Time to get it going again.

Messages
566
Location
Columbus, OH
1976 Ford Gran Torino, 351M engine, hasn't seen regular driving in at least 15 months. Engine has been started every 2-3 months and no oil has been changed in this time. It's black, it's full, and the car smokes a little blue-gray on startup, goes away by the time the t-stat opens. I have repaired a few things on the car needed to pass inspection and I'm about two weeks away from taking it in for that safety inspection. I want to change the oil before I install the new battery and cables and have it ready to run. Motorcraft FL-1A filter is a must. Whatever oil I put in will only run about 500 miles but I want something that will help clean the engine out while protecting it. It does have a bit of valve clatter (probably from fuel dilution as I have to prime the carb to start it when it's sat for more than a month but it will restart fine on its own after the first good 5min idle). I'd like to go with MCSB, as it is cheap, Ford branded, and readily available even at my awful local Wal-Mart which is 2/3 the size of the average Wal-Mart and the employees have 1/3 the common sense.* Are there other weights that would be more appropriate? The owner's manual for a 1975 Torino (which is the only one I have) claims that during weather -10F to 90F and above, 10W40 should be used. If the temps don't get over 90F (this is Texas, it's already pushing 90) then use 10W30, and if temps regularly drop below -10F, to use 5W30. So I suppose 10W40 is the way to go, do they even make a MCSB in 10W40? *I reset the chips aisle last week and they KNEW a reset was coming, but they restocked the entire aisle to capacity within hours before my crew arrived to reset the aisle...which means a 4 hour job became 7 hours. They told us they knew we were coming but they forgot. DUH!
 
Messages
1,340
Location
minneapolis mn
Occupant? i think i have been getting your mail! I believe oil has gotten much better over the years since your car was made. That being said i would go with the oil and filter your considering. My two cents
 
Messages
3,546
Location
Massachusetts
Dont worry about the oil, that is the last thing you need to worry about. Driving only 500 miles a year, the engine will still be chugging away while you celebrate your 100th birthday. You should worry more about rust and corrosion from driving so little.
 
Messages
4,830
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: occupant
1976 Ford Gran Torino, 351M engine, hasn't seen regular driving in at least 15 months. Engine has been started every 2-3 months and no oil has been changed in this time. It's black, it's full, and the car smokes a little blue-gray on startup, goes away by the time the t-stat opens.
I'm going to give a suggestion here and take it with a grain of salt. Over the years, I've seen quite a few earlier Fords (Fords because I've worked on them. GM might be the same) that have had their nylon cam gears fail before 100K miles. As a preemptive strike, I would consider replacing it before it lets you down on the road somewhere. JMO. The last one I did was a 79 Lincoln Town car with about 95K miles. The maintenance might have been marginal, but it wasn't neglected. I own a 71 Cougar with about 75K miles. The cam gear will be replaced this year. The Torinos were a cool car. I favor the earlier ones, but yours is an eye turner also.
 
Messages
6,991
Location
Everett, Washington
 Originally Posted By: Kruse
 Originally Posted By: occupant
1976 Ford Gran Torino, 351M engine, hasn't seen regular driving in at least 15 months. Engine has been started every 2-3 months and no oil has been changed in this time. It's black, it's full, and the car smokes a little blue-gray on startup, goes away by the time the t-stat opens.
I'm going to give a suggestion here and take it with a grain of salt. Over the years, I've seen quite a few earlier Fords (Fords because I've worked on them. GM might be the same) that have had their nylon cam gears fail before 100K miles. As a preemptive strike, I would consider replacing it before it lets you down on the road somewhere. JMO. The last one I did was a 79 Lincoln Town car with about 95K miles. The maintenance might have been marginal, but it wasn't neglected. I own a 71 Cougar with about 75K miles. The cam gear will be replaced this year. The Torinos were a cool car. I favor the earlier ones, but yours is an eye turner also.
I remember changing the timing chain and gears on my Brothers 70 Galaxie?? I must be getting old because I can't remember for sure, but I think it was a Galaxie? It had the nylon gears and was idling when it bent a valve and stopped running. It was the 2bbl 302 engine. I just looked at Wikipedia and they mention the reason that the Torino is not a hot collector car.
 
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Messages
43,722
Location
Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: oilboy123
 Originally Posted By: Kruse
 Originally Posted By: occupant
1976 Ford Gran Torino, 351M engine, hasn't seen regular driving in at least 15 months. Engine has been started every 2-3 months and no oil has been changed in this time. It's black, it's full, and the car smokes a little blue-gray on startup, goes away by the time the t-stat opens.
I'm going to give a suggestion here and take it with a grain of salt. Over the years, I've seen quite a few earlier Fords (Fords because I've worked on them. GM might be the same) that have had their nylon cam gears fail before 100K miles. As a preemptive strike, I would consider replacing it before it lets you down on the road somewhere. JMO. The last one I did was a 79 Lincoln Town car with about 95K miles. The maintenance might have been marginal, but it wasn't neglected. I own a 71 Cougar with about 75K miles. The cam gear will be replaced this year. The Torinos were a cool car. I favor the earlier ones, but yours is an eye turner also.
I remember changing the timing chain and gears on my Brothers 70 Galaxie?? I must be getting old because I can't remember for sure, but I think it was a Galaxie? It had the nylon gears and was idling when it bent a valve and stopped running. It was the 2bbl 302 engine. I just looked at Wikipedia and they mention the reason that the Torino is not a hot collector car.
I lucked out, my 302's have all had factory double-roller chains (no nylon gears in them). BUT, my 300 I6 succumbed to nylon gear failure. That's how it ended up being swapped out for the 302HO.
 

