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Ignition cluster F***


Mmmorphine

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I'm wondering if someone can point me in the right direction... excluding the mental health clinic, this is only an automotive issue. I'll deal with the voices later, for now I'm dealing with TFI nightmares, duraspark dreams and the reality of neither. I have a 1985 ranger with the 2.8 that I decided to do the duraspark II ignition swap on. I recently did the exact same swap on an 85 Bronco II and everything went great (thanks to this site) so I removed all the wiring, ecu, distributor, and feedback P.O.S and placed all those parts neatly in the dumpster. I wired up an ignition control module, rebuilt a older motorcraft carb and..... and now the parts stores no longer carry duraspark distributors because Covid and the universe teamed up against me . I've looked everywhere and found only an aftermarket GM style HEI distributor which I would totally go with if its wasn't 11-12 weeks from being shipped. Apparently they need to mine the ore, refine the metal, build the society to raise up some engineers before I can ignite the fuel in my cylinders. I was able to acquire another TFI dizzy and ignition module, but I have no idea (or interest) on how to rewire all the wires I so foolishly clipped out like an autistic kid with wire cutters (last mental health joke I promise).

I've read online a way to wire up the TFI distributor and module so it will run, but it won't have any way to advance timing. That's not ideal, but it is better than sitting in my driveway making engine sounds by blowing air through my lips and humming. So my question is would this work well enough to be driven or does anyone have an alternative suggestion? I have distributors from other engines with vacuum advance dohickies on them along with the magnetic parts for the duraspark. Could those be fitted into and onto the tfi distributor to work with the duraspark box? I know that would require an emince amount of work, but I currently don't have any alternatives. I do have a mill, lathe, welder and a diligent incompetence, so I'm willing to try anything with the slightest possibility of success.

Unimportant footnote: The reason for my desperation is I need to get this running in order to sell it. I need the money to buy a dune buggy I found powered by a 2.3 turbo from a svo mustang. I have been looking for one of those engines within a reasonable price range for quite a while and plan to swap it into another ranger I have. Then my life will be complete and I can die in peace.... or just drive around all vrooom pppssshh vrooom pppssshhh vrooom screeech vrooom pppssshhh.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

Angie

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i am not familiar with what exactly you are wanting to do, however, won't any non-points 2.8 dizzy work with any ignition box? and for wiring, can't be that hard as there are only 4 wires that need to be hooked up 3 if no tach, and 2 going to battery plus coil....

on my 78 pinto i did a msd box with the stock dizzy with no probs. maybe i am missing something.

cheers

 

Shran

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i am not familiar with what exactly you are wanting to do, however, won't any non-points 2.8 dizzy work with any ignition box? and for wiring, can't be that hard as there are only 4 wires that need to be hooked up 3 if no tach, and 2 going to battery plus coil....

on my 78 pinto i did a msd box with the stock dizzy with no probs. maybe i am missing something.

cheers

I think he is having trouble finding ANY non TFI distributor.

Have you tried car-part.com? For a used one? There were a lot of them listed a few months ago when I looked. Surely our little community hasn't burned through the entire nationwide supply of junkyard Mustang II distributors since then.
 

Mmmorphine

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I've never heard of carparts.com I'll definitely check them out.

I was wondering if anyone had luck straight wiring a TFI distributor and module to work without an ECU. I realize that I won't have any timing advance, but I've never ran a vehicle like that and didn't know if it would be a problem or not. I suppose I could go and pull the vacuum line from mine and run some experiments all sciencey and see what runs best as far as where to set the timing.

Really I just need to find any distributor with vacuum advance. I read somewhere about a TFI distributor that was vacuum advanced, but personally I've never seen one. I'd even be happy to find a points distributor, but none of the local parts stores carry them. Napa, O'Reilly, AutoZone and Car Quest had nothing and neither did any of the online sources I tried. I was even desperate enough to try Wish, Alibaba and Amazon, but Jeff Bezos along with all of China let me down.

I priced the distributor at a couple parts stores a week prior to removing everything and they were available only a couple days out. Unfortunately I waited and figured I'd purchase them once I got to that point.

Thanks for the help and sorry if I wasn't clear on what exactly I was looking for.
 

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car-part.com

Yes, you are not alone, the 3 wire vacuum advance 2.8l distributors are very very hard to find now
If I remember correctly one fellow had to get one shipped from the UK
2.8l was used in many vehicles in Europe, with Duraspark system

If looking at used do the search for 1975 to 1979 Ford Pinto(Bobcat) or Mustang 2.8l
Distributors are probably gone but it's free to call and ask :)
 

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www.car-part.com not carparts dot com. It's a junkyard search engine.

I don't know about using a TFI distributor. I imagine someone has done it. The variations of 2.8 ignition mods out there are insane... I had one where the previous owner had left everything intact except the distributor, and stuffed a bunch of wiring inside a Solo cup that was shoved into the little spot between the fender and cab. That one was a treat.
 

RonD

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You need engine Load spark advance, so TFI distributor won't work since it needed Computers Load advance data
Duraspark distributor had Vacuum advance for Load advance

You could use an older Ford method, a cable attached to distributor and a lever inside on the dash, so you could rotate distributor to match Load :)

The "Good ol' days", lol
 

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That’s after you pull out the choke lever to start it, right? :whistle:
 

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Mmmorphine

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I've actually considered the advance on a choke cable, but if my boss seen that I'd be getting drug tested on the spot. Another idea I was seriously considering was an audrino (however they're spelled) running a servo or stepper motor as the RPMs increased. However, my coding skills are only as good as the guy who shares their work online. My skill level is more on par with two shoestrings ran through the firewall.

Honestly if someone were to figure out a way to retrofit a vacuum advance (or any reliable and accurate advance method) to a TFI distributor I think it would be a superior ignition system. From what I was reading anyway. Neither the module or coil requires a ballast resistor resulting in a hotter spark and they still last far longer than their predecessors. I'll check out the link when I have more time and thanks again for the feedback.
 

cyclejohn

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and now the parts stores no longer carry duraspark distributors
I bought this one at O'reillys Auto Parts last week.

It is the same as the Cardone 30-2691 that is the most popular for doing the Duraspark conversion, it just has an extra nipple sticking straight up out of the top of the vacuum diaphragm. I plugged that extra nipple and attached a vacuum line from the proper nipple to my Mighty-Vac. Under vacuum from the Mighty-Vac, the 30-2671 distributor rotated and released the same amount as the 30-2691 (even with the extra nipple capped). The 30-2691 is like unobtainium right now.

The vacuum diaphragm on the 30-2691 distributor does have a hole where the extra nipple is on the 30-2671, it is just plugged from the factory. I guess it's all configured for each vehicle's specific set-up.

Anyway, that's how I'm overcoming the issue with the shortage of old distributors.

John
 

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Was there a long wait time for the store to get the 30-2671?

Looks like RockAuto has 1 in stock. I didn't see any other results immediately where stores indicated on hand stock.
 

Mmmorphine

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Awesome!!! I'll give them that part number and see if they can get that. I tried having them look up alternative vehicles and mixed up the years, but none of it came back with anything available. I don't mind if it's not a perfect match as long as it does what I need. I don't care if it does or not, but is the plug the same as the standard duraspark 2?
 

cyclejohn

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Was there a long wait time for the store to get the 30-2671?
I ordered it on a Thursday and it was there the next Wednesday.

John
 

cyclejohn

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but is the plug the same as the standard duraspark 2?
Exactly the same. The distributors (30-2671 & 30-2691) are replicants of each other. The only difference is the extra nipple on the 30-2671 vacuum diaphragm.

John
 


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