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Old 04-29-2015
Snow Wolf's Avatar
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I am: Kris Phillips
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Westminster M.D.
Vehicle: 1987 ford ranger 2.3l
Posts: 1,577
Total Props: 0
New Project! Lots of Questions!

well i know this isn't a ranger project. but the engine will come out of a ford Explorer or Ranger so i thought you all might be able to help.

I have a few questions about a project that I have in mind.

First, to explain my project. I want to build a car that will run the 1/4 mile in under 15 sec, handle turns, and be able to drift. Iím also factoring in fuel economy, as well as the cost of building the car. Also, taking into consideration that I want a car that is unique and able to be used as a daily driver.

Iím looking at doing little or no fabrication. I donít mind drilling a hole or welding a little plate, but I donít want to end up into something that requires pinpoint precision. (The kind of thing that you will need a complicated jig for. or the kind of thing that if you are off by a fraction of an inch, it means starting the whole project over.)

Basically simple and cheap is what Iím going for.

I have a list of cars that I know are good candidates for this project.
  • 1979-1985 Ford Mustang fastback/hatchback/3-door 2.8l V6 manual transmission.
  • 1974-1978 Ford Mustang II fastback 2.8l V6 manual transmission.
  • 1975-1977 Ford/Mercury Capri 2.8l V6 manual transmission.
  • 1980 Ford Pinto cruising/rally wagon 2.8l V6.
  • 1979-1985 Mercury Capri fastback/hatchback/3-door 2.8l V6.

The main problem with all of these is there arenít that many available to just pick up and start working on. At least, not with the 2.8L V6 Manual transmission. However, if it turned out that I didnít have to be so picky about what motor or transmission they came with, that would really expand my options.

And thatís what Iím here for. To get info on what I can and canít use or do.

The engine Iím looking at is the 1997-2007 Ford Explorer/Ranger 4.0L SOHC V6. I do have alternatives in mind if that canít work. Like the 1990 - 2000 Ford Explorer/Ranger 4.0L OHV V6 or the 2.9L Ranger V6. Theyíre all Cologne V6 engines just like the 2.8L V6.

I am hoping to use a T5 or T56 Transmission in this build. Whatever transmission I use, it must be a manual transmission that can hold between 300-400 hp. Whatever the combination will be, I must be able to build off of it. I may only start with 140 hp. but down the road I can build it up. No point in buying a transmission or rear that will only hold 150 hp, if two years down the road, i get the engine to put out 180 hp.

So here are my questions. Iíll start with the cars first.

Question 1
I know on some cars there is a difference in the firewalls (and other components of the body/structure of the car) between automatic and manual transmissions. Others have no difference between transmission types.

In the 1979-1985 ford mustang, 1974-1978 ford mustang ii, 1975-1977 Ford/Mercury Capri, 1980 Ford Pinto, and 1979-1985 Mercury Capri, is there any structural difference between the automatic and manual transmission?

In other words, if I had two 1980 Ford Pintos, and the only difference between them was one was an automatic and one was manual; could I take the automatic transmission car and put the manual transmission into it? By just swapping parts? Or would I have to put reinforcement on the firewall for the added pressures against the firewall from the clutch pedal? Or would it require more modification?

That question is for all the cars in the list, but mainly to the 1980 Ford Pinto, and 1979 Mercury Capri. The manual transmission was only available for the 2.3L I4 in the 1980 Pinto and the 2.3 I4 and 5.0 V8 in the 1979 Capri. So those are the two Iím most curious about

Question 2
This is for the 1979-1985 Ford Mustang and 1979-1985 Mercury Capri. What are the differences between the K members? Between the 2.3 I4, 2.8 V6, 3.3 I6, 4.2 V8 and the 5.0 V8 K members? If i had a 2.3L I4 or 3.3L I6 or a 5.0L V8 mustang could i drop a 2.8L V6 into it?

Question 3
Would the T5 or T56 Transmission fit into any of the cars? I know it should work with the 1979-1985 ford mustang, 1979-1985 Mercury Capri. Iím not sure with the 1974-1978 ford mustang ii, 1975-1977 Ford/Mercury Capri, and 1980 Ford Pinto. I think i would need a custom bellhousing to mate any of the Cologne V6 up with the T5 or T56. I have a friend that knows someone that makes custom bellhousings and can do that. So I really just need to know if the transmission crossmember would work with the T5 or T56. If not, are there any kind of after market options?

Question 4
What rears came with the 1980 ford pinto cruising/rally wagon with the 2.8l V6? If it came with the 8 inch I can use it, but if it came with the 6 3/4 I canít.

