First do NOT delete EGR setup, it is only a benefit, and will be less of a headache when trying to deal with Check Engine Light(CEL) being on all the time and the pinging/knocking that will start to happen on regular gas, especially if you shave the head.
The myths about EGR systems and power are endless, lol.
Yes, you can shave the head to boost compression on the 2.3l, you will need to google it to see how far you wish to push it.
If I read correctly, the cam won't turn even with the head off?
If so then could be a spun cam bearing if it won't turn either way, if it will turn just one way then stop it would be rocker assembly or bent valve.
2.3l is a not interference engine, as is, so valves can not touch pistons even if open all the way and piston is at TDC, if you shave the heads enough that can change.
There are also more aggressive cams available for the 2.3l Lima engines
Spun cam bearing would make me wonder about oil pump.
What did the old oil look like.
You say engine ran when you got it?
Did you crank it without spark for a minute or two to get oil up at the top of the engine, or did you, or someone, start it dry after......20years?
All fuel injected Rangers have cold air intake systems stock, also they have tuned exhausts to make the best power(lowest pressure) in the mid-RPM range.
So if you want to change the air intake and exhaust for looks that's fine, if you are doing it for power then...............waste of money
Last edited by RonD; 05-24-2015 at 01:12 PM.