2.8 after market valve covers / distributors

Bustedknuckle

Member
Jun 5, 2020
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Kingman AZ
Hey, guys, Just joined and have a lot of questions about after market parts and what to look for in auto recycling yards for the 2.8 V6.

I will be rebuilding a 2.8 for the car. Mean time I'm installing external parts that can be used on the new engine.

I've been to parts shop sites. I fill in my vehicle click search and "hear crickets".. Obviously not working on SBC and big block chevys anymore.

Where can I find "performance" valve covers, oem on the engine have bent lips, for a 2.8?
The only shop I have found is in the UK and he is selling custom Cologne cast aluminum covers for £195. Would anyone be able to point me in a direction, preferably closer for a set of valve covers?

Has anyone replaced the V Belts with a serpentine belt? What was used to make it work?

Is there a curve kit for the 77 OEM distributor an MSD, MALLORY distributor? And what is total timing for a 2.8?

I've read the engines have cooling problems and about drilling the head. I have a puller elec fan that will be temp/A.C. on/off operated, s FOMOCO power steering, off a 75 II and trans cooler. What T stat temp do you guys use? Is there a radiator I can swap or a source for a aftermarket radiator?

I'm replacing the OEM intake and the 2150 with an Offenhauser/390cfm Holley. I'm considering a cam since I have the engine down to the long block. Is anyone using the stage 2 comp cam or stage 2 racerwalsh in their engine? Did you degree it at install? Anyone know a source for roller tip and or 1.6 rockers?

I appreciate any help
Thank you
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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Welcome to the site!

Unfortunately I can't answer a lot of your questions. But the 2.8 is the same basic architecture as the late model 4.0 in Explorers and the later model Mustangs, so I believe a serpentine system from one of those could be used and/or modified. Your radiator question has just come up recently. I believe a V8 radiator can be made to work as it sounds like the inlet and outlets are located in roughly the same locations. As I stated in that thread, the only discrepancy I can think of would be the hose IDs. Past those questions, I'll defer you to those who have and are working with the V6. Good luck!
 
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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
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Welcome aboard.
I like your avatar picture

I don't know much about v6 anything
comp cams has a cam
Tom Morana Racing does high po stuff for that engine and later versions (mostly later)
The high performance version of that v6 came in the Capri in Europe
That engine was used in the Bronco II




Heres a quote online I found;

2.8 parts are harder to come by but here are a few ideas:

* Headers are available from Edelbrock only as far as I know....it's one of their TES kits with headers and Y-pipe

* Heads are available from World Castings...S/R castings only but it's better than nothing

* Cams are available from Comp and Cosworth

* Intakes are available from Offy (discontinued but still available), Cosworth, and Ford Racing (again discontinued but available)

* Holley makes the only direct-fit 2V carb for the 2.8 worth talking about, if you want to adapt a little yo cant beat a Weber for off-road-ability

I'll look into boring the block .060" instead of .030"....I'm used to the newer GM motors where .030" is the absolut outside limit and there are times .010" is all you can get




Good luck with this and keep us posted cuze we want to know too.
 
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LILCBRA

I wish I didn't have all of these balls in the air
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The recent thread on a V6 radiator that I referenced:

 

jozsefsz

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Your best bets for anything non-stock for the 2.8's are the European sources. Searching for Aerostar, Bronco II, and '79 Mustang v6 parts sometimes will give you better results. I've never seen dress-up or accessory kits for the 2.8 from any U.S. sources unfortunately.
 
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Bustedknuckle

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Jun 5, 2020
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Thank you encouragement and for a direction to look at.
I have a couple of friends in the UK. Ill send 'pint money' send them searching. I'd keep the OEM rocker covers, but the last "mehkanic' was convinced over tightening thin tin and used gaskets was a money saver. I did find heads for $175 ea. I'll have to go to favorites on lap top to find it and I will post it.
I'm reticent to do much to heads when i dont have a spare set. Port matching and pocket porting or opening the valve bowl is as far as I'd go. Both make huge differences tho.
I'm doing the work in pieces so the car wont be disabled to long. Front suspension will be done today. New coil springs, I believe MOOG 8558, are a bit difficult to compress. In II's there is an orientation for the coils and it took me a bit to get the coil spring compressor installed correctly. Passenger side will go faster.
Induction,, the Offy and Holley come today. Pushing the spent thru the 'crazy straw' OEM exhaust it will be wasted. With no functioning air pump I'm sure the 43 y/o cat, with the original hi-tech screwed on heat shield, is clogged. So, I be looking at Edelbrock for those headers.
OH
I have read Aerostar has OEM 'shorty headers' that work. You have to fabricate a flange so it will bolt to the block, but its worth a trip to the salvage yard to find out

