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IDFK What's going on with my 2.9l. Starts and runs fine when cold, when warm it jerks and starts with misfire... sometimes.


McWillies

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Having read this thread, and having only very limited experience working on my own '90 Bronco II, some thoughts:
  • I also rebuilt my injectors with new seals but that did not help anything; then got 6 rebuilt injectors for $59 delivered (ebay, company called CS performance as I recall) and that did make a huge positive difference in how the engine runs
  • vacuum leaks can cause major issues on this motor, so you are right to eliminate those
  • there is a procedure for calibrating the intake butterfly stop bolt to achieve proper idle. Many, me included, mistake that bolt for the way to adjust idle, and mess up the whole idle regulating system (which should be controlled by the IAC and ECM). I found it here somewhere in a post, can't find it now but it was something like, get engine to operating temp, unplug IAC, adjust the stop bolt, keep idle at 2,000 rpm for 2 minutes, plug IAC back in and idle should be at around 750 or so rpm, if not repeat adjustment procedure. Best look it up as I probably don't remember accurately
  • intake manifold gaskets can leak causing issues. You will be replacing those, which could rule out one more cause for your issues
Good luck, you will for sure get there. After I fixed a couple of issues after getting my B2 last October, it's running really sweet and strong now. Properly tuned, these engines are good powerplants.
Appreciate the information sir. Not sure if you recognized, but I'm the one that asked if you put 19lb injectors or stock ones back in. I saw your response as well, noted. I'll look at my injectors and see what kind of shape they're in. Got the heads off today and there's no gunk at all built up around the bases of the injectors, look clean. I'm aware of the bolt on the TB. I've read it should be adjusted so that the TPS reads around 0.9 volts, but other places I've seen between 0.7 and 0.9 volts. I'll fool around with that later on. My lower intake plenum gasket looked to be in good shape, so I figure the upper gaskets were the the ones leaking.
 


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Worked from about 10 this morning until 5 this evening. Here's the update.

Started off by running to NAPA and picking up a fuel line disconnect tool and a T55 socket (thought I'd need it, but the bolts were regular hex).

Made it back and started pulling stuff apart. Got the driver's side valve cover pulled off. Found something pretty interesting... I have a new style head on the driver's side and an old style on the passenger's side. No doubt someone's had this top end apart at some point, but I didn't think I'd find two different heads.

Moved on to pulling the lower plenum. First I went ahead and disconnected the fuel lines. Then I looked at the distributor for a bit trying to decided if I really had to pull it. Decided to try without pulling it and, surprise, I couldn't get the two rear-most bolts out all the way with it in. Pulled all except the #1 plug wire, unbolted the hold-down bracket, then pulled it out. Pulled the plenum bolts, reverse torque sequence, then pulled and laid them out. Plenum came out without a problem... Check out the crocs, a working man's shoe.

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Moved on to pulling the passenger side head. Loosened up a couple bolts for the alternator bracket and pulled that off. Loosened up the rocker arm shaft bolts then went a couple turns at a time on each one until there wasn't any more pressure on the shaft. Zipped them off with the impact driver and laid them out. Lifted the rocker arm and shaft assembly off of the head and sat it down with the bolts, then I pulled the push rods out one at a time and laid them down the same way. Unbolted the exhaust manifold at the y-pipe and slipped the hose that goes to the hair box off. Pulled the spark plugs and unbolted the transmission dipstick tube. Bout time to remove the head. Reverse torque sequence broke each bolt loose, went around a few times in that sequence and loosened each bolt up by a couple turns by hand, then I used the impact to get the front 6 fully loosened and the rear 2 I finished by hand (impact wouldn't fit). Pulled each bolt and laid it out. Time to pull the head. Couple taps with a rubber mallet and it broke loose. Pulled it off and immediately noticed coolant in all 3 cylinders.


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Wiped the surface off real quick and couldn't see any cracks. Valves look good to my untrained eye. When I pulled the spark plugs cylinders 1 and 2 looked lean and 3 looked on the richer side, matches up with the exhaust valves to my untrained eyes.

