View Full Version : Road Draft v. PCV

10-11-2015, 11:37 AM
My '61 390FE has a Road Draft Tube, and I assume this is in place instead of a more traditional PCV for this 390FE.

It seems the only serviceable part is replacing the oil filler cap, where the filter in its intake is very, very dirty. The Shop Manual talks about both, but...it's not clear to me.

I am seeing smoke from the Road Draft Tube at when idling hot. I cannot judge if its excessive or not, because I don't know what it the norm.

If I replace the oil filler cap with a clean one, does that help? Also, should I consider a conversion to PCV? If so, how difficult and expensive is that? Is there really any reason to do a conversion?

Joe Johnston
10-11-2015, 12:36 PM
Conversion will eliminate the smoke, fumes, smell and drips to the outside. A PCV system will not keep these emissions from happening, just return them to combustion chamber. Definitely a "must do" in my book (I did it to my 57 Y-Block).

10-11-2015, 08:19 PM
X2 with Joe.

The new clean cap "should" allow more air into the crankcase and actually increase the amount of smoke out of the road draft tube.

On my original 352 (road draft) I tried plumbing the road draft tube to the air cleaner in hopes of returning the smoke and fumes to the combustion chamber. It worked but at idle there was not enough vacuum to pull all the fumes out of the crankcase into the air cleaner so still had a little out of the oil filler cap. Also tried a different oil filler cap with a vent tube and plumbed that to the same point on the air cleaner which helped but since the caps are push on style and not sealed it still puffed a little smoke at idle out of the cap.


My original 352 finally called it quits so I replaced it with a 390.


That replacement 390 did not have the oil filler neck in the intake so I changed to chrome valve covers with holes (and some 312 valve cover stickers :D ). Bought one of the carb spacers that has PCV input. One hole in the valve covers I use as the oil fill and PCV filter cap the other I installed a PCV grommet and valve. Ran the PCV output to the carb spacer input.

Works nicely.



(sorry about the small pics - dropshots wont let me access my full size pics at the moment, Hopefully the description works. Never use dropshots for pics - they are the worst pile of you know what)

Think the 61-63 Tbird PCV carb spacer (or maybe later) had this style spacer which also has provision for coolant to keep the mixture at a constant temp but I didn't use that style.

I used this style but don't know what it came from. 428? 429? There are also 2 types of this style - draws from different holes so need to make sure your PCV draws from the primary not the secondary ports.


10-11-2015, 10:46 PM
If your rings are so badly worn that they produce copious amounts of stink, NO PCV system will work completely. You will need an engine overhaul.

There are two basic types of PCV, passive and active. Back in '61 nobody took crankcase ventilation seriously.

The first systems brought the 'draft tube' to the air cleaner for recycling. Of course, this was installed on new engines.

Y-Blocks depend on this crankcase 'smoke' to oil the timing chain set UNLESS you incorporated serious oil modifications in your overhaul.

Active PCV uses a special PCV Valve to stop carb backfire from injecting fuel mixture into your crankcase if your car backfires. This valve is a CHECK VALVE in one direction and it limits flow in the other direction. All this is accomplished by use of a 'prindle' and spring inside the valve. DO NOT pipe a hose from your intake to your crankcase without a PCV Valve.

There are many PCV systems on the internet. I suggest you learn what's best for your engine because there is a lot to this. - Dave

10-11-2015, 11:22 PM
Hi Eric, Dave, Joe:

Thanks for the info. I think when I reseat and seal my intake manifold, I am going to install some form of PCV. The information provided is great, and I'll do some additional research.

10-12-2015, 09:41 PM
Slightly better pics


Know you said you were going to check but if you go the carb spacer route check to see if you need a flat style (similar to the silver one) or an angled/tapered style like the brown one. The 58-60 Squarebird engine sits at an angle so you need the angled or tapered brown style.

This pic was during my engine swap and I was trying the flat (silver) style. Realized it wouldn't work after buying new longer carb studs etc. That's when I switched to the chrome valve covers and tapered carb spacer.

Good luck with your PCV project - your blue convertible looks sharp.


10-13-2015, 11:50 AM
HI Eric:

Thanks for those pics. I am posting a few back because I have just a couple of questions about them. If you click on the images, they will come up full size. I have not mastered how to make them appear larger on the post.

