About The 2.8L:

The Ford Cologne 2.8L V6 is a 60° cast iron block V6 engine built by the Ford Motor Company in Cologne, Germany.  The 2.8L engine in the Bronco II is the same design as the 2.8 V-6 used since 1974 in the Ford and Mercury Capri vehicles.  A unique feature of the 2.8L is the timing gear vs a traditional timing chain (See picture below).

(Ford 2.8L – Timing Gear Shown)

2.8 Liter Specifications
Engine Family ‘Cologne’
Engine Displacement 171cid
Cylinders 6
Arrangement of Cylinders ‘V’ Shape
Bore x Stroke 3.66 x 2.70
Compression Ratio 8.7:1
Fuel System Carburetor
Horsepower 115 @ 4600rpm
Torque 150 @ 2600rpm
Oil Pressure 40-60psi @ 2000rpm

Tune Up

Spark Plug AWSF-42C
Spark Plug Gap 0.044
Ignition Timing 10 degrees BTDC
Firing Order 1-4-2-5-3-6
Distributor Rotation Clockwise
Valve Clearance Intake 0.014
Valve Clearance Exhaust 0.016


Oil Capacity With Filter 5qts
Cooling System Capacity (Quarts) W/AC- 7.2 /  W/O AC 7.8

Torque Specifications

Cylinder Head 70-85 ft-lbs [3-steps (29-40) (40-51) (70-85)]
Main Bearing Bolts 65-75 ft-lbs
Rod Bearing Bolts 19-24 ft-lbs
Crank Pulley Bolts 85-96 ft-lbs
Flywheel to Crankshaft Bolts 47-52 ft-lbs
Intake Manifold 15-18 ft-lbs [5-steps (hand start & snug) (3-6) (6-11) (11-15) (15-18) (Repeat 15-18 after warm up)]
Exhaust Manifold 20-30 ft-lbs

Valve Specifications

Seat Angle Degree 45
Face Angle Degree 44
Spring Test Pressure 143lbs @ 1.22in
Spring Installed Height 1.58-1.61in
Stem-to-Clearance Intake 0.0008-0.0025in
Stem-to-Clearance Exhaust 0.0018-0.0035in
Stem Diameter Intake 0.3159-0.3167in
Stem Diameter Exhaust 0.3149-0.3156in
Crankshaft Specifications
Main Bearing Journal Diameter 2.2433-2.2441in
Main Bearing Oil Clearance 0.0008-0.0015in
Shaft End-play 0.004-0.008in
Thrust on No. 3
Connecting Rod
Journal Diameter 2.1252-2.1260in
Oil Clearance 0.0006-0.0016in
Side Clearance 0.004-0.011in
Length 5.1386-5.1413in
Piston & Ring Specifications
Piston to Bore Clearance 0.0011-0.0019in
Ring Side Clearance Top Compression 0.0020-0.0033in
Ring Side Clearance Bottom Compression 0.0020-0.0033in
Ring Side Clearance Oil Control Snug
Ring Gap Top Compression 0.015-0.023in
Ring Gap Bottom Compression 0.015-0.023in
Ring Gap Oil Control 0.015-0.023in
Motorcraft 2150A Carburetor Specifications
Choke Pulldown Setting .136
Fast Idle Cam Setting 1984 V-notch
Fast Idle Cam Setting 1985 Hi-Cam
Dechoke Setting .250
Float Setting (Wet) .810
Float Setting (Dry) 7/16″ (1984) 1/16″ (1985)
Accelerator Pump Lever Location #4
Choke Cap Setting V-notch (1984) 3NR (1985)
Fast Idle 3000rpm

Firing Order 1-4-2-5-3-6 / Distributor Rotation – Clockwise

Known Problems:

Valve Seals – The 2.8L’s are known to burn oil and smoke when they get high mileage.  They use a rubber valve seal that deteriorates and leaks oil into the cylinder.  Click HERE for information on replacing the valve seals.

Loose Distributor Rotor – Some of the Ford 2.8’s came with round distributor rotors. These have (2) screws that hold them in place. There have been reports of them coming loose in the distributor. Click HERE for more information.

TFI Failure – If your truck stops running and wont restart, it could be from a faulty TFI. Click HERE for more information.

Performance Upgrades:

Cylinder Heads:

Cooling – A simple upgrade to the 2.8L heads is to drill two more water passages in them between where the two exhaust valves are side by side.  This helps prevent a local boiling point from forming.  Just use a good head gasket that already has the water passage holes in them for a guide, and mark the head and drill two holes.  Keep the holes a little smaller than the holes in the head gasket. – Contributed By Ryan Propst

Porting – Port your intake manifold and cylinder heads.  The intake and heads don’t line up diameter to diameter.  Porting opens this up and allows better flow. Click HEREfor details on porting.

Induction – Offy 4bbl Intake:

The 2.8L V-6 comes with a 2-bbl carburetor and manifold with a traditional round metal air filter container.  Offenhauser offers a 4bbl intake manifold.  The ignition system must be changed to earlier vacuum advance unit (Dura-Spark II) eliminating the EEC-IV computer and pollution equipment.  You can use the distributor, ignition module and coil from a 78 Pinto.  The Offenhauser Intake does not have an EGR setup. This will not allow the A4LD tranny to shift correctly.

