View Full Version : 1967 390 timing chain

09-07-2012, 12:29 PM
Hi all, I've never pulled the front off an engine before. I'm replacing my timing chain and gears. I removed the 3 bolts and the large center bolt (the one you use to crank the engine when rotating the engine to TDC) Now I believe I need to use a wheel puller to get the cent shaft off. Is that correct?
I'm just want to make sure before I force anything.

Also, does anyone know where I might find some basic instructions on line. I'm using my 1959 T-bird shop manula, but I think the old 352 was a little different.

thx, Dave J

09-07-2012, 12:36 PM
There isn't much difference and your '59 shop manual should get you there. Take lots of pictures as you go, David.

09-07-2012, 12:57 PM
The '60 352 has a damper pulley behind the power steering pulley. Be sure and use a wheel puller with the slotted bolt holes and not the jaw type of puller if your pulley/damper has the rubber ring in it. You run the risk of pulling the pulley grove off the main portion of the pulley with the jaw type puller.

This is not a Ford but at about 7 mins it shows the type puller you need.
http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play;_ylt=A0S00MoBJEpQJhwAJ.L7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBvZ3 AycDJsBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDdmlkBHZ0aWQDVjEzMA--?p=take+off+a+390+crank+pulley&vid=07A79454A6734F72A08307A79454A6734F72A083&l=&turl=http%3A%2F%2Fts3.mm.bing.net%2Fvideos%2Fthumb nail.aspx%3Fq%3D5050499989176422%26id%3D0bef5e1a1b b0a47c9ad164aa5487bb4b%26bid%3Dg6ByT3OmVJSnBw%26bn %3DLargeThumb%26url%3Dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww.youtu be.com%252fwatch%253fv%253ddhnO6fh5kn4&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Ddh nO6fh5kn4&tit=How+to+Remove+Stubborn+Toyota+20R+-+22R+-+22RE+Crankshaft+Pulley+...&c=5&sigr=11af7cect&fr=yfp-t-701

or even better - just watch Dave do it....
http://www.squarebirds.org/penelope/390Build/TimingSetRemoval.htm (http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin/../penelope/390Build/TimingSetRemoval.htm)


09-07-2012, 01:06 PM
Best to use an installation tool when putting the damper back on as it's not that hard to strip out the crank threads just using the stock bolt. Also be aware that one of the timing cover bolts(passenger side) goes through to water and you need to use a sealant on it or it WILL leak. Not a tough job. Just pay attention to details and take your time. Mike

09-07-2012, 01:39 PM
Steve Christ's book "How to rebuild your big block Ford" is great if you can find a copy. It has much more detailed pictures than the shop manual and tells you everything you need to know about rebuilding FE engines.


09-07-2012, 05:38 PM
Thanks gents,
I got it apart and it looks to me like it's in OK shape, but then again I have no idea what it should look like, so I'm providing these pix.

According to my shop manual the "timing chain deflection" (the distance of slop that the chain has on the left side while the right side is tight) should be no more than 1/2 inch. Mines right at 3/8. Mine also is made of steel and not nylon. Proof again that this engine has probably been rebuilt before.

Anyway, whether the existing one is OK or not, I'm going to install the new "true roller set" that you were kind enough to point out at Summit Racing for me Dave Dare.

My big question is this. A few days ago I watched the rotor as I turned the crank by hand. It moved a full hour on the clock face. That's 30 degrees. However, this morning when I had the water pump off I wanted to see it again so I cranked the engine by hand and watched again. This time the rotor moved right away and had no slop. What in the world could that be all about? Could it be that my distributor is suspect?

If I wiggle the distributor shaft left and right it has a little slop, and I can hear it move (a clicking sound as it taps each side)

BTW, the video and pictures of Dave's rebuild are awesome, thanks!

I also found this good little video on how to put the Harmonic balancer back on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex_yJ_V5UH8

Please let me know what you think of the distributor maybe being my problem.

Thx, Dave J

09-07-2012, 06:19 PM
One more thing. My new crank gear has the 3 key slots to use for either advancing, retarding, or zeroing the timing. Do I use the one labeled "A" to advance it 4 degrees as you mentioned Dave?

Will this mean that when I am at TDC and the pulley degree marks are at "0" I will really be at 4 degrees advanced?

