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Projects 223 ford questions

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ferdyeight, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. i just recently picked up a 54 f100 with a 223 and a 4 speed. I haven't had much experience with these motors other than my dad had one when I was growing up in his f100, and now I got some questions:

    1. This motor makes power up to about 2000rpm, and then there is NOTHING. I can understand it's not a race motor, or a high rpm motor, but even in fourth on flat ground with a tail wind this thing doesn't rev over 2200.

    2. Holley 1904 carb has a cracked glass bowl on it. I'm going to pick up another carb (buying it tomorrow) but is there anything I can do to ensure the bowl seals to the carb correctly, and the bowl doesn't break on the new one?

    3. Lastly, I have been looking into the t5 conversion. Has anyone done this to a 223, and does it improve absolutely any aspect of the drivability? My trans works fine right now, but if I could raise the top speed of the truck with a t5 a little bit or make it a little more driveable it may be worthwhile. I have seen the kits online, but never heard any reviews or anything.
     
  2. fastford1956
    Joined: Jan 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    fastford1956

  3. fastford1956
    Joined: Jan 15, 2017
    Posts: 11

    fastford1956


  4. Usually the rear gear ratio is on the vin tag. I have a 56 that had the 4 speed the rear gears are 427 to 1. Taller tires will give you more speed. those 223 engines are not great power makers. you can swap in a 262 from a big truck and get more torque. I had a 66 250 HP 352 car engine in a 56 long bed. and it was pretty stout and didn't use much fuel. I took it out because I have this nailhead with weiand goodies hedders and a lasalle trans that I for some reason believe needs to be in the ford truck. Now you might need to get someone in the cab and have them mash the gas pedal to the floor without the engine running . take off the air cleaner and check to see if the throttle plate is all the way open? Also a worn timing chain will result in a sluggish engine. ngines 005.JPG ngines 003.JPG
     
  5. First thing to check is the vacuum advance can on the dist. Likely not working.
    While your there check the timing.
     
  6. ceege
    Joined: Jul 4, 2017
    Posts: 204

    ceege
    Member
    from NW MT

    I always thought
    That clifford slogan always cracked me up 6=8. Buy $1000 of our stuff and make it run like a $500 v8.
    223 is a pooch. I think it will never run like a V8.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy and Old wolf like this.
  7. cosmotiki
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 17

    cosmotiki
    Member
    from SoCal

    John Mummert @ ford-y-block. com sells a T5 adapter. I have one on my 56. Best thing I did besides the Pertronix Ignitor from a performance perspective. Don't expect a lot of revs, tho. I have dual 1904's, a split header, ratio rockers (poor man's cam) & a lightweight flywheel, and stock rear axle... my 223 stops pulling at 3000ish rpm. They're tourqey tractor motors, more like a diesel w/ power down low.

    Sent from my XT1585 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  8. I don't expect it to be a high winding motor whatsoever. I don't have a speedometer right now, but my truck feels like it tops out at about 40, and if there was a way to get it closer to the highway speeds of today (on flat ground and downhill) without a v8, I'd be all for it. Or at least get it to 55 without it absolutely screaming. I believe the yblock.com adapter is the one I'm looking at. And if I'm not mistaken, it takes a t5 from a mustang up to 93? Where does that put the shifter coming through the floor? And where'd you get the lightweight flywheel from if you don't mind me askin? And I'm gonna do a good tune up on it as soon as I get my fuel delivery issues sorted out, as well as checking the timing. How hard is it to replace the timing chain? The motor I have has an unknown history, and although it looks freshly rebuilt (or close to it) I want to make sure it's gonna live for a while, and I believe it's not too much to ask for it to be fairly trouble free.
     
    High Plains Bug likes this.
  9. IMG_0376.JPG IMG_0377.JPG Don't mind the terrifying wiring hanging everywhere, that's about to get fixed. As well as the fuel leak onto my intake manifold.
     
  10. I'd suspect a blockage in the exhaust system. Here's how to test for it: Hook a vacuum gauge up to the intake or carb and check vacuum at idle. If the engine is in good tune it should be 18 inches or higher at idle. bring the engine speed up and watch the gauge. The vacuum should remain where it was at idle or a little less at high engine speed. If the vacuum drops off a lot, [shows 5 inches or less at 2000 rpm] you have a blockage in the exhaust. Fix it and the engine should make power well past 2000 rpm.
    Regarding the T-5 swap: I had a 62 ford shortbox with a 223/3 speed and when I'd visit my dad, I had to drive up a 5 mile long steep hillside. The little 223 would pull down in 3rd gear and I'd be forced to shift to 2nd gear. I'd wind that sucker up in 2nd and shift back into 3rd and the cycle would start all over again. I was wishing I had an "in between" gear to pull that hill [and others] without stressing that little engine. A T-5 would have been perfect.
    If you do a search here I think there are several threads regarding bolting a T-5 against the 223 engine.
    EDIT: OK, now I see the photos. Take that air cleaner off and try again. Those little paper jobs have caused trouble before.
     
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,376

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It has a Load-O-Matic. Vacuum runs the whole deal. There is no mechanical advance.

    The single biggest upgrade that will yield power is to can the distributor, and get a modern one.
     
    sunbeam and town sedan like this.
  12. That plastic gas filter is a fire waiting to happen. You engine appears to be newer than your truck. It has a PCV. Could have came out of a 1964 truck. The timing chain can be changed by removing the harmonic balancer and front cover. Be careful the marks don't alighn. There are 12 pins between the marks. Like on a Y block and some AMC engines.
     
    town sedan likes this.
  13. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,902

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    That little "air cleaner" is part of your problem. Those Holleys need the intake of air routed correctly, not half choked ...
    A 223 Ford 6 is plenty of engine for a pickup. First 5 years I was breaking in as a mechanic, our shop truck was a '54 F250 4 speed stake bed with a crane, torch, & big tool box. It was on service calls 24 hrs., chased parts, pulled loaded spud trucks out of fields, & took 15 year olds deer hunting. We highwayed the poor thing at 55 - 60, never once caused a problem. Other than adjusting the valves, oil changes, lubing the points & keeping brushes in the generator nothing was needed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  14. StarDiero75
    Joined: Jan 15, 2017
    Posts: 170

    StarDiero75
    Member

    I know this is a completely different engine, but my ford 200 in my Ranchero did a lot better once I changed the 1904 out to a 1940, then even better to a weber 32/36. I pulled the 1904 off a 52 F100 and it worked well for a carb I pulled off at the auto wreckers and slapped on used gaskets in it all within 1 day, haha.

    You can fix the leak In the bowl by putting the whole carb in a vice, and using an acetylene torch to heat the bowl area, very carefully tighten the vice. Use a block of wood or steel to flatten the bowl against. What's happened is it probably got over tightened over the years and it's warped. I had that problem with mine for a little bit but I slowly tightened the bowl until it stopped.

    Do look at putting a weber on the truck, it made my car run so much smoother due to all the jets being set perfectly for it. Vintage Inlines sells an adapter for it. Just make sure you go to HEI off you do, or just do the HEI. It also made my car run a lot nicer. If you want any details on the weber conversion PM me, I got you. It shouldn't be too much different than on my 200 to set up.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.
  15. StarDiero75
    Joined: Jan 15, 2017
    Posts: 170

    StarDiero75
    Member

    I can top that spooky wiring in my Studebaker. Some dumby practically rewired the car. Haha IMAG0668.jpg
     
  16. cosmotiki
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 17

    cosmotiki
    Member
    from SoCal

    My T5 is a hybrid; Mustang guts w/ an S10 box so the shifter sits right. The Mustang box will put the shifter really close to the seat, but I think it's still do-able w/ some creative bends in the shift lever. An old timer from San Diego built it for me 10yrs ago, not sure where he's at now. The flywheel is an NOS Weber score from the swap meet. Will try to get some pics & post this weekend.

    Sent from my XT1585 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,376

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Which Mustang box did you use? Some of them have a longer input shaft (SN95, SVO).
     
  18. cosmotiki
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 17

    cosmotiki
    Member
    from SoCal

    Not sure since I didn't build the trsns. As I recall, I did trim about 1/4" off the end of the input shaft, per Mummert's direction.

    Sent from my XT1585 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  19. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,376

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  20. dave 62 pb
    Joined: Nov 5, 2013
    Posts: 235

    dave 62 pb
    Member

    Got the 223 in my Edsel so know what you are going through mine does cruise at 60 no problem even when towing the travel trailer until it hits hills then the 2 speed struggles
    I am intending to upgrade to a A4LD trans and do something with the intake as that Holley 1904 is like something off a 90 inch engine not a 223
    I like the 223 its good on gas which is a bonus over here in the UK as its on average $7 per gallon and i use mine daily a 302 or 351 would be nice but they are not cheap over here failing that i would have to use a 4.6 modular or 4.0 V6 Explorer if i wanted to keep with Ford as these are more available
     
  21. My father bought a brand new 59 ford. it was a 223 wirh two speed aluminum automatic and 355 rear gears. First thing he built a trailer hitch . Went to towing a home built trailer loades with stuff between Gary Indiana and Pocahontas Ar. The cars engine and transmission was shot before thirty thousand miles. He bought a 56 four door HTP that musta had 55 gallons of bondo in it. He was intending on swapping the Y block and automatic into the 59. The 56 would backfire thru the Tea Pot carb and ran poorly and catch fire. thinking it had bad valves my older Brother took off the cyl heads. Nothing wrong with the valves. (it likely was a lean fuel condition caused by a plugged main jet. Any way the Y block set many years taken apart and the engine rusted. A few years later when I was 14 got a 56 two dr htp and after a FE swap I needed a stronger rear end. I took the 355 rear chunk from the low mile 59. It was junk every bearing was worn and loose. I don't remember the 223 having any trouble pulling the trailer at speed but I was only 9 years old at the time. I owned a 59 Ranchero 223 and three speed and 355 rear gears. and it pulled and ran 60 MPH ok. But I did a valve job and replaced a very loose timing chain. And even after I rigged up a PCV it had lots of blowby fumes exiting the crankcase. It had the best warmest heater of any old car I ever drove. It was full of bondo. the bottom 6 inches of the body was made from bondo cardboard and plaster lath. I never really liked it. To me it wasn't a good truck not enough suspension to haul anything no way to put a stock rack on it. And not a good car because me the wife and three kids couldnt fit in it.Nobody around here would buy it because of all the filler. A guy from New York came by and I showed him the bondo and excessive blow by. He thought it was really solid because the frame wasn't rusted away. And He bought it. The clutch on the Ranchero started slipping. So after work one nite me and my sons took it apart. It had a little dinky clutch and the trans inpuit was fine splines. We didn't have any parts. So we installed the flywheel & 10 inch clutch from a Y block had to use a different 57 trans because we needed a coarse splined inpuit. At present I have 3 223 engines in the hoard. A 59 engine out of a station wagon. a 56 pickup engine and the disasembled one that was original to my 55 wagon.
     
  22. paleot
    Joined: Aug 29, 2011
    Posts: 227

    paleot
    Member
    from louisiana

    I used to run a 223 in a B class dirt car, Clifford intake 500 cfm 2bbl holley. Ran a 262 crank and rods had to grind all the castings for bolt holes inside the block to clear the crank throws. Ran std 11½ to one 390 ford v8 pistons offset wrist pins made it rattle pretty good at idle. Don't think this would be a suitable choice for street.
     
    ceege likes this.
  23. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,278

    sunbeam
    Member

    390 bore 4.050 223 bore 3.625 that's only a .425 over bore why did you stop there.
     
    Bill Whitehurst and 302GMC like this.
  24. @Ferdyeight I bought my dad a clean looking 54 f100 about 10 years ago for fathers day. It ran fine, but I couldn't drive it when I looked at it because of the lack of functioning brakes. I brought it home and redid all the brakes, then drove it for the first time. it never smoked, but would not go over 2000 to 2200 rpm with a load on it. I gave it to dad, and a few months later we started tearing it apart to build. when we starting tearing it down I was under the truck taking the u joint saddle bolts out.....the drive shaft starting turning. So I asked dad to put it in gear, his reply was "its in gear.."..... this truck did not smoke ran fine, never missed a beat till you hit 2000 RPM. But it was so worn out, that I could turn it over from the drive shaft with a 3/8 wrench while in gear and my dad could watch the balancer turn.

    I would not buy single thing for that 6 until you do a compression check and pull the pan. it may not be worth saving.
     
    Old wolf likes this.
  25. I tried running it without the air cleaner on it and it made no real difference. And i appreciate the advice on the timing and the distributor. As far as converting it to a Weber, or another carb I may consider it. I also have a spare 223 that has the 2 valve cover bolts instead of the perimeter bolts. Are these motors the same and all interchangeable for the 223 between the 50s and 60s? Apparently the bell housing and such is the same, and I would guess most everything interchanges except maybe the head?
     
  26. You likely have a newer engine than a 54. At least the top end is newer. They made a 223 with a (silent Lash) valve train and it wasn't too good. Grab the front pulley (harmonic balancer) wiggle it back and forth. You can hear and feel any slack between the crank and valve train. There is a little orifice that dribbles oil on the timing chain. if it gets plugged the timing set runs dry and wears out pretty quickly.
     
  27. How'd you figure Out I was from Bakersfield?
     
  28. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,376

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Magic.

    But seriously, I recognized the gas station.
     
  29. fiftyv8
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 5,199

    fiftyv8
    Member
    from CO & WA

    IMHO, the 223 that I had in my F100 was just a good old industrial quality engine that struggled to do 60mph.
    It hauled just OK but struggled in altitude and was always short one gear or maybe two if you wanted o/d.
    In your case, maybe do a cylinder compression check first up and see what the numbers are.
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.

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