The guy I bought the car from also corroborated this, stating that it was a long stored circle track motor.


Long, probably boring story, call BS if you think it is. Do the dual breathers welded into the top fronts of the valve covers say circle track? The 1974 Service Replacement Boss 351 style heads also lend themselves to being in the hands of racers like Elliot. They were over the counter only.


I will try more timing tomorrow and see if that helps more.

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #34 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2018, 06:54 AM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

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427stang, can I measure the lift without having to loosen or remove the rocker? The lash is set correctly now, and replacing springs and lashing a solid, especially with a stud girdle, is above my pay grade.
If I can get the right springs, I can find somebody to install and set it up.
Sure, you'll have to measure carefully and likely need the opposite end of calipers or a machinists rule, but you can measure.

- Start with the cam side, make sure you are on the base circle, measure the lowest point, then turn the motor until the measurement stops growing, generally I would have a degree wheel on it, but if you are careful, once you find max lift, you know lobe lift

- Then to back up your measurement, I would do the same at the retainer, back it up until you have lash, measure closed height, turn to max lift, measure open height.

May take a few times to get the numbers to make sense but you should be able to calculate what you see on both sides.

Valve lift = (lobe lift X rocker ratio) - lash

Also be sure to do both intake and exhaust, they are likely different

The only one that really matters is valve lift, but if you can back into each number from the other info, you will be more comfortable that you measured correctly

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 #35 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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This thing is getting frustrating.
So far, I have advanced the timing got it to a sweet spot where it starts easily and runs smoothly.
Today I went and checked the timing to try advancing it more, and it is showing on another section of the balancer not even near the scale it was the other day.
Sounds like major balancer slippage.
I do advance the timing quite a bit more, no detonation, not much performance improvement and it is harder to start.
Regardless if initial timing, this mill still has nothing much above 5000 rpm.
Could the dist. Be 180 off or something?

I will get a new balancer. Is it hard to get one that works on a 400 due to weight counterbalancing, etc or are they standard?
Mine is 6 3/8 I think and pretty wide.

Is a balancer indexed on the crank, so when I install it TDC mark will be dead on?

The guy that had this car had a chrome Holley r84010 1999 carb says it came off this motor. Odd looking like an auto lite.
Is there anything special about that carb that could be better than the Holley vs 760 on it now?
He said he tuned this carb on it now for good fuel mileage !?!

Thanks.

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #36 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 05:40 PM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

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The exhaust is actually 2 1/4, but low flow mufflers.
It's NOT going to run very well with a big cam, and a restrictive exhaust. The restriction will back the exhaust up into the engine with the increased overlap. A big cam NEEDS a FREE flowing exhaust. To really take advantage of what you have, you need a nice set of headers and 3" exhaust utilizing 'see through' absorption type mufflers, such as Dynomax Ultraflos.

With the engine mechanically sound, that would be my next move. If you want to run tail pipes, you can get by with 2-1/2" units, as long as they are mandrel bent. If you want it to be quiet, use the longer series mufflers. You'd be surprised just how quiet they can be... and they fit on the larger cars.

I know you'r kind of stuck with the manifolds right now... But, if you can find some headers that will fit... Those, along with a big, free exhaust will really wake it up. If you cannot do the headers, use the largest pipe (probably 2.5"), and most free flowing mufflers you can find. (Ultraflos)

Good Luck!

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post #37 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

Got it.
I need to clear up some stuff on the clutch fork first to make room for a header. It seems it was rigged with some springs holding the end of it in place. Either the pivot stud is missing or a bushing. I am going to have someone knowledgable help with that.


In the meantime, I am thinking about disconnecting the head pipes for a short run to see how it does.


Go.

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #38 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

Oops. Good idea or bad- will it burn the valves?
Thanks.

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #39 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-19-2018, 06:32 AM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

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Oops. Good idea or bad- will it burn the valves?
Thanks.
Won't burn the valves. It will be fine... Just LOUD!
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post #40 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

The car sh!t the bed the other day.
I was driving along accelerating through 1st gear and all of the sudden it shut down emitted a few random backfires as I rolled to a stop.
I thought maybe it was a dead short or something. I checked and added more grounds (engine to frame, battery - to radiator support, etc. No change.
I tried my old coil I just replaced, put on a new Unilite dist. module, nothing.


It just does a random occasional backfire or carb sputter when I crank it.


The Unilite has a bronze gear on it for the cam. Could that be worn up enough that it jumped a tooth, could it be the timing chain, or something else.


I checked for spark and saw none, which is why I replaced the module, but how could it backfire with no spark?


Thanks.

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #41 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 08:39 PM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

Mine had similar symptoms a couple of years ago on the highway. Can you manually turn the rotor? My original distributor somehow locked up internally, and broke the shear pin to the cam gear. A new Autozone Duralast Gold distributor (hey, I was on the road) fixed it. I was afraid it was the timing chain but no, just the distributor.

Pat

1964 Galaxie 500 2 dr Fastback, 390, 4 speed, Indianapolis Indiana
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post #42 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

Thanks, Pat.
With the distributor still in the car, should I be able to turn the rotor?


It seems like the engine would need to turn.
If the rotor turns, the gear pin is sheared?

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #43 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 05:42 AM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

Yeah, if you can turn the rotor freely (i.e. more just a few degrees back and forth), it means the pin is broken. Mine backfired/sputtered too, when cranking. Apparently there was enough friction between the shaft and gear that it would spin a little when trying to start it. Another tell-tale sign in my case was the distributor was also rotated in the manifold until the vacuum canister hit something. This must have been when the pin broke.

Pat

1964 Galaxie 500 2 dr Fastback, 390, 4 speed, Indianapolis Indiana
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post #44 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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The rotor does not turn freely by hand
It is engaged

1964 Galaxie 500 351C 4 speed
1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 HO
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post #45 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:26 AM
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Re: 351 Cleveland sluggish and breaks up at 5000 rpm

It might be the timing chain then. Try turning the engine clockwise using the 15/16" nut (that size on a 390 at least) on the front of the crankshaft, with the cap off. The rotor should turn. If not, the timing chain is likely broken or stripped off the gear. If it does turn, rotate the engine until the rotor is pointing to the number one spark plug wire. Then look at the front pulley. Is the timing pointer close to 6 degrees BTDC (or whatever you had it set to)? If not, the chain could have jumped a tooth or two.

Pat

1964 Galaxie 500 2 dr Fastback, 390, 4 speed, Indianapolis Indiana

Last edited by 1964Fastback; 09-23-2018 at 08:35 AM.
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