2.9L V6 Engine enhancements


PetroleumJunkie412

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Thanks for the tip on the headers. I searched JBA's site, and found nothing. Not sure if they've discontinued them or ...? Summit lists two different headers, the one I mentioned earlier, as well as a "silver ceramic coated" version. I'm still looking through the classifieds, but so far not finding the ad you mentioned. Still looking...

I wasn't initially clear on what a catch can is, but understand it now, and will look into what's available, pricewise, etc. Will do some shopping around later this eve... From looking at descriptions I found on the web, seems like something a nerdy/handy guy could pretty easily build(?), but maybe they're cheap enough to 'why bother'...

-Vern
EBay for the headers.

Actually, eBay for a lot of first gen stuff.

I.do a lot of business on there. Its how my buildbpays for itself.
 


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Nez'sRanger

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Thanks for the tip on the headers. I searched JBA's site, and found nothing. Not sure if they've discontinued them or ...? Summit lists two different headers, the one I mentioned earlier, as well as a "silver ceramic coated" version. I'm still looking through the classifieds, but so far not finding the ad you mentioned. Still looking...

I wasn't initially clear on what a catch can is, but understand it now, and will look into what's available, pricewise, etc. Will do some shopping around later this eve... From looking at descriptions I found on the web, seems like something a nerdy/handy guy could pretty easily build(?), but maybe they're cheap enough to 'why bother'...

-Vern

Here it is... I have the address saved, cause they're on my wish list! Ha!
 

DCinDC

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I would not buy headers, but I'm famously cheap.
If that other boosted picture made over 500 hp on 21 psi, what do think mine makes on 17psi? Just think about it.

Here's the pics added to the site, not on photobucket.

If you can get exhaust pipe bent easily and cheaply, there is no other reasonable choice.

MINE1.JPG
RTURBO1.JPG
RTURBO2.JPG
RTURBO3.JPG
RTURBO4.JPG
RTURBO5.JPG
RTURBO6.JPG


It has broken the following parts since the build:
the frikken ignition key broke off in the lock cylinder


My 2.8 5 speed 1983 Ranger was plenty peppy w 30s, and 3.73s. your truck is a slug. troubleshoot that.

Fulltruck2.JPG
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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I would not buy headers, but I'm famously cheap.
If that other boosted picture made over 500 hp on 21 psi, what do think mine makes on 17psi? Just think about it.

Here's the pics added to the site, not on photobucket.

If you can get exhaust pipe bent easily and cheaply, there is no other reasonable choice.

View attachment 37102
View attachment 37103
View attachment 37104
View attachment 37105
View attachment 37106
View attachment 37107
View attachment 37108


It has broken the following parts since the build:
the frikken ignition key broke off in the lock cylinder


My 2.8 5 speed 1983 Ranger was plenty peppy w 30s, and 3.73s. your truck is a slug. troubleshoot that.

View attachment 37109
The man. The myth. The legend.

One of these days I'm going to bug you to see that thing.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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I would not buy headers, but I'm famously cheap.
If that other boosted picture made over 500 hp on 21 psi, what do think mine makes on 17psi? Just think about it.

Here's the pics added to the site, not on photobucket.

If you can get exhaust pipe bent easily and cheaply, there is no other reasonable choice.


It has broken the following parts since the build:
the frikken ignition key broke off in the lock cylinder


My 2.8 5 speed 1983 Ranger was plenty peppy w 30s, and 3.73s. your truck is a slug. troubleshoot that.

View attachment 37109
I've actually been thinking about following in your footsteps as of late. The blower for mine is stalled out due to work, but I've been weighing the options between running the M62 Eaton, and either 13T or 14t, both out of Volvos.

The other reason is machining costs of a potential custom crank pulley are exceeding pipe costs for a turbo.

Never did hit the dyno with it, eh?
 

kunar

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First two things i would do (forgive me if the'yve already been mentioned) is check compression and check ignition timing. If the cam was timed improperly, the engine will run decent but lack compression and be sluggish all round. If the ignition timing is set wrong, same deal, could run nice but just not make any power. As much as i love the idea of turbos and megasquirt and all the goodies, check the simple stuff first.

