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1960 falcon six newbie question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lcpland, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Newbie question that I’m hoping someone can help me with quickly. I just got a 1960 falcon with a 144cu i inline 6 and a ford-o-matic auto transmission.
    Questions are, what type of engine oil you recommend for this high mileage engine, and also what type of transmission fluid for the ol’ ford-o-matic? One more question is that with the ford-o-matic, I assume the engine needs to be running and the tranny in neutral to check the level correct? Also, if needed, tranny fluid goes in the dipstick tune right?
     
  2. ttpete
    Joined: Mar 21, 2013
    Posts: 178

    ttpete
    Member
    from SE MI

    The 2 speed Fordomatic original fluid was Type A. I'm not going to get into engine oils at this point. Others will. One of the big problems with these engines was that the oil pump was driven with a 1/4" hex shaft, and it was a gerotor type pump. Once the engine got sludged up a bit, a piece of crap would work its way into the pump and seize it so that the little driveshaft would twist off and the engine would seize for lack of oil. There were also problems with rocker arm lubrication because it was lubricated with oil that was supposed to feed up around a rear head bolt. We used to pull that bolt out and grind a flat on one side to enhance the oil supply.

    The original 144 CID engine was the biggest slug in the world. I'd look for a 200 CID unit to replace it. It will have a bigger 5/16" pump drive to cure the aforementioned problem.

    The transmission shift point is controlled by a vacuum modulator. If the diaphragm is ruptured, tranny fluid will be sucked up the tube into the intake manifold and burned in the engine and the tranny will run low quickly. Pull the hose off at the intake manifold and see if there's any fluid in it. If there is, replace the modulator assembly. The dipstick tube is also the filler port.

    On top of the shock towers, there's a bridge piece on top that the upper end of the shock mounts to. This piece can fatigue and crack, and when it does, you'll see the top end of the shock punch a hole through the hood. Keep an eye on these.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  3. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,457

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I drive a '60 Falcon, with a 144, daily, and have figured out how to make it quite zippy. It is only a slug if you LEAVE it that way. It has potential that the factory never implemented. I manage 75 on the freeway, for as long as a tank lasts, and can see 32-mpg, if I do the speed limit.

    I'd keep it.

    Run 10w30 Valvoline VR-1.
     
  4. I agree with the above oil choice, Valvoline 10/30 (Portland doesn't get that hot or that cold for long periods of time) Most new Tranny fluid blends today work on all transmissions but get type A or ask your auto parts guy (Baxters is usually a good place) Your Dip stick should have checking instructions engraved on it more than likely level ground in neutral. Might be a mark for hot and cold levels. And yes, fill it though the filler tube with a funnel (not the oil fill, right? Right.)
     

  5. ttpete
    Joined: Mar 21, 2013
    Posts: 178

    ttpete
    Member
    from SE MI

    That brings back memories of towing a 4X8 box trailer with 3 motocross bikes behind a 1962 Econoline turtletop camper on the interstate. If I ever had to lift on the throttle, it would take the better part of 5 miles to get back up to the speed limit at WOT all the way. Been there, done that. Only thing worse was a VW 25 hp. van towing the same trailer.

    I shattered the dreams of many Falcon owners back then when I told them that their wagon couldn't keep up with a VW of the time. Including my father.
     
  6. 53 effie
    Joined: Oct 21, 2004
    Posts: 237

    53 effie
    Member

    I drive a 60 Ranchero daily but it has a 200 from a 75 Maverick. I have a toploader overdrive and 3.55 rear gears. I get close to 30 mpg if the conditions are right at 70 or so. Have to think I'd get 30 if I had a cover on the bed.

    I don't see a 144 with a 2 speed auto doing it at 70 mph but maybe I'm wrong. What's your setup?


    Oh and I run 10w-40 oil for a high mileage motor. Can't help you on the auto trans.. if it takes Type A like "ttpete" says; go with that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  7. ttpete
    Joined: Mar 21, 2013
    Posts: 178

    ttpete
    Member
    from SE MI

    Once, I had to use a Falcon Ranchero to tow a double decker car trailer 200 miles with a Maserati 150-S and a Porsche Speedster loaded on it. No trailer brakes, and 9 inch drums on the Falcon. After the first two red lights I sailed through standing on the brake pedal, I slowed down considerably. The boss and I had a discussion after we got back from the race.
     
