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Thread: '79 351W Revitalisation

  1. #1

    Default '79 351W Revitalisation

    Ok, so so the '79 coupe I bought was not in running condition when I bought it, but no big deal. Figured it would just need a tune up, hoses, fluids, carb rebuild, etc in order to get it going again. However, As I explore it more and more, I'm finding everything to be a bit familiar and unfamiliar. So, it has that dreaded VV 2bbl, and there's speculation that the reason it was put aside years ago was due to it needing work that no one at the time was up to handling, so instead it just sat. But as I'm exploring this thing, I'm seeing the carb has a TPS, there are sensors on the EGR, there's a manifold pressure sensor, an O2 sensor, a couple what appear to be electronic vacuum switches, a distributor with no vacuum advance and a label indicating ignition timing is not adjustable, A.I.R. tubes running to rear inner-facing sides of the cylinder heads, what appears to be a coolant pre-heater running to the heater core powered by an exhaust channel... And within all of this damaged vacuum lines and wires caused by mice. Not a lot, but enough to be annoying in certain places.

    Part of what gets me is that as best I can tell there should be a computer module to coordinate the sensors and such. But, all I can see so far is an EEC-II ignition control module. I'm planning on ditching the distributor and carb for an HEI distributor and 2150 2bbl carb for the sake of maintainability and getting it running solidly (know a guy in the local area Panther group that has them on hand). I'm also thinking of chopping out all of the sensors and extraneous vacuum components (the TPS will be tossed with the carb swap). Ultimately this will be beneficial to an upgrade to the heads and for a 4bbl or EFI setup.

    So, with all of this, what do I need to look out for, is there anything important that I might not be taking into consideration? And if this thing is actually an EEC-III system, where's the module? And what problems would I have to look out for in pulling some of these sensors and other bits?

    For the most part in the short terms I'm really just wanting to do what's necessary to get it running again by time the weather warms up next year, and I don't want to be dealing with that VV carb.

  2. #2
    Member Arquemann's Avatar
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    Does this look familiar?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1997 Volvo 850 GLE Estate

  3. #3

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    Yup, that seems pretty close to what I see under the hood. There's a couple elements that I haven't seen, but those are probably not as out in the open as the rest. Based on that, I'm guessing the ECM is in the dash.

  4. #4
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    The MCU should live on the driver's side fender, basically between the Duraspark box and the brake booster, or at least thats where it lives on every 351/VV Panther I've ever seen.

    The distributor is just a standard Duraspark unit. Ignition is Duraspark III, which is just D2 with an extra pair of wires to allow timing retard from a knock sensor. If you jumper them, its a Duraspark 2 box. No need for heretical GM distributors, the old Dspark works quite fine. Swap the VV for a Motorshaft 2150 and you're good to go.

    Don't chop the sensors, just remove them and the wiring harness in one big complete chunk. Its a much neater job than having a bunch of stuff sliced and diced under the hood.

    you might want to get in touch with Brown_Muscle. He's got an 82 Vic that used to have all that stuff, and he's largely gone down this path (and beyond now) so he's probably got more specific details on the process.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
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  5. #5
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    From your description, that mess ainít no carburetor. The VV didnít have a TPS, no sensor on the EGR, no manifold pressure sensor that I am aware of, and it DID use a vacuum advance on the distributor. This is from my 82 recollections that might be fuzzy since I sold it in 2008

    It did use an O2. Seems like it was only one on the right side.

    MCU visible on driver fender well:


    The VV:


    MCU out of car:


    Donít over estimate the MCU. My car ran just fine without it.

    The 79 351W had a tractor cam in it. Peak torque @ 1400rpm. No lie.
    Last edited by Tiggie; 11-20-2019 at 10:40 PM.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
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    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
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  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    maybe we need some pics ?

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    From your description, that mess ainít no carburetor. The VV didnít have a TPS, no sensor on the EGR, no manifold pressure sensor that I am aware of, and it DID use a vacuum advance on the distributor. This is from my 82 recollections that might be fuzzy since I sold it in 2008

    It did use an O2. Seems like it was only one on the right side.

    MCU visible on driver fender well:


    The VV:


    MCU out of car:


    Donít over estimate the MCU. My car ran just fine without it.

    The 79 351W had a tractor cam in it. Peak torque @ 1400rpm. No lie.
    From my understanding there were two versions of the VV implementation. One which was a lot like what you're describing, and another which seems to me to be a precursor to CFI. They had different carb part numbers but for the life of me those numbers escape me at the moment. Maybe 2700 and 9900? I dunno.

  8. #8

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    Got some photos...

    First photo is the distributor. Nice little box on it.

    Second photo has some sort of electronic component attached to the driver side of the carb. That diagram up above says it may be some kind of actuator.

    Third photo shows a sensor on the passenger side of the carb. There's another below it, you can see the wires below the electric choke.