Couple other things to consider, check fuel pressure under load. I use a long enough hose to get the gauge up to the windshield. Hold it there with some tape and go for a spin, watch what it does when you get on it. Should go up as the throttle opens, if it goes down under load, its not keeping up. Also, i had an old 2.9 ranger that was gutless. Swapped in a 4.0 and it still seemed gutless. Turned out i had a bad catalytic converter that was plugging the exhaust. New exhaust made an absolutely night and day difference.
 

don4331

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- Then reducing the secondary load(s) on the engine. By 'secondary' I mean things like power steering pumps, A/C, etc.. I am a bit skeptical of removing one (mechanical/hydraulic) thing and then adding a larger alternator to drive an electric motor. The question in my mind is one of efficiency gain or loss. There are electrical losses just due to resistance in cables, etc.. Are they really less than the mechanical losses?
-Vern
It's a question of how the loads operate:

A generator loads the engine all the time - and load increases more/less linearly i.e. 1hp@1k, 2hp@2k, 4hp@4k, 6hp@6k rpm.
Power steering pump, water pump and engine driven fan all load the engine all the time - and the load increases exponentially i.e. 1hp@1k, 4hp@2k, 16hp@4k, 36hp@6k rpm.*
AC compressor supplies load to the pumps/fan when the AC clutch is engaged.
When an alternator is supplying current it loads the engine like a generator. But it has the ability, i.e. the regulator, to stop supplying current. And 21th century regulators can give variable excitation versus the on/off ones from 60s.

So, with electric power steering, fans, water pump load, when you want full power, you can stop the excitation of alternator and let the battery power the systems for a short period of time (and you, of course, disconnect AC). Giving you lots of power to rear wheels that you wouldn't in a mechanical system.

And yes, the efficiencies of electrical systems are much better than hydraulic systems. The biggest difference is that they can match load with requirement much more closely. Mechanical systems, without ability to change speed i.e. gearbox, slip clutch, need to be sized to provide adequate performance at low speed which means they tend to provide excessive load at high speed.

*An issue with pumps - at very high speeds, they tend have issues with cavitation, which results in lower load, but its because they aren't doing what they are supposed to.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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Uh, yeah, what Don said ??
 

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PetroleumJunkie412 asked me some things in a pm, but I'm choosing to answer publicly, in hopes of helping others:
>>>
Hey, was re reading that thread again. You mentioned you didn't like most turbo sizing formulas? Been reading on that area for a few months, and still trying to figure out if the one I have here is correct for a 2.9. 13T off a volvo 2.4/2.5L - they call it a 2.4, but it's 2496cc.
<<<

I DON'T like turbo sizing formulas. Because

Here's why:
1 the people that use them, don't need to.
2 they make people stick to a particular number
3 ergo limiting their choices

here's a formula:

.... hell I cant even find one now!

but it was basically engine displacement x max rpm x boost
or something like that. whatever..

rpm: I'm not gonna run at max rpm. A 2.9 in a truck does not need to be spun at 6500 rpm. period. so why should it figure in my calculation? It shouldn't.
boost: who in the hell picks almost any number and then sticks to it? no one.
CId: is not gonna change, but it is practically the most important variable related to turbo sizing.

For me, here is how I picked the turbo I used.

I'm very familiar with Ford's various turbo offerings of the 80s; 2.3 Thunderbird, SVO, XR4ti, and Aussie Capri (Mazda).

So the 2.3 Turbo Coupe had a smaller faster boosting turbo in 87/88. They did that to make it spool faster and earlier.

2.3 x 6500 rpm = 14,950
14,950 / 2.9 = 5155 rpm = good enough for me.

I had previously built a Merkur XR4ti with a Turbo Coupe turbo.
It made over 300 lb/feet torque at 3000 rpm at 17psi of boost.
In fact THAT very turbo is THIS very turbo.
I already had it, and it cost 50 bucks = good enough for me.

