new to ford I-6...63 falcon project car.



I am the prowd owner of a '63 ford falcon(144ci engine, C4...3 spd tranny). what would you recommend for improvements. I can see the distributor swap for a later (with mechanical & vacuum), cam(thinking about 272 duration schneider cam...roller rockers) carb/induction(thinking duel weber). and header/duel exaust. Initially I thought about dropping in a 302, but I figure from the sounds of it the 6 is responsive to performance and will happily rev(and I do like my RPM) when set up right.

First thing I'd suggest is to buy Dennis & Dave's book Falcon 6 Cyl. Performance Handbook. It's full of all sorts of info & hop-up suggestions. Well worth the cost. Check out There's nothing like a good manual to refer to.
I do not think it would have a 3 spd behind it. The 144 has a 2 spd auto behind it

you can drop a 200 in and that would be a better performance ingen
well, I now have the car home. it does indeed have the 3 spd. in it. not sure if it is original or not, but I am not restoring it so do not really care...the better performance is welcomed. I am not 100% sure if it is the 144 or the larger there a way to tell? in looking at it the owner has already installed pertronics ignition(no more points!!!YAY!!! :D ) the battery, tires, selenoid, starter, (pretty much entire electrical) has been replaced. the front seat has been reuphoulstered. the carpeting is new. it even has all 4 original hubcaps...and they are not rusted/tarnished!!! I am VERRY happy with what I see so far.

only thing is, it seems to not want to enguage into second gear easily. is alot of slop in the shift linkage. are there bushings that could wear to cause the slop in the shift lincage or can I merely adjust it out.

sorry I posted the wrong does have a 3spd. but is a manual not automatic(I prefer manual anyway).
8) determine what tranny you have. if you have the 2.77(4 bolt top cover) it will shred itself if you have much more than stock power in front of it. if you have the 3.03(9 bolt top cover) it will handle as much power as you can get from the six. likely you have th smaller trans. i would also recomend swapping a 200 in place of the 144, and since you like manual trannies a T5. the 144 wont let you use a later model dual advance dist as the shaft size is diefferent, bigger on the lateer dist. i would also recomend you get the falcon 6 handbook. as was stated it is full of good info in the motor.
just looked, and it is the 4bolt cover, so it looks like my best bet is to locate an old 200ci engine with a heavy duty transmission...rebuild it, and build it up...then install the entire unit. as for the distributor, it has been updated with an electronic ignition, so no need for the later distributor really(as I understand it). will have to chech and see if it is strictly vacuum advance or mechanical as well...and adjust timing appropriately.I am curious as to fuel there a necessity for lead substitute in the fuel or not?
Howdy Kevin:

Welcome to the inline adventure.

Engine size- count the number of freeze plugs on the side of the block under the exhaust manifold. There will be three or five. three= 144 or 170, 5= 200 or 250. If it has three you will need to take off the head to determin whether it's a 144 or 170, Both have a bore of 3.5", the the 144 has a stroke of 2.5" while the 170 has a stroke of 2.94".

While there looking for freeze plugs look for a block casting number. It will be located just behind the center line of the block, just above the oil pan gasket line. Take a steel brush with you as the casting number is usually covered with years of gunk and crud and invariabily takes some cleaning to be ledgeable. You'll find something like "C0DE" above a "6015-A". The 1st set of letters and number is the critical one. The next thing you should do is find that code and post it for a clearer answer to what you have.

The 3.03 tranny that rbohm refers to has a syncro 1st gear too, and is much better than the 2.77 three speed. The 3.03 was introduced in '67 as the standard three speed. So when looking for a donor for a 200 and three speed look for something after '67.

The distributor may be an early vacuum advance only unit, the addition of a Petronix cell cannot make up for that limitation. Electronic ignition began to be introduced in '73 with the DuraSpark (1), followed by the large cap and wires, DuraSpark II in '75-76. That might be another factor you would use in selecting your donor engine/tranny.

A lead substitute is not necessary for low performance and/or short trips. If you were using this rig to commute 50 or 60 miles a day, at freeway speeds, you'd lose you valve seal in 30,000 or 40,000 miles, rather than at 100,000. Most likely you'll do the head before then and you'd be better of in saving the money you'd spend for lead substitute for hardened valve inserts, or better yet, use a head for 1977 or later, which will already have hard inserts.

But, remember that regular gas in 1964 had an octane rating of 92 to 94 and sometimes higher. Now you're lucky to find 87 octane regular gas. Depending on which engine you have and its condition, you may need an ocassional tank of higher octane gas.

Adios, David