89 3.9 to 91 4.0 swap. some advise would be great - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 04-02-2016
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89 3.9 to 91 4.0 swap. some advise would be great

2.9 L sorry for the typo up top. I have the engine swapped the head light wiring harness installed engine wiring harness installed. dash board out of doner truck and ecu in the 89 ranger manual trans 4x4 . The doner truck is a 91 explorer auto trans. tranny was shot so i picked up the explorer for real cheap! engine out of it is in great shape. during the swap i did a lot of parts replacement on the 4.0 so i know it won't have any issues running.

so my question is in a few parts for those that might have experience. when i turn the engine over, the starter sounds like it is skipping off the flywheel. i have the starter off of the donor truck in the ranger as the wiring harness will only support that starter. So can I put the original starter in and make it work through the wiring harness or do I need to swap flywheels? second question. do i need the taillight wiring harness out of the explorer too?
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Old 04-02-2016
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Look thru here: Ford Ranger 4.0L Engine Swap FAQs

I do believe the starter motor noses are different lengths between flexplate(automatic) and flywheel(manual) so that may be the problem.

yes, you could probably rewire for fender mounted starter relay, but hitting a wrecking yard and getting the correct manual trans starter might be better long term.

Old system
battery---------starter relay(fender)----------------starter motor
key switch----------/("S" wire)

So key switch connects to starter relay(S post) and when activated, the relay closed and sent power to starter motor

Newer
battery------------------------starter motor
key switch---------------------/("S" wire)

Starter relay is now in the starter motor.

On the older way the alternator and fuse box power hooked to starter relay post that had battery cable on it, this post did power distribution.

On newer way they just had a power post similar to starter relay, that battery cable hooked to or they had a larger wire coming off the starter motor(battery post) that when up to fuse panel.
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Old 06-14-2016
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I hate wiring!

I just did a 2.9 to a 4.0 engine swap.
The wiring is all for the 2.9 except the engine. The truck is a 89, the engine is a 91. So can I get the wiring harness out of a 91 ranger and run it direct to the engine in my truck and have it work with out splicing a bunch of wires?
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Old 06-15-2016
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Good read here with good links: Ford Ranger 4.0L Engine Swap FAQs
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