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Thread: 1985 Engine Camshaft help

  1. #1
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Default 1985 Engine Camshaft help

    Hello friends, I am seeking help with my 1985 engine.

    I will be upgrading the camshaft to something with specs close to a stock Mustang cam.

    My questions are as follows:

    Which do I get: hydraulic or mechanical flat tappet cam?

    Engine is a 1985 Standard Output 5.0L (non roller)

    What material does the new cam gear need to be?

    Distributor is the TFI style.

    Thanks for the help.
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Lower Intake, 1.6 Roller Rockers, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Perfromance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    I think the standard flat tappet lifter for ‘85s is hydraulic, even on a HO setup. I’d probably go with that from a noise/maintenance standpoint. A mechanical lifter will make a little more noise and will definitely need periodic lash adjustments to keep everything happy.

    The cam gear should be cast iron for flat tappet.
    Last edited by Kodachrome Wolf; 06-21-2021 at 01:35 PM.

    My Cars:
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  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    what block do you have? Some 85 blocks are roller-capable. if you find the block casting number, an E5 number would indicate it could have the roller bits added, just have to drill and tap the two bosses in the lifter galley and install the retainer and the dogbones.

    No mechanical lifters, they aren't usable with the stock style heads anyway. No mechanism for adjustment.

    flat cams get iron distributor gears, roller cams get steel gears.

    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

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    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    If going with a cam for a mustang firing order your plugs will not be firing on the correct cylinders.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  5. #5
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    If going with a cam for a mustang firing order your plugs will not be firing on the correct cylinders.
    Thinking about this....85 would be tfi injection...dual injectors..just swapping firing order would fix the issue??? Are the intakes dual plane so one injector feeds 4 cylinders and the other feeds the other 4? 15426378 13726548 are the firing orders. I think it wouldn't work.....
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  6. #6
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    wouldn't make any difference. No need to swap injectors around. It wouldn't be any different than a carb really, its just sucking air and fuel through the hole.

    I suspect its going to run lean and not work overly well unless it gets larger injectors and probably a tune to make it cooperate, but thats unrelated to the firing order.

    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
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    what block do you have? Some 85 blocks are roller-capable. if you find the block casting number, an E5 number would indicate it could have the roller bits added, just have to drill and tap the two bosses in the lifter galley and install the retainer and the dogbones.

    No mechanical lifters, they aren't usable with the stock style heads anyway. No mechanism for adjustment.

    flat cams get iron distributor gears, roller cams get steel gears.
    Where do I find the casting number?

    I can double check it is E5 but when I installed the lower intake I do remember seeing the two flat spots in the lifter galley.

    Would it make more sense to tap the lifter valley and use a hydraulic roller cam instead of the hydraulic flat tappet cam?

    And, if I did choose to go hydraulic roller, wouldn't I also need to get the steel gear on the distributor, seeing as the 85 block comes with a flat tappet cam, and therefore must currently have an iron gear?
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Lower Intake, 1.6 Roller Rockers, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Perfromance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear

  8. #8
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 87gtVIC View Post
    Thinking about this....85 would be tfi injection...dual injectors..just swapping firing order would fix the issue??? Are the intakes dual plane so one injector feeds 4 cylinders and the other feeds the other 4? 15426378 13726548 are the firing orders. I think it wouldn't work.....
    The camshafts I am looking operate with the Standard Output firing order. Just something OTS I can get at Summit.

    They are just similar to Mustang specs. They have close lift ratios and have a 114 lobe separation angle.
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Lower Intake, 1.6 Roller Rockers, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Perfromance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear

  9. #9
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    wouldn't make any difference. No need to swap injectors around. It wouldn't be any different than a carb really, its just sucking air and fuel through the hole.

    I suspect its going to run lean and not work overly well unless it gets larger injectors and probably a tune to make it cooperate, but thats unrelated to the firing order.
    I'm going to figure something out about the tune.

    I have options:

    I could use a tweecer to see if it works with the factory computer and the two injectors.

    I could use the engine/injector harness/computer out of my dad's 91, which is available for me to use.

    I could do the FAST EZ EFI or the Holley EFI stuff but maybe I will try to stay away from this option because it is out of my range this year for this project.

    Its all for experimentation purposes anyways.

    The camshafts that I am looking at aren't too radical, they have under .500 lift and use a 114 LSA. Maybe that will help it play nice with stock ECU.
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Lower Intake, 1.6 Roller Rockers, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Perfromance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear

  10. #10
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    If you're doing it, go with the HO firing order, you'll save your bearings, its a much better firing order. If you're able to convert it to roller, do it, you wont have to deal with break in, and its more efficient. Also imitating a mustang cam probably isnt the best idea, they have no down low grunt which is needed for these heavy cars. You can find something similar that will fit the torque converter stall and make the car scoot below 2500rpm as well as above it.

