Ford Falcon 170 Tuning Specsby Rob Wagner
The Ford Falcon 170-cubic-inch, in-line six-cylinder engine debuted in 1961 and served as the Falcon's base powerplant. The Falcon's 170 most notably appeared in the 1964 ½ Mustangs. Both the Mustang and Falcon matched the 170 with a three-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Plugs and Points
Motorcraft BF-82 or equivalent spark plugs are best for tuning. Set the plug gap at 0.32-.0036. Set the points' gap at 0.025. Set the timing at six degrees BTDC (before top dead center) for manual transmissions and 12 degrees BTDC for automatics.
Valves, Manifold and Idle
Adjust the valves when they are cold for manual transmission 170 models. Adjust the valves when they are hot for 170s matched with an automatic transmission. The intake valve stem clearance gap is 0.0008-0.0025 inches and the exhaust valve clearance is 0.0018-0.0035. Set the manifold vacuum at 17 inches at idle. A warm idle for a manual transmission is 575 to 600 rpms, and for automatics it's between 500 and 525 rpm.
Distributor and Firing Order
All 170s are identical in the Falcon and Mustang. The 170's distributor rotation is counter-clockwise. Its cylinder firing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.