Hey everyone, just joined the forum and figured my first post would be about my project. I'm in need of a new truck, old Ranger has given all she can give so I'm in the process of building a new truck to take its place and give it an easy life of cruising. I've had the truck for the past 15 years with it being my first vehicle, I just can't get rid of it. The last 4 years have really taking a toll on the old truck as I've been pulling a single axle trailer loaded with a zero turn mower and covering roughly 150-200 miles a week mowing grass. The trailer weighs in at 2,100 lbs along with having a 4' gate on back to add wind resistance, it's just not up to pulling and it won't be long at this rate, it's just going to give up.
I got the nickname TONKA
back in highschool (long story) but it stuck so I embraced it, besides tonka toys are freakin awesome so yeah. Any way I am thinking of building this Ranger to reflect my namesake. So the paint will be Ford's screaming yellow found on Mustangs and I think some Rangers. 5x36" Aussie Cut stacks (look at the older Tonka dump trucks, the exhaust mainly, those are bullhauler style but the Aussie should capture the same effect) not trying to be a tool on this and just put stacks on a gasser but it fits the theme. 32" A/T on 18" Raceline Wheels. Trying to decide on chrome accents or black (grill, stacks, wheels, etc. etc.)
So for the last 3 months, I've been collecting parts and bought a 1993 Ford Ranger LWB with a blown M5OD tranny, but a good 3.0L V6. I thought at this point I could just buy a new tranny and drive this truck but .7L increase in displacement just ain't cutting it so enter the 4.1, no not a 4.0 but the inline six 4.1 (250 C.I.) that was found in Mustangs, Mavericks, Fairlanes etc., etc. I have wanted to do this for a while and considering I need a new truck any way, why not. Now everyone I mention this to gives me a stupid, dumbfound look and says " I'd put a 5.0 in it, you get more power. That six is a turd can't spin more than 4,000". Luckily, I'm not building this for them or I would have some disappointed customer
ha ha. So why did I decide to put a motor from 1969 in a Ranger, much less an inline six? Well first, it's a cool and unusual swap. Second, in order to appreciate the humble six, you have to understand what it's strong suits are, 1. Compared to a V6 of equal displacement, an Inline general has peak torque at a lower rpm. A 4.0 V6 will pull just as hard with 2xx ft. lbs. of torque at say 2,700 RPM's were the 4.1 will put roughly the same 2xx ft. lbs. of torque but at say 2,200 RPM's. So considering I drive alot of miles and gas is higher than the space station, the slower I can spin the engine but still have good power the better. Many compare the I6 to a diesel, lots of low end torque but at the cost of high rpm performance. The I6 is no performance engine but for what I do and how I drive, it's a perfect fit. Third, with a few performance upgrades like cam (custom ground for torque), header, a little port work and a 2 bbl. carburetor (I'm gonna use a 32/34 Weber), you can actually get around 290 ft. lbs. at 2,000 rpms. And lastly, the I6's have an exhaust note all their own, which is why I won't do true dual split headers and make it sound like a V8.
As if this swap wasn't weird enough, now I have, wait for it, Chevy parts coming into the equation. Yes I have a Chevy transmission going in this project. I bought a GM NV4500 transmission to put in this monstrosity. But why? Why would I do such a thing? Well for those that are not familiar with the NV4500, it's found in 3/4 - 1Ton pickup built by Chevy and who else, Dodge. Yep same 5 speed found behind the 5.9 Cummins diesel is going into a Ford Ranger. Behind the big boys they hold up fairly well, behind my little turd, low rpm, measly 290 ft. lb. engine... NUKE PROOF!! But why go through all the trouble, well it's the 1st and rev. gear ratio. GM's 93' NV4500 came with a 6.21 1st and 5.91 rev gear ratio, 3.02,1.60,1.00 and .73 ratio typical of the M5 trannys found in Fords. I always felt the 1st gear was too high along with rev. in the Rangers. Have you ever tried to back up a trailer under less than optimal condition? But wait it gets weirder, the bellhousing didn't come with the transmission, it went with the engine. I pulled a C4 off my engine. I have a C4 bell but that's an automatic, I bought a 1 1/4 plate of aluminum that I'm going to build an adapter plate with. It sounds complicated and pointless but it actually works out very well.
The last little tid bits of modification to get the engine setting the truck and bolted up are as follows.
The stock 3.0 mounts are shot so putting 4.0 mounts along with moving them higher up the cross member to spread the mounts.
The engine fits "as is" but there is 2" between the bottom of the oil pump and the pan so I'm going to cut the pan down 2" and build a rear sump to get capacity back up. Also have to build a pickup tube from the old one but ain't nuttin' to it.
The radiator is in the way, what, the engine is too long for the truck? No the radiator is in the way, I'm going to relocate the condensor and rad up under the core support. Very very simple procedure, practically an out patient surgery.
Lastly, the oil filter ain't fitting with the steering box there so a relocate adapter will be installed. Other than that, really isn't much different that a V8 swap.
If anyone reading this is curious as to how I'm building the engine, I'll list the parts. Also, I don't really put a whole lot of faith in the dyno sim software to be dead on, but what I did was build the engine as close to stock as possible and get the stock power level, then started to build the engine up.
Block: 1969 250 I6 .040" over, 9.5:1 CR
Carb: 32/36 progressive 2 BBL
Ignition: Duraspark II
Exhaust: Mustang Unlimited 6-1 header, 2 1/4 exhaust to dual 5"x36"
Cam: Comp Cam Custom grind 188/192 @ .050" .408/.414"
Head: Stock 69 log head, 2 BBL conversion, stock valve size, pocket port,
polished chambers, 3 angle valve job, milled
According to the sim software
294 ft.lbs @ 2,000
154 h.p @ 3,500
Like I said I'm not going to fight or argue with anyone over what the sim said because I don't really trust them to be accurate but rather just as a guide.
Interested to see what everyone thinks about this project, let me know.