    Yes if you go roller you'll need a steel gear

    Just my 2 cents
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. Built 351w, Trickflow 11R 190 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb+ RPM Intake, WR-AOD, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Speedway Springs+Bilstein Shocks, Intermediate Brakes, HPP Steering Box.

    +2003 Acura CL Type S 6-speed

  11. #11
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Muscle View Post
    If you're doing it, go with the HO firing order, you'll save your bearings, its a much better firing order. If you're able to convert it to roller, do it, you wont have to deal with break in, and its more efficient. Also imitating a mustang cam probably isnt the best idea, they have no down low grunt which is needed for these heavy cars. You can find something similar that will fit the torque converter stall and make the car scoot below 2500rpm as well as above it.

    Yes if you go roller you'll need a steel gear

    Just my 2 cents
    Thanks for your response and the information.

    I just figured matching something like a Mustang cam would make it drive more like a stock Mustang but it seems I was wrong in my assumption.

    Would you have any recommendations on what specs to be looking for in a cam that would be better suited for these larger cars?

    I currently have a 2400 stall converter.
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Lower Intake, 1.6 Roller Rockers, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Perfromance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear

  12. #12
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    A stall converter like that plays nice with a Mustang cam since it helps get things near the power hand when launching.

    I’ve found the Mustang cam to be reasonable when being driven normally, but as everyone says the power is above 2500. It was not awesome to launch from a stand with the factory converter as it was a dog until it got up there, but after swapping to a 2500 unit, things are much better.

    My Cars:
    -1964 Comet 202 (116K Miles) - Awaiting Resurrection
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  13. #13
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Casting number is up next to where the starter lives

    I'd go roller just because of modern oils. Less chance of the cam eating itself from oil problems or junky lifters. The stock hardware should be easy enough to get, and cast iron drills and taps fairly easily. If you can rig up a shop vac to pull the chips away as you drill that wouldn't be a bad idea, and make sure you change the oil to get rid of any remaining crap that doesn't get cleaned up.

    I'm fairly happy with the Comp cam in my sig.

    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

  14. #14
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    I just saw FAST EZ-EFI and scrolled past everything else to give this warning...DONíT DO IT! The system is garbage, the processor s-l-o-w, among a host of other problems. Iíll probably use mine for target practice after I switch back to the stock multi-point type injection...Iím either tuning with a Quarter-horse or an Anderson PMS. I have both in stock so, who knows.

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    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    I was assuming you had a stock converter, like Kodachrome said, it shouldnt be too bad in that case. I'd personally still shoot for something with low end grunt...when it shifts to third and youre trying to accelerate moderately at 1500rpm its nice to have some torque. I like the comp cams series... like an XE258 or XE264
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. Built 351w, Trickflow 11R 190 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb+ RPM Intake, WR-AOD, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Speedway Springs+Bilstein Shocks, Intermediate Brakes, HPP Steering Box.

    +2003 Acura CL Type S 6-speed

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    GMN Regular Giraffe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sick88tbird View Post
    I just saw FAST EZ-EFI and scrolled past everything else to give this warning...DON’T DO IT! The system is garbage, the processor s-l-o-w, among a host of other problems. I’ll probably use mine for target practice after I switch back to the stock multi-point type injection...I’m either tuning with a Quarter-horse or an Anderson PMS. I have both in stock so, who knows.
    I'd love to get your opinion on these or a TwEECer. I want a cost-effective option for my car since I'm planning to use a Mark VII computer to retain my cruise control. I was originally wanting to go MS, but it looks like they don't sell the DIY kits anymore. The PnP setups run north of $800.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brown_Muscle View Post
    I was assuming you had a stock converter, like Kodachrome said, it shouldnt be too bad in that case. I'd personally still shoot for something with low end grunt...when it shifts to third and youre trying to accelerate moderately at 1500rpm its nice to have some torque. I like the comp cams series... like an XE258 or XE264
    Just out of curiosity, if one were to go with a cam and heads comparable to a stock HO Mustang, would one simply be able to get away with a Mustang AOD converter? Or is the extra weight of the car also a factor?
    óJohn

    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS (POTM March 2017 & May 2019)
    1995 Mustang SVT Cobra coupe (cream puff)
    1966 Mustang coupe (restoration in-progress)

  17. #17
    P31 Pursuit Car Brown_Muscle's Avatar
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    The mustang converter is around 1800, which i'm assuming is not as big of a deal with the lighter car. I'd still get one with a higher stall, like 2300-2500.

