V8 swap in 95 4x4 in memory of dad - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 02-28-2014
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V8 swap in 95 4x4 in memory of dad

I have a project I want to start working on as soon as the weather warms around here. It is sentimental, because this truck was my dad's until he passed away last summer. I've been driving it daily since, and for it's age it has been kept in great shape. It's a 95 4.0 Ranger XLT, Extended cab 4x4 automatic. It means a lot to me to drive my old man's truck, and I figure I will probably keep it forever.

Here is what I have to work with. Sitting right next to it in my driveway is a 97 Mark VIII that I bought to bomb around in. Of course it has the 32v 4.6 motor in strong running condition. It has some body damage and needs a cleanup and repaint if I were to keep it. Plus the interior shows a fair amount of wear. In all honesty, the Ranger is in much better shape inside and out.

I am thinking of combining the two vehicles into one monster Ranger in honor of dear old dad. He was a car guy, and over the years we have built everything from a 67 GTO to a 84 Dodge Shelby Charger together. Since he passed, I haven't picked up a tool. Building this truck is my way of moving on and getting back to doing the things I used to love.

I want to keep the 4x4 (no AWD) as well as the A/C functional. However, I would like to convert from automatic to a 5 or 6 speed just because I like to row my own gears. The truck has the factory off-road suspension, so it already sits high, and I am thinking the extra clearance may help me.

I have read through hours of forum posts, and seen a few examples of people putting mod motors in Rangers. However most have been 2wd trucks. Is anyone aware of a 4x4 32v 4.6 conversion that I could reference?

And the main point of the post, to keep the 4x4 fully functional, dare I try to use the Ranger's existing transfer case, or will it blow up behind a 300+hp mod motor? If not, what transmission/transfer case combo would be best? I want to drive this truck daily when it's done, so drivability is a key conern as well as mileage. (The existing 4.0 has only been getting 16mpg, and I expect the V8 will actually improve that)

Once the motor is in and running, I may even look at transplanting the aluminum Independent Rear Suspension from the Mark VIII under the Ranger. It would be icing on the cake if I could get this truck to ride and handle half as good as the Lincoln!

Looking forward to hearing from the masses on this project.
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Old 02-28-2014
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Info on the 4.6l for conversion:
The Ford 4.6L Modular Engine

Ranger will need quite a bit of modification in the engine bay(4.6 is WIDE), front suspension(you will be lifting it, it's TALL too) and in frame for the manual trans with transfer case.

I would abandon Ford computer control, either go with carb or after market EFI.
For spark use the MSD-6 Ford Modular Ignition Controller

F-150 or 250 would be where to look for manual trans and transfercase

Last edited by RonD; 02-28-2014 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 02-28-2014
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Well from the research I've done so far, the 4.6 fits in the engine bay just fine with no modifications to the firewall, frame or inner fenders. I expect some challenges with the steering and exhaust connection, but even those look like they have been addressed before by others.

Here's an example: 4.6 Swap - First test fit
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Old 02-28-2014
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Also note the 32v 4.6 is all aluminum, and actually weighs no more than the 4.0 V6 it will be replacing.
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Old 03-01-2014
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That motor is a great canidate for a mod swap. No pats to worry about. As for ac? It won't fit in there. It'll be blocking where your right exhaust manifold is supposed to go. I'm not sure if the TC would be strong enough but like mentioned , look for a trans and TC outta an f150 from 97-03. It should bolt up to the 4.6. The 4.0 weighs about 450 lbs. As for that independant rear, I would keep it live axel since you are 4wd. If you lowered it, I'd say go for it

I'd love to do a 4.6 in mine one day but I don't see it happening anytime in the near future.
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