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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
It's Always Something.... Continued.

48735


Here's the new engine candidate. The serial on this engine does match the serial on the VIN so it's the original Z-code 390.

48736


For an 50+ year old abandoned car, it doesn't look too bad. Well so far.

48737


I knew it bent a pushrod and a lifter vomited its guts out a year ago and it was running on 7 cylinders.

48738


The cylinders do not look too bad. There's a little lip on the edge. Still have to check taper.

48739


This side is ok too.

48740


Oh wow the original timing chain and there's not much wiggle in the chain. I am surprised. I'm starting to think the odometer is correct at 71K miles and has not rolled.

48741


Some of the lifters are pitted and that's normal for a car sitting outside unsheltered for god knows how many decades without being run.

48742


The camshaft seems original as well, although there are no numbers on it. Just FoMoCo.

48744


Here's a good reason to stay atop of coolant changes, the rear cylinders are nearly filled with goo.

48745


The engine ran most of its life in the leaded fuel era as the bottom of the oil pan still has about 1/8" of a gray lead slurry and there's lead slurry on most of the other parts.

The plan is to just give this engine a back yard refresh to last 40-50K miles reliably in the XL, until I can get a proper 390 built. With the lack of parts (part manufacturers moving out of commifornia to other states) it will take quite some time for the parts chain to re-emerge. That added to I can't seem to find a trusted machine shop locally, I'll try and do it all at home as long as it doesn't need a cylinder bore.

The heads however need new valve guides and I will try that at home. One thing I did learn, the hard way is never run an engine that's been sitting without disassembling, cleaning, lubing and putting it back together. This engine had old hardened oil in the valve guide and when I ran this, it had virtually no lubricity and it ate the valve stems and valve guides.

Sure it's fun to get something old and neglected running but it's an expensive experience, especially if you want to use that engine later on. I know there's all kinds of automotive resurrection videos and they can be fun to watch, but keep in mind the damage that is being done.

The only reason why I bought this '68 LTD was for its frame, at the time I didn't care about the drive-train and just got it running for 3 years. Well now that I need the engine, I just shot myself in the foot and have to replace the valves and guides as a result. Let it be a lesson.

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
did you find a place to rearch your brake shoes?
Hello redrag,

I think I may have one too many projects going on. Did I need something researched on brake shoes? I can't recall having problems. <slightly embarrassed>

Cheers
 

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Parts shortages - Yes
Between COVID shutting the world down, which meant business sold existing inventory and manufacturing has been closed. Not only has that impacted the auto parts world it has impacted many other industries. Look at car rentals in some markets. Lumber products and chicken.
Then there is the regulation and high cost of doing biz (of any type) on the big state on the left coast. Making a profit is difficult. No profit means you can not be in business next year.

It has been awhile since I have seen a bearded C-6. The number stamped in it may be a partial VIN and I have not seen that for that era of Ford. Lincoln yes. Specifically Mark III are stamped for engine and transmission

The FE block shown above has a blue painted damper. The factory engine plant did not paint dampers. For what it's worth

Action
 

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brake shoes used to come with an arc that fit the drum. the leading and trailing edges need to have clearance so as not to chatter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
DIY Valve Job at Home

I would be remiss if I didn't state I had my reservations about doing this at home without a proper guide/seat machine. This challenged me to think pretty far out of the box to pull this off. With that out of the way, here's the story.

48796


This is one of the nasty heads off that Z390.

48797


This engine still has the lead deposits on the valves.

48798


You can see the lead filled in the recess in the valve. I've had this with another FE and it would detonate like mad on modern fuel with this lead buildup that acts like a glow plug after a few minutes of running. There's no fuel additive like Berrymans B12 or Seafoam that will clean the lead off. The only way is to aggressively physically remove the deposits.

Since the vast majority of the guides were worn, they all needed to be replaced. I watched a few videos of machine shops performing guide replacement to get a sense of what's involved. Now for those unfamiliar with that process, the guide/seat machine floats the head then a round rod (basically a valve stem) is lowered from a mill type feed into the old head guide hole and this locates the head. The head is then locked into position and the round guide rod exchanged for the drill/reamer, then the old guide in the head is drilled and reamed oversize for a new false guide insert. Once that's drilled and cleaned an air hammer is used to install the guide into the head into the required depth. this is performed all from the top of the head.

