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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody! Got myself into a mess that I cant figure out. AFR head swap problems?
To start with, this is a 64 Fairlane 302 its running hot, low power, also loosing Alt belts and the new powermaster Alt is getting so hot that it is melting the belt off (was neat the first time, then it wasnt).

It all started when I was cleaning up the engine compartment. I had a new electrical harness built (its supposed to match the old one), painted the engine, blasted the intake, moved the battery to trunk, new water pump, new 3 core rad, and and took off the "mismatched" 4 bolt balancer with correct 3 bolt. Goes back together fine and looks good. Run it and its tossing blets off every ten minutes. So it comes apart to do add new pullys and then I decided to add AFR 185 heads and Airgap intake (I'm crazy like that sometimes). Gets together only to realize that the belts are melting off the pully from heat on the powermaster alt. So I bought another alt, then it seemed ok.

Meanwhile, running like crap even after ten jet increase in front and the bleeds out 2.5 turns (650 avenger, plugs look perfect). It was suggested that I flipped a head gasket. But whys it running so bad? Vaccum leak? Checked for one, sprayed all around the carb and intake and could not locate. When I say hot I mean serious radiant heat! Plug wires too hot to touch, paint damage near headers, protective boots discoloring, 500 plus degree header tubes(checked with gauge), all with an engine temp of 150!!! This heat starts seconds after start up. Drive 1 mile and its running at 210 degrees.

Any ideas? Anything would help!!! Something before I put the car cover on it for another 2 years! Thanks for reading this long post.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: karguy1 on 9/18/06 2:45pm ]</font>
 

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make sure the air is out of the system and also, are you positive the headgaskets are installed correctly? FRONT facing the front of the engine?
 

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Pull it apart and do it again. As you pull it apart inspect every little gasket and possible leak source. Valve adjustment, port color, everything. Can't think of a different way.
 

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Is the fireing order right??
I've heard that some 302's had a different fireing order?
Tim
 

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I bet headgaskets are not on correct and lifter adjustment
 

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The heat issue sounds like retarded timing to me. We have had that issue before and it would turn the ceramic coating on the headers.
 

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The new balancer might not be in agreement with your existing timing pointer. Ford changed those around a lot.

Bring the #1 piston (passenger side front) to top dead center and see if '0' on your balancer is exactly lined up with the pointer.

Easy to check, and could be causing your problems.

Good Luck!
 

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I think the head gaskets being on backwards might be the problem. Are you seeing good flow through the radiator?


You may have more than one problem, but instead of makeing the same mistake again, pick one problem - then concentrate, try eliminating (fixing) one at a time.

Eliminate the over heating problem, then the rough running - you can check the cam card for the firing order then match that to how you have the distributer wired.
Ford changed the 302 firing order to the 351 firing order for all small block, its real easy to not notice or remember to change the firing order to match the cam. The suggesting of retarded timing is also possible...where did you set the cam? on the timing chain? Did you turn it over a few times to make sure you got it right?
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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Beoweolf on 9/18/06 11:45pm ]</font>
 

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On 2006-09-18 08:36, Beoweolf wrote:
I think the head gaskets being on backwards might be the problem. Are you seeing good flow through the radiator?
Water will still flow just fine with the gaskets on backwards.... it just won't be forced to the back of the block. It simply goes in the front and out the front.

Water path....

Out of pump into front of block.
Travel from front to back of block.
Exit back of block into rear of head. (through gasket holes)
Travel forward through head and exit into intake.
Out of intake into radiator.
Out of radiator into pump.

The holes in the gasket go in the BACK. If they are installed backwards (holes in front) the water simply goes in the front of the block and goes straight up to the front of the head and out to the intake and radiator. The water cannot circulate to the rear of the engine, and it overheats.

Good Luck!

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: n2omike on 9/18/06 11:57pm ]</font>
 

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True.

Someone had mentioned air in the system too.
 

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Hey Karguy, as I recall from visiting your page a while back you had that engine set up with and EFI why the change over to the Airgap and the carb and the 185 heads despite what might be the obvious? Did you also drop a larger cam in there? Man you have been busy.
Ras Daniel
 

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I second the "retarded timing" idea. Make sure the timing is correct, don't just depend on the timing marks to be right. Retarded timing will make the headers glow, and fry your exhaust valves because the mixture is still burning as it leaves the head.
 

