View Full Version : Engine removal

01-10-2015, 09:19 AM
Hey guys pulling the engine from my 65 T Bird next week, Ive read the procedure in the shop manual, a few steps have me wondering: removing flywheel to convertor nuts, securing the convertor assembly to housing and removing the lower and upper convertor housing to engine bolts, does the crank need to be rotated to get to the flywheel to convertor nuts

01-10-2015, 09:26 AM
Yes, the crank needs to be rotated to remove the converter nuts.


01-10-2015, 09:32 AM
How do you secure the convertor to housing, do you just fab something to secure it, I heard its a real pain if the convertor moves out

01-10-2015, 09:49 AM
It's not a big deal if the converter comes out. On engines that are seized you need to pull the converter out with it. I don't know what your plans are for the transmission but you should remove the converter and drain it anyway and replace the front transmission seal.


01-10-2015, 10:26 AM
Good idea since its right there and I already have a new filter for the trans, and most parts that I have not replaced seem to be original.

01-10-2015, 10:35 AM
Just make sure you put something under the transmission bell housing when you pull the engine. A cinder block with some wood on top will do it.


01-10-2015, 10:53 AM
The front trans seal, is that the pinion seal, I dont find it listed as front seal and dont want to order the wrong part thanks for the help

01-10-2015, 11:03 AM
Before you pull the engine, put the car up on jack stands so the wheels are off the ground. You don't want the body to move when you start lifting.

Before disconnecting the starter motor, use it to rotate the engine as you take the torque converter nuts off. The torque converter should stay in the transmission as you separate the torque converter from the flex plate. It is a good idea to mark the flex plate and torque converter just so you know how it was assembled. Remember to put the torque converter drain plugs in front of the flex plate holes when re-assembling. If you follow your marks you won't go wrong.

The only time I use a brace on the torque converter is when I transport the transmission.

Take 100 pictures as you go and work safely. - Dave

01-10-2015, 11:18 AM
The front trans seal, is that the pinion seal, I dont find it listed as front seal and dont want to order the wrong part thanks for the help

Here's the front seal part number. If you don't want to order it from Rock Auto most local auto stores can get it for you.

01-10-2015, 11:34 AM
Although mine is a '60 I think they will be very similar.

This picture shows the inspection plate removed and one of the converter bolts coming through the flywheel - the nut has already removed. I moved my flywheel by using a socket wrench on the front crankshaft bolt. I disconnected the battery and ignition first as Dave mentions so that there was no chance of it firing as I spun the engine - very slim chance but better safe than sorry.


Here's a picture of the flywheel on the engine - the converter drain hole is at about the 7 o'clock position. Be sure and align the plug on the converter and hole in the flywheel when you re-install the engine. It took about an hour reinstalling my engine to get it aligned to the transmission - had to wiggle and move it but finally popped in place - just FYI - allow some extra time there - hopefully yours will go right back in.


Even though the '65 hood opens from the front rather than from the rear like my '60 I'm guessing you should also plan on removing the hood to be able to lift the engine high enough to clear the front body and fender. Mark the hood and hinges with a pencil so that you can get the alignment close on re-installation.


Are you pulling it for a rebuild?

Good luck - hope it goes well.


01-10-2015, 11:35 AM
John thanks for the part#, simplyconnected thanks for the advice will follow I have access to a lift so that will be a big help

01-10-2015, 11:55 AM
DK good pics, pulling engine because I have a oil leak seems to be from the rear up by the intake plus the oil pan gasket is pretty wet, the motor mounts are finished and the waterpump is leaking everything seems to be original parts, will also pressure wash and paint/detail the engine

01-10-2015, 12:20 PM
Are you planning on doing a complete rebuild? If not there are certain things I recommend doing. Remove and replace freeze plugs, core plugs and clean out cooling passages; replace rear main seal; replace oil pump and shaft; replace timing chain and gears. If you are planning on having the heads redone this is the time to do it. These are things that are a lot easier to do with the engine out. Buy the complete gasket set rather than buying them individually. It's about $80 but it includes everything you will need.


01-10-2015, 12:52 PM
Good advice on the freeze plugs I have the gasket kit as well as the oil pump and timing chain/gear, the plan is to do it right the first time

01-10-2015, 07:19 PM
The intake manifold has to be sealed with grey RTV silicone; the cork set will fail. Use composite gaskets for the valve covers and oil pan.

01-11-2015, 08:36 AM
I have the Edelbrock composite valve cover gaskets and a complete FelPro gasket kit not sure what the gaskets are made of the box has yet to be open and its all out at the garage an hour away

01-11-2015, 03:21 PM
Most of the kits I've seen have cork. It's useless as a gasket material IMO.