    Fourth one shows some switched vacuum and that actuator on the carb. One of the vacuum lines on that switch runs to the EGR.

    Fifth photo shows another vacuum switch set and a manifold vacuum sensor.

    Sixth photo shows a sensor attached to the EGR.

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

  9. #9

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    And looking in the back on the driver side... Is this the ECM?

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    I post a lot...
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    Ledzilla what you have is a expencive feedback VV carburetor Holly used to make the replacement carburetor, my dad bought a car with the VV had it rebuilt and he could never get the car to run right until he got the Holly replacement. My advice is get the replacement Carburetor and you are good to go.

  11. #11
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    All Panther VVís were the 7200 - the computer controlled one. The non computer one was indeed the 2700 but never used in a Panther.

    I think you have a Cali emissions car. Just a guess.
    Last edited by Tiggie; 11-21-2019 at 10:23 PM.
    1988 Crown Vic Wagon - daily
    1990 Country Squire - weekend cruiser, former lawn ornament
    Other: 95 Ranger, 74 F250, 68 Mustang, 94 Mustang
    Sold: 1982 LTD and 1987 Crown Vic

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodentkiller View Post
    Ledzilla what you have is a expencive feedback VV carburetor Holly used to make the replacement carburetor, my dad bought a car with the VV had it rebuilt and he could never get the car to run right until he got the Holly replacement. My advice is get the replacement Carburetor and you are good to go.
    That would appear to be the Holley 2300 1-684. Can't seem to find any available.
    Last edited by ledzilla; 11-21-2019 at 10:44 PM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiggie View Post
    All Panther VVís were the 7200 - the computer controlled one. The non computer one was indeed the 2700 but never used in a Panther.

    I think you have a Cali emissions car. Just a guess.
    Well, if it's a Cali emissions, it wouldn't be the first for me. My 88 TC had it. I looked into new injectors for it, once upon a time, and the Ford parts guy told me that they were Cali emissions injectors.

  14. #14

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    Ok, given the fact that the direct replacement non-VV Holley carb doesn't seem to be available right now, would it seem reasonable that I could install a 2150 2bbl and a DuraSpark II distributor, and assuming that the carb is tuned properly and the correct ignition timing is set, I should be able to get this beastie up and running regardless of the sensors and the EEC-III ECM? It already looks to be using the same ICM that my 78 LTD and 87 F250 are using (all are non CA emissions style - 2 plugs instead of 3).

  15. #15
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    should be able to do that. If its got spark and fuel it will run. The rest of it is just extra BS.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  16. #16
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    I yanked the whole cfi harness off my 84 with a 302 and just ran it with a mechanical pump, carb, and duraspark. You just need 12v start, 12v run, and ballast resisted run voltage for the coil. Easy peazy. You also dont need to worry about a TV throttle linkage making it even easier, since your 79 is a c4 car.

  17. #17
    fomoco panthers !
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    IF you do find a VV replacement, there are two models. One for the 255/302 and one for the 351. Make sure you get the right one.
    If you choose to rebuild the existing unit, get a fresh rebuild kit. DO NOT ADJUST ANY INTERNAL ADJUSTMENTS ! Just clean, replace what needs replacement . What usually went bad was the diaphragms. It is worth a try. If the internal adjustment were messed with, unless a professional did the job, it never will run again. There is also a special tool called a water gauge which is suppose to be used. I never did. Considering the age and the one year only use of many 1979 parts, I would vote with the others here to get rid of it. I hated those VVs but I got over 200k miles on the three I had.

  18. #18
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    Rip all that out- if you want to go a step farther rip the smog stuff out and plug the back of the heads with bolts. You can just turn the module into DS-II as gadget said and the dizzy/module will work just fine. You can get a remanned 2150 off rockauto. Just make sure it has the linkage for the TV rod. I suggest trying to find a 2150 with the larger venturi size if you can (1.23 I believe, or 1.21??)

    You can try to make the existing system run with a replacement- but it will not be as reliable as a 2150 and a good old DS-II system, at least not with everything aged as it has
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. 351w, GT40 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Baumann Shift kit.
    +1975 Maverick- Fuel injected 302, Trickflow 170 heads, XE270 cam, explorer intakes, 24# injectors, custom tune. T5 transmission, 3.55 Yukon Trac-Lok rear.
    +1989 Mercury Colony Park "Large Marge" Lopo 302. 3.55L K-Code Tow package, Baumann Shift Kit, Big brake swap, rear discs, HO intake/TB, custom exhaust.

  19. #19
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    That distributor is odd though, no advance at all. EEC-III distributors didn't have one, but those ran off the crank trigger.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  20. #20
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    If you want to go the way of rebuilding the VV contact Nathen in Min he did it in his College Dorm room and got his car to run right just a suggestion.

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