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Can't get it to idle - HELP!

Hale Ranger

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The truck starts great and runs so long as the "choke" level of idle is maintained. Once warmed up if you keep a constant tap on the gas it will run.
Once you stop the tap action on the gas pedal it will die. Is this a vacuum issue? The "idle actuator" seems to be "stuck" not responding in any way, thinking of hitting it with some "WD40" - what are your thoughts? This is on an 84 Ranger 2.8 automatic with just less than 80K miles and a two-year-old carb from National Carb in Jacksonville, FL.
 


Eddo Rogue

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Has it been sitting a while? is the air filter clean? I ask because you might have clogged jet in the carb. I have this problem often on my motorcycles and lawn equipment if they sit too long. I clean out or replace the pilot jet and good to go.
 

Hale Ranger

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Thanks - I will check that out. I appreciate all replies. :)
 

Hale Ranger

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I did hit the "idle actuator" with some WD40 the cure all and it is now responding to the ECM. Not got it to idle just right, but I am able to start it, let it run at a fast idle long enough that I can get out of the cab and observe what is and isn't happening under the hood. That is progress, but not good enough to drive without a lot of stumbling.
 

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I assume you've got all the original computer controls and carburetor on it? As opposed to a Duraspark swap?

As Eddo asked... did it sit for a while?

I'm kinda leaning towards something clogged in the carb too. Tapping the gas would indicate to me that the accelerator pump squirters are the only thing keeping it running or the idle is turned down way too far.
 

Hale Ranger

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Well, I thank you for the comments. I decided to turn it over to a local shop. I was able to drive the truck about a mile or so to the shop and as long as it was in a high idle, guessing 1500 rpm or so it ran fine. Didn't stall once on the trip to the shop. I will soon be paying for the answer and getting to where I am going will not be so much a challenge. :)
 

rusty ol ranger

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Probably just the idle speed out of adjustment
 

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I have a feeling its something silly....crusty carb, broken vacuum line, old filters/fuel....at least she made it to the shop, hopefully its a decent one, and you should be fine. I am curious to know what they say.
 

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Well, I thank you for the comments. I decided to turn it over to a local shop. I was able to drive the truck about a mile or so to the shop and as long as it was in a high idle, guessing 1500 rpm or so it ran fine. Didn't stall once on the trip to the shop. I will soon be paying for the answer and getting to where I am going will not be so much a challenge. :)
I will be surprised if they can fix it. I am surprised they even said they would work on it. These things are that bad with the original computer system on them.
 

Hale Ranger

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After a few dollars spent and the correction of vacuum lines and timing the truck runs great. Now I am researching the install of a duraspark system with the complete delete of emissions junk making the 2.8 V6 as if it were born in 1965.
 

RobbieD

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If it's running great now, I'd be tempted to just drive it as it is.

On the other hand, the Duraspark is a great mod for a 2.8 (I also have an '84, which I Durasparked years ago).

If you do remove the original engine control and emissions stuff from a good-running 2.8, it might be worth it to remove it carefully and put it up for sale as a package. A lot of these parts are hard to find, and there's still people out there who are trying to (or have to) keep these original setups running.
 

franklin2

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After a few dollars spent and the correction of vacuum lines and timing the truck runs great. Now I am researching the install of a duraspark system with the complete delete of emissions junk making the 2.8 V6 as if it were born in 1965.
You need to shoot for a 1974 mustang II with a 2.8, or a 1978 mustang II with a 2.8. The 1974 will have a points distributor. The 1978 will have the duraspark II. There is a problem though; The supply of remanufactured distributors for the 1978 have dried up. Cardone was the only rebuilder (I use the term rebuilder very loosely) and all of the stores used them for their distributors. They are all out of stock.

I am in the middle of this right now. I did the duraspark II conversion, getting one of the last single port distributors apparently. And apparently it was one at the bottom of the pile, it lasted 4 years and then completely gave out, the bushing in it is shot. I can't get another one, they are all out. They "might be able to get a 1974 points dist with the dual port vacuum advance, they are out of the single port points style. I was then thinking of converting it to a pertronix setup. But that would add up to a lot of money.

