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2.3L & 2.5L I4 Tech General discussion of 2.3L and 2.5L I4 Ford Ranger engines.

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  #1  
Old 12-26-2006
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Have some questions

Ok so I am 17.. and my parents are being like most parents now days.. (worrying about insurance)... So I wont be able to get anything 4x4. My question is, well questions. Is what can I do to my Ranger 4x2 2.3L, to get my horsepower out of it?? I would do an engine swap, but wouldnt that make insurance go up?? I really want something that I can go mudding in. I am not stupid, I know that I wont be able to do nearlly as much as a 4x4. But I am going to die if I have this stupid stock truck, and cant go mudding!!!!!


If I dont do the engine swap, I was thinking:

- bama xcal
- intake
- headers

-Thanks for the help, burnfire
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2006
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If you want to go mudding I would suggest lifting the **** out of your truck and not worrying about the engine cuz it aint happening. Put your money into a solid axle swap or a prerunner type lift since you have a 4x2. I have the 3.0 engine and after posting and readin on these forums, nothing I do will ever give me enough power. You can still have fun offroading with 2 wheel drive. Lift it up and you should be fine. The mods you mentioned will help a little, but probably not give you what you want as far as power goes.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2006
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If your tight on money, go with either the camburg 5.5 lift or even fabtech's 5.5 lift. Those should get you in the mud just fine. Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2006
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Thanks for the reply. I will am good on money, I can get pretty much anything done. So there is really nothing that I can do engine wise to help me out?? I mean if I could like supercharge it, I would! Cause I want to have fun..
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2006
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No problem. I'm not too sure about superchargers for the 2.3 engine. Someone on here will chime in about what you can do. Maybe a 4.0 swap to prevent insurance from going up? I'm not too sure. I've had my ranger about 8 months now and am still learning, so I'm not the most informative person on this stuff.
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2006
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Lol, I was joking about supercharging it. I will talk to my parents about what a 4.0 swap would do to insurance. If it isnt that much, I will tell them I will pay the difference. Do you know any sites that I can get a camburg 5.5 lift kit from? I have a 97 ranger.
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2006
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look at camburg.com. They have a performance system for your truck for $2500 installed that gives you 10 inches of travel. Or you can go all out and pay $6000 for the coilover kit that fives you close to 20 inches of travel. Other sites you can try are offroadwarehouse and kartek.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2006
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idk I'll do the older guy talking.. after wasting a butt load of $ on a 4cyl ranger i wouldn't recommend any of it.. just enjoy the truck drive it and SAVE SAVE $ like a mad man.. then in 2 or so years sell it and something far better.. take it from someone that has invested a small fortune into a vehicle that wasn't worth it...
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2006
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I don't have a 2.3 but as for power, look around on here and RPS using Search you'll find plenty of info on the 2.3
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2006
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Focus on what you want from the truck.

get some good mud tires and go have fun.

be careful of mods that don't help the goal. While an intake sounds like a great mod, mudding and an open filter that can get water logged is not necessarily a good thing. Also be carefull of free mods like hacking on the stock air box to increase air flow.
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2006
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Ok so granite you think that doing intake would be bad. Ok so is there really anything that I can do to get any more power out of that truck?? Or just wait until I can get an engine swap?
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2006
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i guess i am saying don't put the cart before the horse. If Mudding is what you want to do, get some mud tires and go have fun. The needs will start showing themselves.

If you bottom out, get a lift

If the fan sprays mud all over the engine, get an e-fan so you can turn the fan off.

If only one tire is turning (which will get you stuck), get a limited slip.

the above is three things that will making mudding better, but won't necessarily gain you any HP. Yet they are more important for what you want to do.

I guess to finish off some recomendations, make sure you have a front and rear tow point to get pulled out (even 4x4's need this). Make sure you have a tow strap.

Someone can add to this, but it's a good start.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2006
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Ok thanks, my next question is this:

Can I get a skid plate off a 4x4 ranger and put it on my ranger?? And adding onto the tow hooks from another ranger?
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2006
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Do a turbo swap.

Solid Axle it, like my avatar pic.

Then you'd be good to go.

