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#1 muddrivermike

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:36 PM

If somebody could tell me what the timing is suppossed to be on my 78 bronco 351m automatic.I swapped in a new distributor and have aftermarket valve covers and dont have the emissions sticker anymore.Which is what my haynes manual say to refer to..I need to know WHAT IT IS not what someone thinks it is or what theirs is at...What is the factory timing spec,,,Thanks Mike

Edited by muddrivermike, 16 May 2009 - 02:38 PM.

1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#2 Yardape

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:35 PM

I think I read one time on a bathroom wall at a local truck stop that it is 10 degress BTDC
89 fullsize with 95 front end swap.
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#3 muddrivermike

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 04:52 PM

I think I read one time on a bathroom wall at a local truck stop that it is 10 degress BTDC

Is that what it is?I had it at that and then I put in a DUI chevy distributor,and replaced the timing chain so I figured that Id set it to factory spec then tweak it from there,When I get a chance Ill reset it to there and see what happens,,Thanks
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#4 BRONCADONK

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 11:56 PM

on my '79 it is 4 deg. btdc. that's at 500 rpm with the vac. advance off. runs like crap till you hook the advance back up. anything above that and mine pings like crazy. i have the procomp hei distributor, i took it out thiking it didn't work. i was setting it at 31 deg. btdc. i was reading the timing marks wrong, i thought it was 1, 2, 3 btdc, not 10, 20, 30. some day i'll re install it. i have other problems to deal with first.
1979 bronco ranger xlt trailer special. 400m stock except edelbrock performer 400 intake., c6, np205 (soon to be twin sticked), saginaw power steering pump coversion. 6 inch lift with 37 x 12.5 goodyear mt/r's.

#5 muddrivermike

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:36 AM

on my '79 it is 4 deg. btdc. that's at 500 rpm with the vac. advance off. runs like crap till you hook the advance back up. anything above that and mine pings like crazy. i have the procomp hei distributor, i took it out thiking it didn't work. i was setting it at 31 deg. btdc. i was reading the timing marks wrong, i thought it was 1, 2, 3 btdc, not 10, 20, 30. some day i'll re install it. i have other problems to deal with first.

Well mine wasnt pinging it was popping out the carb,So I advanced it some and stopped that but I have to hit it with my timing gun now to see where im at.See this is where I cant get a set timing,the other guy says 10 deg and you say 4,,I seen on another site it says 6 deg.
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#6 Bronc76

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:14 AM

the chilton manual has it listed as 14 deg. (you may want to check the next stall at that truck stop to be sure :lol: )

#7 muddrivermike

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:23 AM

the chilton manual has it listed as 14 deg. (you may want to check the next stall at that truck stop to be sure :lol: )

Thanks See you are getting that right from the manual,That sounds better to me because Like I said I advanced it a good amount from 8 deg and it seems a hell of a lot better,So for all I know I could have it close to 14deg,,After I set it I ll post it and let everyone know how it worked out,,Thanks
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#8 Yardape

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 10:28 AM

In one book I read 8 degrees, in another it says 12. Who knows what to believe. I have never seen so many different timing specs for one engine.
89 fullsize with 95 front end swap.
460 C6 D60 front, 10.25 rear 4.10 gears
3 inch body lift, 4.5 inch lift from 1 ton swap.
Lund Moonvisor
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96 Bronco 6 inch procomp lift, 3 inch body lift
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#9 Bronc76

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 04:26 PM

i've noticed that ford has had split years on some of their components even though its the same model year, so i'm not surprised by the different answers. (just one more thing to talk about in the forum ^_^ )

#10 BRONCADONK

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 07:23 PM

my emission decal reads 4 deg, but again thats at 500 rpm with the vac advance off. i think it changes as soon as i plug the advance back in. maybe that is why we get conflicting answers? the only way to know for sure would be to buy a factory service manual. bronco graveyard sells them on cd, that's were i got mine. also other factors to think about are you'r specific engine, is it 49 state, or california emissions, auto, or stick. and some aftermarket add ons require different calibration vs. stock. you may have to wing it, adjust it till you get the best performance.
1979 bronco ranger xlt trailer special. 400m stock except edelbrock performer 400 intake., c6, np205 (soon to be twin sticked), saginaw power steering pump coversion. 6 inch lift with 37 x 12.5 goodyear mt/r's.

