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1985 Bronco 351w EFI
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Discussion Starter #1
So I just got my first Bronco a few days ago so this is all new to me. 1985 5.8 351w with a Holley sniper efi installed. It runs drives and idles perfect but I’m having issues with starting. It’s hit or miss if it will turn over. I started it this morning and it started but was slow to start but it turned over. Got to the gas station, shut down and I couldn’t get it to turn over again. After about 15 min I got it started up again and was able to make it back home. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed:
1. Originally I thought it was the battery. It came with a 550 so I replaced it with one with more CCA. Worked great and turned over pretty quick after I did that but that only lasted a day.
2. Seems to run kinda rich. Is that normal for an 85?(Like I said I’m new!) When I do get it started white smoke comes from the exhaust until the engine heats up. I can’t drive with the back window down with out losing a few brain cells.

i haven’t tested anything yet as in spark or anything else. Any advice on where to start first? I’m thinking ignition coil, timing or a fuel issue. Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

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does it turn over at all but not fire? or won't even turn over? if the latter, does it sound like it turns over a fraction of a turn then stop, or nothing? if nothing, do you hear a click? or many clicks? any other noises every time you hit the key?

is the smoke white white or blueish white?

are you or have you tried keeping it on a trickle charger between drives?

EFI should not be running noticeably rich. hopefully this is just a tuning issue, not familiar much with the holley sniper setup (or most EFIs to be exact), but you should be able to hook a laptop or even a tablet to it to tune, may need a specific program that you can get from Holley
 

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Yo ,
Welcome!
Does the starter crank engine over at a robust speed?
If not, check both battery posts, cables, connectors & GROUNDS, especially from battery to block and then down to frame for looseness and corrosion.
If you see corrosion on a cables' wires strands between connectors or lugs and leading into the insulation, peel back the insulation to see how far back it reaches

by El Kabong @
"Cheesy clamp on end. Do not use for a long term repair. Only to get you home when nothing else is available. If you have one of these, suspect it before anything else" El Kabong @ Common Replies to FAQs

Check starter relay for looseness or rust to the inner fender. It's ground is through its body to the inner fender.
Check that starter is mounted securely and connectors are clean and tight.

Engine Block pic in a 94 5.8; "...The black battery wire goes from the front bolt of the engine mount (on the block) to this tab & up to the battery post, where a smaller black wire goes to the core support, providing a continuous ground path between the engine, frame, battery, & body..."

Source: by CodysBigBlueBronco (how much $???)

Intake Manifold to Block Strap Location pic in a 96 5.0
Source: by boss (bossind, Steve) at SuperMotors.net


□■□

Here is the Holley Sniper Troubleshooting Guide @ http://documents.holley.com/199r11369.pdf
I'd post excerpts, but it appears sideways on my screen.
●□●
You certainly have a good plan!

Here is:
1985 Bronco Dealer Brochure via Gary @ 1985 Bronco - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (partial) via Gary @
1985 EVTM - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco/F Series Specifications by Gary @ http://www.garysgaragemahal.com/axle-ratios.htm

1985 Lubricant Specifications by Ford via Gary @ Lubricant Specifications

1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments by Ford via Gary @ 1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

80-86 Bronco Differences by Gary @ 1980 - 86 Ford Trucks - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Fasteners & Illustrations by Gary @ Ford 1980-86 Pickup Fasteners - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Register with VIN to see most Ford dealer maintenance/repairs done @ any dealership nation-wide @ Welcome to Ford Owner | Official Ford Owner Site

As you've done, for any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications or build, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories which requires at least non-padded 75 posts to buy, sell or trade due to scammers who preyed on our members many times.

Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links (lots and lots of tech links)including, "how do I get the tailgate glass to...", etc.

To save you time and for better responses, please fill out your 85s info with location, year, engine size, transmission type, transfer case type (manual or electric shift), locking hub type (automatic or manual) info & major mods such as a Lift, etc. .
Bronco info is now able to be put under your user name.
Click your profile button in the top right and go to account settings.


On that first page, named Account Details, scroll down to "Vehicle Info" and type in up to 100 characters.

Now you can simply enter your information in the text editor and click save.

Our Forum faqs @ FAQs includes for example:
How To Upload Images To Posts & How to Use Search
See more tips!