1) Did you have a Road Draft tube or was there already some PCV in place?

http://s30.postimg.org/oanxhtzrx/Old_View_with_Question_1.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/oanxhtzrx/)

2) Did you run the PCV from the spacer to the valve cover on the other side? I love the chromed valve covers! It would be interesting to see how this looks under the air filter cover.

http://s2.postimg.org/sydxmaumt/New_System_Question.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/sydxmaumt/)

3) Was this simply what you did before painting and new chrome? Also, this insulated tube hangs down on the passenger side as well. I thought this was a hot-air/pcv return that needed to be fed into the exhaust manifold? But I have seen other vehicles where it just hangs down as well....but the manual is not clear or mentions much about this. Are you feeding it back to the exhaust manifold?

http://s22.postimg.org/ei3fhec71/What_exactly_is_this.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/ei3fhec71/)

So on my 390, the Road Draft Tube exit out of the back of the Intake Manifold. Would I simply re-route that back to the valve cover with a PCV valve on it?

10-13-2015, 05:33 PM
Your pics are fine - mine are probably too big but I'm having issues with my photo hosting site - dropshots.

Yes those pics are reversed and as you noticed the '60 Tbird hood opens forward.

In question #1 - that probably looks like the old engine with those crummy blue valve covers but it is actually the newer ('64ish) 390. It came with that silver carb spacer for PCV so I tried to use it. There was no road draft tube on this engine. I had planned on using the PCV style blue valve covers (but would paint them yellow as was original on the '60/352). Didn't like them and decided to go with Chrome. I bought the Chrome ones off ebay for about $35 new (for both!). Not show quality around the edges but good enough for my driver. Would have used my original yellow valve covers but they do not have PCV or oil filler ports and I would have had to cut holes in them.

#2 Yes - you can see the 90 deg PCV valve in the valve cover - it comes out to a hose that is piped to the carb spacer vacuum input. On the other valve cover I have a different grommet in the valve cover for a filter cap which is my fresh air intake for the PCV system. As a bonus the filter cap is removable so I can add oil here since the 390 intake did not come with a filler port like on the old 352.

I'm using this style push in chrome filter.
Don't have a pic under the air cleaner at the moment - sorry.

The valve covers came with little push in filters but I didn't like them. Here's how they looked before I installed the PCV valve. This would supposedly filter the air entering and leaving the engine.

#3 - yes that was my set-up before switching to PCV. You can see where I piped the road draft tube to a T and then using a oil filler cap with a tube port I ran it to the other side of the T. That T then was connected to the air cleaner to supposedly re-burn the fumes (that was my theory anyway). May have worked better if I had piped them both to the carb vacuum input through an in line PCV valve rather than to the air cleaner but the engine failed before I got to that stage.

Used this type oil filler cap with filter and PCV connector on that set up.

That style setup usually works in the opposite way I tried to use it which is why it probably didn't work so well. The connection to the air cleaner is usually the clean air intake for the PCV system eliminating the need for a filtered oil filler cap. You would have to run a tube from the air cleaner to one valve cover for the filtered air input to the engine. Out of the opposite valve cover you would have your output running through a PCV valve to the carb plate or intake vacuum port.
That would make the assumption that the fresh air from one valve cover would make it through the engine to the other side to be pulled out by the vacuum.

The other smaller pipe covered by the heat shield cloth goes to the carb and is the hot air intake. When the car warms up the hot air through the tube will cut the choke off as the hot air enters the choke mechanism.

Hope that helps.
No problem on the ?'s that's what this site is all about.


10-14-2015, 10:45 AM
Hi Erik:

Thanks! I think I have the idea now.


