81 Fairmont valvetrain pics

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I finally got around to replacing my leaky valve cover gasket. I had no idea what to expect, but knowing it could have been much worse, im relatively pleased with what i saw. Ive owned the car for 5 years now. I purchased it from a friend who owned it, and neglected the living H out of it for 3-4 years. Before that, it was owned by lady who originally purchased it from our local ford dealer in 1981. Ive ran mostly shell rotella 10w30 and 15w40. Since the car gets used so little, ive never paid attention to mileage; i just change the oil twice a year. except for the last 2 years, ive only done it once a year. I purchased the car with 103,000 miles and it now has 124,000. I'd say 90% of its driving since ive owned it has been very short trips. The furthest ive ever gotten it away from my house is 13 miles. Thoughts? comments?
 
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I'm impressed its still going! My Grandma had one 20 years ago and it seemed kind of beat then... It didn't like -30C Winnipeg winters very much either.
 

Jakegday

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yep. it takes my kids to school every morning. It has never not started (besides the time the headlights being left on killed the battery) and has never left us stranded anywhere (besides when i locked the keys in it)
 
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If I could find a no-rust example, I'd jump on it. I've driven two in my life. One was my mom's Mercury Zephyr wagon, the other a $100 beater I bought in the mid 90's. The 3.3L I6 and automatic was essentially bulletproof.
 
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my first girlfriend severlly overheated one of those 200's.she drove it 100+ miles with it blowing steam until it quit.some guy came along and wrapped the blown hose with duct tape and filled it with water. it ran many years after
 

MolaKule

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I'd put some Rislone Engine Cleaner in for a few OCI's with filter changes at half OCI's and get that engine warmed up more often. How about the cooling system? It may be crudded up as well.
 
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Took drivers ed in a 1978 Fairmont 200-6/automatic.Gutless dog,and didn't handle very well either.Rock hard bench seat,hard plastic steering wheel,smelly catalytic converter,no gauges....yea,a K car would have been a huge step up.
 
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This is one of those cases where MMO would be of use. I don't care for it in modern engines/modern oils, but it could help clean here.
 
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Thanks for posting this. These pictures take me back. My first car was a 1971 Mercury Comet with the 200 c.i. inline 6 and automatic transmission. Great little car, without all the emissions equipment on it. I learned how to set breaker points and adjust the timing with a timing light on this engine. It was mechanically indestructible and never failed to start.
 
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Originally Posted By: MolaKule
I'd put some Rislone Engine Cleaner in for a few OCI's with filter changes at half OCI's and get that engine warmed up more often. How about the cooling system? It may be crudded up as well.
Any particular reason you recommend Rislone in this scenario over other options?
 

Jakegday

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Originally Posted By: MolaKule
I'd put some Rislone Engine Cleaner in for a few OCI's with filter changes at half OCI's and get that engine warmed up more often. How about the cooling system? It may be crudded up as well.
honestly, im going to do nothing about it. It doesnt bother me. Im going to go with the "if its not broke, dont fix it" train of thought on this one. As for the cooling system, i replaced the heater core when i got the car, and the radiator and water pump within the last year. As for the water passages in the block; i have no idea how they look. On average, i have had to put about $100 worth of new parts in it every year. To date, i have put less then $1000 in it, and thats including the $300 purchase price. Not bad for a perfect running car for the last 5 years..
 
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I've got a '78 Mercury Zephyr Z7 (2DR) with a 302/C4 in my shed. For those of you who don't know, this was the Fairmont clone and it's got the same suspension as the Mustangs of that era and use most of the same trick parts/techniques as the Mustangs. I picked it up a few years ago from Texas (rust free) and it's going to be my next project. While the exterior of my car is good, the engine was SEVERELY neglected. I first replaced the intake on it and it had about 2 inches of sludge in the lifter valley and I couldn't even see the lifters. I took a putty knife and got as much out as I could, buttoned it back up and run it as is. Surprisingly, the car runs great. The photos that you posted are typical of original engines of that era. You've got to remember that there's a carb running this engine, not a computer. Thanks for the post and the photos. Google maps shows me to be about two hours south of you.
 
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K-car wasn't out yet. You had the Aspen/Volare Mopars competing with the Fairmont/Zephyr. Actually, it was a very good handling car for that day. Doesn't really say much, given the competition. But it was probably the best handling in the class. But if you wanted a cushy ride, where you couldn't feel the road, this was not the car for you.
Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Took drivers ed in a 1978 Fairmont 200-6/automatic.Gutless dog,and didn't handle very well either.Rock hard bench seat,hard plastic steering wheel,smelly catalytic converter,no gauges....yea,a K car would have been a huge step up.
 
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Originally Posted By: Jakegday
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
I'd put some Rislone Engine Cleaner in for a few OCI's with filter changes at half OCI's and get that engine warmed up more often. How about the cooling system? It may be crudded up as well.
honestly, im going to do nothing about it. It doesnt bother me. Im going to go with the "if its not broke, dont fix it" train of thought on this one. As for the cooling system, i replaced the heater core when i got the car, and the radiator and water pump within the last year. As for the water passages in the block; i have no idea how they look. On average, i have had to put about $100 worth of new parts in it every year. To date, i have put less then $1000 in it, and thats including the $300 purchase price. Not bad for a perfect running car for the last 5 years..
I can see that. Even modern oil will clean this. And its not really that bad, i've seen way worse, for a carbed engine from the 80's its not bad at all.
 
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This would be a prime candidate for using a can of 5 minute motor flush every oil change, then replacing 20% of your motor oil with MMO. Or Riselone for that matter. Repeat for a couple of short OCI and you might be amazed how much better it runs once you clean that engine up! Just my 2cents
 
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I agree with the owner.. nothing but mechanical fixes and plain oil changes in this baby. Don't fix what really isn't broke.
 
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