'83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

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'83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

nedc
I am building a hydraulic roller 351W to replace the 300ci I-6 in my '83 F150 4-speed 4x4 shortbed. I was planning to put a period correct Duraspark II distributor in the 351W and use the existing ignition system setup.

A little further investigation revealed that my '83 F150 4.9L I-6 is apparently a Duraspark III truck with a E1AF12A244AA ICM. (See picture) Correct me if I'm wrong but these units also have an ignition computer up under the dash and use a different style of distributor than the Duraspark II distributor I have for my 5.8L engine that's going in here. So... what should I do?

My options seem to be:
1. Get a Duraspark II box and harness and convert the truck. Is it as simple as that?
2. Find the right Duraspark III distributor for the 5.8L engine - is there such a thing?
3. Go with a single wire HEI ignition.

I am a complete Duraspark novice but have spent too much time figuring out ECC-IV in an SN-95 Mustang. I would really appreciate some knowledgeable advice.

Thanks...ned.


1983 F150 300ci 4-speed shortbed with a 4" suspension lift, 33x10.5R15 BFG tires on 15x8 steel wheels
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ned - You are on the right track.  That ignition module is not a DS-II unit, which would have a blue grommet and no cylinder sticking out the front.

And your distributor probably doesn't have a vacuum advance - right?  If that's true then you would need to replace the distributor, ignition module, and engine harness with DS-II units.  I did that on a 351W and it was plug and play.  But the harnesses aren't all that easy to find any more, although Painless has one.  And, you might be able to find one at a salvage.  On the other hand, the distributors and modules are not expensive.

Another option is a one-wire distributor.  Lots of cheap Chinese units available.  Or you could go with Tim Meyer's Ready To Run (RTR) dizzy, which looks like a Ford unit but has the HEI module built in.

But, unless you have emissions testing I'd not go with the EEC-III system.

And, you might want to read this thread: http://forum.garysgaragemahal.com/351w-2bbl-to-4bbl-amp-intake-swap-td20103.html#a20174.

Plus here's how he did the HEI conversion: http://forum.garysgaragemahal.com/Goodbye-2-barrel-emissions-and-computer-tp27184p27295.html.  However, as Jim/ArdWrknTrk said, you could use a DS-II box and put an HEI module in it.  Stealth.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

nedc
Thanks Gary. The distributor I have for the 351W does have vacuum advance and seems to be a DSII unit. (Actually, the dist on the 300ci I-6 has vacuum advance too, which I found confusing.) If I use my DSII distributor and get a DSII ICM, then all I need is the harness to put it together. I can solve the harness issue in some fashion I'm sure.

I am not subject to emissions testing so that's not a reason to go DSIII. The one wire dist is always the "easy button" option.

I feel like I know where I'm starting from now.

1983 F150 300ci 4-speed shortbed with a 4" suspension lift, 33x10.5R15 BFG tires on 15x8 steel wheels
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I suspect your ignition module is the altitude-compensating one.  So it may not be an EEC-III system, but an odd-ball EEC-II system.

I'd trace out the wiring in the engine harness and see what you really have as it is remotely possible what you have will work with a DS-II blue-grommeted box.  However, the oil pressure and coolant temp senders are in the wrong place on a Windsor to use the 300's harness, so at least they will have to be shortened or lengthened.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

BeagleRock
And I thought the EEC III was the oddball
Beaglerock/83f150 351W
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

ArdWrknTrk
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis wrote
Ned - You are on the right track.  That ignition module is not a DS-II unit, which would have a blue grommet and no cylinder sticking out the front.
Ned,
What color is the strain relief where the wires enter your ignition module?
Red, yellow, green, maroon?

The other two plugs, distributor and power, look completely normal for DSII -with the exception of the green distributor wire-and perhaps it is as simple as plug & play since you are not going to be using any wires going to the YF carb on the 300-6 now in the truck.

Depending on your trucks DSO (maybe Denver?) it's likely altitude compensating and that cylinder may be a barometric sensor.
I've never encountered one here in the Northeast.
Lil' Red
'87 F250, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I've used the term "DS-II" improperly as there were several variations of the ignition modules that did not use a computer, which I think meant they were EEC-II's  The one we know best used the blue grommet ignition module.  But there were also two different ones with a yellow grommet, and one with a brown grommet, as shown here: Electrical/Ignition.  And Jim is suggesting there were also ones with green, maroon, and red grommets.

From what I've read the red module was also a CA unit, but created a much hotter spark.  Some have suggested running them instead of the blue one, but I've never seen one and that's not been an option for me.  Besides, surely they take a different coil?

Jim - Do you know anything about the green and maroon ones?

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

ArdWrknTrk
Maroon is a reddish/purplish brown.
Pantone and even Crayola used this as a color.
Maroon *is* brown in many languages.

TMI: It goes back to days when African slaves were abandoned on islands in the Caribbean and they bred with indigenous Tiano people.
The mixed race offspring were known as Marron's, and led to a person 1/8 black being an Octaroon
Hence Marroned as a verb meaning stuck on an island.

Maybe the ones I've seen were just discolored from years of exposure.

I've seen green ignition modules in '70's cars but that was long ago.
Can't recall the model. Maybe I dreamed it up?

But the DSII distributor plug *is* a four lead connector, just not pinned in the last position.
Orange, Purple, Black are correct for DSII and I'm glad Ford kept with convention on its harnesses.
Lil' Red
'87 F250, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

ArdWrknTrk
This post was updated on .
I looked it up.
It's the French word for chestnut.

Also:
.
DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS FOR MAROON
maroon1/ (məˈruːn) /
verb (tr)
to leave ashore and abandon, esp on an island
to isolate without resources
noun
a descendant of a group of runaway slaves living in the remote areas of the Caribbean or Guyana.

noun
a dark red to purplish-red colour

Lil' Red
'87 F250, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

ArdWrknTrk
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
And apparently red is DuraSpark I.

Sorry for the bad information.  
Lil' Red
'87 F250, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
LOL!  You are a source of such needed information!  I'm glad to know the etymology of the word maroon.  Seriously, I like knowing random stuff.  

So red is DS-I.  Interesting.  As said, I've never seen one of those.  But, if I remember correctly, they were primarily used in CA, so that would explain why in the middle of the US I've not seen one.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/soon-to-be ZF5/3.55's & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: '83 F150 300ci to 351W swap - what ignition?

Dyn Blin
In reply to this post by nedc
I am late to the party, as usual, but the pic indeed reflects a "high altitude" variant.  The module is supposed to adjust timing based on resistance ranges as the barometric pressure changes.

When I was researching my own set up, I found an emissions guide from Ford, and it reflected the red grommets were used on California trucks for emissions compliance after most other applications went to other variants due to the red's HEI design.  Anecdotally, They were initially prone to failure, but by the end of our generation issues had been resolved and the price of replacement modules reflected it.

As an experiment, I swapped my DSII to a blue grommet from my old malfunctioning yellow for 500 miles until I found a new yellow (with the barometer module unplugged) and had no issues with start, idle or spark plug fouling, but keep in mind it was all at sea-level in optimal conditions.

Sonoma County,CA
1982 F150 Flareside XLS
NP435 4x4
351W Motorcraft 2150