The Edelbrock composite has worked well for me for the valve covers. These engines are notorious for flooding that area with too much oil. I've installed restrictors in the galleries to my heads, reducing the oil flow, and they still flood, and cork leaked badly.

Part of the problem involves the OEM sheet metal valve covers. They deflect badly at a mere percentage of the recommended bolt torque, even with spreaders installed.

Use the Edlebrock composite with spreaders, no sealant.

01-11-2015, 04:57 PM
I respectfully disagree with Steve.
My 'Y-Block' valve covers simply have two nuts holding them down, right on top of the 'dome':
These engines have solid lifters so lash adjustments must be made periodically.

The gaskets are cork and they do not leak if sealant is used.

FE valve covers have bolts around the flange. This offers a much more even pressure if done right. In fact, cork or composite both work if installed properly. Originally, the idea of composite was to re-use the gasket. We used to put two composite gaskets on each valve cover with nothing between the gaskets, but sealer was used on the metal surfaces. This worked, but how many folks pull their rocker covers off periodically?

If your sheet metal 'pans' are distorted from someone cranking on the bolts, pound the bolt holes straight with a hammer before starting.

Cork works well on the oil pan and rocker covers if it isn't squashed-out and distorted. Prepare all the metal surfaces by degreasing with lacquer thinner, then spread a very thin layer of Permatex Black on the metal. I also spread a very thin layer of Permatex Black on both sides of the cork gasket to fill any imperfections. Let the Permatex cure or 'skin over' before assembly.
Put Loctite (blue, not red) on the bolts and run them down about finger tight, then go back over and put an extra half-turn on each bolt. Done. Let the gasket do the sealing, but it must not be torn apart from being crushed.

FE intake manifold gaskets are hardest to set. They continue to travel down hours after the bolts are tight. It's a bad fastening design by Ford. When you set the intake manifold, put Permatex around the water holes (only) and leave out (omit) the block gaskets in the very front and rear. Those pieces tend to inhibit the intake from descending all the way down.
I start by cleaning the front and rear metal surfaces with lacquer thinner, then spread Permatex on them. There will be a gap that you fill-in with more Permatex, later. Now, make sure your lifters are set and the sheet metal pan is in place:


Set the gaskets and intake manifold in place and put the distributor in the hole to help align the intake. Start tightening intake manifold bolts (with flat washers) but not all the way, spreading from the center bolts to the outside edges. The bolts are supposed to slide up the manifold as the manifold descends. I usually give the bolt heads a sideways rap with my hammer to introduce a little vibration. In a few minutes, the manifold will be down more. When the manifold is down all the way, tighten the bolts and fill the front and rear gaps with Permatex Black.

Now, I assume the oil pan is on. Add engine oil (I use the distributor opening), and prime the oil pump intermediate shaft while you watch oil come out the rocker arms.

When these engines were built in Dearborn Engine Plant, they made 500 per shift, all good engines that did not leak and their intake manifolds fit perfectly. My FE overhaul doesn't leak oil at all.

You should be ok with Edelbrock gaskets. They sell quality stuff. - Dave

01-12-2015, 03:42 PM
Will follow advise on setting intake gaskets, I no longer have the original valve covers, I have the Ford Cobra LeMans valve covers and with the cork I had no issue with leaks, I have a set of new cork and composite waiting to install, the hardest issue seems to be getting all the right RTV over here in Germany

01-12-2015, 04:20 PM
...the hardest issue seems to be getting all the right RTV over here in GermanyI did my whole engine in Permatex Ultra Black, as pictured. No issues at all.

This stuff is amazing. Back in the day we used varnish, Permatex #2 (that never hardened) and Permatex #1 (that did harden). Ford made gaskets out of RTV on many engine parts, like Escort oil pans, with no cork or paper, since the 1980's. Our sealing choices are much broader and they work better now. - Dave

01-15-2015, 01:05 AM
Will start pulling engine today, yesterday I noticed that the engine contact (anchors) lift points are missing any suggestions where to connect the engine balancer puller to the engine at or a safe way how to connect with them missing, thanks.

01-15-2015, 04:50 AM
Pull carburater replace with lift plate then you should be fine

01-15-2015, 05:38 AM
I'm not sure what information you are after. I am also not sure exactly what you plan for this overhaul. Rebuilding a Ford FE engine is NOT the same as Chevrolet or Chrysler engines. In particular, FE oiling can be confusing to mechanics that have never worked on one. A very common error shows up when someone gets ready to fire the engine up and they have no oil pressure. FE pushrods are solid and NO oil goes through them because rocker arm shafts oil the top of each head.

