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Ford 2.8L Engines

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About The 2.8L:

The Ford Cologne 2.8L V6 is a 60 cast iron block V6 engine built by the Ford Motor Company in Cologne, Germany.  The 2.8L engine in the Ranger is the same design as the 2.8 V-6 used since 1974 in the Ford and Mercury Capri vehicles.  A unique feature of the 2.8L is the timing gear vs a traditional timing chain (See picture below).

(Ford 2.8L - Timing Gear Shown)



2.8 Liter Specifications

Engine Family


Engine Displacement




Arrangement of Cylinders

'V' Shape

Bore x Stroke

3.66 x 2.70

Compression Ratio


Fuel System



115 @ 4600rpm


150 @ 2600rpm

Oil Pressure

40-60psi @ 2000rpm

Tune Up

Spark Plug


Spark Plug Gap


Ignition Timing

10 degrees BTDC

Firing Order


Distributor Rotation


Valve Clearance Intake


Valve Clearance Exhaust



Oil Capacity With Filter


Cooling System Capacity (Quarts)

W/AC- 7.2 /  W/O AC 7.8

Torque Specifications

Cylinder Head

70-85 ft-lbs [3-steps (29-40) (40-51) (70-85)]

Main Bearing Bolts

65-75 ft-lbs

Rod Bearing Bolts

19-24 ft-lbs

Crank Pulley Bolts

85-96 ft-lbs

Flywheel to Crankshaft Bolts

47-52 ft-lbs

Intake Manifold

15-18 ft-lbs [5-steps (hand start & snug) (3-6) (6-11) (11-15) (15-18) (Repeat 15-18 after warm up)]

Exhaust Manifold

20-30 ft-lbs

Valve Specifications

Seat Angle Degree


Face Angle Degree


Spring Test Pressure

143lbs @ 1.22in

Spring Installed Height


Stem-to-Clearance Intake


Stem-to-Clearance Exhaust


Stem Diameter Intake


Stem Diameter Exhaust


Crankshaft Specifications

Main Bearing Journal Diameter


Main Bearing Oil Clearance


Shaft End-play


Thrust on No.


Connecting Rod

Journal Diameter


Oil Clearance


Side Clearance




Piston & Ring Specifications

Piston to Bore Clearance


Ring Side Clearance Top Compression


Ring Side Clearance Bottom Compression


Ring Side Clearance Oil Control


Ring Gap Top Compression


Ring Gap Bottom Compression


Ring Gap Oil Control


Motorcraft 2150A Carburetor Specifications

Choke Pulldown Setting


Fast Idle Cam Setting 1984


Fast Idle Cam Setting 1985


Dechoke Setting


Float Setting (Wet)


Float Setting (Dry)

7/16" (1984) 1/16" (1985)

Accelerator Pump Lever Location


Choke Cap Setting

V-notch (1984) 3NR (1985)

Fast Idle


Firing Order 1-4-2-5-3-6 / Distributor Rotation - Clockwise

Known Problems:

Valve Seals - The 2.8L's are known to burn oil and smoke when they get high mileage.  They use a rubber valve seal that deteriorates and leaks oil into the cylinder.  Click HERE for information on replacing the valve seals.

Loose Distributor Rotor - Some of the Ford 2.8's came with round distributor rotors. These have (2) screws that hold them in place. There have been reports of them coming loose in the distributor. Click HERE for more information.

TFI Failure - If your truck stops running and wont restart, it could be from a faulty TFI. Click HERE for more information.

Performance Upgrades:

Cylinder Heads:

Cooling - A simple upgrade to the 2.8L heads is to drill two more water passages in them between where the two exhaust valves are side by side.  This helps prevent a local boiling point from forming.  Just use a good head gasket that already has the water passage holes in them for a guide, and mark the head and drill two holes.  Keep the holes a little smaller than the holes in the head gasket. - Contributed By Ryan Propst

Porting - Port your intake manifold and cylinder heads.  The intake and heads don't line up diameter to diameter.  Porting opens this up and allows better flow. Click HERE for details on porting.

Induction - Offy 4bbl Intake:

The 2.8L V-6 comes with a 2-bbl carburetor and manifold with a traditional round metal air filter container.  Offenhauser offers a 4bbl intake manifold.  The ignition system must be changed to earlier vacuum advance unit (Dura-Spark II) eliminating the EEC-IV computer and pollution equipment.  You can use the distributor, ignition module and coil from a 78 Pinto.  The Offenhauser Intake does not have an EGR setup. This will not allow the A4LD tranny to shift correctly.

