First Time Valve Cover Removal

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7173Vert

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After 48 years, cannot state 100% certainty that this was the first time these valve covers were removed, but I’ll make my case and let the experts determine)). 
 

I’m pretty confident this is a 45K orig mi car. I have spent the past few weeks going through every inch getting to know it better. There is so much on the car that is still like new that normally would have either been changed out for general maintenance or removed for other various reasons. I have preserved as much as I can. Unfortunately, the selling dealer sent the apprentice under the car with a black rattle spray can and he went to town covering up a lot of the original patina. Too bad, I’ve cleaned where I can. It’s much better. The car still has its original starter, alternator, fuel pump, dual point distributor, carb, etc. The California emission system is all in tact.  
 

I previously went through the suspension and brakes. Still riding on original ball joints and tie rod ends. Updated the stab bar end links and bushings with factory type pieces. The dual exhaust is still original except for two new mufflers welded in. I had to put a new Master Cylinder and two rear brake cylinders to get it safetied.. I will rebuild the original pieces... 
 

I finished a re & re on the interior, where I steam cleaned the carpets, washed all the interior pieces, lubed up all the window mechanisms and seat tracks, applying rust proofing to a lot of the bare metal areas that the factory didn’t do, installing new sound proofing on the floor, etc. I like to know what is under all of the fluff in the car, to know it is in good shape. Interior is good to go another 50 years now.

I'm now in the engine bay and have removed much of the top end pieces for cleaning, maintenance and replacing should it be required. I will change out all the fluids, complete tune up ( debating whether to risk  a Pertronix install or stick with dual points... I did not remove the A/C components because the original R-12 system is still working and blowing cold. Compared to my previous green 73 H Code Vert, the emission passages under the carb on this car were clear and not clogged up. The green Vert was a 45k mi car also, but under the valve cover was not quite  as nice as this Q Code engine. It had some sludge build up at the drain ports in the heads. Based on these photos, regular oil changes were done on this car, whereas the green Vert was not quite as good. I degreased the engine today, not going to paint anything, I just like to be able to see everything and it makes it easier to maintain...

I’m pretty sure this is the first time the valve cover has been off. You can see the blue paint on the gasket... The valve cover didn’t want to come off and the cork gasket is pretty hard and brittle today... No leaks though. Quite the number of “OK” stamps on the back of this valve cover... Rocker’s and valvetrain in general, look great. 
 

That’s enough typing for one round... Hope a few here appreciate the effort in trying to keep some of these car’s factory...

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Kilgon

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Great story and info.  I'm for keeping an "original car" that way if it is truly original.  I think it is hard to find concours correct cars unless they were one owners or were purchased by purist.  Just too many of them out there that have had modifications done over the years.  A front end upgrade to suspension and there it goes down the tube.  Add subframe connectors and it's no loner original regardless of what model it is.    Replace the ohm meter for a volt meter for safety purposes it's no longer concours.    Simple improvements can take away its originality.   

 
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Hemikiller

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Great to see stuff like this, Inspector 309 was definitely "enthusiastic" about their approval. While you're there, I'd check the condition of the valve seals. If they've hardened up and are brittle, it's time to change them. 

 

Don C

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The gaskets have the appearance of being original, good chance you're the first. Looks well maintained, nice and clean. I've seen engines no where near that old that you have to use a screwdriver to scrape the sludge out.

Like Hemikiller said, good chance the umbrella seals are disintegrating, look around and see if you see any little black hard chunks.

 

7173Vert

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I’ve thought about the valve seals. No sign of any breakdown at this time. I will be doing this before reassembling. I am happy the engine oil change was changed on a regular basis, I’ve pulled covers in the past and just groaned with what was underneath. Sure makes life easier knowing the internal’s should be in pretty good shape moving forward. Have to find a new PVS valve to reinstall in the water pump. I think I have one somewhere... Debated changing the water pump out while I’m at this stage, but, no signs of leakage and looking up into the pump from below, it looks really nice. If it goes, they are not to bad to do... Spent the day yesterday finishing a clean up of the engine bay. Have to strip the battery tray and refinish as some battery acid hit a few spots. Nice to see the original Group 24 battery tray, all the repos today are the Group 27 size. Still need to get to the bottom of what this aluminum tag is. I know most people will say it is a rebuilt engine... I don’t think so. I found another guy on the site Facebook page who has the same setup... His was a California car too. No one could answer his question about the label at that time. Someone must know what it represents.. I checked my 73 factory service manual for emissions info concerning my car. Interesting in that my 73 Emission manual does not show anything for a 73 California Q Code 4-spd w/AC car? Also, No reference to any special requirements for CA cars, that I could see. As my car was built in ‘72, wondering if the ‘72 factory emissions would cover this? I don’t have the ‘72 year manual, of course I have 71 and 73... If anyone has info on this tag, please let me know. Too bad about the engine calibration label disintegrating...

