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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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521 in 1969 Cougar problems

Hi my name is Mark and I live in the United Kingdom and I have a 1969 Mercury Cougar, originally a 351 but was fitted with an early 429 in California before it was exported to the UK. The shock towers have not been cut back and the engine has been installed with Boss 429 mounts, early water pump and D5TE Truck exhaust manifolds which run into a decent 2.5" system with magnaflow mufflers. The car has 3.25 gears and a Eaton Truetrac centre I installed.

Last year I installed a 521 engine but although it starts and runs very well performance is disappointing and I am after some advice where I am going wrong.

The engine is 4.39 x 4.3 with Probe flat top pistons, inlet valve cutouts for regular and scj heads. The engine is fitted with procomp heads which have been pocket ported to suit 2.19 and 1.76 valves but no enlargement of the ports themselves.
The camshaft is solid flat tappet 264/268 @ 0.050. It is advanced 4 degrees with a Cloyes 9 key timing set.
It has an Edelbrock performer manifold. Non rpm variety
It is running a brand new Holley 870 Avenger.
Ignition is via a Mallory Comp 9000 distributor and amplifier. I have locked out the timing and run 30 degrees advance all the time

Transmission is C6 with Hughes 2500 stall convertor and rear 3.25 gears

If you floor the throttle it will smoke the tyres from standstill but torque in normal driving is lacklustre.

All I can think is my cam is too big for the spec something like 240 degrees would be better for torque.
I have a Torker II intake but can't see how a single plane would improve response
The other thing is I could advance the cam to 8 degrees on the timing set.
I know my exhaust manifolds are terrible but there is so little room in the engine bay I don't want to change for headers
Also wondering about going to 3.7 rear gears.

Any advice would be great, thanks

Last edited by markyjt777; 03-01-2019 at 08:17 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by markyjt777 View Post
Hi my name is Mark and I live in the United Kingdom and I have a 1969 Mercury Cougar, originally a 351 but was fitted with an early 429 in California before it was exported to the UK. The shock towers have not been cut back and the engine has been installed with Boss 429 mounts, early water pump and D5TE Truck exhaust manifolds which run into a decent 2.5" system with magnaflow mufflers. The car has 3.25 gears and a Eaton Truetrac centre I installed.

Last year I installed a 521 engine but although it starts and runs very well performance is disappointing and I am after some advice where I am going wrong.

The engine is 4.39 x 4.3 with Probe flat top pistons, inlet valve cutouts for regular and scj heads. The engine is fitted with procomp heads which have been pocket ported to suit 2.19 and 1.76 valves but no enlargement of the ports themselves.
The camshaft is solid flat tappet 264/268 @ 0.050. It is advanced 4 degrees with a Cloyes 9 key timing set.
It has an Edelbrock performer manifold. Non rpm variety
It is running a brand new Holley 870 Avenger.
Ignition is via a Mallory Comp 9000 distributor and amplifier. I have locked out the timing and run 30 degrees advance all the time


Transmission is C6 with Hughes 2500 stall convertor and rear 3.25 gears

If you floor the throttle it will smoke the tyres from standstill but torque in normal driving is lacklustre.

All I can think is my cam is too big for the spec something like 240 degrees would be better for torque.
I have a Torker II intake but can't see how a single plane would improve response
The other thing is I could advance the cam to 8 degrees on the timing set.
I know my exhaust manifolds are terrible but there is so little room in the engine bay I don't want to change for headers
Also wondering about going to 3.7 rear gears.

Any advice would be great, thanks

I received your email M. I am formulating a response.




SJ
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 10:34 PM
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Needs min 3500-3800rpm stall with that cam, and yes better headers will help a lot.

Cheers, Bob
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
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Needs min 3500-3800rpm stall with that cam, and yes better headers will help a lot.

Cheers, Bob


YES,for starters, not enough gear,3.70 would be great,and more converter for starters,Headers, Hooker makes a set




Next things are carb is too small, that intake sucks for great power. just these 5 things would be a large inprovement

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Last edited by BOSS 429; 03-01-2019 at 10:43 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOSS 429 View Post
YES,for starters, not enough gear,3.70 would be great,and more converter for starters,Headers, Hooker makes a set




Next things are carb is too small, that intake sucks for great power. just these 5 things would be a large inprovement
Yes exactly.. Depends on how good those heads are also . Assuming 95cc? Compression around the low 10's?

Absolute minimum would be a 3500 stall actually built to suit , not a generic off the shelf item.

3.5-3.7 gears
950 Holley minimum
A Torker II would work if you're limited to height , or RPM Airgap or even better a Victor
Assuming that cam is something lift wise in the low 600"?

Its usually pretty hard to kill off torque on a nice 500+ cube build
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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The cam lift is 0.640 inch. The procomp heads measured 91cc and I calculated nearly 11:1 comp.
I bought some P51 heads a few years ago with the intention of having a 545 built with dished pistons and the P51 heads for around 10:1. However I was then offered a 521 with procomp heads which I decided to buy (the seller imported a number of these crate engines). Upon inspection the Probe flat top pistons have intake valve cutouts for both standard and scj/p51 heads. I decided not to swap the P51's onto this bottom end as I calculated the compression ratio would be nearly 13:1. I was worried about the engine being hard to start, constantly blowing head gaskets and pinking (the highest octane I can get at the pump is 99RON). Also the D5TE exhaust manifold to P51 exhaust port match isn't great. Lastly I thought the tall valve covers needed for clearance were a squeeze in my engine bay with the torque brace and brake servo etc
I guess fitting the P51 heads with a big solid roller cam is a possibility just worried about doing head gaskets every two weeks
Also would having an insufficient fuel pump slow the car down or would it just back off after, say, 5000rpm?