10-17-2015, 12:38 PM
Looking at the Shop Manual, page 1-21, Figure 30, here is what the PCV (Crankcase Ventilation) should look like on the 1961 390 FE. (Click on images to enlarge).

http://s12.postimg.org/rqvcmy649/Fig_30_Intake_Manifold_Assembly.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/rqvcmy649/)

A top view on page 1/23 Figure 32 looks like this:

http://s11.postimg.org/jiyyugv4f/Fig_32.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/jiyyugv4f/)

On my 1961 Betty Bird, I have a Vacuum Exhaust Pump Connection (bolt) sitting in the Vacuum Pump Connection, nothing attached.

http://s17.postimg.org/ovruxvh5n/Vacuum_Pump_Exhaust_Connect_from_top.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/ovruxvh5n/) http://s17.postimg.org/tixwzn4ij/Vacuum_Pump_Exhaust_Connect_on_my_intake_manifol.j pg (http://postimg.org/image/tixwzn4ij/)

Right now, I have the Road Draft Tube coming from the Crankcase Ventilation Outlet.

So here's the question: Are there any reasons why I cannot convert the Road Draft Tube to the PCV as described in the shop manual? I suspect I can buy the correct parts, though I am having trouble with the Vacuum Pump Exhaust Tube Connection. No one seems to have that.

10-19-2015, 03:24 PM
Where the bolt is on your intake my '60 had a dual port adapter. One port went to the vacuum assist fuel pump (basically a booster for the vacuum wipers from the engine intake) - the other port to the vacuum booster for the brakes.

Carl Heller ( partsetal ) here on the forum should have a used adapter.

When I installed the '64ish engine that port had been moved to the back corner near where the road draft tube was. Found a pic! (carb was covered with plastic wrap to keep out any loose stuff that would have surely gone into the engine if I hadn't covered it).


First off - you can see the PCV cap in the valve cover that I described earlier (acts as the crankcase breather and the fresh air intake for my PCV). Since it's a push in style that's where I add oil. Yours still has the oil fill at the crankcase so you will need the style filter cap that pushes in to the breather tube. Believe you already have that but were going to get a new one. That's where I still had a little smoke coming out on my first PCV design try.

Plumbing nightmare - but on mine you can see the rubber hose attached to the back of the carb spacer (PCV input) then connects to a hard silver metal tube that I ran beside the valve cover and across in front of the carb to another rubber hose which connects to the PCV valve on in the other valve cover. You shouldn't need any of that for your original style system.
The rest of the silver metal tubes are for the vacuum wipers and vacuum to the brake booster.

Don't see any reason you shouldn't be able to use the original PCV system. Might be a little hard to find that crankcase vent outlet adapter too but I just took the road draft tube off my outlet and used that smaller opening. As Dave mentioned if the engine is really worn it may not grab all the fumes but I figured some was better than none.

I wonder if that regulator valve is actually regulating the amount of vacuum being pulled too and not just a PCV valve. Carl will know and may have one of those as well.

One of these may be the type PCV/regulator you need - guess you would need to find the original part number and cross reference.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/59-60-61-62-CHEVY-DODGE-FORD-MERCURY-PLYMOUTH-STUDEBAKER-AC-CV694C-PCV-VALVE-/371462946406?hash=item567ceabe66:g:sSkAAOSw~bFWHGi Y&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCV40-PCV-Valve-Rare-Vintage-Guaranteed-Parts-Co-Ford-Mercury-61-64-Black-/120891123898?hash=item1c25ac28ba:m:mNKCcFuNB1npEnd MWoDtiww&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCV40-PCV-Valve-Rare-Vintage-Guaranteed-Parts-Co-Ford-Mercury-61-64-/110855859591?hash=item19cf862d87:m:m_g8WMembd3sLFF e0p-JlTQ&vxp=mtr

NAPA might still carry them if you can get the part number.


11-03-2015, 01:49 PM
Ok, I have collected up all the parts I need except for the steel tubing to run from the Vacuum Pump Exhaust Tube Connection to the PCV Regulator.

What size steel tubing do you recommend? 3/8"? 1/2"? 5/8"? It has to be big enough for the PCV to get through.....

http://s29.postimg.org/pa8j4y9cz/153650.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/pa8j4y9cz/)

http://s15.postimg.org/sig4y7wfr/Fig_30_Intake_Manifold_Assembly.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/sig4y7wfr/)

11-03-2015, 04:02 PM
Unfortunately the Ford Parts manual doesn't show the size of the tube. However the tube connector shows a 3/4"-18 fitting size so it appears to be larger than 3/8"


11-03-2015, 06:53 PM
Hi John:

Thanks! Yes, the manual is somewhat remiss about some of these specs. I'll probably go 5/8" if I can. The local restoration spot recommended that size or bigger to accommodate the PCV.