I find it humorous that I listed as "experienced" yet I am so lost with a lot of this stuff. ;0)

thx, Dave J

09-07-2012, 06:48 PM
Hi Dave, what level of "Experience" you have on this Forum is determined by the number of posts that you make! You are a "Newbie" until you make so many posts. Then you go up a level, to "Apprentice" when you make 30 posts. At 100 posts you are raised to the level of "Experienced" and eventually, you become "Super Experienced" at 500 posts.. :D This is all determined by the software, even though one might not even know how to change the oil in your Tbird! :eek:

09-07-2012, 07:26 PM
Yeah, that's what I kind of figured Clark, I was just being funny cuz I'd be lost without you guys, yet I show as "experienced".

So, if there is anyone out there right now who might be able to spare a few minutes of phone time I sure could use some help.

I took off the old chain, cam sprocket and crank sprocket. The cam pin is at 3 o'clockish and my crank sprocket key is at 6 o'clock. When I line up my timing marks on each sprocket, and then slide them on with the crank key as a guide, my cam pin hole is at about 1:30 - it doesn't line up. Is there something I'm missing, or don't get?

thx, Dave J

09-08-2012, 12:22 AM
Unbolt and pull your distributor. Look at the gear teeth at the end. Take a pic so we can see the teeth. They should not have 'knife edge' teeth.

You can't go wrong using a roller chain set.

Since you have everything apart, now is a good time to find true TDC. Download a crankshaft timing wheel (they're free), use a bendable pointer (coat hanger) to mount under any bolt head, and get a Summit Pistron Stop (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-900189/) (or a 1/2" x 1-1/2" slug mounted to a spark plug). I think Summit sells them as well. I made my own because I also weld.

By finding true TDC, you can tell if your cam is truly in time with the crankshaft. Sometimes when adding all the tolerances of all the keyways, timing is quite a bit off. Advanced cam is much better than retarded cam. In fact, I advance my street cams at least four degrees. That way, if the chain stretches, timing comes closer to zero. In the mean time, my low end torque is boosted. Cam timing is UN-related to spark timing, so that part doesn't change when you tune your engine.

When you install a new timing chain set, it should be VERY tight. Meaning, it is somewhat tricky to get the sprockets mounted because there doesn't seem to be enough chain slack. - Dave

09-08-2012, 01:11 AM
...I took off the old chain, cam sprocket and crank sprocket. The cam pin is at 3 o'clockish and my crank sprocket key is at 6 o'clock. When I line up my timing marks on each sprocket, and then slide them on with the crank key as a guide, my cam pin hole is at about 1:30 - it doesn't line up. Is there something I'm missing, or don't get?..The crank-to-cam ratio is 2:1. This is in stone and here's a picture of the original setup:
David, I hope you have been taking pictures of your setup as well.

I never depend on damper timing marks and I ALWAYS double check my cam/crank timing by using two different methods that must agree when I'm finished. My second method is not in your books (or Steve Christ's). This one requires you to find true TDC using the tools mentioned in my last post. (All of mine were free.)

Number 1 & 6 pistons go up together, which is confirmed by the firing order. When #1 is in its Power Stroke, #6 is in its Exhaust Stroke.

Take the valve cover off the driver's (LH) side and rotate the cam & crank until #6 rocker arms are dead level with each other. This is the point where the exhaust valve is nearly closed but the intake valve is just starting to open. You can use a straight edge or ruler across the rocker arms if it helps you see this position better. Right at this point, (when the fuel mixture is scavenging in the combustion chamber,) your crank should be at TDC and your sprocket marks should line up. (This is also the position where you engage your distributor gears with the rotor pointing towards #1 spark plug tower.)

Of course, if you advanced your cam four degrees by using the appropriate crank keyway, your timing marks on the crank should be, just before TDC, by that number of degrees. Keep this ratio straight in your head: Advancing the cam is just the same as retarding the crank. We want the valves to open and close slightly sooner, so we advance the cam. A stretched chain will retard the cam (or advance the crank) causing the valves to operate late.

You may call me at 248-544-8834 if you have any concerns. - Dave

09-08-2012, 09:27 AM
Thanks a ton Dave, the cam advance not being the same as the timing advance had me confused. I couldn't figure out how changing the time of the valves opening to the compression cycle altered spark, but now I get it (thx to you).

I had to read a bit more on line to understand the advance of the cam generating more torque too - but it's more clear now.

As for my gear key not lining up - it came to me in my sleep. I was rotating the cam gear clockwise until the next of the 3 slots on the bottom gear lined up with the key. Didn't occur to me to rotate it to the NEXT slot - 2/3 the way around. Now it lines up the dowel on the cam gear. Hope that makes sense.
And yes, I can really tell the difference in the 2 chains. The new one is tight, and it turns a whole lot smoother and more precise than the old non roller chain.