Thanks for the advice.

Last edited by markyjt777; 03-02-2019 at 03:48 AM.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 07:38 AM
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Hi. What is the intended use for your car? Street, strip, both, daily driver? Reason I ask is I doubt you're going to like much more gear than 3:25 if you plan on running down the freeway at 70mph +. Also 3500 stall around town might not be something you like either. My 69 galaxie with a similar but milder set up is mainly highway and some around town so that's my point of reference.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 08:48 AM
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I got a HUGE improvement from removing the exhaust manifolds and getting long tube headers. I was running a stock cast iron intake at the time.

Just changing to headers got my heavy 66 Galaxie to run a 13.99 @ 100 with a stock 460 with dished pistons, stock unported D3VE heads, and a HFT cam. It was in the high 14s before the switch. This was over 20 years ago, and I had NO idea what I was doing at the time. Still don't now, most of the time.

Where's my beer and that half inch wrench?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 10:06 AM
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one topic i hate to think about is the different timing sets. if you running the later it can screw up timing. what the cam was intended for timing wise should be verified otherwise you've left the goods on the table. Ive see it happen, even in a magazine article.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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I know a couple of guys actually father/son who race an Olds 455/ Transam 496 at Santa Pod raceway and they both use 3500rpm stall and 3.73 gears. They run mid 11's on motor and mid 10's with 200hp shot nitrous cheater plate. So what you've all said confirms this, I've simply got the wrong convertor and gears for the results I want. I think they both only have a 284xe cam or similar with 10:1 comp as well

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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I set the timing yesterday to 20 degrees initial with 15 degrees advance by moving the lock tab on the distributor baseplate and changed to two light springs (I used the other light spring from my spare Mallory distributor). The car is vastly improved and will break traction on the move.
I timed 30-70 with a stopwatch in 4 seconds flat, not amazing but faster (according to my Car Life road tests back in the day) than a 426 Charger which was 4.4 seconds and a W30 Olds which was 4.7 I think. I plan to swap the cam for something in the 240 @ 0.050 range in the summer.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cletus66 View Post
I got a HUGE improvement from removing the exhaust manifolds and getting long tube headers. I was running a stock cast iron intake at the time.

Just changing to headers got my heavy 66 Galaxie to run a 13.99 @ 100 with a stock 460 with dished pistons, stock unported D3VE heads, and a HFT cam. It was in the high 14s before the switch. This was over 20 years ago, and I had NO idea what I was doing at the time. Still don't now, most of the time.
I have dynoed the scj/cj manifolds with full ehx to the rear,and changed to headers on the dyno when I was doing cast in cast out eng's

headers gained 50hp plus all else the same this on a 466ci, and a 472ci engine , both made 500hp to 600 with the manifolds
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BOSS 302 351 429 800CI+
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 07:36 PM
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Sorry but I would throw the cam heads and intake away and start over. Heads don't flow the cam is way too big for the heads and intake. The intake is for a mild pickup engine. Stay away from the edelbrock heads - they are just as bad as the procomp`s . Take a look at trickflow web site at the small 290cc port heads and look at the engine build and dyno chart. 600hp with the small heads - the power port 325cc will make a BUNCH more power. Ive built a lot of combo`s the trickflow 290 or 325 are great - any of the new afr`s are great - Kaase p51 are also great. Edlebrock heads you have to port the crap out of them to perform just not worth the time and money when you can buy some cheaper and better.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I am looking into getting the shock towers cut back and rewelded for more clearance, I know Hooker #6115 headers are supposed to work but at 1 7/8 still restrictive I think.
I do have a set of Jon Kaase P51 heads bought before the engine, the engine has flat top Probe pistons with both valve cut out positions, if I fit them static compression will be in the order of 13:1. But the more I think about it i'm tempted to try as I can get 99 octane fuel at the pump and just mix in some C12! The required valve cover spacers with stock pent roof valve covers fit in the engine bay, with very little room to spare.

Last edited by markyjt777; 03-14-2019 at 10:59 PM.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 12:51 PM
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Thanks guys, I am looking into getting the shock towers cut back and rewelded for more clearance, I know Hooker #6115 headers are supposed to work but at 1 7/8 still restrictive I think.
I do have a set of Jon Kaase P51 heads bought before the engine, the engine has flat top Probe pistons with both valve cut out positions, if I fit them static compression will be in the order of 13:1. But the more I think about it i'm tempted to try as I can get 99 octane fuel at the pump and just mix in some C12! The required valve cover spacers with stock pent roof valve covers fit in the engine bay, with very little room to spare.

Any header is going to be light years ahead of your current manifolds!!!

What is your ultimate hp goal?

I agree that the Eddy heads for the BBF are at the bottom rung of the ladder just above PC and are damned little better than our budget iron heads as repeatedly shown on the dyno.

The right way to address this is dished pistons, P-51's and a CJ flanged header. Size tbd when hp goal is outlined.



SJ

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