'03 ranger 2.5l to old iron v8 swap? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


8-Cylinder Tech If you are one of the few with a V8 engine in your Ranger, or if you dream of a Ranger with a V8 engine, this is the sub-forum for you.

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  #1  
Old 12-09-2012
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'03 ranger 2.5l to old iron v8 swap?

I have an '03 ranger with a 5 speed and the boat anchor 2.5l. Was my brothers truck, he bought used in 05 or 06. Its bright red, 2 door standard cab regular wheel base. It gets a staggering 15mpg on a really good day...no seriously im not joking unfortunately. Its anemic, sputters in 1st gear, i have to downshift to 3rd to take just about any hill, and since i live in alabama we have alot of hills. Im pretty sure its open diff, it does have massive all terrains on said anemic 4 cylinder, and some old american racing "buckshots" 15" wheels that arent exactly light. I would much rather sell the truck, but parents took a loan out on it. I used to have a 98 sonoma that was MUCH nicer than this. When my grandpa had cancer he had to sell his wickedly awesome nissan hardbody to pay for chemo(was for sale for an hour before he sold it). I wasnt in school at the time so i gave him my sonoma and refused to let him pay payments on it. He died last easter sunday, he requested my sonoma go to my stepdad(who had the ranger) so i agreed and now i have a ranger that gets big block gas mileage with old school diesel performance. Anyways, IF i keep the ranger, instead of messing with the 2.5l that i hate with a passion, i have decided to install a v8. Since this is alabama we dont have emissions, so any v8 will work. So im thinking just a run of the mill 302 from a fox body mustang or an f-150 will suffice. My question is what would i need for an early 90's 302 swap? I have a lincoln welder(gasless) and a sawzall, plus a drill that i can get the electric grinder attachments for. I will probably convert to carb for ease of install, unless i can acquire the ecm to match the fuel injection 302's. Has anyone done this swap? I also plan to slam the truck on bags should i keep it. Truck has like 160k miles on it.
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Old 12-09-2012
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Explorer 5.0L swaps are the most common in Rangers... quite a few have done it. If you do decide to go EFI, keep an eye out for a complete wrecked 5.0L vehicle then you'll have pretty much everything you need!
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Old 12-09-2012
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Do You Wanna Go Carbed Or Efi?
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2012
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just saw how cheap the car i really want is selling for (rx7) im nt keeping the ranger, once its paid for its gonna be for sale lol. thank your for posting though =]
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Old 12-09-2012
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V8 swap the RX7!
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2012
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hissssss!!! no gotta keep the rotary!
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2012
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though you can take comfort in knowing that if i ever were to v8 swap an rx7, it would not be the LoSer1 engine from a vette,camaro or some other gm hunk-o-poo
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Old 12-10-2012
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Just an FYI you don't have a 2.5L if you have an 03.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2012
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Rotary Engine = Trash
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2012
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So ive discerned that the truck is a complete pos. The year is actually a 2000, after checking the 1st part of the vin #. However it IS a 2.5l, the dealership installed a 2.5l instead of the duratech it was supposed to have had(typical high school repo, owner was mad at loan company, drained oil and side stepped the clutch grenading the engine). Maybe they thought it was the correct engine, maybe the ford dealership had a spare 2.5 in the shop, idk, i do know the ranger drives like its about 90hp and gets about 15 mpg(again, i am not lying on the mpg) the body is in excellent shape, the ac works, the engine is fubar, it runs but it needs a whole list of sensors, maybe even the correct ecm, as well as 8 new plugs and plug wires, as well as coil packs. The truck has 160k on the clock and my old straight 6 250ci nova drove better with over 300k on the clock with no rebuild..got better mpg too.(was almost killed by a drunk driver when i was 16...who was driving a lifted f100 ranger...car was doa and shortened 6 feet, literally hit at a dead stop while he was trying to elude police) Anyways, since its the red headed step child thats on crack, ive decided to keep it and drop a v8 in it...heres what my plans are.
Basic run of the mill 302 or the 351 sbf.
Keeping it as a 5 speed
Slamming it, maybe bagging it
Stripping it down to bare essentials, except radio system
Finish debadging it, eliminating chrome parts as they are hideous

I have the basic tool set i acquired from NADC when i graduated, NADC is owned by lincoln tech, which also owns wyotech. I also took hi-po fabrications, i have moderate fab skills, i also have a gasless mig welder(lincoln of course!) a sawzall and an electric drill, i can also adapt some grinders on the drill from a grinding set.(no air compressor or air tools sadly) I have an embarrassing amount of time available for this project, however my back is fubar. I have little cash flow, in fact i know someone pretty well who would all but give me a 302 thats rebuildable/running. Im asking for knowledge, ive done engine rebuilds, auto-manual swaps, completely wired vehicles from scratch(thanks painless!!) What im asking this thread for is knowledge, im sure some people on here have done similar swaps, maybe even the same swaps..Im going carb for ease of installation, i just want to know if their are any suprises that i should be aware of before making this swap. I dont want to get the engine out and new engine brackets set-up to realize i need the steering rack from a freaking aston martin or anything like that. In fact, think of this as a street/strip with no intentions to drag race. It will need to be able to accomodate 2 people. Thank you in advance people....

