Originally Posted by steev
I have access to a 2000 Mountaineer with the EATC climate control. Instead of pulling the parts and modifying my 98 Ranger, it seems to me like a complete dash swap would probably me a bit easier...nearly making it plug and play.
A normal dash R&R is a PITA in itself, even from the same model and trim level. Add to that the wiring differences between the Ex and Ranger that you would have to work around - definitely not plug and play. Then after you got the dash done, you still wouldn't be finished. There's the blend door actuator to swap, the blower control module to install and the ambient sensor to add. I'm sure it's easier to simply swap in the EATC parts and wire them up.
John's how to makes the swap seem more difficult than it is for a couple of reasons. First, he was incredibly thorough and meticulous in his presentation. Second, he give variations for several year combinations of Ex donor and Ranger. Read it carefully, boil it down to the steps you need for your particular swap and you'll see that it's not that difficult.