    StarDiero75 likes this.
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,457

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not an auto, but you could make an auto equipped 144 way better.

    For a 144, ditch the distributor and carburetor. They both were marginal, even when brand new. They are a linked system. The carburetor controls the distributor, so the the distributor needs to be changed first, if doing both, over time.

    I run a Davis Unified Ignition HEI distributor and wires. Plugs gapped at 0.45". Not sure how much advance, as I am way past the end of the tab. Lots of advance.

    If you are running a 144, or any other Ford 6, with a Load-O-Matic distributor, getting rid of it is the single biggest, best thing that you can do. It is almost impossible to overstate the benefit of this change alone. Cap the Spark Control Valve port, and hook it up to manifold vacuum. If you spend no other money, get the distributor and wires.

    Weber 32/36 carburetor, on an adapter from Classicinlines. The primary is a tiny bit smaller than the single barrel on the 144's original carburetor. It does not make a noticeable performance gain (after the distributor), but it does meter the fuel way better than stock (and it is not all worn out), so mileage will improve. Where it really shines is the fact that is has a whole other, vacuum controlled, second barrel. This engine has a top-end! It really does! It can pass on the freeway! This is just not possible with the original 1-bbl.

    It made 75, with the stock 3-speed manual, but with a tall 1st gear, and one that is not synchronized too, it just was not cutting it in the city, or in traffic. 3rd. left me wishing for another gear above, so out that went.

    Custom cut my flywheel to accommodate a Diesel Jeep clutch disc, and a Mercedes pressure plate. Around that went an early Econoline bell, backed by an Offenhauser adapter, holding an S10 T5 5-speed (3.76 gearset). McLeod supplied the Ford to GM pilot bushing. I modified the stock clutch fork to accommodate an unmodified S10 T5 throwout bearing.

    Next up is milling 0.60" off the head, to bring the compression ratio up.

    For good measure, I backed it up with an 8.8 (3.55:1), re-drilled to accept the stock wheels. I did power brakes, and front discs (from Scarebird), some time ago.

    Not a V8, but a blast to drive, will climb a 21% grade, at or above the posted limit, with ease. 10,000x cooler than a Civic, or a Corolla.
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  9. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,457

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Oh, and I run 10w30 VR-1, as I just rebuilt the 144.
     
  10. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Listen to Gimpy on 144 stuff. He has been tweaking at his for awhile now. I agree with the VR1 10w-30 oil weights and brand as well, (Valvoline by the way, just make sure it is VR1 and not the regular stuff). When these cars first came out in late '59. Hot Rod and all the other magazines out there fell all over them and wrote several articles on how to make them quicker. The engine itself went almost 200 at Bonneville in Bill Burke's mini streamliner, and midget racers did use them a bit too. If the engine is in good shape, I see no problem with keeping it and hopping it up a bit and enjoying.

    That trans though.... Dear God, they should have thrown that thing away the day it was born! Gimpy's car is currently set up with an S-10 T-5 five speed, and if you are going to spend any money on your car I very highly recommend you do the same. Just replacing your trans with something that has a good close gear ratio set will make improvements to performance that could have never been thought of when the car was new, and turn back better mileage too. My wagon has a later C/4 that my girlfriend BEGGED me to put in so she could drive it. Since November she has driven it 3 miles, I have driven it 7000. It too will get a T-5 soon...
     
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  11. 53 effie
    Joined: Oct 21, 2004
    Posts: 237

    53 effie
    Member

    Interesting setup. I have Ford Duraspark electronic ignition on my 200 from the 75 Maverick. That helps a lot over the stock ignition.

    My motor is supposed to have low mileage (about 50k original old lady miles) and pulls good in every gear but I'm thinking it would like more compression. I did mill the head a little before I put it together but I didn't touch the bottom end. Have a set of true flat top pistons ready whenever I decide it needs rebuilt. I use a Carter YF carb but have heard that a Weber carb is a good option.
     
