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The first new vehicle we ever bought was a 1985 Ford Bronco II.  It had a unique option package with factory limited-slip units front and rear, a nifty 5-speed with overdrive and the 2.8L V-6—with carburetor. 

 

Handling was actually okay despite the higher center of gravity, Ford did a good job with the miniaturized Twin-Traction Beam front axle and the solid rear axle with ladder frame!

 

Had we waited another year, the 2.9L MPI V-6 would have added both performance and fuel efficiency, yet the 2.8L is noted for its reliability and respectable torque.  For the time, Ford put forth a great 4WD compact vehicle, and there are many who would agree that the Ranger and Bronco II did their job.

 

I'd like to hear your views about these Ford pickups and SUVs.  If you have troubleshooting or upgrade questions, I'll join that conversation, too!

 

Become a member and help build a forum discussion around these Ford 4WD vehicles...

 

Moses

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I test drove one of the first to show up on a dealer's lot back in 1984.  I liked it, even was allowed to take it out to the diversion dam and use it a bit on sand berms, loose gravel hill climbs, not much 'heavy duty' wheeling, but enough to get the impression that it was definitely NOT a 'get Momma to the market, church, and soccer game' rig.

 

I couldn't afford one back then, but when they started showing up used, I managed to buy three of the things.  BII's, that is.  All were carbureted 2.8's with five speeds.  Single biggest problem I had with them was the electronically managed carburetors.  Pure junk, as far as I am concerned. 

 

I'd played around a bit with the 2.8 prior, in a 72 or 73 Capri.  THAT little rig hauled butt, so I knew the motor had potential. 

I owned a 72 Bronco, bought it in 1973, with 2000 miles on the odometer.  I don't recall that the little BII couldn't go wherever the original Bronco went, at least in stock form for both vintages.  The TTB front end was a lot more comfortable to drive, and with good shocks, even seemed to manage lumpy, bumpy, gravel roads better than the solid axle D44. 

 

I never got 'round to swapping in a 302, but it was high on the list of "want to do that" upgrades.  In fact, I bought a really decent 302 with rear sump, a C4 auto, and found a 4X4 Ranger with blown motor for a hundred bucks that yielded an 8.8" rear axle.  Before I could get 'round to doing anything with the pile o' parts, I was offered too much for it, and the parts and it went down the road, and I ended up with the first of a few Cherokees.  Don't get me wrong, I really, really like my Cherokee, but I do believe that going down the road, at Interstate speeds, anyway, the Bronco II seemed to handle a bit better, and was more comfortable, with more room for my large physique! 

 

My son bought one from a fellow worker over in Wyoming, with the injected 2.9, and has decided that he doesn't want to mess with it, so it's possible that I'll end up with that.  My best friend bought one of the first EFI 2.9's when they first became available, and got tired of it several years and 260K miles later, and gave it to his son in law.  Jim and I took that little bugger into places that I'd have hesitated taking a 2A into!  We did end up on the side of the road dead in the rig, though, when the 'hot' line to the fuel pump somehow ended up on the exhaust pipe, and shorted the whole shebang out.  We were both "points and carburetor" guys, and after a tow, and mechanic's bill, he ran it for the rest of the time with only regular maintenance and tires.  I like 'em.  I've wondered recently, though, about using a 4.0 with five speed instead of a 302/5.0, after driving Dad's "Exploder"..........

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Insightful, Rocket Doctor!  I very much enjoyed and could identify with your Bronco II path.  I mentioned the front and rear Trac-Lok axles, a real factory novelty that I haven't seen since.  Apparently, Ford saw some merit in making this a Bronco II option.

 

On that note, I'd like to share a Bronco II tale related to this automatic locking axles arrangement.  Our youngest child, Jacob, was around 4 years old at the time, and we wanted to drive the new Bronco II into some backcountry.  I was contributing editorial and the tech column to Argus' OFF-ROAD Magazine at the time, and this 4x4 deserved a good test.  We drove into the upper bench country at San Diego County, noted for clay-like mud when it rains—and it had!

 

On a two-track, graded road of this reddish clay stuff, we were driving along when the camber of the road shifted abruptly.  I was already in 4WD high range, stock tires, and as the two automatic lockers did their intended duty, all four wheels starter spinning in concert.  This, of course, caused the Bronco II to drop toward the low side of the off-camber road, and before long, I found that no amount of steering wheel moving, throttle, no throttle, use of higher gears to reduce wheel torque, finessing or any other trick, learned over two decades of four-wheeling at that time, could contribute a solution. 

 

I knew we could keep moving forward, but the ultra-slick clay surface and stock all-season tires meant that the Bronco II could not climb to the center of that road!  This went on for around 3/8ths of a mile or more until the road camber leveled, at which point the Bronco II could be steered readily to the center of the road—and stay there!

 

For any who wonder why I have promoted manual lockers for off-camber icy highway and clay mud roadways, leaving both axles "open" for vehicle directional stability, you can thank that 1984 Bronco II.  Prior to that time, I owned only one 4x4 with a factory rear locker and was not thrilled.  Without lockers at either end, I got a stone stock CJ-5 F-head model over the Rubicon Trail in 1967 without so much as a tire spinning.  At Nevada's high desert, where I learned to four-wheel in the 'sixties, a traction axle was a novelty.

