144 question



I just bought a 60 falcon. I would like to keep the 6 in it. I am pretty sure that it is a 144 ci. Is there any upgrades to do that would boost some good performance out of this engine? Or should I swap it for a 200 or 250? Thanks for any help. :devilish:
Welcome to the forum

a 60 falcon huh?
Lets see how well my memory serves me.
The distributor is a small shaft vacuum advance only unit that does not use the Spark Control Valve to control it. I think your only options are upgrade the current distributor with a petronix (or P2) or import a (Bosch?) electronic unit from Australia (OZ)

The stock carb works well for the average engine but for more power/torquem, a larger carb, either a newer 1v or adapt a 2v onto it with an adapter.

To spruce up the exhaust end of things a port divider, a hot cam, with a header and call it good

However you would still be missing the (almost) 60 cubic inches and seven main bearings (vs 4 in the current motor) that a 200 swap would afford you. A 250 is out unless you want to change the trans to (small block ford style needed) and either make custom motor mounts or modify the originals.

It depends how much power you ultimately want. If you are looking for big gains you might as well start by aquiring a 200 and having it built to your specs. If you are unsure, begin with some simple bolt on Mods. First off, a header from http://www.fordsixparts.com/ for about $250 and a nice exhaust (figure $200) will get you started. Then you will need to upgrade the ignition. i'm not sure about your distributor, but I know that you block wont take the Duraspark. You'll probably end up with a Pertronix Ignitor and a hot coil. new wires, too. Finally, a bigger carb is a must. If you are ultimately going to a 200, get the Weber 38. if not, an Autolite 1100 prepped by Pony Carbs or a Holley Weber will do the trick. The Holley Weber with an adapter can be had from Langdon's Stovebolt for about $100. Hard to beat. All in all You'll probably spend $750 to $1,000 just on these bolt-on mods. The car will run much better and more powerful, and they can all be transferred to a 200 later if you want.
get a 1979-83 head a port divider 2 1/2 single exhaust with a glass pack or anny hy flow mufler , a rbs carter carb and a flex fan that would be good for a start

mill the head .30-.35
76maveric":290qqd10 said:
get a 1979-83 head a port divider 2 1/2 single exhaust with a glass pack or anny hy flow mufler , a rbs carter carb and a flex fan that would be good for a start

mill the head .30-.35

measure the old and the new head combustion chambers before milling. I read that a lot of those early 144/170's have smaller kidney shaped combustion chambers, and the later ones have much larger CCs. The later head is good for bolt on hardened seats but if he loses compression (most likely will) then he would just cost himself money and his engine some power.

Howdy EddieJ:

FIRST, you have to decide what you want! Restore? Restomod? Street Rod? What is your budget? What are your mechanical skill?

While you're fleshing out your plan, start with a good assessment of what you have. A '60 Ranchero will most likely have a 144. 170s made their way into very late '60s. Check the casting code on the top of the intake manifold behind the carb. C0DE-A= 144. C1DE-A=170. In either case you will have solid lifters and adjustible rockers. Most likely the engine could benefit from a good valve adjustment. If your stock 144 is in good mechanical condition, here's some ideas. What tranny is in it?

A good electrical tuneup with new points, condensor, cap and wires, with a good internal cleaning of the distributor is a great idea. After all that is done set the initial advance at 5 degrees more than stock settings call for. The Petronix Ignitor is a good upgrade- the Petronix II is better. Either will eliminate points and all the periodic maintainance that goes with points.

The '60 144 came with a Holley Model 1904, with a cfm of 130. While the Holley 1904 is a cute little carb, some with a glass float bowl, it was designed to be very miserly. Most likely it will require a thorough cleaning and rebuild kit. That's cheap and easy.

An upgrade to a 170 Holley carb will jump the cfm to 150. That's enough to notice. A 170 carb in '60 is a model 1904, for a '61 it will be a model #1908, for a '62 it will be a model #1909. All are very similiar and all 170 carbs are rated at 150 cfm.

Exhaust should also be an early consideration. Any improvement here will be an investment for the future regardless what you finally decide. A '65-'66 exhaust manifold is a much better manifold than the '60 144. It will have a donut seal/gasket, larger volume and a 2" outlet. That along with a 2" exhaust system, with a 2" turbo type muffler will be adequate for all but the most extreme future power mods. This mod will pay dividends whether you stay with the 144, or jump to a 170 or a 200.

The ultimate sleeper 144 could benefit from a '65-'69 170 head. It will easily bolt on to your 144, but it will have larger valves, larger intake manifold volume. It will likely have a 52 cc chamber. Your 144 head will likely have a smaller chamber volume. We've measured 144 heads all the way from 44 ccs to 51 ccs. So you must mill the later head to maintain a good compression ratio. Read the sticky post at the top of this forum about gasket thicknesses and their effect on CR too. Maintain your adjustible rockers and pushrods.

Now, after all that, know that if you decide to go with a later 200 and trans, which is a good idea for all the reasons mentions above, you will have to deal with some steering/pan clearance and trans mount issues.

Hope that helps.

Adios, David

I thaught that a better flowing head would give more hp than the lost compression gess I`m wrong :roll: 8)
Howdy back all:

No, 76maveric, you're not necessarily wrong. It's just that, with only 144 cubic inches to work with, you really can't afford to give up either flow or compression. Even with a stock cam, compression ratio needs to be maintained at, at least 9:1 to get the most torque through out the rpm range. And flow needs to be manages so as to get adequate volume at low rpm and adequate flow through velocity at the higher ranges. Too much too soon and you'll kill the low end (what there is). Choke it down to work well at low end and you have no top end horse power. This is where the rounding of junctions inside the log and ports, back cut intake valves and a three angle valve job come to the rescue. Intake charges like to follow rounded corners. They tend to shear and tumble at high velocity, disrupting flow and velocity.

Getting the most out of a 144 is truley a work of art. This a case where the Dolly Parton school of high performance does NOT apply. Sometimes, bigger is not alway better.

Adios, David
Those 144's were super strong engines. The four bearing crank was not and issue, and there is over an inch of main bearing to crankpin overlap on a stock 144, and about 400 thou on a 250. So the crank isn't under any stress at all. One guy on this site uses a 144 in a hydroplane, and has done 8600 rpm!

The piston speed on these things is 2/3 rds of a 250, so if that engine could only do 4500 rpm tops on a streeter, yours could do 7000 rpm, and see less load!

I'd look at the thing and say, what am I really wanting?

If you are into preserving a valuable piece of what was considered the ultimate throw-away car, then keep it original. They will become a Model A-type car...something that many people had, but always covet today. If you want to modify it, then get into it!

I'm a big Captain Lethargic 1961 Tudor Falcon fan myself. Can't find the link, though! He's got a 2.3 Turbo engine in his!