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Author Topic: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?  (Read 3390 times)

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Offline 78wagondriver

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  I have a 78 pinto wagon with the 2.3L California emissions compliant engine . Well it used to comply. I now have Georgia tags on it and am no longer concerned about emissions. The original emission control components on the car were in bad shape and though there was screws and glue in vacuum hoses everywhere I still had a bad vacuum leak. I have taken out all the hoses and plugged the suction sources with rubber caps for every thing that wasn't the brake booster, distributor advance, pcv or going to the automatic transmission. I am currently getting 18-20 mpg on a mostly highway drive to work. With the pedal to the floor the car can reach 50 mph from the start of an on ramp in time to merge but only just barely. If given another 30 or so seconds with the pedal down I can hit 80 mph on a level grade, might could go another 10 mph faster if I dared to and had a tail wind.
I'm thinking maybe a combination of a good carb that doesn't have an ECU controlled fuel metering system and a set headers could do the trick. I was wandering if anyone could recommend a good  and simple setup that would get more power and efficiency. I also just like the simple beauty of nothing under the hood but what it takes to run the engine, no emissions controll junk, no coolant heated choke and none of that frivolous junk that my car is allready void of such as power steering, heater core, or air conditioner.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline racer99

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 08:02:38 AM »
Header and exhaust,dont go too big on the
od or it will be a dog down low.

Carb,either a 32/36 or a 2300 Autolite,pick up cold
air and run it too the air cleaner,keep it in a good state
of tune.

Offline Pangra74

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 07:43:29 PM »
I'm running a Weber 32/36 carb, plugged off the EGR, added a Spal 12" electric fan kit, and run Pertronix ignition. I'm using a Ford Ranger 2.3 Exhaust header which requires modifying the header pipe, but an easier fit than tube headers which always have leaked for me or had clearance problems. Because I'm running a T5, 5 Speed, I was able to get close to 34mpg on the Pinto Stampede cause we were driving so slow the whole way. I'm going to go for the larger, single stage Weber next with a snorkel and new cold air intake. The car is fun to drive and will easily top 100 mph with a basically stock engine. Of course it's lighter than a wagon...


My 2 cents,


Joe
1974 Orange Runabout
1974 soon to be Cruisin' Wagon

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 04:53:03 PM »
  I misunderstood my Haynes manual about my carb. The next year up from my car has the 6500 with the solenoid fuel metering system. My car has the regular 5200 on it, so it wont be bothered by removing emission controles I don't think. For a few days I couldn't get it to Idle right with the air cleaner on. The cause was loose carburetter mounting bolts. I also made an open side air cleaner from a junked mustang 2s v6 air cleaner. I put in a see through fuel filter to see if tank is clean and because I think it looks nice. Ive gutted most of the emissions now, but the ecu is still in as I'm unsure of if it dose anything with the ignition.
  The car cranks reliably and runs strong now. Unfortunately I think I may have ruined my front seal driving fast. I am satisfied to see my car in basically stock configuration can hit 95 mph. I added some seal conditioner to slow the leak. If this Is a front seal leak and the additive doesn't help I may need to get a new engine or rebuild this one.Here's some pics of the change and the suspect leak location.
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline Pangra74

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 05:21:40 PM »
Make sure it isn't the front camshaft seal. Those will leak down the front of the block and drip in the same spot. Not too hard to change in the car.
Joe
1974 Orange Runabout
1974 soon to be Cruisin' Wagon

Offline postalpony

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 12:00:32 AM »
Also check the cam bolt.  If it wasn't sealed well your leak could be there.
The camshaft is hollow & carries engine oil pressure, so it is recommended
that you put sealant on the first few threads of the bolt.
   I hope this helps.           Dick
1980 Hatchback was a "Postal Unit" on the
west coast in it's early life. Now residing
in Ohio, But we don't haul the U.S. Mail anymore;
 Now all we do is HAUL!
 5th gear 4700 rpm & still pullin'= 113+  mph
 
 UPDATE-83.762 mph in 4th gear As verified by a W Va State Trooper-WITH 1 GEAR TO GO 6-2-11

Offline 78wagondriver

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2012, 09:13:49 PM »
Good news the seal conditioner seems to have worked for the oil leak... now the transmission is leaking ten miles to the quart. I haven't figured out the location yet but it seams to be running out on the passenger side of the cross member so I guess its up front on the transmission some where.It leaks only during use not while just sitting. I guess I'll fill it with stop leak and type f until I can get it on a lift. I bought a tow bar and attached it to the bumper shocks for a plan B. I can tow the car up to 30 miles according to the Haynes manual without overheating the transmission. If I need to tow further I will unhook the driveshaft from the axle. Dose anyone know if the bumper mounts will pull out on this car? I gave it a good test yank in the parking lot and they held, but I would like to know for sure. If they can pull out I guess I can weld them in place. Any one ever had a bad transmission leak like this?
78 pinto wagon
80 silverado big ten
81 malibu sedan
92 cougar
92 siera 2500

Offline Fred Morgan

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2012, 09:32:56 PM »
I run 94 Ranger headers with a 2500 carb. with Ranger 74 headers Ford figured I am doing 110 HP .   Fred    ;D
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Offline rbohm

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2012, 08:36:25 PM »
 8) offenhauser makes a four barrel intake for the 2.3, and holley makes a neat little 390cfm four barrel carb. add a good header and efficient exhaust system, and perhaps a cam swap, and you can pick up a fair amount of performance at reasonable prices.
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Offline dave1957

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2012, 12:57:36 PM »
here is my opinion..range r rollercam..goo d exhaust..an a 5 speed with 355gears.sound s like ya do a lot of highway driving..or go the 2.3 turbo swap..
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Offline mrlightrail

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 11:03:01 PM »
One thing not mentioned is whether or not the cat is still on. If it is, it could be plugged up, since the other equipment has been removed.

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Offline Grumpy

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 04:44:49 PM »
Check your PCV valve, mine came apart and the car could not be adjusted to run until I finally found it and replaced it with a steel bodied one(the stock one is plastic and the end blew out)

Grumpy
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Offline carbomb

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Re: What can I do to improve my 2.3 engines eficiency and power?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2012, 12:00:35 AM »
i have a weber carb that is almost brand new. When i replaced my stock carb with it, it was night and day difference and a nice air cleaner assembly that goes on top of it. It makes a nice sucking noise when I gassed it! the setup probably increased my power by 30% over the 30 year old carb that was on there. my wagon is a california car too. I went turbo and have been trying to sell the carburetor. It is boxed up and ready to ship (thought i had it sold) so if you interested message me and ill get you a little more info.