#11 Johnny Reb

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:32 PM

The decal on my 78 bronco says 4 DEGREES. Now I do not know if the 400 timeing would be any different then a 351. But again the decal on my valve cover says 4 (four degrees before top dead center) If you have to pull the distributor----make sure you dis-connect the battery--if not the distributor can explode in your face. I found out the hard way and its scarey as hell. I thought I lost my sight.Good luck.

#12 muddrivermike

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 06:20 PM

Im going to have to keep screwing with this.I set it at 14 deg and the popping out the carb is still there,Its seems a majority of some of the answers seem to be 4 deg. So when I get back out there Ill try 4 deg and see what happens.Ill post it later,Its calling for rain just about all week and Im not playing out there in it. :mad:
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#13 rednck7736

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Posted 15 June 2009 - 05:23 PM

Engine Tech: Power Secrets of the "400 Cleveland" Revealed!Publish date: Mar 1, 2005
By: Norm Lenhart
Source: Competition Rock Crawling on Off-Road.com
Email|Print|ShareDel.icio.usDiggRedditFacebook|Save|LicenseFord 4x4

Those of us blessed with 77-79 and later Ford Trucks might not feel so blessed when the urge strikes for a performance upgrade. While the aftermarket is filled with go-fast goodies for the 302/351Windsor, and the mighty 460, the 351M / 400 mill was never really thought of as "performance engine." Odd really, considering it's very "performance oriented" heritage.

Background

The 351M / 400 engines came at a time when Ford's Windsor plant couldn't keep up with the demand for mid-size engines coming from the truck and big car divisions. The FE series had reached the end of it's production run, leaving the boys at the blue oval in a bit of a dilemma. They wanted an engine of moderate size with the torque of a big block, and enough fuel/emissions efficiency to meet the growing governmental demands on the industry. They failed miserably. Blasphemy? No, cold, hard reality. In their stock form, and mated to full time 4WD transfer cases, the M/400 engines were grossly under powered, returned hideous fuel mileage, and weren't exactly the air scrubbers on wheels the Feds were looking for. There are many reasons for the M/400's less than inspiring performance. . . Strange when you stop and consider that the engines are nothing more than a tall-deck "Cleveland". You remember the 351 Cleveland don't you? It dominated NHRA Pro Stock Drag Racing before the dawn-of-the-mountain-motor was effectively banned from NASCAR for the sin of breathing "too well." It unleashed terror on the streets in it's "Boss 351" Mustang trim. So what happened? The short version is that the engineers at FoMoCo tried to make a fire breather into something it wasn't and only succeeded in producing a dud. Rather than rehash the history as to "why" they did it, you're probably a lot more interested in "how" to correct their mistake.

It's all in your heads

Or more precisely, your engine's heads. Sitting atop the M/400s are the 2V versions of the 351 Cleveland heads - the very same pieces bolted to 10's of thousands of 351 Clevelands throughout the early 70s. The 2V heads feature 2.07 in. intake valves, open chambers, and ports sized to shame their famous "2.02 Camel Back" Chevy counterparts. In an airflow comparison with Ford's own SVO GT-40X High-Po aftermarket heads, the numbers speak for themselves.


Intake flow at CAM Lift.400.500.600 .700
Stock 351C 2V113131144 153
SVO GT-40X105126142 154
Exhaust flow at CAM Lift.400.500.600 .700
Stock 351C 2V8096109 119
SVO GT-40X96106114 119

