Vintage Mustang Forums banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok gang, here's a Mustang story you won't believe. First, a little history:

Purchased the '66 fastback in March of this year. A '68 short block 302 came with the car, as well as standard pistons, 289 crank, and 289 HiPo rods. In addition, a brand new (in the box) Wolverine Blue Racer camshaft kit was included. The PO told me that it was equivalent to the stock 289 HiPo cam.

All went well with the assembly - downright uneventful, if I do say so myself. We installed the engine and tranny two weeks ago.

I tried all last weekend to start the new engine. No joy. I often came to the VMF, hoping to learn yet another trick to get it to fire. From timing to firing order (early and late model) to Pertronix to fuel to spark to valve lash to etc., etc., nothing was working. Backfires abounded and were both in the carb and the exhaust. It really felt like a timing problem to most of us that were troubleshooting.

Now the good part. During Monday's head scratching, I thought I had the answer. Perhaps the timing set was incorrectly installed. Last night, a friend and I tore off the front end. The timing set was installed correctly. More head scratching.

Just as a "reality check", we decided to turn the crank by hand and verify the firing order. I watched one bank and my friend watched the other. Here's what we wrote down: 1-8-6-2-7-3-4-5. What the &%#$ is that?!

More head scratching. Just for fun, we decided to convert that firing order to a GM (or other non-Ford) block (odd cylinders on the driver's side, evens on the passenger's side). 1=1, 8=8, 6=4, etc., etc. The answer is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.

1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Ladies and gentlemen, I have a camshaft that fits perfectly into a small block 289/302 (distributor in the front, mind you) and has a non-Ford firing order. No wonder it wouldn't start!

I'm in touch with Crane's tech support line. The fellow on the other end understands the situation, but cannot make sense of it. I'll soon have the camshaft out, check the numbers, and hopefully reach some conclusions.

Thanks for sticking with me through that story. Can any of you make sense of this?

More to come.

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess no one's believing it. I'm still amazed, and many of my coworkers are shaking their heads. The Crane tech said that he could imagine a case where they were producing one type of camshaft and, in the middle of switching to another kind, produced this "hybrid".

313 Posts
Sorry, but that dog won't hunt. Chevy and 289 Ford firing orders are actually the same. Only the cylinder numbering system is different.

Ford Chevy
4 8 8 7
3 7 6 5
2 6 4 3
1 5 2 1 front of block

Remember that the order repeats so look at it in this manner: Move the last number in the Chevy order to the first position in front of the 1.

Ford = 15426378

Follow the firing orders on the chart. You will see that they are really the same.

Ford 1=2 Chevy
Ford 5=1 Chevy
Ford 4=8 Chevy
Ford 2=4 Chevy
Ford 6=3 Chevy
Ford 3=6 Chevy
Ford 7=5 Chevy
Ford 8=7 Chevy

The only differences are the numbering system and the rotation of the distributor. I wish I could line the chart columns up better, but I think you should be able to follow it.

2,528 Posts
Maybe the cam is for a 351w, they will fit but the order is different for the 289/302 and the 351w.

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I deserve at least the "Honorary All-Time Dufus" for this one:

Somehow, somewhere, I learned (incorrectly) years ago that cylinder No. 1 was on the driver's side. We put her back together last night, wired her up the correct way, and she fired right up. She runs great.

Sorry for any confusion I created. I guess there are things you learn incorrectly that never come back to bite you. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those things.

1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.