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Old 04-22-2009, 03:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Getting a free 1986 2.8L Aerostar

What ideas do you guys/gals have for semi ecomodding my free van? I plan to use this to replace my 1979 F100 which I traded for the Virago in my garage. I don't want to go too over the top as far as looks, but looking for mechanical changes. Possible engine swaps? Thinking about a Cummins 4bta but a major swap is a bit intimidating for me as I have only ever bench raced anything this extreme...

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Old 04-22-2009, 03:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Chop the top into a teardrop?

I would give you 50 bucks towards that project just cuz it would be so cool.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That would be awesome! I'd be more than happy to drive it up to NH so you could do it for me

AND, I'll let you keep the $50! Sounds like a plan to me
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sweet. I'll learn how to weld on your car

PS: Welcome to ecomodder!
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was thinking the chop-top idea too...

Other than that, You can swap (maybe) that engine for a 1.9 from an escort, but I'm not sure if the 2.8 shares the 3.0 bellhousing of the later vans. If it does, you can 4 cylinder swap. You may even be able to swap in the escort diesel engine, if they used the same tranny (doubtful, but maybe.)

Work's definitely cut out for you!

Welcome, and good luck w/ the project!
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Wouldn't the 1.9 be working way too hard in that van? And I need some power since this will be used as a truck. Also, Aerostars are rear wheel drive.

Last edited by itsnotme1988; 04-22-2009 at 05:38 PM..
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotme1988 View Post
Wouldn't the 1.9 be working way too hard in that van? And I need some power since this will be used as a truck. Also, Aerostars are rear wheel drive.
Some are AWD. That doesn't matter for the bellhousing. If the 2.8's bell is the same as the 3.0, then the 1.9 will fit. Yes, the 1.9 will probably work alot harder to haul a load.

The 2.3 will also fit, and it won't be working as hard to haul a load, but still harder than a 2.8 would.

Example - A 3.0 ranger has a 3.0 (obviously). The Ford Taurus, FWD - has a 3.0 as well. The Taurus motor fits in the ranger.

A ford escort comes with a 1.9. The 1.9 is FWD. The ranger's 3.0 fits in the Escort, which means the Taurus's 3.0 and the Aerostar's 3.0 also fit in the escort.

The Tempo/Topaz are either FWD or AWD. They come with a 2.3, which also fits in the Escort, Taurus, Ranger, etc.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The 2.3 seems plausible, but I don't think it would really be worth it, especially since it would really diminish the towing capacity. Going with the slightly larger 3.0 actually seems to be a good idea, as it would have more power, and the 3.0 is a more efficient engine. That would be why Ford discontinued the 2.8L after '86. I'd like to keep the power above the 115hp the 2.8L is rated at, since it's still going to be an occasional hauler (I still have the car and bike for high mileage.)
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Neither will work for you, as you have the Taunus-type bellhousing pattern.

This means that the largest bolt-in engine for you would be the 2.9, unless the pattern just happens to closely match something else. The 2.9 has more power, but is also FI.

Probably the best thing you could do for more FE is to install a manual transmission. One from a 2.8 Bronco II most likely would fit, if you swapped out the transmission mount, but you'd have to find the brake/clutch pedal assembly, which might also be the same as the Bronco II/Ranger.
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Old 04-22-2009, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My friend's folks used to have one of these back in the day, not sure of the exact year but it was one of the early ones and 2wd. They called it "The Growler" because it made more noise than it had power.

My other friend had a 2.9 Ranger, and it did have quite a bit of power and was very reliable.

There may be different rear axle ratios available from the Bronco II/Ranger that are probably direct bolt-in.

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