Some 54 engine work in progress


Part 1 – Retro Water Pump

Replacing the water pump on this project was actually an option on my part. Didn’t really have to but I decided to refit the motor. It has to do with which side the lower water outlet is on so that it matches the radiator. We are currently using a 65 Mustang radiator. It also gets tangled up with the Serpentine belt vs V-belt pump drive direction issues.

The simple solution was to back date to a 65 Mustang pump setup. Pulleys, pump and cover. Cheap, v-belt drive and the right outlet for the 65 Mustang radiator we are using. Now with that decided upon there is another front timing cover related issue I had to deal with. Why the cover you ask? Because of the fuel pump stuff! That’s why!!

Part 2 – Retro Fuel Pump

fuel pump

F100 fuel pump with integrated filter housing

The fuel pump decision was actually very simple. No electric fuel pumps allowed! I am going to use is a 70 Ford F100 mechanical fuel pump. I chose this particular one because it is easy to get and the plus is that it has the fuel filter canister built into the pump housing. One less thing to locate and plumb. The intake configuration is such that I will keep the cast iron intake and transplant a two barrel Holley R-4778 onto it. Now we get to the reason for the timing cover dance. The motor is of 86 vintage. Which by nature is a fuel injected car. While the front cover has the fuel pump mount pad, it is not machined through. Also because it came out of a fuel injected donor car the timing drive does not have the cam eccentric needed to actuate the mechanical fuel pump. Not an earthshaking issue but it will involve some mixing and matching to get the right cover / pump drive combo. Got some extras in the shop so we should be able to figure it out.

Front cover off

Open front timing area

After a bit of sweat equity and brute force applied sparingly I was able to get the crankshaft bolt to release. I did have to fab a bracket to stop the crankshaft from turning while I applied a 24 inch long 3/4 inch drive breaker bar and 24 inch extension to it. Air tools were initially considered as an option but, after some technical consultation with Mr. Campbell (aka Captain Crankshaft) we were concerned for breaking the bolt and/or the crank nose so I opted for manual labor. It finally did come loose. It appears that someone in the past had grossly overtightened that bad boy down to the point that it severely dished the thick washer under it! The harmonic balancer came off uneventfully. With it off I was able to remove the timing cover and to my amazement there was an eccentric already in place. A quick inspection did show some slop in the timing chain which did have the nylon shelled gear set. So a replacement with an all steel set is ln order. A swap out for an earlier cover gets a fuel pump access and a dipstick hole.

Now all that is left to be done is detail the cover and paint it. A new timing chain set and cover gasket set will seal it all back up. The 70 Ford F100 fuel pump is an easy get. So for now we are at a pause to get parts gathered.

Well another mystery solved and another segment of the project done…for now. Intake needs to be be blasted and painted. Working on it!!!! Chill out!


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