For a street / performance 4x4 application, the 2V heads are preferred over the 4V versions because of their superior low end torque. The tennis ball size intakes of the 4Vs may be the ticket to high-RPM bliss, but they are more a hindrance than help in most 4x4 applications. The open chamber design presents the first of the engine's serious performance shortcomings. Designed for low compression / emissions purposes, the open chamber configuration results in significant torque/HP loss over the closed chamber design of the Boss / HO 4V head. I know what you're thinking - wouldn't it be great if Ford had made the heads with the high efficiency 2V ports and the high compression of the closed combustion chamber? They did. Unfortunately, they were only available in Australia. If you're lucky, you can find them at auto swap meets, but you'll have better luck importing a set from an Aussie scrap yard. Hey, we never said this would be easy. For most of us, the Aussie route is prohibitive in one way or another, so the only real way to achieve the needed boost in compression is through flat top or domed pistons. While a look through performance catalogs won't yield much in the way of high compression replacements, there's a little known, and fairly easy solution to custom slugs. Use 351 Cleveland pistons with bushed connecting rods. Since the 351C and 351M/400 pistons utilize wrist pins of different diameters, a machine shop can re-size the M/400 rods to accommodate the proper pin. You'll then have access to pistons ranging from the stock 8 to 1 compression ratio, up to race gas only territory. A realistic ratio falls between 9 and 10 to 1. Any higher and you'll need octane booster. With a two-point jump in compression, an increase of 50 HP is a very conservative estimate, based on no other changes. Once you establish a solid compression ratio, those big valves and ports will really start to pay dividends. But don't stop there.

Oh, "Cam" on...

The biggest problem the M/400 has, hands down, is the fact that FoMoCo chose to retard the cam by four degrees to meet emissions requirements. Face it. Big valves and ports are useless when there's little air/fuel flowing through them into the combustion chambers. That said, the obvious solution is to ditch the stock cam, lifters, and timing chain in favor of more performance oriented versions. With 10-to-1 compression, you can effectively use a pretty wild cam, but more isn't better when camming an off-roader. Unless you're planning on running a high stall converter in a mud truck or prerunner, you'll be better served with a saner profile. Look for a cam in the .520-.550 gross lift / 260-272 degree duration range. Keep in mind that the Clevelands are more "intake efficient", so a dual pattern cam favoring the exhaust side is often a good choice. The advent of roller cam conversions opens up another possibility for the M/400 enthusiast. The greater efficiency of the design results in significant performance / mileage gains over a comparable hydraulic profile. The added cost for the roller is insignificant when weighed against it's benefits. Don't even think about a stock replacement timing chain. Go with a roller chain assembly and run the cam "straight up" For example, zero degrees advanced/retarded to regain the horsepower the factory threw away. Give serious consideration to adding matching valve springs, retainers, and push rods. Some cam builders require these pieces to maintain warranty. If you're going to a bigger cam, it's a good idea to get the springs to match. Otherwise, your new "thunderstick" may well fatigue the stock pieces quickly, resulting in catastrophic engine failure. Lastly, roller-rocker arms are a smart replacement for the stock units. Less friction means more power and efficiency, and you don't need a 10,000 RPM screamer to realize those kind of benefits. Another important point to consider is that the production tolerances of the factory stamped steel rocker arms vary widely. With a theoretical ratio of 1.73 to 1, you could be losing considerable lift and duration at the valve, which adds up to significant loss of horsepower.

Slippery Situations

Clevelands have a reputation for oiling problems, but they usually manifest at high RPM. High volume oil pumps are cheap insurance against an early death at any RPM. If you're anticipating a lot of highly angular travel, baffling the oil pan with kits from Moroso, Milodon, or others will help keep the oil pump pick-up from cavitating., and the oil flowing to the bearings where it belongs. Moroso also sells an "Accumulator", which will force an additional quart into the system in the event of a sudden pressure drop. Speaking of oil, go Synthetic. Greater lubricating properties and reduced friction equal "free horsepower". Every little bit helps.

Big Gulps

Clevelands will consume a sick amount of fuel if you let them. It's like handing a kid a tub of ice cream and a spoon, then leaving him to his own devices. The trick here is giving them just enough to keep them happy. According to Holley's charts, a 400 cid engine requires less than 600 cfm of flow at 5000 RPM. Sure, you can bolt on a 750 cfm or even larger carb, but you'll kill low end driveability and fuel efficiency if you give in to the temptation. Rather than striving for a 4WD dragster, stick with a smaller carb, and spend the time jetting it right. Clevelands respond well to large accelerator pump shots, and crisp jetting. While no single plane intakes are currently in production for the M/400, Holley markets adapters to mate the 351 Cleveland intakes to the taller deck block. Clevelands like single plane manifolds - A lot. You'll need to increase the pump shot considerably, but the results in mid to upper rpm horsepower are more than worth it. For those choosing the dual plane route, Edelbrock, and Weiand offer aluminum intakes that are worlds above the stock (and heavy) 2BBL intakes. The benefits of a dual plane are primarily low to mid rance HP - just the opposite of the single plane. Determine your driving style, and choose according to your needs.