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Moving on to the other side. Couple bolts holding a bracket for the power steering to the head. Got those out and undid the ground wire attached to the back of the head. Oh yeah, the oil dipstick tube. It was attached to the power steering mounting bracket, unbolted that and pulled it out. Followed the same steps as on the passenger side head. Only different was the manifold bolts at the y-pipe. Had to fight with them and then finally decided to use way too many extensions, a breaker bar, and a cheater pipe to twist the heads off. I'll dig them out later on. Got the head pulled off and there was coolant in cylinder 6, other two were dry. In the picture it looks like #5 had some coolant, but that's just some oil that dripped down.

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Glanced over the head and didn't see any cracks. Cylinder 6 intake valve looks rough, similar to but worse than cylinder 3. Interesting.

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Forgot to snap a picture of the top side. Have a few questions, but I can't attach any more images to this post, so I'll do another with a full view of everything laid out and some pictures of the numbers stamped onto the heads. Sorry about some weird formatting, but I'm too tired to fix it.
 

McWillies

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After I got both heads pulled, I got curious to see if the newer style one was stamped 86TM or 89TM. Looking at it, it's stamped 86, same as the other, older style one.

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Looked around a bit more and found just "89" stamped on the new style one and just "85" stamped on the old style. Are these model years by chance?

New Style:
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Old Style:
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Anybody have a newer style head they'd be willing to sell and ship out ASAP?

Here's a picture of everything that I pulled off::

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And the block sitting in there topless. I have some cleaning to do:

15051
 

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Just giving an update. Had to wait until yesterday for the machine shop to open, but I got the heads dropped off. He said they'll be done for Friday which would be perfect. Got an order in at NAPA for a head gasket set (comes with all the gaskets needed) and a set of FEL-PRO rubber valve cover gaskets (the blue ones). Got both valve covers cleaned, sanded, and painted. Also cleaned up the intake manifold and painted it. Cleaned most of everything else up, have a little more to do. Not going for show quality, just wanna be able to touch the engine bay without my hands turning black from gunked up oil. Placed an order on ebay for a set of reman injectors (thanks @Cees Klumper ), hoping they'll be here on Friday, or Saturday at the latest. Gonna pick up some oil, filter, plugs, wires, and a couple connectors that broke. Sounds like everything, but I probably forgot something. Anyways, won't be working on it any more for the next couple days, but hopefully I'll have the heads on Friday and can start putting everything back together... Should have it back together by Sunday.
 

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I found that oil leaking isn't always a bad thing. None of the parts on my BII that were caked with oil soaked dirt were rusty and the dirty/oily nuts came off without a problem :)
IMHO, the those Fel-Pro valve cover gaskets are the only ones to use.
 

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I know what you mean about the dirt and oil... Pulling everything off it felt like most of the bolts were never tight in the first place :icon-rofl:

Wish I could say the same for the rust though. Block is rust-free and the intake plenum and upper manifold were in fairly good condition, but my valve covers were really rough. I'm thinking when the last guy put them in he just ignored the rust and dipped the damn things in some type of bondo and then sprayed an entire can of paint on each one. After I sprayed off all the grime with brake cleaner I found a mixture of chipped off paint, rust, and whatever the PO gooped on top of it. Took me about 15 hours split between two days to sand through all that stuff and then sand through all the rust. Had to take both of them down to bare metal because I didn't know where there was rust hidden underneath. I probably went overboard but I figure if I'm gonna do the job, I want it to last, and if I want it to last I have to do it right. I forgot to take pictures of the parts I painted and cleaned. They don't look the prettiest but they should last and usually an engine bay hides a lot of imperfections because its much darker than when in direct light.

Same opinion here for the valve cover gaskets. The PO had some type of flexible gasket (rubber I'm guessing, but it was thin like an o-ring) with tons of RTV caked on top, and they were leaking like hell.

Quick question Jerry: What do you think about switching to full synthetic motor oil? Last oil change I did, I put in conventional 10W30 because that's what it calls for, but I figure the synthetic stuff might be a good switch.
 

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Mine leaked oil from the day I got it. Replacing the valve cover gaskets fixed about 60% of it but the oil pan and crank seals were leaving too.
I tried full synthetic, talk about leaks :) I could just about hear out come dripping out. I'd get down a quart in a tank of gas.

I started using Valvoline high mileage synthetic blend after that. It sounds gimmicky but it really did slow my leaks to almost nothing. I tried the full synthetic high mileage after using the synth blend high mileage and the leaks started up again so I went back to the blend.
 