What rears came with the 1975-1977 Ford/Mercury Capri with the 2.8l V6?

The 1979-1985 ford mustang fastback/hatchback/3-door 2.8l V6 came with a 8.8 rear, and same with the 1979-1985 Mercury Capri. right? Iím hoping itís not the 7.5 inch rear. If it is, I still might be able to use it for a while and then, down the road I can put the 8.8 in. (Once I was able to afford to swap them.)

Did the 1974-1978 ford mustang ii fastback with the 2.8l V6 come with the 8 inch? I heard somewhere that the 2.3 had the 6 3/4 rear and the 5.0 had the 8 inch. but iím not sure what the v6 came with. Iím hoping the 8 inch came with it, because even a stock 2.9L V6 with its 140 hp would be too much for the 6 3/4 rear.

Question 5
Here is the big one. What do i need to do to the computer? If i pull the whole 4.0 v6 and everything to it, out of... let say a 2007 Ford Explorer, could i just drop it in an older car or do i have to reprogram the computer or get a bypass because of the security system and the communication to the instrument cluster?

My truck is a 1987 Ford Ranger 2.3l 4cyl.
I got a 75 Chevy Nove 6cyl too. it is my daily driver.
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Old 04-30-2015
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I am: Ron Dean
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Vehicle: 1994 Ford Ranger
Drive Type: 4x4
Engine: 4.0
Posts: 4,739
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Cars question would probably get answered alot faster at a mustang forum.

Can't say your choice of power plants are good ones, 2.8l, 2.9l. 4.0l OHV and even the 4.0l SOHC don't have many performance upgrade options.

You will probably need some boost to gain the horse power you want with smaller displacement engine, and for "drifting" you want to stay with supercharger not turbo charger.
Supercharger has steady power increase that is very very predictable.
Turbo has "turbo lag" and wastegate issues that can be expected or "oh ****" unexpected, so you end up doing donuts not drifting.

Older Fox body with 5.0l shouldn't be too expensive, auto or manual is fine since yes you can switch to either no changes in mounting, but better to get manual, swapping pedals is a pain.

Then add something like this: Paxton Mustang Novi 1220SI Supercharger System - Satin 1001831SL (86-93 5.0L) - Free Shipping

But in any case the 5.0l(302) has loads of possible upgrades for power
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Old 05-03-2015
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I am: morris .
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: South Detroit.
Vehicle: 2008
Drive Type: 4WD
Engine: 4.0
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I agree, 99% of your post is mustang or pinto related. I'd cut and paste that huge thing into one of those forums.

I don't kno much about the 2.8 or the 2.9 (aside from it became the 4.0) but I do kno from hanging out here that you would have to throw a lot of money at a 4.0L to make power. The 5.0 is your better option or going with a 2.3 and some big turbos.

The Mercury K members might be the same as the mustang. AFAIK it was all cosmetic differences for those two foxes. The pinto and bobcat frames I can't help you with.

Good luck it sounds like it's gonna be an awesome project.

08 ranger xlt 4x4. 5 speed. vista blue. 3:73 gears w/ LS. line-x'd.GreenStuff, UG'd, coilover'd, AAL out back w/ ranchos, 265/75 Duras, toon'd by Fred, Mburp, RCI skids.

2012 Blue Flame F150 super crew with a 6.5' box, 5.0L, Fully loaded FX4 with the appearance package.

Originally Posted by 99offroadrngr View Post
not 1 fŁck given
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Old 05-04-2015
Snow Wolf's Avatar
Thread Starter

I am: Kris Phillips
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Westminster M.D.
Vehicle: 1987 ford ranger 2.3l
Posts: 1,577
Total Props: 0
thank you all for reading my post and thank you for giving me the info that you have gaven me.

i have posted this one in a few other forums including a mustang forums. i decided to share it here, so i can see if i can get some answers on the 4.0 SOHC V6.

the 4.0 does have some performance upgrades. Tom Morana Racing Engines

well to start off, 210hp is enough to start out with. and down the road i can put money into it and make more horse power. the 4.0 SOHC V6 does move the rangers along pretty good. now put that into a car that only weighs 2600-2800 lbs. it should have some **** and get. i really don't want to do a V8 for this project. anyway, i could be wrong, but the V6 should give the car a better over all balance front to rear.

but i'm thinking i'm closer to getting a more clear cut idea for this project. i'm really beginning to lean more to the early 80's Foxbody.

My truck is a 1987 Ford Ranger 2.3l 4cyl.
I got a 75 Chevy Nove 6cyl too. it is my daily driver.
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