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ford 390 valve clatter. 1963 T-bird please help :-)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TrioxinKustoms, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. To add to the above, a cracked or warped exhaust manifold will sound like shakin a tomato juice can full of pennies....
     
  2. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    332, 352, 390, 406, 427 and 428(PI) all came with solids in some configuration at one time or another, and the 406 ONLY came with solids- along with the very early 332 and 352's. Very unlikely that this Bird engine has solids- probably just cruddy and sticking lifters

    I would stick with the ATF or my favorite, Seafoam for the cleanup- the Rislone "flush" is a used-car lot's friend, too harsh and cuts loose too much crap too quick, which can then clog the filter and put it into bypass, so all that gritty crud is going thru your bearings etc. A few oil/filter changes with the Seafoam will clean it up, just change it when it shows some good color, repeat as necessary until it stays clean for a normal period. You can speed the process of unsticking the lifters a bit by pouring a little ATF or Seafoam down each pushrod at low idle speed, so it gets in the top of the lifter, and let it idle for a while
     
  3. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    okay. Update, Not adjustable, and I am flushing it out right now.. So far it knocked out some nasty sludge. 40 on the oil pressure gauge at start up 25 at warm idle. Still ticking but it seems to be settled down a little.
     
  4. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    give it some time ---common ford problem after sitting...
     
  5. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Jeezus- annudder chebbrainwashed post :rolleyes: It ain't got nuttin' to do with being a Ford, and everything to do with being sludged-up and sitting around a while. ANY juice-lifter engine can have this happen under those circumstances. Hardest time I ever had getting some lifters to loosen up and quit clacking was on a 327 Chebbie that was fulla spooge and had been sitting for 3 years- and I won't try and blame it on being a Chebbie LOL :eek:
     
  6. my 61 390 h.p. is a solid lifter motor only galleries are not drilled for hydraulic lifters
     
  7. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Yep, 375hp 1x4 and 401hp 3x2 solid lifter HP engines, followed by the 406/385hp and 405hp
    I still have my '61 HotRod Yearbook with the old-style breakdowns of all the '61 Stocker engines, with the parts all laid out for pictures like they used to do- including the 390 Ford, 409 Chebbie, 389 Pontiac etc.
     
  8. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    I'm not a used car dealer, and Rislone is my friend.....Never had a problem with a Rislone flush, do it all the time with old engines. Usually straightens 'em right out. Sometimes not, though, but then nothing works on a worn out engine.
     
  9. 1949SilverStreak
    Joined: Feb 25, 2013
    Posts: 21

    1949SilverStreak
    Member
    from Canada

    Not trying to scare you but those old FE blocks used pistons with full floating wrist pins held in with clips. I've seen quite a few of these spit the clip out and have the pin wear a groove in the cylinder wall.

    This USUALLY sounds like a bad rod bearing, but if it hasn't worn too far into the cylinder wall it may be misconstrued as lifter noise.

    Again, NOT saying this is the case, and since you said the tick got quieter you are likely fine, just another thing to look at if you can't get it licked.
     
  10. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Took the valve covers off after the second flush out, I could move two rods on the passenger side up and down by hand and three on the drivers side.. After the third flush I could move one on the passenger side and two on drivers side. I guess that means they are pumping up? It did seem to quiet down a bit and the top end was getting lubrication way better than it was last night.

    I've got some regular oil in it now and I'm just gonna start it up and let it run a few mins a day while I get the brakes and other things rebuilt on it.
     
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If it had solid lifters it wouldn't have been noisy. Clattery lifters after sitting is hydraulics.

    Oil change, take off the pan and scrape out the sludge if possible, but put light oil (10W30) with MMM, Seafoam, Rislone or your favorite "frees sticky lifters" "cuts sludge" medicine.

    Let the engine run for 1/2 hour. Don't rev it up. No more than a fast idle, you don't want to pound the valve train any more than you can help. They should come free.

    Once the lifters are at least partly freed up (they may be ticking a little) you can drive the car normally. If you take a few long drives, like 50, 100 miles or more, the motor will get good and hot and they will free up if they are ever going to.

    A few oil changes in rapid succession (every 1000 miles, or even 500 if the oil is really dirty) will clean out sludge.

    If they don't free up in a reasonable time you might have to replace them but give them a chance to come back first.
     