Speaking of which, 2.9 / 2.3 = 1.26 x 300 lbs tq = 378 lbs tq. This is a valid guess at what's it's making at 8psi. I think it's more like 450+ lbs tq at it's current 17 psi.

On a great flowing cylinder head it is a rule of thumb that at 8psi you will double the original horsepower. 8psi is actually inverse equal to standard atmosphere, so this makes sense. IOW 8 psi is as far from 0 ATM as 14.7 inches of water is. Look at the combo gauge in both directions. You can make good guestimates at power using this. In most cases the cylinder head is not awesome enough to double the horsepower, but it does flow enough to double the torque which is at a lower RPM. So at 8psi it should double the torque. Anyone here would LOVE that improvement.

Back to sizing. You want to turbo you vehicle for an increase in power. Anything that stands in your way is a negative.
Is it not better to be turbo'd with the wrong size, than not turbo'd at all?

You said your goal is 30 extra horsepower. Good luck keeping the improvement THAT small.

More important considerations will probably be turbo mounting and exhaust connections. You can familiarize yourself w various turbos by joining enthusiast groups for various car manufacturer turbo model sites. or haunting a junkyard.

If you look at a turbo, there are 4 necessary connections: air in and out, oil in and out. In fact, my turbo is water cooled and it's not connected.

With a turbo, every improvement that you make to the flow of the engine, every gain will be magnified.
Also, the cost of every improvement you might make to increase power can be deducted from the cost of turbo'ing the engine, by NOT doing it. It's usually cheaper on an absolute (dollars spent) basis, but more importantly, it's ALWAYS cheaper on a $ per hp basis.

The 2.9 has a broad flat torque curve, perfect for turbo'ing. Mine additionally has necked down SS valves, and World Products improved casting brand new heads.

So quit thinking and get to doing. Mine took about 6 hours to be operational, then probably another 10 to get reliable. There's more room for refinement, but honestly isn't worth doing.



turboboostgauge.jpg
 

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I saw a few people mention to the original thread starter he needs to check some things with his engine before jumping on the power adder bandwagon. I tend to agree with this mode of thought. The reason I say this, I have a 1986 ranger with a 2.9, 5 speed and 3.73 gears. I had minor issues with it through the years, the main problem being the cooling system was clogged with rust.

But this engine always ran very well. So well, I was wondering why anyone would want to put a 302 in one of these trucks. It is very diffcult to drive it when it's raining, you cannot take off at a stoplight without spinning the tires. And I never had any hill where I could not maintain my speed in overdrive. Most hills I could gain speed, and if I wanted to take off, all I have to do is drop it in 4th or 3rd, and it was on. Petroleumjunkie is correct, this engine loves to rev, and it's very fun to drive. You can be doing 70 in 3rd gear and it's still pulling it's guts out.

My engine was completely stock. I had the timing set about 12 BTDC, and the EGR was non-functional. Exhaust was completely stock with the cat. I did have a electric fan on it.

This is one of those engines since it runs so good stock, you wonder what you can do to get even more out of it. That is why I and maybe others are questioning why you are not getting the power out of yours. Someone did mention the automatic may be part of the culprit. I have talked to other people also who say the AL4D does rob power from these engines somehow. It may be they are not letting the engine rev like it should, though when it kicked down you should have been doing more than 45 mph empty. Something just doesn't sound right, I wonder if your timing is in limp home mode. I would take a timing light and hook it up and check it to make sure it's moving when you rev the engine. If it's not, something is wrong somewhere.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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PetroleumJunkie412 asked me some things in a pm, but I'm choosing to answer publicly, in hopes of helping others:
>>>
Hey, was re reading that thread again. You mentioned you didn't like most turbo sizing formulas? Been reading on that area for a few months, and still trying to figure out if the one I have here is correct for a 2.9. 13T off a volvo 2.4/2.5L - they call it a 2.4, but it's 2496cc.
<<<

I DON'T like turbo sizing formulas. Because

Here's why:
1 the people that use them, don't need to.
2 they make people stick to a particular number
3 ergo limiting their choices

here's a formula:

.... hell I cant even find one now!

but it was basically engine displacement x max rpm x boost
or something like that. whatever..

rpm: I'm not gonna run at max rpm. A 2.9 in a truck does not need to be spun at 6500 rpm. period. so why should it figure in my calculation? It shouldn't.
boost: who in the hell picks almost any number and then sticks to it? no one.
CId: is not gonna change, but it is practically the most important variable related to turbo sizing.

