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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 02-10-2014
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Swap questions (Hopefully unique) I've searched for days..

Hey everyone, first post on here, I am on the other ranger forum as well, but I see there are more people viewing this V8 section than that one, So i figured I would try my luck here.

I have a 1994 3.0 4x2 Ranger XLT. The car is not a daily driver anymore since my Manual transmission **** the bed. I scrapped the trans, and sold the motor and was in the process of parting out when I did something really stupid. I bought a 5.0. I will give tons of details below, but the bulleted list at the end has the highlights/questions.

I found a 1997 ford explorer 5.0 that was being parted out due to a bad front diff. It is at a local shop. I was able to start/drive/inspect everything as well as put it on a lift and have it shift smoothly through all gears. The shop has too much crap laying around so they cut me a hell of a deal and I paid them for some things already. I will be getting my parts this weekend (I have a receipt with all of this in writing, not getting ripped off) after they are done removing it all.

They have more parts, so I am trying to see if I have everything I need. Already paid for are the following:

-Complete 5.0, minus water pump pully and alternator (Alternator bracket still on motor)
-Engine wiring harness
-ECU
-Auto Trans +TQ Convertor
-MAF housing/sensor (Free)
-Power steering lines (Free)

Most other parts are still present on the car so I have my choice of what I want. Since the car will be scrapped after he is done with my pull, Anything light is mine if I want it. Anything that is a pain in the *** to remove, or has decent weight will cost me, but not much.

Since I am coming from a 2wd manual transmission ranger this is brought up some issues. I know that the transmission on the explorer will need to be completely torn down and have the 4wd output shaft swapped with a 2wd version as well as have the tailhousing replaced. I am no stranger to tearing down transmissions and honestly for an Auto, the 4R70W does not look to be that bad of a teardown/reassembly. But seeing as how I am coming from a manual transmission, I am trying to compile a list of what else I should get from the explorer that would be interchangeable with my 1994 ranger. The questions/thoughts I have are:

- Is the steering column interchangeable?
-Is the gauge cluster interchangeable so I can have a tach and gear select indicator?
- The gear selector is on the column, and I have a manual trans now, so at the very least should I take that from the explorer?
-Does the 4r70w use a transmission cooler? If so I should take those parts as well right?
-On the 1997 AWD explorer, the VSS is in the rear axel. When I put the 2wd output shaft and housing on the trans, there is a hole for the VSS. Would the computer recognize and accept this for reporting the speed?
-Are there other parts I would need for the manual to auto conversion to make it work? AFAIK, i only need a way to change the gears and a way to read speed to my gauges. Hell I could even skip the gear select indicator and just put a post it in there for the gear order, But I want this to be as clean as possible.

I have done motor swaps before, but most of those were simple. I have torn down and reassembled transmissions, and motors with success previously, but i have never gone from Manual to Auto, so I do not know what all is involved.

I will probably have more questions but all my current concerns are regarding the 5spd to auto swap. Thank you for reading.

Last edited by thebatman; 02-10-2014 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 02-10-2014
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Also, if anyone who has done the swap can think of anything I am missing from the explorer please let me know. After this weekend the explorer is gone, So i need to take everything I can. I don't want to grab the whole car mainly because I already have a 'dead' ford ranger sitting in my driveway and 3 other perfectly functional cars. Gets a little crowded and I don't know how the HOA would react.

Also, maybe easier. Would I be better off by doing a floor shifter for the auto? Maybe get one from a passenger car that had the 4r70w and using that instead? Im fine covering/recutting the hole. Time/labor are not an issue. Money I guess is one. Im not broke, but my lancer evo x takes alot of my money since I am constantly modding that, so budget for the ranger is low.
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Old 02-10-2014
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the steering column from what i understand will swap and the cluster but i do foresee a few wiring issues with that because as a general rule for it to fit on your ranger the donor should be a year or two older as the ranger was like the redheaded step child it got the updates only after the expo had it for a while first. Also being as you had a 94 and the expo is a 97 it most likely has pats and the ranger does not so check into that at the very least you will need a bypass module if it does. You can swap PATS if you really want it but it will be a headache. Im pretty sure all ranger/expo autos had trans coolers so if its there grab it and the lines because the lines are expensive! and the VSS should work fine in the tail shaft you just might have to tweak the PCM a bit. As for shifter id find an old school one from an 80s ranger they are floor mounted for ease of install, and also because the auto stuff in the column is a pain to deal with i went auto to five speed in my truck and its a lot of wiring. In all honesty you may be better off picking up a used manual for a 5.0 in the long run the extra parts/wiring will probably cost you the same to get it working right as a manual swap would cost. I don't remember if the 4r70w has the button for overdrive or not if it does thats extra wiring that will have to be installed to make it work which is a huge pain. Hope this is not to ramble and you can pick out the info you need/want. Good luck on the swap!
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Old 02-10-2014
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Explorer thankfully started PATS in 1998. I had the forsight to check that before I threw down my money.