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timachone

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Ken, 

I appreciate your work and documentation very much. It is straight forward and without too much babble around... We can not often see an unmolested car today! My car was not that unmolested unfortunately although it is one of a kind, one of 22 T5 Mach 1's as a Q-code 4-speed in '73 at minimum. So I will do as much as I can to get it back to it's factory glory. Work and documentation as yours is of great worth for me. Please keep it that way! 

As to your unboxing: it seems that nothing on and in the valve covers has changed. Though the valve covers have their original paint with stamps and the cork gasket appeareantly too, no bigger paint chips on the bolt holes, I would say, nothing has ever changed. Nevertheless have a look to the valve stem seals - poke them around. If they are still soft let them in, if they will show cracks, dents or chips then, do a change. Look for broken splash shields in the rockers. Two of mine were broken on the sides, could have been easy overlooked. I found some NOS on ebay and changed them. 

All in all I have to admit: this is one of the cleanest engines inside I have seen. This car was maintained very well and was also driven very well. Not too much short-tracks...  :thumb:  

Onto the waterpump: if it has no squiels, run calm, bearing have no play and you had no cooling issues let it as it is! 

I have no comment on the special tag though, never seen that before... I do not think, that this engine was rebuilt - you would see too much sighns of that, new gaskets and other small new components at minimum! 

 
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7173Vert

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Ken, 

I appreciate your work and documentation very much. It is straight forward and without too much babble around... We can not often see an unmolested car today! My car was not that unmolested unfortunately although it is one of a kind, one of 22 T5 Mach 1's as a Q-code 4-speed in '73 at minimum. So I will do as much as I can to get it back to it's factory glory. Work and documentation as yours is of great worth for me. Please keep it that way! 

As to your unboxing: it seems that nothing on and in the valve covers has changed. Though the valve covers have their original paint with stamps and the cork gasket appeareantly too, no bigger paint chips on the bolt holes, I would say, nothing has ever changed. Nevertheless have a look to the valve stem seals - poke them around. If they are still soft let them in, if they will show cracks, dents or chips then, do a change. Look for broken splash shields in the rockers. Two of mine were broken on the sides, could have been easy overlooked. I found some NOS on ebay and changed them. 

All in all I have to admit: this is one of the cleanest engines inside I have seen. This car was maintained very well and was also driven very well. Not too much short-tracks...  :thumb:  

Onto the waterpump: if it has no squiels, run calm, bearing have no play and you had no cooling issues let it as it is! 

I have no comment on the special tag though, never seen that before... I do not think, that this engine was rebuilt - you would see too much sighns of that, new gaskets and other small new components at minimum! 
Thanks for your thoughts Tim. T-5 is a rare pony for sure, look after it. All my oil deflectors are in good shape. If this the tag on the valve cover relates to the engine being rebuilt in any fashion, it was done so in its infant years, I would think. Then, it was never touched again until I started to do some minor upkeep and visual updates through cleaning, etc. I’ll keep researching the label until I find a sound answer...

 

Hemikiller

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Just spitballing here, but it looks too well made to be anything but some sort of "official" tag. Maybe it was an emissions test results tag from a random sampling of new cars? 

Any rebuilder tag I've seen has been marked with the bore oversize / rod undersize / crank undersize dimensions, and was affixed to the block. 

 
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It is interesting that all the OK stamps are on your valve cover and mine are on the head itself. The tag does not look like anything Ford used that I have seen. The left over glue above it would have been the Ford sticker. Here is what my 12,000 mile car looks like inside. I do not think it is so much changing the oil as what type oil you use. The old Quaker state was a paraffin base oil and was horrible for sludge. My sister used Quaker state in her new AMC she got new back then. A valve started tapping and when I pulled the valve over off it looked like the cover was still there. The sludge had filled the cover and made a mold. It was horrible. I used Havoline.
Have you verified the VIN# on the block to match?
Only original once so keep it that way.
I believe I would change the valve stem seals. You can do without removing the heads. Just need the tool to compress the spring and get the keepers out. Use air pressure in cylinder to keep valves up. I made one for a Y block back in the 60's and also one for 289 before they really sold them. They are an issue with any engine that uses the black rubber seals.