In thinking about this I needed a way to centre the drill bit with respect to the seat and keep the bit at the 13˚ angle of which the FE valve train is located. All I have is a mill and lathe. After giving it some thought I came up with a plausible way to do this. First I needed the drill/reamer. This was pricy at 200 dollars shipped.

48799


It's actually 3 in one. The top is the pilot, the next small section is the drill and the rest of the shank is the reamer.

This makes a 0.500" bore hole in the existing guide hole. The false guide inserts are 0.502" so the 0.002" is the interference fit that holds them in place.

Next I made my own drill bit seat guides out of 6061-T6 aluminum on the lathe. I made one for the intake seat and one for the smaller exhaust seat.

48800


This is the intake guide piece I made.

48801


I whacked it out of this large chunk of aluminum.

48802


I will be drilling from this side like so. With the head flipped up-side-down the machined rocker arm side keeps the original guide holes perpendicular.

48803


This is how it will work in the mill. Since my guide locates the drill I can leave the head float on the mill table and just press down on my aluminum guide as I drill.

48804


This is the setup.

48805


Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
DIY Valve Job at Home Continued

48806


This is the exhaust drill bit locator. As you guessed it mimics the valve. The face on my aluminum locator is cut at 45˚ to match the valve face.

48807


Now because I had the head on my mill table there wasn't enough room to finish the bore on the guide. I aligned the table on the mill to the pilot portion of the drill went into the 'T' slot on the table, but I had to finish the boring of each guide with a cordless drill on the bench. There was about 1/2" left to go, the majority of the reamer was already into the guide hole on the mill so it's pretty locked into place where drilling by hand wouldn't affect the results with careful attention.

48808


To install the guides I took a generic (Walmart) air hammer bit set and ended up making a square shoulder on it to drive the guide insert into the head.

48809


You can see the shoulder in the bit above. After drilling I cleaned the holes, lubed them and installed the first guide. But then I had a problem. Because of the core shift in the head, the guide holes are not centre'd with the bosses sticking up and it cracked the side of a boss. So I chased that crack with a dremel and carbide bit so it wouldn't spread, then for the rest I opened up that boss protrusion in the head some with a porting kit so it wouldn't crack due to the thin wall when the false guide was pressed in with the air hammer.

48810


I filed the tops of the guides to match the rest of the machined top surface.

48811


I had one brand new intake valve on hand so I used that as my guinea pig to test the guides. They all feel very good. No binding and not loose like the old ones.

48812


I was curious how well my system worked, so I used that new valve to see how well it would lap to the seat. It took little effort for a smooth concentric lap. So my guide installation is right on the mark.

48813


I did notice three oversized stem valves in these heads. Only these valves have the "FORD" logo on them. Was this a factory mistake, or was it worked on sometime long ago. Dunno. This is the first time I've seen oversized valve stems.

Whilst I was waiting for the new valves to arrive I wanted to install oil restrictors to the rockers. I've seen people use carburetor jets but they move about in the head and I wanted something fixed.

The oil passage in the head is 5/16" so this lends to just using 3/8"-16 tap.

48814


48815


That's just a 3/8"-16 allen set screw with a hole in it.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
DIY Valve Job at Home Continued

48816


That was simply from a cheap set from Harbor Freight.

48817


48818


This is what I used to drill the hole through them.

48819


I've read that a #70 - #90 jet size works well. The drill bit I had works out to be a #76 equivalent jet size.

48820


I also broke exhaust bolts off in the heads taking the manifolds off. Here's a little trick that seems to work fairly well most times.

48821


For a 3/8" bolt I use a 1/2" nut and it's placed like this and then welded to the bit of bolt. Now if you're going to use a zinc plated or cadmium plated bolt make damn sure you have ventilation and the smoke is blowing away from you. It's toxic.

48822


The idea once welded, let the temperature equalize between the hot bolt/nut and the head, then squirt the bolt with penetrating oil and use a wrench on the nut.

Two of the bolts came out right quick, the third fought me for quite some time.

48823


I cleaned the mating surfaces of the heads. Now to clean these because they were so bad required a lot of work and processes. First was a scrubbing in the parts tank, then a quick wash with brake clean outside. Then into the electrolysis tank overnight to get the rust out of the cooling passages, then into the walnut blasting cabinet. They are clean, inside and out.

48824


For old junk and DIY they are showing promise.

48825


The new valves, springs and retainers came in.

Continued in next post.
 

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Very nice.'

