It doesn't matter if you call it the Bumpside Build-off or the Bulletside Build-off (see Classic News in this issue for more information), there is one thing for sure, we definitely have two schools of thought at work in this competition. Of course, since Grant at Classic Trucks '68 Flareside was on its last legs with a bad rod knock and a host of other terminal conditions, he didn't have much of a choice whether or not he was going to drive his truck before it was torn down. Thankfully, in Custom Classic Trucks' corner, our '72 Styleside was in good enough condition that we have and will be able to drive it as work progresses. This is not to say the truck didn't have some reliability issues when we first got it, because there were a few breakdowns. It seems like nine times out of 10, when an engine has problems running, it can usually be traced back to the ignition.
First things first, we popped off the distributor cap and discovered everything inside was junk. With all the really great electronic ignitions on the market today, we didn't even consider rebuilding the points-type ignition, but just for giggles, we hooked up a dwell meter and confirmed our suspicions when the erratic readings (jumping needle) indicated the distributor had a tremendous amount of slop due to wear.
Since this was our first engine tech on the '72 F-100 project, we figured it would be a good idea to make a baseline run on the dyno to establish where we were starting from. We went to see our friend Mark Dibella at MD Automotive in Westminster, California, where anyone with an interest in running on a dyno can buy time on their Dynojet floor dynometer. We made two pulls; the second one was the best. In the stock configuration, the power peaked at 4,500 rpm at 195 lb-ft of torque and 117 horsepower to the rear wheels. With our baseline run out of the way, we drove the '72 back to the house and installed a Street/Strip DUI distributor from Performance Distributors in Memphis, Tennessee, along with a set of Live Wires spark plug wires. After we installed the DUI distributor, our little 302 Ford motor fired right up and ran a lot crisper. We could hardly wait to get the '72 back on MD Automotive's dyno. Unfortunately, in our enthusiasm for our newly discovered power, on the return trip we blew the clutch and lunched the transmission. After we get the driveline problems cured, we'll make another run on the dyno and publish the results in an upcoming issue.
Here's Performance Distributors' Street/Strip DUI distributor for the 302 Ford shown with
It was essential to have a chart to show the spark plug's location (especially number 1) a
The 302's distributor is located at the front of the engine. The stock ignition coil mount