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1984 4x4 XLT... Buy it or run away screaming in terror? Help me decide.


09fx4guy

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Buy it. What kind of car / truck can you get for 250 that is not rusted into the ground. You can swap the engine for something else, if you wanted to, but for me, I would keep it original. If not for the fact of preserving it, but an engine swap would be complicated, and if it will start / run, why put more work on yourself. The interior will be a bit difficult to restore, but it is doable.

Worst case, you can buy it, and if you decide against fixing it up, I don't think there will be more than two or three hundred guys on here willing to buy it.
 


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franklin2

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Be warned these old trucks with the carbs had a computer control system on them. Parts are hard to find and it was very complex. I can imagine all the varmints through the years have eaten all the hoses and wires up.

But underneath all that mess is a good little engine, the 2.8 v6. You can strip all that junk out of it and put a distributor and ignition box from a 1978 pinto or mustang in it, and have a simple good running little truck. This is what I did to my 84 BII and it runs like a top. Not a huge amount of power, but a very willing little engine, reminds me of a old vw beetle air cooled engine. Just keep it to the floorboard and it does fine.

The only problem with mine is it uses a little bit of oil. I am hoping it's just the valve seals, they claim they go out on these engines. It uses a quart every 600-700 miles, but runs great otherwise.
 

rusty ol ranger

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If you wernt so far away id give you 300 for it right now. Shit i paid 375 for my rusted poop box
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Buy it. What kind of car / truck can you get for 250 that is not rusted into the ground. You can swap the engine for something else, if you wanted to, but for me, I would keep it original. If not for the fact of preserving it, but an engine swap would be complicated, and if it will start / run, why put more work on yourself. The interior will be a bit difficult to restore, but it is doable.

Worst case, you can buy it, and if you decide against fixing it up, I don't think there will be more than two or three hundred guys on here willing to buy it.
If it was closer and a longbed I would do $300 for just the bed...
 

rusty ol ranger

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SnowinOnRaton

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I really appreciate everyone’s responses here. Very helpful and encouraging information. I’m gonna try and do some more investigating this week. The truck is just down the road from me. I’ll post some more pics when I do. As soon as he gets the title in his name (it’s still in his deceased mother’s name) I can buy it and bring it home.

I’ve been trying to read up here on the Duraspark conversion. Do any sellers offer a complete kit of everything I would need or do I have to go sourcing parts individually? Also I was going to buy a Ford factory shop manual off eBay. I noticed there are a couple different versions. There is a condensed “book” version and then there are the larger “3 ring binder” versions with the tabs. Any recommendations regarding service manuals?

Thx,
John
 

franklin2

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I bought the electrical EVTM manual for mine off ebay to help me with the duraspark II conversion. After that, everything else is standard mechanical stuff found on most all rangers and BII's. Once you get it converted over, it will be a pretty simple vehicle to learn how to work on. A shop manual off ebay would not be money wasted, buy either one you want.

There are no "kits" for the conversion. I realized when I did mine, your year was close to the end of Ford using this engine. So as the years have progressed, certain parts are becoming a little harder to come by. That is one of the main reasons to get rid of the computer control, a lot of those little sensors and actuators are no longer available from regular sources. When you go to order the distributor, you will be sticking with a late 70's mustang or pinto with a 2.8. I think I bought my distributor from O Reilly's. You will find if the store does sell the part, they will always have to order it, they do not keep anything in stock for the 2.8 setup.

You have a couple of choices when you go to buy the ignition module. If you get the duraspark II module, you will need to find the short harness from the module to the dist. Once you do that, it's plug and play. Your truck is already wired for this system, they still used this system on the 4 cylinder trucks and they used the same harness.

The other choice which I used was to go buy a GM HEI module and mount it on a heatsink and wire it in to the duraspark distributor.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I really appreciate everyone’s responses here. Very helpful and encouraging information. I’m gonna try and do some more investigating this week. The truck is just down the road from me. I’ll post some more pics when I do. As soon as he gets the title in his name (it’s still in his deceased mother’s name) I can buy it and bring it home.

I’ve been trying to read up here on the Duraspark conversion. Do any sellers offer a complete kit of everything I would need or do I have to go sourcing parts individually? Also I was going to buy a Ford factory shop manual off eBay. I noticed there are a couple different versions. There is a condensed “book” version and then there are the larger “3 ring binder” versions with the tabs. Any recommendations regarding service manuals?

Thx,
John
Binders are the only way to go. I have a '85 set in binders and a '88 condensed book.