  12. Giovanni
    Joined: Jan 21, 2010
    Posts: 173

    Giovanni
    Member

    i drive a 62 wagon with a stock 144 every day. It's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be, but i have the 3 speed. Definitely more of a mid range to top end motor. I've done 25000 mostly trouble free miles. I am looking at upgrading the distributor and carb. I've always heard not to hop these up because they only have a 4 bearing crank, but maybe I'm just being too cautious. I run Rotella 15-40 for the zinc and because it's not a high revving engine, but vr-1 would probably be a better choice. I had to rush it onto the road because someone totaled my only other vehicle, and the only way i could get it to run well was to open up the idle circuit hole and drill the main jet with a very small wire gauge drill, but I get about 20mpg average. A little less if its mostly city, and i've gotten 25 on long country cruises at about 45mph. Check the entire brake system, it only has a single circuit master cylinder and with an automatic you won't be able to engine brake as well should you blow a line or seal. Good luck and have fun!
     
  13. mikeey rat
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 169

    mikeey rat
    Member
    from Australia

    my sedan delivery runs a170 3 speed and yep 10w40 is the go.The carb and dizzy swap is next on my list.search the forum for [doing falcons right thread ]some good info there.Great little cars always have at least one pre 65 falcon in the family for the last 30 years.good luck and enjoy
     
  14. awesome info, thanks everyone!!
    Larry
     
  15. VTjunk
    Joined: Jul 5, 2013
    Posts: 286

    VTjunk
    Member

    I have a 60 falcon that had a completely stock 65 200 in it with a 3 speed trans. I saw 29-30mpg on the highway regularly. I have since replaced it with a slightly modded 200. I agree the automatic trans is awful and should be replaced with a C4 or a standard trans. You'll be much happier with the cars performance.
     
  16. cowboy.3d
    Joined: Mar 8, 2009
    Posts: 109

    cowboy.3d
    Member
    from Austin TX

    I just brought home a '64 Ranchero with a 170 and 3 speed. Thanks, for the information.
     
  17. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,293

    sunbeam
    Member

    The 60 144 had problems with oil getting to the rockers. The oil comes up around the left rear head bolt. A service bulletin said to grind a flat side on the bolt in 61 ford fixed the problem.
     
  18. I'd have bet somebody else's paycheck that the A/T in this Falcon would have used Type F fluid, but the only posted suggestions were for Type A. Was the Ford-O-Matic an exception to this rule for some reason? :confused:
     
  19. Back in '62 I used to ride to work with a guy that had one of these bombs. We started at 5000 foot elevation and drove 20 miles or so to about 7000 ft elevation. That poor Falcon was either lugging or revving at red line for the full trip. Did OK coming home though.
     
  20. LWEL9226
    Joined: Jul 7, 2012
    Posts: 309

    LWEL9226
    Member
    from So. Oregon

    I was thinking exactly the same thing....... :confused: :confused:

    Lynn W
     
  21. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,457

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As followup, Classic Inlines is out of business, as the owner has died.

    Davis Unified Ignition no longer makes the distributor for the 144/early 170, as they can no longer get the drive gear.

    The carburetor adapter should be easy enough to get. The distributor will require a later model one, and a sympathetic machinist.

    Oh, and on a personal note, my '60 is now set up with a T56 6-speed!
     
  22. 57Custom300
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,364

    57Custom300
    Member
    from Arizona

    Way back in the 60's I got a speeding ticket for doing 90 in a 70 zone in the old man's 60 Falcon 144 w/3sp trans. They're only a slug if you just continue to drive it that way. Back then if a customer came in with their cars running like those would end up doing, they would be all over your ass if you didn't fix it right.
     
  23. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,995

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio


    ttpete. This is the kind of quality responses that really amazes me about the hamb. Thank you. You must have worked on these for a living.
     
  24. Falcon61wagon
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 132

    Falcon61wagon
    Member
    from Indiana

    What did he die from?
     
  25. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,995

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Thats good. I spit on my screen.
     
  26. Falcon61wagon
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 132

    Falcon61wagon
    Member
    from Indiana

    My apologies. I wasn't trying to be insensitive. I hadn't heard yet.
     
  27. Kinky6
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 1,765

    Kinky6
    Member

    He got cancer; don't remember what type. It was sudden enough that there wasn't any time to deal with anyone being able to continue the store just then. K6
     
  28. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,995

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    Now we are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Apparently my response was incorrect too. Let's just drop it and get back to the subject.
     
  29. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,327

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    I'm thinking the plug gap and the head milling in post #8 both may need a zero added.
    Plug gap 0.045" and head milling 0.060" ?
     
  30. Falcon61wagon
    Joined: Mar 15, 2014
    Posts: 132

    Falcon61wagon
    Member
    from Indiana

    Still have your t5 set up?
     

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