11-03-2015, 08:04 PM
For the PCV lines shown - I used 5/16 fuel line I had left over (I replaced the fuel line on my car a while back and it was laying around) seems to be working fine but a little larger probably wouldn't hurt. I think the PCV inlet was around 5/16 so figured if that was a large enough opening for the valve it should work for the line - but I was definitely guessing (and besides - the fuel line was free so that made it even better).:D

I bought a used vacuum line from Carl for the brakes - not sure what size it is (didn't want to modify my original). To make the used line that I bought from Carl reach to the other side of the block where the new vacuum port is I put 5/16 line inside the used line and soldered them together. Of course that tells us that the original brake vac line is a little bigger than 5/16.


11-03-2015, 08:19 PM
Hi Eric:

Thanks for your help! I hope to finally get to this in the next few weeks, and I will make sure I post lots of pictures. I take many to make sure that if I have to put it back together I can! :D And if anyone can learn from what we do...mo' bettah.


11-21-2015, 09:15 PM
My 63 390 intake has the port and tube from the back of the intake to the carb spacer plate but I don't have the proper check valve. Anyone know where I can get one?

11-21-2015, 10:15 PM
If you can't find one from your local auto store Rockauto.com has them in stock. PCV valves are all the same so as long as you find one with the correct inlet and outlet size it will work.


11-22-2015, 01:04 AM
I'm with John for the most part. PCV valves are DIRECTIONAL and they usually have an arrow on the side showing flow. They are designed to block flow in the opposite direction so that a backfire does not send air/fuel mixture into your block.

To test flow, blow into one end. If it flows free then the arrow should point away from your mouth. If flow feels blocked, then your mouth-side should be the engine side.

PCVs came in a host of configurations. Some are threaded on one end and a hose connection on the other end. On the kind with threads, one end COULD be screwed into the carb side or it could be for a car with a threaded hole in the engine side, all depending on the direction of flow. Pay attention and get the right one. I would find one for a car similar in size to your engine.

For example, let's say you have a 390. Pontiac made a 389, a Dodge 383 and many engines hover around 400 cubes. If you have a 352, that's very close to a Chevy 350 or a Dodge 340. They may all work the same but we have a wide variety of engine displacements to choose from.

I use the type that pushes into a rubber grommet in the valve cover. It's important that you have TWO ports in your engine: one pulling for the PCV and the other to let fresh air in. If your engine is closed up and you create a vacuum by installing a single PCV, you will pull oil passed the rings, creating more blowby. Conversely, if your engine is old and tired it may have more blowby than any PCV could possibly deal with. For these types, I use a passive system that simply plugs into the air cleaner, not the intake manifold. I drill my port on the outside of the air cleaner element and plumb the hose to either your valley pan or a rocker cover with NO PCV valve. This method was used in the first cars with pollution controls. - Dave

11-24-2015, 08:39 AM
I found the correct pcv valve at Rockauto for 5 bux. It is the metal valve that screws into a fitting behind the carb that attaches to carb spacer. They also have the correct carb spacer gasket with the extension for pcv inlet. The car had just a carb gasket under the plate which doesnt seal pcv inlet and it must have had one hell of a vacuum leak.

11-24-2015, 06:48 PM
I found the correct pcv valve at Rockauto for 5 bux...What's the part number?

11-24-2015, 09:30 PM
The pcv valve is a Standard Motor Products V100 and cross references to C1DZ6A666B, 3165552 and others.

The carb spacer gasket is Fel-Pro 13303 and cross references to 660184, C2AZ9447B and others.

12-17-2015, 10:31 PM
I finally got this done. The 1962/63 Carb Spacer worked just fine. I do not bow my hood one iota, even though everything raised up about 1" (less in the rear).

Regulator valve in line. Ran her today for about 10 miles around town; lo & behold, no fumes affecting the passenger, and no smoke coming from rear exhaust. Had to replace the intake manifold studs with 3" -18 & 24 in the front, 2 1/2" -18 & 24 in the rear (thank you Summit Racing). Fresh gaskets, no leaks around the carb or spacer. Made sure to clean intake manifold and paint & polish the carb spacer.