 

I also had impulses to shoehorn a 302 V-8 (5.0L HO version from that era) into a Bronco II.  In considering the stock track width, center of gravity and roll center, it's probably best I didn't.  Wider, beefier axles and chassis mods, large tires, a World Class T-5  (even an NV4500 in a much later era), and the Bronco II might have been a keeper!  Ford built a substantial frame under the Ranger and Bronco II, as stout as the CJ-7 and CJ-8 Jeep models of that period.  The Bronco II and Ranger axles and wheel hubs, however, were hardly as ample—but that could be remedied!

 

Thanks much for sharing, Rocket Doctor... 

 

Moses

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Id like to add some personal experience with both the 2.8, and 2.9l bronco II's. I have owned several of the 2.8l, mainly 5 speed, 4x4 bronco II's, and have found them to be very capable on and off road. I dont beat on my dakotas, but i have owned a couple 86 BII's that i literally pounded on, and found them to be able to hold up really well. Off road, i was able to go places that other bigger SUV's and full size pick-ups couldnt go, as well as saving gas while doing it. During the years i had such a fascination with the Bii and ranger, i was not big on even routine maintenace, and they still seemed to hold up pretty well. The one issue i seemed to have with them was the fiberglass tailgate. It didnt always hold up well to extreme off-roading. Until a tree fell on it in a storm, i had a beat up, blue and white 87, with a 2.8, 5 speed, that i would take mudding with friends on private property, and i could go through the mud with ease in 2 wheel drive without getting stuck, where others would have to be in at least 4hi. After the tree fell on it, which crushed the air cleaner, and actually broke one spark plug tower out of the distributor cap, it still started and ran, and i even drove it down the road. The one and only 2.9l Bii i owned, an 89, 5 speed, 4x4, i bought from an older gentleman originally as a plow vehicle, and even though he used it to plow with, he was very strict about performing maintenance on it, and yet, i was always still having issues with it. It blew a head gasket with only 66000 on it, the water pump went several times in the 3 years i owned it, it would eat up front brakes, it had issues shifting in and out of 4hi, it didnt like to idle if it was below 20 degrees out. I actually traded it for my first dakota in an even up swap. I also have several friends who own rangers, that run the same engine, and they had similar issues with the first generation 2.9's. I attached some pics of both my blue and white 88. Unfortunately, the only pics i have of it are after the tree hit it, except the one of it sitting on the other side of my brother in laws nissan, and a pic of my baby blue 89.

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Ouch, that tree hurt!  The 2.9L was a nice departure from the carbureted 2.8L in our '85 Bronco II.  EFI is always a horsepower and torque boost.  The engine that impresses me is the 4.0L V-6, also a Euro-Ford design, that actually was the most reliable of the bunch.

 

Ford EFI and emission components on either of these engines (2.9L and 4.0L V-6s) are a challenge, they create the symptoms you describe and can eat big holes in your wallet over time!  The good news:  A 4.0L Ranger can last for decades without major rebuilding if simply maintained properly.

 

Moses

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Speed   

Good stories-these B-II's seem to inspire adventures. I got my '84 when a friend called to say he was moving and had to get rid of all his four wheelers. He GAVE me the one I drive now,and another one that was stripped and cut down for strictly off road-no roof,doors or hood.  the "yard goat" (I used it to tow cars around where I had them stored) had an automatic,my driver has a 5 speed. I sold the transmission from the yard goat to a young couple who lived in Fernley and scrapped the rest of it since it had no Title. Before I hauled it away,though,I noticed the wheels both turned the same direction with the rear end off the ground,so I pulled the cover,and discovered it had a new Detroit Locker in it. That rear end is in my other Bronco II now. The front of the "good" B-II was all pushed in,the radiator ruined,core support bent,and the clutch was shot,so I pulled the core support out as straight as I could,found a radiator from a parts truck and used the grille from the yard goat and put in a new Borg Warner clutch. It worked well until the gearshift broke off,so I did some mods to the shifting tower and made a shifter from a heated and straightened stick from a spare SM420. It's a little hard to find the gates until you're used to it,but it works great. I've run 10 wt. synthetic motor oil in the T/C since I got it. I've since added a double tube front bumper and grille guard and a rectangular tube rear bumper and receiver hitch that also serves as an air tank for my home built on board air. I also replaced what remained of the bucket seats with a split bench from a Ranger,and installed a tilt wheel steering column from an '86 Ranger. I had to mix and match some stuff to make everything work but it was mostly plug-n-play. I've used this rig so much for towing I re-named it the BroncWorth. (It thinks it's a Kenworth,and from what it's done,I'm inclined to agree.) I've towed a car trailer load of scrap to the scrap yard twice-first one was 9010 pounds and second was 8977 pounds,towed a car trailer from Carlin to Spring Creek hauling a '76 Jeep J-10 with 3 engines in the back,pushed a Ford 2 ton service truck across Ryndon,across the freeway,over the frontage road to Elburz,across the freeway again and up to the top of the hill between Ryndon and Elburz. (That job beat up the right side of the front bumper a little. I NEVER thought I'd be able to bend 4 inch well casing!) Suffice to say,this truck has never failed to go where I wanted to go,push or pull what I needed to move or impress the people I deal with. Even my 73 year old Sister loves it.

