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Offline bassplayerbell

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engine swap or not???
« on: May 10, 2015, 08:40:56 AM »
My 78 cruising wagon is about to get some engine work done. It has the 2.8 now with AC. What my question is would the 2.8 be a good rebuild or should I swap for 2.3 and build it up for some better HP. From all I read the 2.8 is not worth building up. Lots of confusing info out there. :o :o :-[
Any suggestions?

Offline 78_starsky

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 09:34:33 AM »
Hi,  I have a 2.8 That went with a rebuild after it sat for 20 years.  Nothing wrong with these little motors if you are able to do a good build job and can spend some cash on the build.

I took the original cam to a custom shop near me for a custom grind. (it has a 5200 rpm grind)  Drilled out the heads to allow better water flow. (easy to do if you have access to a drill press and you are mechanically inclined)

It will all come down to how deep your pockets are and what you want from the car.  For me this motor rocks my car with dual exhaust and the C4.  all in i would guess i spent about 1,000 all in on the engine build.  here in Canada parts are expensive compared to US parts places.

here is link to the build.

http://www.fordpinto.com/index.php?topic=15344.0

Offline bassplayerbell

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 09:45:53 AM »


It will all come down to how deep your pockets are and what you want from the car.  For me this motor rocks my car with dual exhaust and the C4.  all in i would guess i spent about 1,000 all in on the engine build.  here in Canada parts are expensive compared to US parts places.


You put C4 in your`s?

Offline 78_starsky

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 10:18:29 AM »
Yes,  C4.... why not?

Offline bassplayerbell

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 10:53:08 AM »
just checking mine has a C3

Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 11:40:52 AM »
Just overhaul it.and put it back in, one is to dump the smog crap, bump the compression up to 9.1 , mild cam, and a weber carb kit they offer for this engine, mine I dumped a2.9 crank, a tbi off a early 5.0 LTD , computer from a ranger 2.9 and last use the A4LD trans from a 93 up 4.0 and use the ranger 2.9 converter, still got the A/C that works and power steering , if we're to do it again I would use use the 2.9 out of the ranger, oil pan and engine mounts fit to the engine, you just have to remake the alt, A/C and power steering brackets, on the pluss side the valves are hyd and do not need to be adjusted like the 2.8 engine , both are good engines . Look in the pinto gallery's for photos of mine ,later Blaine
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline dianne

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 12:15:06 PM »
Just overhaul it.and put it back in, one is to dump the smog crap, bump the compression up to 9.1 , mild cam, and a weber carb kit they offer for this engine, mine I dumped a2.9 crank, a tbi off a early 5.0 LTD , computer from a ranger 2.9 and last use the A4LD trans from a 93 up 4.0 and use the ranger 2.9 converter, still got the A/C that works and power steering , if we're to do it again I would use use the 2.9 out of the ranger, oil pan and engine mounts fit to the engine, you just have to remake the alt, A/C and power steering brackets, on the pluss side the valves are hyd and do not need to be adjusted like the 2.8 engine , both are good engines . Look in the pinto gallery's for photos of mine ,later Blaine

How about going to a later 2.3 EFI build Blaine? Wouldn't that be better and he has all the parts?
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Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 12:46:17 PM »
Well the only thing is we do not know what parts he has or what he can get his Hands on, the car is already a V-6, so he can transplant a later 2.8 out of a early Ranger/Bronco II, with ease , or a 2.9, for more power, if he wanted to use the 2.3 EFI he would first have to find the pinto oil pan and engine mounts along with a trans , to go with it , then get a radiator fans and etc , he wanted to do it in a weekend , but he will reply back on his options because this his his daily driver ,  👻
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline bassplayerbell

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 11:14:18 AM »
Just not sure if the 2.8 is worth rebuilding and pulling some more horse out of it.  I can drop a 2.3 with more horse but if I already have the V6 and its worth doing I will stick with stock V6 and modify as needed.

Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 06:57:59 PM »
Well it can be overhauled , I see on eBay under 2.8 engine parts you will find pistons and the other things you need, I see most engine shops are dumping the parts due to the age of the engine and has been out of production for over 30 years, or find one at a yard out of a ranger or bronco II for 50 or less and overhaul it, when done you can swap it out into your car in a day or so, yours lasted this long and when taken care of it will out last us , good luck,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline bbobcat75

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2015, 08:54:26 PM »
/\/\ what this guy said!!!
1975 mercury bobcat 2.8 auto
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Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2015, 05:47:45 AM »
Forgot to say 84 to 85 ranger/bronco II 2.8 engine , they are tad bit better , difrent camshaft, and new style spark plugs, block is thicker,  and comes with a better water pump along with a fan clutch ,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline bassplayerbell

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 07:38:55 AM »
Forgot to say 84 to 85 ranger/bronco II 2.8 engine , they are tad bit better , difrent camshaft, and new style spark plugs, block is thicker,  and comes with a better water pump along with a fan clutch ,



Perfect Thanks

Offline enzo

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 10:18:12 PM »
Agree with Pinto_one, 2.8 engine out of Pinto and MII had unique main bearings, hard to find and expensive. 2.8 Ranger has same mains as 2.9 and 4.0, much easier to find.  Have cam reground for more mid range and top end for more performance.  You will love this engine.!!  And best of all, you won't have a bunch of changes to make to get it on the road, "carb, motor mounts, alternator, ignition, cooling, gearing, etc!!!"  Have fun, at least.

Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2015, 09:25:45 AM »
That's right Enzo, but you do not have the have the cam re ground, COMP CAMS makes three or four different grinds for the later 2.8 , also the cam bearings are larger, the best part is the water pump for this engine has extra pulley on it , so no single belt, a must because if you lose the belt it will crack a head in a blink of an eye, happened to me ,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline edselbill

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2015, 05:13:41 PM »
I have the same question.. and am still unsure of the answer.

I am doing a 77 wagon build. I am NOT looking to make it into a performer, just a bit more HP, reliability, possibly smoother and better mileage.  (And not anemic on the highway, especially with the AC on.)  This build is to become a modern daily driver.

What I am looking for is the swap that requires the LEAST amount of modifications.  I have the 2.8 v6 with c3 Auto currently.

What is the simplest upgrade swap?  I am willing to spend the money for a good donor car, engine and tranny.
Turbo sounds like a lot of modifications that I'm not interested in.  I am not looking to tear apart the incoming engine for modifications to the cam, etc...

Someone said a modern Focus 2.3L 4cy drops in easy.
I am happy and willing to buy a used Ranger / Bronco II and take the engine. Same with a Focus, or a Mustang, or whatever. I will get what is needed, so not to worry about what I currently have or what parts can match up.

Of all of the options discussed below, (or in other parts of the forum) and assuming money wasn't the critical factor, which modern engine / tranny combo drops in easiest with the least amount of modifications, and provides an upgrade in performance, etc..  while maintaining as much of the original Pinto details as possible. (Wiring harness, AC, gauges, engine mounts, etc..)

Thoughts?

I'm the new owner of what might possibly be the most "restored' '77 Pinto Squire around.  I had a '79 Strsky & Htch stripped glass-back back in the 80's and love it.  I crave "originality" and this Squire is unbelievable.  Glad to be back into Pintos!

Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2015, 07:54:38 PM »
You can do it a few ways, just the engine and the transmission later or both, find a Murkur Scorpio with the 2.9 with the auto, grab everything , wires and computer , your oil pan and engine mounts will bolt to it, drop it in, the over drive you will have to move the trans mount back 4 1/2 inches , and shorten the driveshaft the same, or bolt up your org trans and do it later,  this engine , as is , has almost 50% more power , also this car has the low profile intake manifold so it will fit under the hood, the trans mod I can send you photos of mine , the overdrive takes out the buzz on the hwy,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline enzo

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2015, 09:31:37 PM »
edselbill, I agree with Pinto_one.  You already have a V6 auto.  Stick with what you have. To go to with any other engine/trans combo will add work to the task.  The 2.9 with a C4 is the choice I should have made when I rebuilt mine. The 2.8 P/MII has some details that need to be looked at for longevity. As stated above, the main bearings are unique to 2.8 P/MII engine. The solid lifters don't make it more low maintenance.  The 2.9 has hydraulics lifters, the water pump is better and the heads have larger valves, making more power. The block and heads are thicker, the cam has larger bearings allowing for more lobe lift if wanted. The Merkur low profile manifold looks good. 

Damn,  I think I just talked myself in to another project.

Offline edselbill

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2015, 09:00:17 AM »
Sounds like the 2.9 with auto is the easiest swap.  I will look into that.

But, is the Murkur Scorpio the only vehicle to find this engine and tranny combo?  I mean it's not like you find those around every corner...
I'm the new owner of what might possibly be the most "restored' '77 Pinto Squire around.  I had a '79 Strsky & Htch stripped glass-back back in the 80's and love it.  I crave "originality" and this Squire is unbelievable.  Glad to be back into Pintos!

