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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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Old 12-17-2013
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Starting swap this weekend

To begin, I wanted to say fantastic forum. Long time lurker, first time poster. As the title states, I'll be starting my swap very soon. Hopefully this weekend. I've been researching for the best and cheapest swap possible. I'm one to plan as much out as possible and I make sure I've got as many if not all the parts before I begin a project.

So over the past year I've sourced two running 1997 V8 explorers. The first was purchased as it was a one owner vehicle with a grey interior and very well maintained. While searching for a few parts, I stumbled upon a second explorer on ebay that had lower mileage, a built trans with a shift kit, a set of torque monster headers, explorer express sway bars and their V8 supercharger kit. With a winning bid of $620 I was the proud new owner.

With the explorers parked its time to start acquiring the rest of the swap for my 97 4cyl 5spd swap. Living close to a Summit Racing retail store I've been able to keep an eye on their "damaged / returns corner" and acquire a set of hedman swap headers, and the advance adaptors mount kit for a very reasonable price.

I've read quite a bit on the swap, and I've got a few remaining questions.

A) cooling - I know the V8 explorer radiator will work, but it is quite tall. I've read of a hd ranger radiator being able to fit and cool. Can anyone tell me if this is true or of a better radiator that will work?

B) electrical - I'm getting mixed answers on how difficult this is going to be. I've heard plug and play no wiring to best to have an electrical degree to complete. I'm not scared of wiring, but would like to have a starting point.

C) suspension - front end what should I do to compensate for added weight? Rear end, will the entire axle assembly including springs bolt into the ranger, if so how much of a drop will this give me?

I appreciate the assistance helping me complete this swap. I'll be documenting as much of the swap as I can.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Awesome score on the supercharged expo, u live near the ohio summit racing? I'm from Akron if so. Keep us posted!!!
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Old 12-17-2013
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Thanks man, I live in GA near their McDonough location. I lucked out on the ebay explorer. Will update as I can so I can get this swap completed.
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Old 12-17-2013
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I live near the McDonough store to there open box area is awesome i picked up the radiator in question HD as you called it open box for $60 and as well as it cools my little 3.0l id bet you have no trouble with it its a 2 row i believe rated for the 4.0 but it should cool that 302 relatively well might check the specs on it though and its a direct bolt in swap same dimensions as stock ranger unit. Also you might pickup a stock auto trans cooler for the ranger and use it as an oil cooler since you have to relocate the filter anyway between the two id bet it would cool just fine.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Looking forward to lots of pics. I have not done a swap but have started doing research, so don't take this to the bank:

A) The explorer radiator should be the same as yours except it has one more core, and should work fine.

B) Since you were able to find the same year it should be plug and play. Your fuel system may be different.

C) Front would do better with some higher rate springs. The rear on an explorer is spring under axle and has different shock mounts, so you will need to cut all that off and weld on new ones.

Check out The Ranger Station for technical details on the swap. The headers were a big win, that is usually the most expensive part. Good Luck!
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Old 12-18-2013
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I've read that if you use two Driver Side spring / shock mounting pads you are able to bolt in the explorer axle and use the stock ranger shocks. If that is true, I'm not certain I'll find that out this weekend too.
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Old 12-22-2013
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The swap is a go. I've managed to pull the engine and drivetrain from the supercharged explorer as well as the engine and trans from the ranger. I've sent the transmission off for a rebuild / upgrade. I'll be able to pick the transmission up on Monday. I'm currently waiting on my oil filter relocation kit from L and L. Other than that, I've cleaned the engine compartment of the ranger waiting to start the next steps of this swap.
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Old 12-23-2013
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Sounds good post some pics if you can!
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Old 12-28-2013
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not sure what questions you still have but this thread should help

How to install a 1996 Explorer 5.0L into a 1995-1997 Ranger
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2014
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Sorry for the long delay. Engine and trans are in and the truck is up and running. I need to finish some small items like the exhaust and intake ducting. It was very nice having access to a complete donor vehicle, so if you've got the option on going that route do it. I was able to swap the instrument cluster, pedal assembly and steering column with the ranger pieces. All of the gauges are operational, but I will attempt to modify the wiring for the tach this weekend.

After the truck is 100% driveable I'll be swapping the new sway bars ,fuel pump assembly and the 8.8 in. Since my truck was a 5spd and I swapped the explorer column how will I be able to connect the O/D switch. I've done some searching, but I am unable to find definitive answers for this. I still have the explorer but will need to expedite its departure soon. Once complete and I've got a few miles on the truck I'll be able to finish the this thread and hopefully answer as many questions as I can regarding this swap.
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  #11  
Old 02-20-2014
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Not sure on the O/D light my auto to manual swap i cut mine out and it spidered into some harness and i lost where it went probably tied in with the clock spring/cruise bundle. Theres a couple guys on here with wiring diagrams for these trucks he helped me with my neutral safety switch so maybe he can get you the diagram you need ill try to get you his username to see if he can help you out.
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