   It's been down for a couple of months because I had to replace the starter ring gear,and I figured,since I have the engine out,why not "de-smogify" it. I removed all the vacuum plumbing,smog pump,put the engine back in and fired it up,and it ran TERRIBLE. I was informed I'd now have to remove the ECM,remove all the wiring under hood except what went to battery,alternator and starter,replace the carb and replace the distributor. Well,all that's done but I learned that the new distributor uses a different cap and rotor,with an adapter,and I had to build a bracket to mount the module that's needed,and find a place for a different coil. (For lack of a more convenient location,the coil is bolted to the right master cylinder stud,and the module bracket mounts to the  left master cylinder stud.) The rest of the parts will be here Tuesday,and I hope to have it running before dark that day. I didn't check on it,but I hope to have enough money left to get it re-licensed. (I let it expire,since it was apart and I really didn't know when it'd run again.) Looking forward to driving it again! If all goes well,it should make more power AND get better mileage. (I think I'll have to go a couple of sizes leaner on the main jets,though the author of the article insists it'll do just fine with the same jetting that was used on a small block Ford V-8. We'll see.....)

   Speed

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    The parts arrived today,so I went to work on installing  them. Turns out the cap adapter wasn't needed,and the pigtails for the harness from the module to the distributor weren't needed either,I took the harness off the 2.0L 4 cyl. engine I pulled from an '83 Mustang;it plugs in at each end,so I'm assuming (Probably will be my downfall) that it'll work. Discovered the  recent plug wires I'd installed won't fit this cap,so I scrounged a set to work. The coil wire was too short so I had to buy one. I'd been using a lawn tractor battery to check electrics,and found it'd crank the engine for 15 seconds before it started to slow down. I had one wire to connect to the coil for power,so I checked terminals in an 8 terminal plug that wasn't being used until I found one that was dead with the key off and had power with it on and in the start position,cut the wire from the plug and connected the wires together. Found TDC,set the wires where they should be on the cap,took the battery out of the '54 GMC and put it in the B-II.and tried to start it,but it was out of gas. Emptied my 5 gallon gas can into the tank and cranked it long enough to get gas to the carb. Next project will have to be installing a choke cable and making a new remote starter since my old one seems to have migrated to the Twilight Zone.

   Speed

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I got it to run,again,but it sounds just like it did when it still had the old distributor,carb,computer and wiring;wouldn't idle,ran absolutely TERRIBLE,but I REALLY like the sound of the exhaust. I messed with the timing for quite a while,I have it at about 13 degrees now,checked the plugs and they look to be burning well so far,though they were gapped at .044,so I brought 'em down to .034.I used the plug wires I had on my 355 Chevy before I went over to HEI,and I shortened them to fit a little better. STILL didn't run well. Hooked up my vacuum gauge to it and that showed 15 inches at 1000 rpm,and 10 inches steady  at about 700,but still didn't wanna stay running under that. Then I unplugged the vacuum hose to the EGR and capped the line. BOOM-INSTANT SMOOTH!!! STILL won't idle below 1000,but I think I might get results if I adjust the low speed jets-I tried the other night but I can't even SEE the one on the left side,let alone adjust it. I NEEDS me one of those carb adjuster screw drivers. Don't wanna get my knuckles against the air compressor belt again. It's possible I have some minor vacuum leaks between the spacer and the carb;I didn't have new gaskets so I used the old ones and brushed anti seize on because of no Hi-Tack. Next payday I'll get new gaskets  and a can of Hi-Tack and work on getting everything properly sealed. I was hoping to get the BroncWorth licensed,but had to spend the money for some food and some dog food. I wouldn't have had enough money left after bills to license it anyway-it'll be $60.00,the DMV's online estimate calculator says. As it is now,I'd feel okay with driving it.

   Speed

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Speed...An open EGR at idle would explain it!  The EGR opens with ported vacuum: from just off-idle through the drop in ported vacuum at higher engine speeds.  Make sure EGR gets a ported vacuum source and signal.  Your manifold vacuum at idle should be normal with the EGR source as ported vacuum or the EGR vacuum hose disconnected and taped off.

 

Check the timing across the rpm range to be sure that the timing advances.  Stay away from the fan or, if necessary and practical, loosen the fan belt during the timing tests.  A stationary vehicle and revving the engine is dangerous.  If the fan, fan clutch or water pump are defective, the fan can break loose and either fly apart or drive through the radiator core.  2,500-3000 rpm would be the maximum needed to confirm whether timing does advance as required.  Avoid severe injury or worse!

 

Moses

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Speed   

I decided to not put a lot of time into making this particular carb work;a friend is working on finding me a few Holley 2 barrel carbs. I like working with them more than the Motorcraft carbs. (easier to change the jets on,adjusting the low speed jets is easier,you can buy just about anything for 'em...) It STILL runs badly-won't idle for more than about 3 seconds,misses,cuts out,backfires a LOT coming down to a stop on compression. (almost sounds like a cracked distributor cap. Or maybe it's the timing. Or something in the wiring. Or the voltage is low enough to make it misfire. Or a gummed up carb. Or it's jetted too rich.) I have a couple of proper base gaskets ordered,they should be here by Friday.

   I've also discovered my alternator doesn't appear to be doing well. Going down the road my battery voltage has been dropping slowly. Pushing the clutch in and revving the engine makes the needle rise about half a volt. It's gone from a solid 14 volts to about 11 last time I drove it;it could be the battery is going bad too-with the meter showing 11 volts,when I tried to start it,the voltage dropped to around 6 and it barely clicked the solenoid. I intend to get it running and warmed up then pull the ground cable off the battery and see if the alternator will carry it. All this could be wiring problems-there was a lot of wiring that was lost or was too destroyed to use,and some that was "ranch-wired". Maybe I didn't wire the alternator right;it worked fine for a while,but suddenly now it isn't keeping up. I've noticed other weird things with the electrics,some I know the cause of,some I don't have a clue. I'll get it worked out though.

