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Making my '83 2.3Lima dumb - Help!

gtkid2002

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Hey all. I scored an '83 2.3Lima 4WD a week or so ago. Was told it had a bad HG, but there was ZERO oil/coolant contamination. Oil was just dirty, no shavings from what I could see.

I got the thing running, and it would run at higher rpms (2-4k), but at low rpms it would shudder and buck like crazy. Had decent throttle response, but I never wanted to try and drive it anywhere to load test it. It would start cold, but once it warmed up I couldn't get it to start again unless I held open the choke valve, and even then it was a good 20 seconds of solid cranking to get it close to wanting to go. The carb leaked a little from somewhere on the radiator side. All four plugs were BLACK in under one minute of run time (replaced from stoopid bosch 4 prong plugs, ugh). They were gapped to .44-.45. It didn't seem like it was able to run on all four cylinders properly, so I went with the diagnosis of bad HG between cylinders.

Now I don't have it completely apart yet, and I don't have access to a compression tester. But the exhaust studs are soaking in PB blaster, and I'm gonna go whack them with a hammer, and re-soak before I attempt to remove them.

Read here for actual question:

So what carb can I swap over to? I've got the old round style heated intake manifold, and I'm guessing I should hang onto it since I'm in AK (first year here), so what carb can I bolt on for cheap that'll work decently enough?

I'm not concerned about power much (last rig was a bug), and I do enjoy fuel economy. But budget is my #1 factor (borrowing a rig, I need this one going ASAP).

I want a cheap basic carb that I can slap on to get me by till I can get something better. I want as few lines as possible. I am in the process of learning what lines I can pull, what lines I can't pull, and what EGR lines I'm blocking off since mine has 3 for some reason :annoyed: Any and all help in this situation will be greatly appreciated.

Notice: I'm pulling my EGR systems because they're more than likely not functioning properly, and I do NOT want to mess with it more than I absolutely have to. If I can find a great way to keep it on and simple, I'll be more than happy to keep it on. I'm not going out of my way to try and step on toes, I just need a working truck right now.
 


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Kenneth S

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On my 86 2.3 I put a OMC "boat" intake manifold on it

it had Rochester 2bbl carb for boat use. I made an adaptor plate so I put a 350cfm Holley 2bbl on it

it runs good, got plenty of power, and get up to 27mpg on the hwy, and around 22mpg in city driving. About as simple as it can get, and for the egr valve I cut the pipe running from the exhaust manifold to the egr behind the valve cover in half, welded a bolt with the head cut off in it to plug it off, welded it back together, and covered the weld with factory cloth heat covering. Topped it off with a vacuum line running from the egr to somewhere under the intake manifold. I drilled, and tapped a couple of holes in the intake manifold to bolt the egr valve on (no holes drilled for the egr to access the intake).
 

gtkid2002

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I notice in that picture you posted of the engine bay, the ECU/MCU doesn't appear to be there. Did you pull it out?

And I'm guessing that any OMC 2.3 Ford OHC intake manifold will work with some slight modifications?
 

Kenneth S

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The ecu, and all the wiring for it were removed, and it was converted to a dura-spark ignition. The OMC intake bolts right on, I did cut and grind off the two bosses that the boat fuel filter bolted to, but it's not necessary.
 

gtkid2002

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Do you think it would be possible to do this with the stock setup? If the Dura-Spark is what I'm thinking it is, then I already have it in my truck.

To gut the ECU, is it as simple as just cutting the wires off the sensors but leaving them plugged into the block, and tearing it out?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions about this. I've got automotive experience, I've just never tackled anything this big before. Prior rig was a bug, and you can only get so complicated with a stock setup.
 

Kenneth S

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The 83 should be a dura-spark, so you shouldn't have to worry about that. The alternator, and regulator should stay the same also. The original 1bbl carb on your truck has some electronic controls, you can remove the wires, leave the sensors in place. Just take your time on figuring what wires to remove. Yours should be simpler to do than a later model with efi.
 

gtkid2002

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Would you go so far as to suggest throwing say a Holley 5200 on there with a simple 1bbl to 2bbl adapter plate, or just try and rock the original carb after it's been cleaned up? I know I said I wanted to do this a cheaply as possible, and I still do, but I'm not too sold on the actual functionality of the current stock carb.

My concern with the stock carb is mostly the fact that it has so many vacuum lines. Plugging them up seems like somewhat of a nightmare, in that I'm afraid if I plug them up, it's not going to let the truck run properly or close to it.

Also, do you think I should do a full writeup and document it, post it as a how to since there really isn't all that much info on the earlier model rangers?
 

Kenneth S

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If there is a 1bbl to 5200 carb adaptor out there that would be a way to go. The intake that's on it could probably be a 2bbl intake with a adaptor for the 1bbl carb. I've never paid much attention to Rangers with a 1bbl carb. The OMC intake I got, I got it off of ebay for $40.00 + shipping (like $10.00 or so). I don't think the 1bbl would be very good with everything plugged off (they weren't that good when they supposedly worked right).
 

gtkid2002

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Okay. Right now it's got a 1bbl carb attachment (like a bigger version of what a VW Bug Solex carb bolts up to), and I was hoping I could get away with buying THIS so I could then just pop on a standard 2 barrel that I can hopefully snag for like $100 bucks and get working.

