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Old 10-26-2014
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I am: Tom Pyke
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Grampian PA
Vehicle: 1989 Ford Ranger
Drive Type: 4x4
Engine: 2.9
Posts: 1
Total Props: 0
Diesel Engine

I have long thought that Ford missed the boat by not offering a diesel engine in the Ranger. I understand that in the very early years you could get this option, but I have no info. I wondered if anyone has done this swap successfully and how it went, what engine,trans etc.?
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Old 10-26-2014
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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: 4,756
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Google: Cummins 4bt ranger

This is a popular swap and you can end up with a Ranger that is actually worth more than it was before the swap, if you wanted to sell it, which most don't, lol.
I would put a minimum cost of $7,000 to max. of $15,000 to do this swap

However......check your local state emissions requirements.
Diesels are required to meet emissions requirements now, it may or may not apply to a swap by year, but best to know before you go.

North American market was always about performance, diesel engines are all about endurance and economy.
The market here for non-commercial diesel vehicles is still a niche market, it is growing with turbo-diesel engines but still not mainstream.
So Ford didn't/isn't "missing the boat".
The Dual use, commercial/non-commercial, Ford F-Series trucks do have diesel engine options, although these wouldn't fit in a Ranger.

Ford has been making the International Ranger with only diesel engines for many years, 2006(Mazda BT-50) to present(now Ford T6)
These are slightly larger than our Rangers, closer to F-150 size so were never sold here.

Last edited by RonD; 10-26-2014 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 10-26-2014
pearlkid9988's Avatar
I am: Chris Clayton
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Newnan Georgia
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Ranger STX blend
Drive Type: 4x2
Engine: 3.0
Posts: 828
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Agreed. Most in north america still kind of fear the diesel after a few attempts at converting gas motors to run diesel in the 70's-80's GM i believe tried it and it was a warranty nightmare. So i don't see diesels catching on anytime soon especially with the price of diesel as it currently is here. However when the new CAFE requirements hit in 2017 it may become more prominent. But a lot of people chose the 4bt swap. Lots of parts and they fit nicely in the ranger frame. They are also plenty powerful but no so much that you have to redesign the whole truck around it. The torque rating of the bigger diesels sold here in the states would rip your ranger frame to shreds. Also emissions has become quite stringent lately. And the original rangers used a perkins diesel and is way to outdated by todays standards to be viable.

New DD-2009 Ford Mustang GT/CS candy apple red.

(sold)2003 XLT Tan 3.0L V6 5-speed, Lots of mods.
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Old 10-27-2014
I am: Jeremy DeMedeiros
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Parksville
Vehicle: 1986 Ford RANGER
Drive Type: 4X4
Engine: 2.3
Posts: 6
Total Props: 0
not all the original rangers used a perkins... those we only the 83-84 models... for 85-87 they had a mitsubishi turbo diesel, 2.3L Turbo charged.... also known as the 4d55....

a newer version of the 4d55 can be bought brand new, known as the 4d56 (Stroked, better designed head) You can buy this complete with turbo, injectors, and injection pump for around 4-5K. With some work, they can reliably put down a good amount of power and get great fuel economy...

my 4d55 ranger 4x4 manual trans gets around 30MPG consistantly and runs like a top and can haul just about anything i throw at it.
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