So tell us what all you will do with your engine. Do you have a good engine machine shop available to you?

There are many ways to lift an engine. I prefer using chains because they do not stretch. I screw in bolts with washers going through the chain, and tightened down. I use opposite corners of the heads with a spreader bar to clear the carburetor.

Others prefer using straps, usually wrapped around the exhaust manifolds. Still others use a plate that sits where the carburetor is. It is a good idea to remove your carburetor because it is so fragile and expensive to replace.

If you have not seen my engine build, I suggest you look through this site. Once you are there, click on the topics that are underlined -->CLICK HERE (http://www.squarebirds.org/simplyconnected/390Build/)

You mentioned the damper pulley. You will need a puller to remove it. I made my own by welding nuts onto short pieces of steel. Click on this picture for the full story-->
http://www.squarebirds.org/simplyconnected/390Build/DSCN7063.jpg (http://www.squarebirds.org/simplyconnected/390Build/TimingSetRemoval.htm)

Before dropping the engine in the car, I run it in a test stand. I go through about five gallons of gas and lots of heat/cool down cycles to give it a good test. If anything is wrong it will show up during my testing. Fixing the engine on a stand is far easier than pulling it out of the car again. - Dave

01-15-2015, 09:04 AM
As far as I know many of the older US engines didn't ever have lifting anchors or points. None on my old British cars either :confused:

(like these?)

Similar to Dave's suggestion I used longer grade 8 bolts and washers in the head with a "load leveler" attachment on my engine hoist. It came in very handy.


I know many folks use them but I just never have liked the loop you can install on the 4 small intake bolts for the carb. With my luck I would pull one of the carb studs out and ruin the intake. :eek:


Hope that helps.

Joe Johnston
01-15-2015, 09:51 AM
I would NEVER use a carb plate for a Ford FE. It is just to heavy for me to be comfortable lifting all of that on 4 bolts, but I know guys do it. I removed my engine with an engine crane and no help, but first removed the intake, heads, water pump and starter which lightened the load considerably so I could move it by myself. It was fully assembled for the install and I had 2 helpers which was necessary to align everything and not scratch any paint.

No matter how you do it, work slowly and safely!!

BTW - I used the crane to lift off the intake and heads too - lifting 80+ pounds of intake from the engine is not for my back!

01-15-2015, 10:11 AM
Ford routinely removes manufacturing tools that are not part of the function of the cars because engines rarely get pulled, extra metal means extra weight and the plant only needs 2,000 sets for in-process vehicles. Lifting eyes are among these tools. Y-Blocks were hoisted with two giant claws that hooked around the ram's horn exhaust manifolds that rise so far, they nearly touch the M/C.

I like your tools, Eric. Your hoist will safely lift any engine.
X2 on the carb plate. Many manifolds are aluminum and the carb studs are 1/4". That's not enough margin for error when swinging a 650-lb engine around in my book.

When I'm working under the car aligning motor mounts, I sure don't want any surprises or unexpected motion from 'marginal' tools. - Dave

01-15-2015, 11:31 PM
Was able to get everything disconnected just have the motor mounts to loosen to pull, have the alternator, powersteering pump, waterpump and radoiator out, plan is to replace the following gaskets, valve covers, heads, intake manifolds, oil pan, rear main seal, freeze plugs etc....install new oil pump, power steering pump and lines waterpump, motor mounts......overall replace everything that I can, thanks for advice on pulling the motor will connect the chains to the heads with longer bolts

01-16-2015, 02:19 AM
I strongly urge you to change your timing chain set. Summitracing.com has a very nice one for a decent price:
This is a true double roller chain set that will last four times longer than your original chain.

When you install it, advance your cam four degrees by using the '4A' slot. - Dave

01-16-2015, 01:32 PM
I have a new timing chain and gear set have been planning this for awhile hope I have everything covered, still need to get a Ford style powering steering pump I have all the lines already

01-23-2015, 11:46 AM
Pulled the engine Thursday nite without any issues, will now be easier to change out the brake booster and the master cylinder will also clean up the engine bay, thanks for all the advice will have some questions once I start replacing the gaskets

02-10-2015, 04:35 PM
Was finally able to get back to work on the engine, I got it down to small block replaced timing chain and gears, will mask the block up tomorrow for paint

02-10-2015, 05:18 PM
Tell us more.
Were the core plugs loaded with goo? What kind of ridge did you find on the cylinder walls? How did the crankshaft measure out? Did you balance the crankshaft?