Old Sparky

Igniting the fuel is of prime importance to any engine. While the Duraspark ignition is OK for a stocker, it's far behind today's aftermarket buzz boxes. You can pick your poison among the top quality brands and be rewarded with added performance and efficiency. Just keep it simple! There's a big difference in price between a performance and "race only" ignition, but at streetish RPM levels, there's no benefit to running the ultra high-end pieces. In fact, there may be a performance loss. Some of these volt monsters are designed for short use (1/4 mile style), and will fail under sustained street use. If you want to spend wisely, go conservative on the buzz box, and apply the difference to an aftermarket distributor. Aside from accurate timing (which boosts performance on it's own), you'll get the benefit of adjustable advance - mechanical, vacuum, or both. Clevelands like advance - early, and in quantity. That's something you won't get with a stock distributor. Adjustable distributors will take some time to tweak to your particular engine, but again, the results are well worth the effort.

Exhaust Upgrade

Stock manifolds are passable at best, and a set of headers will unlock hidden horses from an otherwise free breathing engine. 1-3/4 in. to 1-7/8in. primary tubes are about all a 400 cube engine with a 5000 RPM ceiling will ever be able to use. Don't get crazy in tube diameter - you'll kill the low end outright. A 2 1/4 to 3 inch dual exhaust system with free flowing mufflers will result in a good match for this engine. If you're more of a crawler type, go small to boost the low end. If speed is what you need, go to the 3 in. pipe, Just remember to be realistic in your driving habits when selecting tubing diameter from the primaries on back. You'll be happier in the long run. Also consider a crossover "H" or "X" pipe. The battle still rages over their benefits, but they're worth the install just for the effect on the exhaust tone.

Wrap Up

While this is far from the seminal work of reference on the 351M/400 Cleveland engines, you can see there's plenty of power to be had - you just gotta' know where to look for it. You may be asking yourself, "Why go through the grief? Why not swap in a big block?" Simple really. To extract a similar level of horsepower and torque, you'd still need to swap in a mildly built 429 / 460. Now when you compare the cost of building/swapping the big block to simply building the M/400, the money you save will pay for every mod we've listed here. All things being equal, a 460 will outpower it's little brother mod for mod. You can't argue with cubic inches - much. Yet a built 400 will provide disgusting levels of power. In the end, the 400 vs. 460 decision is yours alone.

Just remember, those Chevy guys get real nervous when they hear the word "Cleveland", and that's gotta' count for something!.
1985 Bronco
427 Small block all alum. top end
C6 tranny
208 transfer
9in rear axle
33x12.50 all terrains
future plans 3in lift and lockers and dump the auto for a 5 speed.Thank god for manual trans.I hate autos.They suck ass and rob power.

1977 F-150 4x4
460 (est close to 500hp)
C6
205 transfer
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6in lift
l&l headers and ladder bars.
Has single chamber flow masters hooked to the header with turn downs
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Future plans is a front locker and swap the auto for a manual.

Almost forgit.
1996 ranger to run around in and go to work.

#14 muddrivermike

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:33 AM

Thanks for the added info.I keep seeing those aussie heads for sale all the time and have a company off ebay in my favorites I look at time to time,and they always sell those heads.It is something Ill plan to do when I get the money.As for my timing issue,Looking through my bronco graveyard catalog I came across in the pages where you can get factory emissions stickers one for a 351m/400 and it says 12' BTDC.But for now I just started to drill out my spot welds for my rear quarter replacements,So After Im done all the body work Ill go back to the timing issue and resolve it....I may or may not post to this in a timely manner but to everyone that has replied to this thread with different info,,,Thanks for all your help,Its always good for people like us to keep filling our head with as much automotive info as we can and help each other out,,Thanks Again Mike :D
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#15 tinkicyAccino

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 08:36 AM

Size does matter. That is why they make 40oz.

