Ford tune-up specifications include the spark plugs and distributor. Also considered when performing a tune-up are the ignition timing, idle speed and the cylinder compression.
Vehicles made in different years have different tune-up specifications. For Ford's 390-cubic-inch V-8, popular in classic cars from the 1960s, the spark plugs were type BF-32. For vehicles made within the years 1963 to 1966, BF-42 plugs were used. All spark plug gaps were 0.034 inches.
When considering the distributor, a 390 with a manual transmission had an ignition point gap of 0.21 inches and a dwell angle from 24 to 39 degrees. Those with automatic transmissions had an ignition point gap of 0.017 inches and a dwell angle of 26 to 31 degrees.
Ignition timing is measured in degrees before top dead center. Most 390s have an ignition timing of 6 degrees before top dead center, but 390s made in 1962 had ignition timings of 5 degrees. In addition, 1963 manual 390s were 5 degrees, while automatics were 8 degrees. Fords made between 1964 and 1966 with manual transmissions had an ignition timing of 4 degrees; automatics were 6 degrees. If manufactured in 1967 without Thermactor Exhaust Emission Control Systems, the timing was 10 degrees.
1962 390s had an idle speed of 515 rpm. Those made between 1963 and 1964 were 500 rpm if the transmission was manual and 585 rpm if automatic. 1965 manuals were 600 rpm, while the automatics were 500 rpm. Other manual transmission 390s without Thermactor Exhaust Emission Control were 575 rpm; automatics were 474 rpm. Manual transmissions and the Thermactor Exhaust Emission Control System yielded 625 rmp, and automatics with the same system were 550 rpm.
Cylinder compression for every year of the 390 floated between 160 to 200 pounds.