WARNING: Long Winded Post. If you're not into reading, I don't blame you for moving on. But here's a beg for help. Ok, I'm here for any help I can get. I've literally been reading and searching and reading and searching for weeks. I've searched every key word, every possible misspelled key word, and gone so far as to read the factory manual a couple of times. I have two hunche. I think I'm running rich and I think I might not have enough timing. But this, I cannot confirm. Here's the details: 1951 Ford Custom Tudor sedan. 3 spd manual 3.31 gears 6 volt Nearly all original except gears and engine. Engine: -8BA block and heads -4" Mercury Crank and rods -bored .080" over with Egge pistons -New valves, guides, and hardened valve seats -Bubba's smallblock distributor, 20 deg, all in by 2500, set at on pin @ 550 rpm idle. -Brillman 55,000 coil (USA made) -NGK b6l @ .030" -Schneider 260f cam (355 lift, 111 lsa) -reds headers, reds downpipes, 29" glasspacks, turndowns -8BA carburetor with 57 jets and accelerator pump in middle setting. -Bob Drake water pumps -160 degree thermostats -2 row, 1" tube, aluminum, American made radiator with 13# cap. -water with 2 bottle water wetter -Flex-A-lite 17", 6 blade flex fan approx 3/4-1" from radiator. -550-600 rpm idle, 15-16" vacuum at idle The problem: my darn car seems to run ridiculously hot and misfires at higher rpm(pops through exhaust). Yes, I know that the bore makes things worse. I've literally checked and checked and checked everything. I made sure to torque the head gaskets once before I started the motor, one immediately afterwards, and then once again 150 miles later. I ran water (with water wetter) for 150 miles before switching to coolant to make sure the engine was really clean. I even filled all the gaps with cardboard(tonight), so that going down the highway, anything that comes in the grill HAS to go through the radiator. Yet nothing I do seems to make this thing run what I would consider "cool". During my highway road test tonight, in around 70 degree weather, AFTER I switched from 50/50 to straight reverse osmosis water/water wetter, it still ran with the needle just touching the middle mark on the gauge. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but with 160 degree thermostats, shouldn't it run cooler on the highway with such a robust cooling system? ALSO, the temp gauge still creeps up during idling in traffic. Now, I didn't take the car for a 2 hour tour tonight after doing the fan, coolant, cardboard baffling, and coil, but I drove 10 miles on the highway and 10 miles in downtown traffic, and feel the behaviors are definitely indicitive of trouble when it's 95 out. I just want opinions and idea and suggestions. I most definitely plan to get a real temp gauge soon. I will say this, the hottest my temp gauge has ever got while driving was about halfway between middle and 3/4. It has never boiled over or puked out the overflow. It had died once, when I took it out in 90 degree weather, but as far as I could find, that was the coil. I've done the radiator, thermostats, fan, and cardboard air shrouding all to try and get this thing to run icy cold so I can drive the hell out of it.....and I worrying about nothing? Next, the misfire. My stock distributor advance would not function properly and my car ran hot as hell. So I ordered me up a Bubbas distributor. I told him my exact setup, and he built me what he thought I needed. After installing and timing the distributor, I have a mid/high rpm misfire. Honestly, I thought this was my coil. Hence why I have the Brillman. I've done like 5 plug chops and they always look good, but I haven't pulled over immediately after a misfire (coasting to a stop with engine off). Going from a 52 to a 55 jet seemed to help the misfire a bit, but the 57 jet didn't help and seems to make the engine run hotter. Basically, the car drives wonderful as long as you don't get too much past 1/3-1/2 throttle above around 2000 rpm. It basically progressively breaks up and if you keep your foot in it, it will actually start to pop out the exhaust. Let back out of it and it drives completely normal. Cruises smooth, etc. Here's my two guesses, but I really want all opinions, good and bad. Idea 1: timing the car @ 550-600 rpm is already in the advance and I'm actually not getting enough advance when I need it?(maybe I have a total pos timing light?) Idea 2: a combination of my main jets being too big and my power valve being a little off due to my cam, I'm dumping too much fuel and basically loading it up when I start getting into the throttle, ALSO causing significant higher exhaust gas temperature, leading to my overheating? I'm really sorry for the long winded post, but I just have dreamed of owning one of these cars forever and after a 10 year career of being a mechanic/technician and dropping a TON on this built motor, I'm stumped by hot water and a misfire!!?!?!? If any of my former bosses know about this they'd kill me. Help please? (Also feel completely free to tell me I'm an idiot if you have a constructive suggestion to follow) Update 6-19/2016 UPDATE: So, Friday afternoon, I spent 3 hours working on the flattie. I