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Duraspark conversion.

franklin2

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I contacted a few shops in my area before finding the one that offered to work on it. The other shops wanted to remove/replace the tranny as part of the job and became uninterested once I mentioned the tranny was already out of the truck (as well as the engine). They also wanted ~$1500 to do everything. Sorry, but that's crazy.
I talked to a local trans shop about a rebuild awhile back on another vehicle I had. They quoted me a price, and I said how much would it be if I took it out and brought it to them. They would only knock off $100 and they said they would not warranty the trans. I asked them why, and they said people do not properly clean out the trans cooler lines and the cooler in the radiator. Debris from those places left from the old trans gets into the new trans and makes it fail. Something to make sure you do before installing your newly rebuilt trans.
 


ford4wd08

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I talked to a local trans shop about a rebuild awhile back on another vehicle I had. They quoted me a price, and I said how much would it be if I took it out and brought it to them. They would only knock off $100 and they said they would not warranty the trans. I asked them why, and they said people do not properly clean out the trans cooler lines and the cooler in the radiator. Debris from those places left from the old trans gets into the new trans and makes it fail. Something to make sure you do before installing your newly rebuilt trans.
For $100, then can play in the trans fluid and gear oil all they want!
 
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Bronco648

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I mean, I get it. Not every shade tree mechanic is a true "car guy/gal". That said, it's a no-brainer that my Ranger is getting an upgraded cooler and that the lines & radiator will be flushed.
 

Bronco648

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Yes, it cleans things up considerably to just remove it after the Duraspark conversion.

I removed all of the stuff which was no longer used or needed- the computer and its wiring harness, the vacuum solenoid bank, and its related reservoir and vacuum tubing.

My pile of removed "leftovers":

View attachment 74264
I know it's been a while since you did this but is it safe to assume that bits of the harness that are required for the engine to run are 'downstream' of the wiring that runs to the EEC? For instance, I know that the wires to/from the alternator do not run 'upstream' to the EEC, but I need them to charge the battery. So, they need to be stripped out of the harness, correct? Same is true for sensors (water temp, oil pressure, etc.)?
 

franklin2

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I know it's been a while since you did this but is it safe to assume that bits of the harness that are required for the engine to run are 'downstream' of the wiring that runs to the EEC? For instance, I know that the wires to/from the alternator do not run 'upstream' to the EEC, but I need them to charge the battery. So, they need to be stripped out of the harness, correct? Same is true for sensors (water temp, oil pressure, etc.)?
The EEC wiring is a separate harness from the other stuff like the alternator and the lights. I don't know if I mentioned it previously in this post, but in other posts I described how the easiest way to pull the EEC harness out is to start at the computer, unplug the large plug, fish it and its wires through the firewall, and then start taking stuff out till the harness comes out.

You will find a couple places were you might have to cut some wires. Like over near the starter relay for powering the EEC. On my 1984 the EEC had a circuit that controlled the choke. I cut the choke wire and hooked it to the white/black wire on back of the alternator. If you are using the Duraspark ignition with it's box and short harness from the dist to the box, all that should plug right into your harness you have now, since Ford still used the same harness with the duraspark in the 4 cylinder models.
 

RobbieD

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I know it's been a while since you did this but is it safe to assume that bits of the harness that are required for the engine to run are 'downstream' of the wiring that runs to the EEC? For instance, I know that the wires to/from the alternator do not run 'upstream' to the EEC, but I need them to charge the battery. So, they need to be stripped out of the harness, correct? Same is true for sensors (water temp, oil pressure, etc.)?
Yes, your understanding is correct.

If memory serves (it HAS been 13 years since I did this!) I had to untape the EEC harness to remove the alternator, oil pressure and temp sensing wires along with their gray connector.

Then I just cleaned everything up into a new harness. All it takes is tape and split loom to make it nice and neat.

Here's how mine looked right before I installed it:

Duraspark new harness.jpg


Truck side is lower right; the black connector mates to the Duraspark plug that @franklin2 mentions. I used a can coil, which is the "C" shaped connector with the Dura box plug next to it. On the left, alternator connections and in the middle are the oil and temp connectors.

I never hooked up the choke on mine (Georgia truck, haven't really needed it); I think that's why I have the unused length of green wire coiled up.

Good luck!
 

