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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a big problem with my 1966 mustang. When I go to start it up blue smoke come out of my tail pipes as well as a rough idle almost killing the car but I can keep it from dying by giving it gas. also the same thing starts to happen I drive it around and when it either heats up or I just get to uneven ground it stutters and tries to die. I am at a total loss and I don't want to put it back in the shop due to it being a daily driver also the shop that I have to go to the owners a crook that has put jank parts on and i am having to go threw and fix his BS. It is a 289 2v with a C4 transmission.
 

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First, I see this is your "first" post. WELCOME!
Ok, with a few simple tools and a basic understanding of the different systems, "you" can perform many of the tune-up procedures. You're probably paying some garage that's not only taking advantage of your ignorance, but, doesn't know themselves how to work on our classics, thus ripping you off. You just need a few tips on how to approach them.

1. You mention blue smoke. Am assuming it occurs on "start-up", then, diminishes as you drive? If this is the case, you may have worn valve seals. If it doesn't "go-away", then, you have, perhaps, bigger issues.

2. Do you know how to pull the air cleaner and check the choke plate is vertical (open) when the engine is warm? The choke plate is at the very top of the carb inlet. It's purpose is to assist in enriching the fuel mix on start-up with a "cold" engine.

3. When the engine is cold, the choke plate is closed, except, for an approx. a 1/8" gap. As the engine warms to operating temps, this plate opens to a verticle position.

FYI, the choke not totally opening with a warm engine will cause the engine to run very poorly.

You need to verify this plate is closed when cold and open (vertical) when the engine is warm (operating temp).

report back....
 

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Disregard my post. Previous post says it better!

1966 289 Auto Coupe
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know some but not a lot on technical repair. yes it starts up rough and the smoke does go away after I have been driving it. The shop I go to for help is Mustangone and they do the exact things you said. In the morning I will check the choke. but this would not explain why it becomes rough after making *aprox 2 mile testing circle then as i pull into my drive way becomes rough.
Also thank you for your help!
 

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I know some but not a lot on technical repair. yes it starts up rough and the smoke does go away after I have been driving it. The shop I go to for help is Mustangone and they do the exact things you said. In the morning I will check the choke. but this would not explain why it becomes rough after making *aprox 2 mile testing circle then as i pull into my drive way becomes rough.
Also thank you for your help!
Ok, good news about the startup smoke. Appears to be leaky intake valve seals. Not a deadly sin yet.

It's not to say the choke is the problem, but, If it isn't totally open, then it can cause what you are experiencing.
Next, what is the idle setting? It should be slightly higher at idle with the tranny in Park.
Insure your carb linkage is free and clear to operate easily? If not, squirt it with a cleaner and add a few drops of lube to the joints.

Do you know your other tune up specs?

You need to establish, whether or not, your basic startup systems are working correctly properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The idle is 1050 in park and 600 or so in reverse and drive I think there is a vacuum leak from the transmission line because they tapped the vacuum from the carb instead of the intake manifold. Where would I get the intake valve seals or would I just need to use gasket maker? also carb linkage? is that where the gas pedal connects to it becuse it is a new carb I think anyway.
 

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The idle is 1050 in park and 600 or so in reverse and drive I think there is a vacuum leak from the transmission line because they tapped the vacuum from the carb instead of the intake manifold. Where would I get the intake valve seals or would I just need to use gasket maker? also carb linkage? is that where the gas pedal connects to it becuse it is a new carb I think anyway.
The 1050 idle is high, I don't know your specs, offhand, but, should be downwards to 800 Rs in park then drops to a RPM spec of a couple hundred Rs in drive.

Why was VAC line moved? Was the inlet on the manifold buggered up in some way?
If you "think"you have a leak, first check the connection at the modulator where there is typically a short length of rubber hose that transitions from the metal to the modulator. The rubber acts as a sort of vibration damper. Also, if your distributor has a VAC canister, the hose should be in good working condition.
VAC leaks can cause an erratic idle

Having a VAC engine gauge would be helpful in deterring the overall health of your engine and it's VAC level. A good engine should have a vac reading in the upper teens for a stock engine. On a stock engine, such as yours, the higher the mileage and more worn the rings, the vac will fall off or be lower.

