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2.3L ('83-'97) Carburetor swap

TexasDuck66

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Hey there, I've got an 83' Ranger 4x4 with the 2.3L equipped with a 1 Barrel Carb. I don't mind the Carter YFA but the vacuum system is a mess and I'd really like to swap to a Holley 350 Two Barrel into the truck. It came from California and I've removed the smog pump. I'd like to remove all this vacuum emission related crap as well.

I'm already aware that I'd need to buy a Racer Walsh Intake and spacer to enable me to have a two barrel.

Is it ideal, practical, and easy to do? Would I need to jet down the carb or make any modifications to the carburetor so my 2.3L will run well? I'm not making this a racing motor, just a daily around town, to and from work sorta deal.

If a Holley 2300/350 isn't the best option, what others out there would be better? I'm just trying to avoid as much vacuum lines as possible and make easy and practical carburetor to use.
20220628_211012.jpg
 


franklin2

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You cant just put caps on the ports you do not need? Carbs are expensive, I bet that manifold is expensive, and that carb is a little on the big side.
 

19Walt93

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350 cfm is way more carb than a 2.3 would want, I'd look for a non feedback YFA off an inline six. The MCU electronics can be stripped off the truck completely, you may have to rework the therrmactor vacuum lines assuming you still have a thermactor. If you really want a 2 barrel carb, try to find a Motorcraft 2150 with "1.08" on the left side of the bowl but I think that'll still be more than big enough. Passenger car 2.3's had staged Weber 2 barrel carbs but the trucks with YFA's felt like they had more torque to me.
 

TexasDuck66

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350 cfm is way more carb than a 2.3 would want, I'd look for a non feedback YFA off an inline six. The MCU electronics can be stripped off the truck completely, you may have to rework the therrmactor vacuum lines assuming you still have a thermactor. If you really want a 2 barrel carb, try to find a Motorcraft 2150 with "1.08" on the left side of the bowl but I think that'll still be more than big enough. Passenger car 2.3's had staged Weber 2 barrel carbs but the trucks with YFA's felt like they had more torque to me.
I'm not sure what the thermactor is. I don't know what a MCU is either. I'm quite new to a lot of this stuff honestly. If the 350 Holley is too much, I read that a 32/36 Weber wouldn't be too bad. I want better gas mileage out of my truck and to avoid all the vacuum systems.

I know there's a crap ton of vacuum lines coming from a bunch of plugs from the side of the intake manifold.
 

19Walt93

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Thermactor is Ford's name for the air pump and MCU is microprocessor control unit, the primitive early electronic control system used on 2.3's in the early 80's. Most of the MCU sits on the right inner fender in a plastic box and basically all it does is run the thermactor bypass and dump vales( TAB and TAD) and the carburetor feedback solenoid. If you don't have emissions inspection, most of it can be removed.
That's the car Weber, it'll work but it will hurt low end power and I suspect mileage will suffer.
 

TexasDuck66

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Thermactor is Ford's name for the air pump and MCU is microprocessor control unit, the primitive early electronic control system used on 2.3's in the early 80's. Most of the MCU sits on the right inner fender in a plastic box and basically all it does is run the thermactor bypass and dump vales( TAB and TAD) and the carburetor feedback solenoid. If you don't have emissions inspection, most of it can be removed.
I do not have a thermactor or air pump. I looked up the MCU and my truck does not have it. There is still one more pipe/hose that is connected to my header. If you're looking at the thermactor from the passenger side, that other pipe sits to the left of it and runs behind the engine and plugs into a place behind the carburetor.
 

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superj

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Weber 32/36 would be a great carb. Or if you want more power, a Weber 38/38 but it's probably to much carb to run the 38.
 

franklin2

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Capped off pipes and ports while being a little ugly, don't hurt a thing. But it is wise to learn as much as you can since you are a newbie. You need to keep the PCV valve, and the line going to the valve cover from the aircleaner unless you have changed that to a breather cap. Of course you need the vacuum line to the brakes if you have power brakes.