I think I'm good to continue on from here. Thx for all the help once again!

regards, Dave J

09-08-2012, 03:03 PM
FRUSTRATION- When you fire up your newly chained engine and find out it's off one tooth. This is one of those, "measure twice" situations that needs to be done BEFORE covers (and new gaskets) are replaced.

David, I'm glad you delved into a deeper understanding of your timing. Engine Timing and Cam Grinds, are the very heart and most essential workings of any engine.

Did you pull the distributor yet?

I strongly urge you to degree your crank. If you find that your timing marks are correct, then good. If not, now is the time to correct. I have found engine timing off by fifteen degrees. And notice, your damper timing marks are on the portion that is urethaned into the pulley. That ring can slip. Once I degree my crank, I file a small vee into the sheave (belt) lip. Then I adjust the pointer to it.

When a timing light strobes, it has no reference to the cam. It only senses the electrical spark as you point it at the crank damper.

Let's see some pictures! - Dave

09-08-2012, 11:40 PM
Thx Dave, I was at an all day family thing today and got home about 6:00, thus I didn't get much done today. I spent the last 3 hours cleaning and scrubbing parts so that I can start tomorrow (Sunday) a little ahead. Still need to clean up the engine front etc. tomorrow.

This motor has revealed all kinds of little things since I bought the old LTD. All your advice has been "spot on" and I really appreciate it. There seems to always be a "gotcha" waiting for me. It's a great learning experience. I'm gonna take the time to double and triple check all the timing etc. while reassembling. I've been lucky so far and not had to go back and tear anything down again - that luck could run out though.

By the way, when I pulled off the front cover, the oil pan gasket naturally got a little torn up. Can I use a heavy bead of permatex there when reassembling, like I did in lieu of a gasket on the intake manifold?

I'll try to take some time tomorrow and post some pictures.

Thx, Dave J

09-09-2012, 12:21 AM
If you buy the right gasket set it should come with a a new partial pan gasket, or you can make one from a sheet of gasket material from any parts store. If the one you have isn't to bad a little sealer after cleaning will work also. My favorite sealer is the gray stuff from ford for the 7.3 diesel. Mike

09-09-2012, 03:24 AM
Mike is right. Buy a "Timing Cover Gasket Set". Rockauto.com has them at reasonable prices. Your local auto parts store may have them too. If they don't, I'm sure they could order one.

Here's what's in rockauto's FEL-PRO Part # TCS45167 set for a '73 390 FE:

http://www.rockauto.com/getimage/getimage.php?imagekey=128083&imageurl=http%3A//www.rockauto.com/info/Fel-Pro/TCS45167_TOP.jpgIf your engine is different, get the set that matches yours.

BTW, whenever I pull the timing cover off, the first thing I do is stuff rags down the oil pan so no parts or debris drops down there. - Dave

09-09-2012, 11:17 AM
I bought a complete Felpro gasket set when I put the heads on so I have all the pieces in your picture except the front bottom one that I need. It actually has 2 timing cover gaskets, one like the one in you picture Dave, and a second one that is black and about an eighth of an inch think thick. I'm guessing that one is for a different application? Anyway, I have some gasket material that I can use for the bottom.

I saw the potential for dropping things in the pan right away so I covered it with a rag and some tape. But thx for the heads up.

Here's a couple of pix from this winter - not related to the timing issue. It's not in the picture but I'm using the radiator over flow tank and original radiator. I added the fan shroud from the 67 LTD. I bought the car for $600, pulled the motor and what I needed, and then sold the rest to a guy for the $300 - basically what I could have gotten for the scrap metal. I was glad I found someone who could use the car instead of just scrapping it.

thx gents!

09-12-2012, 09:06 AM
Finished getting it all back together late yesterday, The new distributor was off by a tooth but I got moved it and it ran pretty good. I messed with the timing light for a few runs - it seems to run best at about 8-10 degrees. I get a back fire once in a while if I rev it. Any ideas on what might cause that? I adjusted the carb by turning in the jet screws until it started to idle rough and then backed them off about 1 turn. I think that could be related to my patch work, short leaky exhaust set up. I have a set of headers on order and should get them in a couple of weeks.

Just a heads up, if you are messing with adjust to top dead center, be sure to take the big beefy pipe wrench off of the crank before trying to start you engine. ;0) Luckily no harm was done.

thx, Dave J

Oh, I haven't installed the Pertronix ignitor yet, I wanted to start by getting it going with the points set up that came with the distributor.