The purpose for disassembling the engine is so the machine shop can do their work. They need a bare block to boil it clean, bore,hone and deck the block. Head work is separate but just as important.

I would like to hear your story. - Dave

02-11-2015, 02:45 PM
Cylinder walls had almost no ridge and the walls shiny and scratch free, pulled the plugs and the water was not to bad have seen worse, crank and bearings seemedmto be in good shape from a visual check right now the block is at a shop for the rest of the disassembly, odometer reading is just over 77XXX, engine looked to be in great shape internally

02-11-2015, 04:12 PM
John, when your block was original it came with honing marks that are now worn away. These grooves are important for oil control. They also need to be at 45 degrees and in both directions. Otherwise, they will promote piston ring rotation.

Smooth bores make an engine burn oil (and foul plugs) because of hydroplaning; rings skate over the oil on the intake stroke. The grooves act like the grooves in a highway, giving water somewhere to go.

The machine shop needs to measure your cylinders from bottom to top. They need to be straight and true with the main bearing saddles. If bores are tapered new rings won't seat and high speed flexing will break the rings.

I hope you have a good engine machine shop that can explain what your engine needs. - Dave

02-12-2015, 01:58 PM
I hope so too, the shop has a good reputation and have been around along time and only deal with classic American cars

02-28-2015, 06:01 AM
Now have the engine ready to go, need to finish the engine bay cleaning, will try and post some pics once the engine is back in

02-28-2015, 02:05 PM
John best of luck hope to see pictures soon :mad:jeff:mad::mad::mad::)

02-28-2015, 02:08 PM
All supposed to be happy faces

03-08-2015, 01:02 PM
Engine is in and bolted up just have the carb to install, upper radiator hose and pertronix ignition.....of course top off fluids........looks like Tuesday to be the day

03-09-2015, 04:28 AM
If this is a new or dry engine, don't forget to prime and run the oil pump for a good ten minutes. - Dave

03-09-2015, 12:03 PM
No worries I have a big note on top of the engine" prime first"

03-12-2015, 05:23 PM
Tried to start the Bird tonight, will not start, installed a Pertronix ignition had spark but just would turn over and backfire thru carb sounded like timing, so I installed points so I could set a good static timing and gap on points to start the car, now have no spark, no backfire nothing just turns over.......will have to wait till next Tues to look at further, any suggestions

03-12-2015, 06:23 PM
Since you were getting spark with the Petronix system and now you aren't the problem must be the points setup you installed. I would check the condenser and the wire from the distributor to the coil.


03-12-2015, 08:24 PM
John and I have been here so many times before... Now, I want to see at least three pictures.

Put your crankshaft on the power stroke for #1 cylinder. If you're not sure where the power stroke is, remove the #1 spark plug, stick a piece of paper in the hole, 'bump' the starter and as soon as the paper spits out, that's the power stroke. Line up the timing marks to 6 degrees BTDC and take a picture of the top of the engine with the distributor cap ON.

Get back far enough so I can see the engine and distributor. Now snap another picture with the cap off. Next, take a close picture of your points. Take all three pictures without moving your crankshaft. Let's see what you have. - Dave

03-13-2015, 12:28 AM
No problem, will take some pictures after work

03-13-2015, 12:24 PM
No time to stop by the car will try this weekend, one question that im getting two answers on is with the 1 piston at full stroke, engine TDC where should the rotor be pointing towards, im getting some saying towards 1 piston some say 1plug wire at the dizzy cap.....what is correct

03-13-2015, 12:37 PM
#1 plug wire on the cap.


03-13-2015, 05:51 PM
Read this a few times and let it sink in...
Let's break down your firing order:

Since the crankshaft takes two full turns for the cam and distributor to rotate once, consider this...
1-5-4-2 <--This is the first crank revolution
6-3-7-8 <--This is the second crank revolution

When piston #1 is up, so is piston #6
...follow the vertical lines between numbers...
When piston #5 is up, so is piston #3
When piston #4 is up, so is piston #7
When piston #2 is up, so is piston #8
The difference is in the cam.
When #1 is on its compression stroke, #6 is on its exhaust stroke.
When piston #6 is in its compression stroke, piston #1 is on its exhaust stroke.
So at TDC on the crank, your rotor may point at #1 spark plug tower OR #6 spark plug tower. But which one is on its COMPRESSION STROKE? Use the paper test, or put your finger over #1 spark plug hole or pull off the driver's side valve cover to watch #6 rocker arms.

***This is etched in STONE***
When #1 piston is in its compression stroke and your damper pulley points at 6 degrees Before Top Dead Center,
your distributor rotor should point directly at #1 SPARK PLUG tower (not between towers) and the rotor should also be facing CYLINDER #6. The points will have just opened.