Are these heads keepers or just to be used for awhile?

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Discussion Starter · #89 ·
DIY Valve Job at Home Continued

48826


I spot checked the valve stems in few locations for tolerance and these are looking good.

48827


This is after a quick lapping and the head seats and valve faces look really good.

48828


New valve stem seals.

48829


New springs.

48830


48831


This head is done.

48832


Second head. Again the valve seat interface is looking very good.

48833


48834


48835


Both heads are done sans paint. These should work really well. Out of pocket cost (including the drill/reamer) was 400 dollars. Not bad for DIY.

Now lets see what I can do with that block.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Engine Block

48836


Everything is removed at this point except the oil plugs.

48837


So far I don't see any deal breakers. I can polish the crank out here. I bought new rings, cam, main and rod bearings for it.

Now to get the oil plugs out, I found a really neat video on this and after trying it, it really works well so I wanted to share.

48838


It's really simple, drill the oil welch plug with an 1/8" drill bit, screw in a long sheet metal screw in a ways and use the claw hammer to pull the screw out. The plug comes right out, rather alarmingly easily I might add. Rinse and repeat.

48839


48840


48841


48842


To remove the dribbler plug in front and the plug recessed in the distributor well, remove the rear plugs first then drive a rod from the back side and lightly tap, they pop right out. Done diddly done. :)

Now I am just waiting for a day when the wind isn't blowing 40+ MPH and I will pressure wash the block.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Very nice.'

Are these heads keepers or just to be used for awhile?

Action
Hi Action,

They are just temporary heads. I just need an engine that's reliable for 50K miles or so and I need one quickly for the golden XL as it's pretty much dead (well down to 6 cylinders). After all the other car projects are completed I'll come back and build a replica fuel injected 390 (500+ horse) like I did on the other two '66's. But I would like to be able to drive the car for now, so if I can backyard refresh this tired Z390 engine for about 1500 dollars and use that for now, that will be just fine. I am lucky to have found the parts even for a stock Z 390 rebuild. I was scraping the barrel on that. I'll count myself lucky just for this.

Cheers
 

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I kind of thought that was the case.

I think I would have knurled the old guides and called it good.
Less machining than guide replacement.
You would save the expense of the guides but $400 isn't much these days. Your labor is.


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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
I kind of thought that was the case.

I think I would have knurled the old guides and called it good.
Less machining than guide replacement.
You would save the expense of the guides but $400 isn't much these days. Your labor is.


Action
Howdy Action,

I did think about that, but since I had to buy new valves anyway because most of them had worn stems and that was a good portion of the expense. The guides were 60 cents apiece and drilling and installing them wasn't too long. It took longer to clean those heads than do the guides. Another problem was some of the guides were drilled oversized (3 oversized valve stems) and some were so worn they might as well have been oversized. I am not sure if knurling would have worked or lasted any length of time with those.

These were pretty bad with that old oil stuck in the guide and it just plumb wore everything out.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Frames and misc.

This holiday weekend my better half and I switched a frame on a parts car. Basically we know how to party :)

There's a couple reasons for this, first I wanted to keep a good '68 frame and I needed the front springs off of my other XL fastback.

48901


This is one primary reason why these 3rd gen frames love to corrode from the inside out. This is all the junk from INSIDE the frame. Add salty winters and you won't have a frame without a thorough cleaning and metal protection from the inside and obviously the outside.

48902


3000 PSI gasoline powered pressure washer did a pretty good job cleaning the debris from the inside out. This is the donor frame from a 1968 LTD 4 door hardtop that's been sitting around for a few years. This car has donated quite a bit of parts for the other 3rd gens besides its frame, which is the only reason why I originally bought it. A 500 dollar parts car can go a long long way.

48903


This is the rusted frame from my XL fastback. I need the front springs for the other XL fastback as these are the correct calibrated springs for this car with these options. Both XL fastbacks have the same major options affecting spring selection (FE, air con, PS).

48904


The lower outer rails need to be replaced. This frame is not beyond redemption by any means, but since I have a better one, why bother.

48905


Same on the other side. Aside from the lower outer rails, the rest of the frame internally is in good shape.
I've repaired one of these frames already, it's an all day job, been there and done that and have no wish to do it again.

