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Old 08-09-2017
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Coventry, RI
Posts: 1
Icon5 Ford Ranger Diesel Swap? What did you do?

Hello, I Just recently got a 97 Ford ranger from a friend. Its a 2wd and a 2.3 l4. I'm thinking about eventually doing a Diesel swap into it. It needed a little work to get running, but it has 218000 miles in it, so I'm suspecting I'm going to have to replace or rebuild the engine eventually.
So I wanted to hear if any of you Swapped a diesel into your ranger, if so what Engine did you swap into it, what mods/features does your truck have (Lift, 4x4, etc.), what do you mainly use it for, and finally what kind of fuel mileage do you get on average since the swap.
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Old 6 Days Ago
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Mooresville
Posts: 15
I actually looked a lot at this last year, just for fun. Now I haven't done it but I can share what I know. First off the Ranger line of pick ups did have a diesel option back in the 1983. You had the choice between a 2.2 liter Perkins and a 2.3 Liter Mitsubishi. These trucks made about 59-86 horsepower but holy smokes, it got great gas mileage. It put all of these newer vehicles to shame with as much as 45 mpg. I'm guessing you're looking for performance rather than economy so a diesel in that aspect is great because they are very easily modifiable. I too had a really hard time finding information on it but it seems like the most popular diesel to swap into a ranger is a 3.9 liter cummins. Great generator motor with a stock 100 hp and lots of torque but I've seen them modified to make up to 700 Horsepower online. The main issue with this project isn't really the motor. Cummins are almost a plug and play engine, but you do have to worry about other parts of the truck. Diesels are big and heavy so you would definitely have to upgrade suspension. A 4 inch super lift is a popular way to do that. Drive train is also going to need to be replaced if you plan on driving the truck aggressively. New transmission, drive shaft, differential and axle will have to be replaced. You'll also have to do a bunch of cutting to accommodate that big of an engine. Upgrading the alternator and accessories to fit it is also probably something you'll have to do. In the end you're talking about spending enough money on this project to buy a really nice 4x4 ranger from the late 2000's to make a diesel mini truck that probably will never run right (Not insulting you're craftsmanship, but its extremely difficult to do everything right especially the first time) and will continue to have to fix and spend even more money on. I haven't even talked about new fuel lines, fuel pumps etc etc. Its up to you if the efficiency and cool factor is worth it but if i were you and wanted more power, I'd look for a 5.0 or even a 4.6 v8 which can be had for as low as $700.
Let me know if you start on this project!
Good luck,
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