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2.8 rebuild !!!!!!!

1989

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ok so id like to rebuild my stock (and VERY WORN OUT) 2.8 in my 84 ranger but i cant find a decent price on a rebuild kit i would like to do a better cam and machine the head etc. any referances on a place to go threw ?:headbang:
 


rangerbum

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I've never seen any reasonable price rebuild kit for the 2.8 but what I have seen is people piecing together what they need, part by part, which takes a ton of time, but turns out great.

But with that said, the general consensus from TRS and the members will be to skip to a 91-94 explorer 4.0. I can see clearly on both sides of the fence. I love keeping the "heart and soul" that a rig was built with in it, because each rig has its own feel. But, when it comes to putting that much work and money into it, the 2.8 is just not the canvas to paint this picture on.

After a rebuild, the 2.8 will be more driveable, way more reliable, have the power close to what it came stock with(even with a more aggressive cam), stop the ungodly blow-by for a while, and quiet down quite a bit. The gas mileage isnt going to change as drastically as you expect, the power is pretty lacking even in perfect shape, the feedback carb is a bastard to work with, and the cost is just not worth it.

I don't want to be all negative, I personally have a 2.8 in my BroncoII, and it does have a neat feel. But with a meager 127k well cared for miles on it, it sounds like its going to explode, it smokes like a chimney, leaks all over itself, blow-by ruins a good filter in 10 minutes(i run my crankcase breather out a fender now), hesitates, stalls almost every time it returns to idle, carb banks out and it dies going up hill, down hill, side hill, its just not the motor for a rig that sees any offroad or onroad action....

If you have 300-500 that you are willing to spend, look around on craigslist for a 4.0. Fuel injection really is a great thing, and a 4.0 is perfect for our rigs, it feels right, because that's what they are made for.

I have 2 questions for you though. 1: What are you looking to spend? 2: What are you expecting out of that rebuild?
Up to you though my man. That motor may have some more meaningful value to you, that makes it worthwhile.
 

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I have a really good running 2.8 hiding in the barn for the simple reasons of 1) I got REALLY feed up with the carb set up, even after throwing the E-carb in the trash, 2) for the cost of a NEW, NOT reman'd carb, I bought a 93 X with a blown a4ld tranny, and swapped over to 4. OH! power. The swap is not hard at all. I even stripped the harness down to 2 fuses, 1 diode, and 2 splices into the original wiring of my 84 BII. I do miss the simplicity of the 2.8 when it comes to troubleshooting (knocking, add oil, overheat, add coolant, stopped running, if gas is good, change out TFI module) but overall I AIN'T going back to Barstow, er, ah, 2.8 power. It just isn't worth it.
 

drgrcr

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I am in the process of gathering parts for a 2.8 rebuild. I have been able to find most of what I need on E-bay but I am not in a hurry.
My current Ranger has a pretty sick 2.8, has the blow by and smokes when it starts. But it sounds solid and actually runs fairly good for as bad as it is.

It has the Dura-Spark conversion and a 1.08 Ford 2 barrel. Gets 20-22 mpg around town with the AC on and I don't drive for mileage. I could put a 4 liter or a V8 or anything else that would fit between the frame rails, but the 2.8 does what I need. When the carb is set up right it will perform fine. Cold starts in 30 degree weather are fine, as is the hot weather driving. I don't have any problems with over heating and I live in Arizona, where the temp is over 100' degrees daily.

The plan for the 2.8 rebuild is, Mustang II heads with 2.9 valve's Raise the compression to 9.5 to 1 and the usually bore and rebuild. The heads are almost done. If you would like send me a PM and I will send you photo's.
 