Binder was meant to be used by the guys in the shop, tabs make sections easy to find and it is printed on good heavy paper. The condensed book is almost printed on tissue paper. And if you get the three piece binder set you also get the emissions service manual which has a lot of info on carbs and vacuum systems.

You will want the EVTM also. The parts manual on CD is kinda nice for reference pictures and part numbers once you figure out how to code them, it has all light trucks (Ranger/BII, F-series, E-series and Aerostar)
 

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Also I was going to buy a Ford factory shop manual off eBay. I noticed there are a couple different versions. There is a condensed “book” version and then there are the larger “3 ring binder” versions with the tabs. Any recommendations regarding service manuals?
Good move, and money well spent. Definitely get the EVTM (Electrical and Vacuum Trouble-Shooting Manual). I have both versions (actually, several different versions) of the '84 manuals. The paperback "book" Truck Shop Manual is fine. Here is my "go to" set I that use the most on my '84:
49038


Watch eBay; prices vary and if you're patient you can get manuals very reasonably. Just shop for the best deals on the EVTM and Shop Manual. I wouldn't worry about getting an '84 Engine / Emissions Diagnostic Manual- you would need it if you were trying to run the original feedback carb EEC-IV setup.

TRS is also the greatest source on the planet for real-world info on these trucks. I'm glad to see that you're already reading through older posts here.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Good move, and money well spent. Definitely get the EVTM (Electrical and Vacuum Trouble-Shooting Manual). I have both versions (actually, several different versions) of the '84 manuals. The paperback "book" Truck Shop Manual is fine. Here is my "go to" set I that use the most on my '84:
View attachment 49038

Watch eBay; prices vary and if you're patient you can get manuals very reasonably. Just shop for the best deals on the EVTM and Shop Manual. I wouldn't worry about getting an '84 Engine / Emissions Diagnostic Manual- you would need it if you were trying to run the original feedback carb EEC-IV setup.

TRS is also the greatest source on the planet for real-world info on these trucks. I'm glad to see that you're already reading through older posts here.
I don't even have a 2.8 anymore and I still get use out of my emissions manual. It seems to have more stuff about carbs, ignitions and the vacuum system. When I got mine the set was like $60, no idea what they run now.

The third piece is some predelivery inspection/service thing. Neat to thumb thru, kinda worthless for anything in 2020.
 

Eddo Rogue

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Offer $100 bucks.
 

RobbieD

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I don't even have a 2.8 anymore and I still get use out of my emissions manual. It seems to have more stuff about carbs, ignitions and the vacuum system. When I got mine the set was like $60, no idea what they run now.

The third piece is some predelivery inspection/service thing. Neat to thumb thru, kinda worthless for anything in 2020.
You are correct; the Engine/Emissions Manuals have proven to be vital for my '90 and '94 trucks, especially when they want to misbehave.

My point was mainly that the EVTM and shop manual would be the most helpful to somebody new to a Ranger. A Duraspark conversion eliminates the EEC-IV system, otherwise the emissions manual would be essential.

It seems that most people doing the Duraspark on the 2.8 use a different carb. I had very good results converting and using my original 2150A, and two Ford manuals that really helped me were the 2.8 engine management training manual and an early 80s Ford carb reference book. But you are right, the emissions book is good to have.
 

franklin2

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You are correct; the Engine/Emissions Manuals have proven to be vital for my '90 and '94 trucks, especially when they want to misbehave.

My point was mainly that the EVTM and shop manual would be the most helpful to somebody new to a Ranger. A Duraspark conversion eliminates the EEC-IV system, otherwise the emissions manual would be essential.

It seems that most people doing the Duraspark on the 2.8 use a different carb. I had very good results converting and using my original 2150A, and two Ford manuals that really helped me were the 2.8 engine management training manual and an early 80s Ford carb reference book. But you are right, the emissions book is good to have.
I am using the original computer controlled carb on my conversion and it does run very good. The fuel solenoid is disconnected. You do have to rewire the electric choke to the "s" terminal of the alternator.

I also had to take the fast idle cam and grind another step in it. It originally had only one step for the fastest cold idle speed, and then the computer took over with the idle control motor for the rest of the warm-up idle speed. So I would set the choke and it would start right up, but once I took off and it came off the fast idle speed, it was a little too slow sometimes and would stall. I ground another step in the cam and then adjusted the white plastic piece which changes the ratio of idle speed to choke opening, and that fixed it.
 


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