What is the best ranger to V8 swap - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-10-2016
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What is the best ranger to V8 swap

Plain and simple. Hopefully. What is the best ranger to V8 swap. My current ranger is an under powered and cancer ridden 96 2.3 manual 4x4. Time for a monster ranger in my life. Open to ideas for the best manual carberated 2wd ranger V8 combo. Hopefully without having to swap everything else involved with the drive train.
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Old 03-10-2016
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I think 1996 was the last year of the 5.0l engines in F-150 manual 4x4's, so '96 and earlier, manual transfer case would be preferred.
But F-150s lost speedo cable in 1992, this is important.
1986 was first year of EFI in F-150s, so 1985 and older will have carb but they were Feedback carbs so you still need a "good carb"
You need the engine, trans and transfer case, and exhaust manifolds if available.
You will have to make custom drivelines

And a distributor/coil, and intake with carb to eliminate computer.
You can go with HEI ignition, electronic but pretty bulletproof

Any year Ranger can be swapped, the wiring with computer change over is a bigger part which you won't have to deal with.
There were 3 generation of Rangers
1983 to 1992, 1989-1992 had small changes but not much
1993 to 1997, they got larger and rounder in 1993, 1995 was the end of speedometer cables
1998 to 2012


I would look at 1994 and older Rangers, speedo cable was still used, a 4x4 should have 8.8" rear axle but not always, 4.0l model always had 8.8"
You could use the 7.5" with a V8 but............may not last as long if you like to accelerate as fast as possible.
And a 1991 and older F-150 5.0l manual 4x4

Shifter will be farther forward, but it will fit, you will need to make a custom bent shifter to clear the dash
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Old 03-12-2016
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I would say start looking for a 1998 - 2001 explorer EB or Limited with the center console information center. Then be on the look out for a ranger of the same year. The 98 and up explorers have the GT40 heads so they put out a little more horse power.

Here is pretty much all the information you could need on a ranger.

The Ranger Station Technical Library Index - Showing You The Way Since 1999!
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Old 03-12-2016
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Explorer V8 is a good swap but not if you don't want the computer, wiring harness and fuel injection, and even if you do, the manual trans becomes an issue, since explorer V8 with manual trans computers are scarce.

I personally would go with computer and fuel injection, since I spent my youth adjusting carbs and points, real waste of time since you don't have to do it anymore, lol.
Give me EFI and distributorless ignition any day
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Old 03-14-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
I think 1996 was the last year of the 5.0l engines in F-150 manual 4x4's, so '96 and earlier, manual transfer case would be preferred.
But F-150s lost speedo cable in 1992, this is important.
1986 was first year of EFI in F-150s, so 1985 and older will have carb but they were Feedback carbs so you still need a "good carb"
You need the engine, trans and transfer case, and exhaust manifolds if available.
You will have to make custom drivelines

And a distributor/coil, and intake with carb to eliminate computer.
You can go with HEI ignition, electronic but pretty bulletproof

Any year Ranger can be swapped, the wiring with computer change over is a bigger part which you won't have to deal with.
There were 3 generation of Rangers
1983 to 1992, 1989-1992 had small changes but not much
1993 to 1997, they got larger and rounder in 1993, 1995 was the end of speedometer cables
1998 to 2012


I would look at 1994 and older Rangers, speedo cable was still used, a 4x4 should have 8.8" rear axle but not always, 4.0l model always had 8.8"
You could use the 7.5" with a V8 but............may not last as long if you like to accelerate as fast as possible.
And a 1991 and older F-150 5.0l manual 4x4

Shifter will be farther forward, but it will fit, you will need to make a custom bent shifter to clear the dash


85 was a transition year, would be rare to find EFI in one at a JY but they are out there. I had an 85 bronco that had a 5.0L EFI.

You also could do a t-5 trans with a divorced transfer case, if you can't find a 5.0L with manual transmission in a donor f150.

Avoid 07+ more so starting in 08, they changed the electrical system to a SJB and this makes splicing more difficult.

The 98-12 body style also had minimal changes throughout, mostly cosmetic. 98-00 was one front, 01-12 were similar except for the grill s and hoods.

Last edited by morris; 03-14-2016 at 08:15 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2016
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I was really hoping there would be a 6cyl ranger with a manual drive line that could handle a 302 with an adapter, mounting braks and little custom work. But it looks like like im going to have to work for it. Going to consider my options and read me up some knowledge. Hopefully you guys will see a build thread from me soon.
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Old 12-26-2016
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I would agree with Ron on the computer vs dist thing, when its running right its way better in my opinion. if you go carb you need different tranny and transfer case. if you take entire drivetrain from donor you splice a few wires. yours is 96, you should look for a site called blue oval fanatics, I went on google and typed in putting a 302 in ranger with a/c and wound up on that site, the guy is a mech and has or had a 96 with 4.0 but got a explorer with 5.0 and I loved his site, followed his advice for most part. his info got me thru most of my swap. found other stuff in other places. if you need a rad that fits and works try getting a 4.0 rad aftermarket, it works great. your differentials probable will be 7.5 like mine but I still got them in her. I don't drive it a lot or very hard so they can handle work load, my issue is front driveshaft because of my 4 in susp lift....the one I need is $500..ouch.....good luck and hope u have fun with swap
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