  12. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Just throw a can of Seafoam in with the oil, and keep changing it when it shows black opaque color- it'll get better and better if it's just sludged up, and the Seafoam will clean it up slowly and loosen up the rings too. The valve guides tend to get crusty from sitting too, and need a little time to get some lube worked in and get cleaned up- be patient, Grasshopper ;)
     
  13. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Thanks, It really has improved a lot and I'm really happy it had oil pressure :cool: I can't wait to see the look on my grandfathers face when I pull into his driveway with it.
     
  14. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas


    lose the complex ---i am speaking from personal experience with seldom used farm trucks (seasonal use ) repeat noisy lifters has been a common problem with big block fords in vehicles that do a lot of sitting---give it a little time...
     
  15. crashfarmer
    Joined: Apr 4, 2006
    Posts: 1,274

    crashfarmer
    Member
    from Iowa

    We bought a 68 Mercury Park Lane convertible from a car dealer in the early 80's. It had a 428 and the lifters chattered like crazy. The dealer thought the engine was shot so we got a good deal. About five miles outside of that town the engine smoothed out and it ran fine all the way home. We drove it back down to the dealer the next day and he was sure we had changed the engine. The 428 ran great for years after that.
     
  16. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    That is a great story! I'm gonna do the brakes and all tomorrow and hopefully do a short test drive this weekend.
     
  17. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Complex my pimply butt- juice lifters are juice lifters, they don't know what engine they're in. Any engine with juicers that sits for an extended period can rattle for a while until they clean up and/ or stabilize. Ain't got nuttin' to do with Ford, Chebbie, Poncho, Olds, whatever. Yeah, I grew up on a farm, and gramps was an IH dealer- but those trucks were solid lifter- as were the REO's etc. And farm trucks tend to sit for a loooong time between uses. I used to have a GMC 6500 with a 366 that would rattle like hell for 15 minutes if it sat for a month without starting. Juice lifters can do that, it ain't a Ford thing- get over it, and stop spewing anti-Ford propaganda LOL :rolleyes:
     
  18. Fairlane Mike
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 389

    Fairlane Mike
    Member

    You MIGHT consider putting a mechanical oil pressure gauge on and verify the motor has adequate oil pressure. Easy to do, the oil sensor is on top of the oil filter adapter, left front , below the fuel pump. Just sayin.
     
  19. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    Mike, he had posted earlier that he had a guage on it and had good oil pressure- "40 on the oil pressure gauge at start up 25 at warm idle."
     
  20. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Yeah, I was happy to see the pressure was good. I also feel a lot better knowing that this is a common issue.. I haven't run into it before now.

    Tomorrow I will drop the oil pan and try and scrape out the sludge and clean the screen.
     
  21. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    gene --i see you are a tail light spotter ---you have my sympathy...
     
  22. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503

    40fordtudor
    Member

    I had a '63 330 hp with solids---they were set at .020 across the board and weren't terribly noisy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  23. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,215

    Truckedup
    Member

    Ya think just a little ? :D
     
  24. Frankenstein57
    Joined: Jun 16, 2010
    Posts: 75

    Frankenstein57
    Member

    I had an old pickup with a 390, sticky lifter. We ran straight atf for awhile, that did the trick. Mark
     
  25. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Alrighty, My dad came over today and looked at the bird. He confirmed what he and all of you guys said. Its just lifters, he really liked the car and said that the motor looked great.

    I'm excited now, my worries are gone.

    I got the booster freed up and the new master cylinder on, tomorrow I'll do the wheel cylinders and drive it around the driveway a little.

    Lights, horn, and windows work.. Its a good day.

    Thank you all so much for the help, my Grandfather will be very excited about this car
    he's been dreaming of another T-bird since 1992.
     
  26. black 62
    Joined: Jul 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,895

    black 62
    Member
    from arkansas

    good deal---going to put the 4 speed in it ?
     
  27. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Nope, he's just dreaming of hitting the highway these days cruising with the windows down.
     
  28. Fairlane Mike
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 389

    Fairlane Mike
    Member

    Great, it'll probably add ten years to his life!!
     
  29. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,946

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    This is my latest one, and a keeper, a 428 Town Landau- had 3 '66's and a '63, and have a Bird 3-deuce upstairs in the shop

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  30. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    I drove the thunderbird out of the garage today. I think a rear drum is hanging up because it didn't want to move in reverse and was kind of sluggish in drive up the little incline.
    I need to work on it a little more and change some hoses, clips, clamps, and other odds and ends.
     

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