   Speed

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I checked into some wiring issues and fixed a few things,as well as finding one thing I still need to fix. My air compressor was tagged to the wrong terminal in the fuse box,making it hot all the time. I was getting away with it by shutting off the power shut off switch,but I have it on a keyed terminal now so it only gets power to the shut off switch with the key on. fixed the dash lights by replacing a connector that was broken. Removed a mercury switch that was power to the coil in the crank position only,but apparently the wire is damaged,so I need to go into it again. I think I'll install the new battery and see how that affects the charge rate. I noticed that once I fixed the compressor snafu the battery doesn't appear to discharge when parked.

   I notice the engine still runs pretty rough,not bad enough that I can't drive it,but still not good. I ran it awhile and just listened to it,and it runs better with some choke,indicating vacuum leaks,it clears up a little over 3000,but applying throttle makes it misfire more. As soon as my base gaskets get here I hope to fix the vacuum leaks,and once I have a decent Holley carb I'll give it a rebuild and everything should work as planned. On Holley carbs,will it help its off-road performance if I extend the float bowl vent tube an inch or two? Seems like I remember when I had a Holley 600 carb on my '62 Chevy,when I got on steep hills,the float bowl would drain through the vent tube into the engine and flood it. That's been my only problem with Holey carbs. (I'm thinking it won't hurt to replace the plugs and wires when I can afford it too.)

Speed

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I could list several other Holley quirks, Speed.  Depending upon the float configuration, they can be cantankerous on various angles and are highly sensitive to altitude changes...I've worked extensively with Holley carburetors, including the 2300 series, but prefer the Motorcraft 2100 in many circumstances, especially for "drivability".

The claim to fame with Holley has been trackside tuning simplicity.  Given that such tuning relates to the actual track conditions, including altitude and atmosphere, these carburetors can be tuned precisely.  For a street carburetor, however, other designs require less tinkering and offer a wider latitude of tune.

Moses

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I could list several other Holley quirks, Speed.  Depending upon the float configuration, they can be cantankerous on various angles and are highly sensitive to altitude changes...I've worked extensively with Holley carburetors, including the 2300 series, but prefer the Motorcraft 2100 in many circumstances, especially for "drivability".

The claim to fame with Holley has been trackside tuning simplicity.  Given that such tuning relates to the actual track conditions, including altitude and atmosphere, these carburetors can be tuned precisely.  For a street carburetor, however, other designs require less tinkering and offer a wider latitude of tune.

Moses

Speed. i agree with Moses on carb choice. Coming from a racing family, mainly dirt track street stock and modifieds, my dad would only use Holley carbs, but, on his street vehicles, such as his tow vehicle, a 1969 chevy 1 ton, or a 1972 ford f-250, he would either use Carter or Motorcraft carbs, due to the fact that he could set the carb once, get it tuned and running right, and never have to touch it again, whereas on the Holleys, every time we went to a different track, he would have to adjust the carb for everything from altitude to how the engine was timed, and, he once told me he would never use a Holley in a street vehicle, simply because they could be a real bear to make run for all conditions. On the f-250, he owned that truck 15 years, and never once did he ever mess with the carb settings on it, even after replacing the timing chain twice in it. On my blue and white B-II, he used a motorcraft carb, which i don't remember which model, but, i do remember that once it was set up, i never had any driveability issues with it at any point in the months that i owned it before it was destroyed, but, before he did that, the factory carb that came with it had all kinds of issues, some from vacuum leaks, some from the carb sitting and the bowl being pitted from having old gas left in it. That truck was originally carbureted, so we didn't have the ECM and wiring issues you have on yours, but, it was severely neglected before i got it. After fixing the carb, timing, vacuum, and fuel issues with it, i could use it for everything from a daily driver, to a light duty tow vehicle, to a mud truck, to an out of the way camping vehicle, and not one time did i have issues related to the carb. My brother, on the other hand, had a custom 1989 s-10 with a 350 and turbo 400 conversion, with a Holley carb, and he was always having issues with it running rich or lean, or misfiring, depending on where we happened to be at the time. My wife does amateur rally racing, and i would use my Dakota to tow her rally car, and he would use his s-10 to tow a support trailer, and the one time we went to michigan, he had to stop 11 times because his truck wasn't running right. As a side note, my dad absolutely hates EFI, and swears he can tune any carb to perform the same as or better than an EFI engine, as well as getting the same or better fuel mileage, so, i grew up around mainly carbureted vehicles, and even some EFI to carb retrofits.

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Speed   

I guess I must have just been lucky then. My Holley 600 was dependable as anything I ever ran,once it solved its own problem. It was given to me to use on my '62 Chevy one Ton Duallie when the smallblock showed up with a 4 barrel manifold and no carb. Admittedly,it ran like crap for about a week-missed,coughed when I tried to accelerate,barely idled,then one day,just as I was about to hit 3rd gear,it backfired,blew a flame from under the hood,and ran great from then on. The truck hauled eight 55 gallon drums of Diesel to the Microwave sight on Spruce Mountain,at 10,262 feet,and never missed a beat. Granted,I've had other carbs that worked well,but I loved that Holley. Now,this 2100 Motorcraft carb I put on my '84 B-II is getting better,but this truck-I'm not sure where it is right now. I do know it has a couple of vacuum leaks (Very small ones from what I can see),and there's something missing in its linkage,something that apparently had a plate that an adjuster screw contacted for some reason,that may or may not have anything to do with it,so maybe I need to find a better carb to begin with. Looking at the plugs it appears close to "good" for jetting,just slightly darker than with the original carb,which was "perfect". I'll have to contact my "Ford Guy" and see what he can fix me up with. Where's the best deals on kits for these carbs?