Just have to jack up the front end to get the road draft tube off the frame. I'll take care of this over the weekend.

I was very pleased Betty started right up with little hesitation. If anyone is interested I can post pics tomorrow (Friday 12/18).

I am just so pleased this finally worked out, and I never could have done it without you folks on this forum.

Now, just need to get those valve covers off for new paint, and I am golden (or argent silver for '61).

12-21-2015, 01:34 PM
Geoff - I'd love to see the end results. No big hurry with the holidays and all.

Know what you mean about no more fumes. I hated the finger pointing when I pulled up to a traffic light and smoke whiffed out from the hood scoop too. :o

Funny - I did the same thing - very carefully shut the hood to see how bad the air cleaner was going to hit - and it cleared!!

Glad it all worked out.


12-23-2015, 02:38 PM
HI Erik:

Sure thing, below are some pics I just took. I didn't want to remove the carb, but I think these 3 pics show the set up and the 62/63 spacer well enough.

I took a hacksaw to the water ports. I will plug those with filler, sand and repaint next time I pull the carb off.

I did paint the spacer, but when checking for leaks, my carb spray took off some of the paint!

http://s29.postimg.org/6u7pm4alv/Connect_to_Spacer.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/6u7pm4alv/)

http://s8.postimg.org/haprb3w01/Intake_Set_Up.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/haprb3w01/)

http://s2.postimg.org/bjz6pjiwl/Spacer.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/bjz6pjiwl/)

12-23-2015, 04:26 PM
These are a little better...

http://s17.postimg.org/teg977unv/Better_Pic_of_Intake_Set_Up.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/teg977unv/)

http://s16.postimg.org/liy9vkxo1/Better_Pic_of_Spacer_Connection.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/liy9vkxo1/)

http://s16.postimg.org/ptcxr62r5/Good_View_of_Space_and_Connection.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/ptcxr62r5/)

http://s16.postimg.org/x6sbq4msx/Rear_View.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/x6sbq4msx/)

12-23-2015, 05:34 PM
Question... the whole setup runs from the back of the intake manifold thru the PCV valve and then to the carb spacer?

And thats it?

Looks very simple. The setup in the TRL has it plumbed through the air cleaner and the breather on the valve cover?

Thanks Eric

12-23-2015, 06:47 PM
What you are describing is a closed system. Prior to 1965 the pcv setup was an open system. There was no hose from the oil cap to the air cleaner.


12-23-2015, 06:53 PM
Hi Eric:

Yes, the PCV hose runs right into the Carb Spacer. These pics below show a 1962/63 Carb Spacer. I used one very similar to this, and just cut off the cooling hose connections.

http://s15.postimg.org/bwu51m7rb/1962_Carb_Spacer_1.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/bwu51m7rb/)

http://s15.postimg.org/ata0pnn47/1962_Carb_Spacer_2.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/ata0pnn47/)

http://s15.postimg.org/x3xvpmkef/1962_Carb_Spacer_3.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/x3xvpmkef/)

It was really just that simple.

Some folks either drilled a hole in the back of the air cleaner or in one of the valve covers. I found this the easier and more effective method, since spacer feeds all 8 cylinders. I also wanted to preserve the integrity of the air cleaner and valve covers.

12-23-2015, 07:31 PM
That's the same carb spacer as my 64.

12-23-2015, 11:26 PM
Yes, my supplier told me they used these on '64's as well. But I was also told '62/63 used them? I have seen different articles stating so...but in the end, it works just fine. She actually runs a little better. I leaned out the fuel mix just a hair, and reduced the fast engine idle, again, just a hair to learn how all that works, and came up with a setting that seems to let her run quite well.

And, like Erik says below, no more fumes coming from under the car's road draft!

12-23-2015, 11:47 PM
The 64 has a lot in common with the earlier model (engine color, drum brakes), so it makes sense that the carb spacer would be the same.

The PCV should make the engine run better. It keeps the crankcase under a vacuum which helps to keep the rings seated.

Getting rid of the stink is a huge positive. I've only recently gotten my car running after several years, and although I've owned many old cars in my younger years completely forgot (perhaps more correctly never considered) how much they pollute. Now that I have a house with a basement garage I have spent considerable effort to get mine as clean as possible.