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I looked at my oil pan because I thought it was leaking, but it looks like it has a quality rubber gasket, not just a cork one, so I'm not convinced that's where it's coming from. Might have oil leaking from my front seal, but I'm gonna keep an eye on it for a bit after I get the truck running, before I decide to dive into that whole mess. Doesn't leave oil spots on the cement, so I'm not convinced yet. Don't see any evidence of a leak from the rear, or if it is leaking it isn't substantial. I do think I'm leaking some from the oil filter adapter (90 degree elbow so the filter goes on pointing upwards). I'd like to try and replace that gasket while the top end and exhaust manifolds are out of the way. Would be a real pain to get to if all of that were back on. When I got the truck I was losing a quart around every 1500 miles, now it's more like 800-1000. I know the valve covers were leaking because I'd have oil pooled up around my spark plugs, so I'm thinking what I see on the pan is from that. I'm planning on going to the car wash and spraying down the block and undergarments of the front end to knock off the crud that's left. After that I should be able to see where the oil is coming from, if it still has leaks after all this work that is.

Doesn't really sound too gimmicky, there's probably some science in there somewhere that helps stop the leaks. I'll see how risky I'm feeling when I go to pick up the oil.

Another quick question: Is there a little gnome in my trans dipstick tube that grabs onto the dipstick and keeps me from pushing it in? That damn thing won't go in no matter what I do. Turn it a little this way a little that way, twist it around, do it while standing on one leg with one hand behind my back and both eyes closed... Doesn't matter, won't go in.
 

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Just placed an order to pick up at O'Reilly's for the synth blend you recommended, was on sale for $27 for 5qts, pretty damn good considering the conventional is $30. Picking up a new filter, larger o-ring for where the adapter mounts to the block, and smaller o-ring for the bolt as well. Hoping the heads will be done tomorrow so I can work on it through the weekend.
 

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Small change of plans. Heads won't be done until Monday so I'll just piddle around working on some small stuff while I wait. Gives me plenty of time to do the oil filter adapter gaskets. I know that's a real big job with the one bolt holding it in and all :bawling: I better stop joking around before I screw myself. Might go ahead and replace the fluid in my rear diff. Front diff is a possibility too, but I don't think there's a drain, just a fill hole, so I'd have to rig up a way to suck the old fluid out.

Other thing that's been in the back of my mind is the rear brakes. Never popped the drums off and looked in there and I've been driving it for damn near 5 years... or maybe even longer. Where does the time go? I've been driving it since I was a junior in high school and I'm a junior in college now:icon-surprised: No wonder this truck has been giving me so many issues lately, she's finally tired of dealing with my BS :buttkick:

Anyways, also wanna look at the parking brake. Hasn't worked since I've owned it and probably long before that I imagine. I've looked at the assembly on the driver's side frame rail and there's no extra slack in it, so it's likely something internal. Might do my rear sway bar bushings too, when I bought the set for the front I didn't realize it came with rears too, so I just have them sitting around. I'll just have to see how time and motivation treats me. One thing I realized over the last week or so is that I can definitely get tired of working on it. All the little annoying stuff that usually wouldn't bother me as much was really pissing me off. Now that I've taken a few days break I'm motivated to work on it again, but I don't wanna go overboard and work from sunrise to sunset like I was, because come Monday I'll be grumpy and my patience will be way too thin to be working on something tedious like torque specs and gaskets and all that wumbo.

Maybe I can rig something up on the shop-vac to suck out the front diff fluid 🤔
 

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When I had to do rear brakes I found that the PO had mismatched the springs and each side was different from the other :) They worked fine though. Used new parts when I did the brakes.
I also was surprised that mine had rear sway bar.

You could do a trans fluid change and drop the pan to what is going on with the dipstick.
 

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Can't say I blame them, drum brakes are more complicated than they need to be. I was also thinking about a trans fluid change. What's your go to A4LD fluid? My to do list keeps getting longer, at this rate I'll have to ask the machine shop to take longer on the heads 🤣 Right now I have two bags full of parts and a fuel rail that needs to be cleaned and painted. I'll finish up the things I can without leaving the house tomorrow then start looking at the other stuff.
 

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No preference on trans fluid, I remember it was hard to find here because the manual specs a fluid that pretty much nobody makes. There's a substitute but off the top of my head I forget what it is.
 

