FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Before you start on your project, and before you send us a message, please take some time to review the following questions to see if the answers you seek are here. We've found that many of you are just getting started and are looking for a push in the right direction, so it is our hope that these will answer your questions. Of course, if you have specific questions that require detailed answers, please feel free to drop us an E-mail any time at:
Q: CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TO PUT A V8 IN MY RANGER?
A: We can certainly help. But unfortunately, an engine swap is not the kind of thing you can describe in a short E-mail message or letter. There are just too many differences between trucks and engine combinations that it is virtually impossible to cover them all. However, we do have some general suggestions here on the web page that will give you an idea of what's involved and how far you'll have to go to make this work. Our EFI V8 Conversion Manual is also available to help you with the project.
A: Again, we can help you with a good portion of this, but for the same reason we can't describe the entire procedure in an E-mail message, we can't tell you which parts to buy from your Ford dealer to make this a bolt-in project. An engine swap is NOT a bolt-in by any stretch of the imagination. It requires some fabrication and customization, and sometimes there just aren't any parts that will fit the bill, so you'll have to make something else work. And like we mentioned in the question above, there are so many different combinations of trucks and engines that it is impossible to give you a complete list of what you'll need to make this work.
A: Of course! Until 1997, Rangers and Explorers shared the same chassis, so you can certainly swap a V8 into your early Explorer. However, in 1997, the factory started installing 5.0L V8s in the Explorer, making this proposition fairly moot. Given what an engine swap costs (to do correctly), you might be better off selling your V6 Explorer and purchasing a new or used factory V8 Explorer. In the end, considering time and labor costs, you'll probably end up spending the same amount.
A: Nope. We are not affiliated in any way with Harwood Fiberglass or Harwood Industries, makers of fiberglass body components and fuel cells. They have a web page, so you will have to contact them or one of their distributors. (I'm not kidding--we get this question about 15 times a week...). If you're looking for fiberglass, go to www.eharwood.com.
A: Yes and no. There are several companies out there such as Advance Adapters, Kaufmann Products, James Duff Enterprises and Total Performance who offer many of the components you'll need for the swap, such as motor mounts, headers, and radiators, but to my knowledge, there are no 100% complete kits for the swap. And again, this is because of the wide variety of combinations you can use. There isn't one setup that is perfect for every swap, which is why you'll have to speak with each individual company and discuss your project's needs and special requirements.
A: Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many parts for the lower performing engines Ford puts into the Ranger. The aftermarket figures that if it's power you want, you would have purchased the 4.0L motor (which has many parts available for it). Things that work well on any motor and may make a few horsepower (less than 10, usually) are intake and exhaust improvements. A better exhaust system with a free flowing muffler and low restriction catalytic converter, combined with a free-flowing air filter can make a difference in power output, however, I wouldn't expect it to be a dramatic improvement. There are things that you can do if you're looking to spend a lot of money (ported heads, turbos on the 2.3L, ported intakes, etc.), but I don't feel that any of these provide an effective cost to benefit ratio. Bottom line? There isn't much out there, and I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for these parts to become available. V8 anyone?
A: The answer is a resounding maybe. Some people have built V8 Rangers using the original 7.5 inch rear end, but I have questions about long term durability of these axles. They will last if all you're doing is driving the truck on the street, but if you take it to the track or run it hard, you WILL break the 7.5 sooner or later. Some later Rangers equipped with the 4.0L motor are equipped with the much stronger 8.8 inch rear, which is more than adequate for most V8 applications. You can buy these rears from Ford Motorsport for about $800, plus axles and brakes, equipped with a Trac-Loc and 3.55 or 3.73 gears. Best of all, if you get your 7.5 rear out before it explodes, you can probably sell it to help recoup your costs on the 8.8 upgrade.
A: No. The transmissions used in the Rangers are not compatible with the small block V8, and even if they were, they are marginal at best for the torque of a V8. Advance Adapters makes an adapter for this situation, but I'll guarantee that the V8, no matter how mild, will chew up a stock Ranger transmission within about 5000 miles. Don't even think about it.
A: Well, that depends on your goals. If you want to put together something cheap and driveable, you could probably slap something together for less than $5000. Use a carburetor, get rid of the A/C, power steering and brakes, and use junkyard parts, and you'll save a bundle. But you'll also work very hard to get the job done and it'll still look like a backyard hack job. Engine swaps, done correctly, are not exactly cheap, but if you set some goals before you start building, you can probably find a way to keep the project relatively affordable. But you WILL need these parts: complete, running V8 engine, complete transmission, custom driveshaft, engine mounts, exhaust manifolds or headers, upgraded radiator and hoses, custom exhaust system, and about 80 hours of free time.
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