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60s-70s big Chevrolets vs. big Fords
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The 351 that I have came from a 75 (or there abouts) Torino. However, its been rebuilt with a number of choice parts including SVO heads, TRW Piston with C & A Dura-moly rings etc, etc.
Unfortunately thoogh, I have been trying to pull this project together for almost 3 years, and each time something important has come up and stopped me, therefore my fingers are tightly crossed for 2002.
Are your valve covers off????
If you look at HP ratings back then, well, everybody took a hit in the early '70's. Some companies cut compression ratios in '71, and in the big switchover from gross to net hp, some compression ratios were cut further, so there was a real HP loss along with the "paper" loss. It seems in the earlier '70's, GM and Ford suffered bigger hp losses than Chryslers, but into the mid-70's, GM stopped the slide and mad a bit of a comeback. Ford continued to slide, though, and Chrysler joined them. By the late '70's, GM was still making 350's with 170-185 hp or so. Chrysler still offered a hairy 360 that put out something like 190-195. I think the best Ford could muster by the late 70's 351's was about 140-150 hp.
My grandparents had a '72 Impala with a 350 2-bbl, that put out 165 hp. By 1979, the Impala had lost a good 600-700 lb or more, yet the optional 350 (I think it was a 4-bbl though) put out 170 hp. The standard V-8 though would've been a 305-2bbl with something like 135-145 hp. These later-70's cars though would've been strangled with taller gearing though, so a '79 350 Impala would probably just barely beat my grandparents' '72, while a '79 305 would've struggled to keep up. At least from the contemporary 0-60 times I remember reading.
I know not too many people are going to buy a big late 70's car to go drag racing in, but I think one of the most powerful would be a late 70's Catalina, LeSabre, or Delta 88. The Buick/Olds were offered with 403's putting out something like 185 hp, and the Catalina could have that engine or a Pontiac 400 putting out around 180 hp. There were also a few '79 Chrysler Newports and Dodge St. Regis models built with the 195-horse 360, which was essentially a police car engine (in fact, I think most of those Mopars were actually sold to police orders) While these numbers may sound low by today's standards, keep in mind that a big Chevy didn't get back up over the 170 hp mark until the early '90's, and by that time they put on weight again. Same for the big Fords...they were stuck with 150 hp 302's right up through '91. And the Ford 4.6 big-car engines are probably just now reaching those old 70's car levels in torque ratings.
Wasn't Ford the first of the Big-Three to get rid of their hardtop body styles in their big cars? When Ford re-did their big cars, I think you could get a hardtop sedan in just '73 and '74. Sometime around '75, they restyled the 2-door, getting rid of the hardtop design and going for a funky roofline that had a tiny little opera window and then a bigger window further back in the C-pillar. Mercury kept the pillarless coupes, but at one point I think they started making the back windows stationary.
I know with GM you could get a hardtop sedan through '76. In the Catalina/LeSabre/Delta lines (and maybe the Bonneville, too) you could still get a hardtop coupe, but the Caprice, 98, Electra, and Coupe DeVille all had fixed windows and a B-pillar starting in '74. You could still get an Impala hardtop coupe in '74, but I'm not sure about '75-76...they may have all had those long, thin fixed windows in back by then.
Chrysler was actually still selling "true" hardtops in '78. All the New Yorker 4-doors by that time were hardtops, and the Newport gave you a choice of a B-pillared sedan or a hardtop. Most of the 2-door models by then had padded landau roofs and fixed opera windows (and one hell of a blind spot), but I've seen one or two around that were still true hardtops. In fact, I came close to buying a '78 Newport hardtop coupe with a 400 CID engine for $800 back in '96. (It's probably a good thing I didn't buy every car I came close to buying...I'd probably have a junkyard by now!)
As for the heads. I don’t have their specs at hand however, they were advertised (here in the UK) under the Ford Motorsport SVO Performance Equipment banner; (I have been told that they were based on an alloy competition unit) and were sold (here) as a street performance head rather than an out-and-out race head, (cost about $2500 for the pair).
