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NEED TO GET A STUBBORN LIFTER OUT OF A 352

March 25 2010 at 3:16 PM
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John Hemphill  (Login emailhemphill)
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Not long ago, I traded some stuff for a 1965 352 engine, which I put in a 1969 F250 to replace the very worn 360 in it. This 352 I was told had run well before it was removed from another truck. I started it and found a misfire in the 3rd cylinder back, passengers side. Through process of elimination, the miss has nothing to do with improper spark or fuel/air delivery. It doesn't smoke nor knock. There is no loud noises when it runs, except if I listen hard I think I can hear a faint tapping, not much though. (I had a 390 years ago that had bad lifters but didn't make loud noises). A cranking compression test gave me more than 120 lbs. It seems reasonable since in that year of pickup, the compression was not very high to begin with. A dynamic compression test showed me that at very low idle, the compression would drop below 120, reg. idle speed gave me 120, and revving it a little would give me also less than 120 again. Revving would also cause that cylinder to fire.....but not fully, I dont think. The air pressure needle looked to me to be just a little erratic much of the time. The valves seem to move freely. I tried to get the valve lifters for that cylinder out with a very strong magnet, but they wouldn't budge. Next I went and got a lifter remover with an expandable collet and a slide hammer built in. I notice on that particular cylinder, you can access the lifters by removing the pushrods. NOW before I go and use that lifter remover, I'm gonna bet there is some carbon or gummy stuff built up thats going to make me fight it. So I want to ask all you enthusiasts of one of the very best v8 engineering feats of all time.....the FE engine......whats some good stuff I can shoot at the top of those lifters......that will seep down and loosen that carbon junk?

P.S. I had heard that the previous owner had work done to one of the heads once. I didn't think much about that until I noticed that one of the pushrods I took out....on the missing cylinder..was scraped up a little and not varnished over. Then I noticed what looked like tiny hammer marks. That made it look like somebody pounded the pushrod once to straighten it. What a cheapskate. Im not going to trust that pushrod. What happened here, if I have compression? Did the pushrod jump out of the rocker arm and bind on something? I did notice that on the corresponding lifter, once after trying the magnet on it, I put the pushrod back in the lifter top and it gave way, further allowing the rod to drop more than a half inch. So it seems to me like it is not pumping up or I wouldn't have gotten that drop. What do you think?

I'm trying not to take the heads off if I can really help it. For one because of the custom homemade exhaust I crafted for it, which greatly increases the size of the pipes as they come out off of the manifolds. This 5 section exhaust system follows the exact path of an old stock single exhaust for as far as the back wheels, except that all the piping is more than double in size, the sections being held together by circular compression flanges with heat proof gaskets, with from 16 to 26 bolts around each flange assembly...depending on what section it is. The muffler setup is also modified alot. Ford was not really big on room for exhaust at the sides, especially the passenger side, so that side pipe is not exactly what you'd call symmetrical, but its a BIG pipe. That and putting in all those flange bolts....I'm still not sure how I reached those to put them in. But when it was done, my knuckles were wounded and theres a really small custom v notch in one edge the of the frame where part of a flange edge sits. This also makes the headpipe-to-exhaust manifold bolts no fun to reach. So thats why all my fuss to not take off the heads unless I have to. Unless that exhaust comes apart, theres no side to side give at all for those exhaust manifolds to be removed and placed back on. Any tips or advice will surely be welcome. Thanks for reading my lengthy gab. John

 
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