With Stevie Ray jammin in the background, I checked over every nut and bolt, harness and connector one more last time. After a meticulous search for anything that could be wrong, I came to the frightening conclusion that I was finally about to bring the 5.0 to life!
The first turn of the key was disappointing. The starter didn't click, the motor didn't turn, and even the dome lights and radio circuit shut off. I bit my tongue and ran inside to read over some EVTM's on the starter circuit.
After tracking down every component and connector that the starter circuit goes through, I was quickly able to find a loose connector at the top of the transmission, which prevented the circuit from being completed through the digital transmission range sensor. The electrical "dead-end" was preventing the starter from turning.
Now that I was once-again confident everything had been checked, it came time to expect some noise.
The second time of turning the key was the most exciting moment I've had during any of my projects. With the rumble of that 5.0 L, the nostalgia flooded my mind of the first time I flew an R/C airplane that I had built.
A few problems quickly became obvious, like the disconnected PCV valve hose that allowed a vacuum leak on the intake manifold. Also, a coolant line spring clamp wasn't completely seated, and needed to be "popped" in place.
How's it run???
The Power-To-Weight ratio is absolutely insane. A standard cab Ranger has absolutely no business carrying a 5.0L V8, C4 auto, and 8.8" rear unless you are clinically insane. The realization that I created a Hemi eater took a few days to overcome. Now I enjoy the looks I get from everybody when they hear me rumble to a stop at a red light. I dare anyone challenge me with so much as a crooked brow for they will be humiliated by the little Ford Ranger that could.
Project summary and Notes
Although it took me much longer than I hoped or planned, I am glad to have completed this project over a long period of time. Trying to rush through this job would have been like cramming for the SAT. All the lessons I learned and problems I encountered brought me invaluable knowledge that will stick with me through all of my future automotive projects.
If you decide to do this swap, you absolutely MUST have a limited slip differential. The capability to spin tires in this thing makes it dangerous in inclement weather.
Now enough with the jabbin, and let's see some pics.
2.5 during removal:
Before restoration and undercoating:
AFTER hours of grinding and painting: