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54 Ford Mainline Build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rustyfords, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. Hang in there Don,it will all come together,just keep after it. HRP
  2. This evening, I checked compression and got the following readings:

    Cylinder 1 109
    Cylinder 2 100
    Cylinder 3 112
    Cylinder 4 120
    Cylinder 5 125
    Cylinder 6 155
    Cylinder 7 125
    Cylinder 8 130
  3. That's not a great compression test result but plenty enough to run.

    Did you get your firing order figured out?
    Electric fuel pump? Flooding?
  4. Yeah...I'm not thrilled with the numbers either, but the engine was cold and the cylinder walls were washed down with gas from that may have affected them somewhat.

    I haven't tried the 351 firing order yet....I'll try that tomorrow.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2012
  5. I've been browsing the web...seeking knowledge about HEIs and Ive found it mentioned a few times that its a good idea to run 12 volts to them directly from the battery through a relay.

    And that sometimes they won't work properly unless you do so.

    Does this sound kosher to anyone familiar with them?

    I know it's a bit weird running an HEI in a Ford... but what the heck....I've got the dern thing, I might as well try to make it work.
  6. I've never dealt with Ford HEI but I've added them to many pre-1972 Chevy and just ran the 12 volts directly in without a relay. (they don't pull much current) The 12V supply needs to be switched so it's off when the key is off and it needs to be hot in the 'start' AND 'run' positions of the ignition switch. If you're running a ballast resistor you don't need it. If you do have a ballast that could be your starting problem. They'll only supply about 8 volts which is not enough for an HEI.
  7. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,806

    from Phoenix,AZ

    My HEI gets it's 12 volts off the "I" terminal of the solenoid also powers the electric choke.Turn the key on and put your test light to this terminal and when you turn off the key the light should go out.In the first picture picture you can see the red wire going to the HEI, blue wire to electric choke.In the second picture you can see them on the solenoid's "I" terminal,the same terminal with the yellow and white wire.

    Attached Files:

  8. Mark: I'm not running a ballast resistor.

    Jeff: Aren't you running a mini-starter with the solenoid attached to it?

    I have fuel and I have compression and I messed with timing endlessly in both Ford timing orders. What I think my issue is, is spark/wiring.

    When I try your trick Mark, with rotating the distributor so that it fires plug # 1, I get a weak spark and sometimes none at all.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  9. Bigcheese327
    Joined: Sep 16, 2001
    Posts: 6,661


    Bad coil in the HEI?

  10. could be...I need to test it

    I have to admit that ignition wiring isn't my strong suit, but I'm gonna learn it. So I'm thinking I need to test resistance across the coil with my multimeter.
  11. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,806

    from Phoenix,AZ

    I am running the mini-starter,you can see in the second picture how it is wired in the solenoid the starter lead wire with the red shrink wrap goes to it and the other heavy cables go to battery positive.That HEI uses Chevrolet wiring so if you need a coil to test with use a Chevy HEI for a replacement if needed.Click on this: For info on troubleshooting the HEI and how to test it first test is connect your volt meter to the battery then compare that to the power wire going into the HEI you should get identical readings,which you would if you are getting power off the solenoid like mine.Remember the previous post where a relay was mentioned? The solenoid is actually a HD relay.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  12. Jeff...I'm going to add a solenoid into my system. Do you have a part number for it?

    Edit: Never mind Jeff...I found my old Duralast F490 in my stash. I'm going to do some rewiring and improve my grounds....and test my coil....and then report back.

    My compression is low, but it should be enough for the the damn thing to fire. I'll get rings and valves done on it soon if I have to, but for now, I just want it to run.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  13. Added a better engine-to-firewall ground strap and added an alternator housing-to-engine block ground strap. The engine was sort of struggling to turn over before and now it's turning over much faster and more smoothly.

    However, I'm getting zero spark when I remove and ground out a plug.

    I'll be testing my HEI coil tomorrow.
  14. The magnetic pickup tested ok for resistance, but the coil was bad.

    Now to find a replacement coil.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  15. Got a replacement coil at Napa. They also tested the module for was fine.
  16. My father-in-law came over tonight and went through all the electrical/ignition wiring with me. He's not a hotrodder but he is a damn good all around mechanic.

    We made a few corrections and changes and I think we may have it sorted out.

    We ran out of time this evening but I'll try to fire it up again tomorrow.
  17. good luck on the fire-up
  18. Got my fingers crossed for you Don.:) HRP
  19. I think I'll hit it with starter fluid when I try it this afternoon, just so it has no excuses.

    - Timing is set (I've triple-checked it)
    - Compression is within acceptable ranges
    - Spark is present and strong
    - Fuel is flowing strong from the electric pump
    - Carb is new, so I doubt it has squirts fuel nicely from the accelerator pump though.

    It appears that I have everything needed for an engine to fire. I'll be home from work around 6pm tonight and will give her a whirl.
  20. Thanks Danny

    Thanks Mark
  21. Don,that sounds great and what a cool video,,I am so glad you got the problem figured out,,CONGRATULATIONS!!!:),,now on to bigger and better things! HRP

  22. WOOOO HOOOO!!!
    Glad you got it running.
  23. LostHope
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 687


    It's Alive!!!!!!!! Right on!
  24. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,806

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Congrats!! Feels good when they awake from their sleep.Just a hint when you get a timing light on it try 10-12 degrees advanced, seems to be right for the HEI's curve.
  25. Will do Jeff.

    I'm gonna get my cooling system plumbed the rest of the way (all I need is an upper radiator hose and a heater hose) and then I'll be able to run it for real and get it dialed in.

    At that point, I'll also be able to set the TV cable pressure on the AOD with the nifty little tool that Lokar sent me.
  26. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 7,806

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Since you used the early Mustang pump you might get lucky and be able to use a '69 Mustang 302 lower hose if your 302/5.0 has the original upper water outlet try an upper hose from a '89 Mustang 5.0 that we you can get preformed hose instead of the funky flex stuff.Check out this picture,LOKAR's TV cable lacks tension you may need to add a helper spring if you have a problem with setting pressure,these are usually a light tension screen door spring(Off to ACE :D)

    Attached Files:

  27. Thanks everybody....getting it fired up was just what I needed to push me through to the end on this project.

    Jeff....I already have a lower hose on it. I'll be at Napa today, taking a look at an 89 Mustang hose for the upper.
  28. The 89 Mustang upper hose was a no-go, but the good folks at Napa let me look around in their radiator hose stash and I found one that worked out.
  29. Spent the afternoon making a bracket for, and mounting, the proportioning valve.

    Took this photo as I closed up the garage for the night. My 12V headlights are installed....which reminds me....I have a couple of good 6V headlights if anyone is having trouble finding a pair.

    Attached Files:

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