48906


Like I said this is a common thing with these frames and this is a better rusted frame (this is the frame on my '66 LTD)

48907


48910


48908


48909


It's a lot of tedious work, but in the end you can have a good frame and coat a good portion of the outer rails from the inside out this way. Then finish the frame with internal frame coating for the rest of it.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #95 ·
Frames and misc. continued

48911


Putting this back together.

48912


Done with old rsuted frame underneath. Now I can disassemble the old frame and get the parts I need. The differential feels a lot less worn (jockeying the yoke) than the other XL, so this is a good donating candidate for now to fix that.



48913


48914


Funny how this car sits lower in the back than the 4 door hardtop LTD body did. I would have thought the 4 door hardtop would have been heavier.

48915


I wonder if the bucket seat/centre console option for the '68 XL are heavier than the standard bench seat? Interesting.

48916


I thought it would be more like this, with its butt higher in the air with the LTD's higher load rated springs.

48917


Back to the Z390 engine. This was the before.

48918


It came out pretty good for "DIY home services" :)

48919


48920


The sheer amount of crap in the cooling jackets was something to behold. Now the core plugs were rusted and one was leaking badly for years but fortunately I kept adding actual antifreeze and not just water, especially tap water, granted it was getting ridiculous adding a gallon every time I needed to move it but that kept the cast iron internals from rusting. It looks really clean on the inside with hardly any rust.

I finished drilling and tapping the oil galleys and just have to give it one more good cleaning and it's ready for assembly.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
1966 Frame vs 1968 Frame

It isn't everyday that a photo comparison of two 3rd gen frames is possible. But since I was going to dispose of the 1968 frame with rust holes I had a chance to roll out the completed '66 chassis for a visual comparison to those whom might be interested.

Just to recap on the 3 classes of 3rd gen frames there are:

1.) Station wagon frames
2.) Convertible frames
3.) All others (same for 2 or 4 door, post or no post)

All our 3rd gens fall into #3 category.
48950


Here's the 1968 frame.

48951


The 1966 chassis.

The frames are interchangeable with minor work. The critical mounting areas are the same for each, there's just a few differences. There is one caveat, the 1965 frame uses different locations for the pan-hard/track-bar location on the axle.

48952


The upper cross member on the '68 is different. Ford changed this to use larger bushings in the rear upper control arm and judging from the construction it is much easier and cheaper to make than the '65-66.

48953


There's a pocket on the '65/'66 chassis for the upper rear control arm. You can use a '65/'66 rear upper control arm on a '67/'68 frame but not the reverse.

48954


That's the difference for the rear section. Now for the middle section.

48955


On the '65/'66 frames the parking brake cables run in the centre like a 'V' the front cable comes from the front of the body and runs right to the transmission cross member.

48956


The cables pass through holes in the rear torque box/control arm attachments and then to each wheel. The rear left and right cables are the same.

48957


I don't have the cables in the '67/'68 frame, you'll have to use your imagination, but both rear cables run over to the drivers side rear torque box/control arm mount where then the front cable runs along from the drivers side front torque box to the rear with an equalizer/adjusting bar. The rear left and right cables are different as one is much longer for the passenger side wheel.

48958


This is the drivers side front torque box and the front parking brake cable runs right through it. It enters the front side and exits here in the back.

48959


The front parking brake cable comes out of the body and runs immediately into the front torque box. This is a MAJOR pain to change with the front wheel apron on the car.

Continued in next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
1966 Frame vs 1968 Frame Continued

48960


There is no provision in the '65/'66 front torque box for the front parking brake cable since it runs over and to the transmission cross brace.

48961


No exit hole either.

48962


And that's it, everything forward of the front torque boxes is exactly the same. That's why 1968 front disc brakes will bolt on directly to any 1965-1968 car with drums. Obviously you have to use the spindle from the disc brake car, but there are zero alignment problems (bump steer, caster or camber) as you might have with using spindles and disc brakes from another model.

48963


This 1966 chassis has 1968 front discs on it.

48964


So just how bad was the rust on this frame?.... Actually not bad at all.

48965


It was only limited to about 12" of lower frame, the rest of the frame was in really good condition. I hated to get rid of it, but I already have 3 spare frames and no room.

48966


48967


This yielded many good parts including another spare set of front disc brakes. Most importantly I have the correct front coil springs for the '68 golden XL now, with these I can get the normal ride height back and do a proper alignment.

48968


The heavy duty (large bearing) 9" is in really good shape. The future plan will be to clean, paint and refresh this axle and then just swap the whole thing into the golden XL as that is really worn.