Speed

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Speed...The 2100/2150 carburetor in our '87 Grand Wagoneer with 360 V-8 responded very well to a "blueprint" rebuild.  I spent extra time setting up all factory adjustments on the bench, including altitude compensator and choke.  The carburetor would respond like EFI, and cold starts at Yerington during the throes of winter were incredibly easy:  Open throttle to set choke (one press down with fuel charge), and the engine fired immediately.  Response on highway cruise was very responsive, mileage in the 15 mpg range for a 'Grand seemed quite good...This package survived emissions scrutiny through the final 1991 production of the AMC/Jeep classic.

Moses

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Speed   

   That sounds like just what I want. Soon as I'm out and about again,I'll try to hunt down a better 2100 for this beast (or at LEAST a COMPLETE one).

   Question-How is it possible for a carb that runs well on a 302 V-8 to ALSO run well,without any mods,on a 2.8L V-6? One of the guys who did this conversion on HIS B-II says the carb works fine with only adjustment of the low speed jets and idle speed. He says it loses a couple of mpg,but the B-II "likes" a little richer mixture. I just don't get his math. (This 2 barrel off a 302 Ford should be a perfect match for my 302 GMC six though,right?)

   Speed

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Speed...I would think you're better off with a 2100 type carburetor (Autolite or Motorcraft) from a tiny V-8 like the rare Ford 221 (3.6L) V-8.  (Think early 'sixties Ford Fairlane's Autolite variety.)  Even this is a 4.26L engine.  Perhaps there's a small Ford V-6 application that used the 2100 Motorcraft?  We can explore that option...

The air/fuel ratio might be fine on the 302 carburetor, the CFM flow is overkill.  An old rule of thumb is 1 CFM per cubic inch engine displacement will run an engine to 4,000 rpm.  Want to run faster, you need more CFM.  Your B-II 2.8L would run okay to 4,000 rpm with a carburetor from a 170 cubic inch engine (think 1-barrel Falcon or Mustang engine from the 'sixties).  You'd need more CFM, however, to reach 5500-6000 rpm if that's the plan...

Moses

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Speed   

I agree with you on carb size vs. engine size;how "basic was the stock carb on something like a '76 Ford (Mustang?) 2.8L? That's what I got my ignition ordered for-maybe the carb would be okay too. Don't really wanna spend the $100+.00 to buy it fresh,but I seriously doubt I'll find a used one in good enough shape to rebuild and use. What if I made a carb plate,like NASCAR uses to "down-size" the available cfm of this carb? I already expect it'd cause some massive tuning headaches.

   Would THIS work? There's very little hood clearance to work with,so it'd take a pretty short one barrel to work,and I'd have to remote-mount an air box for it.

   Speed

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Transdapt-2044-Carburetor-Adapter-Holley-350-500-650-cfm-2-bbl-To-Ford-Straigh-/221933436469?hash=item33ac437e35:g:ToEAAOSwwbdWPEKP&vxp=mtr

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I like the Mustang 2.8L carburetor idea.  Maybe you'll stumble onto a carburetor like that one used and rebuildable, though I bet that's a rare engine application...The restrictor would be a rough solution for a 302 V-8 carburetor.  You could reduce CFM flow, the A/F should be nearly correct and constant...This adapter at eBay is intriguing.  What is the B-II 2.8L manifold pattern?  I have some ideas...

Moses

Edited by Moses Ludel

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Speed   

What measurements do you need? The carb base measurement is the same used by the Holley and Motorcraft 2 barrels. This adapter would work for a little single throat,but I'd have to cut a hole for the carb or air filter in my hood. I'm planning to pull the 302 carb off and give it a freshen-up,and swap the main jets from my stock carb into it. What else might need to be changed over to work on this 302 carb,to make it work on the smaller engine?  

   I drove the truck a little more today and I lugged the engine a little on a long not very steep hill,and it started dropping cylinders as the plugs loaded up and fouled.Going down the other side,it picked 'em back up,but still ran rough. That's what made me think of using the jets from the 2.8's carb in the 302 carb. (Hope it won't take a special tool to R & R 'em.)

   Replaced the voltage regulator,I don't think it solved the problem,but it did give me something interesting. The switch that applied power to the coil when the ignition in the start position,I re-installed;now when I turn it on,the voltage on the volt gauge goes up a volt;turn off the cheater switch and the voltage drops a volt. Don't know what that's telling me,but it's weird,it fits right in on a vehicle of mine.:lol:  Naturally I'd like to just get the wiring fixed properly so things would work as they should,but stuff like this,and the charging system just mystify me. (I know how to wire in a 10si alternator-maybe that's what I should do. It'd be good to get rid of the external voltage regulator and most of the related wiring anyway,and I can find a working 10si just about anywhere.)

   Speed

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Speed...If the throttle bores and other pieces seem the same between your OEM carburetor and the 302 version, the jet change should work.  Compare parts carefully, especially the main jets and the metering tubes in the venturi cluster assemblies.  Jets and fuel metering must match, so use the 2.8L's jets and venturi cluster together if you attempt the modification...

The 10si alternator is less complicated.

