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Old 04-21-2014, 04:01 PM   #1
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Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

Hi there,

I was going to post a little introduction here on the forum at some point, but spend too much time "playing in the dirt" that I never had time for it

So long story short: we are newbies and got our first "starter" SMB last September. After a few weekend trips we are starting to figure out what needs or doesn't need improvements.

It's a 1992 with the 351 engine. We have done the "normal" maintenance stuff like air & gas filters, new distributor cap and plugs & wires. However, she still idles a bit irregular and does get pretty hot under stress. Does anyone here have any experience with this engine and can walk me through some troubleshooting & advice?

I would greatly appreciate it!

Anette
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:20 PM   #2
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Re: Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

How many miles on it? Has it ever had a radiator? When did you last flush/change the coolant? The overheating thing should be a fairly easy fix. As far as the idle issue, the ignition timing may be off since the new distributor. It's a pretty simple 'old school' V8, so I would think any local mechanic could help you out if we can't.

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Old 04-21-2014, 06:28 PM   #3
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Re: Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

Thank you so much for your fast response!

I was told that this engine is more or less "bullet proof", but before handing it over to the local mechanic I thought I'd ask here in case any red flags would come up.

The engine is a crate engine with about 35,000 miles on it, and we are still digging through the collection of receipts from the previous owner to see what was done when, if at all. Of course there is never enough time for paperwork, now that we want to take her out to play any minute when not at work

I'll put the coolant flush on the list as that should be done anyways, just as preventive maintenance. And kick the hubby to take a look at the ignition timing...

Anette
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:16 PM   #4
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Re: Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

Just the basics. Diff oil and tranny oil change. Brake fluid absorbs moisture and should be done on a regular basis. Fuel additive every now and then replace the fuel filters. Plug wires lay on the engine and cause issues. Now that I've said that I should think about my 93 and 96 vehicles cause about the only thing I do is replace the engine oil I love my 67 Chevy because how less tech it is.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:19 PM   #5
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Re: Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

My Bronco has a 351W. The thing that made the biggest difference in how hot it ran was getting the proper timing on it. I tried a number of other things with the cooling system, but the timing made the biggest difference. Proper carb setup was next on the list.


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Old 04-22-2014, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

Great, thank you so much for all your advice! I'll report back when I see improvement that can be tied to certain fixes / repairs.

Anette
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:40 AM   #7
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Re: Oldie with little issues - 351 engine

T-State is definitely a good place to start. Even if it wasn't done very long ago, most of the aftermarket T-stats in the "good" category don't last long. You def need something from the "better" category. From Stant or Napa, you want the "super" series. The difference between a $4 and a $12 T-stat is how often you have to replace them, and in the vans you don't want to have to dig in there more than you need to.

I don't think base timing on a '92 is adjustable, from what I remember. However other components in the ignition system can make it run poorly, including poor fuel pressure or any of the sensors being faulty (mainly MAP on a '92). Even seemingly un-related components like the EGR valve can cause poor drivability. Just keep in mind the component causing the issue may not be the root cause, so simply replacing parts doesn't always get you where you want to be.
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