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  #1  
Old 12-30-2014, 03:34 AM
Rezonans Rezonans is offline
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Default New to classic cars, need help to run the project

Hello my name is Paul, I recently bought my 1961 Tbird, 3 month ago, did some cleaning to interior and engine bay, want to make it start, still no luck.
The car is in really fair shape, it didn't run since 1988, the tag says so, got it real cheap, no rust, accept battery tray, the car is 95% complete.
It used to have so many owners, whos start to work on this car but fails, I want to finish it.
That is also so many new parts that I find in the trunk, newer was installed, just right amount to make it runs and drives.
I can't start the engine, it spins by the starter but not firing up, start to dig deeper, open the upper case of the carburetor, and find a tons of black gunk, all the jets are clogged, now I am at the middle of rebuilding of the curb.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUrP_kTbMXs
Remove the old spark plugs, also black gunk on them, made some compression test, 4 cylinders have around 100psi, 2 have 30psi, 1 has 60 psi, and 1 has 10 psi(that upset me so much), pure some oil into cylinder with low compression, no improvement means bad valves?
Also cooling system full of rust, freeze plugs are completely rusted out, no brakes and so on.
Questions:
1.How do you remove the gunk out of your carb, try to soak in diesel, with added seafoam, but still cant remove it completely.
2. Will it starts with such a low compression(took the measurements on stone cold engine)
3. Can compression be improved if I make it running( it was seating for 20 years)
4. How engine need to be adjusted to work better with the unleaded fuel, or I need any way to follow original specs(timing, spark plug gap, valve clearance)to avoid this http://squarebirds.org/images_FE-valves/index.htm.
5 Is any special fluid has to be used to fix the lack of lead in fuel.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKxYtOy5nyU
6. Can I adjust the valves to get the compression in the bad cylinder.
7. Can I change the 6 of the freeze plugs, without removing the engine, I see 2 of them covered by the motor mounts.
I try to do 100% of work by myself, and keep it budget project as much as possible , I fix a ton of modern cars with fuel injection, but never work on classic cars, time to learn something new to me.
Sorry for my English, originally I am from Ukraine.
Thank you, for your help.

Last edited by Rezonans : 12-30-2014 at 03:56 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2014, 04:25 AM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default New to classic cars, need help to run the project

Hi Paul, I see you have quite a few things to work on with your '61 Bulletbird. Hopefully, one of our many excellent techies will be along to help you out. If not tonight, then in the morning. If you do not have a '61 Shop Manual, you will need one. All the major Tbird parts houses are listed in the Advertisements Forum. If you need the shop manual, you can order one from them. Call or email them and ask for their free catalogs so you can price compare and check parts availability. The wiring diagram for your '61 is in the Technical Resource Library, the link to which is always right below my signature. I won't try to answer your questions, but will leave that to the terrific techies we have on here to do. Take one project at a time, rather than a bunch of them. Work through that project, fix the problems and then go onto the next one. Take lots of pictures as you go so you will have them to refer back to when you need to. Good luck with your project and I hope it goes well for you.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2014, 05:11 AM
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Rezonans, do you want an honest answer, one with the lowest cost? If you do this once and do it right you will not buy extra parts or do any work twice. I hope you have tools. Pull your engine out and overhaul it properly.

You can do much of this work yourself to save lots of money. First, remove the valve covers, rocker arm shafts and pushrods, then the intake manifold, then remove the heads.

Remove the oil pan and oil pump. Strip the engine down to the bare block. Remove all oil plugs and core plugs. As you remove bolts, put them in plastic bags that you label. Take lots of pictures along the way. You will need them later.

As you remove pistons, replace the rod nuts and caps back on their connecting rod. Cover your rod studs with hoses so you don't mar the crankshaft as you pound the pistons out.

Strip the heads. Remove all valves, springs, keepers, etc., and put them in bags as well. Keep track of your pushrods and lifters.

Remove the crankshaft but put the bearing caps and bolts back in the block. Put your timing chain, sprockets, bolt, eccentric and washer in a plastic bag. Remove the camshaft.

Find a good engine machine shop in your area. Let them boil the block and Magnaflux it for cracks. If you have a crack or rust hole, stop. There is no point in spending any more money on a bad casting.

Get a price from a few machine shops. They will measure the cylinder bores, buy the pistons and rings, and do all the machine work. When you get this far, let me know.

By the way, use CARBURETOR CLEANER. It will cut through the junk in your carburetor. - Dave
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2014, 05:26 AM
Rezonans Rezonans is offline
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Thank you, YellowRose.
I odered the book off ebay, the 1 day I bought the car, real antique like rest of the car, even has a finger prints off the grandpapa's mechanic.
The book helps, but I need some experience, from people who have deal with this cars for years.
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2014, 06:48 AM
Rezonans Rezonans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Rezonans, do you want an honest answer, one with the lowest cost? If you do this once and do it right you will not buy extra parts or do any work twice. I hope you have tools. Pull your engine out and overhaul it properly.

You can do much of this work yourself to save lots of money. First, remove the valve covers, rocker arm shafts and pushrods, then the intake manifold, then remove the heads.

Remove the oil pan and oil pump. Strip the engine down to the bare block. Remove all oil plugs and core plugs. As you remove bolts, put them in plastic bags that you label. Take lots of pictures along the way. You will need them later.

As you remove pistons, replace the rod nuts and caps back on their connecting rod. Cover your rod studs with hoses so you don't mar the crankshaft as you pound the pistons out.

Strip the heads. Remove all valves, springs, keepers, etc., and put them in bags as well. Keep track of your pushrods and lifters.

