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If it is just a blown head gasket then you will not need a rebuild or another engine.
Head gasket sets, including intake and exhaust gaskets, valve cover gaskets, ect....are $45 to $65
New head bolts, $25-$35
New coolant, oil and filter, $40-$50
So you are looking at $150-$160 + your labor
'89 to '92 2.9l heads are not known for cracking, '88 and earlier were
But if your engine and cooling system is still together you can do a "glove test" to ID which cylinder is blown so you can inspect that cylinder for a crack once the head is off.
You should have the heads taken to machine shop for cleaning and surfacing, they will also pressure test for cracks, $100-$150.
They can also install the new valve guide seals that come with head gasket set, you need a valve spring compressor to do that, which you can rent to do it yourself.
Basic metric hand tools is all you need for disassembly, exhaust bolts can be hard to remove and can break, but once heads are off the broken bolts can be removed, or remove header pipe and pull exhaust manifold off with the head.
Reassembly would require a torque wrench which can be rented
A "running" 1992 Ranger will always be worth more than the $300 it might take to repair a head gasket.
Used engines are a gamble, warranty does NOT cover labor, and 1992 was the last year of the 2.9l so any used 2.9l engine would probably have some miles on it.
Rebuilt 2.9ls are probably too expensive for a 1992 Ranger, $1,800+ for long block
Long block is the 2.9l block with new cam, pistons and bearings, and the heads torqued down with valve train included, you have to add timing cover, oil pan, intake and exhaust manifold, distributor and valve covers.
And either option requires more labor than fixing a head gasket problem.
1989 to 1992 are the compatible years, the ones with the good heads
Ford 2.9l was made from 1986 to 1992.
Ford 4.0l OHV used the same block as the 2.9l, so will bolt in to your 1992, but computer and engine wiring harness would need to be changed
4.0l OHV was made from 1990 to 2000
Last edited by RonD; 05-23-2016 at 11:26 AM.