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Technical New wagon...loses power on ANY incline?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by SpazTaztic, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    Just drove my new wagon home from Tyler last night. It has the 235 with powerglide. Was cruising 55mph on the straights, but when I hit any incline... it would drop to 30- 35 and continue going down. Was told it sounded like no compression- ring issues... does this sound accurate? Is this a simple easy fix- or is it going to be extensive and pricey?

    All is original- still 6v.

    Attached Files:

    28 Ford PU and henry's57bbwagon like this.
  2. Rocky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 13,580

    Classified Editor

    A compression test will show condition of your rings. Warm engine, remove all spark plugs and prop throttle open with a screw driver...test all 6 holes, writing down results and then squirt motor oil on each hole and re-test. If the readings came up a lot for the 2nd test, compression rings are worn.
    Truck64 likes this.
  3. do a tune up.... and check the compression and the ignition timing
    RMONTY likes this.
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 670


    I think it's a lost cause and I will just come on down there and relieve you of all the stress and wasted efforts and get that thing out of your way.....:)

    Sweet ride! Whatever the problem is, it's worth fixing!
    bobg1951chevy and Truck64 like this.
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  5. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,508

    from Indy

    drop in a built 283 with a turbo 350
    czuch, slack and falcongeorge like this.
  6. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    Storing it in my Uncle's garage until I get my new shop completed. I will load up my tools and go do the tests Monday. If it is rings- can they just be replaced, or would there be other damage because of me driving it as it is? Thanks guys!

    RMONTY: Haha- I finally got the old girl here- will be a bit before I am willing to part with her!

    I do have an old rusty 54 Belair sedan with numbers matchin original drivetrain... hate to tear into it, but atleast I have parts available if needed!
    RMONTY likes this.
  7. Just give the wagon a little more gas going uphill,it's a old car and it just doesn't have the get up and go like it did when new. HRP
    bobg1951chevy likes this.
  8. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    I tried and it would start trying to die.
  9. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 4,327


    First thing I would do is replace the fuel filter.
  10. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    I checked that as well- it looks spotless (clear inline). But will pick one up and swap out when I go to work on it Monday.
  11. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 1,614

    from So Cal

    Could be as simple as a plugged air filter, fuel filter, weak fuel pump, timing off. Do the basics first. (check fuel pressure)

    If it needs rings, yes you can just put new rings in it if money is tight. You'll most likely need to remove a ridge at the top of the cylinders to pull the pistons. You may be able to borrow or rent a ridge reamer from a local shop. You'll need to clean all the carbon deposits off the pistons crown, ring lands and grooves, which is a pain in the ass. Soak the pistons in diesel fuel for awhile to soften them and loosen them up, maybe add some ATF to the brew. Note, a broken ring makes a good scraping tool to remove the carbon from the ring grooves. It wouldn't hurt a bit to hit the cylinders with a hone to put a fresh cross hatch on them. And while you got the head off it wouldn't be bad to send it off for a valve job and resurface. This is exactly what I did with a 235 as one of my first overhauls back when I was 16 years old, working with my dad out in the garage. We did it as an inframe in an old Suburban I bought (that my dad warned me not to buy, but I just had to). I'm not sure what kind of access you have at the bottom end, but if you can get the oil pan off you may be able to do an inframe o-haul too.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  12. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,424


    I'm on board w/fuel pump/filter/line check before I torn into it too deep.
    Bruce Fischer and Truck64 like this.
  13. 1-SHOT
    Joined: Sep 23, 2014
    Posts: 805


    Check the points gap, if the points close up they will loose power , Check to be sure there is grease on distributor lobe because if it is dry it will wear the rubbing block down and close up the points thus loosing power.Frank
    slack, Bruce Fischer and Truck64 like this.
  14. May be a additional filter close to the gas tank. HRP
  15. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 6,792


    Is the float bowl overfull and spilling raw gas when on the incline?
  16. modeleh
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 369


    Possibly a restricted fuel line. Wouldn't hurt to remove fuel line from pump and check the gravity flow from the tank. If it's slow, maybe blow back to tank with compressed air, could be restricted screen in tank pickup.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,857

    from Ok

    When I was a kid I was in between cars and needed just a cheap driver. A lady I worked with had a 53 Ford that she said had no power. It acted pretty similar. I bought it for $25 [in 64] and drove it home. I told my Dad what it was doing, he had me start it, said the muffler has collapsed inside. I took a screw driver and poked holes in the muffler, it then ran fine. Drove it that way for a couple of months.
    2R10Don, Crazy Steve and Blues4U like this.
  18. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 1,294

    from Here

    Don't tear it down just yet. LOTS of minor faults will often closely mimic other, more serious problems.