Brenton
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2006
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ok you should have the twin i beams(tib) since youre a 97. here is a link for a good lift for your truck

http://www.skyjacker.com/products-se...mber=236R2KS-A

this should fit your truck and allow you to run 32 with glass fenders up front and pulled bed sides shoot. as for the lift i ahve it on my 92 ranger 2wd and it is awsome no complaints and i go muddin in it all the time, well when it rains.

here is a link to see pictures of my 92 ranger
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger
ok you should have the twin i beams(tib) since youre a 97. here is a link for a good lift for your truck

http://www.skyjacker.com/products-se...mber=236R2KS-A

this should fit your truck and allow you to run 32 with glass fenders up front and pulled bed sides shoot. as for the lift i ahve it on my 92 ranger 2wd and it is awsome no complaints and i go muddin in it all the time, well when it rains.
FALSE.... with a 97 on a 6" kit like that he can easily run 33's i would regear to like 4.56 tho.. your 92 has way more clearness problems then use 93+ guys i am running 32's on my 2" leveling kit with no rubbing.. he wont need glass or pulled fenders eather to run 33's with that kit...
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2006
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Those are some nices pics. Would you by chance know how much that kit would cost me?? And I was thinking of running 33's on it.
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  #18  
Old 12-27-2006
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ha..im down on power to..mine drives like it's ready to lay down.. ..im gonna do the 302 swap in mine eventually...if i were you i would save my money for a while like redneckstone said.....
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2006
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If you want to go mudding, mud tires/swampers and a LOCKER! A good lift kit would be beneficial also, but really, save as much as you can for now.
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  #20  
Old 12-27-2006
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not much you can do to get more power short of the turbo or enging swap. i have a 97 2.3 2wd, and believe me ive looked in to everything. your best bet IMO would be to lift it, get some good mud tires, and regear (or better yet, explorer axle swap + regear), and add l/s or a locker. if you get some 32's or 33's and get some 4.10 or 4.56 gears, it will put what power it has down much better.

as for the lift, look around here a little more. john griggs (n3elz) is the king of offroading with a 2wd, im sure he can give you some good advice.
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  #21  
Old 12-27-2006
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Ok cool I will look into regearing it. I am looking around at tires right now, then going to try to find the lift that I want.
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2006
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If it were mine, I'd leave the 2.3L, and make up my power with a rear end gear swap. I'd lower the ratio to maybe 4.56 or so with a locker or at least a limited slip differential. I would then find a good set of rims, tires and an appropriate body lift kit.
When it comes to tires, think more along the lines of floatation rather then just traction, if you keep it light an well balanced it will stay on top and keep you moving better. (Since your only 2 wheel drive, if the front tires sink in, your stuck). The 2.3L can actually be an advantage since it's lighter than the either V6 engines, and with the proper gearing, it will pull like a tractor. Be sure to take the overall tire size you plan to run into consideration when choosing a gear set too, if your planning to run a huge tire, you will need to go to an even lower gear ratio. Maybe even 4.88s or lower. Tires will depend on what you plan to do with the truck.

You can also do a few engine mods, but your limited there for emissions reasons. You can also consider doing a turbo motor conversion, but I think you would most likely be far better off without the added hassle of a turbo and all the added engine heat if your running off road. A properly built up 2.3L can be made to feel like a V8, but I don't think you need to go that far here.

Keep in mind that for offroad driving you will need good low end power, not the high rpm power that a turbo motor gives. Low gears, good low end torque will keep you moving though the tough spots.

Another option would also be to rebuild the engine as a 2.5L which would add some displacement, but if your 2.3L is healthy, I would work with that for now and save your money for other upgrades.

Here's a few links:

http://racerwalsh.zoovy.com/c=eYjHzi...ory/4cylinder/

http://www.rangerpowersports.com/tech/?cat=2

http://www.projecthp.ford23.com/

http://www.ring-pinion.com/DiffList....nger&Side=Rear

http://www.jackit.com/bodylifts/bl_ford.htm

There's a fine line between making a good offroad capable truck and one that's no longer any fun to drive on the street. So keep it light, simple and low tech when ever you can and you'll have far more fun with it.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2006
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Ok so thanks for the help reelfishin. I will def. get my regeared. What tires would you recommened? So that I wont just sink?
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  #24  
Old 01-03-2007
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I didn't see it addressed, but why would you mention to your insurance company about the mods that you are doing? Do you have full coverage? thats the only reason i would see to make mention. Theres a guy that shows up to my work with a 87 X4TI with a 5.0 he dropped in. He runs it in amature rally races. His insurance company thinks its the old 2.3t Merkur....

And the other thing I was curious about, dosen't 4WD help lower insurance cost rather than raise them? I may be wrong but I thought that would be helpful?

I'd say if your serious about power and 2 trackin, drop a 88 302 in that thing, straight axles with a locker and you'll be pullin chevys and dodges outa the mudhole in no time.
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  #25  
Old 01-04-2007
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N/A you wont get any power out of the 2.3, but if you plan accordingly, and buy smartly you can get into a 2.3T swap for under $1,000.

4X4 increases insurance. 4X4 trucks are generally taller, which means higher center of gravity, which relates to a higher roll over rate, not good for insurance purposes.

I get a kick that the guy swapped a 5.0 into the Xr4Ti to race with, slightly more weight, with equal (or very easily less power) than a nicely done 2.3T. Some people are just blindly ignorant.
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