Antique Flathead Ford V8 engines have a tendency to overheat. If you have a Ford from the years 1932 to 1940, you should modify your distributor to give it more low rpm spark advance.
The octane of gasoline in 1936 was about 74. The compression ratios were set to be compatible with that fuel.
Now move forward 70+ years and the octane available is 87.
You ask what difference does it make?
87 is much more than the engine requires.
When you use octane higher than required, it causes the combustion rate to slow down. This negatively affects your engines performance, economy, and waste heat.
The situation cries out for an increased compression ratio or an increased spark advance.
See the next post for some suggested fixes to:
- improve fuel mileage
- improve the throttle response
- decrease the tendency for the engine to overheat