When was the Points setting checked? This needs to be checked periodically as the points do wear. When they do, the engine is harder to start. And the plugs, the wires?

"Carb linkage" is the little bent linkage pieces, in and around, the carb. Insure the accelerator connections are free and pivot easily.

Valve seals is a more daunting procedure. If it needs these seals, then it's probably time to pull the heads and sort through the valve train, not to mention, guides etc. Basically a head rebuild. As I stated, the blue smoke at start up, then, "goes away" is not the end all at the moment. Do you know the mileage on this engine? Any history, is helpful for any of us to attempt to offer guidance.
 
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Idling at 1050 is way too high for that engine unless you have built a drag racer or are you talking about cold start up idle only. You should wait until the idle comes down before you do any adjustments. Sometimes you might need to pop the gas pedal to get the fast idle linkage on the choke to drop down. Its normal for these things.


If you had a vacuum leak on the transmission vacuum modulator hose your shifting would be on the far side of wonky. Doesn't hurt to check the line though to make sure it is well connected.



It should settle down to 700 or 750 once the engine warms up and the choke comes completely off. If the choke blade doesn't come to full vertical once its warmed up it isn't adjusted properly. It is choking the engine all the time causing it to run too rich all the time.


Trying to die going up a driveway is most likely the floats are too high and it is dumping gas and flooding out the engine. Engine dying just driving once it has warmed up can be one of a few things and I would put that one off just for now until you get some of this other stuff sorted.



You still could be burning oil. Check a spark plug. If it is greasy black its oil. Dry carbon black would be running way too rich.


You need to adjust your carburator and also set the timing while you are at it before considering valve seals. You can't make those. You buy them and to install them you have to pull the valve springs because they sit down on the valve stem. It isn't exactly a trivial process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
pulled the number 4 plug and it has a carbon black look to it. The only reason I have it set to run at 1050 is so it wont die in gear even then I still have to left foot break. with the floats what do I have to do to adjust them? I dont have anything to check timing but I know it is a vac advance with a pertronix chip so no points and condenser. I have no idea why they moved the vacuum line I bet if I ask Tod will say that is how they always do it. I have also had plans to replace the current cast iron with aluminum ones.
 

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So you have to idle the engine up at 1050 so when you put it in gear it won't die and your plug looks way too rich. I think you need to take all this one thing at a time and I would get the engine to idle properly first.


Turn your idle mixture screws in or clockwise 1/2 turn at a time keeping track of how many 1/2 turns until they lightly bottom out. Report back how many turns out(if any) they were set at but you can go ahead and re-set them if they are way off.



If they are all the way in you have no idle mixture which would require you to crank the idle speed way out so that the transfer slots kick in. They run rich and are not intended for idle but it will run on them if it has to. They aren't really adjustable and at 1050 rpms you are running on the transfer slots. Turning your idle mixture screws in or out has little or no affect.



If you have the idle mixture screws out way too far your idle is so rich the engine won't run so again you have to open the idle speed way out to get enough air for it to run without totally flooding out the engine. This again puts you on the transfer slots and the idle mixture screws become unresponsive. 1 1/2 turns is close to right for a stock or close to stock engine. Big cams are another situation. If your screws were way out of whack, reset them to 1 1/2 turns, turn your idle speed back down and see if you can get the thing to run normally.
 
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Sounds like the car has been sitting for a very long time at some point. I would recommend that you use some Marvel Mystery fluid on the engine. At some point it should burn out the blue smoke...and the best things that you can do it keep the engine running. After a week or two...if the Blue smoke does not disappear, then the engine has blown rings...and needs an entire rebuild.

Good Luck.

Tony K.
 

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There are a number of possibilities that explain your symptoms so let's start from the beginning. Sorry that your shop owner is "a crook". Have you tried talking to some other Mustang/classic car owners to see who they use? You could also try and establish a rapport with the local Ford dealer.... sometimes they have long-time service employees who are familiar with older vehicles or are enthusiasts, themselves.