followed advice on here and here is the results, including that I couldn't get it running well enough for my trip: First: I rejetted the carb with 51 jets and set the idle @ 600 rpm. I adjusted the idle screws per factory manual with a vacuum gauge to approximately 1 1/4 turns out each. This made the misfire much worse. (While carb was apart, I verified float height to factory spec) Second: I advanced the timing 2 & 4 degrees and each time the car ran significantly worse. @ 4 degrees, the misfire was notably worse, almost undrivable. I will say this, the idle gets seriously worse as you mess with the timing. It really idles by far the best, with #1 blinking on the pin/timing mark at idle, just like bubba told me on the phone. I will say this much, it really seems that the problem is coming on as the distributor starts to advance. A theory I'm having is this, and I apologize for not mentioning this little tidbit, but I didn't want to start anything about GMC Bubba, as he has already offered to replace my distributor. When I installed the distributor, I noticed that it wiggled when the car was running. More of an oscillation, suggesting to me that the shaft/gear combination wasn't true. I mentioned this to bubba and after checking everything he wanted me to check, he offered to replace it. I also removed the rotor and found the advance springs to look as if one old used spring and one new spring were used. I don't know if this is normal, but it doesn't seem right. SO, what I am thinking is that with all the physical movement of the distributor combined with what seems to be floppy/undercontrolled flyweights, maybe my mechanical advance is hopping all over the place and causing an occasionally/randomly retarded spark which then causes my exhaust popping while its misfiring. I just got home and have to take care of some things around the house, but I plan to throw the factory distributor back in and see if the misfire goes away. Even with no advance whatsoever, the motor shouldn't misfire, just run hot. I will update as soon as I try that. thanks for all the help guys, I really do appreciate it. If the distributor doesn't change the problem, I will probably be checking compression and potentially pulling the Intake. Let's keep our fingers crossed. And for what it's worth, I have the vv like crimped 3 times, but I will cap it off with a plug to make sure it's not leaking. UPDATE: 6-28/2016 Update: Last night I replaced: ~ the spark plugs with new NGK B6-L gapped @ .035 ~the cap and rotor (due to cap rotor contact during distributor installation and timing) ~Added a ground from pass cyl head to distributor housing. ~moved coil from pass cyl head to pass fender ~tightened (AGAIN) intake bolts. This feels like the 4th or 5th time I've done this. ~performed a compression test; all cylinders had between 115-120 psi of compression after the same amount of cranking time. Tonight I will be making up/fitting a set of plug wires from Brillman with Packard 440 wire. will update tonight. UPDATE 6-29/2016: Last night I finished up my ignition revamp with a nice set of Packard 440 wires custom made by me/Brillman. Took the car for a ride and OH WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I'll start by saying this; the car does still have a miss, but it's a mild lean miss that is most likely an intake leak from the crappy gasket. Now, the car idles amazingly and revs cleanly with only a few little small-small/med throttle opening misses and cleans right up with a little more throttle. @ wide open, it pulls clean, smooth and hard to redline. Now that I have the car running almost perfect, tonight I will be spraying her down to find the exact leak and repair it. To recap, here is what I found to be the sources of the problem, and here's a BIG admission of guilt. When I went to check compression 2 nights ago, my buddy went to pull the plugs out for me on the drivers side and said "hey, these are loose?!?" To what I replied "WHATS LOOSE?????". Well he was talking about the little terminals on top of the spark plugs. They were all loose. So i thought back and realized that when I swapped out the distributor, I replaced the spark plugs. Somehow I didn't notice the terminal caps being loose. Lesson learned that even after 10+ years working professionally on everything from Scandinavian cars to Italian cars to spending several years at a Ford dealer, you can still overlook the MOST BASIC of problems. As far as intake/air leaks, I kind of knew better when I chose to install the cardboard/paper gasket that my builder sent with the engine, rather than use the Offy gasket I bought from speedway, along with reusing some gaskets on the "freshly rebuilt" carb. I seriously considered the potential leaks and headaches that these choices could cause, but like everyone that has ever been in a rush or been anxious to get a project done, I said "screw it". Let's hope that tonight I find a few intake leaks with the carb clean and repair them quickly with some gaskets that I have. Then I can chalk this all up to engine swap growing pains and great help from the forum. Will hopefully be posting my last update/closure post by tomorrow evening.