    Also since we are talking about fuel injection systems, I would look into the Holley Sniper. A lot of people who switch from FAST, or EZ-Efi seem to like it. I'll be getting that system in a couple months
    -Phil



    +1982 Ford LTD-S Police Car. Built 351w, Trickflow 11R 190 Heads, Edelbrock 1906 Carb+ RPM Intake, WR-AOD, Full exhaust headers to tails. 3.27 Trac-Lok Rear. Aluminum Police Driveshaft. Speedway Springs+Bilstein Shocks, Intermediate Brakes, HPP Steering Box.

    +2003 Acura CL Type S 6-speed

  18. #18
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    for whatever its worth to you, my car has a standard converter in it. Only thing close to non-typical is the 3.55 rear, which is actually stock on mine. Still works well, but a slightly higher stall converter would probably be a benefit. I'm just not interested in yanking the motor or trans to make that happen.

    I'm running a Quarterhorse with a mass air ECM. Works just ducky, but it ain't the cheapest thing. I bought that ECM years ago when they weren't expensive but now the pricing is dumb. If that will tune a Mark VII ECM, that gets you in at a much lower entry price, though you still have to buy the tuner and be aware that you're dealing with 30 year old electronics. The caps on my ECM were leaking and there is a bit of board rot under them. I would kind of expect this to be the case on most old ECMs at this point.

    And then find someone that speaks speed-density. Everyone in the Mustang world has been converting SD systems to mass air since like 1989 so in-depth understanding of EEC-IV SD seems fairly rare. Oddly enough most of the aftermarket EFI systems are speed-density so its not like its a terrible control system, it just has to be tuned correctly. In a way its actually dumber than a carb is. If you suck more air through a carb, it will give more fuel up to the point that it runs out of jet. SD doesn't even do that since it has no idea how much air is actually flowing, it only knows what it was told. Stuff with a wideband and more brain power than existed in 1986 can probably fix itself to a large degree but not so with the old tech.

    there is another system called rusEFI, though beyond knowing it exists and apparently has a plug-in EEC-IV version I know very little about it. Probably comparable to the MS stuff, so if you were into that, maybe worth checking out.
    https://rusefi.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1684

    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

  19. #19
    Member sluggish91's Avatar
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    Seems like the general consensus is to go Hydraulic Roller.

    If I do this:
    -I need to tap the lifter valley
    -I need the dogbone retaining plate & dogbones
    -I'd need to swap firing order, but im still CFI, so I'd have to do a fuel injection swap to the SEFI and re-pin the wiring harness
    -I'd need to get the EFI intake, the 8 injectors, the fuel rails, the TB and the transmission cable and linkage figured.
    -I would need the steel distributor gear for the hydraulic roller cam

    I might be missing some stuff but all of this just to throw in a little bit bigger cam?

    I really thought that I could just get a hydraulic flat tappet cam with a bit more RPM range and a little bit more performance and just toss it in, measure PTV, measure for pushrods, break it in, maybe play with the injector duty cycle and spark table and call it a day.

    I guess I am sadly mistaken.
    1985 2-Door
    CFI, K&N Filter, Edelbrock Lower Intake, 1.6 Roller Rockers, E7 Heads, BBK Shorty Headers, Summit H-pipe, Hooker Max Flow Mufflers, E-Fan, 3G Alternator, Race Crank Pulley, Bilstein Rear Shocks, KYB Front Shocks, Front Lowering Springs, FTI 2400 Stall Converter, PA Perfromance Valve Body, Motive 4.30 Gear

  20. #20
    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Why'd you need SEFI swap to change the firing order? Just swap around the plug wires, surely the CFI is dumb enough to not care about that.
    Since you are on CFI you don't have to worry about injector firing order as the cfi injectors shoot fuel all the time.

    Since you're pretty certain that you have the dogbone retainer bosses in the block, you're genuinely drilling and tapping two holes away from a roller cam. Were you intending to reuse the stock flat tappet lifters if you went with just another flat tappet cam? (I dunno if it good or bad, just realizing you might pull that off without removing the intake...)

    Looking around, roller 302 cams are inexpensive, better variety and many come in kits with the roller lifters and dogbones.
    Stock style roller lifters are quite cheap too.

    What are you using to tweak the CFI ECM? Since you have heads, headers and so on.
    1985 Mercury Grand Marquis LS, "Maisa"
    2008 BMW 530d Touring, "Femma"

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