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A4LD calls for Dexron II but they don't make it anymore and from what I've seen Dexron V is the replacement. I'll do a little more research (y)
 

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My credo
Do what you can with what you have where you are
I use O'reilly's Premium ATF. For use where DEXRON III or Mercon fluid is specified.

Dennis
 

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I found Dextron 2 at a tractor supply place (Bomgaars)......gallon jug for $19.99. I pumped 17 quarts through the tranny before I got nice clean fluid. Did the same thing with a 99' Mustang using Mercon V and it cost me over $150 for the fluid.
 

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Fairly productive day. Started out by swapping my 54mm throttle body with a 58mm one. Pulled it off a wrecked BII I have behind the shop that's been collecting dust (I'll get to it one day I guess). Started off by spraying it down with some degreaser to get most of the crud off... Then I ended up pulling the throttle cable bracket off and cleaning all the moving parts and surfaces. Once I got everything nice and clean I put some grease on the places that looked like it needed some. Bolted it back onto the manifold and called it good.

Next up I decided to go ahead and replace my TPS and ECT connectors (harness side), they were all kinds of goofed up from being old and brittle. Didn't have any problems just swapping the connector housing for the ECT, but on the TPS connector the old one and the new one had different connectors on the wires, so I couldn't just de-pin and slip the new housing on. Ended up splicing it together with some butt connectors. Not my favorite way of doing it but it'll do the job.

Moved on to the oil filter housing. Started by draining the oil and pulling the filter off. Took some fighting to get the bolt for the housing off because my y-pipe was sitting on top of it and I couldn't fit a socket and breaker bar (couldn't break it loose with a wrench). Ended up sticking a pipe into the exhaust and prying it off of the housing so I could get to the bolt. Finally got it all off and started comparing the new o-rings to the old ones just to make sure, all checked out. The big o-ring for the housing to the block was flattened and the small o-ring on the bolt, just above the threads. was hard like plastic. Had to take a small chisel and break the o-ring in half to get it off. There was also a tapered o-ring just under the head of the bolt. The old one was hard and brittle so I couldn't reuse it, so I ended up using gasket maker in place of it. Hopefully it'll hold up, we'll have to see. I made sure not to get any gasket material in the hole in the bolt.

Once I finished up doing that I couldn't stand it anymore and I finally convinced myself to drop the trans pan. What a mess that was. Got tranny fluid everywhere, basically bathed in the stuff. All down my arm, on my back, in my hair :icon-rofl:... Fun times. Got the pan and filter off and the fluid looked really healthy, didn't see a reason to drain the TC or trans cooler, so I didn't. Would've been a waste of good fluid and money. One thing I would like to do while I have the pan off is test the TCC and shift solenoids. I can get to the terminals fine without removing the valve body (really don't wanna do that), is there any way I can test for resistance or continuity on them? Or connect it to a 9V battery and listen for a click?
Let the fluid drain and stop dripping while I cleaned up myself and the floor and looked on my phone for the closest filter and gasket kit. Crawled under there and looked into the dipstick tube from the bottom and I could see something blocking the dipstick from going in. Pulled the dipstick then the tube. Tried just turning the tube upside down so whatever was stuck in it would fall out, but it was wedged. Took a screwdriver and pushed on it. Out came a damn wood chip... What the hell. Bent the dipstick a little bit to match it up better with the tube. Goes in and out like butter now. Glad I got that taken care of, been bothering me that I couldn't check the fluid level for... years :shok:.

After I got that taken care of I brought the lower plenum with the fuel rail over to the work table. Already had the injectors and rail pulled out of the plenum, just sat it back on there and put the bolts in so I wouldn't lose them. Got that pulled back off and started trying to pull the injectors out of the rail. Already tried before but didn't fight with it too much. This time I found a pretty good method. If you grab the base of the injector (not the pintle cap, it'll just spin independently of the injector) and rotate it... Not rotate straight, but rotate at an angle relative to the rail. Do that for about 30 seconds and it should start to ride up then pop out. If it doesn't then you might need to angle the injector more. Also pulled off the FPR just to give myself more room. By then it was abut 5 o'clock so I took a wire brush and knocked off some of the rust and paint. Ran out of parts cleaner when I was cleaning the trans pan so I'll have to pick some up tomorrow when I get the trans fluid, filter, and gasket. Can I use normal brake cleaner inside the rail? Just wanna flush out anything that might be gunked up in there.