Larger carbs are going to hurt your fuel mileage. Those staged carbs would be good, but they are not cheap either. I heard someone mention your carb may have a fuel solenoid on it for fuel control. If it does, you do need to find another carb without that. More than likely the fuel control is not working anymore, and if it's like the later EECIV controlled models, they get worse fuel mileage when the solenoid is not hooked up.
 

superj

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You will probably need a vacuum line for the distributor too. I don't know much about that set up but common for vehicles of that year, it's probably got a distributor that is vacuum controlled.
 

TexasDuck66

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Capped off pipes and ports while being a little ugly, don't hurt a thing. But it is wise to learn as much as you can since you are a newbie. You need to keep the PCV valve, and the line going to the valve cover from the aircleaner unless you have changed that to a breather cap. Of course you need the vacuum line to the brakes if you have power brakes.

Larger carbs are going to hurt your fuel mileage. Those staged carbs would be good, but they are not cheap either. I heard someone mention your carb may have a fuel solenoid on it for fuel control. If it does, you do need to find another carb without that. More than likely the fuel control is not working anymore, and if it's like the later EECIV controlled models, they get worse fuel mileage when the solenoid is not hooked up.
Problem I have is that I don't know what to cap off and what not too. I don't want to disconnect anything and cause my truck to run bad.
What are the main vacuum lines for a carbureted vehicle? I know for my truck it would be the vacuum advance and brake booster. I have no clue on what else it would be.
 

franklin2

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You should have a diagram under the hood. If you take a good picture of it and post it, we may be able to lead you through it. They are usually a mess, and I know a little bit but not everything about it. I am not too familiar with that MCU system you have. But some guys do know a bit about the emissions systems on these trucks.

I call the late 70's to the late 80's the dark days of automotive tech. What a patchwork of junk added to the engine to pass government emissions rules.
 

TexasDuck66

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You should have a diagram under the hood. If you take a good picture of it and post it, we may be able to lead you through it. They are usually a mess, and I know a little bit but not everything about it. I am not too familiar with that MCU system you have. But some guys do know a bit about the emissions systems on these trucks.

I call the late 70's to the late 80's the dark days of automotive tech. What a patchwork of junk added to the engine to pass government emissions rules.
I gotcha, what I wanna do to get rid of all the emissions junk. I've already gotten rid of the vacuum pump and thermocator.
There's a full blown kit on Ebay that is being sold for my specific truck. It comes with a Intake with round intake ports, a Weber Carb 38/38, and the essential hardware.

What I want a know is the main vacuum lines are needed and what I could cap off/remove?
 

superj

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If you are going really old school, you just need brakes and distributor. But, you have to have a distributor set up for that. A vacuum gage will get it all timed right and help with getting your jets set in the carb, too.

I did my wrangler, from the crappy electric carb to full old school set up and my BMW from mechanical fuel injection to carb. One ran a four barrel holley, since it was stroked to a 4.5 and the other ran the two barrel progressive weber.

I don't know much about fuel injection. I had carb'd stuff, air cooled vws, 65 mustang, 79 Chevy stepside with 350, 76 Buick regal, 79 Honda accord with the cvcc engine, but all carb'd.

Later on I had fuel injection but I am not a computer guy
 

TexasDuck66

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If you are going really old school, you just need brakes and distributor. But, you have to have a distributor set up for that. A vacuum gage will get it all timed right and help with getting your jets set in the carb, too.

I did my wrangler, from the crappy electric carb to full old school set up and my BMW from mechanical fuel injection to carb. One ran a four barrel holley, since it was stroked to a 4.5 and the other ran the two barrel progressive weber.

I don't know much about fuel injection. I had carb'd stuff, air cooled vws, 65 mustang, 79 Chevy stepside with 350, 76 Buick regal, 79 Honda accord with the cvcc engine, but all carb'd.

Later on I had fuel injection but I am not a computer guy
Yeah, old school is what I wanna do. It makes everything more simple. Do you know if a 2 Barrel Weber would require a lot of vacuum lines running to it. If it's just a couple then it's ok.
 

superj

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2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
No, it only would have vacuum lines going to what you want. The line to the distributor would be my one, with the brake booster coming off the intake
 

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