The Offenhauser intake can be found at:

Racer Walsh:


P/N RWA6110

The Racer Walsh 2.8L aluminum intake manifold is made to work with the RWA6239 4BBL carb. You will need to use the RWA6278 thermostat housing with the new manifold. The intake manifold and carb combo are made for street driving and lower rpm off road applications, such as trail riding and playing in the mud. The installation of the manifold and carb still provide good gas mileage and an easy horsepower improvement.

Click HERE to go to their Offy 4bbl intake page

This intake can also be found at:


P/N offy-6097-DP

Recommend: Holley 0-6299 or 8007

Click HERE to go to their Offy 4bbl intake page.

Performance Automotive Warehouse (www.pawengineparts.com) did carry Offenhauser 4bbl Intake Manifold Part Number  0FF-6097-DP (part of Port-O-Sonic line).  Unknown if they still carry it.

Induction - Fuel Injection:

You can also swap on fuel injection using parts from a 3.8L Ford.  Check out the 2.8 Fuel Injection page.

Aftermarket Camshafts:

Competition Cams:

Competition Cams carries (3) camshafts for the 2.8L Ford, the 244S, 252S and 264S. Cam descriptions can be found HERE. Those parts can be found at Jegs (www.jegs.com) by searching for those (3) part numbers.

Competition Cams carried camshafts, rocker arms and timing gear for the 2.8L HERE.

THIS PAGE is the main Comp Cams menu for the Ford V6.

Camshafts - Racer Walsh (Also see below):

Racer Walsh offers (2) camshafts for the 2.8L Ford.

The stage 1 cam gives a smooth idle as well as a boost in low to mid range power, without sacrificing fuel economy. Please specify the year of your engine when ordering.

The Racer Walsh stage 2 V-6 camshaft for the 2.6L/2.8L engines offer a significant power increase from the midrange to top end performance. The Racer Walsh Stage 2 camshaft is a street / competition grind. We recommend a slightly higher than stock stall on the converter if an automatic transmission is used. Please specify the year of your engine when ordering. 


Racer Walsh carries 9-1 pistons for the 2.8L Ford HERE.

Exhaust & Air Filters 

Motors are just big air pumps.  The more air and the more air out the better the performance.


Hedman (www.hedman.com) manufactures headers for the 2.8L and Summit Racing still lists a Headman header.

Summit Racing also carries a Dynomax cat-back exhaust kit for the 2.8L.

Air Filters:

The air cleaner can be modified by adding another air intake and then routing intake hoses to a fresh air source providing a dual ram air effect. This of course should be accompanied by a K&N Air Filter.  There are many 2-bbl air cleaners out there of different dimensions, and it's metal design allows for modifications for any type of set-up.


TFI Harnesses

Summit Racing carries Jacobs, Mallory, MSD and Summit TFI harnesses to install an their aftermarket ignitions to your TFI vehicle.

Jacobs P/N JAC-380465

Mallory P/N MAA-29062

MSD P/N MSD-8874

Summit P/N SUM-850518

Click HERE to see them at Summit Racing.

MSD-8874 Shown Above

The MSD to Ford TFI Coil Harness is designed to provide a splice-free and simple installation of an MSD Ignition Control to Ford vehicles equipped with a TFI Coil. On MSD 6 & 7 Series Ignitions all of the wires connect to the corresponding colored wires. MSD 7 Series Ignitions share the same color wires.

1. Disconnect the connector from the coil and connect it to the MSD PN 8874 Harness. 

2. Connect the other end of the Harness to the Coil. 

3. Connect the four wires of the Harness to the MSD Ignition Control.

MSD Ignition Box Shown Above

Replacement Coils

Summit Racing carries replacement TFI ignition coils. You can view a list of them on the Summit Racing site HERE.

Crane P/N CRN-730-0391

Moroso P/N MOR-72360

MSD P/N MSD-8227

PerTronix P/N PNX-D3000 

Pertronix P/N PNX-D3003

ProForm P/N PRO-66959C

Hypertech P/N HYP-4064

TFI Ignition Modules:

Summit Racing carries Accel and PerTronix TFI Ignition Modules.

PerTronix P/N D2010

Accel P/N 35368

Accel P/N 35368 Shown Above

ACCEL control modules provide high coil output & superior reliability. Dwell circuit ensures long coil charging. Current circuit protects from overheating. Resists false triggering from RFI sources. Distributor and remote mounts available.

