2.3 block swap options - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


SOHC - 2.3L & 2.5L Lima Engines Discussions and Topics specific to the Lima 4 cylinder engines

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Old 08-31-2015
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Icon4 2.3 block swap options

Hi all, I;m new here, and have some questions. I have a 1983 Ranger, 2wd, 4spd manual trans. It spun a rod bearing in the 2.3 engine. Can I use a 1990 2.3 block, crank, etc. as a replacement? The 1990 motor comes from a 4wd 5 spd manual trans, truck. Trying to be clear here, I would like to re-use the distributor, intake, exhaust, head, alt, etc, from the 1983 engine. Trying to keep the cost down. What kind of issues will I run into.

Also, can I replace the 4spd man. trans. from the 2wd 1983, with the 5spd manual trans from the 1990, 4x4, 2.3 truck? If so, what modifications will I encounter in trying to do so. Any help on these questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Randy

Last edited by RangerRandy; 08-31-2015 at 03:04 AM. Reason: To clarify specs on swap engines and trannnys
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Old 08-31-2015
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Have a read here: The Ford Ranger 4-Cylinder Lima Motors - The Ranger Station

'88 or earlier would be better but distributor hole was still there until '94.
The better part is that the changes made require different parts, so, for example, when ordering an oil pan gasket you would need a '90 part number as the '83 pan gasket wouldn't fit, not a big deal but it can be a PITA when an engine is Frankenstein'ed outside of identical years.

Yes and no on the transmission, you for sure need a trans from Lima engine(2.0l/2.3l/2.5l) because of the unique bell housing bolt pattern, but a 4WD trans has an output shaft for transfer case not Drive shaft.
You can change the output shaft and tail housing but you would need a 2WD trans for those parts, the 2WD trans for parts can be from any engine size since all you need is the rear parts.
But if you can find a 2WD 5-speed from a 2.3l you would be better off, you will probably need the drive shaft as well, as the length of the transmissions may be different

Here is a link to manual transmission used in rangers, it has some lengths: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech...smission.shtml
And you can see the side by side pics of 2WD and 4WD tail shafts

Last edited by RonD; 08-31-2015 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 09-13-2015
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Thanks for the links to this information, RonD. I found most of what I wanted to know at that first link. I will forgo the trans swap, and just use my existing 4sp, currently behind the blown-up 1983 motor. I only have a couple of questions: First, since the hole for the distributor is still there on the '90 block, can I assume that the distributor drive is also still the same in the '90 block? Secondly, I am concerned if all the oil passages, water passages, etc. will still line up between the '83 head, and the '90 block. Are there any other issues I should be aware of, besides keeping in mind I will have a FRANKENSTEIN'ed '90 block, and "83 head? What about upgrading the ignition in the '83, to the distributor-less system from the '90? Can I use the entire '90 motor-block-crank-pistons, transplant it into the '83, drop in my distributor, and mount my entire '83 head assm. to it? What about the timing pulley on the crank? Are they the same? I am also wondering about things like valve/piston clearance issues. Someone suggested I may be able to use the roller cam and followers from the '90 head, onto the '83 head. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Last edited by RangerRandy; 09-14-2015 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Clarification
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