DUI sells a rebuilt DSII distributor for a mustang II, but they are not cheap and I didn't call them, I dont know where they were getting their cores or if they have any cores in stock. They mention on their website they build the dist to order and it will take a few weeks.
 

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You need to shoot for a 1974 mustang II with a 2.8, or a 1978 mustang II with a 2.8. The 1974 will have a points distributor. The 1978 will have the duraspark II. There is a problem though; The supply of remanufactured distributors for the 1978 have dried up. Cardone was the only rebuilder (I use the term rebuilder very loosely) and all of the stores used them for their distributors. They are all out of stock.

I am in the middle of this right now. I did the duraspark II conversion, getting one of the last single port distributors apparently. And apparently it was one at the bottom of the pile, it lasted 4 years and then completely gave out, the bushing in it is shot. I can't get another one, they are all out. They "might be able to get a 1974 points dist with the dual port vacuum advance, they are out of the single port points style. I was then thinking of converting it to a pertronix setup. But that would add up to a lot of money.

DUI sells a rebuilt DSII distributor for a mustang II, but they are not cheap and I didn't call them, I dont know where they were getting their cores or if they have any cores in stock. They mention on their website they build the dist to order and it will take a few weeks.
You talking about your dizzy going out. Rock auto and I can only assume other places have/offer it. A rebuild service... You send it it and they fix it. I havent done it but It might be a option for anyone that gets a worn out/crusty one off a junk yard car.
 

franklin2

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You talking about your dizzy going out. Rock auto and I can only assume other places have/offer it. A rebuild service... You send it it and they fix it. I havent done it but It might be a option for anyone that gets a worn out/crusty one off a junk yard car.
I hear you. Guess who they send it to? Cardone. I would have to be out of my mind to send them a distributor to rebuild. I was stupid to buy this one, but they are the only game in town with all the local parts stores.

When I had my fuel injected 86 with the 2.9 on the road, I was having intermittent jerking and missing. I finally narrowed it down to the distributor. Bought a new pickup module, went to pull the gear off the distributor and broke a tooth. Looked high and low for a new gear, everyone listed it, no one had it. My only option was to buy a "rebuilt" distributor from Cardone. Installed it, I had worse problems than I had before.

Decided to pull apart the rebuilt distributor, being careful not to break the gear. I was shocked. The module was not replaced, the shaft and housing were full of old sticky black carbon. They had never even taken it apart, just cleaned up the outside and called it "rebuilt". I put my new module in, cleaned it up and oiled it, and it ran great after that.

Fast forward to now working with a 2.8 in a 1984 BII. Need to get rid of the TFI and do a conversion. Need a new distributor. Where do I have to go to get one? Yep, Cardone. It worked for a little over 3 years, then it quit on me. After much troubleshooting, come to find out the distributor is so wore out, it will not fire the engine. There is so much slop in the distributor bushing. Another Cardone rebuild.
 

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I hear you. Guess who they send it to? Cardone. I would have to be out of my mind to send them a distributor to rebuild. I was stupid to buy this one, but they are the only game in town with all the local parts stores.

When I had my fuel injected 86 with the 2.9 on the road, I was having intermittent jerking and missing. I finally narrowed it down to the distributor. Bought a new pickup module, went to pull the gear off the distributor and broke a tooth. Looked high and low for a new gear, everyone listed it, no one had it. My only option was to buy a "rebuilt" distributor from Cardone. Installed it, I had worse problems than I had before.

Decided to pull apart the rebuilt distributor, being careful not to break the gear. I was shocked. The module was not replaced, the shaft and housing were full of old sticky black carbon. They had never even taken it apart, just cleaned up the outside and called it "rebuilt". I put my new module in, cleaned it up and oiled it, and it ran great after that.

Fast forward to now working with a 2.8 in a 1984 BII. Need to get rid of the TFI and do a conversion. Need a new distributor. Where do I have to go to get one? Yep, Cardone. It worked for a little over 3 years, then it quit on me. After much troubleshooting, come to find out the distributor is so wore out, it will not fire the engine. There is so much slop in the distributor bushing. Another Cardone rebuild.


Dude....

Put a bushing in it.

Or megajolt.
 

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