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7173Vert

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Just spitballing here, but it looks too well made to be anything but some sort of "official" tag. Maybe it was an emissions test results tag from a random sampling of new cars? 

Any rebuilder tag I've seen has been marked with the bore oversize / rod undersize / crank undersize dimensions, and was affixed to the block. 
Yes. Good points. The car was in Oakland California it’s entire life until 2018. I would not be surprised if it was a California test of some kind and the DMV used these numbers to refer to the results... Who knows. I have seen rebuilt engines with specs provided as you mention also. The fact the label was placed adjacent to the calibration sticker from the factory would tend to lead credence to an emission label of some kind. If I had not seen another one recently on the Internet, I would not pay much attention. 

 
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Seems like when delivered there was a sticker on the LH rear side window saying something about California testing?? My 73 vert H cod had all the California stuff pulled by the PO in California.

 

7173Vert

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Figured while I have the top of the engine out for cleaning and maintenance, worthwhile to switch out the original valve seals. Everyone of the original valve seals was still completely in tact when removed, quite unusual 48 years later. The yellowish seals are the original pieces. Still, they were showing signs of age and heat segregation and they would deteriorate further to the point of breakage at some point in the future. Overall, a Worthwhile endeavour.

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I have never seen yellow seals in any of my engines even the one I bought new. I am betting someone changed them in the past to prevent them from getting into the pan.
When I was a teenager I made the tools to change the seals on a Y block without pulling the heads. Later made one for 289 - 302. I just cleaned them up in the molasses tank the other day.
I will look when in the shop later. I think the originals have the Ford logo on them.

 
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Wow, what a refreshing view to see Kens almost 50-year old original engine that looks new inside. With two friends who ran salvage yards, I did a lot of Saturday morning shopping for treasures. Unfortunately, many of those "treasure" engines had the appearance of being dug out of sludge pit when opened up. When removed, there was a mirror image of the valve cover made of black sludge. With the engine's lower end in even worse shape, it usually took several of these treasure engines to accumulate enough undamaged pieces to make a good engine. But.....look at the money the previous owners saved on those money-wasting oil changes!!

Agree with Hemikiller on the tag on the front of the valve cover. Since this was a lifelong California car, it is more than likely a state-issued tag for a random test at a safety/emissions inspection site. The placement of it below the Ford engine identification label does add weight to that possibility. The tags on Ford rebuilt engines were permanently attached to the block and not to any item that could be serviced replaced, such as valve covers or heads. The riveted tag always included the reman serial number and pertinent info needed in any warranty issues. I'm sure other reman engine sources did the same.  

The yellow valve stem seals are Ford pieces. The '70-74 "H" and '70-71" M" 351 C's used the common black Ford seals. '71/ Q and R engines used a black seal sourced from '70/ 429 Police, CJ, and SCJ engines (D0OE-A). The D0OE-A seals were replaced by the yellow seals sometime during '73 production. The yellow seals D3TZ-6571-A (D3TE-AA) were sourced from the '73-76 460 truck engine. It would be impossible to determine an exact start date with the sheer number of "Q" 351 engines installed in Mustang, Cougar, Torino, Montego, and Torino Trooper police packages. These cars were not assembled in consecutive serial numbers, and changes at the assembly plants did not occur simultaneously.
My red '71 M code Mach 1 (Money Pit#2), when acquired in '81, had a '74 Gran Torino Q engine and had the yellow valve stem seals.  
As David mentioned, an emissions compliance label was placed in the L/R window for "California" cars. 1972 NOX-equipped vehicles had a similar label.

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The cleanliness of the engine is absolutely amazing. I'm glad you got pleasant surprise. If it were me, with a car that original, I'd keep the dual points even if you need to find NOS replacements and condenser. We used to turn Ford dual points to 7000+ on a regular basis. I would inspect the internals of the distributor just to be sure it is fine.

 

7173Vert

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The cleanliness of the engine is absolutely amazing. I'm glad you got pleasant surprise. If it were me, with a car that original, I'd keep the dual points even if you need to find NOS replacements and condenser. We used to turn Ford dual points to 7000+ on a regular basis. I would inspect the internals of the distributor just to be sure it is fine.
Even the points were still in great shape, I just cleaned them up and reused. I did have a new NOS condenser to install. I’ve kept your thoughts previously on this subject in the back of my mind regarding the use of Pertronix over the factory installed points. Currently both my Mustang’s are running fine on points… It’s all in the details of setting them up properly.

 

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