New to Bronco II, lots of questions


MillerAPF84BII

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My father-in-law just passed on February 11th this year, and it looks like his old hunting truck will be passed on to me. It's a 1984 Bronco II, 2.8 automatic 4wd, bone stock and pretty straight. My plan is to make it reliable enough to drive daily and capable enough to not be afraid to off-road it anywhere reasonable. Toward those ends,...
The last time I heard it run, it idled really fast, like around 1600 RPM. Trying to adjust the idle down only resulted in the engine dying. I'm thinking/hoping a carb cleaning and rebuild will cure the issue short-term, but for the long haul I am considering a fuel injection swap. Can this be done on this ltttle v6? If so, does it result in a TBI setup or port injection?
I have heard that the 2.8 is underpowered, but also that this condition can be overcome. Are these statements accurate, and if so, what are the most cost-effective power-building upgrades?
Was the 2.8 only available in front of the automatic transmission, or was it offered with any 5-speed manual transmission AND 4wd? If it's possible to go manual, is there any transmission that is a best choice for reliability/durability?
I'm sure I will come up with other questions as I get into this little trucklet, but I hope to be able to use it as my father-in-law did, as a way to honor him and keep his legacy alive. Thanks in advance - Chris
 


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adsm08

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The only successful EFI swap I have seen for the 2.8 was using the TBI setup from a 3.8L T-bird. When dialed in properly it is reported to give the 2.8 a good kick in the pants.

The 2.8 is underpowered by today's standards, but wasn't bad in 83. I would look at a 4.0 swap for the ultimate end goal. It's a good power upgrade, a very reliable engine, and allows you do to the swap in stages if you need to.

The 2.8, 2.9, and 4.0 all share a bell housing pattern, so if you go get a manual transmission from a 4.0 you can put it in now, and then put the engine in later when you have time.
 

Denisefwd93

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High idle is usually caused by the emissions control stuff like the EGR throttle position sensor, MAF
it's probably okay the way it is if you just get it back into running condition, that's probably going to be expensive enough, without worrying about "more power" [emoji1787]
 

Spede Demn

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the 2.8 Cologne was in all '84 and '85 Bronco IIs with several diff trannys, I have one with a 4 spd and several with the 5 spd, and one with an auto. I wouldnt say its underpowered but that depends on what you plan to do with it I guess... one of mine has a 6' snowplow on it with the Durospark conversion and a 5 spd. It has no problem pushing snow 2' deep and it easily runs down the highway at 80mph.
 

This1Billguy

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The B2 is the weirdest little cult you will ever belong to, some of the innovation's ford experimented with during the engineering process were mind boggling. Lot's of people love dropping 5.0's into the B2, I love my gutless 2.9 it get's great gas mileage and will run on 5 cylinder's longer than any mechanic would believe.
Not many vehicles out there you can cut the top off and it holds its retail value.
 

This1Billguy

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the 2.8 Cologne was in all '84 and '85 Bronco IIs with several diff trannys, I have one with a 4 spd and several with the 5 spd, and one with an auto. I wouldnt say its underpowered but that depends on what you plan to do with it I guess... one of mine has a 6' snowplow on it with the Durospark conversion and a 5 spd. It has no problem pushing snow 2' deep and it easily runs down the highway at 80mph.
Lmao, 80mph?! Oh my lord, my 2.9 barely breaks 78mph with a good back breeze, down hill and tucked in the slip stream of an 18 wheeler not getting paid by the hour.
 

adsm08

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Lmao, 80mph?! Oh my lord, my 2.9 barely breaks 78mph with a good back breeze, down hill and tucked in the slip stream of an 18 wheeler not getting paid by the hour.
When mine still had the 2.9 it would hit 80, but I didn't like how tippy it got above 75.
 

Spede Demn

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Lmao, 80mph?! Oh my lord, my 2.9 barely breaks 78mph with a good back breeze, down hill and tucked in the slip stream of an 18 wheeler not getting paid by the hour.
well then there is something wrong with your truck.... a stock B2 is certainly not gonna break any speed records but they are plenty capable of normal highway driving.... at least the 2.8 carb version is.... Ive never tried a 2.9 injected model
 

Sweet-85'

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Dura spark your BII. There are tech articles on how to do this in the how to section. You won't regret it, your 2.8 will still be gutless, but it is a stupid reliable engine. If you want more umph, re gear your axles. Your options are limited with the D28 to what you can find in the junk yard (there isn't any aftermarket support anymore). Or you could swap to a D35 front axle and gain the strength and reliability and many more gear options.
 

This1Billguy

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well then there is something wrong with your truck.... a stock B2 is certainly not gonna break any speed records but they are plenty capable of normal highway driving.... at least the 2.8 carb version is.... Ive never tried a 2.9 injected model
maybe there is, I just know when I get up to that speed my injectors or something are rattling so loud I'm scared to press into the throttle any more.
 

Spede Demn

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maybe there is, I just know when I get up to that speed my injectors or something are rattling so loud I'm scared to press into the throttle any more.
cat converter maybe??? they can make alot of noise.
 

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maybe there is, I just know when I get up to that speed my injectors or something are rattling so loud I'm scared to press into the throttle any more.
Probably the lifters more than the injectors. If it doesn't tick is it really a 2.9?
 

Spede Demn

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if the valve lash isnt right that would also exlain a lack of power
 

This1Billguy

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Probably the lifters more than the injectors. If it doesn't tick is it really a 2.9?
I know this much, it get's great gas mileage when I drive it grandpa speeds. & I just got nitrogen in the tires today, so it should get even better gas mileage.
 
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MillerAPF84BII

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Wow, thanks for all the input, folks. Seems like everything I want to do to this truck is do-able. I don't know how I keep falling into these niche/cult vehicles, but this makes the third one I currently own (a VW Fox and 2 Pontiac Fieros are the others). Seems like I saw somewhere that a fuel injection swap with a 3.? from a Taurus as the donor was a thing. Anyone know anything about that? I will search the forum to see if I can find it. Anyway, for now, thanks again for all the help. More to follow,... - Chris
 


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