Moses

Edited by Moses Ludel

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 Okay-the jets from my original carb appear to be #40's. (Looks like "AOF"to me,but my eyes aren't as good as they used to be.) I think I've decoded the number to be "40F". Does that sound right? I got them out with a minimum of damage (for ME). (BTW-I understand the older Holley carbs,whatever "they" mean by older,used the same jets as the Motorcraft carbs,but Motorcraft carbs have always been the same.)I also snagged some pieces of the fast idle cam and adjuster,since I believe that's the linkage my other carb is missing.

   I also got the metering rods;it's the block between the bores,has a big screw with a little pushrod and a ball under it and another screw holding it in,right? (I assume there's a spring too,but I didn't find one when the other two parts hit the floor.)

As soon as I can withstand the cold long enough,(Still pampering the lungs from this cold;don't wanna let it turn into Pneumonia again,ya know.;)) I'll go pull the carb off the BroncWorth,swap the main jets and see what I can do with the linkage. I have a couple of new base gaskets that are fairly thick,so they should take care of any vacuum leaks.

Yeah,the 10si would be the cheap/easy cure,and that sounds good to me. A-I have to get this thing reliable before actual Winter hits,and B-I'm so tired of fighting all these little gremlins I could scream. The Toyota's gonna get 10si'ed too,when I change the engine. Its alternator still works fine,even oil saturated,but why risk a catastrophic failure I can't fix out in the middle of God's Country? At least I can carry some spare parts and replace a Voltage Regulator,brushes,or the diodes if I have to.

Speed

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Speed...You need a fighting chance...First off, I should have qualified that there are no metering rods like a Carter or Rochester carburetor (which dip into the metering jets).  I meant the booster venturi cluster assemblies with tubes that you describe.  This is a fuel metering means.  If the tube orifices are different between the 2.8L and 302 venturi boosters, begin with the 2.8L boosters and tubes.  Likewise, use the 2.8L main metering jets for starters.

Not sure whether the 302 and 2.8L 2100/2150 carburetors are similar model years and design.  There were feedback and non-feedback Motorcraft carburetors over the years and even in given model years.  Parts interchangeability is dictated accordingly.

Use a carburetor rebuilding kit's diagrams and set of instructions for a sensible build.  No need to create undo complication here!

Moses

Edited by Moses Ludel

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Got the jets and metering rods changed. I cleaned up the spacer and used new relatively thick gaskets,one below and one above the spacer,backed off on the fast idle screw about half a dozen turns,marked the timing marks enough to see and set the timing around 13 degrees. (Motor's manual says 12 degrees for a '76 Mustang,which is basically what this engine's set up like,now.) Runs a ton better,but still feels slightly off. Now it starts pretty easily,idles well,cold it needs only 10 seconds of choke before it'll run okay without choke. Mixed signals;acts like it's a little rich still,but under load acts lean to me.

Going over the Summit to Spring Creek last night it started doing a violent,driveline jolting misfire every time I got into the throttle under load. Giving it about 1/3 to 1/2 choke smoothed it out but it didn't wanna pull anymore. I might back the timing off 2 or 3 degrees and see if that makes it happy. (Also noticed my throttle cable has a stiff spot just off idle-push and nothing happens,it won't move,push a little harder and it jumps to WFO. Hard to drive with finesse  that way. Not an issue if I'm racing it.) Over all,seems to have a lot more power. Used 1/8 tank of gas to go approx. 30 miles since getting it running. I'm guessing it was running about 8 mpg when it was jetted wrong,and probably around 16 now.

   Question-What's a relatively cheap/easy way to add a couple of inches of lift to the B-II front suspension? Since I added overload shocks on the back,and I don't carry as much weight as I'd planned,I'm noticing it drives VERY twitchy on the highway. I've also noticed a little wear on the insides of the front tires.

   Speed

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Speed...Raising the front end of any Ford Twin-Traction Beam front end is neither cheap nor easy.  The entire front axle needs to drop down as an assembly, there are aftermarket kits for the Bronco II and Ranger pickups, kits relocate/drop the pivot points and provide longer springs and shocks.  Otherwise, simply lengthening the front springs will only push the ends of the axle halves downward from their current anchor pivot points and cause the front wheels to go positive camber.  You get the picture, much like jacking or lifting the vehicle up by the frame and watching the front wheels drop in a positive degree camber arc...

The wear pattern at the front tires is either toe-set error or negative camber.  Negative camber could be sagging springs in all likelihood.  Toe-set is easier to address.  As for the rear overloads, they're likely overloading the back axle and frame, pitching the weight forward.  This would impact handling with a "bouncy" rear axle and irregular weight distribution front to rear.

Moses

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Got the main jets and metering rods/tubes changed;the tubes were different so the original carb top wouldn't fit,so I used the one off the original carb. Problem with that is that the two screws at the end of the float bowl fit,but the next two holes in the lid go into the corners of the float bowl,and the last two holes that straddle the air cleaner stud tower,go into thin air. I figured,"No problem,I'll just screw the air cleaner stud in,run a nut and washer down on it and that'll hold that end of the carb top down. Close,but no cigar. Unlike the older carb body,the newer body isn't threaded for the air cleaner stud,the TOP is. So I had to drill that hole out in the carb top,find a bigger diameter stud to fit the threads in the old carb body,and find nuts and a washer that fit. Finally got it together,and it runs pretty good,except under load,like going up a hill,where it goes to crap. A riding buddy asked me if I checked the power valve,and I said,"It's a Motorcraft carb,not a Holley." I didn't know the Motorcraft ALSO has a power valve.THAT could very well be the reason it's running so bad under load. I took the power valve off the old carb,and plan to put it in tomorrow. With ANY degree of luck,that'll make it run like it should.

