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Old 08-27-2008, 01:31 PM
jackofalltrades jackofalltrades is offline
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2.9 Liter upgrades?

What's available? OK the boy and I were talking. He's thinking 5.0 for his Bronco. I'm liking that the thing gets better than 20mpg! (although I've got a 325hp 289 in a 63Falcon that get's just shy of 20mpg -It's just slightly more aerodynamic than a BroncoII) I'm still thinking that a set of headers, dual exhaust and a bit of an air/fuel induction change might be a good start for the 2.9

But I'm not finding headers available for the 2.9L.

Anyone know of a performance Cam for a 2.9?

Anyone port/polish heads on a 2.9?

Bigger valves?

More compression?

I'm not looking to make a big block out of it, but the engine will probably get rebuilt next spring. (I'll do most of the work) And I seldom rebuild to stock specs. This should be a great first rig for my boy. Get him well into high school at least.

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Old 08-27-2008, 02:53 PM
Lead Head Lead Head is offline
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Summit used to have a cam for the 2.9, they still might. A common swap I have seen is mounting a mustang 5.0 throttle body, and porting and polishing the plenum a bit.

If you want to port and polish the heads, I'd recommend getting some World Product's aftermarket heads for the 2.9. They don't crack like the stock heads do. I've seen them as low as $150 each for the bare head. Another common 2.9 mod is to port match the lower intake and the heads.

This engine was IMMENSELY popular in Europe. Stock it made about 20 more HP in Europe, and the amount of aftermarket is huge. Headers, rods, pistons, turbo kits, everything. I've seen some twin-turbo 2.9s on youtube pushing 300+ HP. So if you really want to get a lot of performance parts, you may have to look into those vehicles for parts.

Ford used the 2.9 in the Merkur Scorpio, Ford Transit and the Ford Granada over seas. Ford even released a special version of the 2.9 that had 24 Valve DOHC heads. The block is essentially the same as the standard 2.9, but it has chain guides welded on and a different gear pressed on the crank for timing chain. I've heard of this engine hitting 400+ HP with turbo charging. It made almost 200HP stock. This was also used on the Granada and Scorpio. So if you really want to get a lot of performance parts, you may have to look into those vehicles for parts. Now if you could a hold of one of those enignes, that would sick, since it *should* drop right in without any mods at all, most of the wiring should just plug right in as well.

Personally I'd rather see a built up 2.9 put in there for originality instead of a 302 swap, which is to common if you ask me.
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Old 08-28-2008, 03:02 PM
jackofalltrades jackofalltrades is offline
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Quote:
Personally I'd rather see a built up 2.9 put in there for originality instead of a 302 swap, which is to common if you ask me.
I don't consider a Bronco II any sort of collector vehicle so originality doesn't concern me much. Although I have restored Mustangs to near concoarse show quality, and built them as street rods. I'd certainly keep a Shelby all stock.

Thanx for the info, but my 16 year old doesn't need 300hp. A stock 5.0 or 4L would be just fine. I guess I'm only looking for another 20-30hp with a bit more low end torque. I'm not looking for power that would turn the transmission and transfercase into scrap metal.

If I rebuild the engine, that shouldn't be too difficult using tried and proven good engine building practices. Port matching, polishing runners, dual exhaust, and maybe a better cam grind that is stock ECU friendly. I'll research the World cylinder heads. Thanx.

Hmm... And the 5.0 throttle body swap?

-Steve
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:00 PM
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By originality, I meant that not many people have built up 2.9s in Bronco IIs.

I think with a different cam, port matched, ported and polish, and a set of headers, another 20-30 more HP could easily be attainable. Like I said, the European version of this engine made about 20 more HP stock, and thats not the crazy DOHC version, just the regular OHV one.

There are a couple of write ups on the 5.0 to 2.9 throttle body swap on the internet.
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:21 PM
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:16 PM
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> but my 16 year old doesn't need 300hp

If you do not have to met emissions and only want a small increase the DIS 4.0 without the plastic intake is a good swap. Basically a bolt up as long as you have the complete vehicle. With a 5 speed, it will get 20+ mpg depending on the gearing.