If any of the above is not true, your engine will be out of time and it will run very badly or not at all. Most distributor caps have a '1' molded into the plastic on top:

I hope this helps. - Dave

03-14-2015, 05:00 AM
Thanks for the replies, im betting Ive got the engine at the wrong stroke will start over and take my time, looks like it will not be till Tues, it sucks not having the car at home

03-17-2015, 04:07 PM
I now have the engine running, starts right up, it does have a shake, have to set the timing.....slight problem I have no markings on the dampfer/pulley just two white marks TDC was in between the marks, not sure what to be lookin at with timing light other than getting the engine to smooth out, engine will idle on own and smooths out when I give it gas.

03-17-2015, 04:23 PM
Did you try sanding down the damper to get the rust off. I've never had one where the timing marks aren't visible after cleaning it off.


03-17-2015, 04:39 PM
Did not try with sand paper was kinda worried about sanding the white marks off, will give it a shot tomorrow

03-19-2015, 01:53 PM
Cleaned the pulley the only numbers that I was able to make out was 14 and 10, I matched them up with some timing tape I had, started car to track down a vacuum leak and set timing, vacum leak is coming from the gasket between the intake and carb plate/riser, no way to time the engine with the leak, just wondering what went wrong with the gasket install it was a new gasket

03-19-2015, 02:42 PM
There are different thickness gaskets available. What type did you use. I would also make sure that the spacer is clean and check it with a straight edge in case it's warped.


03-19-2015, 04:29 PM
It was a MR GASKET, the leak was where the PCV hose goes into the plate, tomorrow I will check the condition of that hose as well, was just thinking that is the only hose that was not replaced.

03-20-2015, 06:48 PM
Lesson learned had the wrong gasket installed, had a squared gasket installed, should be shaped like the carb plate.

03-24-2015, 05:46 PM
Installed new gasket, set timing engine sounds good and no leaks but I have a problem with the distributor it makes some clatter sound, loosen it up and tried to take it out, no luck its stuck only moves up slightly just enough to see the upper seal/o ring.......any ideas whats wrong, seems like im going to have to pull the pan and pump......

03-24-2015, 11:43 PM
The only thing holding your distributor is that small bolt. Otherwise, your distributor will pull straight out.

03-25-2015, 12:36 AM
I took the bolt completely off and the hold down, the distributor will rotate and move slightly up just will not come out, I did a search on web and as I posted will probably have to drop the pan and pump seems this is not that uncommon once out what is the problem, distributor, oil pump?

03-25-2015, 12:56 AM
There's nothing in the oil pump that will keep the distributor from pulling out. I've done dozens of them and never had to drop the pan. The worst thing that will happen is the rod comes out with the distributor. Try rotating the crank slightly. It's probably hanging up on the cam gear.


03-25-2015, 08:16 AM
The distributor becomes stuck because of the corrosion of the dis-similar metals, the aluminum distributor body, and the steel block. I've had difficulty with most of the 352's that I part out. I've even tried an engine crane to lift out one damaged distributor and wound up raising the front of the car. One method that sometimes works for me is to remove the wedge shaped seal around the housing with a seal pick and spray PP Plaster down along the housing and let it set for a few hours. Others have suggested cleaning the area with carb cleaner, letting it dry and then pouring Coke into the area. The theory is that the Coke will cause the steel and aluminum to 'fizz' and break loose the bond. Another method is to put the distributor under tension either with a shop crane or wooden wedges and apply PB Blaster. After a day or two it might loosen up. If you are able to rotate the distributor a little bit, keep at this method and use the PB Blaster after removing the seal. Progress may be slow, but it is not as drastic as the methods above.

03-25-2015, 12:50 PM
No corrosion replaced the oil pump and shaft and had the distributor out a few times while setting the rotor at the proper firing/timing position when it went in seemed ok will have a look at it on Thursday, I hear everyone on just loosen the bolt and take it out believe me guys when I pull up it moves then something solid is stopping the distributorfrom going out....thanks for all the input

03-25-2015, 02:42 PM
John, before you try other things, and more drastic things, if you have not tried rotating the crank slightly, as jopizz suggested, try that.. He may be right about it hanging up on the cam gear.

03-26-2015, 08:55 AM
Also make sure that the clip that holds the distributor cap down isn't wedging itself against the intake manifold. I've had that happen and that will also prevent it from coming out.


03-31-2015, 03:57 PM
Got the distributor out everything looked as it should re-installed, still have alittle chatter my guess is the end play or the old distributor doesnt like the new oil pump, now im trying to get the carb set......I drove around for a few minutes no leaks detected no over heating.

