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A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Fri 24. Jul 2009, 06:28
by reijerlincoln
Here's what happened yesterday to Tom, my latest fellow slabside owner in Holland, when he was test driving his recently acquired '64:
fail1.jpg
:|

I had warned him about this but he nor I expected it to happen on the first outing.

So.... to everyone concerned: MEL 430 & MEL 462 motors were originally equipped with a cam timing gear that has nylon teeth and aluminium centre. They used these for quiet engine operation. The concern was quality off assembly, not longevity once out of warranty. It should have been replaced decades ago. If yours hasn't... do it now. If you're uncertain whether it has... do it now. Age alone will have caused the nylon teeth to become brittle and subject to breaking off, ending up in the oil pan and clogging the oil pickup screen, thereby choking off the oil pump (a fatal blow to any engine). You can see the teeth lying next to the oil pump in the photo.

Also, replace your original oil pump drive shaft with this billet drive shaft from Precision Oil Pumps in Ca, (559)325-3553. The original is literally as thin as a pencil and really isn't up to the job. This replacement works for the MEL engines. It is an FE drive that is +.0375" Longer for Main Girdle Applications. This shaft is about .075 too long, but the MEL guys get them and grind that amount off the bottom (pump end) to make them fit. Just use a bench grinder. The shafts are $20.00 plus shipping.
fail2.jpg
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Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Fri 24. Jul 2009, 09:58
by Shelby#18
Thanks for the post! But where would one find the first item?

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Fri 24. Jul 2009, 10:29
by reijerlincoln
Oh right. :roll: A timing set from Cloyes is often mentioned as the best option. You can order them online at several shops or at Lincoln Land, Baker's Auto. Egge has them too I believe.

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Fri 24. Jul 2009, 11:43
by Shelby#18
Thank you. Thats really bad news for you friend. I've been lucky so far. I'm letting my engine builder know to replace these items for my current rebuild. Excellent timing by the way. ;)

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Mon 27. Jul 2009, 03:58
by reijerlincoln
TonyC made the following addendum to a similar thread on another forum. It thinks it's worth while placing it here.
There are two things that I must clarify. Nylon, along with dacron, rayon, polyester, etc., etc., were still relatively new substances, and nobody back then could have known that there would be a limited life span on the gears. It's possible that they may have considered an alternative had they known. Nylon is very light but very strong; that's why they chose it as the material to make quieter timing gears--not necessarily because it was cheap and they deliberately tried to make their engines die after a certain time.

The 430 and 462 MELs were the first engines to utilize nylon gears, but they were NOT the only ones. Every Ford engine afterward, to include (but not limited to) every beloved 460, along with some GM engines and maybe even a few Chrysler engines (though I don't have proof of Chrysler--who cares about them, anyway? :twisted: :D ) converted to nylon gears for the same reason that Lincoln did. That means that many other non-MEL engines will follow suit when they reach the general threshhold--some already have.

The '61 Continental was a pioneer in many small engineering standards for the industry; it's just that nobody cares to notice a perceived "grampsy" vehicle like Lincoln. It's only in retrospect that we have discovered the down side of nylon gears; even Baker didn't know about it until the early '90s.

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Sun 2. Aug 2009, 05:29
by reijerlincoln
Tom is back to work on his motor. Here´s what he found; the cam timing gear had one tooth left:

:shock:
dsc00811.jpg
Lots of slack on the timing chain of course:
dsc00812.jpg
In the top right corner you can see one of the block thermostats. I told Tom to check for these and remove them if they were there. I didn't expect him to find them as I thought they weren't used after 1963 and his car is 1964.

Another sign that this '64 hasn't had a lot of love, is the missing main thermostat. Good thing Tom wants to do thing properly or not at all.

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Mon 3. Aug 2009, 09:00
by Theo
Good info and excellent photo documentary. Thanx Reijer.

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Sun 23. Aug 2015, 17:55
by mtype1931
I'm new to this forum, but based upon this discussion, I just changed mine, fearing that this was the problem with my newly-acquired 61 LCC. Turns out that the nylon gear was still intact but it had LOTS of play in the chain. Does anyone want a "good" gear (intact teeth) for historical purposes? I dont know if there's any value to someone having one for a display. I don't want anything for it.

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Sun 23. Aug 2015, 23:23
by Theo
Thanks for the offer. Not sure if someone is interested in the gear. I would appreciate to see it on photos though. Maybe you might want to clean it up a little and picture it right into this thread. Would be nice to have a close look on it.

Re: A photographic reminder to replace your timing set

Posted: Wed 16. Sep 2015, 13:22
by keithol
:) Have you ever heard the old proverb; a chain is only as strong as the weakest link ? If it will make you feel better the modified oil pump shaft is reasonably priced. The ends of the shaft are still the same size ,I cannot see that it would make any difference on rotational torque strength . I have always assumed that the shaft was meant to be a mechanical "fuse" in case of the oil pump seizing because of foreign objects getting into the tight tolerances of the gears ,or ethylene glycol leakage into the crankcase gumming up the pump. I have replaced a few of them in my 55 years in the auto repair business, but every one had a reason to fail.The shaft in question is driven by a socket in the distributor shaft . The distributor is driven by the camshaft through a gears on the cam and the distributor shaft which could easily be destroyed if there no other "weaker" link.