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Author Topic: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?  (Read 4408 times)

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Offline Snow Wolf

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can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« on: April 23, 2014, 04:42:20 PM »
can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?

well iím thinking of building a 1979-1980 (or older if the front clips are swappable ) Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon.

(sorry, i really donít want to do a V8 unless there is no other option, and NO!!!! iím not doing anything with fuel injection. i have an 1987 ford ranger 2.3 with multiport fuel injection, i put a 480 lift cam in it and the ECM told me to go F myself. and NO ONE sold a chip for it. and i didnít have the money to send it out to a tuner ever time i want to change something on it.. (that why the ranger is now running with a carb  ;D ) )

well anyway i was thinking of swapping in the 4.0 ohv V6. i know i can find a carburetor intake manifold for the 4.0 ( http://www.moranav6racing.com/category.html?CategoryID=32 ) and i know the 4.0 has a distributor hole in the block and the cam has a distributor gear. and i know that the 2.9 distributor works in the 4.0 just like it would in the 2.9.

so if everything works. can i just drop in the 4.0, and put the MORANA Conversion Intake Manifold on it, use a 390 to 500 cfm holley 4bbl carburetor, and drop in a 2.9 distributor and run it off of the existing 2.8 ignition system and wiring harness with little or no modifications?

i have came up with alot of ideas for this build. at first it was thinking of putting a 3.8 V6 in. but i think there would be lots of fabrication of motor, and trans mounts and other stuff... then i thought of supercharging the 2.8. but with the hot spot on the heads, i didnít think it was a good idea. then i was thinking of just dropping a small windsor v8 in it. like a 221 or 255 or 260. i know lots of ppl who dropped a 302 in the pintoís and iím pretty sure there is a kit out there by now. but i donít know if it would pass maryland emission tests. i really donít want to put this car on historic tags bc i want this as my daily driver. and maryland is beginning to crack down on ppl who are using cars on historic tags as daily drivers. but if i can take the front clip off of a 79 or 80 and put it on a 76 or older then i donít have to worry about the emission tests even if i do tag it as a regular car.

the build is really a fun daily driver that i like. something that would run 15ís, and that is fun in the turns, and that doesnít zoop down gas. looking for something that is no lower when 17.5 mpg average.  looking at cars that are under 3000 lbs. and NO i donít want a fox body mustang. yes i like that looks of them but everybody has one. well anyway the 79-80 Pinto Cruising Wagon fit that build  ;D .... with a few other cars.
Cars I own:
*87 Ford Ranger. 2.3 was EFI now carb and loving it. <-- my baby
*75 Chevy Nova 250 I6. nice cruiser.

Past cars i've owned:
*65 Ford mustang 200 I6.
*68 Ford Ranchero 302.
*78 Ford F350 Camper Special Ranger XLT with a 460.
*74 Dodge Charger HT with a 318.
and that's all of them.

Offline amc49

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 11:13:41 PM »
If the distributor is a standard duraspark one and not the later TFI one it will work fine.

Offline Snow Wolf

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 11:54:19 AM »
thank you amc49.
do you know when ford switched from the duraspark to the TFI? 
Cars I own:
*87 Ford Ranger. 2.3 was EFI now carb and loving it. <-- my baby
*75 Chevy Nova 250 I6. nice cruiser.

Past cars i've owned:
*65 Ford mustang 200 I6.
*68 Ford Ranchero 302.
*78 Ford F350 Camper Special Ranger XLT with a 460.
*74 Dodge Charger HT with a 318.
and that's all of them.

Offline amc49

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2014, 10:54:25 PM »
'86-'87ish or so. Quite likely different models lead or trailed by a year.

Offline enzo

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2014, 10:58:42 PM »
The distributor housings might fit, but, you will find that the gears are different as the Duraspark engine (2.8) was gear driven on the cam, where as the TFI (2.9) is chain driven.  Therefore the cams rotated opposite.  The oil pump driveshaft is also different.  You might be able to swap parts around enough to make it work.  I haven't gotten that far along on the idea to know.  And then there is the electronics differences.  Wiring has got to be modified, because, the 2.9 is injected as you know.

Offline enzo

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2014, 11:36:19 PM »
To further your investigation into a swap to Duraspark ignition, go to therangerstati on.com site for help.

Offline amc49

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 07:40:38 PM »
I do not know personally but if the 2.9 is EFI then most likely the distributor is a hall effect type and will not work with duraspark parts. Duraspark uses a mag impulse pickup with two wires, the TFI type is three wires to pickup, one carries power to turn on the transistor in the Hall device.

Offline Snow Wolf

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 03:49:37 PM »
thank you all for your help.
and enzo, i'll look into that more.
i was also thinking of maybe doing something like a stand alone ignition system. something like MSD or mallory if they make anything for what i'm trying to do.
Cars I own:
*87 Ford Ranger. 2.3 was EFI now carb and loving it. <-- my baby
*75 Chevy Nova 250 I6. nice cruiser.

Past cars i've owned:
*65 Ford mustang 200 I6.
*68 Ford Ranchero 302.
*78 Ford F350 Camper Special Ranger XLT with a 460.
*74 Dodge Charger HT with a 318.
and that's all of them.

Offline pinto_one

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2014, 08:08:42 PM »
Hi , been trough this with a 2.8 I am converting to TBI , the housings are the same, but the shaft size is diffrent also, but last year Bronco ii with the 2.8 had the TFI, used a small computor just for ign timing, so use the 2.9 dist with 2.8 computor , best yet is just use the whole efi system , I have a 93 ranger with the 4.0 ran 15.90 at the drags years ago, now has 250 k on it now and still gives 21 mpg ,  the pinto V-6 mounts will bolt on but you have to mod the 2.8 oil pan, one side fits and the other need to be wider about a inch , good if you already have a v6 pinto , flywheel and trans bolt up fine,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: can a 2.9 distributor run off of a 2.8 ignition system?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 03:47:02 AM »
I do not know personally but if the 2.9 is EFI then most likely the distributor is a hall effect type and will not work with duraspark parts. Duraspark uses a mag impulse pickup with two wires, the TFI type is three wires to pickup, one carries power to turn on the transistor in the Hall device.

TFI distributors with the module attached can be used by themselves to fire a coil, but the timing will be locked at wherever it is set. It needs a signal on the SPOUT (spark output) terminal to make it fire earlier. And yes, the pickup is a hall sensor while Durasparks have a variable reluctor pickup. Durasparks are dead easy and cheap to wire up with a GM HEI module.

NO!!!! iím not doing anything with fuel injection. i have an 1987 ford ranger 2.3 with multiport fuel injection, i put a 480 lift cam in it and the ECM told me to go F myself. and NO ONE sold a chip for it. and i didnít have the money to send it out to a tuner ever time i want to change something on it.

All the tuner outfits do is install a J3 chip. There are abundant chip and standalone ECU options available now.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.