03-31-2015, 04:24 PM
Are you sure the chatter is coming from the distributor. A worn timing chain will chatter and it will sound like it's coming from the distributor.


03-31-2015, 04:35 PM
I have a new timing chain and gear installed, if you move the rotor back and fourth it makes the same sound as when the car is running just not as loud

03-31-2015, 04:51 PM
Sounds like you have it figured out.


03-31-2015, 04:53 PM
Will see when I install a new distributor, but for the now on to the brake issue, thanks for the help on this engine install

03-31-2015, 05:33 PM
John ~ jhuebner sent me "a pic of the engine I have just installed. Its almost finished, just a few more items need attention, the web site has helped me out big time"

Here is the pic of the engine he has been working on.

03-31-2015, 06:02 PM
The Cobra air cleaner and valve covers are a nice looking add on. Much nicer than the stock parts.


04-25-2015, 05:37 AM
Finally had time to work on the car, installed new distributor, set the timing, have a good idle, can rev the engine no problems.....went to test drive and when I get around 1500-2000 rpm Im getting a backfire thru the carb, when im in park no backfire, engine is stock except Pertronix ignition....any ideas

04-25-2015, 06:06 AM
Backfire can be from bad timing or from an open intake valve.

Having said that, if your spark plug wires are wrong or your distributor is off a tooth (where the spark fires between towers), if your cam timing is wrong or if your distributor is too far advanced or an intake valve is stuck open your engine will backfire. Make sure to tops of your reluctor and Pertronix pickup are level with each other.

All of these conditions can be checked without tearing into the engine. Start with the easiest thing first.

Make sure your primary ignition wiring has no loose connections and none of your wires are shorted. This can give Pertronix a false indication and cause it to fire twice.
Verify your spark plug wires are correct.
Put your timing mark 6 degree before top dead center and pull the distributor cap off. The rotor should point directly at either #1 or #6 spark plug tower (not between towers).
Put a straight-edge across your Pertronix and reluctor.
To check your valves, put compressed air in each cylinder. With the valves closed, if you hear air hissing out the carb, an intake valve is open. If hissing is heard from the tail pipe, an exhaust valve is open. A vacuum gauge gives a good indication of how healthy your valves are as well.
Sometimes a rich carb can cause backfire.
If you suspect your cam timing is off, I'll go through that procedure upon your request.

04-25-2015, 09:07 AM
Will be able to go off your checklist on Tues.......sure hope it is something easy, thanks for the reply

04-25-2015, 09:26 AM
That's the same symptoms I had years ago - cause of mine was fuel starvation. Tank outlet was blocked inside the fuel tank.
Tried cleaning the tank etc but never completely went away until I bought a new fuel tank.


04-25-2015, 11:30 AM
I have a new tank, was fine before the engine rebuild, I did change the fuel pump I will check the fuel line from pump to carb maybe its kinked.....with the Eldebrock fuel pump the lines routed in a different manner

05-03-2015, 05:20 AM
Sparkplug wires are routed correct, rotated motor up to TDC checked 1 piston was up, rotor is at the 1 post on dizzy cap, went for a test drive all seemed good till the car lost power.....towed home, this morning went over the car again will not start just turns over slowly till it stops tried jump starting same thing turns over slowly still have what is needed fuel, spark, compression, im afraid I have some type of cam failure any thoughts would be helpful, my patience have gone

05-03-2015, 02:32 PM
All solid state components need full battery voltage or they simply won't work. Points are different. You said the engine cranks slowly which usually indicates one of two things; the starter motor is worn out and shorting most of the power to ground or your engine was starved for oil and now requires much more torque to turn it.

At this point I need much more info. Do your battery cables feel hot after you crank the engine? Does anything smell bad?

You can check these conditions. Any time I build an engine I pay close attention to oil pressure for weeks. I don't go by the 'idiot light' but instead, I use a cheap mechanical gauge that screws into the oil filter adapter. How was your oil pressure at idle and at running speeds?

As long as you maintained good oil pressure I would not suspect the cam. Again, if your engine ran for some time with proper oil pressure and coolant it should be ok.

Pull your spark plugs and put a long bar with a socket on your crank bolt and turn it by hand. If it feels frozen, that would explain why the starter is running slow. If it turns ok, pull your starter motor and inspect the brushes and commutator segments.

Let me know what you find. - Dave

05-03-2015, 04:04 PM
The negative cable gets warm when trying to start, coolant level is good, engine did not get hot, on the oil pressure gauge it does not go much past L, checked oil looks clean, im able to turn the motor at the crank, Ive only turned the motor with the 1 plug out motor rotated as should with compression as pistons move up, I can pull all the plugs tomorrow and rotate engine, starter is 5 months old.

