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My 68 has been in the garage all winter while I worked on other items. Now I have noticed a very tiny leak that was not there before and it appears to be from the water pump. My car has a 302 F code with 87,000 miles on the speedometer, and if I do have to pull the water pump what are your thoughts about replacing the timing chain at the same time? What has been members experience in regards to the life expectancy of the chain?

Mike and his 68!
 

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I would change it while you are in there. If it is the original and has the nylon coated gears, then it definately needs to be changed. They usually stretch out after 50,000 miles, and just get worse from there. It may not break or anything, but it will cause the cam to retard and run sluggish. You will likely notice more power after replacing it.
 

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ABSOLUTLY! One of the most important items that is most overlooked. The chain stretches, timing suffers, or more importantly the gear can strip, and you will get multiple bent pushrods and valves.
 

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Might as well upgrade it to a double roller while your at it - they are cheap. Or if you really want to go nuts you could put in a gear drive and get a noisy one to sound like you gotta blower under the hood! ;>)
 

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A note of caution on the double roller, sometimes they bump up against the inside of the cover, and so may need some machine work.
 

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I didn't have any problems but it wouldn't take much more than a little grinder I would bet....
 

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Yep, as long as you have water pump off, take extra effort to replace the timing set with a good quality set. Even if old gears and chain look good.

I didn't, thought about it, but in the end...didn't. End result was bent push rods, bent valves and 3 cracked pistons. And this was about 2 weeks after I replaced water pump. And approx 68,000 miles on stock 69 351w.
 

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Yup times 4 or 5 or whatever the count is on change it while you are that close. Go double roller and compare thickness to the standard chain. I have installed way more than a couple and never had a rub, but it is possible, there are so many manufacturers out there. I got to say I think the windsor engines are non interference motors and should not end up in calamity if it jumps time. Maybe the 10.7:1 1969 351 would since they were higher compression but even then I think they were okay. Perhaps 69katts had an aftermarket cam went it went up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks to everyone. We had excellent weather yesterday and I finished installing my reupholsterd seats. So even though I have no instruments in yet I took her out of the garage for the first time this year and took her for a short cruise. Afterward I popped the hood and saw no leak by the center pulley as I expected. Crawled underneath with a maglight and saw the culprit. Ever so slight leak at the
lower radiator hose on the pump where it clamps. Since they are new hoses and clamps I discovered that the clamp was not tight enough. Gotta love the simple fixes.

So for now I think I'll put this on my wish list for next winter. Until then I can ponder what else I can drop a few bucks on while I cruise
in her this coming summer!!!
 

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I have been thinking of replacing the chain and gears in my 67 289. It only has 32k on it but I have found no proof if has a nylon cam gear or not and I do not want to take chances. What brands are US made and are really correct for the application? I do not want some cheap import crap.

Bill
 

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I don't have proof in front of me, but a V8 Ford is not designed as a "non intereference" engine. My bone stick 351W 2V slipped a timing chain, and bent 8 valves and pushrods.
When I replaced the cam, (different car) and installed my double roller timing gear set, I ran into the clearance issue with the timing cover. That is actually how I got all those parts so cheap. On a side bar, I bought a new cam, lifters, timing gear set and intake manifold for 200.00 dollars. The guy that bought it all new ran into that problem, and sold the parts, rather than thinking about removing some material to get the timing gear set to clear.
 

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You right woodsnake the 351 is interference due to the increased stroke. 289 and 302 are not.
 

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I have been thinking of replacing the chain and gears in my 67 289. It only has 32k on it but I have found no proof if has a nylon cam gear or not and I do not want to take chances. What brands are US made and are really correct for the application? I do not want some cheap import crap.

Bill
If it has not been open then it is the plastic/nylon type gears. That is what the factory used.

BTW I wouldn't be worried about it at only 32K.
 

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You right woodsnake the 351 is interference due to the increased stroke. 289 and 302 are not.
Later model roller 302's can bend valves when the chain jumps so not all 302's are safe. I would also guess many modified 289/302's with big cams and or popup pistons would be benders.

Bill
 

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Later model roller 302's can bend valves when the chain jumps so not all 302's are safe. I would also guess many modified 289/302's with big cams and or popup pistons would be benders.

Bill
yeah if they ain't stock it is another whole game. You gotta do the clay clearance checking and all that when you play with bump sticks. Rollers? What are those? lol Sorry old school here. Never done a roller but probably the next build will be. Was really on the fence on the current 408 build and might even change that out another time.
 

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If it has not been open then it is the plastic/nylon type gears. That is what the factory used.

BTW I wouldn't be worried about it at only 32K.
My line of thinking is that time, not mileage is what is going to make the nylon outer ring teeth brittle and fall apart. My guess is that your timing chain is riding directly on the aluminum cam gear, slowly wearing it down.

I used my stock '68 timing chain cover on my '88 5.0L motor, which has a double roller timing chain. As I remember, I had to use the '88 cam fuel pump eccentric to get rid of the slight rubbing on the cover. I think it is just a little bit thinner than the stock '68 eccentric. (Yes, even though the '88 5.0L motor is fuel injected and is fed by an electric fuel pump, the factory left the fuel pump eccentric on the front of the cam).
 
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