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  #1  
Old 06-15-2009, 01:06 PM
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Wanted: 351W Expert in Connecticut

Let me take 2 seconds to vent before I get to the point. We bought a truck for daughter to use for horse shows this year and I am fed up with working on it. Bought in April and have yet to use it. I can deal with the typical stuff no problem. I am fed up with the leaking gaskets, seals and carb issues I am dealing with.
The truck is an 85 F150 4x4 with the 351w in it. It is not stock. Bored .030 over, Mallory Unilite, mild cam, Edelbrock Performer 600 cfm with electric choke, Offy aluminum intake manifold, and all the smog stuff removed.
We bought it and drive it home from NJ. No issues during the drive only after we parked it. Left it at my place of work and then the fun began. I fixed all of the issues (leaking power steering pump, both gas tanks and sending units replaced, and added trailer/towing stuff) that I found and then it started leaking/using oil. It also developed a "ping" under cruise mode. I tightened all the pan gasket bolts which removed the bottom end leaks, yet it was still using oil to the tune of 3-4 quarts in 120 miles. I checked compression and found all cylinders to be between 135 - 145 psi. That led me to the conclusion that the valve seals are bad. I pulled the heads and replaced the seals and all the other gaskets at the same time. I think I might have fixed the oil issue but won't know until I drive it tonight and tomorrow. This was all happening without any smoke from the tailpipe wihich made it even worse to figure out.
I want an expert who would be willing to take a crack at this damn thing for me. I can't afford the $80-100 / hr a garage is going to charge me but I can throw a few hundred to somebody. I need to get this oil issue solved, I need to get the carb tuned, and I need to get the timing/ "ping" issue solved. Like I said I am willing to pay a bit if needed but more than anything I need to get this done for my daughter. I have a lot more info about this situation but I want to keep this post somewhat short for now. I will post more info if the questions come in.
Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:00 PM
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Paulie...where abouts in CT are you??? One of our best techs...Ford trained...does work on the side...in Greenfield. Let me know if you want me to talk to him about your issues.
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Old 06-15-2009, 06:43 PM
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Hello Paulie:

Sorry I can't help you out with your 351W.

I was looking at your Profile and it doesn't show where in Connecticut you live, displaying your location would help with anyone looking at far far to drive in order to you a hand.

By the way, feel welcome to Join the Connecticut Chapter, just click on the Join link at the top of the thread.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:43 PM
paulietools paulietools is offline
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Thanks guys. I have updated my location, but I live in Bristol for the record. I am willing to listen to anyone who has a few ideas to help me out of this mess.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:51 PM
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the ping could be cause by a lean mixture or excessively advanced timing.

i would check timing with a light if you have access to one, we could explain how if you haven't done it before. the Windsor should be happy up to at least 12* on 87octane, i think in 1985 the emissions sticker says 10*? if you cant get a timing light, i think autozone will loan one to you.

to tune the eddy, a vacuum guage would be helpful, but basically you want to turn the screws in until the idle reaches the highest rpm, and starts to go back down, then back them out about 1/16 of a turn from there. that is the very generic "good enough" method. you can get much more accurate with a vac guage because you can watch for the needle to get to the highest point and leave it there. that gets your idle circuit where it needs to be, and that is step one. be sure you have no vac leaks. how does the engine start and run?

the compression test numbers seem low, i would think you should be seeing more towards 175-200psi. did you crank the engine with the throttle wide open? if not you need to do that.

did you pull the plugs to see what they look like? you may find some oily ones that will help you pin point where your oil is going.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I had checked the timing and it was way off. It was around 5 deg ATDC so I moved it to 10 deg BTDC and that gave me a nice smooth idle but the ping became much worse so I split the difference and set it to 5 deg BTDC.
I will have to get a vac gauge as I don't have one. I am pretty sure that I have the idle too rich right now. The truck starts very well as long as I pump it once to set the choke when cold. If it is warm it starts at the first twist of the key.
When it is cold it runs really well, no pinging and plenty of power. When the engine is fully warm then pinging is back and the power seems down a bit. I was thinking a vac leak so I am going to start chasing that. I am going to disconnect and plug all of the vac stuff to see if that helps any. I seem to remember that I can check for vac leaks on the carb by spraying ether around the base.
I didn't have the throttle wide open when I checked compression. I will have to redo it this weekend. I am assuming the chole should be open too?
I originally pulled the plugs when I did the compression test and 6 out of the 8 showed signs of oil on them. That is what prompted me to change the valve seals because based upon the compression numbers I thought I the rings were in the ok range. I couldn't find anywhere the compression reading ranges. All I could ever find was things like "as long as the top and bootm readign are within 10% of each other they readings are good".
I really like to work on cars/trucks but I hate this sort of BS, chasing my tail. If its broke I can fix it but this kind of stuff is so frustrating. All of the vehicles I have owned this is my first V8 of any type. According to my Dad these things are easy to work on, any monkey can keep them running. My experience to date is that it is so finicky and sensitive to valve seals and things like that, I am getting soured on the whole thing.
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:02 AM
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what plugs are in there? they may be too cold, and keeping too much heat in the electrode causing it to pre-ignite.

also, if the oil was burning for some time there may be very bad carbon deposits that are getting heated to an incandescent temps and igniting the incoming fuel/air charge.