They were purchased from a reputable specialist dealer here in the UK about three and a half years ago (although they no longer to appear in their catalogue) as part of an overall performance package they offered, which also included an Edelbrock cam/rocker/spring kit, bearings, core plugs etc.
Compared to the original heads, the valve and ports are much larger as are some of the water-ways, although, I think the valve stems actually look smaller, however this could be just me.
They have no problem calling the law enforcement version the Police Interceptor, so why not use a good name? It's not like they advertise the Crown Vic, and if they do, never to anyone under 60 anyways.
1970-71 standard 4V quench head 61.3-64.3 cc
1971 Boss 351 quench 64.6-67.6 cc screw-in rocker studs
1971 Cobra Jet/1972-74 standard 4 barrel open chamber 73.9-76.9 cc
1972-74 High Output (HO) open chamber 73.9-76.9 cc screw-in rocker studs
All have the 2.198/1.715" valves.
The quench chambers are heart-shaped while the open chambers are round.
I don't have any casting numbers but there must be a web site that has photos of these heads.
Any of these 4V heads will fit the M raised block but the matching big port intake won't because the block is about one inch taller.
302's had 150 HP in '91??? Try 185-225.
Ford had a 400 that had close to 180 HP also.
The GM vs Ford 350/351 were never more than a few HP apart and usually the torque #'s would favor the lesser HP motor.
The only thing in GM's favor was that they still had a few quasi performance cars in their Corvette, Camaro and firebird. The Mustang II was a joke but I've read that just like now they still out sold the cam/birds.
Northstart, I was asking about valve covers because I wanted you to check the valve spring layout. If they are splayed at angles or in line.
Can you check the tail light lens? I don't know when they stopped doing it but the year of the car used to be cast in the plastic lens.
Olds and Pontiac actually had slightly higher-spec engines than what I mentioned, though. The Olds 403 was pretty much 185 hp stock across the board, although there was a 200 hp version for '77 and a 195 hp version for '78. The Pontiac 400 was usually 180 hp, although there was also a 200 and a 220 hp version. I'm pretty sure those high-spec 400's were only available in the Trans Am though, and the 403's were probably Toronado-only engines.
As for taillight lenses, they do still put the model year, but they put the model year that the taillight lens was first cast. For example, my '00 Intrepid has "98" cast in the taillight number.
Also pretty sure if the Crown Vic was down on HP by 20 it was probably up 20 lbs feet of torque vs the GM 5.0 of '91.
Vehicle for vehicle I'd bet there wasn't that much diff in HP vs. Torque meaning if one engine was higher in HP the other power figure(torque) would compensate.
I also remember some of the "higher spec" motors not being available in Ca. the T/A's had to use the Olds 403 instead of the higher HP Pontiac 400.
I think what I'm getting at is I'm not going to squabble over 20 or so horsepower or 20# more torque as being better or worse. It was a terrible time for all IMHO.
I remember a CAR AND DRIVER top speed test around '77-'78 where the fastest American car was a mid size Chrysler with a 360 and the top speed was a whopping 120 MPH. That test included Vette, T/A, camaro and the 454 1/2ton at that time. The POS Mustang II with its 140ish HP 302 did around 110.....sad time indeed.
One thing I've always wondered though...how did the 302 get so torquey? I'd always thought that a longer stroke would usually give you more torque, but the 302's stroke is shorter than both the Chevy 305 and the Olds 307. I thought the 302 was designed more for quicker revving? I think in 1990, the 305 was rated at 170 hp/250 ft-lb of torque, and the 307, in its final year, was at the same 140/255 it had always been. So you're right about Chevy's 305 flip-flopping those 20 hp/20 ft-lb with Ford!
The key to the torque of the 302 after '86 was the long runner EFI setup. It was a true port injection compared to GM's throttle body EFI that they hung on to for a lot longer.
I remember in the late 80's early 90's for some EPA reasons the Cambirds could only get the 350 in the IROC and GTA with the Automatic. both the 5 speed 5.0 Mustang and 5.0 GM five speeds were quicker giving up 10-20 horsepower AND torque to the bigger motor.
well andre was saying GM had people beat in big cars, in this 70s' Cars book I got it talks about how after the gas crunch people still bought these huge GM cars, its what they liked.
