•  

    Click HERE to join our forum and participate in the discussions.

     

2.8 Performance


Natedog

New member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
212
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
CA
Vehicle Year
87
Vehicle
Ranger
About The 2.8L:
The 2.8L engine in the Ranger is the same design as the 2.8 V-6 used since 1974 in the Ford and Mercury Capri vehicles. This engine has quite a bit of performance parts available. The 2.8L's are known to burn oil and smoke when the get high mileage. They use a rubber valve seal that deteriorates and leaks oil into the cylinder. This can be fixed by pulling the valve covers off, removing the spark plug and filling the cylinder with compressed air (Need Special Fitting), and then removing the valve spring and replacing the seal (The Air Keeps The Valve From Dropping In To The Cylinder). This should be repeated for each valve and then the valve lash reset when complete. This is a cheap and easy repair.

Induction:
The 2.8L V-6 comes with a 2-bbl carburetor and manifold with a traditional round metal air filter container. Aftermarket intake manifolds have been available in the past (Still tracking this down) and may still be available as an upgrade. The air cleaner can be modified by adding another air intake and then routing intake hoses to a fresh air source providing a dual ram air effect. this of course should be accompanied by a K&N Air Filter. There are many 2-bbl air cleaners out there of different dimensions, and it's metal design allows for modifications for any type of set-up.

Performance Automotive Warehouse carries Offenhauser 4BBL Intake Manifold Part Number 0FF-6097-DP (part of Port-O-Sonic line). The ignition system must be changed to earlier vacuum advance unit (Dura-Spark II) eliminating the EEC-IV computer and pollution equipment. You can use the distributor, ignition module and coil from a 78 Pinto. The Offenhauser Intake does not have an EGR setup. This will not allow the A4LD tranny to shift correctly. More Offenhauser intake info HERE.

AK Miller (9236 Bermudez, Dept. TW, Pico Rivera, CA 906603, 562-949-2548) has a draw through twin turbo setup for the mustang that will also bolt onto the manifold of the 2.8 ranger.

You can also swap on fuel injection. Check out the 2.8 Fuel Injection page.

Also check out the Duraspark ignition conversion here. Using the Duraspark ignition, you can eliminated the computer, vacuum rail, vacuum reservoir, and all the wiring mess that goes along with that. Get the carburator that is on the 2.8 donor engine your Duraspark ignition comes from. The Ranger 2.8 has the most complicated carburater control system I've seen.


Camshafts:
Crane Cams offers several camshafts for this engine as well as custom grinds. They can be obtained by contacting either Jegs or Summit Racing.

Also check out Competition Cams.

CamCraft carries camshafts for Rangers.

Ignition:
Summit Racing offers a Crane and MSD coil and ignition. The Crane TFI PS-91 coil is Part# CRN-730-0391 and the Crane HI-6 Ignition is Part# CRN-6000-6420
The MSD Blaster TFI Coil is Part# MSD-8227 and the MSD-6T ignition is Part# MSD-6400.
Summit also carries Jacobs

You should upgrade to 8mm spark plug wires and will have to purchase a set of universal wires and cut them. Summit has a universal set Part# SUM-6825 (90 degrees) and Part# Sum-6826 (180 degrees).

Also check out the Duraspark ignition conversion here. Using the Duraspark ignition, you can eliminated the computer, vacuum rail, vacuum reservoir, and all the wiring mess that goes along with that. Get the carburator that is on the 2.8 donor engine your Duraspark ignition comes from. The Ranger 2.8 has the most complicated carburater control system I've seen.


Exhaust:
Hedman, Hooker, and Pacesetter manufacture headers for the 2.8L and Edelbrock offers a whole new system including exhaust manifold. Dynomax offers a cat-back system and can be purchased at Jegs under Part# 289-17464. Summit carries the Edelbrock exhaust manifold part# EDL-6846

Check Out Racer Walsh

Here is a list of parts listed on their website

OFFY 4 BBL / HOLLEY 390 CFM:
We recommend this manifold carb combination for street driving. A popular choice for the 2.8 Bronco/Ranger. It will perform well on a stock or modified engine. It is easy bolt-on horsepower that still gives good gas mileage. Bronco & Ranger require a special thermostat / water neck housing # 6278.
6110 4 BBL MANIFOLD 2.8
6239 390 CFM 4 BBL CARB
6278 THERMOSTAT HOUSING