I've built and tuned engines for 45 yrs. Best bang for the buck I ever found was a $10 distributer curve kit.
All I can really talk about is Chevys.
We would advance the timing from oem 8 to 12 degrees. That makes the engine hard to turn over. With a curve kit, lighter weights and an assortment of springs you can set the timing curve to where you like it. All of my engines are set for all the advance to be in by 12-1500 rpm.
If you can have, let's say 32 degrees in right off idle you'd think ya had a 4:56 on squeeze.
I'll keep ya posted
And thanks again for tips and info
Jeff
 

jozsefsz

Mustang Master
Aug 11, 2013
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I'm always happy to see someone giving the 2.8 some love. Most folks just swap in the 302, but there's something special about the high-revving solid-cam gear-driven siamesed-port German oddball. I turbo'd mine a few years ago, here's that thread if you're bored.

 
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MustangIIMatt

I need something stupid to play with
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I'm always happy to see someone giving the 2.8 some love. Most folks just swap in the 302, but there's something special about the high-revving solid-cam gear-driven siamesed-port German oddball. I turbo'd mine a few years ago, here's that thread if you're bored.

I used to have plans for the 2.8 in the shed. I really did. It's not a horrible engine, while it is heavy, it is compact, and it sounds amazing even in it's stock 107hp form.

But the Mercury Bobcat it was going to be swapped into was turned into a dirt track car before I could scrounge up the cash.
 

dgollem

Active Member
May 5, 2004
172
17
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57
Waldorf MD
Hey, guys, Just joined and have a lot of questions about after market parts and what to look for in auto recycling yards for the 2.8 V6.

I will be rebuilding a 2.8 for the car. Mean time I'm installing external parts that can be used on the new engine.

I've been to parts shop sites. I fill in my vehicle click search and "hear crickets".. Obviously not working on SBC and big block chevys anymore.

Where can I find "performance" valve covers, oem on the engine have bent lips, for a 2.8?
The only shop I have found is in the UK and he is selling custom Cologne cast aluminum covers for £195. Would anyone be able to point me in a direction, preferably closer for a set of valve covers?

Has anyone replaced the V Belts with a serpentine belt? What was used to make it work?

Is there a curve kit for the 77 OEM distributor an MSD, MALLORY distributor? And what is total timing for a 2.8?

I've read the engines have cooling problems and about drilling the head. I have a puller elec fan that will be temp/A.C. on/off operated, s FOMOCO power steering, off a 75 II and trans cooler. What T stat temp do you guys use? Is there a radiator I can swap or a source for a aftermarket radiator?

I'm replacing the OEM intake and the 2150 with an Offenhauser/390cfm Holley. I'm considering a cam since I have the engine down to the long block. Is anyone using the stage 2 comp cam or stage 2 racerwalsh in their engine? Did you degree it at install? Anyone know a source for roller tip and or 1.6 rockers?

I appreciate any help
Thank you
 

dgollem

Active Member
May 5, 2004
172
17
39
57
Waldorf MD
Wow Memories. My first car was a 1976, 2.8L Pinto and I beat the snot out of that little car for 10 plus years finally gave it to friend in need after the interior gave up and no AC while living in Florida.

What transmission do you have. I "built" my engine in 1983 by adding a Crane Cam , the Offy manifold and the holly 390 cfm carb. I had stock compression and an automatic and it was way too much cam. No vacuum at idle and no low end torque but if you could baby it to 5000 RPM it felt like a rocket. In reality it was basically undriveable . I don't remember the cam specs but there were 3 or 4 offerings back in the day, I chose the middle one and it was way too much. After many months of trouble shooting I was able to speak to rep at Crane who identified the problem as too much cam. I changed to the smallest they had and it was still a lot, but it was drivable.

