Need advice on project car and 2.3L Duratec - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


DOHC - 2.3L Duratec / Mazda L Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Duratec 4 cylinder engines

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Old 06-13-2018
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Need advice on project car and 2.3L Duratec

I frankly don't remember if I've posted here before or not so I'll start from the beginning: I have a 1951 Austin Devon A40 that I plan to resto-mod. The A40 stood for the 40hp the car came with! Right now it has an Opel 1900cc motor, 4 speed tranny, Opel front and rear suspension. The motor is pretty tired out, the 4 speed is no good for California highways and the front suspension is old school (the spring is a transverse mounted leaf spring, but it has rack and pinion steering and disc brakes). My thought at first was to get the motor in it into running shape and just have fun with it, but I'm finding that I'm just sinking too much money into a drivetrain that is under-powered and inefficient. So now I think I'll just pull the drive train and start from scratch.
These cars were really popular with gassers who would beef up the frame and drop a huge V8 in. That's fine for a drag strip but for driving the back roads with the wife it's no good. I've pretty much settled on using a 2.3L Duratec motor, a t5 tranny and maybe an after-market Mustang 2 front suspension (modified to fit the frame). I don't plan to go anything over 200hp at the crank . . . any more and I'd probably have to reinforce the frame. Anything from 140 to 200 would be drive-able. Since this is a rear drive car I'm thinking that a donor Ranger with a tranny and computer would be the simplest way to go. I'm not that familiar with the Ranger 2.3L's so I don't know what years to look out for and I don't know how expensive it would be to get up close to 200hp (no turbos - too $$$). Also, there seems to be plenty of room in the Devon to house the Duratec without cutting too much metal, although I will have to relocate the brake and clutch masters under the body on the frame where they were originally located. The firewall was cut to fit the Opel engine and a tunnel was fabricated to cover the tranny, and I think I will have to do a bit more to fit the DOHC.. The guy who did it for the Opel did a really sloppy job so I have to re-do it anyway.

So, I guess what I'm asking is: what years would have the best motor tranny, etc. for something like this? Where in California can I locate a low mileage Ranger? What do you think the draw-backs to this idea are (besides cost)? Any other comments?
Thanks, Jim
The attached pictures show the room in the engine bay and can give you some idea of what the car looks like.
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Need advice on project car and 2.3L Duratec-opel-motor.jpg   Need advice on project car and 2.3L Duratec-room4motor.jpg   Need advice on project car and 2.3L Duratec-side-view.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2018
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Welcome to the forum

2.3l Duratec is the Mazda L engine, info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_L_engine

Rangers and Mazda 2300 used the Mazda L engine from late 2001 to end of production, in 2012.
These were the only Rear wheel drive versions of the 2.3l DOHC engines, 23NS

Never looked to see if there was a T5 trans with matching bolt pattern, leave that up to you, the M5OD-R1 used with these in Rangers or B2300's were very good transmissions
These are not the same bolt pattern as earlier 2.3l SOHC Lima engines used in Rangers and Mustangs

Go here to see bolt patterns and what matches what: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...tec_I4_pattern
Not a long list for the Duratec I4

You want a 2004-2012 motor, 2001-2003 had electric thermostat and intake runners, both bad ideas and both required to use that years computer

You need the engine, computer and its wiring harness, also exhaust, O2 sensors and air intake systems, air box and MAF sensor
Unfortunately 2004 and up were digital dash, so no temp sender on the engine, you will need to add one to lower radiator hose or heater hose if you always have constant flow thru core or bypass valve.

It needs 55-60psi fuel pressure so you will need a high pressure pump

You will need to have the computer programmed, and PATS deleted
Programmer can give you a hook up for Cylinder head temp light on dash.
Oil pressure Sender is a switch on Fords after 1989 of so, you can add a PS60 sender and use a Real oil pressure gauge

Last edited by RonD; 06-13-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018
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Great. thanks, this is just the kind of info I'm looking for. The t5 was just an idea, if the donor has a good trans I'll go with that, but I have to worry about fitment and stick-shift placement. I have seen t5 adapter plates but I'd rather keep it simple. Any idea how expensive it is to get the computer reprogrammed? I'm thinking if it's too much I might as well go with something like Megasquirt.

I assumed I'd have to plumb for a high-pressure gas system with a return.
Jim
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Old 06-13-2018
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No return line on most Fords after 1998, just the one line to engine bay, you would need high pressure pump, in the tank would be best.
Then higher pressure line to engine.

Not sure on current prices but $200-$400 would be ballpark for computer programming.
If you go with 3rd party injection then you also have to deal with Spark system, computer does both.

And I would find a programmer FIRST, because it will be better to get a 2004 or later 2.3l DOHC engine, for sure, but it might be better to run a 2001-2003 computer for it, it didn't have data link that 2004 and up did.

Last edited by RonD; 06-13-2018 at 06:39 PM.
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