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snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh HalfDork
3/12/18 7:17 p.m.

So, I took the wagon to Summit Point yesterday (I was flagging), which is about a 2 1/4 hour drive for me. I had just put the new rear springs in, and I wanted to see what the mileage was gonna be like, too. 

I guess the right rear spring musta been pretty worn out, because much of the car's strangeness over highway-type bumps is gone. 

As far as the mileage goes, I'm a little bit disappointed, because it seems to use almost no throttle to drive down the road at 70-75 mph. Seriously, it felt like 10-15% throttle most of the time.  It got about 13.7 or so MPG. Of course, I'm looking to improve this. 

I'm thinking about recurving the distributor, because I know from reading the shop manual section on the distributor that, while this car is "pre-emissions", the distributor is calibrated with emissions control in mind more than efficiency or performance. 

I have some ideas about what might help it out (lighter springs, maybe less total advance so that I can push the initial), but I was wondering if anyone was enough of an expert to help me figure out specifics for this not-really-a-performance-engine. 

In case you've forgotten, it's a '71 400 with a 2-barrel carb, 9:1 compression, all stock. 

 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh HalfDork
4/24/18 12:53 p.m.

I finally got the front springs installed.  Man, what a difference!  I am starting to actually have a little bit of hope for this thing.  It *might* be a decent handling car once it's all said and done.

I used it to pick up a cheap set of Mustang Bullitt wheels -that I intend to install as soon as I get the proper spacers- and I found that, on a long climb, the car was knocking.  It was knocking quietly, but a lot.  I decided to dig into the distributor a little.  It turns out that the car had 20º of initial timing, and 30º of total, and that the vacuum advance was ruptured. I installed a new vacuum advance, and investigated the "small advance" issue.  It turns out that someone had been in the distributor mucking around, as evidenced by a piece of heat shrink tubing on the advance limiting pin.  I removed that and played with the springs some, and now I have 9º of initial, 31º at 3400 rpm, and it idles at 28º with the vacuum advance hooked up.  I'm hoping that this gives it some more resistance to knock, especially since I'll be towing nearly 5000 pounds with it on a regular basis.

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh HalfDork
5/20/18 2:07 a.m.

I installed the Mustang Bullit wheels on 1" adapters yesterday. I'd have rather had 17", zero offset Torq-thrust Ds, but that would have cost waaaaaay more. 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
5/20/18 8:07 a.m.

In reply to snailmont5oh :

The Bullitt wheels are a pretty faithful spiritual successor to the Torq Thrust.  I think they look great on your wagon!   I put a set on my buddy's 68 mustang when I converted it to S197 GT front brakes.

 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
5/21/18 5:43 p.m.

Thanks. I hope the spacers hold up. 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
5/28/18 1:31 a.m.

Bit of a milestone tonight:

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
5/28/18 8:27 a.m.

Love these old Fords. 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/1/18 6:37 p.m.

Got the trailer hitch made and installed. 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/2/18 3:39 p.m.

Also, I finally got the airbags installed. Here's the ride height with about 30 PSI in them. 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/17/18 2:30 p.m.

Progress:

 

Nitroracer
Nitroracer UltraDork
7/17/18 8:27 p.m.

Nicely done sir!

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
7/18/18 10:02 a.m.

In reply to snailmont5oh :

With the ignition now working, timing working as originally intended, the gas mileage should improve some.  Might not be a lot of potential, that is a lot of car.

     Some things to consider to slightly improve gas mileage; the air intake filter housing and the exhaust wer both originally designed to reduce noise and to reduce cost.   So air flow can be somewhat limited for both intake air flow and the exhaust.   If the exhaust needs replacing, can get creative, and improve air flow without to much added noise.

 

FIYAPOWA
FIYAPOWA Reader
7/18/18 11:55 a.m.
snailmont5oh said:

Progress:

 

This is exactly perfect.  That is a sweet setup!

APEowner
APEowner HalfDork
7/18/18 12:26 p.m.

So, how did it tow?

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/18/18 10:20 p.m.
APEowner said:

So, how did it tow?

It wasn't the worst. There's room for improvement. I just installed a pair of spacers under the rear springs to help the air bags not try to escape through the bottom spring mounts. Power was decent, and mileage was pretty good, considering that pretty much the entire tow was on a hill. 

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/24/18 4:34 p.m.

The next question is; at what temperature does the HOT light turn on. After climbing into Breezewood on 30, then climbing out of Breezewood on 70, the HOT light came on, but the car never acted hot at all. No spark knock, not down on power, etc. It went back off, but came on again on any appreciable climb. I know, I know. Get gauges. But I'm still curious. 

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
7/24/18 5:55 p.m.

30W into Breezewood is no joke!  I have a "VCMuzzler" on our Ody which lowers the temp signal that enables ECO mode.  I haven't seen that stupid ECO light since installing the Muzzler, until humping 30W into Breezewood a few weeks ago.  

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/24/18 8:32 p.m.

I was actually on 30E, approaching from the west. A much easier climb, but 3-4 minutes of 2nd gear, 3/4(at least) throttle. 60 mph, though. :)

Nitroracer
Nitroracer UltraDork
7/24/18 9:53 p.m.

Yeah, RT-30 is no joke that is right in my backyard.  Heading to Summit Point I assume?

More importantly, do you have some gauges to monitor general engine health?  I'd want to keep things under 200F if possible.  

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/25/18 10:32 a.m.
Nitroracer said:

Yeah, RT-30 is no joke that is right in my backyard.  Heading to Summit Point I assume?

More importantly, do you have some gauges to monitor general engine health?  I'd want to keep things under 200F if possible.  

Yes, yes, and not yet, but it just got bumped up the list quite a bit. 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
7/25/18 10:43 a.m.

  DO you have one of those lazer temp things, they are now rather cheap at our favorite cheap tool store.

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP Reader
7/25/18 10:49 a.m.
snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
7/25/18 4:02 p.m.
TED_fiestaHP said:

  DO you have one of those lazer temp things, they are now rather cheap at our favorite cheap tool store.

I do have one of those, but I forgot it at home for that trip. :/

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
8/13/18 9:21 p.m.

Update: I got new AC hoses made, an expansion valve calibrated for R-134, and a NOS receiver-drier, installed same, and got the system vacuumed and charged. It works okay. It's not gonna freeze you out on a 90° day, but it takes the edge off. 

I also got the cooling system back-flushed, and new antifreeze installed. You should've seen the crap that came out of the block!

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
8/26/18 4:35 p.m.

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