As far as specific example, mainly its personal preference in design, like I think the Ford front ends were just hideous, the Mercury Cougars, oh my, and the Lincolns had what I consider tacky rear ends with the round thing. The lincolns did have really nice interiors though.
One thing I noticed in the 70's lots of cars had the heater controls on the left?
In 1976 You could get a Delta 88 standard with a 170 Hp 350 V8, (I saw a site that listed the torque for a 70's 350 and it was like 275 ft lbs, that still would make for good off line acceleration) where a Mercury Montego could be had with a 154 HP 351, 16 hp is a significant difference, about 10% more HP in the 350.
the standard six in a monarch was 81 hp 200 I6, and their 250 I6 had 90 Hp for the Monarch Ghia.
The Olds Cutlass came standard with a 250 cu in I6 with 105 hp, were talking over 10 % differnce here.
The biggest engines in 76 hp ratings
Chevy 454 225hp
Olds 455 190hp (The toronado had 115)
Ford 460 202hp
Also GM offered different engines, you could get the Rocket 350 or the Chevy 350
Even if one make was waaay better than the other it was a time, as far as performance goes, that any bragging rights are sort of moot.
Also, sometimes if you just go to a search engine and type a specific car name, you'll find plenty of web pages devoted to that particular car. Sometimes if you look up cars for sale on E-bay or AutoTrader online, you'll find some great, detailed pics of cars being sold. A lot of people take engine bay and interior shots too, so they give you a really good "feel" of what the car was like.
He had the car up until the mid 80's until some clown in a VW Golf GTi managed to rear end it at over 70. Although he did by another LTD, a mid 80's model that came from one of the American Air force bases.
He also owned a very nice 1970 4 door Lincoln. Unfortunately, he past away just over two years ago, and his family, not knowing what to do with the cars scraped them!#####
I could have cried. The Lincoln was immaculate. It was only used on the weekends and the LTD was also in good shape. But, I found out there fate to late to do anything.
By the mid 70's, the rust really started to make the car look like a wreck. The rear bumper even rotted through. Car also started to puff a lot of white smoke, and the trans started to act up. I thought about selling it, but decided to change the trans modulator first. I'll be darned if that didn't correct all those problems.
Then I saw a 57 DeSoto on a used car lot, and almost bought it to replace the Galaxie. But, since converts were no longer being made, I decided to keep the Ford and fix it up.
I converted the car to a 500XL (bought a junked 64XL hardtop and stripped all the 500XL pieces, including the buckets and console), replaced the rusty fenders and bumpers, had the quarter panels repaired, and repainted the car.
Original trans lasted 170,000 miles before rebuild. Replaced the entire motor at about 140,000 with a motor taken out of a different junked car. (Still a 352-4V) Replaced the 3.0 rear with a 3.5 ratio from a manual 352 wagon.
Car now has 205,000 miles, and is a much a part of the family as the dog. Rides highways great (even with a rotted chassis-thank goodness for the convert's X member), a little sad crossing railroad tracks or riding really rough roads. Motor now has about 110,000 on it. Ride greatly improved by going to radials.
Car still gets a lot of looks, although the buckets are starting to show wear.
As the bow over the windshield is rotted out and the present convertible top was glued to it, when this top goes, the car will most likely be terminated.
After owning it for 33 years, that will be one sad day.
You sure you wanna run one of these in the UK???
Also.. suggestions on making mine faster? 429-4v is the current plant. Wish it had a 71 engine..
I find the Country Squire far more appealing than those new sport wagons.
When it comes to cars in the UK, you have three major expenses. Insurance, Road Fund License (A tax of vehicle ownership) and Fuel.
Insurance is easy as if you use one of the many specialist companies you can issue most American cars far cheaper that European models. In my friends case he pays about $160 a year for his Caddy and almost $900 for his VW Golf. (Insurance can be strange over here).
