SOHC - 2.3L & 2.5L Lima Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Lima 4 cylinder engines

Ignition question

  #1  
Old 05-11-2018
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Ignition question

I am building a 1985 2.3 out of a Mustang to put in a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine...not a Tiger (they had 260 V8). I do not want a computer controlled engine but I am trying to find a distributor to fit that can be points or Pertronix. OKAY, I understand this is weird, but I have my reasons. The 65 Mustang I have has a points converted to Pertronix and it works great. I drive all over the US in custom cars and a busted custom car beside the hwy is a target. With a points kit in the trunk I can be back on the road in 20 minutes. Being a thousand miles from home is not unusual for me and I have seen buddies with the latest super-whammey-double-throwdown-plasma-cutting-spark ignitions park, while I went to get them a new computer box. I understand this is rare, but in Texas heat, it happens. The old 74 points unit does not seem to have a long enough shaft to safely operate the oil pump...right? How about the 2.3 High Swirl engine distributor? Will it fit? After market dizzy units are for racing and I don't need 9,000 RPM. With the parts I am using 1000 to 5000 RPM will be fine. There will be an A4LD behind it with 14" tires. Again, I am building for the highway. Glad I found this site. Even as a old ASE mechanic, custom car builder and city shop superintendent, I am not too old to lear...even at 74. Just remember, When your running, Never look back, cause somebody might be gaining! Geezer
 
  #2  
Old 05-11-2018
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Welcome to the forum

You have the 2.3l Lima engine made at Ford's Lima, Ohio engine plant, from 1974 to 2001
Came in under bored 2.0l, and stroked 2.5l versions

Also called the "pinto engine" since it was first used in 1974 Pinto cars

Good info here: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/...-guide.317117/

Duraspark distributor with Chevy HEI module would be best to use, very reliable, basically 1 wire hook up, 12volts, 2 if you want tachometer.

You will need to add switches for A4LD to lock torque converter and to use OD if you don't used a computer
The switches are Grounds so not hard to wire
 
  #3  
Old 05-11-2018
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RonD, thanks for the info. I have owned several 2.3 engines but never rebuilt one. I have seen the GM module adapted to the Ford distributor and may do that, but it is still a module susceptible to heat. I can make a big heat-sink for it that may help. West Texas heat under a hood is bad, so I will put the module in the interior near the kick panel if I go that way. I have a 74 points dizzy but the shaft is shorter and I fear the oil pump needs more contact. Anyone swapped distributors around on this site? In the past I usually built my own using BWD Select parts (best available materials) and set my advance to what I wanted. Today's computer controlled ignitions are ALL set to clean-air settings, unless one buys an after market piece. With a 1967 car there are no computer boxes/sensors to tell the trans when to shift/lock-up, so I will put a switch on the shift-handle to lock it up once on the highway. Any year recommended for the Duraspark distributor? The 85 out of my Mustang has a longer shaft that appears to be longer to support the oil pump shaft, but I am just guessing. I'll learn more after I take it apart. We moved 11 months ago and I lost a lot of my car stuff while it was in storage...or maybe while I had a shop built at our new place. We were ripped-off for about $11,000.00 by the contractors who were remodeling our new-to-us 1975 house. And now that I am working on the 2.3/Sunbeam car, I am finding many tools are missing, plus a full set of seven Classic new gauges. Frustrating and we are far from rich. The A4LD is much better than its reputation due to Ranger owners pulling heavier than recommended loads plus using them off-road for climbing and not adding cooling. Thanks again for any help.
 
  #4  
Old 05-11-2018
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Put ignition modules on front side of Rad support, Ford did that, or mounted it on front side of lower intake so fan cooled it when ever engine was running.

Sorry can't help on distributor shaft differences over the years
 
  #5  
Old 05-12-2018
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Why the old heavy 2.3 Lima?

