1994 Ranger XL - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-09-2015
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1994 Ranger XL

Hi, I have a 1994 Ford Ranger XL 2.3 and a 2001 Ford Explorer 4x4. I was told that I can convert my Ranger to a 4x4 by adding parts from the Explorer. Seemed to good and easy the way he was explaining so I decided to join a forum :) What I'm asking is if this is all true? If so, what exactly has to be done and what parts do I need to take out of the Explore?
Thanks in advance
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Old 04-10-2015
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I assume the 2001 Explorer is a POS so will be hauled off to the auto wreckers when you have pulled all the parts you need from it.
And if it is, are the engine, transmission/transfer case and axles in good condition?
if not then...............??

Yes, it can be done, easy is a relative term based on your tools and experience, the axles from explorer don't bolt up to the Ranger, the contact points must be cut off and new points welded on.
Explorer transmission and transfer case won't bolt up to 2.3l engine or 2.3l transmission.
If you swap out the engine as well then you need to swap wiring and computer.
Your '94 also uses speedometer cable, 2001 uses electronic speedo/odo so speedometer/odometer in dash needs to be swapped.

Plus lots of little stuff like the 4x4 control panel and module.

Easy.............??


What would be easier but not "easy" would be to sell the Explorer as is and use that money to buy a rolled or rusted out '90-'94 Ranger 4x4, preferably one with a 2.3l engine with the kind of transmission you want, auto or manual.
Then it is a matter of just removing and reinstalling parts.

Transfer case bolts to a 4x4 transmission, it is a shorter transmission, with manuals it is usually just a shorter tail shaft and adapter, with autos you basically need to get a 4x4 trans, easier than changing a 4x2 trans to 4x4.
Rangers came with 3 engine options, 2.3l(2.5l), 3.0l and 4.0l(2.9l) all use different bolt patterns for bell housing(trans) to engine, so none are interchangeable.


Any "Frankenstein" vehicle adds a layer of complication when something breaks, even if you keep records of what year all the parts added are from when you need a new part it doesn't always fit, lol, "oh yea, I need the '01('91) version not the '94".


Or easiest of all, sell the '94 and the '01 and take that money to buy a Ranger 4x4.

Last edited by RonD; 04-10-2015 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 04-10-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonD View Post
I assume the 2001 Explorer is a POS so will be hauled off to the auto wreckers when you have pulled all the parts you need from it.
And if it is, are the engine, transmission/transfer case and axles in good condition?
if not then...............??

Yes, it can be done, easy is a relative term based on your tools and experience, the axles from explorer don't bolt up to the Ranger, the contact points must be cut off and new points welded on.
Explorer transmission and transfer case won't bolt up to 2.3l engine or 2.3l transmission.
If you swap out the engine as well then you need to swap wiring and computer.
Your '94 also uses speedometer cable, 2001 uses electronic speedo/odo so speedometer/odometer in dash needs to be swapped.

Plus lots of little stuff like the 4x4 control panel and module.

Easy.............??


What would be easier but not "easy" would be to sell the Explorer as is and use that money to buy a rolled or rusted out '90-'94 Ranger 4x4, preferably one with a 2.3l engine with the kind of transmission you want, auto or manual.
Then it is a matter of just removing and reinstalling parts.

Transfer case bolts to a 4x4 transmission, it is a shorter transmission, with manuals it is usually just a shorter tail shaft and adapter, with autos you basically need to get a 4x4 trans, easier than changing a 4x2 trans to 4x4.
Rangers came with 3 engine options, 2.3l(2.5l), 3.0l and 4.0l(2.9l) all use different bolt patterns for bell housing(trans) to engine, so none are interchangeable.


Any "Frankenstein" vehicle adds a layer of complication when something breaks, even if you keep records of what year all the parts added are from when you need a new part it doesn't always fit, lol, "oh yea, I need the '01('91) version not the '94".


Or easiest of all, sell the '94 and the '01 and take that money to buy a Ranger 4x4.
Thank you! My explorer is in great condition, I just don't use it anymore. I'll take your advice, sell my explorer as is and look for a rolled or rusted 90-94. So if I find a 90-94 ranger 4x4 with a 3.0l or 4.0l engine, I won't be able to swap out the parts then because of different bolt patterns? I have no experience in auto, so please be patient with me . I will not be doing the swapping parts..lol..I'll take it in someone that does.
Thanks again!
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Old 04-10-2015
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Right, the 3.0l and 4.0l transmission can't bolt to a 2.3l engine.
And the transfer case can't bolt to your 4x2 transmission.

If you have a manual transmission now in the Ranger then you just need the tail shaft housing to convert it to a 4x4 trans.
If you have an automatic then the whole trans needs to be swapped to a 4x4 trans, so you would need the trans from 2.3l 4x4 Ranger

If you are staying with the 2.3l engine you only need to swap the front axle/parts

Last edited by RonD; 04-10-2015 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 04-10-2015
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Originally Posted by RonD View Post
Right, the 3.0l and 4.0l transmission can bolt to a 2.3l engine.
And the transfer case can't bolt to your 4x2 transmission.

If you have a manual transmission now in the Ranger then you just need the tail shaft housing to convert it to a 4x4 trans.
If you have an automatic then the whole trans needs to be swapped to a 4x4 trans, so you would need the trans from 2.3l 4x4 Ranger

If you are staying with the 2.3l engine you only need to swap the front axle/parts
My ranger is manual, I wouldn't mind putting a stronger engine if I find one ..hehe..
Thank you for your time and patience. I am going to go ahead and start searching for a 4x4 ranger 90-94.
My ranger is an XL, do i need to find another XL or could it be diffrent type?
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Old 04-10-2015
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That should have been CAN'T bolt to 2.3l engine

XL, XLT and STX are trim packages, but any and all options were available on any trim package if ordered.

XL would usually have bench seat, manual windows, manual locks, basic paint
XLT would have bucket seats, power windows and door locks
STX was Sports trim, XLT with better wheels and a decal, lol.

But I have seen XLTs with bench seat and manual windows, and XLs with buckets, power everything, and a premium stereo, so.................

Drive train would be the same on all

Last edited by RonD; 04-10-2015 at 10:53 PM.
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