View Full Version : Vacuum advance line

07-28-2010, 09:41 PM
Per GTE427's request, I am going to send my original vacuum advance line out to Inline Tubes for duplication. They will then have this part available in their catalog. I'm having a little trouble with this. As I look at my pics of the engine when I first bought the car, the vac line runs under the coil and over to the carb (see pictures). However the one picture in the service manual looks like the tube goes over the coil

I test fitted the tube in the over-the-coil position. (see other pictures). Does anyone know if this is correct? I'd like to know the correct bends and positioning before I send the part out.

Thanks -

07-28-2010, 10:24 PM
On my '60 430 w/o air, the line runs in the gap between the coil bracket and the valve cover. Along and right next to the valve cover mounting flange. I have seen a couple of pics of other cars and they were the same. Not to say that its 100% correct. I looked at my VTCI OFS and could not find a clear pic but it seems consistent with above.

07-28-2010, 10:56 PM
Hi John, I have been looking through the scant number of pix I have of original 430CI engines. I have found two 430 engines in place in what I know to be original 430 Squarebirds. One belonged to Bart Como before he sold it. It is a pretty original 430 Tbird. I think the same applies to Howard Prout's 430. It is a bit hard to see because the air cleaners are in place, but on one of Barts pix, you can really see the line going over the coil better than on the other three. At least that is what it looks like to me. On Howards it looks like it goes to the right of the coil and in the valley between the coil and the valve cover. Here are the pix.

Howard Prout
07-29-2010, 07:23 AM
The attached pix shows the routing of the vacuum advance line on my car. I wouldn't swear that it is original.

07-29-2010, 08:20 AM
I remember a thread where Bart was trying to replicate the steel vacuum line as his was also missing, I referred him to the shop manual for guidance as nobody had an original at the time. So we know that Barts was homemade, likewise Howard's doesn't look factory either, his appears to be missing the loop at the carb as best I can see in the photo.

07-29-2010, 11:09 AM
Wow, Ken! I did not remember that at all! But then I have so much going around inside of my head right now! lol.. I just talked with Bart about this. Here is what he said. Someone in the past had cut that line and put a rubber hose in place part way down the line. The way you see it bent is the way it was when he got the car. The line going over the top of the coil. He got a length of 1/8" brake line, he thinks it was and bent it in the shape that the metal line was, going over the top of the coil, as it was when he got it, and then formed it to follow the path of the rubber hose to the carb. However, whoever put that line on in the past probably did not put it on as it originally was.

I went to my '59 shop manual, looked at the picture of the 430 engine in it and you can very plainly see that the metal line coming out of the vacuum module goes between the coil, down the valley between it and valve covers, like Howards does. What you cant see is the rest of the path to it to the carb. However, look at that section of the air cleaner that is cut back in the center. There is a metal line that comes up like an arch underneath that cut back section of the air cleaner that is probably that metal line going down to the front of the carb.... I always wondered why that air cleaner container was cut back like that. Maybe t was to accommodate the arch of the metal vacuum line... Here is the pic out of the shop manual.

07-29-2010, 11:39 AM
Ray there is another view in the 59 shop manual, I may have noted it previously, looking down on the 430 engine bay with the hood off the car, this will give a different prespective. As for the cutout in the air cleaner, on a 430 car it's also needed to clear the radiator expansion tank.

If you have a chance Ray, could you look for the other view, I think that'll confirm the routing between the coil and Valve cover as Orwin picture of the before --blue-- engine shows.

Where's Carl? He's seen his share of 430's and should be able to add something.

07-29-2010, 11:57 AM
Yup, Ken, I went and got the shop manual and looked thru the 430 section again. I see that second darker picture showing the line running to the left, or slightly over top of the coil! The first picture is perhaps one where they "proposed" to run the line before production. The second one might be how they actually ran the line when it came time for production. I do not see any indication of any arching line to the carb. It is difficult to see the end of the run, but it looks like it just took a turn to the left, across the front of the carb, and then a turn to the right, straight to the carb. Unless that is an arch that we cannot see. Yup, Carl should know which why they should run. He has probably seen enough 430 engines to know! Here is that second pic.

07-29-2010, 03:36 PM
I've been lurking on this one. That tube is easy to bend and every mechanic who has set the timing has probably moved/rerouted it to suit his/her preference. Depending on the position of the vacuum advance/distributor, it could easily switch from one side of the coil to the other.
I did a check of my 5 430's and 3 have it to the inside of the coil, one has a cobbled hose in the line, and the other has the line close to the rocker arm cover because the coil is mounted to the A/C compressor.
I would vote to locate it as the shop manual photo shows. This is factory documentation and would stand up to the most serious of the nit pickers.
Also on the coil orientation, mine all have the terminals to the front except for the one mounted on the compressor.