2.6/2.8 V6 cams
Stage 1 cam gives a smooth idle and low and mid range power boost without sacrificing economy. Stage 2 cam is a street/competition grind. Higher lift and increased overlap give a rougher idle. Good midrange power increase. Specify engine year when ordering: '72-'83 had smaller cam journal size than later years.
6411 STAGE 1 CAM (260 DUR 425" LIFT)
6412 STAGE 2 CAM (264 DUR 448" LIFT)
6477 VALVE SPRING SET 2.6/2.8 V6
6449 RETAINER SET STEEL
6489 PUSHROD SET (STOCK REPLACEMENT)
6487 LIFTER SET (STOCK REPLACEMENT)

ENGINE GASKET SET 2.8:
OIL PUMP & BEARINGS 2.6/2.8:
Complete gasket set for the 2.8 engine.
Sorry, gasket set not available for 2.6.
Hi volume oil pump and Clevite bearings.
6592 ENGINE GASKET SET
1765C HI VOLUME OIL PUMP
6520 ROD BEARING SET V6
6528 MAIN BEARING SET V6
1570K ARP ROD BOLTS 2.6/2.8

FORGED PISTONS 2.8:
9-1 forged piston set for the 2800 V6 engine. We stock .030" overbore.
Priced per set of 6, includes wrist pins.
6498 FORGED PISTONS
6499 PISTON RINGS

METAL TIMING GEARS V6:
Metal timing gears are more duraable than the stock fiber type timing gears.
6548 TIMING GEARS V6

2600 vs 2800: The 2800 as used in later Capris, Mustang 2, Ranger and Bronco is basically the same engine with a better head (3 exhaust ports/pipes rather than 2), and larger bore. Rather than rebuild a 2600, we would just replace it with the 2800. They are dimensionally the same, and bolt right in. See our header page for Ranger, Bronco, and Mustang ll headers.

Known Problems:
The 2.8 is known for smoking. It uses a rubber valve seal on the stem that deteriorates and needs replaced. It's an easy and cheap fix. If you have access to compressed air you need to fill a cylinder with air to keep the valves from dropping in the cylinder and then remove the spring retainer, spring and valve seal. Slip on the new rubber seal, reinstall the springs and the retainer. It's that easy. Keep a Chiltons or Haynes manual on hand as a reference and check the valve lash when your done.

If you don't have compressed air available to keep the valves closed to change the seals. An old mechanics trick is to take a rope of about 1/4" diameter and feed it into the spark plug hole. Manually turn the engine until the piston pushes the rope up against the valves keeping them closed. Do not use the starter for this application. Turn the engine in the opposite direction to release the rope.


Miscellaneous:
Port your intake manifold and cylinder heads. The intake and heads don't line up diameter to diameter. Porting opens this up and allows better flow.

Consider adding good synthetic fluids to help reduce the friction on engine parts that rob horsepower. Also remember that adding bigger ring and pinions (From 3.73 To 4.10) will improve the Rangers acceleration. In the 60 and early 70's the first thing Detroit did in muscle cars was to change the ring and pinion (gear ratio) to improve it's acceleration. A typical family car had gears of say 2.73, where many muscle cars had 3.73, 4.10 to 4.56's. This carried in to the 1980's with cars like the Monte Carlo having 2.73's and a single exhaust and the Monte Carlo SS having 3.73's and dual exhaust.
 


Natedog

New member
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
212
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
CA
Vehicle Year
87
Vehicle
Ranger
Parts List

Part #


Brand


Description
CL38-101-4 Competition Cams Good cam for OEM replacement or rebuild. Low RPM torque with good economy.
CL38-240-4 Competition Cams Performance with economy, power increase in low-mid RPM range. See note 2. (Good For Auto)
CL38-241-4 Competition Cams Great for towing and highway use. Strong torque and power increases. (Good For Manual)
6846 Edelbrock Bolt on headers for 2 and 4 wheel drive Rangers.
0FF-6097-DP Offenhauser 4-Barrel intake manifold.
0-7448 Holley 350 cfm 2-barrel carb.
0-8007 Holley 390 cfm 4-barrel carb.
M-12199-C301 Ford Motorsport Ford Extra Performance Ignition (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12029-A302 Ford Motorsport High Energy Coil (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12071-A301 Ford Motorsport Wiring Harness (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12449-A600 Ford Motorsport RPM Programming Chips 6000-6800 RPM for Ford Extra Performance Ignition.
48-2691 NAPA Auto Parts 979 Vacuum advance distributor (for non-computer controlled conversion)
FA-136 NAPA Auto Parts Ignition Cap for 79 Vacuum advance distributor.
FA-139 NAPA Auto Parts Ignition Cap Adapter Collar for 79 Vacuum advance distributor.
FA-159 NAPA Auto Parts Ignition Rotor for 79 Vacuum advance distributor

Note - The Comp Cam ......part # CL38-241-4 should be used with a manual transmission. The RPM range of this Cam will really hurt an A4LD on takeoff. The torque converters/stall speed is out side of its range. You really want to generate as much low end power as you can with a manual transmission because you can vary the RPM range when you let out the clutch.

