Need help with 2.3L ignition


Tbuilder

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I have a Ford 2.3L I4 out of a 1994 Ranger truck that I have installed in a 1925 Model T. The fuel injection has been removed and a carb installed. The question is can I make the existing dis ignition control module system work without the input from the powertrain control module (there are no sensors connected to it).

I could install a conventional distributor from an older 2.3 if the input from the crankshaft position sensor would trigger it, but I am at a loss to know which one would work. Top performance or mileage is not an issue here, I just need it to run reliably.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
 


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tomw

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Attempting to work without the computer is a mighty difficult task. The computer controls firing, power, spark advance, cranking power level(maybe), and leaves nothing but sparking to the under hood bits.
If you want simple, get a 1974 Pinto 2.3 distributor(uses points). I don't even know if the 94 has the distributor hole machined. The 74 uses vacuum & weight advance, and 12v / resistor for the coil power. Only made one year, aka hens teeth.
The pre-EFI systems could be made to work. From memory, they don't require anything in particular, but again, you must be able to mount a distributor. Perhaps after market such as Racer Walsh and Summit may have usable items.
I searched for 'ford 2.3l performance distributors' and got a lot of results.
tom
 

Shran

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I don't even know if the 94 has the distributor hole machined.
That is my #1 concern here, I don't recall my '96 having a hole in the block for a distributor and that would have been the same engine. I doubt anyone has gone through the effort of making a 2.3 run on DIS and a carb, you simply must have something to control spark and a computer & some sensors in particular. I have seen it done on GM LS engines and a few others but not a 2.3.

If you can stab a distributor, you could use a factory Duraspark ignition setup from a pre-EFI vehicle. I bet you could even do aftermarket MSD or whatever if you want but the Duraspark stuff is pretty good and simple. Lots of guys are running 2.3's in dirt track race applications so it's totally doable.

If you don't have a distributor hole, I'd be curious if you could have a hole machined into your block and use '88-older oil pump/drive shaft stuff for your choice of distributor.
 

Tbuilder

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The hole is in the block and the gear is present on the stub shaft. The 94 was the last year that the parts are in place to drive a conventional distributor. The question is which distributor to use. Without the ICM there is nothing to tell the Duraspark or an aftermarket MSD what advance curve to use. I see lots of EFI's that are converted to carbs so I did not think it would be that difficult to set up.
Thanks everyone for your responses.
 

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Interesting, I thought '93 was the last year of the distributor hole.

Correct me if I'm wrong but doing a Duraspark conversion just entails the correct Duraspark distributor, ignition module, a coil, and the associated wiring harness? So you should be able to buy just about all of that at a parts store and be up and running pretty quick - just need the harness, probably could even build that yourself from scratch.

It's been a few years but I did a bunch of Duraspark conversions on 2.8L Rangers and Bronco II's and it seems like that's all that was involved on the ignition side of things anyway.
 

dasophoto

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I'm doing the same thing with a 49 Willys, dropping an 85 ranger 2.3l in it. Did anyone ever come up with a specific parts list for this? I'm needing help too.
 

tinman_72

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Interesting, I thought '93 was the last year of the distributor hole.
Nope, '94 2.3 is same as '93 2.3. They changed to ODBII in '95 and reconfigured the motor.
 

Tbuilder

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I am using the lower half of the fuel injection manifold to mount the carb. I was going to use the conventional Duraspark distributor and module from a 1988 Mustang but reading through some of the older posts here it seems that the distributor will hit the the intake manifold.
Does anyone know if this is true?
None of the older carb mount manifolds will fit as from the pictures it apears that the bolt pattern to the head is different.
 

dasophoto

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I am using the lower half of the fuel injection manifold to mount the carb. I was going to use the conventional Duraspark distributor and module from a 1988 Mustang but reading through some of the older posts here it seems that the distributor will hit the the intake manifold.
Does anyone know if this is true?
None of the older carb mount manifolds will fit as from the pictures it apears that the bolt pattern to the head is different.
You'll need to get an older head, I have an 85 head I'm using, or you'll need to custom build an intake for that later model head.
 


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