Remove the crankshaft but put the bearing caps and bolts back in the block. Put your timing chain, sprockets, bolt, eccentric and washer in a plastic bag. Remove the camshaft.

Find a good engine machine shop in your area. Let them boil the block and Magnaflux it for cracks. If you have a crack or rust hole, stop. There is no point in spending any more money on a bad casting.

Get a price from a few machine shops. They will measure the cylinder bores, buy the pistons and rings, and do all the machine work. When you get this far, let me know.

By the way, use CARBURETOR CLEANER. It will cut through the junk in your carburetor. - Dave
If I go so far, this project will runs for years, or can just stuck forever, very easy to lost interest in this case of scenario, no specific tools, space and time to perform that.
Better to buy complete running used engine, that will save money and time, am not mined to work to spent 2-3 days to fix the engine like, change head gasket or fix valves, but not a complete rebuilt, it will take so many hours of your labor, ordering the right parts and huge amount of money.
I try 3 different brands of carb sprays, didn't help, the black stuff in the carb, is looked like black 20 years old dry out resin, the tuff one.

Last edited by Rezonans : 12-30-2014 at 07:00 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2014, 11:45 AM
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Getting carburetors cleaned when they are loaded with varnish isn't easy. The first thing is to buy a gallon of carburetor cleaner at your local auto store. Put the body of the carb in a pan and pour enough cleaner into it to get into all the passages. You may have to let it soak for a few days. The rest of the parts can be put in the can. It has a basket that the parts sit in.

John
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2014, 12:30 PM
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I agree with Dave about your present engine. It sounds like it's been extremely neglected. I'd hate to see you put time and money into a quick fix and find out the block is cracked or the cylinders are worn past the point of being usable. 390's are fairly plentiful so a replacement engine or even just a short block is an option if you don't want to get into a long rebuild. Replacement aluminum heads are also available which does away with the need for any sort of lead substitute. Without knowing what your budget is it's difficult to make specific recommendations. As far as the brakes go I would completely overhaul them with new metal and rubber lines, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, brake shoes, hardware and new or turned drums. Drum brakes are mediocre at best so you want everything new to give you the best possible performance. As far as engine performance goes using a higher octane grade of gas than regular is my recommendation. Also with so much ethanol being used I would recommend using a fuel additive if the car is going to sit for extended periods of time. Hopefully I've answered some of your questions.

John
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2014, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezonans View Post
...Better to buy complete running used engine, that will save money and time, am not mined to work to spent 2-3 days to fix the engine like, change head gasket or fix valves, but not a complete rebuilt, it will take so many hours of your labor, ordering the right parts and huge amount of money...
Restoration is not cheap and now you know why so many failed before you.
I gave you sound advice that is the most inexpensive and will last the longest.
If you buy a 'good used' engine it will probably be another 'unknown' that may also be a boat anchor. So it boils down to this... either pay a good mechanic to do the work correctly, do the work yourself (but do it right), or sell the project to someone who can do the work like others that came before you.

When I buy an engine, I always buy with the intention of rebuilding it. FE engines are decades old and chances are, you will not find one with a lot of life left in it.

Most FE engines were built for leaded gas but folks continue to run them on unleaded. This causes a slow death to valves. Your engine bears witness to this. If you pull the heads and machine them, then your piston rings will fail because they cannot hold the new compression. Then you will pull the heads again to work on pistons. Guess what, you just wasted another $100 on gaskets when you could have done everything one time and saved money and labor. - Dave
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2014, 12:26 AM
Rezonans Rezonans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Restoration is not cheap and now you know why so many failed before you.
I gave you sound advice that is the most inexpensive and will last the longest.
If you buy a 'good used' engine it will probably be another 'unknown' that may also be a boat anchor. So it boils down to this... either pay a good mechanic to do the work correctly, do the work yourself (but do it right), or sell the project to someone who can do the work like others that came before you.

When I buy an engine, I always buy with the intention of rebuilding it. FE engines are decades old and chances are, you will not find one with a lot of life left in it.

Most FE engines were built for leaded gas but folks continue to run them on unleaded. This causes a slow death to valves. Your engine bears witness to this. If you pull the heads and machine them, then your piston rings will fail because they cannot hold the new compression. Then you will pull the heads again to work on pistons. Guess what, you just wasted another $100 on gaskets when you could have done everything one time and saved money and labor. - Dave
In my case, I will never pay even the dollar, for the used engine, before I make a compression test, that will give an idea in what condition is it.
Is any one know some tricks to adjust the engine, to work better with unleaded gas, or to use some gas additive.
Or you guys, just used 91 grade unleaded gasoline and wait until it kills your valve, then rebuilt the engine one more time.
What about the oil, is that important to use oil with zinc.
Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil 20W-50 High Zinc is this a good choice.
Thank you. And happy New Year.
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2014, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezonans View Post
Is any one know some tricks to adjust the engine, to work better with unleaded gas, or to use some gas additive.
Or you guys, just used 91 grade unleaded gasoline and wait until it kills your valve, then rebuilt the engine one more time.
What about the oil, is that important to use oil with zinc.
Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil 20W-50 High Zinc is this a good choice.
Thank you. And happy New Year.
There are no tricks to using unleaded gas. If you use a lead additive you will save your valve seats. If you don't you will ruin them eventually. Or you can pay to have them replaced with hardened valve seats.

There are oils that have high zinc levels. Shell Rotella T is what I usually use. Royal Purple also has high levels of zinc. There are others but they are usually harder to find.

John
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