The pre 1997 4.0 in the Rangers is a nice swap, the DIS is much more reliable then the TFI 2.9L. Plus, there is a huge after market for it. They made about 235 ft pounds of torque around 3K RPMs and 160 HP.

The downside of the 4.0 compared with the 2.9L is the starter, but, that is easily handled.

> But I'm not finding headers available for the 2.9L.

No room, especially on the driver's side of a 4x4.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:14 PM
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Some shorties would probably fit. I was checking it out when we had my 87 ranger up on the lift for a new clutch
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:15 PM
The Tek At Large The Tek At Large is offline
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There is a main consideration on engine swapping relating to Emissions.

If your 2.9 is subject to emissions that rules out an engine swap. It may be possible to get a 4.0 past your local emissions but if anyone looks, the Jig is up. So if you do a daily driver you may be stuck with the 2.9.

That said there are several things you can do to wake up a 2.9. I will list the following.
1. Mild porting and port matching for the heads and upper and lower intake.
2. Add a upper plenum spacer where the manifolds meet.
3. Camshaft you get from camcraft Cams. Tell Charlie the Tek At Large sent ya and he will treat you right.
3. Rocker spacers from camcraft.
4. Larger Throttle body get one from an 86 I think.
5. headers by pacesetter. summit carries them
6. High Flow Cat Available lots of places.

A product improvement would be a set of World heads. These heads have much more material in the roof of the chamber and walls. This makes them a lot more resistant to cracking. They are basically stock with stock Intake and Exhaust valves. If you have any cracked heads the world heads would be a recommended replacement.

Now you can get wild and convert the F.I. from a fixed Map sensor to a California MAF system and get someone to write the software for you. Then you could go crazy with a huge throttle body. I have heard of people putting bigger injectors on the engine, but unless you make a big difference in airflow all that will do is cause rich running and lousy milage.

I have built many 2.9's and they are a good reliable platform but unless you go all out in expense this motor will never be a huge powerhouse!
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:25 AM
jackofalltrades jackofalltrades is offline
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Great information. Thanx!

-Steve
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:41 PM
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Here's a good source I found....
Motor Books International
" How to Build and Modify Ford 60 degree V-6 Engines
by Sven Pruett.
Found it at Amazon dot com
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Old 09-07-2008, 08:01 AM
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You could allways upgrade to the 4.0 V-6, you'll have more cubes and hp from the get go and there is a lot more performance parts available for the 4.0. There's allways power to be found in a compression bump. I thought JBA still made headers for the 2.9, I know there are still cams being made for the 2.9. I know an iginsion upgrade like MSD will add some power to the older engines. The ranger power sports forum has a whole section dedicated to 2.9 performance. I don't know if it's just me, but I allways thought the 2.9 felt more peppier than the 3.0 in the newer rangers.
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:04 AM
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I think that is because the 2.9 has a better torque curve, more power down low.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:19 PM
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scanning through all the forums lists, I spotted this thread. I have never really had any luck with the 2.9's and heads and gaskets. I would say if you can fix that issue, then the engine is worth building. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by havi View Post
scanning through all the forums lists, I spotted this thread. I have never really had any luck with the 2.9's and heads and gaskets. I would say if you can fix that issue, then the engine is worth building. Good luck.
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That problem with Cylinder head cracking has been remediated by the introduction of the "World Products" Cylinder heads. These castings are thicker and more robust. There is also a better sealing head gaskets, and when put together properly and maintained this 2.9 will run a long way.

As for the 4.0 option Yes there is the 4.0 and the 3.0 and the 302 or what ever you want but the original question was just about the 2.9 and how to make it run better.

The Pruitt book gives a lot of info and is nice for reference. The problem is someone decided the book was printed in gold. I have seen the book sell for over 100 bucks. I got one, paid 25 dollars for it and I Ainít going to let go of it ever...

One of the biggest stumbling blocks is the fuel injection. Ya need a person who can re- write the fuel tables and reprogram your ECU. Lots and Lots of little details.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:00 AM
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Yeah, the modern day engine programer is an awesome tool. With a C&L intake and bama engine programer, I bumped the hp by 37 hp on my 07 GT. If they made such a programer for the 2.9 would make life easier.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:00 AM
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