The first step is to establish the health of your engine. An engine is, for all practical purposes, a complicated air pump. It takes air in, compresses it, then expels exhaust. A CRANKING COMPRESSION TEST will determine how well your engine does these basic steps. It involves removing all the spark plugs, grounding the coil wire, blocking the throttle wide open and, making sure the battery stays fully charged, cranking the engine over a minimum of six compression "cycles" (you can hear them as the engine cranks) taking readings for each cylinder as follows:
1. After the FIRST cycle.
2. After SIX cycles.
3. When all cylinders are done, adding 2 oz. of fresh motor oil to each cylinder and repeating step two for all the cylinders.

Chart the results. If you obtained a SUBSTANTIAL increase in compression readings after adding the fresh motor oil that's an indication of poor ring sealing. If you DIDN'T get an increase that's an indication of poor VALVE sealing. The difference between the highest and lowest compression readings should not exceed 15%. If so, further investigation is needed.

If your compression readings are not satisfactory, nothing else that you do will make the engine run properly. You might make it run a little BETTER, but not the way it should.

If the compression test was "passed" then you should move on to verifying that all the ignition system components are "up to snuff"... in good condition, properly functioning and properly adjusted. This includes the individual components...wire connections, breaker points and condenser, distributor advance mechanisms, ignition rotor, distributor cap and secondary ignition wires, ignition coil and spark plugs.

When the ignition system is all set, then you move on to the fuel system, again checking the individual components and adjustments.... carburetor choke and de-choking mechanism, carburetor linkages and float/float bowls, fuel filter, fuel pump and lines, fuel tank, fuel condition, PCV valve, hose and connections and crankcase breather element.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will try the compression test when I get a chance I do not have a gauge but from a quick google search they look inexpensive and on my lunch brake I am going to check the air fuel and the floats.


I really do appreciate the help guys. I will call my local ford dealer witch is Bill knight and see if there is a mechanic that can help.
 

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Not that this is your current issue, but I did not see a spacer between the carb and the intake. The Factory Shop Manual (FSM) is a great resource and will show you the correct vacuum routing that should be on your car. You will have to look for the settings for your Holley, but idle speed is should be what's specified in the FSM. Plenty of good resources out there to tell you how to tune a Holley.
1. Get the vacuum line routing right. This just needs to happen. Really does not need to be 1st.
2. Compression Test
3. If compression test passes, set timing and adjust carb.

If you suspect a vacuum leak, you can spritz some WD40 around the edges of the intake and the base of the carb to see if idle suddenly increases. You will not have much luck tuning an engine with a vacuum leak.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
so at lunch i checked the air fuel mix and it was set to 1 turn on both sides and so i set it to 1.5 on both. also lowered the float as well as checking the choke with it being at 1/8 of an inch or so. I will be picking up the stuff for an oil change and a compression tester so I hope that it will help.
 

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Still need to verify your timing also. If your initial timing is way too low that will also cause it to have trouble idling good in gear because it pulls the rpms down. You can get basic timing lights for not a whole lot but don't drop one. I made the mistake of dropping one and it never worked again.


If it was a new car you could do all this sitting in the car with a lap top but look at all the fun you would be missing out on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok I will see if I can get one also if i have not stated this it only happens at idel in a cold start as soon as I put it into drive it goes away just found this out like 10min ago.
 

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Ok I will see if I can get one also if i have not stated this it only happens at idel in a cold start as soon as I put it into drive it goes away just found this out like 10min ago.
After your basic hand tools, this would be the top 3 or 4 tools to have in your war chest.

Having the following will pay for themselves over and over again.

1. Bob Mannel Ford Small Block + General Ford Shop Manual for your year Mustang
2. Timing light/ RPM output
3. Volt OHM Meter (VOM)
4. Engine Vac gauge

Nice to have.....
1. Remote starter switch
2. compression tester
 
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After your basic hand tools, this would be the top 3 or 4 tools to have in your war chest.



Having the following will pay for themselves over and over again.



1. Bob Mannel Ford Small Block + General Ford Shop Manual for your year Mustang

2. Timing light/ RPM output

3. Volt OHM Meter (VOM)

4. Engine Vac gauge



Nice to have.....

1. Remote starter switch

2. compression tester
The other two tools I would add to my toolkit is this forum and YouTube. ;)

1966 289 Auto Coupe
 
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