Originally Posted by 98XLT8
ok i have a 98 ranger 4cyl and i know everyone is putting in explorer v8s in it but is that because everyone wants like the AC and all the stuff that makes a car nice? or is it because thats pretty much the only thing that fits.
I am doing the swap right now and, having seen how everything fits into the engine bay, I wouldn't use anything else except a 5.0L 99~2001 Explorer engine.
The Ex V8 has a bunch of special parts that are tailored to make it slot easily into the Explorer/Ranger engine bay. It also has a decent set of heads and a GT40 intake manifold that is a clone of the one on the 5.0 Mustang Cobra. IMO, the only negative for this engine is the set of restrictive stock exhaust manifolds.
The Explorer electrics are the most compatible with 98~2000 Rangers, so that's a plus for your swap. EFI is not all that hard to wire up because the PCM connector is part of the engine wire harness which gets swapped in with the engine. I believe that 98 Rangers didn't have PATS, so you would need to add PATS or get a custom PCM tune that disables it.
Since your truck is a coil spring model, you would also need a set of custom engine plates but they are fairly simple to make and the design work has already been done by BrianB31. He has a 98 coil spring Ranger with a 5.0L.
1998+ 5.0L Ranger swap discussion:
My 2003 swap in progress:
Don't be scared off by my experiences. Mine is a 4x4 with an F150 transfer case and also a 2003. This combination makes the swap considerably more difficult than it would be in a truck like yours.