Welcome to the forum
A lot of changes to the 3.0l Vulcan engine, but not alot that should concern you in a swap.
2008 was the last year of the 3.0l Vulcan engine, 1986 to 2008
Mazda B-3000 used the same engine, 1994 to 2007
In 2009 and up Rangers only had 2.3l DOHC 4cyl or 4.0l SOHC V6 options
You can swap in literally any 3.0l Vulcan, from 1986 and up, but in practical terms you will want 1995 and up, and for more plug and play 1999 and up.
Flex fuel or non-flex fuel doesn't matter for the engine itself, either head design works fine.
Fuel injectors are larger with flex fuel but they can be swapped from one engine to the other easily, fuel injector size needs to match computer, not engine.
To run ethanol-85 requires richer mix so larger injectors.
Just as a heads up 2004 to 2006 Ranger/Mazda 3.0ls had an exhaust valve seat problem, valve seats would recess into the head causing low compression, new heads fixed the problem, but avoid those years.
You will most likely want as low a mile engine as you can get, so 2007/8 or 2000-2003
have you priced out rebuilt engines?
Short block is just the block with new pistons, cam, timing chain, oil pump and bearings
Long block is the above but with heads installed and valve train.
With a used engine you will want to change the oil pan and gasket, also rear main seal.
You will also swap the upper intake to match your years wiring.
Power steering and AC will stay in engine bay when engine is removed, so you may need to swap out original engine brackets for these to "new" engine, all Vulcan engines have same bolt holes for these brackets
And you want to keep your "smart charging" alternator so swap it over as well.
Last edited by RonD; 05-21-2016 at 11:08 AM.