Originally Posted by Azaraith
My car gets 16mpg and I don't even bother tracking MPG with the Ranger since it's a hauler only (in other words, I don't really care...) MPG isn't really part of my concern lol. I am interested in more power, but really only if I can drop an engine in for $1k or so. Obviously better to buy the 4.0 to start, but if you've already got the 2.3L it'd cost more than that to sell it and buy the 4.0 (price difference is more than $2k).
I like your thinking, you look at the situation from a lot of directions. Actually, the 4.0 is not a gas guzzler, they get roughly the same fuel mileage as the 3.0 perhaps 1mpg less. So you get the same fuel mileage plus a lot more power. I have a whole donor vehicle but since I am not worried about power (the 3.0L is more than enough). I keep hoping to get this thing working correctly. Even when the 3.0L was running badly, it still got 20 MPG on my commute which is about the norm. I was surprised about the mileage given the performance (ITran very rough at times). As I mentioned, we never did find out exactly what the problem was. (this project is on my list. ha ha but I've about done it all except for the computer)
I loved my 2.3L Ranger (400K miles) It was a 1991 and seemed to me to have plenty of PEP. It had a 4.11 rear end which might have accounted for that and it got 23.5 to 25mpg. Mine had the dual spark plug set up and I never had to keep my foot in it to get it to go. I pulled my sons boat around some and didn't even know it was back there. I loved that truck, but it just wore out. It never left me ONCE in 14 years but I did have a good PM program.
My suggestion for you is to look into up upgrading your 2.3's HP. I understand there are many 2.3L CULTS out there that know how to get power out of them. Less work for you and more in line with your costs.
Good luck whatever you choose.