1989

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well id just like to have a fresh motor im sure you guys understand that lol but my buddy has a 2.9 and thinks his shit dont stink lol i dont relly need to do the 2.8 fuel injection would be nice for the simple fact that like you said sidehilling and going up and down hills it loads up like a pig and dies butim willing to spend whatever money is necessary but id like to keep it arond 5 to $600
 

enginepaul

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An opinion here. I've rebuilt three 2.8s; one was really an overhaul - expanded pistons, ridge ream, heads re-done and no other machine shop work. Had to do a new cam and all bearings and of course rings. Engine ran great for a long time and was running great when the truck was sold. A good established machine shop can check your parts once you disassemble the engine.
You probably only need a valve job in most cases; many 'rebuilt' heads are little more than a standard valve job anyway.
I order the parts as needed because these are not all that common anymore and I doubt if there is a saving in a kit. I found the gaskets to be way expensive, I used Fel Pro, but I'm sure any 're-builder' grade gasket set would do just fine.
 

tidmarshsmiths5

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For you guys that have done the 4.0 swap where a 2.8 was; what is the gas mileage?

I get 18.5 to 22.5 most of the time (I have a pretty good 1985 BII 135k 2.8) - it runs solid, and other than some leaks (valve cover gaskets) and some around the rear main seal I guess (haven't had the clutch out to see but that's my best guess). I'm not having to add oil or anything like that since I tightened up the oil pan bolts.

I'm never going to trail it, mudholes or anything like that. I use it to go hunting (some pretty steep power lines but that's about the roughest part) and will tow a jonboat this spring and summer as well as a 900lb pop up camper.

BUT that 4.0 sounds like it is exactly what it will need when the time comes that I have to replace the 2.8 because it will give me the tow power so that I don't worry so much about the small 2.8. However, if it were to take my gas mileage down to 15 or so, I'm not so sure I will be so inclined. I have a FM 145 5 spd now...really don't want to have to get into the changing the transmission out as well - but if I find an explorer with the right tranny (5spd), then I'll have to look at that as well.

Honestly, I hope the 2.8 has another 100k before I have to worry about that but I'm going to start keeping an eye out for the 91-94 engine with lower miles for the swap. A 2.8 rebuild around here is @ $2300 with them putting it in, etc. and I can do the 4.0 swap a lot cheaper not to mention parts will have to be easier to come by...and those 4.0s are great engines (my brother has a 96 Explorer and the engine is great) not to mention smooth. Does it mate right up to the FM 145?

Biggest questions: MPG? Tranny swap costs? Which is the absolute best 4.0 for this swap? Figuring out how to do it because I'm not as savvy as you guys on this stuff...may have to pay someone to help me at the least...
 

EVOrider

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In its day....the 2.8L was alright. It had the power and got the job done. It still does actually, just not very fast like the newer stuff.

The 2.9L came along and did all that, but did it better. 4.0L came along and does it all....great engine.

Right after the 2.8L....the Automotive community changed big time. Everything was becoming EFI. Lots of the emissions stuff was going away because the EFI engines were simply running cleaner. They were also getting lots more powerful. The downside, everything is alot more complicated today.

I'll always keep my '83 in its original form. It doesn't get driven much as I have a company truck to drive.
 

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I find that the 1st GEN. 4.0 is the simplest to wire up, esp. the 89-92 models. My current 4.0 is from a 93 "X". To answer the question about MPG with the 4.0 swap, well, my BII is a TK5, 3.73 geared, 31" tired rig. It got about 21-22 MPG with the old 2.8, and gets about 23-24 with the 4.0. That doesn't sound like much of a return for the work, does it? Well, where I live, it is pretty hilly, so the extra torque is a wonderful thing to have, since I do not have to shift gears NEAR as often now, if at all. Also, I now longer have to argue with a cranky azz carb that likes to load up, adjust the rockers about every six months to keep the engine power up, and the NOISE down. I can also now actually enjoy going trail-riding now, since I don't have to constantly "blip" the throttle to kep the engine from dying on an off-camber climb, let alone a straight one.
Overall, the 4.0 swap has been a good choice, I think. (oh, and parts availability has improved majorly.)
 