05-04-2015, 07:48 PM
High current causes wires to heat. That current is going to ground somewhere. Hopefully, you want the current to go through the starter field coils and through the armature before it gets to ground.

Shorted field windings or a shorted armature will cause high current and a huge voltage drop at the battery. Drop your starter motor and have it tested.- Dave

05-15-2015, 03:37 PM
Installed a new starter today, got the car started but the engine was running very badly shaking and sounding like a sewing machine, was not able to do much else as it was getting dark, have all day Saturday to mess with it

05-15-2015, 10:35 PM
Go through all the basics. Use your Shop Manual to help.
Did you install an oil pressure gauge on the engine? What did it show? (My biggest fear is to run low on oil pressure or coolant, especially on a newly built engine. So, I monitor oil pressure and temperature very frequently until my confidence is up.)

If you don't have proper oil pressure, don't run the engine until you find the oil plug that was left out.

Starter motors are rated at about 20% duty cycle. That means, if you crank your engine for ten seconds, let it rest for the next fifty seconds.

If your engine has fuel, air and spark, it should start and produce oil pressure. You can help the starter by turning your ignition timing back to TDC until you find the problem. - Dave

05-18-2015, 02:07 PM
Installed a new starter, set the engine at TDC and got it started, lots of chatter coming from the valve covers have not had time to check the clearance between the pushrods and rockers, did pull all the plugs and checked compression readings were mostly 70-80 and #3 was at 110 could the low readings be from loose rockers not allowing the valves to fully open/close as they should, there was no backfire just the chatter also put a vacuum gauge on the carb and was reading just over 10. **** aircooled engine was so much easier what a battle im having.

05-18-2015, 02:48 PM
I would pull the valve covers and check the torque on the rocker arm bolts. It should be 45-50 ft. lbs. I would run the engine with the valve covers off to see if all the rockers are getting oil. Your compression readings are definitely low on a rebuilt engine as is your vacuum. You should have vacuum readings in the 17-22 range with the stock setup.


05-18-2015, 03:12 PM
I had the valve covers off there is definitely oil going to the rockers, will run the engine with covers off and see if all of the rockers are getting oil will also check the torque, sure hope it is just loose rockers

05-18-2015, 03:57 PM
When you torque the bolts make sure you remove all the oil from the where the bolts go into the heads. If not you will have trouble getting the correct torque and you could snap a bolt.


05-18-2015, 04:10 PM
I went through all your posts as i was looking to find all the parts you changed. At one point you gave the engine to a shop then it came back and you installed it.

I'm going to give you the same advice I gave highwaythunder. This is a new build.
Do you have a new cam? Were your heads machined? Was your block machined? Many 'major overhauls' include machining mating surfaces just to make sure all the castings are straight.

When castings are machined, that affects the lifter pre-load. It usually sends the pushrods deeper into the lifters IF you are using non-adjustable rocker arms and pushrods. Are your pushrods straight? Loosen the rocker shafts and pull each pushrod out so you can roll them on a flat surface.

While you have the rocker shafts out, put an air hose on each cylinder to check for valve or ring leaks. I gutted an old spark plug and welded an air hose fitting to the base. It easily screws into every spark plug hole. Kick up your air pressure.

If you hear air escaping through the carb, you have an intake valve that is not seated (probably bent). If you hear air hissing out your exhaust, an exhaust valve is not seated (and also may be bent). Ring noise comes out the valve covers.

I know this is after the fact but, I run my engines on a stand before installing them. I put them through a few heat cycles and usually run out five gallons of gas. That way, if oil leaks, noise comes up, or any fault shows, it's easy to work on the engine because it is still out of the car. This period of time also allows me to closely monitor oil pressure by reading a gauge.

I have a few concerns. We have asked for pictures. You showed none. I asked for oil pressure readings. You never reported any. Troubleshooting from here is extremely difficult if we continue a guessing game. I need solid and complete information to continue. With the little information I know at this point, I suggest you pull both heads. Is it necessary? Maybe, if valves are bent. I don't have much faith in your engine builder. - Dave

08-12-2015, 02:44 PM
Hey guys been away for awhile, update on my engine, I got some money back from the shop that HELPED ME on the rebuild....I pulled the engine took it down to bare block, changed the piston rings, honed cylinders,main bearings, cam bearings along with new cam, lifters, springs, valves, alu intake, demon carb and more......cranked car up today ran it 30mins at 2/2500 rpm to do the cam break in all seems well no unusual sounds or leaks.