p.s, the rotary is not trash, most people have very little, if any knowledge about the engine, its different, its requires more attention to detail than typical reciprocating engines, in fact if this truck was light, i would consider a rotary swap, but its not, so its getting a v8. Even when im done with this i will still probably sell the truck unless i become attached to it, atm i am not attached to it at all. If someone came up to me and offered cash i would probably take it, but i wont get what i have to have for it in its current condition...
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2012
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"in fact if this truck was light, i would consider a rotary swap"

My point proven, Junk unless its in a gokart
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2012
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The rotary does not provide alot of torque due to its design, its meant to rev high, and to rev smoothly, s it doesnt rattle itself apart at high rpms. It does not need a crankshaft, which increases its ability to rev. In fact, in the sports car world, its the most advanced engine of its type, not to mention if you do run a rotary hot, just let it cool down and it will start right back up, unlike reciprocating engines where the probabilty is you just locked your engine up. The 787B(also a rotary) is one of the most dominating engines in JGTC today, its perfect for extended high rpm durations, unlike reciprocating engines.. I know of people who have rotary engines that have had the same reliability as any other engine. Anyways, we can turn this into a rotary engine deating article, im asking for help on my rangers v8 swap, im not gonna bother trying to change your mind about the rotary, your hatred for it is equivelant to your lack of knowledge for them, they CAN be tempermental if you dont take your time with them. Neither of us will change our minds so lets jsut drop the rotary discussion now.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwfenix View Post
So ive discerned that the truck is a complete pos. The year is actually a 2000, after checking the 1st part of the vin #. However it IS a 2.5l, the dealership installed a 2.5l instead of the duratech it was supposed to have had(typical high school repo, owner was mad at loan company, drained oil and side stepped the clutch grenading the engine). Maybe they thought it was the correct engine, maybe the ford dealership had a spare 2.5 in the shop, idk, i do know the ranger drives like its about 90hp and gets about 15 mpg(again, i am not lying on the mpg) the body is in excellent shape, the ac works, the engine is fubar, it runs but it needs a whole list of sensors, maybe even the correct ecm, as well as 8 new plugs and plug wires, as well as coil packs. The truck has 160k on the clock and my old straight 6 250ci nova drove better with over 300k on the clock with no rebuild..got better mpg too.(was almost killed by a drunk driver when i was 16...who was driving a lifted f100 ranger...car was doa and shortened 6 feet, literally hit at a dead stop while he was trying to elude police) Anyways, since its the red headed step child thats on crack, ive decided to keep it and drop a v8 in it...heres what my plans are.
For a 2000 it would've had the 2.5 from the factory. It sounds like it probably wasn't maintained very well if it really does need all that stuff being 160k. Probably just would need some tlc to get it running better.
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2012
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think it needs more than tlc lol. the body is in very good condition, minus where the plastic bedliner rubbed the paint to bare metal in a couple spots. Inside of the bed is really nasty though. the bedliner was installed by the lemon lot to mask that, oh, the tailgate latch is broken so i cant lower the tailgate, but thats pretty much the gist of body issues, the paint is in pretty good shape, other than its peeling on the left front fender. It needs some work, but its still in pretty decent shape. when the note is paid for i may try to get 2k out of it, simply because a/c works, the truck drives(with a hot batter) and people sell junk for alot more than what im asking. not sure how much more they owe on it though =/
seems v8s skyrocketed in prices since last time i was in the market for them...hell i traded a gamecube for a complete 350ci about 7 years ago lol
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2012
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Hmm, it's hard to say for me, sometimes the simple stuff can make a big difference. Regardless, it really does sound like the motor wasn't maintained or something wasn't taken care of for it to be like that. Typically at least, Lima's are really solid motors if maintained. Otherwise I don't know what to tell you.
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  #16  
Old 12-15-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwfenix View Post
The rotary does not provide alot of torque due to its design, its meant to rev high, and to rev smoothly, s it doesnt rattle itself apart at high rpms. It does not need a crankshaft, which increases its ability to rev. In fact, in the sports car world, its the most advanced engine of its type, not to mention if you do run a rotary hot, just let it cool down and it will start right back up, unlike reciprocating engines where the probabilty is you just locked your engine up. The 787B(also a rotary) is one of the most dominating engines in JGTC today, its perfect for extended high rpm durations, unlike reciprocating engines.. I know of people who have rotary engines that have had the same reliability as any other engine. Anyways, we can turn this into a rotary engine deating article, im asking for help on my rangers v8 swap, im not gonna bother trying to change your mind about the rotary, your hatred for it is equivelant to your lack of knowledge for them, they CAN be tempermental if you dont take your time with them. Neither of us will change our minds so lets jsut drop the rotary discussion now.
Bullit reliable my ***, everyone ive ever seen with more then a intake and exhaust, Blows this magical apex seal that NOONE can seem to design to not blow. and you just said there not meant to build torque, so what does that leave sus with? a 60 roll race --- machine. Sorry but i prefer dragging the bumper off the line
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2013
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as far as durability goes, the rotary engine is trash. from personal experience, i would expect 100,000 miles out of it before needing to completely rebuild the thing. it is also lacking on torque since it is designed for high rpms i will have to admit, however, that it does put out spectacular power for its weight. so its really whatever you want to do.
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