Giving the bird... new brains.

slipkid269

Member
Jun 24, 2021
62
23
18
Michigan
So if you read my intro post, and your not in line to stone me for ripping the heart out of a pony to put in a bird, maybe you could help me.

I have a 63' Falcon with a 302 H.O. Recently bought and busy straightening out it's many issues. Mostly been busy with the wiring under dash but moving to the engine soon and looking for a direction to go.

FYI, I'm not a died in the wool Ford guy. Or any other for that matter. I believe its not the make of the car, its WHO takes car of the car. Does seem I always end up back in Fords though. My first road car was a 302 Maverick. That didn't end well.....As far as the Falcon goes I was like ...Ok its not too bad a car. Needs alot of work. Their ok cars, but when I opened the hood and saw that H.O sittin between the towers I fell in love! All of a sudden the whole car was just beautiful! It all made sense so I dumped out my wallet for the guy!​

- The issue: It runs but runs terribly. Motor seems solid no knocks just surge issues and when its warmed up will idle but all up and down. It fires right up but will rev up and down a few times and die without feathering the throttle until its warm.

- Previous owner put many new parts in it trying to tackle this issue (maybe why I got a deal on it). Has new iac, tps, fuel reg, temp unit and the other thing across from it on the manifold. Has new map or maf? Plastic thing with one vacuum line on it. Maybe more I haven't found yet.

I may not know all the parts names (yet), but I do things one way, the right way (as much as possible).

- The throttle cable is butchered a terrible mess with cable clamps / mechanical linkage hybrid mess as is the back of the engine around salt n pepper shakers. WILL be pulling the upper manifold to address these issues and make right.

- What I have done so far. Checked plug wire routing. Cap and rotor are newer. Verified its on compression stroke pointing at #1. Set timing to 11. Set tps to 95v. Blew smoke in vacuum lines into manifold. Smoke only came out air filter. Put vacuum gauge to it and verified it runs bad. I did tune it to the normal range turning the distributor. This made the most difference. Actually got it to run decent and started better. But! to do it I had to turn the distributor to say, looking at it with number 1 plug being 12 o clock, turned it to 2 o clock. I put timing back to 11 because turning the dist so much seemed bad.



Bio - The car has a T5. The gears seem to be around 3.50 give or take. Does not have a pressurized gas tank. Falcon original. Has electric fuel pump. No air. No smog. No power steering. As far as I know it is stock motor, no cam. Hedman short tube headers. Was said to run good at some point prior to last owner. That owner drove it as a daily 2yrs.

- My questions.
-First off, will this thing even run right ever with the stock computer?​
-Should I just swap it out for a Holley or Fitech system. (they aren't cheap and I am not rich!).​
-Whats next? Just start pulling the manifolds fixing what I see? I haven't done that yet based on the idea that it was supposed to run good as it is. Trying to get it back to that point without adding other potential issues first.​
-Is swapping all the efi to a carb a doable thing? It is the cheapest, besides keeping it stock.​
- Could it be a tooth off? All seems right...​
I'm gonna stop this here. Please ask questions I'm not smart enough to ask and suggestions are appreciated. I thought about a build post but not sure if is ok beings it a Falcon.​
O..and I ramble on sometimes...blah blah blah.​
 
  • Sponsors(?)


CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,629
9,236
234
64
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
meh,…..there are too many things wrong here to tackle as a lump. I cannot imagine that you could advance the distributor as much as you have, and have it run better unless the distributor is truly installed wrong. Firing order is “potentially” the problem as 5.0 vs HO’s had a different firing order.
If the tank is stock, what is being done for a fuel pump? How much fuel pressure do you have?
There is a checklist published on this forum to give you an ordered process of elimination to get to the positive end here, I believe it’s called appropriately enough the “surging idle checklist”, but until you get the thing to run beyond idle, I doubt that’s all it is.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
20,638
7,064
203
polk county florida
Yeah, we need some info here first,
What computer is in the car and is there a diagnostic plug for a scanner?
Any pics of engine compartment may help.
An aftermarket efi controller would allow you to start fresh with most components, side stepping many possible issues. You have choices.
I'm guessing it has an external fuel pump, ok in the 70's but are prone to failures, invest in a in-tank fuel pump system.
You mentioned a plastic sensor with a vacuum hose to it, speed density, (??) The components in a swap can sometimes get mixed up, forgotten, or just plain wrong info. Need to verify.
 

slipkid269

Member
Jun 24, 2021
62
23
18
Michigan
First off thanks for taking the time to read my post :D

I found a gap in the rain and got some pics to share with you. I need to figure out just what computer I do have but need to get into that later cuz I am out of time right now. I put them in a gallery will comment on them later. Thanks.