The Offenhauser intake can be found at Racer Walsh:

Racer Walsh (Intake, Carb, Camshafts, Valve Springs & Pistons):

P/N RWA6110

Racer Walsh carries the Offenhauser 2.8L aluminum intake manifold for the Ford 2.8L, and works with the RWA6239 4BBL carb. You will need to use the RWA6278 thermostat housing with the new manifold. The intake manifold and carb combo are made for street driving and lower rpm off road applications, such as trail riding and playing in the mud. The installation of the manifold and carb still provide good gas mileage and an easy horsepower improvement.

In addition to the carb and intake, Racer Walsh also offers Stage 1 & Stage 2 camshafts, valve springs, valve spring retainers, and pistons for the Ford 2.8L.

Check out www.racerwalsh.com

Competition Cams:

Competition Cams carries (3) camshafts for the 2.8L Ford, the 244S, 252S and 264S. Cam descriptions can be found HERE. Those parts can be found at Jegs and Summit Racing.

Competition Cams carried camshafts, rocker arms and timing gear for the 2.8L (2800cc).

Check out www.compcams.com 

Induction – Fuel Injection:

You can also convert to fuel injection using parts from a 3.8L Ford.  Check out:

Fuel Injection For Your Ford 2.8L

2.8L Chevy TBI Swap

 Exhaust & Air Filters 

Motors are just big air pumps.  The more air and the more air out the better the performance.


Hedman no longer manufactures the 89386 headers for the 2.8L.

Air Filters:

The air cleaner can be modified by adding another air intake and then routing intake hoses to a fresh air source providing a dual ram air effect. This of course should be accompanied by a K&N Air Filter.  There are many 2-bbl air cleaners out there of different dimensions, and it’s metal design allows for modifications for any type of set-up.


TFI Harnesses

MSD offers these wiring harnesses to simplify the installation of a MSD 6 series box on late model vehicles. The harnesses plug in between the ignition coil and the factory coil connector. Four wires with corresponding colors and matching connectors then connect directly to the MSD 6 wires. These harnesses reduce the installation time, reduce or eliminate cut wires, and allow you to quickly convert back to the factory ignition.

MSD-8874 Shown Above

The MSD to Ford TFI Coil Harness is designed to provide a splice-free and simple installation of an MSD Ignition Control to Ford vehicles equipped with a TFI Coil. On MSD 6 & 7 Series Ignitions all of the wires connect to the corresponding colored wires. MSD 7 Series Ignitions share the same color wires.

1. Disconnect the connector from the coil and connect it to the MSD PN 8874 Harness. 

2. Connect the other end of the Harness to the Coil. 

3. Connect the four wires of the Harness to the MSD Ignition Control.

MSD Ignition Box Shown Above

Replacement Coils

Summit Racing carries replacement TFI ignition coils. 

Moroso P/N MOR-72360

MSD P/N MSD-8227

Pertronix P/N PNX-D3003

ProForm P/N PRO-66959C

Hypertech P/N HYP-4064

TFI Ignition Modules:

Summit Racing carries Accel and PerTronix TFI Ignition Modules.

PerTronix P/N D2010

Accel P/N 35368

Accel P/N 35368 Shown Above

ACCEL control modules provide high coil output & superior reliability. Dwell circuit ensures long coil charging. Current circuit protects from overheating. Resists false triggering from RFI sources. Distributor and remote mounts available.

Available at Summit Racing.

Spark Plug Wires

Make sure you have a good set of spark plug wires. Summit Racing carries the JBA Powercables P/N W06309.

Duraspark Ignition Swaps:

Also check out the Duraspark ignition conversion HERE.  Using the Duraspark ignition, you can eliminated the computer, vacuum rail, vacuum reservoir, and all the wiring mess that goes along with that.  Get the carburetor that is on the 2.8 donor engine your Duraspark ignition comes from.  The Ranger 2.8 has a complicated carburetor control system. 



Miscellaneous Parts List

Part Number



CL38-101-4   Competition Cams  Good cam for OEM replacement or rebuild. Low RPM torque with good economy.
CL38-240-4 Competition Cams  Performance with economy, power increase in low-mid RPM range. See note 2. (Good For Auto)
CL38-241-4  Competition Cams Great for towing and highway use. Strong torque and power increases. (Good For Manual)        
6846  Edelbrock    Bolt on headers for 2 and 4 wheel drive Rangers.
0FF-6097-DP Offenhauser 4-Barrel intake manifold.
0-7448 Holley 350 cfm 2-barrel carb.
0-8007 Holley 390 cfm 4-barrel carb.
M-12199-C301  Ford Motorsport   Ford Extra Performance Ignition (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12029-A302  Ford Motorsport High Energy Coil (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12071-A301 Ford Motorsport  Wiring Harness (for non-computer controlled conversion)
M-12449-A600 Ford Motorsport  RPM Programming Chips 6000-6800 RPM for Ford Extra Performance Ignition.
NRD482691 NAPA Auto Parts 979 Vacuum advance distributor (for non-computer controlled conversion)
MPEFA136SB   NAPA Auto Parts Ignition Cap for 79 Vacuum advance distributor.
ECHFA139   NAPA Auto Parts  Ignition Cap Adapter Collar for 79 Vacuum advance distributor.
MPEFA159SB   NAPA Auto Parts  Ignition Rotor for 79 Vacuum advance distributor (Non-Bosh)
Note – The Comp Cam ……part # CL38-241-4 should be used with a manual transmission. The RPM range of this Cam will really hurt an A4LD on takeoff. The torque converters/stall speed is out side of its range. You really want to generate as much low end power as you can with a manual transmission because you can vary the RPM range when you let out the clutch.

Note – The CL in the part number can be replaced with SK if you want timing gears included with the cam and lifter kit.