Sadly right now all the OMC intakes on Ebay are going for upwards of $90 bucks, not including the asinine shipping prices to AK. Although since I'm in a marine town, there may be a chance I could find a scrap boat with the right intake.. I'll have to look into that more.
 

Mark_88

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I have a 5200 carb (motorcraft/holley) and intake available from my recently departed 2.3...the intake is pretty light but the carb is not...let me know if you are interested.

This is a pretty good intake and I've never had problems with it...the carb needs rebuilding and is missing a few parts...like the fast idle kickdown and choke...bolts right on and only a couple of vacuum lines to worry about...

http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x399/akwarian8/Int-nocarb.jpg

The part number is E1ZE*9425*BA

http://i1179.photobucket.com/albums/x399/akwarian8/Intakeserialnumber_zpsf40d5dc5.jpg

If you can find one of these on e-bay or locally it would work good with the 5200...

If you want the one I have let me know...shipping plus $75 takes it...if you want the carb...it's available but, again, needs rebuild...
 

Kenneth S

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If your truck still has the round port head you really need a round port intake, the 87-88 Rangers with the 2.0 has a 2bbl intake that you would need to make an adaptor plate to bolt on something other than the "Asian" 2bbl carb.


If you need to pull the head to replace the head gasket a D-port head swap would open up the availability of intake manifolds like the OMC, or grab the head, and OMC intake off a boat if you can find one.

Check the link in my signature, lots of info on the Lima 2.0, 2.3, @ 2.5
 
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Mark_88

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Ah, the round port head...well, I did put the one I have on the 2.0 head originally and it did work...just not as effective as it could have been...I think a D port head swap would probably be a good consideration in this case because I really would suspect the head is cracked more than the head gasket blown.

The shops charge $80 or so around here just to check the head and if it's cracked...well, come back again sonny with a good head on your shoulders and we'll charge you again...but some actually will waive the charge on a second head if you leave the scrappers with them...

Yes, check the link from Kenneth and find the years that have a D port head and if you can pick one up that is in good shape have it cleaned up and tested and maybe consider rebuilding that...mine got me through about 5 years of driving by just doing that...not a bad investment for so many years of travel.
 

gtkid2002

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So with my current intake manifold, something like this
http://www.honestcharley.com/hot-rod-parts/carburetors/univ-1bbl-2bbl-carb-adapter.html

Wouldn't work with a 5200? I can grind some out of the adapter if I need to, I have access to a lot of tools thankfully. I just don't have much in the way of funds.

Or if not a 5200, could I nix the adapter and use something like this? http://www.ebay.com/itm/carter-6247s-1bbl-yf-1971-72ford-1970-72-ford-truck6-cyl-170-eng-/181072587036?pt=Motors_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item2a28c4691c&vxp=mtr

I know it's for 30 CID more than my engine is, but I could always lean the jets a bit.


Here are a few pictures of my engine after I managed to get the exhaust manifold off. I haven't been able to remove the head or the intake manifold because the thing is still full of coolant, and I haven't found a place to drain it yet.

http://i.imgur.com/JAkiTt8.jpg
Overall ^
http://i.imgur.com/xx6eLQi.jpg
Two cylinders closest to the radiator/front of truck ^
http://i.imgur.com/bnSPEUU.jpg
Two towards the rear of the truck ^
http://i.imgur.com/mIvibJd.jpg
Rear three ^
http://i.imgur.com/UWUwrnb.jpg
Overall ^

The exhaust manifold is so oily looking because I hit it with PB blaster for two days straight. Otherwise it had a little oil near the studs, but it wasn't terrible or anything.

Mark - I'll have to hold off on buying anything for right now, at least till I get paid and the head comes off so I can inspect it/have it inspected.

When it was running, it did leave some white smoke, but it did not billow. I know that until I drain the coolant, there's no real way to check besides the overflow and the cap, but both of those places appeared to be clean.

Do the heads on these crack often/easily or is it just one of those things that does happen on occasion?
 
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Mark_88

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That adapter might work with the 5200...if you look at the image I posted you can see the opening is slightly offset from the bolt holes...I can measure the base of the carb if need be (if you don't already have the carb) and let you know the offset...but it's really best to obtain the carb and go from there...maybe the adapter can be modified slightly if need be.

No worries about buying anything from me...not sure how long I will have it and I think I listed it on Kijiji a while ago but no requests so far for it. I might hang onto it for a while just in case I decide to buy another Ranger and carb it some day...

EDIT: Had a look at the images...never seen one with three egr pipes...and those heater rad hoses just make things look pretty busy on that side...I'd suggest getting the shorty header if you can find one...they are cleaner...and if you can find one with a bung for the egr just below the collector you can actually hook up an egr pipe to that and run a single pipe to the egr mounted on the intake.

Cleans it up nicely...but try to keep the existing egr pipes intact if you can...they often just twist into metal pretzels if you don't oil them up good and take care when removing them...they are hard parts to find but can be made if needed...but using the old ones to route around the back of the head are good to have.
 
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Kenneth S

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Looking at the one picture that shows the camshaft it shows some wear on the lobes. If you can find a 1989-1994 Ranger with a 2.3 in a salvage yard get the roller cam, and roller followers from it. The carter 1bbl would work (will probably need some sort of adaptor made), the fact it's for a 170" engine shouldn't make much difference. My Holley 350 2bbl on my truck was a re-man carb for a International V8, and with a little tuning it works great.
 

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