The problem with the cam was not enough compression and not enough stall with the auto to get the engine to run in the appropriate rpm range to make usable power with my combination. At that time for me a higher stall "If I remember 3500 was recommended" and or custom pistons to raise compression were not available and or in my price range. Also at that time, nobody was making aftermarket heads. In practical terms it was cheaper and you could get more power converting to a V 8.

Issues and efforts I had with the 2.8
Mechanical lifters need to be adjusted at least once a year depending on how much you drive it Mine was my only car so I did them about every 6-9 months to keep the noise down. Never really affected drivablity just noise.

Car went thorough water pump bearings, about one a year.
The thermostat is in the lower hose neck and everytime I opened it up to change the water pump I had to bleed the cooling system or it would overheat. Once bleed I never had an any overheating.

The stock heads are prone to cracking between the valves. Mine was cracked when I pulled it and two sets of junk yard heads were also cracked. I was able to get mine fixed by a machine shop. To tell you the truth I never would have know they were cracked if I had not pulled the heads. No oil. coolant or compression loss with the crack.

Over all a great engine, I ran it up to 7000rpm many times, the valve springs were updated with cam and never had any problems. I did not have headers but did have dual exhaust with thrush mufflers, sounded like nothing else on the road.

I ran the timing a few degrees advanced of recommended but never messed with the overall timing curve. The Duraspark) ignition modlule did flake out on me once and I chased that intermitant problem around for several months. That acted like fuel and or vacuum leak problem but ultimatly it was the ignition module.

Nobody made custom valve covers either but I guess today if you have enough money someone could mill you some out of aluminum.

While it was fun in the day I think if I had it to do over with a 302 or and eco boost 4cyl.

Good Luck and I hope some of this information is useful to you .
 

Bustedknuckle

Member
Jun 5, 2020
18
10
13
60
Kingman AZ
Wow Memories. My first car was a 1976, 2.8L Pinto and I beat the snot out of that little car for 10 plus years finally gave it to friend in need after the interior gave up and no AC while living in Florida.

What transmission do you have. I "built" my engine in 1983 by adding a Crane Cam , the Offy manifold and the holly 390 cfm carb. I had stock compression and an automatic and it was way too much cam. No vacuum at idle and no low end torque but if you could baby it to 5000 RPM it felt like a rocket. In reality it was basically undriveable . I don't remember the cam specs but there were 3 or 4 offerings back in the day, I chose the middle one and it was way too much. After many months of trouble shooting I was able to speak to rep at Crane who identified the problem as too much cam. I changed to the smallest they had and it was still a lot, but it was drivable.

The problem with the cam was not enough compression and not enough stall with the auto to get the engine to run in the appropriate rpm range to make usable power with my combination. At that time for me a higher stall "If I remember 3500 was recommended" and or custom pistons to raise compression were not available and or in my price range. Also at that time, nobody was making aftermarket heads. In practical terms it was cheaper and you could get more power converting to a V 8.

Issues and efforts I had with the 2.8
Mechanical lifters need to be adjusted at least once a year depending on how much you drive it Mine was my only car so I did them about every 6-9 months to keep the noise down. Never really affected drivablity just noise.

Car went thorough water pump bearings, about one a year.
The thermostat is in the lower hose neck and everytime I opened it up to change the water pump I had to bleed the cooling system or it would overheat. Once bleed I never had an any overheating.

The stock heads are prone to cracking between the valves. Mine was cracked when I pulled it and two sets of junk yard heads were also cracked. I was able to get mine fixed by a machine shop. To tell you the truth I never would have know they were cracked if I had not pulled the heads. No oil. coolant or compression loss with the crack.

Over all a great engine, I ran it up to 7000rpm many times, the valve springs were updated with cam and never had any problems. I did not have headers but did have dual exhaust with thrush mufflers, sounded like nothing else on the road.

I ran the timing a few degrees advanced of recommended but never messed with the overall timing curve. The Duraspark) ignition modlule did flake out on me once and I chased that intermitant problem around for several months. That acted like fuel and or vacuum leak problem but ultimatly it was the ignition module.

Nobody made custom valve covers either but I guess today if you have enough money someone could mill you some out of aluminum.

