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-   -   Engine Problems (http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=12700)

barry.wilkinson 03-18-2012 04:49 PM

Engine Problems
Hi where do i start. I live in the UK and i have bought my first classic American car a 1960 Ford Thunderbird 352ci around 5 weeks ago. The car has been neglected over the last few years and so requires some serious restoration. I have made a start on the engine and engine bay hopeing to have it on the road for the summer. The first thing i started was an engine service where the sump plug would not tighten up when the oil was drained so i ended up removing the sump and re tapping a larger thread hole to take a new plug and washer. I have also done lots of other work which i will go into later or ill be here for a week. The main thing that has happened is that i changed the distributer for a new HEI distibutor from the states thats where my problems started. The new distributor ended up having a nicked wire inside caught during the manufacturing process so i could not get a spark an auto electrition took a look to find it when we removed the whole thing for investigation the shaft came out with it from the oil pump. We enetually got it sorted and back in place sorted the timing out ect took it for a run but it was not right it seemd to me missing and loosing power, anyway i took it for around a mile took it back home to see iff the timing had moved when tightening the bolt or something it had moved slighhtley but not much redone it checked the gaps on the new plugs then took it out again still not right so i went home when it started making what i can oly descibe as a high pitched screeming noise like fan belt sqeeling or somewthing witha small amount of smoke or steam coming out from under the bonnet. Thes creeming got worse when i pulled up on the drive so a couple of friends came around who are into hot rods and know what they are on about but even these guys are not 100% sure they seem to think it is a broken oil pump or no pressure causing a failure of the bottom end by the way i know very little about cars and engines i can do the basics but am learing all of the time. The oil pressure light was broken when doing the engine bay i fitted a new oil pressure sender on the top of the filter with a new cable ready to wire in at the weekend with some brand new smiths classic gauges that is another story. So i am left with this the guys seem to think the engine has been running dry they have told me to take the sump pan back off and remove the first two bottom crankshaft shells which i have done the shells internal face is a slight copper colour which i am told shows they are broken? the thing is when i took them off they were coated in oil. There was evidence of metal in the newly drained oil but very little. i dont want to start stripping the engine if it is not required. The chaps think i need a new bottom end and an oil pump not entirley sure what that means but they will help me. Low oil pressure? broken oil pump, squeeling? by the way we removed all belts and it was none of these still sqeeling when turning the engine over, broken bottom end? non of the above?:confused:
Can anyone advise please any advice or help will be greatley appreciated. Ive got loads more to go into and share when i get the time


Barry Wilkinson, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

jopizz 03-18-2012 05:31 PM


Since the oil pump runs off the distributor I would begin looking there for the source of the noise since you changed the distributor. It's possible the oil pump push rod is not engaging correctly in the distributor end or pump end. As far as the bearings go a slight copper color just means the coating is off which isn't that surprising if the engine is original. However, metal shavings is not good if you just changed the oil. First off though, I would take the oil pump off and check the push rod and make sure the oil pump isn't the source of the metal shavings you are seeing.


barry.wilkinson 03-18-2012 05:52 PM

Thanks John

When i first tried the new distributor it seemed to fit fine then we took it out to finalise a few other things first then back in for a second time when it did not seem to fit right it was bolted down anyway. When the auto electrition viewed to fix the sparking problem he took the distrubor out and the shaft that connects to the oil pump was still attched to the bottom of the unit and the whole lot came out i was sure this was not right but we put it back in anyway
Thank ill look at the whole thing in detail

jopizz 03-18-2012 05:56 PM

Getting the distributor to seat correctly into the oil pump rod and camshaft can be tricky. Sometimes you need to turn the motor by hand slightly to get it to completely seat. I have a feeling that's the source of your trouble.

Ron of Chicago 03-18-2012 08:19 PM

Engine problem
Two things you need to do before anything else.

1) Make sure that the distributor is fully seated in the block.

2) Get the oil pressure gauge working.

Don't go by assumptions of other people unless they are people that really understand these cars like so many hear on this site. Many of these people have been there, done that. But do go on fact not maybe's.


simplyconnected 03-19-2012 12:19 AM


Originally Posted by barry.wilkinson (Post 63606)
...then took it out again still not right so i went home when it started making what I can only descibe as a high pitched screeming noise like fan belt sqealing or somewthing with a small amount of smoke or steam coming out from under the bonnet...

C'mon guys, this is the cause for metal flakes. What causes a screaming noise and produces smoke? A spun bearing.

Those little bearing tabs can hardly hold back a rotating shaft, especially when run dry (repeatedly).

Barry, I wish I had better news but you need to pull the engine out.

Originally Posted by barry.wilkinson (Post 63606)
...There was evidence of metal in the newly drained oil but very little.

There should be NO metal in your new oil. You may have spun a cam bearing (I'm hoping this is the problem) or a crankshaft bearing. Either way, you need to tear down and go through this engine.

I have a problem with your distributor 'holding on' to the oil pump driveshaft. That usually means the driveshaft's hex is nearly rounded or the oil pump met with a mighty resistance. Hindsight is 20/20, but I suggest you never run any engine until you know what the oil pressure is. The idiot light is a good tool, but a cheap pressure gauge tells the whole story from idle speed to high rpm's.

Wish I had better tidings and I also hope this helps. If you have questions regarding your engine teardown, let us know. - Dave Dare

barry.wilkinson 03-19-2012 02:32 AM

Thanks appreciated

Ill start to prepare her for an engine removal and strip down.

davidmij 03-22-2012 11:56 AM

Hey Barry, welcome to the site. My "mum" is from the Norfolk area, a few miles outside Norwich. Been over there many times throughout my life.

Anyway, the oil pump shaft should have a little press on washer that does not allow it to pull out when you remove the distributor. It sure sounds like you have no oil being pumped, especially if that shaft comes out with the distributor.
Pull the oil pan (I had to raise the motor a little to do mine) and you'll see the pump. Two bolts hold the pump in place - pull those and take the pump out. If the shaft is in place it'll come out with the pump. You'll be able to see how it all goes together when you get it out. As the guys on this site taught me, the pump screen will possibly show the tell tale signs of metal and obstructions. Cheap easy investment to replace the oil pump and it's drive shaft. A new oil pump is about $25 US. I bought a stronger "ARP" oil pump drive shaft for my rebuild. You can get it here; http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ARP-154-7902/ If you look at the picture you'll see the washer. Here's what can happen to the original shaft if something gets in the pump and jams it; scroll down to see the pictures when you get to this link. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ARP-154-7902/

The other thing these guys taught me was that the first thing to do is to get a shop manual. Here's where I got mine; http://www.fordmanuals.com/estore/scripts/default.asp Worth every pence!

regards, Dave J

davidmij 03-22-2012 12:00 PM

Oops! I meant to put this link in so you could see what happens to the shaft when it gets something jammed.

-Dave J

RustyNCa 03-22-2012 02:35 PM


Originally Posted by davidmij (Post 63713)
Oops! I meant to put this link in so you could see what happens to the shaft when it gets something jammed.

-Dave J

Good things don't happen with the pump gets jammed. We learned that with the 352 that WAS in the 58..... I think I still have that oil pump shaft around here somewhere... It was in three pieces.

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