Stock, Original Cars at Today's Interstate Speeds?

Discussion in 'General Maverick/Comet' started by Drew Hierwarter, May 7, 2016.

  1. Drew Hierwarter

    Drew Hierwarter Member

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    Considering that these cars were designed and built when the national speed limit was 55 MPH, how many of you regularly drive your stock, original Maverick/Comet at today’s interstate highway speeds?

    My Comet has the stock 250 c.i. six and 2.70 rear gear. It seems happy enough at 55 mph and just around 2,200 RPM but I wonder about a long road trip and sustained speeds upward of 70-75 MPH to keep pace with modern traffic.

    Any thoughts? What have been your experiences?
     
  2. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

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    put in a 3:00 gear and let it rip...:drive:
     
  3. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom Supporting Member

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    You need a history lesson...

    These cars were marketed in 1969, when national speed limit was 70-75 mph almost everywhere past the eastern states, we ran engines at 3000+ and never gave it a thought... Here in VA , max speed limit increased from 65 to 70 approx 1971... The "National limit" didn't happen till Nov of 1973, 1974 models were already in the show rooms...

    Funny little story, in July '73(just four months before oil embargo), we had a fairly large family reunion in WV, I drove the 428 Cobra Jet in sig(yes it ran 3200-3400 the whole trip)... Well one of the cousins had a new Vega with itsy bitsy 13" tires, said he was buzzing it 4000 RPM for most of trip from IA and that was over 1000 miles... For the most part, overdrive only begin to reappear in the early '80s, Ford had dropped it's three on tree with O/D from the passenger car line in the '60s because of lack of interest... Was a common option in the '50s...
     
  4. Dwarvey

    Dwarvey Member

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    I do the freeway every day in my still stock 71, and I rarely ever stay under 70. Then again I believe my car is for driving. I don't baby it, but I take care of it. Drive it like you stole it, and enjoy it.
     
  5. groberts101

    groberts101 Member

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    Glad you mentioned all that. Saved me some time. lol 3.00 and lower rear gear was and still is considered to be a "highway gear" so no problems there at all.

    As for the gas mileage concerns.. the trick is tt raise torque up as high as possible in the rpm ranges which you typically cruise at. A bigger 6's longer crank stroke already helps greatly in that respect but the factory timing curve is pretty anemic to say the least. Much room for improvement below peak torque rpm as well which allows less pedal(fuel) to accelerate easier. Get it closer to right and you can also expect the pedal to be depressed just a tad less during cruise and going up smaller/longer grades takes less pedal effort as well. Timing light and vacuum gauge is all that's needed to dial it in but you need to allow some margin for increased vehicle weight and higher ambient temp's which reduces detonation tolerance. Or you could just run premium when the car is loaded up in hotter weather to add similar detonation tolerance too.
     
  6. Static

    Static Member

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    I run mine 75-85 on the freeway 2-3 times a week. I really need an AOD.
     
  7. rthomas771

    rthomas771 Member

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    If you think running a lower rpm with a carburetor engine will help gas mileage you are thinking wrong. These engine needs need to be running 2000-2300 rpm to be running on the cruise circuit. Anything lower than that then you will still be running on the idle circuit which is a lot richer. Best gas mileage is when driving in the torque range. When cruising down the road and the engine seems the quietest is the sweet spot for better mpg. I know for a fact that I get better gas mileage at 3300 rpm with my Falcon. Anything lower I may lose 1-3 mpg. Computer controlled engine is a different story
     
  8. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom Supporting Member

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    Guess Ford was chasing a ghost when they began to offer O/D trans in the early '80s on carbed models to improve CAFE???
     
  9. OLD GOOSE

    OLD GOOSE Member

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    highway speeds where i live is more like 80 to 90 and they try to draft like it's the Daytona 500
     
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  10. Craig Selvey

    Craig Selvey Indiana State Rep - MCCI

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    I drove my 1976 4-door with a 250-6 and factory AC from here to Washington DC for the Roundup Nationals back in 2008 and drove 70 mph the entire way. I will say, it felt like I was really taxing the motor. I think it cruises better at 65 mph.
     
  11. Drew Hierwarter

    Drew Hierwarter Member

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    Easier said than done. It took me two months to find the diff I just installed and nobody around here had a 3.00.
     
  12. Drew Hierwarter

    Drew Hierwarter Member

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    Thanks but I don't, I lived through those times.
     
  13. Drew Hierwarter

    Drew Hierwarter Member

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    That's what I feel with mine too. It seems really uncomfortable at 70 and above. And that's what prompted my original question. The problem is that, around here, driving 65 on the interstate is dangerous. They'll run right over you. :)
     
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  14. Hotrock

    Hotrock Rick, an MCCI Member Supporting Member

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    With that 2.70 gear your six cylinder Comet should hum right on along. My 302 Comet with 3.80 gears hums right along, just at a higher pitch.
     
  15. OLD GOOSE

    OLD GOOSE Member

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    if you put a 302 in your car instead of a six you can cruise 75-80 without it having to be mashed to the floor all the time that is why I sold my 250 six monarch and swapped the slant six in my pickup neither one had enough power to get out of the way at interstate speeds I like sixes you can't beat them for dependability but everyone runs 80-90 anymore on the interstate and for safety I like to get out of the way if some idiot on a cell phone runs up behind me too fast when they have the nose buried in the phone instead of the windshield
     

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