On the list for tomorrow is to finish up the trans, clean up the fuel rail, spray some paint on it and the new exhaust manifolds (let's not talk about this too much... let's just say there were some broken bolts that were very resistant to coming out). Might drain the transfer case and add new fluid. Same with the rear diff. Don't plan on fighting with the front diff. Just remembered I also wanna check my fuel filler hoses for cracks.

Thanks y'all for the posts about trans fluid as well. I'm gonna go with some Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic fluid.
 

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Spent most of the day yesterday running the roads, wasn't planned but it happened :dntknw:. Either way, I got most of what I wanted to done.

In the morning I went out and finished knocking the loose rust and paint off the fuel rail. Found a little degreaser laying around and used that. Pushed paper towel into the holes where the injectors seat, where the FPR seats, and where the fuel line connects. Sprayed a few coats of gloss black engine enamel on it and called it good. The rail was in rough shape on the outside so I didn't put too much time into it.

By then it was about time for me to leave so I went on the road for about 4 hours. Picked up the trans filter, gasket, fluid, and some brake cleaner while I was out.

Came back and the rail was dry to the touch, so I moved it outta the way. Spent some time cleaning up the trans pan, the mating surface on the trans, and the bolts. Got the filter put on while I was under the truck cleaning the surface (Put the o-rings on before). Climbed out from under the truck and got the pan and gasket laid out. Maybe I shouldn't have, I don't know, but I put some gasket maker on the pan where it has the little channel type deals in between the bolt holes. Laid the new rubber gasket on and brought the pan over to the truck with the bolts. Crawled under and got the pan lined up and threw in two bolts to hold it up. Threaded in the rest of them and just snugged them up, to let the gasket maker dry.

Almost forgot, I cleaned up the mating surfaces for everything that has one. When I was doing the upper intake I noticed the ports were pretty rough, so I took a file and got them smooth. Didn't change the shape, just knocked the roughness off.

Then I did a some more cleaning, on the distributor housing, alternator, and thermostat housing. While I had the distro on the table I pulled the cap off and pulled the rotor off. There was a good bit of rust on the shaft that the rotor slides on so I went around it a couple times with some 600grit to knock the rust off. Put the rotor back where it was and put the cap back on. Had a new o-ring so I threw that on too, the old one was hard and brittle.

Before I closed up I crawled under the truck and tightened up the trans pan. That was about as far as I got, but I'm more than happy with where I stand right now. Got the new head bolts this morning and the injectors should get delivered today. Also should have the heads back today, just waiting for a call from the machine shop.
 

McWillies

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Just got a call from the machine shop telling me both heads are cracked. On Friday the bastard told me he was trying to get the manifold bolts dug out and they wouldn't be ready until Monday. Now can someone explain to me why in the hell he would dig out the manifold bolts before checking the heads for cracks? The SOB has had the heads since Tuesday of last week and he told me he'd have them for me on Friday. When I found out on Friday it was gonna be Monday I was aggravated, but understood. Now he can go to hell, that's fucking ridiculous. Womack's Head and Block Shop in Baton Rouge, go to him if you want your heads to sit on a shelf for a week before he even bothers breathing in their direction.

Now I have to get two new heads, any suggestions on the best place to get them from?

Edit: King or Promaxx... King has a better warranty but they're more expensive. Gave Promaxx a call and they would have the heads shipped out tomorrow, from Alabama, which is basically within spitting distance of me. Promaxx also has better pictures on their site. King has one picture showing the valve springs and intake ports, nothing showing the underside or exhaust ports... I think I'm gonna go Promaxx...
 
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McWillies

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After a psychological rollercoaster I'm going with the Promaxx. They're new improved castings with brand new SBI valvetrain parts that are installed after grinding the valves to seal up with the heads.

On another note, I got the old heads back and was able to find a crack. Right on the seat for the exhaust valve. Explains why I had bubbles in the coolant but no obvious amounts of coolant in the oil. Valve wasn't sealing so on the exhaust stroke air was blowing past it and through the blown head gasket. The crack is on the newer style head, wasn't able to find one on the older style head, but then again, it was hot as hell outside and I was dripping sweat just from standing there with a flashlight. I'll do some closer investigation. Right now I'm waiting for the new heads and my classes start tomorrow, so I'll be working on things again after the heads make the long journey... of 400 miles.

Here's the pic, now show me yours:

15052
 

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