You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers—the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week, we help a reader get ready for summer cruising with a few upgrades to his Ford Torino.
T.P. New Brighton, PA
Q: Recently, I purchased a 1970 Ford Torino, completely stock and original, with 84,000 miles, a 302 2V automatic, air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, and an 8-inch 300 open-ratio open differential. I’ve made a few modifications: an Edelbrock Performer manifold, Holley Street Avenger 670 carb, Summit Racing headers, a custom dual exhaust with turbo mufflers and 2.5-inch tailpipes, Pertronix ignition system and coil, ACCEL high-temp spark plug wires, and a larger radiator. I rebuilt the C-4 transmission with a rebuilt stock torque converter and a mild shift kit, and I rebuilt the A/C with all new components. I’ve also put on a set of U.S. Wheel 52 Series “smoothie” 14 x 7 wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich T/A radials.
Now, 30-some years ago, my first car was a 1971 Torino. It had a 302 3-speed, no A/C, power steering and power brakes. I had installed an Edelbrock intake, a 4.10 ring-and-pinion, headers, and a Holley 650 double pumper. I recall that this car was faster than the one I have now.
I’d like to get some more power out of my current Torino; I just want to cruise and use the air. I plan to install some 3.55 or 3.80 Richmond gears and a mild camshaft. What cam would you recommend? Are there any other modifications to the valvetrain I’d need to make with this cam?
A: Let’s see if we can make your current Torino perform like the one you remember.
For your application, we’d suggest a Crane Energizer camshaft. It will improve your low-end as well as deliver some midrange power. As a second choice, we’d go with an Edlebrock Performer cam to match the manifold.
Whichever cam you pick, you’ll need the matching springs and retainers for that cam. Summit Racing makes it easy to match these items to your cam with its Suggested Parts link on its website. You’ll also want your heads set up for adjustable rockers if they aren’t already.
Out back, we’d recommend the 3.80 gears if you’re looking for a performance setup, and the 3.55 gears if you’re planning on taking trips. There wouldn’t be a significant difference between them mileage wise.