Available at Summit HERE.

Summit also offers Pertronix P/N PNX-D2010 HERE

Spark Plug Wires

You should upgrade to 9mm spark plug wires and will have to purchase a set of JBA Powercables or get a set of universal wires and cut them.  

Summit Racing carries the JBA Powercables P/N JBA-06309 HERE.

Duraspark Ignition Swaps:

Also check out the Duraspark ignition conversion HERE.  Using the Duraspark ignition, you can eliminated the computer, vacuum rail, vacuum reservoir, and all the wiring mess that goes along with that.  Get the carburetor that is on the 2.8 donor engine your Duraspark ignition comes from.  The Ranger 2.8 has a complicated carburetor control system. 

Check Out Racer Walsh

Here is a list of parts listed on their website. You may need search by the Part Number.

OFFY 4bbl / Holley 390 cfm - We recommend this manifold carb combination for street driving. A popular choice for the 2.8 Bronco/Ranger. It will perform well on a stock or modified engine. It is easy bolt-on horsepower that still gives good gas mileage. Bronco & Ranger require a special thermostat / waterneck housing # 6278.
Part Number Description
6110 Offy 4bbl Manifold
6239 390cfm 4bbl Carb
6278 Thermostat Housing
2.8 V6 Cams - Stage 1 cam gives a smooth idle and low and mid range power boost without sacrificing economy. Stage 2 cam is a street/competition grind. Higher lift and increased overlap give a rougher idle. Good midrange power increase. Specify engine year when ordering: '72-'83 had smaller cam journal size than later years.
Part Number Description
6411 Stage 1 Cam (260 DUR 425" LIFT) 
6412 Stage 2 Cam (264 DUR 448" LIFT) 
6477 Valve Spring Set                              
6449 Retainer Set Steel
6489 Pushrod Set (Stock Replacement)
6487 Lifter Set (Stock Replacement) 
Engine Gasket, Oil Pump & Bearings - Complete gasket set for the 2.8 engine. Hi volume oil pump and Clevite bearings.
Part Number Description
6592 Engine Gasket Set  
1765C HI Volume Oil Pump 
6520 Rod Bearing Set V6    
6528 Main Bearing Set V6
1570K ARP Rod Bolts
Forged Pistons 2.8 - 9-1 forged piston set for the 2800 V6 engine. We stock .030" overbore. Priced per set of 6, includes wrist pins.
Part Number Description
6498 Forged Pistons 
6499 Pistons Rings
Metal Timing Gears - Metal timing gears are more durable than the stock fiber type timing gears.
Part Number Description
6548   Timing Gears V6        


Miscellaneous Parts List

Part Number



CL38-101-4   Competition Cams  Good cam for OEM replacement or rebuild. Low RPM torque with good economy.
CL38-240-4 Competition Cams  Performance with economy, power increase in low-mid RPM range. See note 2. (Good For Auto)
CL38-241-4  Competition Cams Great for towing and highway use. Strong torque and power increases. (Good For Manual)        
6846  Edelbrock    Bolt on headers for 2 and 4 wheel drive Rangers.
0FF-6097-DP Offenhauser 4-Barrel intake manifold.
0-7448 Holley 350 cfm 2-barrel carb.
0-8007 Holley 390 cfm 4-barrel carb.
M-12199-C301  Ford Motorsport   Ford Extra Performance Ignition (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12029-A302  Ford Motorsport High Energy Coil (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12071-A301 Ford Motorsport  Wiring Harness (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12449-A600 Ford Motorsport  RPM Programming Chips 6000-6800 RPM for Ford Extra Performance Ignition.
NRD482691 NAPA Auto Parts 979 Vacuum advance distributor (for non-computer controlled conversion)
MPEFA136SB   NAPA Auto Parts Ignition Cap for 79 Vacuum advance distributor.
ECHFA139   NAPA Auto Parts  Ignition Cap Adapter Collar for 79 Vacuum advance distributor.
MPEFA159SB   NAPA Auto Parts  Ignition Rotor for 79 Vacuum advance distributor (Non-Bosh)

Note - The Comp Cam ......part # CL38-241-4 should be used with a manual transmission. The RPM range of this Cam will really hurt an A4LD on takeoff. The torque converters/stall speed is out side of its range. You really want to generate as much low end power as you can with a manual transmission because you can vary the RPM range when you let out the clutch.

Note - The CL in the part number can be replaced with SK if you want timing gears included with the cam and lifter kit.



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