Swapping a 4.0 OHV to a SOHC - 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 01-29-2005
MRC MRC is offline
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Swapping a 4.0 OHV to a SOHC

I was wondering what would be involved with swapping a OHV for a SOHC.I know that the SOHC will physically bolt right in but what would be involved electronically.Do I just need to get the whole motor,wiring harness and computer from another truck?Will the 5 speed auto function properly?I don't want to do a hack job,I need it to be a clean install.Reason I am asking is I have 145,000 miles and am starting to get some oil leaks.I have heard the OHV engines are common for the head gaskets going bad and even cracking the heads.I am either going to pull and rebuild mine or look to do the swap.If it will just drop in with the new motor,harness and computer,I think that is the way to go.All I would need to find is a low mileage Ranger that is wrecked or something.I think the swap would be easier and less time consuming than a rebuild.Not to mention the extra power I would pick up.Let me know some opinions and also info if anyone has done this swap.This is not about which motor is better,just what will give me the OEM reliability with the least hassle.
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Old 01-29-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRC
I was wondering what would be involved with swapping a OHV for a SOHC.I know that the SOHC will physically bolt right in but what would be involved electronically.Do I just need to get the whole motor,wiring harness and computer from another truck?Will the 5 speed auto function properly?I don't want to do a hack job,I need it to be a clean install.Reason I am asking is I have 145,000 miles and am starting to get some oil leaks.I have heard the OHV engines are common for the head gaskets going bad and even cracking the heads.I am either going to pull and rebuild mine or look to do the swap.If it will just drop in with the new motor,harness and computer,I think that is the way to go.All I would need to find is a low mileage Ranger that is wrecked or something.I think the swap would be easier and less time consuming than a rebuild.Not to mention the extra power I would pick up.Let me know some opinions and also info if anyone has done this swap.This is not about which motor is better,just what will give me the OEM reliability with the least hassle.
Check out this guy's saga. He did something similar:

http://www.offroadrangers.com/forums...ad.php?t=18948
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Old 01-29-2005
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i havent done the swap, but i imageine that it shouldnt be that complecated.

all u have to do is find a ranger with the same equipment as u...well...at least the same tranny...and go from there....yes the block should bolt right in no prob, but the real problem u're gonn ahve is with the computer and all the harnesses....thas gonna be the only pitfall...

of course...if u're head gasket and etc get bad and go to crap...u canjust replace them....or like u said, rebuild them....and it will end up costing u a lot less than the SOHC engine and harnesses and etc....plus u could take that opportunity to port and polish the engine! haha

but yeah, if anything (knock on wood) ever happens to my OHV, i'll be swapping in that engine....or gettin a toyo tacoma...haha
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Old 01-29-2005
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I read alot of that post(thanks).I don't want to deal with all of that.I would imagine mine would be easier,already had 5 speed auto,PATS and is 2wd.But if it is even only half as hard I still wouldn't do it.Maybe I will just pull mine and rebuild it when the time comes.Then I know I will only be dealing with the motor.Maybe I will find another OHV and rebuild it first and then just swap it out when it is done.Maybe I will do a few performance mods to it also.
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Old 01-29-2005
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Marc you've answered my problems reguarding the OHV 4.0L. No wonder my old '94 Explorer craps out on me every couple of months. Not to mention that so-called head gasket problem on the 2000 XLT 4x4 my dad drove for work. It took a long while til they fix the damn thing before he got it lol!! Wasn't long before Dad got a 2001 XLT 4x4 SOHC and what a difference. Definetly drop a SOHC in there.
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Old 01-29-2005
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I loved my OHV 4.0 better than my SOHC. The torque was better and it just meemed stronger and faster. Alas, the OHV was in a standard cab SPlash 5 speed and the SOHC was in a big 4x4 auto supercab...hmm.

I like either of the engines, I think they are great, only a small step down from the mighty 302!
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Old 01-30-2005
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Swoop, my slightly modded 3.0l manual regular cab 4.10 did 10.69 in the eighth. My stock 4.0l auto 3.55 supercab does 10.4's. More weight, different gearing and trans, plus you had alot more rotating drivetrain would easily give you a difference you could feel.
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Old 03-30-2005
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Well,now I really am wondering what to do.In the last 5K miles it has started making some noise.It kind of sounds like the timing tensioner rattle that the SOHC motors get sometimes.It only does it at idle.If I rev it up to say 1500rpm it goes away.I changed the oil last night and has a pretty good leak coming from the passenger side.It looks like it may be coming from the back of the head.Someone told me that even the 4.0 OHV has a timing chain tensioner also.That is what it sounds like.It still runs perfect,just sounds horrible.Here is what I may do.Pull the motor and replace the head,valve cover ,intake and timing cover gaskets and the timing chain and tensioner.Clean it all back up and put it back in.I don't know if it is worth it with 150K on it.I really think the motor is in perfect shape,I have used synthetic since new.I will also put a new rear main seal and oil pan gasket while its out.I really don't care how fast it is,I want as much torque as possible because I tow with it.I know the SOHC makes alot more power but lack some low end torque.Plus if I keep the OHV I won't have any wiring or fitment issues that I might run into with the SOHC swap.I just don't think that my motor is "worn out" it just has a couple of issues.I don't want to waste money on a new motor if it doesn't reall need it.
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Old 03-30-2005
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I tihnk it's time to do the swap Marc... and I better be invited :-)
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2005
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I want a 351 Windsor....
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2005
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I kinda agree with keeping the OHV. It would be way easier. The SOHC doesn't really get better gas milage or anything. I have had 2 OHV 4.0's now I love the power they make. Those motors pull hard. I can barely tell I am pulling a trailer.
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Old 03-30-2005
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Just an idea Marc... how about just mildly building a 4.0 SOHC and then then your OHV goes tothe grave go ahead and do the swap...
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Old 04-23-2005
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"Someone told me that even the 4.0 OHV has a timing chain tensioner "

It does have a Timing chain, no tensioner tho.

If your serious on a swap, your best bet is to find an insurance wreck, preferably a ranger that was ***-ended. It will probably cost you more then you would want to spend, BUT, you would have the WHOLE engine compartment to loot from.

I don't know what year your truck is ( I'm going to make an *** out of myself and assume its a 99-2001 ). If you just plan on aquiring a motor and a wiring harness, your going to run into some very minor ( but time consuming ) fabrications.

Your idea of building a different OHV on a stand and waiting for the right moment to put it in sounds like the best path for you to follow. If you do it as a project over time, you could add items like a good set of heads, a 422 cam and some of the other OVH performance parts that are out there.

The OHV makes more bottom end torque and theres not much milage difference between the 2 motors to constitute a swap.

D.
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Old 06-21-2006
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here in a few months my OHV is supposed to die.. bc of a siezed bearing? thats wat the mechs told us.. anyways my origional thought was to swap the ohv for another ohv. but w/o reading this long *** post can someone give me an estimate on how much longer it would take to swap an SOHC rather then an OHV?

thanks..and ill read this whole thing soon enough
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Old 06-21-2006
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easier to swap in a new OHV. With all the work you're saved with that easy swap u can add upgrades! Nawsss, internal upgrades, etc. D. would prolly know some good powerboosting mods for a 4.0 OHV
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Old 06-21-2006
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aight. yea i wanted to build up the engine b4 i threw it in either way....
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