Please take time to participate and VOTE in our current Full-Size of the Quarter Contest and Full-Size of the Year Contest.
You will get ideas by those competing. Also see the prizes. They are awesome as compared to other sites' "contests!
Al
 

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1985 Bronco 351w EFI
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Discussion Starter #4
does it turn over at all but not fire? or won't even turn over? if the latter, does it sound like it turns over a fraction of a turn then stop, or nothing? if nothing, do you hear a click? or many clicks? any other noises every time you hit the key?

is the smoke white white or blueish white?

are you or have you tried keeping it on a trickle charger between drives?

EFI should not be running noticeably rich. hopefully this is just a tuning issue, not familiar much with the holley sniper setup (or most EFIs to be exact), but you should be able to hook a laptop or even a tablet to it to tune, may need a specific program that you can get from Holley
Thanks for your reply. So it will turn over and it’s not a slow turn over if that makes sense, it just won’t fire. It sounds like it wants to fire like it’s almost there but then nothing. When I initially turn the key, I hear I’m guessing the fuel pump turn on and I wait until the Holley screen turns on to start it. No clicking or anything like that.
I haven’t put the battery on a trickle charger yet, just picked it up yesterday but I’ll definitely try that.
The smoke is white. Yeah I think the efi needs tuned or tweaked somehow to get it running a bit cleaner.
 

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if the smoke is white white I am concerned there is a head gasket leak or something allowing some coolant into the cylinder or intake. and that could also relate to a no start condition.

run a compression check all 8 cylinders, that would be my recomendation.
 

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Registered
1985 Bronco 351w EFI
Joined
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yo ,
Welcome!
Does the starter crank engine over at a robust speed?
If not, check both battery posts, cables, connectors & GROUNDS, especially from battery to block and then down to frame for looseness and corrosion.
If you see corrosion on a cables' wires strands between connectors or lugs and leading into the insulation, peel back the insulation to see how far back it reaches

by El Kabong @
"Cheesy clamp on end. Do not use for a long term repair. Only to get you home when nothing else is available. If you have one of these, suspect it before anything else" El Kabong @ Common Replies to FAQs

Check starter relay for looseness or rust to the inner fender. It's ground is through its body to the inner fender.
Check that starter is mounted securely and connectors are clean and tight.

Engine Block pic in a 94 5.8; "...The black battery wire goes from the front bolt of the engine mount (on the block) to this tab & up to the battery post, where a smaller black wire goes to the core support, providing a continuous ground path between the engine, frame, battery, & body..."

Source: by CodysBigBlueBronco (how much $???)

Intake Manifold to Block Strap Location pic in a 96 5.0
Source: by boss (bossind, Steve) at SuperMotors.net


□■□

Here is the Holley Sniper Troubleshooting Guide @ http://documents.holley.com/199r11369.pdf
I'd post excerpts, but it appears sideways on my screen.
●□●
You certainly have a good plan!

Here is:
1985 Bronco Dealer Brochure via Gary @ 1985 Bronco - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual (partial) via Gary @
1985 EVTM - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

1985 Bronco/F Series Specifications by Gary @ http://www.garysgaragemahal.com/axle-ratios.htm

1985 Lubricant Specifications by Ford via Gary @ Lubricant Specifications

1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments by Ford via Gary @ 1985-1986 Fuel System Adjustments - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

80-86 Bronco Differences by Gary @ 1980 - 86 Ford Trucks - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Fasteners & Illustrations by Gary @ Ford 1980-86 Pickup Fasteners - Gary's Garagemahal (the Bullnose bible)

Register with VIN to see most Ford dealer maintenance/repairs done @ any dealership nation-wide @ Welcome to Ford Owner | Official Ford Owner Site

As you've done, for any Bronco questions or to chat about it's planned modifications or build, it's better to post each seperately in Noobie Bronco Tech Questions. Flame free zone. This will get more attention and you can build up your post count to get into other sections such as Bronco and Ford Parts/Accessories which requires at least non-padded 75 posts to buy, sell or trade due to scammers who preyed on our members many times.

Baba Looey's Favorite FSB Links (lots and lots of tech links)including, "how do I get the tailgate glass to...", etc.

To save you time and for better responses, please fill out your 85s info with location, year, engine size, transmission type, transfer case type (manual or electric shift), locking hub type (automatic or manual) info & major mods such as a Lift, etc. .
Bronco info is now able to be put under your user name.
Click your profile button in the top right and go to account settings.