While it was fun in the day I think if I had it to do over with a 302 or and eco boost 4cyl.

Good Luck and I hope some of this information is useful to you .
I've decided on a comp cam sk36 241 4.
Wow Memories. My first car was a 1976, 2.8L Pinto and I beat the snot out of that little car for 10 plus years finally gave it to friend in need after the interior gave up and no AC while living in Florida.

What transmission do you have. I "built" my engine in 1983 by adding a Crane Cam , the Offy manifold and the holly 390 cfm carb. I had stock compression and an automatic and it was way too much cam. No vacuum at idle and no low end torque but if you could baby it to 5000 RPM it felt like a rocket. In reality it was basically undriveable . I don't remember the cam specs but there were 3 or 4 offerings back in the day, I chose the middle one and it was way too much. After many months of trouble shooting I was able to speak to rep at Crane who identified the problem as too much cam. I changed to the smallest they had and it was still a lot, but it was drivable.

The problem with the cam was not enough compression and not enough stall with the auto to get the engine to run in the appropriate rpm range to make usable power with my combination. At that time for me a higher stall "If I remember 3500 was recommended" and or custom pistons to raise compression were not available and or in my price range. Also at that time, nobody was making aftermarket heads. In practical terms it was cheaper and you could get more power converting to a V 8.

Issues and efforts I had with the 2.8
Mechanical lifters need to be adjusted at least once a year depending on how much you drive it Mine was my only car so I did them about every 6-9 months to keep the noise down. Never really affected drivablity just noise.

Car went thorough water pump bearings, about one a year.
The thermostat is in the lower hose neck and everytime I opened it up to change the water pump I had to bleed the cooling system or it would overheat. Once bleed I never had an any overheating.

The stock heads are prone to cracking between the valves. Mine was cracked when I pulled it and two sets of junk yard heads were also cracked. I was able to get mine fixed by a machine shop. To tell you the truth I never would have know they were cracked if I had not pulled the heads. No oil. coolant or compression loss with the crack.

Over all a great engine, I ran it up to 7000rpm many times, the valve springs were updated with cam and never had any problems. I did not have headers but did have dual exhaust with thrush mufflers, sounded like nothing else on the road.

I ran the timing a few degrees advanced of recommended but never messed with the overall timing curve. The Duraspark) ignition modlule did flake out on me once and I chased that intermitant problem around for several months. That acted like fuel and or vacuum leak problem but ultimatly it was the ignition module.

Nobody made custom valve covers either but I guess today if you have enough money someone could mill you some out of aluminum.

While it was fun in the day I think if I had it to do over with a 302 or and eco boost 4cyl.

Good Luck and I hope some of this information is useful to you .
It is was and will be. Thanks!
The transmission is a C4 that leaks from every available access outside the case. Its next. I'm an M22 or linco guy and autos kinda intimidate me. But I'm pretty sure I can get it dried up.
I've decided on a Comp Cam sk36 241-4 *noticable idle* int/exh .425 lift advertised duration int/exh 264. Duration @ .050 220 110° over lap. Rpm range 1200-5000. It will (should) work with OEM compression, springs and torque converter. The Ghia is my wife's car and I doubt the engine will see 4500 rpm very often. It will see triple digit speeds, hence the new suspension and brakes.
I could live with 6 month valve lash adj. My Chevys have split valve covers I fabricated from aluminum. The lower half stays on the engine. The upper half is bolted to it with 8 5-40 machine bolts. No gasket to change. It makes running valve lash easy.
The 2.8 has curves on the head to rocker cover so, idk if I can make a set for it. If I could replicate it I'd have another income.
That Offy and Holley are a roller cam for my BBChevy. I could have built a heckuva SBC for what 'normal' hotrod parts cost for a 2.8.
2.8 is different and different is cool. I got 600 + hp on pump gas outta my 502 with a roller and Dominator pretty easy. Now I'll find out how good I am at this. When I'm done, above mentioned cam and intake, 030 over, blue printed, swung balanced bottom end, head pocket ported and matched to intake, if I can get 1 hp/1 cid to the back tires I'll be satisfied. Then a 3.80::1 gear to keep the wife outta jail
 

dgollem

Active Member
May 5, 2004
172
17
39
57
Waldorf MD
I've decided on a comp cam sk36 241 4.