Note 2 The CL in the part number can be replaced with SK if you want timing gears included with the cam and lifter kit.

Head Cooling:
Contributed By Ryan Propst

A simple upgrade to the 2.8L heads is to drill two more water passages in them between where the two exhaust valves are side by side. This helps prevent a local boiling point from forming. Just use a good head gasket that already has the water passage holes in them for a guide, and mark the head and drill two holes. Keep the holes a little smaller than the holes in the head gasket. - Ryan
 

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
Natedog,

You are the MAN...

I have been a 2.8 lover for a while and have slowly been building a little 2800 for my '87 B2, when the 2.9 tires out... well, that time has come... Though the 2.8 with the same bore at 3.66" but shorter stroke at 2.70", isn't as "torque-y", nor does it have the HP of the 2.9, the 2.8 can be modified to surpass the stock 2.9 in both performance and reliability.

I have chosen to go "Ancient"... I have an '84 2.8 which I'm freshing out... it's getting a new Mallory dual point ignition with coil, and a refreshed Motorcraft 2100 from a Ford 289 circa 1967, with 1.08 venturi, fitted with an electric choke. Pacesetter is providing the headers for the dual exhaust that exits just ahead of the rear tires. I've picked up a set of CompCams metal timing gears and a stage-two camshaft...

I'm removing all the frills, the air-con is gone, and computer control of the engine is history... Any understanding you may possess with regard to keeping proper electrical to the dash, and the lights and such would be helpful. My Bronc-Deuce is a 5-speed with zero power frills inside the cab... I have no emissions to pass here, but at 10,000 feet I need simple, economical, and reliable, with just enough power, I think this will fit the bill.

JTCoyoté

“We confide in our strength, without boasting of it; we respect that of others, without fearing it." -- Thomas Jefferson 1793
 
Last edited:

FordracingBII

New member
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fort Smith Montana no sales tax and nobodys trying
Vehicle Year
1985
Vehicle
Ford
Engine Size
Built 2.8L Weber carb, Comp Cam, Edelbrock Headers, ported heads, all synthetic oils
JTCoyote,
Your on the right track. I have done most if not all of the Mods listed above by Natedog. I went with the Weber Carb though. I live in smoggie Southern Kaliphornia :eek: and the emission bullshit choked my 2.8 to death (almost).

10,000 Feet??? where do you live? (Above everybody else!)
At that altitude, that motor is gonna want some air

I love this motor, and as I removed each part related to the emissions This baby came "alive". I am in the process of removing the A4LD and going 5 speed. That should "set this V6 free".

One more mod I would like to try is putting the aluminum spacers between the rocker arms and removing the springs that seperate them.

I had $.02 laying around, so I thought I would throw it in!:D
 

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
I'm in Summit County Colorado about 5 miles west of the divide at the Eisenhower Tunnel. Now snow gets deep here... My '87 B2 has a 6" lift, 4" chassis and 2" body... It has 32x11.50 AT's mounted and I chain the fronts when need be... the ol' boy carries 3.73's in the punkins... a little high for crawlin' rocks, but just right for all round gettin' around...

The 2.9 has been giving me problems for a while, low compression in 2 cylinders, poor fuel economy and low power as well as the usual injection electrical problems after a hard ride up the trails, so I decided that before the snow flies it will have a new more reliable power plant... and here we are.

JTCoyoté
 
Last edited:

JoshT

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Macon/Fort Valley, GA
Vehicle Year
1999
Vehicle
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
I to am building a 2.8L V6 for the 84 ranger in my sig. It's mostly going back stock, bored .030 and the crank turned .010 over. Going with the stage three comp cam. It's already got a Holley 390 CFM carb, Offenhouser intake and complete dual exhaust only change is I'll be getting a crossover put in the exhaust. The only part that won't be touched for the time being is the heads, they've already got mild porting on the heads, so other than cleaning and rebuilding the they'll be stock. Hopefully the stock set of head won't be cracked like one of the spares I picked up was (came with the engine I got for 75 bucks). If they both are I'll have to use the mustang heads I've got sitting on a shelf. I am hoping to use those to build a set of performance heads down the road. If I get to build those they'll probably get ported and polished, larger valves, 1.6:1 rockers if I can find them.

