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144 Problems!

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EddieEX
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144 Problems!

Post #1 by EddieEX » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:44 pm

Hello,

I am new here. Just found this forum and it is a great one! I just encountered a problem with my 144 that is in my 63 Falcon Futura (Ford-o-matic 2 speed auto). I have had this car about 4-5 years and have been slowly fixing it up. Today I took it for it's first long drive (about 15-20 miles).

When I traveled for more than a few seconds above 50 mph I noticed some smoke coming from the exhaust pipe (a decent amount). So long as I kept it under 50..no problems. I got home popped the hood and noticed oil bubbling from the spark plugs in cylinder 1, 4 and 5. I did check to make sure it was oil and it appears to be oil, not gas. I checked the oil. It doesn't seem to have any gas in it (smell), but it is hard to tell. The level seems to be a bit higher than before, but I checked it with a cold engine before.
I then thought...timing. So I checked my points gap. It was very close but not perfect, so I set the points after letting the car (and myself) cool off a while. I fired it back up and do not see any oil bubbling from the spark plugs. I don't have a timing light so I couldn't check the timing (I need to get one). I also don't have a compression tester, but I need to get one of those as well.
I also have noticed a slight valvetrain tick that I don't remember having before. It isn't bad, but it still worries me. If any one could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it! I am only 24 and have gradually started doing more and more work on my cars so I am still learning. Thanks!

-Nathan

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JackFish
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #2 by JackFish » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:01 pm

I suspect the valve seals are shot.
1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon
1978 Ford Fairmont station wagon
Yup, I bought another one.
1996 Chevy Caprice 9C1 (3)
1999 Dodge Ram 2500

EddieEX
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Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:04 pm

Re: 144 Problems!

Post #3 by EddieEX » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:10 pm

That's what I was suspecting and a little worried about. I was just reading up on this in my shop manual. Looks like a pretty involved job, but doable. Thanks for your input!

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Frankenstang
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Location: Grand Prairie, TX

Re: 144 Problems!

Post #4 by Frankenstang » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:11 pm

Hi Nathan, and welcome aboard!

Jackfish has pointed to the most likely issue...valve seals. You can pull the valve cover and examine the seals that should sit at the bottom of the valve stems inside the springs. If they're the culprit they'll be cracked, brittle and/or damaged (missnig pieces). They are little umbrella type rubber cups with holes in them to fit over the valve stems and they prevent the oil that lubricates the valve train from dripping down onto the guides and then down into the cylinders where it can burn and smoke out the tailpipe as you are witnessing. However, the "decent amout of smoke" is disconcerting.

The other remote possibility is a leaking head gasket. Let's hope it's not that. I throw this out there mainly because you said...
EddieEX wrote:The level seems to be a bit higher than before, but I checked it with a cold engine before.

EDIT: This could be a result of water in the oil rasing the oil level, and this...
EddieEX wrote:noticed oil bubbling from the spark plugs in cylinder 1, 4 and 5

A pretty unusual symptom that could be the result of steam/pressure

Again, let's hope not, but if its a leaking head gasket you will notice a 'significant' amount of white mayonaise looking substance or brown muddy substance forming in the oil....visible from the oil fill location or on the dipstick.

The seals are not too dificult a fix, and the head gasket might even be considered easier. If it is a head gasket you would also likely notice some sluggish performance from water entering the combustion chamber, and the smoke out the back would be a purer white/steam. There would also be a loss of coolant evident.
IIWIYS I'd go with Jackfish's thoughts and pull the valve cover first to inspect.
Good luck!
-Robert
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66 Mustang 200+30, 67 BH, 89 4cyl T-5, 71 Comet 4 lug 8" 3:1rear, 85 T-Bird v6 DS, 10 Mallory Unilite Hyfire VI-A, 08 Vaporizer 1bbl, 68 Cougar 2" exhuast,65 pipe, 74 Mav man disc m/c & Scarebird(87 Stanza rotors 89 Cavalier calipers), 73 Datsun 240z Appliance Wire Mags, 03 Mustang Leather seats
All in one car! Johnny Cash would be proud...I got it One Piece at a Time

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Junior64
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #5 by Junior64 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:21 am

You can replace those valve seals without removing the head. You will have to apply air pressure through the spark plug hole when you remove the locks, retainers and springs from each valve to prevent the valve from falling into the cylinder. My 170 was burning oil and sure enough, most of the seals were brittle, cracked and missing pieces. I got a machine shop to resurface the head and install all new valves, springs, guides and seats for $350. If you go that route, you'll have to replace the head gasket anyways and it might save you some trouble down the road.

EddieEX
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #6 by EddieEX » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:27 am

Thanks for the advice guys! I will inspect the valve seals this evening or sometime this weekend. I did not notice any white foam in the oil. The oil looks to be normal color and viscosity. This car sat for about 13-14 years only being run 1-2 times a year before I bought it. I just got it going earlier this summer and have driven it at slow speeds (below 40) about 15 times. I don't think it could hurt to replace the valve train components and head gasket. We will see what they look like once I pull the valve cover. Thanks again!

early ford fan
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #7 by early ford fan » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:38 pm

an upgrade you could do is if you have to pull the head,a 170 head has bigger ports and valves.a late 70s 200/250 head has much bigger ports and valves but might be a little much for a 144.