08-18-2015, 11:16 PM
I pulled the engine out of my 60 convertible this evening. I should really say I helped a neighbor friend pull my engine. Very lucky to have a friend in "the business".

The guy in the pictures is Joel Haver, owner of Haver's Auto Repair here in Omaha. Joel and two of his brothers own and run the business their father started in 1957. He stopped by at 6:30 and we had it mounted on the engine stand by 7:30, finished his beer by 7:45 and he had the rest of the 18 pack I bought him home by about 7:47.

In between documenting the activities with some photos, I did help a little, and of course I had all the equipment here and the engine was ready to pull.

And I know who I am calling when it comes time to put it back in!

08-19-2015, 01:02 AM
Good job! Now comes the fun part... bagging all your parts and cleaning them.

The rocker shafts look mighty dry.
Pay very close attention to all that is done (and not done) to your engine. Document it on paper and with those great pictures you're taking.
Remove the rocker shafts, then pushrods, then intake manifold. Don't be afraid to use your cherry picker to remove the intake manifold because it is very heavy. - Dave

08-19-2015, 06:30 AM
Good job! Now comes the fun part... bagging all your parts and cleaning them.

The rocker shafts look mighty dry.
Pay very close attention to all that is done (and not done) to your engine. - Dave

Thanks Dave...and let the cleaning begin! And the decision of how far to go with this portion of the project. But first I am going to mount the body on a cart and have it stripped by a dustless blaster.

The rocker shafts looked nice and wet when I first took the valve covers off quite awhile back...you can see them repainted bright yellow up in the upper right corner of the first pic. That was back when I thought I would just "clean and dress up" the engine a bit.:rolleyes:

08-19-2015, 05:28 PM
Todd, you have come this far, the engine is on a stand and very easy to work on. Much of the work ahead takes no money except in cleaning supplies and solvents.

I suggest you pull the rocker shafts off and disassemble all the rocker arms. Take lots of pictures as you go. The rocker arms have tiny holes, one for oiling the pushrod and the other for the valve tip. Inspect the shaft for galling and signs of wear. Do the same for your rocker arms. All these parts are still available in case you need one.
Here is my rocker shaft cleaning: CLICK HERE (http://squarebirds.org/simplyconnected/390Build/RockerShafts.htm)

The real reveal comes when you pull a head off to inspect the cylinders. Shiny-smooth (glazed) cylinders cause your engine to burn oil. Worn rings have very little 'spring', so they hydroplane right over the oil as the piston creates a vacuum on the intake stroke. A deep groove, or ridge at the top indicates the cylinder needs to be bored.

If this is the case, I would look for an old and tired 390 on the internet, and refurbish that, because parts are less expensive and more available. Look for an early 70s 390. Just about all the parts interchange between your 352 and the 390. From the outside, you can't tell the difference. - Dave

10-30-2015, 02:00 PM
Hey guys been away for awhile, update on my engine, I got some money back from the shop that HELPED ME on the rebuild....I pulled the engine took it down to bare block, changed the piston rings, honed cylinders,main bearings, cam bearings along with new cam, lifters, springs, valves, alu intake, demon carb and more......cranked car up today ran it 30mins at 2/2500 rpm to do the cam break in all seems well no unusual sounds or leaks.

So what ended up being the issue?

01-09-2016, 02:42 AM
Sorry for the late reply......there was a spacer (washer) installed between the cam and cam gear as it shows it should be by the shop manual and that's the way it was originally........with the after market cam gear ( Comp Cam ) the spacer is not needed there are two types of cam gears, with the spacer installed the alignment of the lifters and cam lobes was off end result another complete break down of motor, it's now back together runs fine, just working on the brakes now

01-09-2016, 03:30 AM
It is true that most new cam sprockets INCLUDE the spacer as part of the casting. That is usually described in the assembly instructions. If you try installing the new sprocket AND the spacer, common sense tells you not to bolt the cam sprocket so tight that the cam will not move. Or, the fuel pump arm doesn't make contact with the eccentric properly.

With every build, I always hand crank the engine just to see how easy it moves. I do this with every main bearing I tighten, every piston and rod assembly I tighten, after the cam is installed, and right on down the line until the engine is finished.

At any point the engine is too tight, I stop and backtrack. Nothing should bind and pushrods should not bend. - Dave

01-09-2016, 04:30 AM
Common sense isn't so common anymore.......anyway the crank turned fine the cam turned fine even with the timing chain installed, the break in procedure went fine, it wasn't till I drove the car down the street that it went to ****, the motor is now back together installed lesson learned