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New sound from the engine
It sounds like ignition problems to me. While each plug may be getting fire, something is weak. Make sure all wires are well seated on the plugs then check the cap for cracks or carbon tracking. Look at the condition of the rotor button as well. Then check the timing and if you haven't found it after that start pulling plugs to see their condition.

Exhaust heat comparison is relative-by which I mean temperature variations are more important than actual temperatures if you shot each cylinder in the same spot. Your numbers suggest some weak ignition.

One little known fact is how often spark plugs are bad-if dropped or mishandled, they can look good, but have problems.

[Image: 1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png]

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!
Well I do know that the points are probably old... I at one point replaced the condenser (believe it or not I traced some issues to a bad condenser). But I have not looked inside the cap yet.

It is interesting you say that since when I put the strobe timing light on each wire, I thought some cylinders on the passenger side caused a "dimmer light" than the cylinders on the right, but I chalked it up to maybe just lighting differences or my imagination. But, maybe it's possible if the spark was weaker.. the strobe was dimmer? do you think? If you go back and look at where I was checking the spark in the picture of my notes, I actually wrote "Brite" on the 2 cylinders on the drivers side near the firewall.... I erased it after I went back to the other side and rechecked, and I decided I was "probably imagining that"...

If that's the case, I probably have bad points, points gaps, bad condenser, a bad rotor or a bad cap, because I have a brand new flamethrower coil. Very small chance that has failed in the last 2K miles...

I have a spare points and condenser in the glove box (in case he gets stranded with burned points or something). I could just change that whole lot out pretty quickly. How do I set the gap on the points? Haven't done that is so very long. Do I need to re-time everything to get it to run when I change the points and condenser?


answering my own post here. Doing a little googling on gapping points. Looks like a gap of .017-.021 is where It needs to be when the dizzy is making the biggest gap in the points. Also said to grease the shaft between the new points and dizzy shaft, and readjust the timing after. I have a dwell tach for measuring dwell, but I've never used it (came with the car) If I get that figured out I need to fine tune the points to about 30 on the dwell meter.

Someone please howl if I've got some of that wrong.

Pics of The Car
It has been decades since I messed with points, but that sounds about right. I have done points by turning the distributor to fully open, removing the old points, setting the new ones at proper gap in the same position and snugging them down. You may still have to fiddle a little, but not much.

If you kept your old coil, you might try it. New coil failures are pretty damn common.

I'd upgrade to something like the Pertronix II for an easy elimination of points and a stock look I've got a HEI and I hate how much room it takes up under the hood. Makes air cleaner fitment difficult

[Image: 1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png]

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!
Sounds like an exhaust leak. Check the manifolds and donut gaskets for any black carbon build up. Usually exhaust leaks make ping or taping noises only under load. ( well except for really big leaks )

Had a Chebby with your same symptoms and turns out the manifold bolt head broke off at the very back of the head. Simple exhaust leak turned into this:
[Image: d635483414501dbc4ce9f2f4cf91c401.jpg]

It can be overlooked so I thought I'd throw that idea out there.

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I've had a cracked sparkplug cause that problem before but the exhaust leak senario sounds very plausible.

351w - Ford racing GT40X 178 cc aluminum heads - Ford racing(crane) 1.7 roller rockers - Comp Cams 280H magnum cam .544" / .544" lift - ARP hardware - hedman longtubes - magnaflow exhaust with X pipe - Duraspark - MSD digital 6al box - MSD TFI coil - optima red top battery - tuff stuff 140 amp alternator - weiand stealth intake  - edelbrock 1406 600 carb  - march pullies and brackets - Be cool fan controller - derale electric fan - FMX trans - motive 4.11 gears - traction lok - lakewood traction bars.                                            

And MatrixX WINS the PRIZE! +1 coming on the rep!

I'll be damned. Whole left side of the tri-y headers were loose. about half of the bolts I could spin by hand.
Of course I didn't figure that out until I replaced and gapped the points. I just used .020 and it fired right up and ran well. I can set the dwell later.

So now it has a new condenser, points and rotor, but that never hurts. Who knows how old the other crap was.

damn these header systems. These guys put in a 1/4in thick flange, then they use 7/16in bolt heads which are em-poss-i-bull to get a wrench on (forget a socket!). It's not ALL about airflow and looks you know.. the crap has to be installable & stay in place!

Anyway, sure enough, it was exhaust leak. THANK YOU ALL for helping me thru this. It was quite satisfying to hear the engine hum properly again! That old feeling that keeps ya coming back!


Pics of The Car
Glad I could help! More importantly it was a simple fix. My 302 had same issue but a little worse but all the manifold bolt I got a full turn by hand before I put the ratchet to them.

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