occupant

Thread starter
Messages
566
Location
Columbus, OH
I appreciate the information on the nylon cam gears. But this thing will see an EFI 302/AOD swap before I do any work to this engine short of adjustments, cleaning, and maybe valve cover gaskets or a carb rebuild. If the cost of parts on an engine/trans repair ever exceeds $200-$250 it would be CHEAPER for me to pull a powertrain from a late 80s CV/GM/TV or TBird/Cougar than that. That or I'll find another 351/400M engine, preferably one that's been worked over, and put that in its place, but definitely need an AOD. With the 2.75 axle I could see 20+ in steady highway driving running an overdrive. 10W30 sounds good and I do want to run this out on all these back roads to clean it out. Tempted to Seafoam it as well, but I want to run that 500 miles or so first. Then I can foam it, wait til it stop smoking, shut it down, and change the oil right then and there. Maybe it would be worth it to top off with 5W30 during those 500 miles if needed (and I do expect to need to as long as it has been sitting dead). Would thin it out a wee bit as it gets cleaned out and it wouldn't be so severe as dropping in 5W30 right away. There was an empty bottle of 20W50 on the floor so I can only assume that's what they had in it trying to stop oil leakage or burning. Amazing what a car can tell you when the previous owner didn't give enough of a *censored* to keep records. Naturally if it dies before the end of the 500 miles I'll need a 302 swap right away! Already have 3 CL ads bookmarked in that event. All EFI 302's with AOD's still attached, already pulled from an 87 Town Car, a 86 Cougar, and sitting in a 90 Thunderbird (whole car $250!)
 

occupant

Thread starter
Messages
566
Location
Columbus, OH
 Originally Posted By: oilboy123
I just looked at Wikipedia and they mention the reason that the Torino is not a hot collector car.
And that has nothing to do with why I have it. This was a $355 car that except for the engine type and body color and interior trim, is identical to the '75 I had when I was a high school senior in '96. This one already has the hubcaps I want, will be getting the double pleated vinyl upholstery and silver blue glow paint, and if I simply can't find an EFI 302 to go in I'll swap to a 351W and it'll match that bit, too. I can only be so lucky as to find a Sparkomatic Auto Stop cassette stereo to put in place of the AM radio. I'll keep looking, but I may end up putting in one of those cool FM converters instead. Then my last task is finding NEW blue floor mats. Most places these days only stock black, gray, and tan. Oh, and clear rubber ones. Eww...
 

occupant

Thread starter
Messages
566
Location
Columbus, OH
Yeah, but horsepower isn't the primary concern. 30-50 and 50-70 acceleration and ease of maintaining 60-70mph cruise is. Torque wins. 91-93 Thunderbirds with the 302 have 200hp and 275tq. That's plenty compared to the 351M's 148hp and 205tq. The HO models have 225hp and 300tq. Either or. I would be interested in an 87-88 302 HO because it still uses speed density which is easier to deal with than mass air. The 87-88 302's only had 140-150hp and 200-210tq evidently.
 
Messages
3,668
Location
Phoenix, AZ
 Originally Posted By: occupant
Yeah, but horsepower isn't the primary concern. 30-50 and 50-70 acceleration and ease of maintaining 60-70mph cruise is. Torque wins. 91-93 Thunderbirds with the 302 have 200hp and 275tq. That's plenty compared to the 351M's 148hp and 205tq. The HO models have 225hp and 300tq. Either or. I would be interested in an 87-88 302 HO because it still uses speed density which is easier to deal with than mass air. The 87-88 302's only had 140-150hp and 200-210tq evidently.
I had an 88' Towncar, those power numbers seem spot on. Even with the low power, the car wasn't a complete dog. Beat my friend's 94' Silverado w/ a 350. Although he did have 275K miles on his, mine had 185K or so . Good car though.
 
Messages
43,722
Location
Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: occupant
Yeah, but horsepower isn't the primary concern. 30-50 and 50-70 acceleration and ease of maintaining 60-70mph cruise is. Torque wins. 91-93 Thunderbirds with the 302 have 200hp and 275tq. That's plenty compared to the 351M's 148hp and 205tq. The HO models have 225hp and 300tq. Either or. I would be interested in an 87-88 302 HO because it still uses speed density which is easier to deal with than mass air. The 87-88 302's only had 140-150hp and 200-210tq evidently.
HP is simply torque at RPM. I've owned both engines (Townie in my sig was obviously originally an SO car) and even in that yacht, the HO was a serious upgrade. 96-90 Town Car/Crown Vic/Grand Marquis had the E6 heads, broomstick cam, SO firing order, more restrictive intake, and a 55mm TB. This is why they were only ~150HP (160 with dual exhaust) and 270lb-ft of torque (280lb-ft with the dual exhaust). The HO out of the 87-93 Mustang and the Lincoln Mark VII LSC gives you the E7TE truck heads with a slight rise in compression; 87-92 gives you forged TRW pistons with four valve reliefs, a decent profile roller camshaft that gives a strong power curve, a less restrictive intake and the HO firing order, which is much nicer on bearings. The 225HP/300lb-ft works well in a heavy car, and I enjoyed it in my F-250 as well. I figured the engine being swapped in would be converted to carburetor, so the setup of MAF or SD would be irrelevant. Also, the diff between MAF and SD is four wires and the re-pinning of another two. It is a VERY easy conversion, took me 30 minutes on my '87 GT, a little over an hour on the Town Car (it is MAF now too) because of the difference in the harness. The easiest harness to use if you DID go EFI would be 87/88 for SD, or 89 for MAF. Later harnesses are setup for airbags and became much more complex. My '82 Capri has the harness out of my '87 GT in it, converted to MAF.
 
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