I am not a mechanic. I reserve the right for anything I say to be wrong.

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#16 muddrivermike

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:27 PM

What does this have to do with timing? :huh:
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#17 Krafty

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 05:56 PM

he are a couple of tips I picked up from my 69 429 in my 79 bird, my 89 302 and my brothers slick 85 camero,

when mixing parts its best to do this.

1. ensure the vacuum advance is working properly

2. be patient cause this takes time.

3. before unplugging the vacuum set the idle to where you want it to be after your timing is set ( lower the more obvious the difference) 600 to 850

4. unplug the vacuum advance and listen to the purr (as long as it stays running). then check your timing numbers.

5. try to set it to whatever your sticker says, when you pick a number connect your vacuum advance and listen for the difference. idle should be noticeably higher or lower if you had to adjust timing.

6. Re set the idle to where you want it to be , then try +5 degrees then -5 degrees( if you can) re checking with the vacuum advance each time.

7. which ever of the 3 tests had the best results stay closer to that number, so if + 5 was better then try +2 +5 and + 7 ( always + or - from the number listed for your engine)

8. then just keep going until you have it narrowed down to one or two of degrees difference

this may take a while but no one knows how your engine should sound better than you. you can rev your engine a couple times to make sure its working properly through the rpms

hope this helps
81 Bronco 300 4spd, 4" skyjacker coils in front, 3" add a leaf by trailmaster in rear, and 2" blocks. 33x12.5x15, Sold my baby. ( I bought it when I was 13, hit the first mud hole at 14 ,did the first lift when I was 16)
89 F-150 302 efi 4x4 swapped the motor but had a bunch of problems sold for 500
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#18 muddrivermike

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 05:57 PM

I keep forgetting to add to this.I got it.It was me.I kept hitting the gas too hard when it was cold causing it to pop.When in gear and driving down the road its fine.For some reason because of all the work that I had to do to the truck I was overlooking an non-existent problem that I was creating.I guess because all the work I did,I was still looking for problems to fix even though there wasnt any,But I thank everyone that had some kind of input on this. :D
1978 bronco
89 6bt Cummins engine
727 Trans
M&H fuel pin
Dynamic Timing kit
9 inch suspension lift
3 inch body lift
Dana 60 rear
Trac loc in rear
Dana 60 front axle
4.56 gears
40 inch Ground hawgs
8500lb Rugged Ridge winch
Road armor bumper
Kayline soft top
Factory roll bar
http://broncograveya...ord-bronco.html

#19 J&SBroncolvrs

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 10:11 AM

Here's a very simple solution for setting the timing. Factory timing settings are only good on a factory new engine or one that has had the timing gears and chain replaced. Unless your engine has had these replaced or been rebuilt recently, factory timing settings might not work for you. Not to mention the fact that you could have any number of different distributors in there all with different weight of springs and different weights period. Best thing to do is go get a vacuum guage and hook it up to manifold vacuum. Turn your distributor until you see 20-22 Hg on the vacuum guage. Your done.

#20 Krafty

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  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario Canada
  • Favorite Bronco Year?:1981

Posted 11 December 2009 - 03:48 PM

very kewl and much easier than my solution.
81 Bronco 300 4spd, 4" skyjacker coils in front, 3" add a leaf by trailmaster in rear, and 2" blocks. 33x12.5x15, Sold my baby. ( I bought it when I was 13, hit the first mud hole at 14 ,did the first lift when I was 16)
89 F-150 302 efi 4x4 swapped the motor but had a bunch of problems sold for 500
79 Ford Thunderbird 429 swap summer car, Traded For Plymouth
93 F150 4.9 4x4 reg cab long box ,31x10.5x15 and custom bush bar, sold to young guy as a winterbeater

01 Dakota 3.9 5spd 4x4 Daily
73 Plymouth Fury II 2dr Hardtop 318 auto, up for sale
83 Yamaha xj750 current project.



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