   It appears the master cylinder's the culprit that's making the Toyota brakes screw up;at $18.00 I can replace it next time something sells,making the brakes functional,if not fully "happy".

   I think we've narrowed down the Harley's "no-start" condition to stale gas. Apparently,today's Ethanol treated gas only has a shelf life of 3 weeks to a Month,and this tank's been full for a little over 2 months. I plugged a good spark plug into the rear cylinder plug wire and cranked it,and it sparks fine,so I doubt there's an ignition problem. It COULD still be a stuck float,but either way,the gas is the problem. I wonder if that "Stabil" gas treatment will refresh gas that's already past its code date.

   Speed

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   I think we've narrowed down the Harley's "no-start" condition to stale gas. Apparently,today's Ethanol treated gas only has a shelf life of 3 weeks to a Month,and this tank's been full for a little over 2 months. I plugged a good spark plug into the rear cylinder plug wire and cranked it,and it sparks fine,so I doubt there's an ignition problem. It COULD still be a stuck float,but either way,the gas is the problem. I wonder if that "Stabil" gas treatment will refresh gas that's already past its code date.

   Speed

 

Speed...Yup, ethanol could be the culprit on the H-D, though two months would be short time for any damage...The needle could be stuck in its seat.  Light tapping with a screwdriver handle at the float bowl will usually loosen the float needle.

Quick story:  My vintage Honda XR350R dirt bike set for over a year with no Stabil in the tank and "winter" (likely MTBE additive) fuel in the tank.  The dual carburetors each had clogged, with the primary carb's pilot jet low enough to be submerged in the fuel bowl.  The engine would not idle nor would it respond to mixture adjustments.

I dropped the primary bowl with the carb in place and sprayed carburetor cleaner directly upward through the pilot jet.  The jet would not clear out.  I eventually removed both carburetors (not a simple task) and rebuilt them with $20 (apiece) overhaul gasket kits from Honda, rather pricey for nothing more than O-rings and neoprene gaskets.  The pilot jet on the primary carburetor was so impacted with encrusted ethanol fuel that it was impossible to clean out.  No amount of soaking in caustic carburetor cleaner would help, either...You cannot "drill" through plugged jets, the brass will yield and cause the hole to elongate, which increases fuel flow and modifies the fuel mixture.

A new pilot jet (Keihin) and thorough carburetor rebuild and staging later, I learned not to leave "modern" ethanol or winterized fuel in the carburetor bowls.  I run the engine to stall with the petcocks turned off and the bike upright.  

Stabil does work within reason, though fuel quickly loses its volatility when stored.  In my experience, three months is the maximum age for fuel performance, and that's already a loss in performance.  I like to run the bikes down low on fuel before storing, add Stabil or equivalent, then run out the fuel in the bowls.

For our motorcycling and ATV/UTV forum members, I've copied this reply as a new topic and placed it at the dirt motorcycle section...

Moses 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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I decided if I was making the "new" carb similar to the stock carb,the main jets and metering rods/tubes would do it;in trying to get rid of its dislike for running under load,I thought maybe I should change the power valve to the one from the stock carb. I did that,and it runs HORRENDOUS. I drove it around for 10 minutes trying to get it to "clear its throat and scream",but it just never did. It was worse than with the power valve from the 302 carb.I know the power valve from the stock carb was good when I pulled the carb,dumped the gas out and put it on a shelf in the shop. I swapped it into the new carb,and you know  the rest. I didn't mess with anything else. It ran like the choke was mostly closed but it was completely open. I don't know how the power valve could be damaged in storage,but since I didn't change anything else when I installed it,what else could it be? I think I can order a new one at NAPA for around $8.00 (goodbye groceries),but I'll see if there's anything else that could be the problem before I do that.

   BTW-when I test drove it,I noticed the volt meter was showing 14.?? volts,so it LOOKS like the alternator's alternating again. (WTF??) I think I'm gonna re-name this truck "The Bermuda Triangle".

   Speed

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Okay,as described elsewhere,I changed the main jets and metering tubes,the truck ran relatively good,but very rich. I swapped the power valve from the stock carb thinking it was the problem and it went FAR worse. I decided it HAD to be the power valve was blown out so I bought a new one. from the time I left to get the part and the time I got home,it went from 45# oil pressure to 0 as I parked it here. I checked the oil,which WAS full right after the oil change,about 75 miles ago,and it was empty. I added three quarts I got for the Toyota,and it shows around 25#. I suspect there's a lot of gas in what's left of the oil. (Would severely flooding the engine with gas cause the oil to leave the pan via the combustion chambers or breathers? That would sure explain a lot-the loss of 3 or 4 quarts of oil,and 3/4 tank of gas in 75 miles,and all the blue smoke. At next possible opportunity I'll do another oil change.) Anyway,yesterday,I got the power valve changed out,also checked for problems with the float and needle-n-seat but they were fine. Wanted to test run it last night but the battery was too weak,so I put the charger on it and checked it about an hour ago. It fired right up,needed about 1/4 choke and ran GREAT. (I still think it has a burnt valve,but I can add that to my future expenditures list.) I'm not going to drive it though,until I get the oil and filter changed. It runs like it's still a little rich,but I'll have to run a tank of gas through it,read the plugs a couple of times,check the mileage before I'm sure. I guess this'll be where the "fun" starts-trying to fine-tune for economy.