It is was and will be. Thanks!
The transmission is a C4 that leaks from every available access outside the case. Its next. I'm an M22 or linco guy and autos kinda intimidate me. But I'm pretty sure I can get it dried up.
I've decided on a Comp Cam sk36 241-4 *noticable idle* int/exh .425 lift advertised duration int/exh 264. Duration @ .050 220 110° over lap. Rpm range 1200-5000. It will (should) work with OEM compression, springs and torque converter. The Ghia is my wife's car and I doubt the engine will see 4500 rpm very often. It will see triple digit speeds, hence the new suspension and brakes.
I could live with 6 month valve lash adj. My Chevys have split valve covers I fabricated from aluminum. The lower half stays on the engine. The upper half is bolted to it with 8 5-40 machine bolts. No gasket to change. It makes running valve lash easy.
The 2.8 has curves on the head to rocker cover so, idk if I can make a set for it. If I could replicate it I'd have another income.
That Offy and Holley are a roller cam for my BBChevy. I could have built a heckuva SBC for what 'normal' hotrod parts cost for a 2.8.
2.8 is different and different is cool. I got 600 + hp on pump gas outta my 502 with a roller and Dominator pretty easy. Now I'll find out how good I am at this. When I'm done, above mentioned cam and intake, 030 over, blue printed, swung balanced bottom end, head pocket ported and matched to intake, if I can get 1 hp/1 cid to the back tires I'll be satisfied. Then a 3.80::1 gear to keep the wife outta jail
Cool, I saw you car in the other post after I replied, nice project, fun to be differnt. 1:1 sounds about right I think the HP was little underrated back in the day for those engines, the Capris of the day flat out ran fast. Once sorted out my Pinto was a fun and dependable car. I was stationed in Spain and took it over with me way faster than Seats and Fiats of the day. Mine only had the C3 trans and pretty tall gears too. I tried to change it to a 5 speed out of a Capri when the C3 let go but I could not get a starter that worked. The starter that fit the C3 would not fit the 5 speed bell houseing and the 5 speed starter was way to long and would not clear the steering rack. I ended up frankenstining the C3 with multiple junkyard parts. Parts were a real challaning in 1987 in Madrid Spain for a 2.8 U.S Ford Pinto LOL. LBI (Life before the internet). Good Luck and post some progress pictures. Also change the rubber fuel line up in the engine compartment they will collapse internally at the bend.
 

Bustedknuckle

Member
Jun 5, 2020
18
10
13
60
Kingman AZ
Cool, I saw you car in the other post after I replied, nice project, fun to be differnt. 1:1 sounds about right I think the HP was little underrated back in the day for those engines, the Capris of the day flat out ran fast. Once sorted out my Pinto was a fun and dependable car. I was stationed in Spain and took it over with me way faster than Seats and Fiats of the day. Mine only had the C3 trans and pretty tall gears too. I tried to change it to a 5 speed out of a Capri when the C3 let go but I could not get a starter that worked. The starter that fit the C3 would not fit the 5 speed bell houseing and the 5 speed starter was way to long and would not clear the steering rack. I ended up frankenstining the C3 with multiple junkyard parts. Parts were a real challaning in 1987 in Madrid Spain for a 2.8 U.S Ford Pinto LOL. LBI (Life before the internet). Good Luck and post some progress pictures. Also change the rubber fuel line up in the engine compartment they will collapse internally at the bend.
Thanks again.
I'm medically ret army. Light weapons.
I worked in Central and South America 81-84. Made it to Europe once Nov83 Golden Arrow.
*headlights in the rearview..getting bigger.. woosh..'A #@%! Pinto?'' You needed that on the autobahn lol
I've been a chevy guy since my first build in 72 73 I could not imagine building a2.8 without the internet. Still kinda shocked I'm building a V6 made by the dark side.
I got the front suspension on yesterday. Need AN fittings for the rack and pinion.
I'll take pictures of the progress to post. I'm kind of a hermit. Covid 19 my lifestyle is now a trend. Lol.
Anything else you can remember lmk.
I wish you knew the grind number on that Crane cam. "Sounds like it's missing on every othe cyl." It evens out at 3 grand
 
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