07-29-2010, 03:59 PM
I have one on my 59 that came from a 59 Lincoln in a yard, I didn't remove the line, it was pulled and mailed to me. This line is routed inboard of the coil, but didn't match the TBird illustration, so I figured the Lincolns were different for some reason, or as Carl stated, the lines got moved around over time. You can tell an original by looking at the fitting once removed, it differs from brake line fitting found in parts stores.

07-29-2010, 04:29 PM
My '60 430cid Bird has A/C. The coil is mounted to the AC compressor. So I can't help here I guess. My original vaccum advance was cut years back.... :(

-Jon in TX.

Howard Prout
07-29-2010, 04:51 PM
I'm with Carl on this. The pix is the same as Ray posted but I tried to make it a bit lighter with more contrast so that the detail is easier to see. This pix shows the vacuum line running across the top of the coil and then turning sideways across the front of the carb and then into the carb vaccum port. It looks like there may have been a housing of some kind, possibly two channel rubber tubing, with both the vaccum line and the fuel line running through it. Carl posted a pix a while ago showing the routing of the fuel line coming out of the fuel filter and then angling over toward the front of the carb, then sideways and then back to the carb fuel inlet. If you look closely at the pix, you will see the fuel line takes the route as described by Carl. The apparent "housing" is on the parts of the fuel line and vacuum line going parallel and sideways across the front of the carb. The pix on the right shows the vacuum line route in green and the fuel line route in red.

I also noted the routing of the inlet line to the fuel pump. I just put a new fuel pump inlet line on my car and I couldn't see a way to route it as shown in the pix due to the AC mounting bracket. I ended up with a line under the power steering pump coming up vertically to the fuel pump.

07-29-2010, 07:41 PM
Well this got interesting...

For now I'm voting for "over the coil" based on Howard's last post with the pics from the shop manual. If you look at the pics from my first post you'll notice what I would call a "service loop" in the line in a vertical plane in front of the carb. This is like the expansion loops they put in steam lines in a railyard. Note that something has to move when you adjust the distributor advance. Running the tube over the top gives everything more room to move, and the loop prevents stressing the line at the connection points.

It also seems from most of the pics of the '60 setup, that the coil terminals go to the rear. '59 may have been different.


07-30-2010, 04:14 PM
I can confirm that "verticle loop".

My original line (that I cut), had a rather tall loop bent into it- That I am 100% certain. ;)

-Jon in TX.

07-30-2010, 05:19 PM
Well Jon just confirmed what we saw. There IS or WAS a vertical loop or arch involved, as John showed. I think a good part of the problem with the routing of this line is, that over the years, so many people, previous owners, mechanics, have rerouted that line, cut it, modified it or pushed it one way or the other to get it out of the way while they worked on the car.

The problem is, in trying to get an authentic, original line made, is that Ford has not helped us by showing more than one way it was run, and with and without that arch! That one pic certainly does show an arched line under the air cleaner casing. I am supposing that it is the vacuum advance line and not something else!

Howard Prout
07-30-2010, 07:29 PM
I think we have been trying to find a one answer fits all solution while pictures from Ford seem to suggest that there may have been at least two different configurations. It seems to me that the question is why and/or when did the change(s) occur. Could it have been by by model year? Or some other variable such as transmission, AC or not, etc.? Or maybe a mid-year change resulting from field reports? The "1890" photo came from the 1959 Thunderbird Shop Manual which would have been printed before the 1959 models were produced. Where did the "1869" photo come from? Does the lower number indicate an earlier picture? It seems we have more questions than answers.

07-30-2010, 07:52 PM
The loop is a dam for any liquid (gasoline OR water) that might enter the vacuum line. Water will rust, and gas will attack the the diaphragm.

07-31-2010, 06:13 AM
Correct. The loop is a vapor trap and a device to relieve tension when the distributor is moved for timing (an almost automatic procedure when replacing points).

The loop (430) appears correct at the air cleaner as I was looking through MERC 430 photos. As for the front relief on the air cleaner housing, both the 352 and 430 used the same cleaner and the 430 will set back a bit.

If anyone has an early MPC, the Basic PN on the line is 12226. This may help if it lists the Service PN for the line(s) (I would assume they would be somewhat different as to model year and whether AC).

Another consideration is that illustrations in a shop manual may or may not be accurate. It may show an earlier design that was not released for assembly or could possibly be an artist's conception. I have been burnt on those a few times.