Sorry I can't help you JTCoyoté, the truck was durasparked when I got it, and it never had a 2.9.

JTCoyote,
One more mod I would like to try is putting the aluminum spacers between the rocker arms and removing the springs that seperate them.
And what exactly would be the benefit of that? No seriously I don't know please inform me.
 

FordracingBII

New member
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Fort Smith Montana no sales tax and nobodys trying
Vehicle Year
1985
Vehicle
Ford
Engine Size
Built 2.8L Weber carb, Comp Cam, Edelbrock Headers, ported heads, all synthetic oils

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
JoshT,

What is the reason for the exhaust crossover... is this a small diameter pressure equalizer, or are there some other issues that I should be aware of.

JTCoyoté
 

JoshT

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Macon/Fort Valley, GA
Vehicle Year
1999
Vehicle
Ford
Engine Size
4.0L
I'm taking this directly from the Summit Racing website. Link to the page it came from, X Marks The Horsepower Spot

Why Use a Crossover?
The primary function of a crossover is to equalize the flow of exhaust gas between each side of a dual exhaust system. By equalizing the flow between the pipes, the exhaust system can remove exhaust gas from the engine more efficiently. Exhaust pulses between opposing cylinder banks are smoothed out as well. The net result is a more efficient scavenging of exhaust gas from the cylinder heads, which pulls a fresh air/fuel charge into the engine quicker. And that means more power.

Crossovers come in two flavors. The H-pipe, or balance tube, connects each side of a dual exhaust system with a straight piece of tubing. This allows exhaust gas to move between the pipes, equalizing flow and backpressure between the two sides of the system.

The other type of crossover is the X-pipe. Instead of using a straight cross-tube to connect each side of the exhaust system, the X-pipe literally allows each side to cross over to the other. The advantages of the X-pipe include better exhaust scavenging and improved exhaust flow balance between the pipes.
Currently I am running true dual exhaust, meaning that from the block to the exhaust tip I've got 2 separate exhaust systems. It's setup with headers, turbo mufflers, and they dump on each side (lt-lt, rt-rt) behind the rear wheels pointing out at a 45* angle. The X-pipe should help a little with performance and will definitely help with sound.
 

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
JoshT,

Makes a lot of sense actually and after looking at the design of the crossover shown at your link, when you keep in mind the direct across block firing order of this engine being 1-4-2-5-3-6 it makes a whale of a lot of sense...

This cross-over pipe would help greatly in causing a pressure relief after each firing and exhaust burst, an extracting suction if you will, in the opposite pipe. This would assist in alternately drawing exhaust from one side then the other in a constant rhythm... This would make horsepower, especially at moderate to high RPMs.

JTCoyoté

"You don't cost the government money, the government costs YOU money." --Congressman Ron Paul
 
Last edited:

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
2.8L Stroker...

Some time back I caught a post, can't remember where exactly, but it laid out the procedure for modifying and installing a 2.9L crank, rods, and pistons into the 2.8 block... Have any of you guys heard of this.

JTCoyoté
 

BobR

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
109
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
okanogan
Vehicle Year
84
Vehicle
ferd
Some time back I caught a post, can't remember where exactly, but it laid out the procedure for modifying and installing a 2.9L crank, rods, and pistons into the 2.8 block... Have any of you guys heard of this.

JTCoyoté
this offers little in terms of increased displacement but increases your compression dramaicaly. you'll need to run either a full race cam ( the long duration spills some of your compression) or racing gas.

if you take both the 2.8 and 2.9 crank to a GOOD crank grinder he'll be able to do the work for you.


Bob
 

85_Ranger4x4

December 2013 OTOTM
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
16
Reaction score
12
Points
3
Age
37
Location
Between Omaha & Des Moines
Vehicle Year
1985
Vehicle
Ford
Engine Size
5.0
I remember you had to machine the snout of the crank, the 2.8 uses timing gears and the 2.9 uses a chain so the cams spin oposite ways. It has been awhile ago and that is about all I can remember about it.
 

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
this offers little in terms of increased displacement but increases your compression dramaicaly. you'll need to run either a full race cam ( the long duration spills some of your compression) or racing gas.

if you take both the 2.8 and 2.9 crank to a GOOD crank grinder he'll be able to do the work for you.

Bob
Bob,

Thanks so much for your answer...