On that first page, named Account Details, scroll down to "Vehicle Info" and type in up to 100 characters.

Now you can simply enter your information in the text editor and click save.

Our Forum faqs @ FAQs includes for example:
How To Upload Images To Posts & How to Use Search
See more tips!

Please take time to participate and VOTE in our current Full-Size of the Quarter Contest and Full-Size of the Year Contest.
You will get ideas by those competing. Also see the prizes. They are awesome as compared to other sites' "contests!
Al
Thank you for all the helpful information!
It does crank at a good speed and sounds like it’s going to start but just doesn’t. I would try 3 times and give a break and try 3 times again. I did that for about 15 min and finally was able to get it to fire. I just replaced the battery yesterday so I’ll have to go back in and check the wires like you mentioned.
 

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1985 Bronco 351w EFI
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Discussion Starter #7
if the smoke is white white I am concerned there is a head gasket leak or something allowing some coolant into the cylinder or intake. and that could also relate to a no start condition.

run a compression check all 8 cylinders, that would be my recomendation.
Now that you mention the coolant, I checked the coolant and there was a bit of sludge on the cap but there was coolant in the tank, a bit low (below the neck) but it was there. I added some distilled water in the meantime but I plan on flushing the system and putting new coolant in. If that’s the case, do you have any idea how much or involved that would be to fix? I literally just got it this weekend and this is my first old gas engine. I have a diesel and this is a whole new learning experience. Again I appreciate the help!
 

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I may spend some time investigating the O2 sensor in the exhaust pipe. That’s the feedback for the fueling rate, and it sounds like your overfueling till operating temp. Also don’t know if it has anything to do with startup, but I’d assume if it was faulty it could throw off fuel delivery as well?
 

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if you are mechanically inclined, have tools and facility, and get everything needed ahead of time, a busted head gasket can be an afternoon fix, and cost around 100 bucks tops. If it is worse than that, then it would take longer and cost more.

imo, and I am sure I am in the minority here, if I am buying a 30 year old car or truck, and it has not been rebuilt within the last few thousand miles, I am getting it with the plan to pull and rebuild the motor entirely shortly afterwards. I just picked up an 86 this last weekend myself, and it is a fresh rebuild, less than 1k miles. Im still planning on building a 351W EFI motor for it over the next year or two just so that I know exactly what is in there, and that it is correct.
 

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1985 Bronco 351w EFI
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Discussion Starter #10
I may spend some time investigating the O2 sensor in the exhaust pipe. That’s the feedback for the fueling rate, and it sounds like your overfueling till operating temp. Also don’t know if it has anything to do with startup, but I’d assume if it was faulty it could throw off fuel delivery as welWhere do I find the O2 sensor? I have a new exhaust and headers and I wasn’t sure if the sensor would still be in there or somewhere else? I don’t know what to think. I’ve had people come help me at the gas station and they said it sounds like I’m not getting enough fuel but I don’t know how to tell that just by ear. I appreciate the response!
I may spend some time investigating the O2 sensor in the exhaust pipe. That’s the feedback for the fueling rate, and it sounds like your overfueling till operating temp. Also don’t know if it has anything to do with startup, but I’d assume if it was faulty it could throw off fuel delivery as well?
Where do I find the O2 sensor? I have a new exhaust and headers and I wasn’t sure if the sensor would still be in there or somewhere else? I need to do some more research to gain familiarity with these of course.

I don’t know what to think. I had people come help me at the gas station and they said it sounds like I’m not getting enough fuel but I don’t know how to tell that just by ear. I appreciate the response!
 

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There won’t be many sensors in a Bullnose exhaust system so you’ll have to go digging. If I was to set up an EFI I would put it where it would see all cylinder exhausts.
 