Offline enzo

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2015, 09:13:41 AM »
Use the 2.9 from the Ranger.  The Ranger and Merkur have a 2 piece intake manifold that the bottom half is common to both apps.  The Ranger top half is too tall to fit under Pinto hoods.

Offline edselbill

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2015, 10:48:53 AM »
Ahhhh.

2.9 Ranger Engine, but need to swap out the Merkur top half intake manifold to fit under the hood.

The existing C3 auto will bolt right in with little to no modifications.  C4 works, but needs some mods.

Sound about right?
Anything else critical I need to be aware of?  (Before I go out shopping for a Ranger or Merkur?)

Any particular years better than others?
Do I need to search for a carbed car instead of one with an ECU?

I'm the new owner of what might possibly be the most "restored' '77 Pinto Squire around.  I had a '79 Strsky & Htch stripped glass-back back in the 80's and love it.  I crave "originality" and this Squire is unbelievable.  Glad to be back into Pintos!

Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2015, 02:08:37 PM »
The ranger/bronco II and the Scorpio is the same engine , But ! , on the Scorpio it top of the intake manifold is shorter , and the Pistons have a dish instead of a step in them , I used the dished in mine to bump up the compression just a tad, last is the computer it up to you , I am towing a 2000lb pluss camper so I use the truck computer , the Scorpio has more hp so that may be the one for you , mild cam and find a chip will help more , my wife's 90 bronco II had over 300k on the engine before the trans took a dump, so the engine will give you years of service , that trans you have is a C-3 and is not a bad trans when taken care of, it is the father of the A4LD trans , that is why it is almost a bolt in, they never made a 2.9 carb engine , but again over in Europe they do make them, burton power make one but it takes three webers , going to efi is not hard , the ease of starting on cold or hot days is a joy and gives good mileage , just like the guys with the turbo efi 2.3 pintos would not think of ever going back to a carb again, hope this helps,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline pinto_one

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2015, 02:26:00 PM »
More info,  if you want to upgrade a few more things since you have the engine out , one is to use the small 91 up starter for the 4.0' spins the crap out the engine and uses less amps to do it , yep it's same and save a few lbs ,  next is the oil filter , the adaptor on the side of the 2.9 uses the FL -1'A filter , not the hard to find 2.8 one, I done the remote and moved it to the front of the engine mount , still bolted to the engine , now I do not have oil running down my arm and filling up my armpit , I have a few photos posted on the members albums of it and the new trans mount for the over drive , and I used the bronco II speedometer cable to hook to the vss speed sensor on the trans to the speedometer , yep it all bolts up , and if you have a friend at a machine shop you can drop a 4.0 crank in the 2.9 block to make it a 3.5 , anything else just ask here , later Blaine
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2015, 05:01:30 PM »
Since it was mentioned earlier, the last thing I would do in search of more power is swap from a V6 to a non-turbo 2.3. I know Esslinger has a full complement of aftermarket parts for the Lima, but it takes a pretty serious effort to get even 200bhp out of one. A basic non-intercooled 2.3T does that stock, but that swap is whole other can of worms.

I say stick with the Cologne V6 engine family. I think an Explorer/Ranger pushrod 4.0 (160hp/240ft-lbs) would be interesting, but I think there are issues with getting a front-sump oil pan. The 4.0 crank in a 2.9 might be an option...
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
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Offline dianne

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2015, 12:17:38 PM »
Since it was mentioned earlier, the last thing I would do in search of more power is swap from a V6 to a non-turbo 2.3. I know Esslinger has a full complement of aftermarket parts for the Lima, but it takes a pretty serious effort to get even 200bhp out of one. A basic non-intercooled 2.3T does that stock, but that swap is whole other can of worms.

I say stick with the Cologne V6 engine family. I think an Explorer/Ranger pushrod 4.0 (160hp/240ft-lbs) would be interesting, but I think there are issues with getting a front-sump oil pan. The 4.0 crank in a 2.9 might be an option...

We're boring the mini stock 40 over and shaving everything along with a cam, dual springs, and a cam adjuster. I think you can reach it. There are a bunch of fox bodies at the track getting that much now. Crank done also and flat head pistons.
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- 1997 Suzuki Marauder

FORD: Federal Ownership Respectfully Denied

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: engine swap or not???
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2015, 03:05:03 PM »
There are a bunch of fox bodies at the track getting that much now.

I don't doubt it, but those are track cars.
'72 Runabout - 2.3T, T5, MegaSquirt-II, 8", 5-lugs, big brakes.
'68 Mustang - Built roller 302, Toploader, 9", etc.