 

slipkid269

Member
Jun 24, 2021
62
23
18
Michigan
Ok So this is the computer in the car.
Yeah, we need some info here first,
What computer is in the car and is there a diagnostic plug for a scanner?
Any pics of engine compartment may help.
An aftermarket efi controller would allow you to start fresh with most components, side stepping many possible issues. You have choices.
I'm guessing it has an external fuel pump, ok in the 70's but are prone to failures, invest in a in-tank fuel pump system.
You mentioned a plastic sensor with a vacuum hose to it, speed density, (??) The components in a swap can sometimes get mixed up, forgotten, or just plain wrong info. Need to verify.
Ok here is a link to the computer listed as a manual trans and VERY new! They threw a lot of money at this issue! COMPUTER
Also can be seen in my gallery as posted above.

There does appear to be a test port will be looking into how to get codes out of that next. What I've read so far is about counting the beeps and flashes. Flashes can be done at the plug with a light but the beeps....may be an issue. Will look into further.

Don't want to be like previous owners and throw money at it, like buying code readers or other stuff to support this computer setup because I am still on the fence as far as to whether this system can be worked with and saved or go to a holley, fitech or just go with a carb which is the cheapest solution.
I would like to keep the stock setup for money reasons mostly. But...I do have this tunnel ram idea in the back of my head I can't seem to shake, (though looking at the prices nowadays for them brings me back to reality).
? - My question on the stock computer route - Can this computer be used and made to run without issues? ie learning the headers, gearing and future cam. Is this path a dead end? I read where the computers after 88' can adapt to mild changes.
Thanks
 

slipkid269

Member
Jun 24, 2021
62
23
18
Michigan
Fuel Pump - I will be getting a fuel pressure gauge be on it's way soon. Other than that it is outside the tank new, also with new filter. The pump has no writing on it so..
I don't know if this is a issue but it does not have hard fuel lines. Rubber fuel line from front to back.

? - Does the efi system on 89 mustangs require a pressurized tank like new cars?
 

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,629
9,236
234
64
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
Fuel Pump - I will be getting a fuel pressure gauge be on it's way soon. Other than that it is outside the tank new, also with new filter. The pump has no writing on it so..
I don't know if this is a issue but it does not have hard fuel lines. Rubber fuel line from front to back.

? - Does the efi system on 89 mustangs require a pressurized tank like new cars?
No, but it requires a steady state fuel pressure of 43 psi. It also has to have a return line.
 

slipkid269

Member
Jun 24, 2021
62
23
18
Michigan
No, but it requires a steady state fuel pressure of 43 psi. It also has to have a return line.
Thanks, I don't think there is a return line. I was wondering about that. When you turn the key on the fuel pump runs and does not shut off. Would seem like it would either have to shut off or feed back to the tank.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
20,638
7,064
203
polk county florida
Cruise through this:
Look for things like how to check for codes and the surging idle checklist to get an understanding on what sensors are there and what they do, the factory efi that uses a maf can handle a bunch of modifications if well planned.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

CarMichael Angelo

my rearend will smell so minty fresh,
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
10,629
9,236
234
64
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
Thanks, I don't think there is a return line. I was wondering about that. When you turn the key on the fuel pump runs and does not shut off. Would seem like it would either have to shut off or feed back to the tank.
Put a tb fuel injection system on it, or a freakin carb. It sounds like you bought a one way ticket to half-assed town, and that train ain’t gonna ever get you to where you want to be with the present combination.
It’s no freakin wonder it doesn’t run right.
I’ll bet it has a low pressure fuel pump on it.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user