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Old 06-02-2009, 11:58 PM   #1
Bad Bob
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Default Ford 400m timing help!

I've spent the last hour on the internet trying to find the timing specs for a Ford 400m. Not my choice of motors,but that's what my Merc came with. Can somebody help me out?
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:16 AM   #2
TexasHardcore
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Leave vacuum line on and set timing to 30* BTDC at 3,000RPM

Try that, if it doesn't work, you're screwed. JK...just play with the timing. If you hear pinging, back it off a bit.
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

DUDE! Thanks SOOO much! It was running kinda crappy. This should straighten her out...
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Bob, let us know how it is after you've done as suggested. Is your 400 a stocker or not? They respond well to a little tickling , a healthy one will pull like a school boy !
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Old 06-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

It pulls awesome but starts to flutter. I'll mess with it when I get home from work. It didn't do it before,but I tried to give it the "Bad Bob Tune-up",and messed it all up! I'll let you guys know how it works.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Well,got home and put the timing light on it and set it to about 10* BTDC. Same thing....sputter,sputter! So I backed it down to TDC and it smoothed right out! Revv'd it up a few times and the throttle response is AWESOME now!!!! Should drive great now....I'll find out on the way to Ink-n-Iron tomorrow...
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

IIRC they're supposed to like about 6 degrees initial timing (that's what the factory recommends, I always ran more in my Clevelands but I don't remember what). Those dampers they used on the 335 series motors though liked to rot out the rubber letting the outer ring slip, making the timing marks useless. I actually encountered it with a balancer, so it must not be too uncommon. If there's even a question about it, bring #1 to top dead center and put some timing tape on it (I just replaced my balancer with a new one, but I worked at a speed shop at the time, and our house brand balancers were Romac's, so it was too good a deal to pass up).
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Last edited by Bettlejuice; 06-03-2009 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Stockwise, the timing set is 4 degrees retarded. Just by putting on a double roller Cloyes timing set put to "straight-up" will make it perform. If the PO did this, then yeah, the valve cover sticker of 10 degrees will be wrong.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

It's a pretty old motor. I'm sure it hasn't ever been touched,til I messed with it. I'm eventually putting a 302/C4 in it,so I don't plan on spending any money on it. We'll see how it performs this weekend.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Bob, there was (is) a great page on these engines:

http://web.archive.org/web/200712261...250/index.html

http://web.archive.org/web/200712161...s/parts01.html

Probably more than you'd ever want to know...they can be great motors...don't give up just yet!
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by havi View Post
Stockwise, the timing set is 4 degrees retarded. Just by putting on a double roller Cloyes timing set put to "straight-up" will make it perform. If the PO did this, then yeah, the valve cover sticker of 10 degrees will be wrong.
10* was just a guess. I couldn't believe how much it pepped up by retarding it! Usually advancing the timing does the trick.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
It's a pretty old motor. I'm sure it hasn't ever been touched,til I messed with it. I'm eventually putting a 302/C4 in it,so I don't plan on spending any money on it. We'll see how it performs this weekend.
I'd say piss on the 302, slap some 4V heads on 'er (on a 400 you'd probably need open chambers or dished pistons), and let her rip! You can build a 400 up pretty nice, check out the 335 Forum over at Network54. I wouldn't hesitate to run a 400 if I had a car with one, I LOVE Clevelands, I like using factory performance parts whenever I can, and Clevelands have a nice selection of factory parts. 350+ HP definitely not be out of the question with a mild upgrades at a fairly cheap pricetag.

If you have a C4, see if you can find a big block bellhousing for it and use that transmission with it, I ran a C4 behind a Cleveland and it was a nice combo.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
10* was just a guess. I couldn't believe how much it pepped up by retarding it! Usually advancing the timing does the trick.
Doesn't sound like it has a 'updated' timing set then. I've heard a stock replacement "double roller" set will work wonders, since it does away with the factory retard. LOL I'm going to hell now...

BTW, I have a 351m In my Cougar...it's got some guts...and from what I've read, it CAN be a really great engine with the right parts. One of those overlooked & misunderstood engines.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

I have a C6 in it right now. The thing I don't like about it is it's SOOOO fuckin heavy! Plus the C6 weighs a ton also! I know about the 335 sight. A guy on there suggested some head work and a RV cam. I already have an Edelbrock Performer manifold and 600 carb on it. I've been looking for a highrise manifold or air-gap,but haven't found anything.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
I have a C6 in it right now. The thing I don't like about it is it's SOOOO fuckin heavy! Plus the C6 weighs a ton also! I know about the 335 sight. A guy on there suggested some head work and a RV cam. I already have an Edelbrock Performer manifold and 600 carb on it. I've been looking for a highrise manifold or air-gap,but haven't found anything.
I think if you run the numbers it's not all that much heavier than a 302, and lighter than a 460...
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MercMan1951 View Post
Doesn't sound like it has a 'updated' timing set then. I've heard a stock replacement "double roller" set will work wonders, since it does away with the factory retard. LOL I'm going to hell now...

BTW, I have a 351m In my Cougar...it's got some guts...and from what I've read, it CAN be a really great engine with the right parts. One of those overlooked & misunderstood engines.
The guy who wrote the FORD Hop-up book I bought LOVES them,and says they can be a real torque monster! I just started reading it and plan on looking for some of the performance parts he recomends.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:57 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MercMan1951 View Post
I think if you run the numbers it's not all that much heavier than a 302, and lighter than a 460...
Jeremy's Merc,that's over at slddnmatt's shop has a BUILT 460 and it sounds INSANE!!!!!
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Aluminum heads (CHI's) and intake= the weight of a stock iron 302. Aussie heads are the cat's meow for a mild build. Otherwise www.tmeyerinc.com Tim has the goods.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

I think the Ms get a bad rap... other than the dismal compression ratio and smogger heads I think they are pretty solid...

I think that early "better" Cleveland heads will bolt up improving both issues.

There is some debate over the early 2V vs. 4V heads being best, (I think the 2Vs for a more streetable engine, 4V for balls out) but little doubt that either set of early Cleveland heads will help A LOT..

If it were me I would think hard about making the M engine work,,,,, or putting a bad ass 368 LYB in there....
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ford 400m timing help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Bob View Post
The guy who wrote the FORD Hop-up book I bought LOVES them,and says they can be a real torque monster! I just started reading it and plan on looking for some of the performance parts he recomends.
I always thought it was a huge boat anchor, but after much reading in both books and on the net (see the link I sent you), and some footage I have seen from drag races, I am convinced it is an overlooked engine, with great potential.
Downside is that it can be comparable to a BB Chevy in terms of build cost. But, it's unique.
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