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wildbill23c

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If you just want to stop all the oil leaking issues you'll have to scrap together a seal and gasket list and go down and get them, I haven't seen a rebuild kit for the 2.8L unfortunately because it was a damn good engine regardless of what everyone thinks, no it wasn't a racing engine by any means but it was a very solid engine, aside from the funk carburetor issues they sometimes had. I'm in the process right now of having my 84 bronco 2's engine seals and gaskets slowly replaced a few at a time, but have found for a 29 year old engine it still runs and drives great and has plenty of power for what I want it to do. My 84 Ford Ranger pulled a 16 foot travel trailer all over the country and never had a problem. These engines have more power than a lot of people give them credit for. Not everyone needs to do 0-60 in 4 seconds, these engines weren't built for that and neither are the 4.0's they just guzzle more fuel it seems like from the 93 ranger I had for a while that would be lucky to get in the mid to high teens for fuel economy. Sure anyone with money is going to tell you to swap engines, but they also aren't living in your shoes on a budget either.

Get the main seals, valve cover gaskets, and while you are at it throw in a new set of head gaskets to be safe. Also do the oil pan gaskets as well. I'm doing all the above while the tranny is out of my bronco 2 due to the flywheel deciding it no longer wanted to be secured to the engine. Another thing to is to go a head and replace the gaskets under the carburetor, if those go bad you'll start getting some really weird operating problems.
 

kimcrwbr1

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I am in the process of gathering parts for a 2.8 rebuild. I have been able to find most of what I need on E-bay but I am not in a hurry.
My current Ranger has a pretty sick 2.8, has the blow by and smokes when it starts. But it sounds solid and actually runs fairly good for as bad as it is.

It has the Dura-Spark conversion and a 1.08 Ford 2 barrel. Gets 20-22 mpg around town with the AC on and I don't drive for mileage. I could put a 4 liter or a V8 or anything else that would fit between the frame rails, but the 2.8 does what I need. When the carb is set up right it will perform fine. Cold starts in 30 degree weather are fine, as is the hot weather driving. I don't have any problems with over heating and I live in Arizona, where the temp is over 100' degrees daily.

The plan for the 2.8 rebuild is, Mustang II heads with 2.9 valve's Raise the compression to 9.5 to 1 and the usually bore and rebuild. The heads are almost done. If you would like send me a PM and I will send you photo's.
If the 2.8 is still running good but just blows smoke you can try changing the valve guide seals. You dont need to pull the heads just put the piston on TDC and pressureize the cylinder with air pressure to hold the valves up, Get a palm spring compressor and pop the springs off being real careful not to drop a keeper. I did mine three years now and it solved the excess blowby and the puff of black smoke when you start it. I replaced the intake manifold gasket and it no longer leaks oil out the upper end anymore but am pissed I didnt replace the rear main seal when the tranny was out. She is still running strong tho I guestimate around 300,000 its hard to be accurate it is a bone yard swap 8 years ago.
 

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i just seen this posting.... can you update this?

If you still need or want a 100% BNIB NOS cam and BNIB NOS lifters for a TRUCK 2.8 let me know... and I can go one further for you.... If you want a 100% CUSTOM ground cam shaft I can drop off this cam for you at the place that gave my 70's 2.8 shaft a grind.

for the cam and the lifters i will take $100.00. you will need to arrange the grinding prices and profiles with the cam shop.

update if you're interested.
 

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The 2.8 looks real basic to pull out and over haul. I know there's more power to be had with the 4.0 but when I put my eyes on the 4.0 I get afraid.that motor has hoses running everywhere
 

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The 2.8 looks real basic to pull out and over haul. I know there's more power to be had with the 4.0 but when I put my eyes on the 4.0 I get afraid.that motor has hoses running everywhere
Just duraspark the 2.8 and rebuild it. Its eaiser then trying to switch to EFI.
 

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