   Speed

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I did the oil change on the BroncWorth last night;drained about 3-4 quarts of oil and about a gallon of gas out of the crankcase. Installed a new FL1-A filter,4.5 quarts of 20W-50 oil and a can of "Restore" oil treatment. I drove the truck around,running some errands,and it runs very well,and shows just under 50 pounds of oil pressure cold,about 35-40 warmed up. Has plenty of torque from idle on up,revs cleanly to where I chicken out and get off the throttle. (about 4500 r's) I did notice some foam in the coolant;I'll monitor the fluid levels and see if anything is  increasing or decreasing. Didn't smell burning coolant in the exhaust or gas/exhaust in the radiator. I can't drive it extensively because it's down to 1/8 tank of gas (with 79 miles since last fill up-approx 2.5 mpg!!) Expecting MUCH better mileage;it FEELS like it's still running a little fat though-is there a way to lean it out just a little from 1,000 rpm up without re-jetting it?

Regarding lifting the front end "just a little":

"The entire front axle needs to drop down as an assembly"

What I'm seeing is the front is developing a little bit of "VW squat",so what I'm looking to do is just lift it an inch or so at the springs.(Same effect as putting a stiffer torsion bar on a VW's rear suspension when you install a Corvair engine. Just makes the wheels stand upright again.) Standing back and looking at it,it doesn't look as bad as I thought;maybe I'll just have the alignment shop check the alignment and check it for parts that are terminal. I don't really want to go for a "Lift Kit"-I just want the front springs to pick up the nose about an inch or so,not messing with the pivot point.

   Coincidentally,the Toyota,s almost empty of oil,developed a leak in a heater hose under the intake manifold a few days ago,and the brakes are still being wacky. I drove it to Walmart for oil and filter for the BroncWorth,it wouldn't start when I was ready to leave,so I caught a ride with a friend. Had another friend take me,a new battery,gallon of coolant and a tow chain up there this afternoon;swapped the battery,filled the radiator and threw the chain in the bed and it fired right up. Drove it down to the traffic light and the brakes were pretty low. Got to the next light and they were just gone. Got the truck home and though the pedal was still low,they were dragging bad enough I had to use 4W-low range to back it into the driveway-rear wheels just spun in 2WD. I think it's about finished for a while. I'll try a master cylinder and brake fluid flush and re-bleed in a couple of months if I can get enough $$ ahead. (I ALSO need to "wash" the underside of the Toyota before I start any serious work  on it. I'm thinking about half a dozen cans of "Family Dollar" oven cleaner and a high pressure nozzle on the garden hose should do it. I'll just pretend I don't see the skating rink that'll make in the alley.

 

   Speed

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   I've decided to go with a 10si one wire 63@ alternator;bought one new from NAPA for about sixty five bucks,I'll install it tomorrow,since it's supposed to get up to 40 degrees with no snow or rain. It'll be just that much more wiring I can eliminate.

   I guess the only way to fix the start circuit power issue will be to find the wiring from the ignition switch,find the wire I need  and trace it out to see where it disappeared to. I fixed this same problem on my Fairmont by replacing one melted wire,but I don't remember what wire I replaced,and I don't know how close the B-II wiring is to the Fairmont's. That happened back when I still knew everything. 

   I've discovered the wiring diagrams in my Haynes manual are absolutely worthless to me. Most of the connectors,junctions,plugs and bridges are represented only by numbers,there's no code to tell what's what. Very sketchy color codes,and every component is represented by a box instead of a picture,and they're not located correctly in comparison to other components,so if you're not already familiar with the vehicle's wiring,it's near impossible to make any sense of them. Anyway,that'll pretty much take care of making the BroncWorth reliable. I STILL haven't had time to do anything about the throttle cable,but if there's time that might also happen tomorrow. (I notice it's 3:15 AM,but it's not officially tomorrow until I sleep and wake up.)

   Speed

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Speed...I rely on the factory shop manuals and their wiring diagrams.  For Ford F-trucks, I have the 1985 and 1993 models covered.  Is the Bronco II an '85?

Moses

Edited by Moses Ludel

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Mine is an '84,mostly. Like most vehicles its age,it's had some "creative" wiring done,and some mods done by accident. We're looking at approx. 10 days of cold,snowy weather,so I'm going to leave it as is for now. Today through Tuesday it's supposed to be above freezing for a couple of hours a day but I'd like a little bigger "window" than that,knowing I'll have to stop and warm my hands from time to time.

   Under and left of the steering column under hood there's a bundle of wires that show signs of melting at a plug;there are a couple of purple wires with white tracers that are pretty crispy,one is bare for half an inch  going into the plug. I've isolated everything and tried to seal 'em up with liquid tape,I can't get hands on 'em to tape or heat-shrink 'em. So far everything else seems to work okay except the start position ignition feed,so if that wire isn't purple w/white tracer,I'm not sure what the purple goes to.

   On a slightly different subject,I find it interesting that on GM stuff,you can't leave  your ignition on the run position (that's what I'm told anyway) with the engine dead or it smokes the module,but on my Bronco II it doesn't hurt it a bit-I don't even HAVE an accessory position on my ignition switch-I just leave the key on to listen to the radio while I work. I'm hoping the Dura-Spark II system also works this way.

Speed

Edited by Speed
Forgot a detail.

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