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Old 09-20-2015
PSWP's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2
1989 4x4 Ranger 2.9 to 5.0 Project

Like the title says I am one of the many that have always wanted to do this just have never pulled the trigger on it. I am now seriously considering doing the swap. I have been trying to do a lot of research online about it and this site seems to have the best knowledge base so I joined. Hopefully some of you that have done the conversion can help me out.

Like I said, I have been doing quite a bit of research and unfortunately the path I am going is not the normal path people take with the swap. My truck is only used as a toy/prerunner in the desert. Creature comfort is gone. It is still planted(CA) and I want to be able to CA smog it when done. It is already modified quite a bit at this point.

Below is an example of some of the things that I don't need to worry about.
I don't have the ABS hooked up(9in full floater rear).
AC was scrapped to make room for the engine cage.
Entire air control box was removed since the AC was gone and heater core was removed.
Fuel cell with custom mounted Bosch high volume pump inside the cell.

You can see in the pictures what I have to work with. I basically need a standalone engine management system with a check engine light that will get me past smog. From the information I have gathered it looks like I need a 96 or 97 Explorer 5.0 motor. Let me know if this sound right.

Transmission - Manual. Outside of going with a G-Force GF-5R $$$, it looks like I would be going with a M5OD-R2.

Transfer Case - This is one of the areas where I need some help. I have an electric shift BW-1350 currently in the truck. This is not going to work for the swap. I have a BW-1356 that I somehow inherited but it is way to wide and hangs too low. It sounds like the next option is a BW-4406. Two things I have not been able to confirm or determine.
- What year and model was this case available with a manual shift?
- Did it ever come with a rear fixed yoke? Years ago I converted to a 1-piece drive shaft and the torque on the system coupled with the travel number of the rear end will kill a slip yoke.

Anything is possible on this swap. The articles and threads that I have read so far have been great. The executions have been amazing to see how well and the lengths people have gone to make it look like a factory install like Ford should have done it in the first place. Mine will be quite different. I personally built the entire truck. If something needs to get cut off, moved and re-welded, I am fine with that. I am not opposed to cutting the firewall and moving the motor back.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 09-20-2015
win's Avatar
win win is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 93
For a manual, you might want to think about dropping down to an earlier Mustang EFI system.

Normally, I'm a huge advocate of the Explorer's coil pack ignition system but the need for a custom tune to eliminate the auto transmission functions/faults/etc makes the 'Stang EFI system a significantly less expensive path. If you stick with the Explorer EFI system, no reason to stick with the '96 or '97. A custom tune to eliminate the auto trans could just as easily eliminate the PATS security.

A '99 though '01 EFI will use a higher pressure fuel system but that's not a hard retrofit.

Unless you've moved the radiator to the front of the rad support, I'd still stick with the Explorer FEAD -- far more compact than the other options.
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Old 09-20-2015
PSWP's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2
Win - Thanks for the info. Are you referring to an 89 to 93 manual mustang motor setup with the A9L computer? I had though about that. I wonder if there would be a problem with the VSS? I am not sure if the mustang VSS picked up off the rear housing or the tail housing and if it would work wired into the tail housing of a M5OD-R2. I see your point though. Do you think I would be better off using a motor/wiring and computer out of a manual F-150? It would already be set up for the speedometer cable and VSS to a transfer case.

Since we are talking about using motors from something other than an Explorer, If I were to use a motor/wiring/computer from a mustang or F-150 would I be able to use a Explorer upper/lower intake? Would the emissions connect and read properly? I think I will have clearance issues(shock mounts) with a Mustang intake unless I use a 90deg adapter on the throttle body. Even then I am not sure it would clear.

I would like to stay with the return style fuel system. All I will say is that it works well to transfer fuel in a pinch when done safely. The beauty of having a fuel cell and AN fittings on all the fuel lines.

I am not too concerned with clearing the radiator. I don't have a ranger core support any more. The radiator mount can be moved or the motor can be pushed back. The only Ranger sheet metal left on the truck is the cab. From the firewall forward is tubes and fiberglass. I updated the body style years ago to an 03. All the fenders and the hood is fiberglass. No bed either. Thanks again for the info.
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