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1988 Ford Bronco II 2.9L Automatic with 4WD.

Fredd

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Richlands NC
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Hello everyone,

my B2 became gutless and will over heat ever since we replaced the distributor. the only reason I replaced the distributor is due to a broken module bolt that I believed would not allow the module to make good contact with the distributor body to transfer heat away from it... I would easily cruse the highway at 65 or 70 mph no problem but after diving it for 40 minutes or an hour it would stall and die until I let it cool off for about 30 minutes, then it would fire right up and run just great. I figured fixing this broken bolt would solve the stall and cooldown period.

after I installed the new distributer and a new ignition module, everything when south... it took forever to get it started and when it did it ran really really bad, this is when I noticed the timing was way off, I had to remove the distributor again, reseat it after slightly turning the rotor to get it closer to TDC. I have unplugged the spout connector to set the timing at 10 BTDC but it jumps to 23 BTDC at idle once the spout connector is plugged back in. but while driving it I could not get it above 25 mph..

after trying to resolve this issue on my own for several months, I gave up and sent it in to a respectable repair shop in my town, they determined that the computer needed to be replaced and I gave them the green light to do so. I ran a lot better and i was happy to have it back on the road but i felt like it was lacking power but not sure if it was just me.. just use the B2 on weekends or around town locally, never on the freeway anymore since I got another vehicle, so I was fine with it.

several months later I tried taking it on the freeway just for kicks and again it be again overheating, and became really weak, it lost a lot of power and could hardly move its own weight until I let if cool off for about an hour. it felt like the parking break and the break pedal was applied. after an hour it was all good again.

what could be causing this loss of power and over heating? I have also replaced the radiator, water pump, thermostat, the transmission cooler with a larger one, its an external one, one that attached to the front of the radiator.

I drove it tonight, it runs good, a bit gutless but its fine for around town, I want to be able to take it out further and not worry about it breaking down for good.

i have had a handful of people tell me the timing should not go to 23 BTDC and just as many say thats not the problem but no one has any resolutions.. ig you all know what else I can look at please let me know..

my background working on cars is limited, I got a certificate from a city college as a certified auto technician back in 1996, I did now work as a mechanic for about 3 years after that then moved onto the Military.
 


McWillies

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1989
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2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Could be that the new ignition module is faulty.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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I suspect you've cooked the motor. Has the rad fluid gone down any? When the engine overheated the metal expands and crushes the head gasket. Then it no longer seals the head to the block properly. A lot of times there will then be a loss of coolant. The rings could also lose tension and have a loss of compression.
I would do the "glove test". Search for that on TRS for how to do it. That will tell you if you have a leak of compression gases into the radiator system. Also do a compression check, and finally a leakdown test if you have the capability.
 

rusty ol ranger

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2.9's like to crack heads when overheated.

Check the oil and see if it looks like a slimy green milkshake. If it does youre gonna be replacing heads.

The timing jumping up with the SPOUT in is normal.

The only other thing i can think of would be a clogged catalytic converter.

Either way, hopefully you didnt kill a head overheating it.
 

2011Supercab

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Have you checked the timing since you got it back from the mechanic ?
I would easily cruse the highway at 65 or 70 mph no problem but after diving it for 40 minutes or an hour it would stall and die until I let it cool off for about 30 minutes, then it would fire right up and run just great.
That is also the symptoms of the ignition coil going bad.
 

4x4prepper

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> i have had a handful of people tell me the timing should not go to 23 BTDC

Let the vehicle warm uip and then check your base timing (10-12 BTDC), vacuum, and RPMs at idle without spout.

Since this started after the distributor change, I suspect it was put in 180 degrees off and then twisted around until it ran. A picture of where your number #1 spark plug on the cap would help. Been 10 years since I owned a 2.9L, but, I remember it being about 11 o'clock against the firewall. If it is at the 1-9 o'clock position, the distributor is in wrong.
 

Fredd

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Richlands NC
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1988
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Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
I suspect you've cooked the motor. Has the rad fluid gone down any? When the engine overheated the metal expands and crushes the head gasket. Then it no longer seals the head to the block properly. A lot of times there will then be a loss of coolant. The rings could also lose tension and have a loss of compression.
I would do the "glove test". Search for that on TRS for how to do it. That will tell you if you have a leak of compression gases into the radiator system. Also do a compression check, and finally a leakdown test if you have the capability.
I’ll have to get myself a compression gauge and test compression. But I have checked the oil for a emulsification and haven’t seen any yet, the radiator fluid stays full, so I’m hoping that’s not the issue. The cylinder head gasket on the right side is new because I had to replace it when I remove the head to repair some broken exhaust bolts.
 

Fredd

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Richlands NC
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1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
2.9's like to crack heads when overheated.

Check the oil and see if it looks like a slimy green milkshake. If it does youre gonna be replacing heads.

The timing jumping up with the SPOUT in is normal.

The only other thing i can think of would be a clogged catalytic converter.

Either way, hopefully you didnt kill a head overheating it.
The catalytic converter has been removed. When I mentioned overheating it, it goes up about 3/4 of the way before we turn it off. It doesn’t completely over heat, it ja sent boil over.
 

rusty ol ranger

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1987
Make / Model
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Engine Type
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Engine Size
177 CID
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
The catalytic converter has been removed. When I mentioned overheating it, it goes up about 3/4 of the way before we turn it off. It doesn’t completely over heat, it ja sent boil over.
Ive ran mine up that high before with no boil over.

Have you flushed/changed the coolant? Is the mix right?
 

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