Next is the Road fund License: This is free on any car built before 1973. And about $170 a year on any car built afterwards.
And finally fuel. This can be the most expensive as fuel run at about $5 to $6 an gallon, however, American car enthusiast over here are now turning to Liquid Propane Gas conversions. As it's consider to be a clean fuel and it does not have emissions Tax.
This means that it almost three times cheaper the regular pump Gas.
Taking all of this into account, if you choose sensible you can run a full size American car for the same or even less than a newer European model. Add to that the number of parts suppliers and the low cost of parts then it just all adds to the appeal.
I enjoyed ownership of a '73 Ford LTD 429-4V for ~80K miles. I believe this engine was the same as yours although my reference book shows 201 HP for the Ford and 171 HP for the Marquis. (I believe 201 HP is correct for both cars.) By deactivating the EGR valve and setting the time as high possible without detonation and using regular gasoline, I was able to obtain 14.5 to 15.0 MPG on the highway. I recall that 70 MPH was no worse than 50 MPH. Even though gasoline isn't what it once was, I believe you could see a worthwhile MPG improvement by optimizing the ignition time, "adjusting" the EGR, making sure the carb float level is correct, and possibly replacing the main jets. No huffing in this scheme....
Spokane is right, just undoing all the Mickey Mouse smog tuning would do a world of good. I don't know if anyone does dyno-tuning anymore, but you can duplicate it by recurving the distributor advance, cranking in more initial timing and rejetting the carb. Take off any external smog controls like EGR or ported spark.
I don't think you want to go beyond that. Changing the cam, intake and carb (the Edelbrock Performer package is a great street set-up) would certainly wake up the engine but I don't think the end result would be worth the expense. Not unless you're going to go sedan racing...
I saw a nice looking Country Squire as a show here in the UK last summer. It looked like a 69 or 70, was a dark metallic blue with what looked like late model Lincoln wheels and was slammed on the deck.
It didn't have any specs posted and I never had the opportunity to talk to the owner so I don't know what was under the hood, although I suspect that it would have had either hydraulics or air suspension because it sat right on the ground. Looked good though.
A Crown Victoria with a 4.6L V8 would probably be marginally faster (if at all) than a Caprice with a 4.3L V8, but a Caprice with a 5.7L V8 would be much faster than any Crown Victoria.
A few years back, I test drove two Caprices: a '94 with the 4.3 and a '96 with the 5.7. I also have a friend with a '95 Grand Marquis GS, that he had just bought at the time. I'd say the Chevy 4.3 and the Ford 4.6 are about the same...nothing to get excited about. The 4.6 has a lot of torque for an engine that size, but it hits it at a high rpm. And the Chevy's 200 hp sounds good, for a 4.3, but it only puts out 245 ft-lb of torque, which is about what the typical boat-anchor 305 used to put out in the '70's and 80's.
Now Ford does offer a performance package, which includes better tires, stiffere suspension, dual exhaust, and quicker gearing. Stock gearing is something like 2.73, but optional, Ford seems to switch back and forth between 3.23 and 3.55. This model would most likely dust any base Crown Vic or Caprice 4.3, but the LT-1 350 would still blow it away. In fact, when I got behind the wheel of that '96 with the 350, I fell in love! But the dealership just gave me a bad vibe, so I walked. Ended up buying a brand new '00 Intrepid a week or so later (for about $50-60 more a month than the Caprice's note would've been). The Intrepid's been a good car, but sometimes I wish I'd found another Caprice with the LT-1!
Oh yeah, fuel mileage...here's some figures I found for 1996...
Crown Vic 4.6: 17/25
Caprice 4.3: 18/26
Caprice 5.7: 17/26
Crown Victoria Cop 4.6: 17/23
I figure the police-spec Crown Vic would roughly equate to the civilian models with the performance package.
About 2 years ago, I test drove a 2000 Grand Marquis with the 200 hp 4.6L V8. It did not feel any faster than my Crown Vic. Except for the new car smell, it felt no different to drive.
Hopefully, the new versions with 220 hp feel a bit faster.
