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Sluggish Engine - Is It Time For An Overhaul?

Hi Bill,

My 1962 Lincoln is a very sluggish car. I used to have another 62
Lincoln and it had way more get up and go! I have done a few things
to help the car gain more power, but none of them have really done all
that much to help. I did a compression test and got the following
readings: 1) 130 2) 135 3) 135 4) 130 5) 125 6) 130 7) 125 8) 130
Here are the readings after oil was added to the cylinders1) 1402) 140
3) 140 4) 137 5) 125 6) 130 7) 135 8) 130
The compression in the shop manual is 180 +/- 20. I have some smoke
coming from the oil breather, but not tons of it. When the cap is on
it is really not all that noticeable. There is also a bit of smoke
coming from the valve covers. What could be causing such a large drop
in compression across the board that is so even? I am thinking it
could be the timing chain. Possibly a worn cam? Maybe a worn cam
gear? Exhaust valve seats messed up by unleaded fuel? What in your
opinion would be the most likely cause?

Thanks :)

Hi Landon

Before jumping into an engine overhaul, did you make your tests with a warm engine? The engine should have been warm with the spark plugs out. If the above was done correctly I would address your "Very Sluggish" concern first by checking the following.... Fuel supply to carburetor.....Condition of plugs, points. and wiring.....Ignition Timing including the condition of the damper pulley. This pulley has the timing marks stamped on it and the outer part is known to slip on its damper rubber and thus indicate incorrect timing on your timing light....... The Vacuum Advance Unit on the distributor is also a very popular item to leak internally not be able to advance the timing at engine speeds above idle. The reason that I make the above suggestions first is that I think that this engine should have more power than you describe with this compression. If all of the above is absolutely verified to be correct and you still believe that your engine is just "worn out" and that a complete rebuild is in your future, then I would have its internal condition ascertained by a competent on hand mechanic.

Sincerely and the best of luck to you