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Old 11-11-2009, 01:31 PM   #1
briansz
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Default Setting initial timing (2.3 with dizzy) - High Idle issue

Maybe this is a dumb question.

I want to know the correct way of setting initial timing after a t-belt replacement or an engine buildup. I've always been able to fudge my way through this but I can never get the truck running quite the way I want it to.

Obviously the cam sprocket, timing mark on the crank pulley, and accessory shaft pulley need to align as the dizzy rotor hits the plug contact for cylinder #1.

All the manuals say to plug the vac advance line and have the engine idle to the specified RPM. My engine (and I've put six 2.3's into this truck over the years) never idles well - if at all - without the vac advance hooked up.

I'm hooked to ported vacuum on the carb.

What's the deal? The only thing I have not replaced is the distributor. I have a few of them around but I thought I'd ask more about the correct way of doing this before swapping on another.

Right now the truck idles high or wants to stall out. If I back the throttle linkage screw out on the carb, it will stall at idle. If I coast down to a stop against the engine, the idle will come back up as if by magic when I step on the clutch. A quick blip of the gas pedal will drop the idle down, but the engine will begin to stall out or the idle will go back up.

I'd just like to have the motor idle at a reasonable RPM until I swap the 2.3T and EFI in this spring. I've looked for vacuum leaks with propane and found nothing. The carb linkage is not binding and it's been rebuilt in the last 1000 miles.

83 Ranger 2wd. 87 2.3 bottom end .030 with forged pistons, '83 head with CompCams High Energy .420 lift slider/port/polish, fully balanced, Stock Duraspark Ignition, YF 1bbl carb, electric fuel pump.
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Old 11-19-2009, 09:26 PM   #2
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Found my issue today. High idle screw turned in too far was having bizarre interactions with the stepped cam that's connected to the rod on the electric choke butterfly. Based on just starting it up now, it looks like I need to up the fast idle a tiny bit and and richen the choke and/or mixture screw slightly for cold start, but all is otherwise OK.

The carb idle circuit is not doing all that well at this point, but it's not horrible, just runs a little rough at low RPMs. A kit for it will be installed in the near future. I might even hook up the anti-dieseling solenoid then
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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have fun working on the 1bbl nightmare from hell.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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Well, you could always upgrade to a 2bbl...not much work involved...if you get the right one...I'm using the Motorcraft 5200 from a 78 Mustang II...I don't recommend the 2bbl from the 2.0 engine...they are another weird dream...
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
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Seems like the rebuilds last about two weeks. I actually converted to a '70's YF and swapped the jet and metering rod from the YFA into there hoping it would be better, but it's still an abortion.

I have so many parts here that I could mess with. A couple of the Holley/Weber 2bbls, some 1.02 Autolite 2150's. I even have a Mustang 2.3 motor with the oval port head and manifold that will take the Autolite carb. Bought the spacer/adapter for that too.

But I'm currently building up the '87 2.3T and will be inserting it in the spring. Just running out of patience with the whole carbed setup, it's an abomination. Don't want to devote more time/treasure to it unless there's no other alternative. Hell, I'd buy the quad Mikuni or dual Weber sidedraft setup straight away tomorrow if I wasn't doing the EFI turbo.

I don't care how much power the turbo motor makes or doesn't make, at least it might idle and/or blow emissions someday. I like the truck and despise the induction system.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:23 AM   #6
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I'm using the Motorcraft 5200 from a 78 Mustang II

I'm curious how that is working for you. A lot of people say that the 32/36 progressive carbs lack bottom end torque on the 2.3 compared to the 1bbl, did you find that to be the case?

How did you make the choke work (or does your carb have an electric choke?) Most of the 2bbl 5200's that I see are the water choke models.

Thanks for any info. I think I still have one of the Stovebolt 1bbl to 2bbl adapters I could try things out with.

I believe my complete Mustang 2.3 is of the same vintage as your carb, so I probably already have most of what I need as far as the 2bbl setup.
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Old 11-22-2009, 02:36 PM   #7
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The choke I converted to a manual...

Not sure about the differences between 1 & 2 bbl performance...I had put a newer 1bbl on to try it, and it ran great...but I couldn't get it to idle properly...and then I found the 5200 in nearly new condition and it worked great...

It does have plenty of pep when it is running right (I'm not driving it currently but hope to soon) and the only major issue I had was flooding out on wet days...which I think was due to the distributor and wires getting too wet to spark...it would stall out, but start up after I opened the breather for a bit...then carry on until the road spray overpowered it...

I solved most of that by simply covering one half of the rad with cardboard...and coating the wires with silicone...and, of course, putting a Tempo dizzy boot on my distributor to keep the moisture out...

What it did for me, though, was solve a vac line problem...the 2.0 carb setup for Canada had too many emission controls...the 78 was of a vintage where emission controls were just a pipe dream of the environmentalists...

Hope this helps...but there are a few other threads on this very thing...I think it you'll find a few posts on intakes and the holley 350 carb setup...that and the FI intake from an 86 Ranger (with an adaptor) is, apparently, the best for this motor...
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:02 PM   #8
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Without being highly specific, I went to the older YF carb for the same reasons. I'll also say it's amazing how much stuff you can delete under the hood and have the engine still run.

I've been messing with this truck for what seems like an eternity. Was my daily drive from maybe 1996 to 2001, then it mostly sat until this past spring. Now it's mostly my driver again, keeps me from racking up miles on the much newer car.

In addition to the built motor that's under the hood, over the years I've collected the 70's Mustang 2.3, a 2.3 from an '84 parts truck, the '87 2.3 turbo, and parts from another 2.3T out of a Merkur. Also another half-dozen heads of all types (oval, D, round) with intakes, and a couple M50D trannies. Several Autolite 2150's with small venturis and some Holley 5200 2bbl's. Even had one of the EFI lower intakes welded up when I thought I could make a spacer/adapter for the round port head (couldn't due to factory distributor size/clearance).

This stuff is dirt cheap sometimes and when it is, I pick it up for spares. I even had the Holley 390 4bbl and Offy intake setup but I got strapped for cash and had to let that go earlier this year.

If I get motivated I will go through the Mustang 2.3 and swap the pan/pickup configuration and toss some new seals in it, then try out one of the Autolite 2150's. Since the truck is now my driver, I've been more content recently to just leave things alone than in the past.

I was just gifted a '73 F100 that's a little rough cosmetically but working pretty well, so once that gets registered and on the road I will be able to play more with the Ranger again.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:37 PM   #9
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I had a fairly large collection of spare parts for quite a while also...but they just take up space...and I had to move...so no options to take things that were "nice to have"...

I agree...sometimes it's better to just get it working and leave it alone...unless you have something else to drive while you work on other projects...but I'd be interested in trying the 350 carb setup...just to see if it bumps the HP up any...now that I've got a nice working head and had some P&P done on it, I'm tempted to try to max it out...but after my maxed out CC's are paid down...
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