i have not needed to myself, but know of many people who have used sea-foam as well as a GM labeled de-carbonization product to clean up the combustion chambers, ports, and valves. i have heard nothing but praise....its cheap and worth a shot. from what i remember you turn up the idle to about 1500 and take the vac hose off the booster and put it in the bottle to let it suck out all the chemical. something like that.

choke open throttle open for compression test. its been a while since i compression tested one of those, but i really think 175+ is what you want to see. maybe 150 for an OLD engine. of course a big cam with excessive valve overlap can make for lower readings.

within the next few days we should have my brothers tranny back together and we will be able to start the engine, ill toss the tester on it and see what his fresh rebuilt 351 is throwing for numbers.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:14 AM
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IRCC the plugs are Bosch Platnum R3's.
Yes there was alot of oily mess in the combustion chambers when I replaced the valve seals but I cleaned everything up before I put it back together. I also thought about the pre-ignition but now that everything is clean I shouldn't have it with only about 30 minutes run time since the seal work.
I am going to start chasing a vac leak and maybe pull the carb off and see if a jet is clogged.
Thanks, those numbers will help a bunch.
If it still is sucking oil, it looks like I will need to just breakdown and get a long block. I don't want to spend the $1500 for one and I doubt I can find a good running 351 locally that doesn't need work for a decent price.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:41 PM
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Paulie,
I just noticed this post.

1st, Get yourself some regular copper core Motorcraft plugs.

2nd, Whether you have the Unilite w/ vacuum advance or not, personally I'd get rid of it (these things are made to run 15 seconds at a time on a dry track) go to the junkyard and get the correct Duraspark II ignition box, distributor and associated wiring.
Install it and call it good.

Obviously the P.O. didn't know a thing about ignition timing. God know what he has for springs and limits in there.

It really sounds like a timing issue and you're better off not dealing with someone else's headache.
Hope he didn't do too much internal damage driving it like that.

Aaron knows his stuff and has given you good information so far.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArdWrknTrk View Post
Paulie,
I just noticed this post.

1st, Get yourself some regular copper core Motorcraft plugs.

2nd, Whether you have the Unilite w/ vacuum advance or not, personally I'd get rid of it (these things are made to run 15 seconds at a time on a dry track) go to the junkyard and get the correct Duraspark II ignition box, distributor and associated wiring.
Install it and call it good.

Obviously the P.O. didn't know a thing about ignition timing. God know what he has for springs and limits in there.

It really sounds like a timing issue and you're better off not dealing with someone else's headache.
Hope he didn't do too much internal damage driving it like that.

Aaron knows his stuff and has given you good information so far.

First, I'd like to appoligize, but I have to disagree with Ardwrkntrk about the Mallory Unilite distributor. I have used them in the past and they work great, very simple, no magic box (ford box) to wonder about. This is Mallory's discription.
UNILITE ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTOR-FORD


The industry standard w/ adjustable mechanical advance curve. Triggered by photo-optic infrared LED system. Improved combustion efficiency and economy, increased spark plug life & cold weather starting, and maintenance free operation. Fits Ford V8 1981-95 5.8L/351W. See catalog for complete listings.

They are very user friendly and used on the street as well as on the track.

One thing to remember, don't leave the ignition on while the engine is not running. You can burn out the electric eye inside the distributor. Personal experience.

One more thing I would like to recommend. If it has a vacuum advance, eliminate the vacuum advance and run off the mechanical advance only. Just try this and fiddle with the timing to get best performance without the ping. It cost nothing to try this. You may find that your compression ratio is high enough to warrent using 89 octane or 93 octane. Remember, the higher the compression, the higher the octane.
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:38 AM
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Rich,
I'm not disagreeing w/ you but,
You *need* to use a ballast resistor with the Mallory dizzy to keep from cooking the coil with the ignition on and engine off.
There is a module, it's just incorporated into the pickup assembly.
The IR sensor is susceptible to transient voltage spikes, see the 3rd link for how it should be protected.

Given that he is only seeing "135-145 cranking psi" either the compression isn't too high or he has a HUGE cam in there (and that's the last thing you'd want for pulling a horse trailer)

Here are links to the installation and troubleshooting pdf's.
http://www.malloryperformance.com/pdf/1214M.pdf
http://www.malloryperformance.com/pdf/UniliteTest.pdf
http://www.malloryperformance.com/pdf/29371.pdf

In closing, my initial response was an effort to help Paulie get his truck running right without hassle or having to become a distributor recurve 'expert'.
Not to knock Unilites or anyone that is running them.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArdWrknTrk View Post
Rich,
I'm not disagreeing w/ you but,
You *need* to use a ballast resistor with the Mallory dizzy to keep from cooking the coil with the ignition on and engine off.
There is a module, it's just incorporated into the pickup assembly.
The IR sensor is susceptible to transient voltage spikes, see the 3rd link for how it should be protected.

Given that he is only seeing "135-145 cranking psi" either the compression isn't too high or he has a HUGE cam in there (and that's the last thing you'd want for pulling a horse trailer)

Here are links to the installation and troubleshooting pdf's.
http://www.malloryperformance.com/pdf/1214M.pdf
http://www.malloryperformance.com/pdf/UniliteTest.pdf
http://www.malloryperformance.com/pdf/29371.pdf

In closing, my initial response was an effort to help Paulie get his truck running right without hassle or having to become a distributor recurve 'expert'.
Not to knock Unilites or anyone that is running them.
That is some good info. The ballast resistor is cheap and can be bought at any automotive parts dealer.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:41 PM
 
 
 
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