The CarbuRanger build thread ('94 2.3L Carb Conversion)


ExploreNW

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It's official! I'm sick of chasing problems and throwing parts at this thing. My fuel pump finally went out last week and it's a perfect time to build what I've always wanted: a reliable, mechanically controlled truck.

Why? I know you guys hate carbs. I live in the middle of nowhere, I know carbs inside and out, and I have all this great luck. My F250 got me stuck last December... 5 deg F, blowing snow, perfect time for the EEC to quit on me four hours from home. Not a scan tool nor starting fluid or old school truckers tricks could find the problem after I already threw a bunch of cash at parts chasing intermittent issues earlier in the year. Before it died I replaced the throttle body, rail pressure sensor, 8 coils, 8 plugs (mod motor, they were a **** to get out), FPDM, TWO fuel pumps, EGR, 02s, cats, and more. Ended up with a $4k bill from my mechanic after they put a 3rd pump in it and figured out the EEC itself died and I still couldn't work for 3 weeks. I bought my 94 Ranger as a secondary truck "just in case" but this thing is now slipping down the same slope of wallet sucking sensor failures. Go figure, it has 199k miles on it! I've already been fighting it with parts that patched problems for 3 months or less. EEC won't spit codes in koeo or koer. Looks like the pump quit and the EEC is next. I can't trust it after losing my 250 in Boardman. I know carbs suck but I've never been stuck in a carb'd car since I can carry all of the tools and parts to fix one in my glove box. I will take the MPG hit to build something that gets me home every time.

What I have: A Carter YF/YFA from a 300-6. Grandpa's truck so it means something to me. Thing never quit til it threw the #5 rod and even then it still drove itself onto the flatbed. I have the hose needed to delete the electric pump and I think I also have a mechanical fuel pump from an old Ford, maybe the 300 maybe a Pinto. Not sure, have to dig.

What I need: Ignition - I heard something about the red DIS from the old T-birds not needing a computer because they made their own timing signal based on an internal vac sensor. If I knew which model I could find one and make it work. That way I could keep the 8 plug system because the T-birds had a waste spark. I don't know what year or model to use.

I also need a way to adapt the stock lower manifold to the carb. I can make a carb adapter with aluminum sheet stock and a couple brazing rods.

Emissions: Long story. Remember that guy who ran for president on a global warming ticket, Jay Inslee? Yep, he's the Gov of the state that is getting rid of emissions testing on Jan 1. So No EGR for me. I want to run a cat so I don't kill my dog riding in back and a carbon can so I don't smell like I'm gonna explode at any moment but that's about it. I won't have to pass an emissions test ever again so long as I live in the state of Washington.

In Conclusion I'm a lot more comfortable with carbs and my Ranger got me stuck again so it's getting one. Everything on the farm runs one, both my boats run carbs, and the carb cars I've had have been rock solid so I'm going to make my Ranger into something I can use & fix for many years to come. Stay tuned, I'll write up a thorough build guide because I can't find one for the 2.3. If you guys can find the ignition module that works on vac only send it my way.
 


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PetroleumJunkie412

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Hardcore EFI guy here, but I'm subscribing to this one. Interested to see where it will lead.
 

bobbywalter

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ExploreNW

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Update #1! I did some hunting for that ignition module. They aren't off T-birds, they're off Escorts, and only in Europe where carb'd 4 bangers were sold well into the '90s. I heard about these in a forum post when I did my first bit of research on the carb conversion several months ago.

FordESC.jpg


Here's what it looks like. Note the vac port on the right. It's designed to take direct input from vac, cam sensor, crank sensor, and temps to calculate its own timing without an ECU. Sourcing these from the EU will be a problem and it doesn't seem like it will drive more than one coil so I'm back to square 1. I need to find a standalone ignition module to run the coils - preferably from the junkyard - else I'll be stuck at 10 degrees timing. Do you guys have any ideas?
 

rusty ol ranger

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You made the right choice.

Like you, ive had much better luck with carbed engines.
 

8thTon

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You'd be much better off with a Holley/Weber 5200 or similar (as was used on the earlier 2.3), or other Weber progressive 2bbl (32/36DGAV, etc). Or just have fun and put a 40DCOE side draft on it.
 

ExploreNW

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Rusty, have you carb'd your 2.9? I've read some conflicting threads here about whether or not it can be done. If you did I'm curious how your ignition system works.

8thTon, I agree - The 5200 is a great carb and so are the Autolite/Motorcraft 2100/2150. I have the Carter 1bbl on hand already and I'd like to get the thing on the road as a proof of concept before I spend the cash on a proper carb. I went to the biggest junkyard in town last weekend but couldn't find any of either. There was a 2bbl on an Isuzu motor in a LUV and a few Nissans had 2bbls but they weren't domestic, had smog, and had 1/3 smaller displacement motors attached so trying to get the right jets would be an issue. Everything left with a carb had these Carters in varying states of decay so parts are everywhere. A side draft carb would make a badass looking motor and I could probably get one to bolt to the weird inverted upper intake manifold that came stock!
 

8thTon

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Rusty, have you carb'd your 2.9? I've read some conflicting threads here about whether or not it can be done. If you did I'm curious how your ignition system works.

8thTon, I agree - The 5200 is a great carb and so are the Autolite/Motorcraft 2100/2150. I have the Carter 1bbl on hand already and I'd like to get the thing on the road as a proof of concept before I spend the cash on a proper carb. I went to the biggest junkyard in town last weekend but couldn't find any of either. There was a 2bbl on an Isuzu motor in a LUV and a few Nissans had 2bbls but they weren't domestic, had smog, and had 1/3 smaller displacement motors attached so trying to get the right jets would be an issue. Everything left with a carb had these Carters in varying states of decay so parts are everywhere. A side draft carb would make a badass looking motor and I could probably get one to bolt to the weird inverted upper intake manifold that came stock!
I'm afraid the days of finding carbs in junkyards are gone - anything there that long would likely have frozen throttle plates anyway. The 2100/2150 are great carbs but I think a progressive 2bbl is better for a smaller engine. That said I had a DCOE on a 1098cc 4cyl once, and it was way too much carb for that engine - but it pulled great nonetheless.

The advantage of something like an actual Weber is the ability to change all the jets with screw in parts, unlike a production carb like a 2150 where some of the jets must be drilled or pressed in/out.
 


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