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Considering a V8 Project

Drg racr

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2001 Explorer XLT 2WD
I'm considering a quick V8 Ranger project. Nothing fancy, just buying a base Ranger pickup and dropping in a 302/automatic. I hear you have to reroute the oil filter and headers are a tight fit around the steering shaft. Anything else I need to know? I have a good 8.8" rear with a 3.73 Trac-Loc and disc brakes out of an Explorer and thought about building a fun weekend toy around it! If it runs 13's in the quarter, that'll be good enough for my wife and daughter to race.:burnout:
 


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4.0blue98

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1998 Ford Ranger XLT
Seems like a decent price to me but the pictures were way too few for a real good assessment. I always wanted to do something like that. Wish I kept my 2wd 83. That was a good little truck. Only had a carbed 4cylinder with a 4 speed manual tranny but would have made a great starting point. Manual steering too. Maybe if I ever blow up my 4L OHV I'll give it a try.
 




Drg racr

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I had an '84 base with a 2.9/4-speed, manual steering & brakes, came from CA, no rust! Had to sell it when I moved to Indiana. Should have kept it!!
 








4.0blue98

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I had an '84 base with a 2.9/4-speed, manual steering & brakes, came from CA, no rust! Had to sell it when I moved to Indiana. Should have kept it!!

My 83 was from NE PA and had quite a bit of rust on the rear fenders when I finally got rid of it. Could have been replaced easily but, like you, had to sell it when I moved.

Thanks RangerX. I've seen that tech section on TRS. I spend some time on that and a few other Ranger forums. Probably what I'll do someday is find a 2wd in that era. My 98 is a 4WD and a transitional year so seems to be way more of a hassle to do a swap. Maybe the 5.0 from a like year Explorer would be best. That link on TRS seems to be broken. I always wanted to find another old carbed Ranger and drop a crate motor in it but they are tough to find in decent shape.
 




boominXplorer

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A 5.0 v8 from an explorer will bolt right in a 98+ 4x4 ranger. The wiring is a little fun if you want to keep a/c. Its pretty plug and play if you keep the years between the body and engine the same. 01+ trucks require rewiring the pats anti theft in the truck and 98+ explorers come with pats and needs to be added to the ranger or flashed out of the pcm.
 




SoHK_alumni

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5.0 V8 2002 Ranger
The later ('98 and up) Rangers have a lot more room in the engine bay and the torsion bar versions are essentially bolt in using all '96 to '01 Explorer pieces.

My coil spring '02 only needed custom plates for the engine mounts and a modded power steerjng hose and a couple changes to the fuel lines. Every thing else but for for the muffler and tail pipe was either from the Ranger or Explorer doner.

Only a few mods to the wiring to get the Expo V8 efi to plug into the Ranger. If you're building a fairly serious drag truck, reusing the EFI might not be the path you take so the wiring may be a moot point.
 




4.0blue98

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Now you've both really got me intrigued! Wish it wasn't about 2 degrees out there. Regardless, seldom use AC anyway so it's not so important but would probably try to keep it. I've always thought there was alot of room in the bay which is nice to have. If I was swapping into the 98 I'd stick with the EFI no drag runs in my future, but who knows.

What about the tranny? Direct fit too or do I need to take the donor if a like year swap? I've got the basic 5R55E (well, 90% sure). Have to check the code. Can't remember off the top of my head right now.
 




SoHK_alumni

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Hmmm, "a lot" and "a lot more" are a bit different!

Things get tight in a hurry with the 5.0 in the Ranger, but then again, it's the same as the 5.0 Explorers!

The Expo 4R70W bolted onto my 3.0's transmission cross member, no alterations.

EngineBay_zps27810c06.jpg
 




4.0blue98

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Dang that is tight. Still into it though. Sounds like it'd be easier to take the donor engine and tranny together. Gonna have to start making a list for when the time comes. Certainly not until this winter is over. About 12 degrees with 30-40 MPH gusts right now.

Thanks for the info!
 




SoHK_alumni

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Dang that is tight. Still into it though. Sounds like it'd be easier to take the donor engine and tranny together. Gonna have to start making a list for when the time comes. Certainly not until this winter is over. About 12 degrees with 30-40 MPH gusts right now.

Thanks for the info!


This is SO much a truck that Ford should have made.

By far the best way is to buy a crashed but complete running Expo. Solves nearly all the needs for the swap.

My only two regrets:

1st is the 15(ish) MPG I get as a daily driver -- had been getting 17/17.5 with the 3.0. Between the Torque Monster headers and a gear ratio change to 3.27, had hoped to match the 3.0 with the 5.0. But, I actually get much better economy on the highway with the 5.0 than the 3.0! (25 vs 21)

2nd, I should have done the swap a LONG time ago!
 




Drg racr

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Which is the better body to use in a V8 swap? I like the older "boxy" bodies. The 93-up rounded trucks aren't bad either. I don't know if one design is wider, stronger or lighter for a drag truck.
 




SoHK_alumni

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Over the years, the Rangers only grew in size and weight, but Ford kept the growth to a minimum.

http://www.rangerpowersports.com/ford-ranger-specs/

Looks like only about 200 lbs, 4 inches in length and 2 inches in width difference first to last, body for body

Think I prefer the "face lifted" 1st gens with their flush headlights the most but finding room for both a V8 and a radiator to cool it is tricky at best.

Still, with the lowest weight it's probably where I'd start and find room for the radiator in front of the rad support rather than behind.

The kick in the butt for the 98 and newer rangers is the rad support is welded rather than bolted. Makes it a darn tight squeeze getting the engine/trans in and out of the engine bay. Most of that extra 4 inches is in the engine bay, possibly the only reason the 5.0 engine and trans CAN go in as a unit with the fixed rad support.
 




4.0blue98

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This is some great info. I wish they would have just made a v8 Ranger too. Kinda got me leaning toward starting from scratch and finding a later 2wd in decent shape and a wrecked explorer. I sort of like all the different generations. Not sure I could pick a favorite.

Might just continue with a rear end swap on my current 4wd 98. I need to find a direct R6 swap and keep it simple since I need this one running as my DD. My 98 is getting about 17-19 mpg even though I just locked the hubs (damn PVHs).
 




guy goodenough

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I'm considering a quick V8 Ranger project. Nothing fancy, just buying a base Ranger pickup and dropping in a 302/automatic. I hear you have to reroute the oil filter and headers are a tight fit around the steering shaft. Anything else I need to know? I have a good 8.8" rear with a 3.73 Trac-Loc and disc brakes out of an Explorer and thought about building a fun weekend toy around it! If it runs 13's in the quarter, that'll be good enough for my wife and daughter to race.:burnout:
I have a v8 ranger. It started as a 2wheel drive, 4 liter and a 5 speed stick. I used a 94 explorer 4x4 as donor. cut the front frame clip out of the ranger and installed the explorers, used the posi rear end, moved spring perches but left the track alone. I took the engine ado trans and the BW4406 transfer case from 1990 ford f250. the only mods. I Installed a 3" body lift, and mounted the transmission mount 1- 1/2" offset to the passenger side. The explorer dad a desert cool 4 pass radiator and I installed it, I had to mount it 1-1/2" lower to a line it to the engine. installed under spring spacers 1-1/8" to bring the the caster in spec. I think that is the majorate. of things I did. rums great.
 




410Fortune

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Guygoodenough well done!
That thread is 6+ years old

Your Ranger sounds nice, you should post up a build thread/spec sheet with pictures!! We LOVE pictures
 




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