For me, here is how I picked the turbo I used.

I'm very familiar with Ford's various turbo offerings of the 80s; 2.3 Thunderbird, SVO, XR4ti, and Aussie Capri (Mazda).

So the 2.3 Turbo Coupe had a smaller faster boosting turbo in 87/88. They did that to make it spool faster and earlier.

2.3 x 6500 rpm = 14,950
14,950 / 2.9 = 5155 rpm = good enough for me.

I had previously built a Merkur XR4ti with a Turbo Coupe turbo.
It made over 300 lb/feet torque at 3000 rpm at 17psi of boost.
In fact THAT very turbo is THIS very turbo.
I already had it, and it cost 50 bucks = good enough for me.

Speaking of which, 2.9 / 2.3 = 1.26 x 300 lbs tq = 378 lbs tq. This is a valid guess at what's it's making at 8psi. I think it's more like 450+ lbs tq at it's current 17 psi.

On a great flowing cylinder head it is a rule of thumb that at 8psi you will double the original horsepower. 8psi is actually inverse equal to standard atmosphere, so this makes sense. IOW 8 psi is as far from 0 ATM as 14.7 inches of water is. Look at the combo gauge in both directions. You can make good guestimates at power using this. In most cases the cylinder head is not awesome enough to double the horsepower, but it does flow enough to double the torque which is at a lower RPM. So at 8psi it should double the torque. Anyone here would LOVE that improvement.

Back to sizing. You want to turbo you vehicle for an increase in power. Anything that stands in your way is a negative.
Is it not better to be turbo'd with the wrong size, than not turbo'd at all?

You said your goal is 30 extra horsepower. Good luck keeping the improvement THAT small.

More important considerations will probably be turbo mounting and exhaust connections. You can familiarize yourself w various turbos by joining enthusiast groups for various car manufacturer turbo model sites. or haunting a junkyard.

If you look at a turbo, there are 4 necessary connections: air in and out, oil in and out. In fact, my turbo is water cooled and it's not connected.

With a turbo, every improvement that you make to the flow of the engine, every gain will be magnified.
Also, the cost of every improvement you might make to increase power can be deducted from the cost of turbo'ing the engine, by NOT doing it. It's usually cheaper on an absolute (dollars spent) basis, but more importantly, it's ALWAYS cheaper on a $ per hp basis.

The 2.9 has a broad flat torque curve, perfect for turbo'ing. Mine additionally has necked down SS valves, and World Products improved casting brand new heads.

So quit thinking and get to doing. Mine took about 6 hours to be operational, then probably another 10 to get reliable. There's more room for refinement, but honestly isn't worth doing.



View attachment 37227
Sorry to keep pestering you with questions, BUT, do you know off-hand what your AFRs are while under boost, and what your spark retard knocks your timing back to under boost?

Turbo is welded on to its adapters, and goes on as soon as I get the engine back from the machine shop. Just looking at how to set my AFRs up. Right now they're at 11.5:1, but it seems a bit heavy. Same with spark, knocked it all back to 12 deg under boost, but seems very conservative.
 

bigro 007

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hi
you say that the 24 valve 2.9 can do 300 hp if so what need to be done to be able to achieve this i have one and a 2 set of head for it thank
bigro 007
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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You have 24 valve cosworth heads? Pics please.

The 12 valve is capable of 500 hp, and they have yet to find limits on the 24v. Power Engineering in the UK is trying to prove one to 800.
 


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