    A mechanics vacuum gauge will also indicate engine compression, as well as a whole bunch of other engine derangements, is a lot less hassle and it doesn't tear up the starter. I'd still do both, but a vacuum gauge is a must have tool. Poor mans Sun machine.
    Atwater Mike, slowmotion and ClayMart like this.
  19. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 670


    Agree with Truck64. Before tearing anything down, I always go to extreme lengths labor wise (set a budget money wise) to get it running as good as possible. It gives me time to get to know the machine. They all have "personalities" as such, and you might just stumble across something really easy and simple to get it running great and then just drive it and enjoy it while gathering cash and parts to build it like you want it.
    bobg1951chevy likes this.
  20. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    will it hurt it to drive it around town as is at low speeds until I figure it out? Finally got it home- so dont want my excitement to tear it up worse before I get it all lined out.

    A couple of more pics...

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
  21. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 670


    I would limit driving it to short trips while doing the troubleshooting. You don't want to get stranded somewhere with it dead in the water. Check the points and plugs, make sure you are getting plenty of fuel, and as suggested, buy a vacuum gauge and learn how to use it. It will tell you alot! Just go over it with a fine tooth comb. As clean as the motor is, I can't imagine the engine has been abused or neglected, but you never know. Always take cell phone with you when shakin' her down!
  22. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,425

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    Pretty Car-Best wishes!
  23. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 4,739

    from texas

    If it has a repop gas cap try driving with it loose. I can't remember if the 54 had the filter sock on it are not. On the fuel pickup in the tank. If it's sat for awhile that might clog. I leave it off when doing tri five cars and add a good inline filter.
  24. Is that an 8 volt battery ?
    As stated, verify basic settings first and NEVER make more than one adjustment or repair at a time.
    If you do more than one item at a time, you'll never know what is making things better ..... or worse.
    Nice looking wagon.
    Remember though, a 235 with a P.G. isn't going to snap your neck on acceleration.
  25. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    It would just be a few miles to parts store and to get inspection so I can get it registered for TX.


    It has a nice cap on it- not sure if repop or NOS. It took me over a month an a half to get it here. Previous owner said he never had any problems so is just as baffled. Parked it in his garage the day I paid for it, then just cranked it and let it run in his garage to keep things going. So it had been sitting roughly a month and a half other than idling.

    Another note- the wipers do not work. So maybe not enough vacuum. Hoses on it all look in good shape.
    Ol Pasqualy and 6-bangertim like this.
  26. SpazTaztic
    Joined: Aug 5, 2009
    Posts: 430


    Yes- 8 volt battery. I know about acceleration, but shouldn't slow down when you are stepping on throttle! haha
  27. Partime Hemi
    Joined: Mar 6, 2016
    Posts: 8

    Partime Hemi

    Didn't read all replies but I don't recall seeing anything about timing or vacuum advance by watching timing marks at different engine speeds.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  28. No need for 8 volt battery, IF the 6 volt system is set up properly with good, stout battery cables.
    On flat land, the 235 / P.G. will move just fine, but depending on incline, the 235 may slow up, with its 3,500 lb weight and its 3:55 ratio.
    Again, check all basics first, fine tune those items.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
    6-bangertim likes this.
  29. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 293

    from California

    If the PO didn't give you the repop FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL, odering one should be your FIRST step, as most everything you need to know about the car will be in the book. I would have a look at the fuel system, replace any rubber lines with new. Look at the steel lines for damage, restricting flow. Drain a couple gallons out of the fuel tank, look for rust. Also check the fuel pump for pressure and volume. Is the gas cap vented? Replace the fuel filter for GP, just to eliminate that. Ya, also look at the plugs, check the point gap. Have a helper rev the engine as you watch the vacuum advance for movement. The Manual will outline everything, so read the HELL out of it!

    The FIRST rule of troubleshooting is check the easiest, CHEAPEST things FIRST. Rule #2 is make only ONE CHANGE at a time - then go test. Check local stores for a tool loaner program, borrow a compression and vacuum gauges - or hook-up with a local HAMBer or buddy who has that stuff, can walk you through an afternoon of test-n-tuning, for the cost of beer and a hot meal! Good Luck, Tim
    czuch, Truck64 and bobg1951chevy like this.
  30. Tim
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 7,110

    from Raytown Mo

    I had a similar thing happen and it turned out to be my timing advance not working correctly.

    I pulled the cap off and lubed the mechanical and vacuum advance bits and replaced the weights and springs and it was a whole new machine after ward. Super easy to check
    Atwater Mike, slack, Squablow and 3 others like this.

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