Help with my '99 Flex Fuel - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-17-2010
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Help with my '99 Flex Fuel

First, hello, everyone. I've spent a long time reading here, every time I have an issue with my Ranger. You all are some great help to us out here.

Now, I'm in some deep water here. I blew at least the head gasket. My mechanic tells me I had 2 quarts of water in my pistons, and my oil looks horrid. I just got it home and parked it in the garage, trying to figure out what to do.

I checked Craigslist, after learning here that I could fairly cheaply swap my motor out with a like model. But, this has brought up some issues. So, I'm hoping you all can help me.

I found a 2002 3.0 motor. Its not Flex Fuel. Its also off an automatic, and mine is a 5 speed manual.

1. Will a non-Flex Fuel swap out exactly with my old Flex Fuel?

2. Is there going to be an issue going from a motor mounted to a manual, vs one from an automatic?

I found another add for a 3.0 Flex Fuel, but when I called the guy ( I am pretty sure he was a junk yard), He had me go to my door panel and read the date on the sticker there. After telling him (10/98 by the way), he told me his was a different date, and it wouldn't work.

3. Is there a year issue, with my motor? If so, what years are compatible with my truck?

I race dirt bikes, and i can tear them down to every nut and bolt, and put them back together again. While I am new to working on trucks, I think I am mechanically inclined enought o swap out a motor, if I can work out the details of things I do not know.

Thank you again for all your time and help.

Brizane
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Old 08-17-2010
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Ok here's what I know...
1 It will not swap out exactly but it can be done by using your fuel injectors and rails as well as your wiring harness. The newer motor will have a plastic upper intake so you may have to do research on that(BTW the plastic intake is a popular upgrade for older trucks, I just haven't done it.)
2 The motors are the same, you just have to swap out the flywheels
3 From what Ive been told 98-00 motors are all the same
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Old 08-18-2010
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Ok, so if I read correctly, people are having issues with emissions testing when jumping to a non-flex fuel version. The engine light stays on and givers a faulty o2 sensor read.

How do I work around that?
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Old 08-18-2010
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if you move everything (ie sensors,fuel system,ignition system flywheel ) over from the old motor you should be good
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Old 08-18-2010
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As long as you swap everything you shouldn't get an engine code and should be good on the emmissions but I'm not familiar with that.
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Old 08-18-2010
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would he have to switch the computer too? i mean how does flex fuel work? is it the injectors, rails or the ECU that does the magic and knows the difference between fuels?
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Old 08-18-2010
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flex fuel is basically the programming in the computer

you can either run just regular fuel OR 50 / 50 of regular fuel and ethanol mixture

just switch the engine over along with the engine computer
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Old 08-18-2010
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just use the long block and swap everything over from your old engine, long block should be the same. The only thing that is really different is all of the seals,and different programming.
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Old 08-18-2010
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Its a different story if you want to run flex fuel(not worth it) You would have to add the fuel compensation valve located down under the frame along with the different fuel lines and the wiring harnesses as well *** the computer and keys and locks so the Pats system will work. In my previous post I was refering to using your existing computer and just running regular fuel.
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Old 08-19-2010
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You guys are so helpful. This is great. Ok, so let me give more info, maybe my situation is not as bad as I think. Here's the scoop, as I saw it...

I drove to a BBQ on Saturday. Drove home, parked in the garage. When I got out of the truck, the garage felt very hot. Now I live in Phoenix, and it was 110 that day, but still, it seemed hotter than normal. Still, obviously not enough to concern me. Didn't drive on Sunday.

Monday morning, got up early for the gym. Hopped in the truck and about 2 miles from home the motor died when I clutched, coming up on a stop sign. Turned the radio off, and she fired right up. Turned the corner of the block, hit the radio, and then next stop sign, died again coasting after clutching. Figured it to be a bad alternator or battery, turned around and drove home. After the local autozone open, drove it there for a check. The said my battery was dead. Bought a new one, slapped it in, headed home to pick up my work things, and head to work. All seemed well.

About a mile fom home, heading to work, pulled away from a stop sign, and she felt sluggish, like I was in the wrong gear. Pulled over, and she died. Wouldn't restart. I pushed her home, popped the hood and checked my oil. Saw water drops on the dipstick. Checked the radiator, couldn't see water. Added water, and she took tons. Seriously, like she was empty.

Had it tow'd to my mechanic. He calls me later, says the engine is blown, found 2 quarts of water in the piston tubes, and the oil looked like melted ice cream. Tow'd it home, not sure really what to do.

And, here I am. Money is really tight, so I'm having to learn to do all this on my own.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I really do appreciated all your help.

Brizane

P.S. I am writing this from my iPhone at work, so please forgive my spelling and grammar.
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Old 08-19-2010
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that is why i check coolant level every few days

and i always glance over at my coolant gauge every 30 seconds or

i always watch over my gauges when i drive
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Old 08-19-2010
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drain the oil and use Blue devil.Amazon.com: Blue Devil Engine and Cooling Sealant (32 oz.): Automotive . I have done this on a few vehicles and i have seen it done on a jeep with a straight up blown head gasket it and it worked. But there are several steps to it correctly.
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