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1985 Bronco 351w EFI
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Discussion Starter #12
if you are mechanically inclined, have tools and facility, and get everything needed ahead of time, a busted head gasket can be an afternoon fix, and cost around 100 bucks tops. If it is worse than that, then it would take longer and cost more.

imo, and I am sure I am in the minority here, if I am buying a 30 year old car or truck, and it has not been rebuilt within the last few thousand miles, I am getting it with the plan to pull and rebuild the motor entirely shortly afterwards. I just picked up an 86 this last weekend myself, and it is a fresh rebuild, less than 1k miles. Im still planning on building a 351W EFI motor for it over the next year or two just so that I know exactly what is in there, and that it is correct.
Well that’s good news. What I’m afraid of is a cracked block but I’m sure there would be other signs....I’d hope hah.
Yeah it looks like that’s the route I’m headed to just do a full rebuild. It’s never been rebuilt to my knowledge and has roughly 140,000 on it. Seems like it’s time.
 

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Well that’s good news. What I’m afraid of is a cracked block but I’m sure there would be other signs....I’d hope hah.
Yeah it looks like that’s the route I’m headed to just do a full rebuild. It’s never been rebuilt to my knowledge and has roughly 140,000 on it. Seems like it’s time.
cracked block is less likely than a blown headgasket at least.

depending on your situation, which I do not know, I would pull a junkyard block, strip it and get it to a shop to get checked, bored and cleaned, and build that up then do a swap. Unless you don't mind having your bronco down completely for however long it will take. A rebuild can be done in a weekend, or it can take months. Since you do not know the condition of your block, it is anyone's guess (you could pull the block, it is screwed, and you're back at square one with needing another block). Of course, aftermarket new blocks are available as well, that would increase cost over a JY block, but decrease time if it is readily available.
 
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To each his own, but the only issue with the OP’s engine I’ve understood from this thread is it won’t reliably start and appears to run rich till it’s warmed up.

Mine’s not a daily nor do I want to pump a ton of money into it. YMMV.
 

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To each his own, but the only issue with the OP’s engine I’ve understood from this thread is it won’t reliably start and appears to run rich till it’s warmed up.

Mine’s not a daily nor do I want to pump a ton of money into it. YMMV.
white smoke is generally a bad thing.
 

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1985 Bronco 351w EFI
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Discussion Starter #16
white smoke is generally a bad thing.
So to pick your brain further if I’m losing coolant (which I just looked and the level went down slightly from when I added the distilled water) where is the coolant going? Would the head gasket fix that? Ultimately I shouldn’t see any smoke correct? Even on cold start?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here’s a video of the smoke I’m seeing from the exhaust
 

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ok.
a) that truck looks clean as shit man! great find, even with some engine issues. Makes mine look like a junkyard find in comparison and I thought I did ok!

b) it could be condensation in the exhaust, but it happens routinely, especially more than once a day and or lasts for more than 10 minutes, I doubt it.

it does look like it could be a minor head gasket leak. water/coolant makes it from the cooling jacket in the block/heads into the cylinder and out the exhaust. If you are dual exhaust, does the other side do it as well? if you are loosing coolant slowly, this seems even more likely.
 

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white smoke is generally a bad thing.
I agree. It could be something simple to something significant. My white smoke/nonrun issue was a sunk carb float. OP’s could be a cranky EFI to blown head gasket.

OP, what does your smoke smell like? Acrid = fuel, sweet = coolant.

You can also pressure test the coolant system and see if you have a leak, especially if you think it’s coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
ok.
a) that truck looks clean as shit man! great find, even with some engine issues. Makes mine look like a junkyard find in comparison and I thought I did ok!

b) it could be condensation in the exhaust, but it happens routinely, especially more than once a day and or lasts for more than 10 minutes, I doubt it.

it does look like it could be a minor head gasket leak. water/coolant makes it from the cooling jacket in the block/heads into the cylinder and out the exhaust. If you are dual exhaust, does the other side do it as well? if you are loosing coolant slowly, this seems even more likely.
Thank you! I looked for a long time and I paid a little more than I wanted but here we are haha. It runs and drives perfectly but I hate being stuck random places cranking this thing over non stop with my fingers crossed that it will fire. It’s going to be my daily driver in a year ( lease ending) so I have time to work out the bugs.
From what I noticed it comes from both exhausts. I’m going to try to fire it up again this evening and see what it does. Otherwise I’ll be getting a compression test. I’d like to look into the starter or ignition too becuase even when it does fire it’s not fast. I’ve seen other broncos and trucks this year fire pretty quickly. I have to hold the key for a few seconds for it to catch. Or maybe that’s normal?! There’s no one around me that even has a bronco to see what theirs does so I don’t have a whole lot to compare to.
 
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