As for the manual trans, I'd like to go that route but I did not see any opensource methods of tuning for the ECU. If I recall correctly, it will be looking for the auto trans and that will give me problems right? So to tune it properly I would be out a decent chunk of change in addition to the manual transmission?
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Old 02-10-2014
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More or less i had to tune mine out because i had to keep the auto PCM for emissions. But if it has no PATS and you want to go the manual route it should be easy to pick up a PCM from say an older mustang that had a 5.0 with a 5speed for cheap at a junkyard manuals are not PCM specific so it wouldn't matter what trans you used. Also using the mustang computer might net a few more ponies since it runs a different tune. LKQ is my preferred yard because they ship and usually have a decent warranty or any pick and pull would work for you. But yeah the custom tune cost me more than i paid for the trans about $400 i think so unless you can find the right PCM then stay auto. But check for the overdrive button first that thing causes all sorts of wacky things if you leave it unplugged i was hoping to save you a few headaches there.
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Old 02-10-2014
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Im 99% sure it does have an overdrive button. So I will definitely have problems there.

Is there anyone that does a mail in ECU service? Something where I could just send it to them and they could flash it to just ignore the lack of Auto trans?

If I grab a Mustang computer, arent the motors differnt in some way? I thought the firing order and some other things were a little different. I have several transmissions laying around ( none for fords except the one I am getting with the motor) and a guy near me takes cores as credit. Should be able to get a trans pretty cheap from him.
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Old 02-10-2014
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There are a few places i used Fred at Rogue Performance not sure if he does mail ins but that guy has done anything and everything ranger. If it can bolted screwed or glued to that truck he can make it run right and he's a member on the boards here so id check him first. There is a place in florida also that for sure does mail ins can't remember off hand there name but google PCM reprogram may have to play with the wording a bit but they come up. They quoted me about $100 for a PCM specced to my settings mailed to the door when i was doing my swap and a little cheaper if i sent the old one back to them. As far as the motors the only difference i know is the heads one had GT40 and one had GT40P only one was used in the mustang can't remember which at the moment but both were used in the expo it'll be stamped on them somewhere for reference. But I'm not entirely sure the difference was that great hopefully someone here can help clear that up for you. I researched this swap a few years ago pretty in depth but gave up due to local emissions so my memory is a but hazy on what all works and doesn't. But definitely look into the computer first it will definitely be your easiest route. My final setup that i was researching was the 5.0 with the mustang T6 world class by far the most reliable setup and parts are cheap because of all the fox body fanatics running that setup.
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Old 02-10-2014
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Thanks for your help man. I'm not sure which heads this motor has, they both were used in 1997.

I am tempted to just say screw it and convert to carbourated and throw a manual trans in it and be done with it.
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Old 02-11-2014
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Yeah that might save you some trouble I'm pretty sure theres a complete kit for that that you could at least get a parts list from to get you headed in the right direction they are extremely basic and make good carb setups because of it thats one of the reasons it won't pass in my year with Atlanta's outrageous testing rules.
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Old 02-11-2014
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Also idk which transmission your looking at but try to get one thats hydraulic clutch it will make life easier fabbing it to fit. because of the angle you will have to fab some crazy brackets to make a cable clutch work and I've heard some horror stories about trying to adjust it after. Hydraulic would make it easier to install and you can reuse your stock master cylinder to save on buying parts.
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Old 02-11-2014
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Well I threw up all my stuff in the classifieds. If i can just get out of this without losing money, I will do that.

More work than I wanted to put in really. Plus I got a good offer on my rolling chassis of a ranger. I would like to sell the motor/trans i just bought before I ditch the chassis though.
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Old 02-11-2014
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Hate to hear it man if you could get it to run with the 5.0 You'd have no trouble selling it its a very desirable swap! Hope it works out for you though!
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