Tried to start it, and nothing at all happened. No clicking noise like the starter solnoid firing, just the dash warning lights go out when the key is turned to the start position. From having a Miata in storage every winter for years, I assumed it was the battery. The accessory position on the ignition switch works, radio works. Took the battery in for testing, (4 years old 60 month battery). After about a 10 minute test at Autozone, the battery came back as good. Hooked up a trickle charger, waited overnight, still nothing this morning.
The ground wire looks good, and I cannot come up with anything else that would just happen on it's own after sitting for a month. I noticed in December the car turned over a little weak, but it was in the 30's and I knew the battery may have been drained a little then.
Any other possibilities besides the battery? I thought maybe it just needed charged, and I really don't want to start tearing the starter off. I don't know how old the starter is, could be original for all I know, but I would think the solenoid would fire if it was the starter itself. I am 90% sure it is electrical.
It could be the starter but before pulling it I'd clean all the battery cable connections with a wire brush and coat them with Vaseline. Better yet, just replace the cables with good quality parts, not neccessarily the stuff your corner parts store sells. I'm not a big fan of replacing parts for the heck of it but cables can look good and still have high resistance, making the battery work harder. It's something I'd do automatically, like replacing all the hoses and belts. Cheap insurance. A four-year-old battery wouldn't give me a lot of confidence either.
I'd also buy something like my well-worn copy of "Fix Your Ford" by Bill Toboldt, 1969 edition.
You are absolutely correct! I was looking through my list of winter projects on the car, and the shifter interlock issue was at the top. I completely forgot about it!
One of the battery cables was replaced a few years ago, but the other looks original. That should be an easy fix. I'm glad this board is here, as I like to bounce things off at least one or two others before yanking parts. I just remember how my 69 Catalina ate starters, didn't want to start messing with it.
I'm getting laid off at work, so my mind is screwy this weekend. However, I already have a job interview lined up this week with a better organization. I'm a tax accountant, and they say death and taxes are the only certainties!
May be a good time between jobs to do the center console project, the gear indicator light bulb is burned out, and the neutral switch on the console shifter issue is the same as Andre. I know DetroitIron offers the shop manuals on CD-ROM.
As for eating starters, that must be a common Pontiac trait. My '69 Bonneville used to eat starters, or more specifically, starter solenoids, on a regular basis. It had been struck by lightning though, so I guess it had an excuse! Anyway, good luck with the job interview. I've never been laid off, but every time our contract goes up for renewal, it always hangs over our heads. Scary feeling!
In 1989, I got the opportunity to buy a white, 1958 TBird hardtop with 49,000 original miles from the original owner, a 93 year old lady.
Car hadn't been run in three years, and was sitting on four flats, parked nose in, in a very narrow one car garage.
So, my brother-in-law and I rented an air compressor, filled up the tires (surprise; they held air), and rolled the car out.
We removed the plugs, squirted some oil down the sparkplug holes, threw on a set of jumper cables, poured a little gas down the carb, and cranked the motor. Started right up, but ran a little rough.
We take it for a test ride; car shifts fine, but continues to run rough.
What the heck, she only wanted $4,000, so I figured that the gas was bad, or the plugs/wires/distributor cap were shot, so I bought it.
Drove it home about 15 miles and started to get a little concerned about the miss. Parked it in the garage and went in for dinner.
After dinner, I went to the garage and popped the hood on my new toy. That's when I realized that, while I had connected the four plugs on the driver side of the car, my brother-in-law had not connected the plugs on his side. It was running on four cylinders.
Needless to say, the miss went away as soon as I connected all eight wires.
Car now has 60,000 miles, and is one of the nicest unrestored originals you'd ever want to see. Even has the original dealer paperwork showing the price (in the $4,000 range) all the options (like skirts) and the buyer's trade-in: $700 on a 1950 Nash. I've replaced the front bucket seatcovers, had the back bumper rechromed (five pieces), and changed the cracked dashpad (major undertaking).
The part that kills me is that the little old lady confessed that, back when they bought the car, she and her husband really wanted the two door, but were a few weeks late with their order. Argh!!!!!