4.0 SOHC compatibility issues? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


4.0L OHV & SOHC V6 Tech General discussion of 4.0L OHV and SOHC V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 04-21-2015
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4.0 SOHC compatibility issues?

I'be been searching on here and on the Explorer forums and have yet to find any good info to confirm an engine swap on my truck..

I own a 2001 Ranger 4.0 auto. I'll be needing a new engine soon because of the common timing chain tensioner problem.

I've found a 2008 Ranger with a 4.0 with 42,000 miles but the parts yard shows compatibility issues with my truck. They listed the engine as having different heads and a different timing cover, as well as other small stuff.


Has anyone here done a swap on an early SOHC (01-03) truck, to a later SOHC engine? I've read that there are differences through the years, sometihng like 01-03 are the same, then 04-07 are the same, and so on..

I'm ready to go get this engine ASAP as long as I can confirm that it's possible to swap them easily, as it's a killer deal.

I can swap/use my intake if necessary, as well as all of my own accessory drive components. The main things I worry about are the timing cover and heads having the correct bolt bosses to mount my accessories, and the EGR crap.

So, any info for me guys/gals?



GB :)
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Old 04-21-2015
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Why don't you just fix the timing chain issue on your current engine?
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Old 04-21-2015
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I figure with the current mileage my truck has, and seeing how I have to pull the engine to do it right/easier anyway, I'd be ahead of the game just getting a low mileage engine with the updated timing parts already in it. I'll be leaving this engine in my truck until it blows (which will be happening any day now) but I wanted to pick up the 42,000 mile engine for a back-up which I'll need before too long.


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Old 04-21-2015
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No, never did that swap.

But I would say you are fine to do it, there were many changes on the 4.0l OHV engine from 1990-2000 but swapping in a 2000 engine into a 1990 body presented no problems.

You will need to remember to specify 2008 when getting engine parts in the future

Yes, because of sensor placement using the original intake was often better just so original wiring harness lengths and connectors worked.
Install a new Knock sensor, it is under the intake and prone to failure.

Trans mount, motor mounts and accessory brackets will be the same.


Why not just change the timing chains/guides on the '01 engine, the new design seems to be bulletproof, the original design did have issues, not 100% failure but very high failure rate, new design solved those issues.
Used engines are a gamble at best.
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Old 04-21-2015
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I have 140,000 miles on my truck and climbing rapidly. I don't like pulling engines/transmissions/transfer cases, so when I do, I'd rather put something back in with 100,000 less miles. Does this only make sense to me or what? lol


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Old 04-21-2015
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I guess the only reason I'm worried about the newer engine is the bolt bosses on the front of the heads and timing cover. Since the parts yard (a very professional place, very up to date on the technology side) told me that the timing cover and heads were different from my truck, I thought I'd ask on here. You guys are always helpful.


GB :)
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Old 04-21-2015
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Since I am over 300k on my '94 4.0l engine, no, doesn't make sense

If you have only had the truck a short while so have no real engine history then used engine is the same as you have now, so not a big deal.

But if you have driven the truck for a few years and know engine has been flushed and maintained then I would do a compression test first or even test engine with vacuum gauge, if all is well I would just do the new chains.

Basically a 1 day job to pull engine, install timing chain kit, install new front and rear main seals, and knock sensor, then reinstall

Used engine has no guaranty, oh they can say it does but all they are saying is that if it fails in X amount of time/miles they will refund or replace IF(big if), the engine failure was not because of poor installation or operation.
And then there is the removal and replacement cost, out of your pocket.

If you had a thrown rod/cracked block, hydrolock/bent rod, pre-detonation piston/valve damage or spun main bearing then the used engine gamble is more appealing, lol
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Old 04-21-2015
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There's no way in hell it's a one day job for ME to pull that engine. Not even close.

Anyway, if someone here has done a similar swap, I'd love to hear your thoughts as well..


GB :)
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Old 04-21-2015
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I would have to wonder if any of the electrical components would be different from the 01 vs 08. At least different colors. But considering its the same engine, I would think it would be pretty much plug and play. You might be safe to make sure you get the harness, computer, etc just to avoid issues.

Then again, I could be totally off base.
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Old 04-21-2015
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I figure it's the same longblock but the parts company telling me it had a different timing cover had me worried a little.
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Old 04-22-2015
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Originally Posted by Bird76Mojo View Post
There's no way in hell it's a one day job for ME to pull that engine. Not even close.

Anyway, if someone here has done a similar swap, I'd love to hear your thoughts as well..


GB :)
Just a FYI, I just pulled my 4.0 in 7 hours last weekend. This was the first time I've ever done something like that. Had to fix the rear timing chain guide. Apparently the new design isn't as bullet proof as people say. Now that I've done it, it's not as scary as I thought I'd be.
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Old 04-22-2015
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I must be a real pantyfolder because I can't see where pulling the SOHC is so easy in these trucks. The passenger side is a nightmare to reach anything. Are you guys pulling the tranny with it all at once, or just separating the two?

Pulling my 2.9 was a cake walk (except for the upper bell housing bolts) but it's a manual, plus there's more room to work.


GB :)
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Old 04-22-2015
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I want to say Shane (fx4wannabe01) did it a couple years ago without any problems.
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Old 04-22-2015
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Originally Posted by Bird76Mojo View Post
I must be a real pantyfolder because I can't see where pulling the SOHC is so easy in these trucks. The passenger side is a nightmare to reach anything. Are you guys pulling the tranny with it all at once, or just separating the two?

Pulling my 2.9 was a cake walk (except for the upper bell housing bolts) but it's a manual, plus there's more room to work.


GB :)
I thought so to. It took a year for me to finally make the decision to pull it. I won't say it was cake, but totally doable in one day. The hardest thing to get to was the starter. I did not have to depressurize the AC, I also left the fan on, but wished I had taken it off. With it in you just have to tilt the engine quite a bit to clear the oil cooler. I left the tranny in the truck, those top bolts were kinda a pain to get too, just cause you can't see them really. But a small 13mm ratcheting end wrench took care of them. having done it once, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-22-2015
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Thanks fo the encouragement guys. I'm still unsure about buying the 08 engine but I think I'm gonna bite the bullet and try it out. It'll be a while (hopefully) before my engine blows though.

Shanes truck I believe is an 01 and he swapped in an 04 engine I think. EDIT: his seems to have been from an 06 model.


GB :)

Last edited by Bird76Mojo; 04-23-2015 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 04-24-2015
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O coulda swore it was and 08. However if an 06 worked I cant see why an 08 wouldnt.
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Old 04-24-2015
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Well there seems to be different generations of the SOHC engine. 07-11 being the latest and having the most differences from my 2001. I wish I could see the difference in the timing cover and the heads before shelling out so much cash..


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