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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, a problem that's driving us mad and we can't seem to resolve it.

New build and engine is not running right and it won't run at all unless we advance massively. In park she is happiest at 60 deg advance (vacuum disconnected) and rpm at @1500. if you drop her into gear she goes down to about 800 without cutting off. If we try to lower the idle in park she'll eventually cut out. not running right at all

engine is Ford racing block (M-6009-E460)
heads are cast iron. but no idea what car they came out of. No money for heads at this time so they'll have to do. They were tested ok
in reputable engine shop.
edelbrock performer intake, holley carb (can get details, but I think it's ~750cfm)

we have tested the following in the past weeks
- compression even across all cylinders, forgot how high. 160?180?
- confirmed TDC with piston stop. All ok.
- checked on the cam, intake centerline ok. We were hoping it was just a tooth out
- changed carb to known good 770cfm from different car, no change
- changed distributor and wires from different car, no change
- rotated distributor (went a tooth off). When engine is at TDC the rotor is point bang on to #1 post.
- checked for vacuum leak (sprayed), no change anywhere. currently all vacuum is disconnected and plugged to make sure
- battery shows about 13.8V when running and same at coil+
- we measured up the pushrods with a checker before we ordered a set to put in. just today we made sure that at TDC both valves actually are closed (opened rocker and watched for movement: none)

we are running out of ideas and whatever we try does not seem to make any change.
The oddest thing about all this is that it will not run at all when ignition is where it should be

any ideas would be great!!!
Thanks a million
 

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Try checking the mechanical advance on the distributor for weak springs and/or too much advance movement.
You may be reaching full advance too soon at @12-1500 but timing may drop back too far under 800 rpms.
 

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Are you running a aftermarket distributor and or box? Seen this before, had to reverse wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
that would be fantastic if it were 'only' the ignition. Currently its distributor with module. But I'll change to the stock one with points. this way I can be sure that the points are set up correctly (at ~12TDC starting to open (check with light) and point to #1 post on cap).
I'll check on the advance curve as well.

retyler: with reverse wiring ... do you mean at coil +/- ? or what exactly?
 

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good luck! Some of the aftermarket distributor modules have been known to be wired wrong for a ford.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks everyone so far. we finally got to it (buddy or me were away), but I 'demanded' the old distributor goes back in. with points etc at least I can measure and reference. (once it works I can always swap again) ... So one day my buddy swapped and said it would still run crap. So I called over to check and the ignition problem is 100% disappeared.
I was able to set the ignition (vac advance disconnected) to ~16 and at 3000 it was peaking at around 28. not much mech advance. It needs tuning, but the problem with ignition is gone.
 
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