EddieEX
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #8 by EddieEX » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:08 pm

That's a possibility. I have access to a 61 wagon that has a 170. It has been sitting in the weeds for 30 years (in harsh Illinois winters) though so it may be a lost cause. I read somewhere that the 200/250 heads would drop the compression ratio too much if you put them on a 144. Not sure though.

MPGmustang
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #9 by MPGmustang » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:56 pm

Welcome!!
EddieEX wrote:The oil looks to be normal color and viscosity. This car sat for about 13-14 years only being run 1-2 times a year before I bought it. I just got it going earlier this summer and have driven it at slow speeds (below 40) about 15 times.

This history concerns me, may I ask how old the oil is? if it's less than 3-4months you should be fine, but for such a long time 'not driving' normally I might even run marvel mystery to give the engine a nice cleaning (can't be too careful) and drive it for 500ish miles. I also think your valve stem seals are broken/missing on those cyl's as that is exactly what I expericened with missing seals.

It's alway's best to check oil when it's hot.

Valve seals are really easy. if you don't have air, a rope can hold the valve up, coil rope in the cyl when the piston is down then when it's full rotate engine and the rope pushes/holds the valve up. next get a magnate close by (like on) the spring retainer for it to catch any thing that try's to fly away (like the locks) and 'wack' lightly the top of the valve (I used a light hammer & wrench/ratchet extension so it 'cupped' the top and applied force to the locks and not valve) the seals are like .20 so might as well do both even if it 'appears good'

Good Luck!! afterwards the best thing to do is to drive it, the more the better :wink:

Richard
65mustang-SOLD-200ci-t5-scarebird disks-vintage air ac-264/274 110 cam-mav 8inch 3.8 open-350cfm-CI headers
66 Bronco-SOLD-i6 170 - rust bucket never ran...
75 bronco-SOLD-v8 c4 dana 20 33's and disk brakes, locker front/rear.

EddieEX
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #10 by EddieEX » Sat Jul 31, 2010 1:47 am

MPGmustang wrote:Welcome!!
EddieEX wrote:The oil looks to be normal color and viscosity. This car sat for about 13-14 years only being run 1-2 times a year before I bought it. I just got it going earlier this summer and have driven it at slow speeds (below 40) about 15 times.

This history concerns me, may I ask how old the oil is? if it's less than 3-4months you should be fine, but for such a long time 'not driving' normally I might even run marvel mystery to give the engine a nice cleaning (can't be too careful) and drive it for 500ish miles. I also think your valve stem seals are broken/missing on those cyl's as that is exactly what I expericened with missing seals.

It's alway's best to check oil when it's hot.

Valve seals are really easy. if you don't have air, a rope can hold the valve up, coil rope in the cyl when the piston is down then when it's full rotate engine and the rope pushes/holds the valve up. next get a magnate close by (like on) the spring retainer for it to catch any thing that try's to fly away (like the locks) and 'wack' lightly the top of the valve (I used a light hammer & wrench/ratchet extension so it 'cupped' the top and applied force to the locks and not valve) the seals are like .20 so might as well do both even if it 'appears good'

Good Luck!! afterwards the best thing to do is to drive it, the more the better :wink:

Richard


Richard,

Thanks for your advice. I am glad you experienced the same symptoms with your seals. Makes me a little less nervous about a bad head gasket. Still going to do a compression test just to make sure.
I did do an oil change about 2-3 months ago. I only drove it 3 or 4 times for VERY short distances with the old oil in it (I have had this car 3-4 years but am just now getting to working seriously on it). I do plan on replacing all of the valve seals while I am in there anyway. I took a look through the oil filler/vent and noticed that it looks pretty dirty in there. I will definitely do a good cleaning.
I do have an air compressor. Is there a good way to apply the pressure to the cylinder? Is there some kind of adapter to thread into the spark plug hole?
One other question I had about this engine was involving lead substitutes. When I filled it up with gas I added Gunk brand lead substitute. Do you guys recommend this? I figured it couldn't hurt since this engine was originally designed to run on leaded gas.

As a side note- It took me this long to seriously start working on this car for a couple reasons (the primary one being I didn't have a place to work on it until late last year) and the exhaust manifold gasket was completely shot. When removing the manifold bolts I snapped 2 of them. I never got the bolts out without ruining the threads. Fortunately I was able to drill them out and get a nut behind the flange on the head where the bolts had originally threaded.

early ford fan
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Re: 144 Problems!

Post #11 by early ford fan » Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:42 am

[. I read somewhere that the 200/250 heads would drop the compression ratio too much if you put them on a 144. Not sure though.[/quote]
true.but since you will have the valves done on the new head you can have it cut to bring the compression back up at the same time.i have a 1978 head on my 170.

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