I am an ASE certified mechanic with 50 years building cars (Street Rods) frame up. My engine experience is mostly Chevy/Ford small blocks to include racing. My degree is in electronics and I was a federally licensed gunsmith, so working on small things like ignition distributors is not a problem.However, my experience with the 2.3 is limited. One thing I have learned doing research on the little 4 is, it is Hell-for-stout! At 180 lbs. for the long-block, 70 lbs. for the head and 50 lbs. for the intake, exhaust, carb, etc., plus about 25 lbs. for misc. parts (I weighed them myself on a new scale), the engine is not a lightweight. At 325 pounds ready to run it is about 80 pounds heavier than the 1725 OEM engine the Sunbeam Alpine came with. But there are advantages to this engine. It makes far more torque, can make much more horse power and is or can be very economical. The A4LD transmission I am using is about 25 lbs. heavier than the OEM transmission (C3 that came with the 2.3) but it has a .75 overdrive and is an automatic to keep the wife happy. I am building for highway use on long trips to see the USA from a sports car with removable hardtop and soft top for emergencies. Looking at the 2.3's ability to make torque at lower RPM, it's ability to get great MPG, it's record for dependability and the fact it can make 200 HP with a carburetor, why would I want a foreign engine!? Ford dealers still carry some parts and wrecking yards have many for spares. All that makes for worry-free traveling when a thousand miles from home.
 
  #6  
Old 05-12-2018
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Sorry guys, I forgot to mention what I am doing to the Lima 2.3. It is in great shape with NO top grove in the cylinders with some cross-hatch still visible. So I'll re-ring it, clean it up and install an Esslinger 2-barrel aluminum intake, a 2150 carb. (287 CFM) with Annular-Atomization, a home-made header (engine room is tight), a custom cool-air intake (This is Texas, cold-air intakes do not exist), a mild new cam, lifters,rockers and springs with some head work (about 9.4-1 static compression and 8.9 dynamic with the intake closing at 39 degrees), a custom ignition with ACCEL parts, electric fuel pump and radiator fan and high-volume oil pump. Considering the NET 88 HP the engine made stock and using automotive engineering formulas with conservative numbers, this engine should make about 110 NET HP, which is about 125 HP figured the old way. Torque should be about 25/30 lbs. per ft. over stock (124 at 2200 RPM) for about 150 lbs. per ft. at 2400 RPM. The rear gears are 3.89 to 1 with 195 x 75R-14 tires that are 25.5" tall. Ready to go the car weighs about 2500 pounds plus two corn-fed old riders with luggage. One reason I like the 2.3 size is my Ranger with the newer version got 27.5 MPG on a trip from Dallas to Nashville. With the 4.10 to 1 rear gears tow-package and totally stock, I was very pleased. YES, I know it is a much newer engineered version but still a 2.3, and I am bringing my old Lima version up to date. Any help from this site is appreciated so THANKS ahead of time!
 
  #7  
Old 05-12-2018
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Yes, Lima engines were "stout" and reliable, which is why Ford built them for 27 years.

Reads like a nice build
Growing up working on carb and distributor engines I prefer EFI and no distributors for daily drivers, there is simply no way for anyone to tune an engine for best efficiency in day to day driving as well as on-board computer can.
But I do get the "tinker value" of going for best performance over best efficiency, i.e. the 27.5MPG from the 2.3l Duratec engine , especially on a custom build and swap

Mustang forums would be good places to browse, 2.3l Lima was used in them for many years(1974 to 1993) and owners tried many changes over that almost 20 years for better operation
 
  #8  
Old 01-10-2019
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No way would I be using an A4LD . . .bad transmission.
 
  #9  
Old 01-11-2019
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Originally Posted by PetesPonies View Post
No way would I be using an A4LD . . .bad transmission.
No, it isn't, it was the first light truck OD trans and trans shops didn't have a clue on how to work on them, and they got a bad rep from that
A4LD was used from 1985 to 2012 in Rangers, 4R and 5R are the A4LD trans with more solenoids added, parts are interchangeable
No way Ford would stay with a "bad trans" for 27 years, lol, couldn't afford to

If you do a soft parts rebuild, bands and clutches, you will have to do another rebuild within 12-18months
If you do soft parts and new pump, forward clutch and OD drum you will get another 8 years or so, same as new, acually better than new since the newer parts design and material were better than the older, lol

Good read here on the A4LD: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/a4ld.shtml

Check out the "off road" options, the gear splitting using OD in 1st and 2nd, thats what gave Ford engineers the idea of the 5R 5speed from a 4R 4speed, they engaged OD in 1st giving them a "new 2nd" gear, so a 5speed from a 4speed just using new computer software, cool
 

Last edited by RonD; 01-11-2019 at 11:01 AM.
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