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another vote for retarded timing. My old SVO would have boost at 1200 RPM, but ran like crap from 3000-up and the turbo/manifold would be glowing red. Advanced the timing & built a pointer (2.3 had the pointer on the plastic belt cover which was broken) and all was good or should I say, better.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: mavman on 9/19/06 5:06am ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
thanks for the ideas everyone!

I changed the thermostat to a moroso plate and added a on manifold temp gauge, so I have drained the system twice, pretty sure there is no air trapped.

The balancer/pointer issue sounds interesting, I will check that tonite. Front cover was changed to old style when I changed the balancer, so lots of room to screw this up.

Firing order: how do I check that? I did not put the cam in so I cant be sure. I am using the early style firing order.

Head gaskets: lots of folks have mentioned this before, I get how easy this is, but I knew that during assembly. Its not that it couldnt have happened, but I was already making sure not to do it.

Thanks again for all the help guys!
 

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Another vote for retarded timing. That would cause the low power, would cause severe heat issues, etc. etc.

I would verify TDC on the number 1 cylinder (just put your finger over the sparkplug and crank it with the coil plug disconnected until it blows your finger off) and then check to make sure your rotor is pointing to #1, as close as you can get it. If your balancer doesn't indicate TDC, you've got a problem there. That's what this problem sounds like to me.

I really think if it were the firing order, you'd have massive backfiring out of the carb, because it would fire the cylinder at the bottom of the intake stroke. Head gaskets are possible, but I think because of how fast you are heating up, it can't be coolant system related. You can run an engine radiatorless for a minute or two with no problems.

I would open your rad cap when the engine is cool, then start it and watch for bubbling. As bad as you've described, there should be considerable bubbling if it is the head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi guys,

So I pulled the #1 plug, put the finger over it and brought it around. The balancer 0 seems to be right on the timing mark, looks perfect. The rotor is also pointing at the plug wire that i had pulled off.

I just checked the timinig. It is at about the 8 mark, so before the 10 that is below the timing mark, not the 10 above the timinig mark.

Could it have anything to do with my homemade crappy valve clearencing? Before assembly I used the clay method and had to grind open the intake side of all the pistons.

Any other ideas out there? How about a shop in the Los Angeles area that would check it out.


I guess its a bad time to ask if I should buy a holley supercharger that I saw for sale. $1500. seems like it would really run hard with a few psi added.

thanks everybody


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: karguy1 on 9/22/06 12:15pm ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
what about fule psi?

i have the carter street mech pump and aeromotive regulator. the gauge at idle looked like it might be at 2 psi, but i was doing a lot of other stuff a the time.
 

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Have you done a compression test on all the cyl? Pull all the plugs and put the carb wide open and do a comp test. All 2psi is way to low. Idle should be 4 1/2 - 6 1/2 PSI. As for air in the system, raise the front end and then "burp" the cooling system.
 

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IMHO, everyone with an old Ford should prove they own a vacuum guage and a dwell tach (showing my age) before they get their plates.

You can have vacuum leaks you don't even see, esp in the manifold to head interfaces, and that goes double when the head inlets change.

If you have a guage slaved to true manifold vacuum, you should be able to get a reading and knowing the reading you can start to eliminate variables.

IMHO, it sounds extremely retarded, as if it were off a tooth when you slipped the dizzy back in, and leaned way out from a leak which you may have trouble pinpointing.

Good luck!
 

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I still think you have a timing problem and sorry, but just sticking your finger in the sparkplug hole won't even come close to finding out if your timing pointer is on mark. You need a TDC stop. Screw it in the plug hole, turn the engine by hand until it hits the stop, then mark the balancer, then turn it the other way until it hits the stop again and mark the balancer. Take a flexible machinists rule or tape and make a mark halfway between the two marks you just made. That will be real close to TDC and should coincide with the 0deg. mark on your balancer. If it dosen't, you need to move your pointer until it matches. Good luck.
 
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