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Offline JoeBob

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2.8 questions
« on: October 30, 2014, 11:19:08 AM »
I am looking at a 2.8 car with an automatic. I have heard that the 2.8 is not as reliable as the other engines. Can someone bring me up to speed.
Years ago I rented a 2.0 pinto with an automatic. it was real sluggish. Does the 2.8 do much better?
Thank you
Bill
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline Pintopower

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 11:55:21 AM »
The 2.8 is one of the best engines Ford ever designed. It is a short stroke, high rev motor with good performance out of the box. Paired to the automatic, you will not be short on power. I have 3 V6 Pinto's with the Automatics. Hills are scoffed at, they will cruise all day at 70 MPH and they get 25 mpg on average on the highway.

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

This is not an american engine. It is German. This motor was designed and engineered for use in Germany where it is cold. You will need to make sure that the radiator is clean and in proper working order. All three of mine are fully loaded cars with AC. They will sit in traffic without any issues with the AC on, with outside air temp over 100 deg f. My '79 engine is fully blue printed with euro pistons, all of its smog components (including cats, all my cars run cats, regardless of year), jetted stock carb and curved stock distributor. It was dyno'd at 165 bhp at the rear wheels when it was built in 2000. My '77 is fully blueprinted with a jetted carb and curved distributor. 124 bhp ARW. Lastly, my '76 Bobcat is bone stock and original with 105k on the clock. It has never been dyno'd but in comparison to the '77, it is close in power.

Performance - This engine is not designed for low end power. Thing that will ruin this engine are the following:

Headers - This engine needs exhaust pressure more than it needs to exhale. It will also perpetually overheat.
A 4 bbl - Garbage unless you actually have compression which these engines do not. The best carb is the for 2800 2bbl
Headwork - Ported heads make the metal thinner. This makes them more susceptible to cracking. They need rough intake manifolds and polished exhaust.

How do I know this? Simple. My '79 used to have hooker headers (super comps), a 4bbl intake with matching holly carb. The car would over heat in the cold, it had no power off the line, wouldn't pass smog and all it could muster up was a miserable 130bhp.

If you want to buy the car and leave the engine alone, it is my favorite one ever offered in the pinto. If you want to fix it up, get a 2.3.

Oh, and as for reliability, my '79 has over 100k since the rebuild. The only thing I ever do to the car is change the oil at 10k mile intervals (I use diesel oil and a zinc additive). It was dyno'd a few months ago when I bought new plugs and wires (they too where from when I rebuilt the engine) and it dyno'd at 153.
I have many Pintos, I like them....
#1. 1979 Wagon V6 Restored
#2. 1977 Wagon V6 Restored
#3. 1980 Sedan I4 Original
#4. 1974 Pangra Wagon I4 Turbo
#5. 1980 Wagon I4 Restored
#6. 1976 Bobcat Squire Hatchback (Restoring)
...Like i said, I like them.
...and I have 4 Fiats.

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 11:26:43 AM »
2.8 is great but make sure cooling system is in great working order!!

my 75 had blown head gaskets at only 28,000 miles -  now at 39,000 and still running strong!! other issue is that valves need to be adjusted - when new heads where installed after about 1000 miles sounded like a diesel!!

just my 2 cents !! and as far as power they will pull like a v8 mustang just no high top end for me  rear gears make it top out at around 65-70 mph       but its not a race car its a super clean fun to drive cruiser!!


good luck with the new car!!
1975 mercury bobcat 2.8 auto
1978 mercury bobcat wagon 2.3l - soon to have a 88 tc drive line
1975 ford pinto - drag car - 2.3l w/t5 trans - project car

Offline DBSS1234

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 01:06:06 PM »
I have my cruising wagon with the 2.8 and a Mustang II with the 2.3 (both stock). I will take the 2.8 any time over the 2.3. I think the main reason the 2.8 got the bad reputation is people didn't realize the lifters were solid and never adjusted the valves.

Offline 78_starsky

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 10:20:56 PM »
hi,   as for reliability, i have only been driving my car for a short time from the build and poor emission tests, (full insurance next year, gov. is abolishing emission testing)  yeehaa....   but after the motor build, i can say that these little 2.8 motors are very gutsy with their flat topped pistons and a custom ground cam with the 2 barrel set up.

don't kid yourself and go for it.

i am going to say this motor will be around for a while.

Offline JoeBob

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 12:13:11 AM »
bought it today
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 06:20:55 AM »
pics??

1975 mercury bobcat 2.8 auto
1978 mercury bobcat wagon 2.3l - soon to have a 88 tc drive line
1975 ford pinto - drag car - 2.3l w/t5 trans - project car

Offline Pintocrazed

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2014, 07:02:58 AM »
I BOUGHT A RANGER WITH THIS MOTOR AT ONE TIME.IT BACK FIRED ON THE OWNER BEFORE AN NEVER RAN AGAIN.I THINK THE CAM LOBES WERE SHOT.FINALLY GAVE UP ON IT PAID 50 FOR IT AN SOLD IT FOR 200.BUT IVE DRIVIN STUFF WITH THESE MOTORS AN THEY WERE PRETTY FUN

Offline pinto_one

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2014, 10:29:37 AM »
I have two of them now, great engine when taken care of, the only thing I see wrong with these are you have to adjust the valves time to time, and the carb if not set up right will give you fits, if you buy it and do not know the past history change the timing gear because it will fail , made of fiber and the new ones are metal , if it is running hot you might have a busted head , if so grab one of the last year 2.8 off a ranger or bronco two, then drill that extra hole in the head for the hot spot between the exhaust valves , your good to go,  and keep a good fan belt because if it snaps or flys off it will over heat very quickly and bust a head , happened to me , ford saw this and made a water pump pulleys on the ranger that had all the belts go over it in case it ever happened , hope this helps
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline JoeBob

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 03:51:07 PM »
here is a pic. I will start a new thread for the restoration with the other photos
77 yellow Bobcat hatchback
Deuteronomy 7:9

Offline amc49

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Re: 2.8 questions
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2014, 11:13:31 PM »
We got the idea pretty quick back at the garage in the day that if you let one overheat you could practically count on cracked head(s).  What we fixed on the few we saw back then.  We never fixed for it but also heard that the plastic timing gear broke pretty easy.

I was never big on the engine based on the screwy port layout, heck I didn't care for the 2.3 for the same reason. I mean golly, four totally different intake ports??? The 2.3 intake couldn't be worse if it was made of legos. Like Ford was designing engines and then when done they then try to figure out where to put the ports last, or back-sswards. Like others have said of the engines then, designed by a committee and each guy got to choose where to put his one port, just crazy.  The Euro design effect I guess. I was spoiled by working early on with Japanese motor design, those guys obviously read design studies in engine airflow.