Bronco648

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The EEC wiring is a separate harness from the other stuff like the alternator and the lights. I don't know if I mentioned it previously in this post, but in other posts I described how the easiest way to pull the EEC harness out is to start at the computer, unplug the large plug, fish it and its wires through the firewall, and then start taking stuff out till the harness comes out.
You mentioned it somewhere because I just removed it by following your suggestion/instructions. The entire harness, from the passenger side of the truck, is now on my garage floor.
You will find a couple places were you might have to cut some wires. Like over near the starter relay for powering the EEC. On my 1984 the EEC had a circuit that controlled the choke. I cut the choke wire and hooked it to the white/black wire on back of the alternator.
This is good to know. I was wondering how the wiring for the gauges and choke heater would be effected.
If you are using the Duraspark ignition with it's box and short harness from the dist to the box, all that should plug right into your harness you have now, since Ford still used the same harness with the duraspark in the 4 cylinder models.
I have a Duraspark box and plan to install it on the driver's side inner fender.
 

Bronco648

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Yes, your understanding is correct.

If memory serves (it HAS been 13 years since I did this!) I had to untape the EEC harness to remove the alternator, oil pressure and temp sensing wires along with their gray connector.

Then I just cleaned everything up into a new harness. All it takes is tape and split loom to make it nice and neat.

Here's how mine looked right before I installed it:

View attachment 76467

Truck side is lower right; the black connector mates to the Duraspark plug that @franklin2 mentions. I used a can coil, which is the "C" shaped connector with the Dura box plug next to it. On the left, alternator connections and in the middle are the oil and temp connectors.

I never hooked up the choke on mine (Georgia truck, haven't really needed it); I think that's why I have the unused length of green wire coiled up.

Good luck!
This is fabulous! Thanks.

I was wondering about the neutral safety switch for the auto tranny. I'm guessing your truck is manual?
 

RobbieD

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This is fabulous! Thanks.

I was wondering about the neutral safety switch for the auto tranny. I'm guessing your truck is manual?
No, mine's an '84 2.8 with a C3 auto. The reverse light and neutral safety switch wires are in a separate harness, along with the rear lighting wires, which comes out of the firewall and goes down and under. The engine bay connectors for that harness are right beside the connectors for the engine harness which goes up and forward. If memory serves, I think that they're both 8-pins.

Yours, being an '85, and if an auto will have the A4LD; so there may be some differences between yours and mine.

And I remembered what my extra green wire is. It's a tach wire, but I never did add a tachometer gauge to the truck.
 

Bronco648

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Yours, being an '85, and if an auto will have the A4LD; so there may be some differences between yours and mine.
I do have the A4LD and some of the wires from the neutral safety switch connector run to the EEC. I wonder how that's gonna work now that the EEC is out of the cab. :confused:
 

RobbieD

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I'm not going to be much help there. The one A4LD truck that I have had (a '90) I finally converted over to manual.

There's some info on the A4LD and the Duraspark conversion in this tech section article:
https://www.therangerstation.com/tech/2-8l-duraspark-conversion/

And there's some members here who've dealt with this and have posts with good info. Using the forum's "Search" should bring up several threads about it.
 

tw205

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The early 85 A4LD has a single solenoid for T/C lock up. It’s supplied with 12 when the ignition switch is on. The ECU provides a ground when the criteria to lock up T/C are met. The write up in the tech section instructing on the duraspark conversion provides three alternate methods of lock up without the ECU. Toggle switch, pressure switch or vacuum.
 

ford4wd08

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I do have the A4LD and some of the wires from the neutral safety switch connector run to the EEC. I wonder how that's gonna work now that the EEC is out of the cab. :confused:
I've made many post about the A4LD and duraspark. NSS is independent of the EEC. Search my post for more info on what I did to control the TCC lock up automatically without a switch or ECC.
 

Bronco648

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I've made many post about the A4LD and duraspark. NSS is independent of the EEC. Search my post for more info on what I did to control the TCC lock up automatically without a switch or ECC.
I completely recall our PM conversation regarding the A4LD/Duraspark. I didn't realize that the NSS was independent of the EEC. I'm also rather confused about the wiring in general. But, after looking at the 'spaghetti' on the garage floor, the factory wiring diagrams I have and the wiring diagram on how to splice the Duraspark ignition box into the harness, I think I'm starting to understand how everything goes together.

The other issue is the fact that I've got several things going on (both with the Ranger and normal life-stuff) and it's hard to focus on just one.
 

ford4wd08

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I completely recall our PM conversation regarding the A4LD/Duraspark. I didn't realize that the NSS was independent of the EEC. I'm also rather confused about the wiring in general. But, after looking at the 'spaghetti' on the garage floor, the factory wiring diagrams I have and the wiring diagram on how to splice the Duraspark ignition box into the harness, I think I'm starting to understand how everything goes together.

The other issue is the fact that I've got several things going on (both with the Ranger and normal life-stuff) and it's hard to focus on just one.
You don't have to splice anything into the system if you use the HEI module if I remember correctly.

You can wire it up and make it run with all the old stuff still in place to start. That's how I did it then removed it after I traced it back to each component.
 

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