Believe me, I understand the necessity of a good crank grinder ... since as I understand it the only modification is to convert the nose of the crank to accept the 2.8 lower timing gear in place of the 2.9 sprocket.

It was also my understanding from the article I mentioned above, if I recall it correctly, that if you use the 2.9 rods and pistons as well, it would alleviate any deck height issues.

So, with all things remaining equal, the additional 16.5 or so cc's per cylinder you gain from the swap, shouldn't increase the compression ratio by more than a half a point or so... putting it up just under or right at 9 to 1 compression.

I wish I could find that article ... There is a reference to this modification over on the Capri UK site... but they are not nearly has detailed as the original article was, hence the reason I asked everyone here if they had seen it.

Coyoté
 

85_Ranger4x4

December 2013 OTOTM
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
16
Reaction score
12
Points
3
Age
37
Location
Between Omaha & Des Moines
Vehicle Year
1985
Vehicle
Ford
Engine Size
5.0
When they were switching websites people were using google to search achives and come up with stuff from the old site, you might look into that route.

Edit: I found it, when you only have 6 pages to look thru it doesn't take as long as I thought it would. It doesn't sound like a real surefire way but it might help you out.

http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102
 
Last edited:

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
When they were switching websites people were using google to search achives and come up with stuff from the old site, you might look into that route.

Edit: I found it, when you only have 6 pages to look thru it doesn't take as long as I thought it would. It doesn't sound like a real surefire way but it might help you out.

http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102
'85_Ranger4X4... Thank you!!! Looks like I have my work cut out... It was a 2 or 3 page deal with pics and all... Oh boy!

Coyoté
 
Last edited:

JTCoyoté

New member
Joined
Aug 10, 2007
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Beautiful Summit County Colorado
Vehicle Year
1987
Vehicle
Ford
Well Gents, I have found little bits and pieces of the article, thanks to the link you posted, Ranger. But, I have not found the whole thing. In any case here are a few juicy tidbits...

I checked the compression height for the pistons. The Mustang II pistons I used were 1.511". The Ranger pistons are supposed to be 1.539" but when I measured mine, they were something like 1.560" or so which is too much. Napa lists a 1.515" piston and a 1.535" piston. Either one would probably work but you need to be careful with clearances when using the taller one. The top of the piston would be about 0.009" above the deck of the block at TDC but the head gasket should give you approximately 0.040" between the deck of the block and the cylinder head. Using this taller piston would maximize your compression though...probably somewhere around 10.2 to 1.
If his assessment of the compression with the tall 1.535" piston is correct, the result using the shorter 1.511" piston would increase the combustion chamber volume by just over 1/4 cu.in. per cylinder... The early Mustang/Capri heads and pistons gave a ratio of 8.2 to 1, and the .130" additional stroke from the 2.9 crank adds just over 1 cu.in. per cylinder giving about 9 to 1 or so compression in this case... Even if the original compression ratio was as high as 9.2 lets say to begin with... 9.8 would be about it with the increased stroke...

Anyway here is a pic of the crank snout with dimensions ...


Crank snout details

Coyoté
 
Last edited:

jeffnvegas

New member
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Vehicle Year
1984
Vehicle
ford
hey guys, i'm not a mechanic, but would like to rebuild or replace the 2.8 in my sons truck that he let run out of oil, get a little more performance out of and still get it to pass smog so i can drive it on the road. we have to pass smog every year here and they inspect the engine compartment, the cat and the gas cap. is there some way to get some performance and still pass smog legally or maybe diguise it and still pass? they want 2700. to rebuild the one i have in there now and i don't know if that is even worth it. there's probably no way around this other than just parting it out?
 

KJMac

New member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
50
Vehicle Year
1985
Vehicle
ford
FORGED PISTONS 2.8:
9-1 forged piston set for the 2800 V6 engine. We stock .030" overbore.
Priced per set of 6, includes wrist pins.
6498 FORGED PISTONS
6499 PISTON RINGS

How much is a set of the 9:1 forged pistons? And who is "we" That stocks them?

Thanks
KJ
 

jester77

New member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
0
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
57
Location
seattle wa
Vehicle Year
1985
Vehicle
Ford
reopening an old thread- lots of great information- I just bought a wrecking lot engine to rebuild, while I run the hell out of my old one. Definately getting rid of the ignition, haven't really looked into how hard it is to change the igniton, but intake and carb- The offenhauser manifold sounds great- but kind of expensive- Is there a high end two barrel that I can bolt in onto the original manifold? something simple, just electric choke and the rest mechanical??
 

Top