More to come.

Cheers
 

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The coil springs you are saving, after 50 years of supporting the car haven't they lost some spring?
If true how do you use to get correct ride height?

That parts pile is an awesome thing!

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
The coil springs you are saving, after 50 years of supporting the car haven't they lost some spring?
If true how do you use to get correct ride height?

That parts pile is an awesome thing!

Action
Howdy Action,

It is possible if they were overloaded or heated they could compress further than they were designed too. If you need to have a replacement spring made, especially for the front (most crucial), this is how I would proceed. Mind you this can be very time intensive and costly.

I have the tables and look up from the MPC on the rear springs handy on the '68 XL so I'll use that as an example.

48970


First thing is try to identify the current springs in the car. In this case someone wanted more of a rake to the back end so the previous owners added the spacers. But since there is no build sheet I could find in the car, I can still see a hint of violet paint. Just one stripe. If the build sheet is available it too will show what colour front and rear springs were installed.

If you do not have any of this information you can look up the best bet of spring installed.

48971


In this case the rear springs are 5560 and so we can go to the look up table.

48972


The XL fastback is a 63C body, but since we already have the colour stripe there is only one instance for 1968. Now to the spring table.


48973


In this case the stock spring is located and there is some important information from above that can be passed to a custom spring maker. Now this still isn't enough information to make an exact spring, but it's a start to have a set made to see where the car sits. If it's still not where it should be then after installed and settled any offsets and or ride quality (soft or hard) can be sent back to the spring manufacturer for another try on another set. You can see how this might get very expensive.

Like I mentioned the rear springs aren't as crucial as the front springs. The worst thing that happens in playing with the rear ride height is changing the caster offset (not gain) on the front steering.

For the fronts you want the specified suspension travel or distance as mentioned in the service manual. In this case it's a tool but rule of thumb is you want the control arms in the middle of the total allowed up and down travel. This puts the spindle in the least varying (caster, camber, steering) part of the arc travel and the most stable for high speed turns.

If you want to lower a car, you should always, can't stress that enough, use a drop spindle. Never cut or heat a spring.

On spring selections there are heavy duty packages (towing/handling) and soft riding (luxury) spring rates. I personally like big cars to ride smoothly and I don't see the appeal of turning a big car into feeling like you're riding a cheap go-kart. But to each their own. :)

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
Short Block Assembly

Hello again,

A little more progress on the DIY refresh Z390 engine. At this point the block has been cleaned out and is ready for parts.

48992


Here are the new cam bearings. For those not familiar, each cam bearing is a different size allowing the smallest to go in first as it populates from the rear to the front.

48993


The front cam bearing for the FE is easy to spot as it has two oil through holes. It's important to install this one or clock it properly to allow lube oil for the distributor shaft otherwise it could seize in the block.

48994


The new bearing set has different part numbers for the different locations, the original ones are stamped; 1,2,3, etc

I am using Clevite tri-metal bearings.

48995


You really need the correct installer tool to reduce the risk of bearing damage. This is the Lisle version.

48996


48997


The tapered side of the bearing goes points towards the rear of the block. Now for clocking these. Ford puts the oil hole at 3 O'Clock. Every original FE I've dismantled are at 3 so far. It shouldn't matter on the 4 rearward bearings where the hole is at, but I had a think about why 3 O'Clock position. Here's what I came up with, assume the cam bearing surfaces are really ridiculous worn for better illustration purposes. The valve train will push the cam straight down when the camshaft isn't turning, this is from the valve springs and seems logical. However with the engine running since the crankshaft spins clockwise and withcidentally so the camshaft, the worn camshaft will want to walk up the right side of the cam bearing from the friction of the oil and cam bearing surfaces. The faster it spins the more it will walk up. And what's on the right side, the oil hole.

Keep in mind the crankshaft mains and rods get their lube oil from around the cam bearings. If the cam bearings are hemorrhaging oil from worn bearings and or camshaft, that lowers the available pressure at the crankshaft and the lower end suffers.

48998


To keep track where the cam bearing oil hole I use a mark on the installer tool.

48999


It's easy to overshoot installing the bearings so little taps and check progress. It's a pain the butt to push them back the other way.

49000


For the front cam bearings I use the generic installation tool since it's right in front.

49001


Make sure sure the openings in the bearing align with the oil feed holes in the block. If not Mr. Distributor suffers. :(

Continued in next post.
 
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