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So, you want a V8 Ranger
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 Posted: Sat Nov 25th, 2017 06:08 pm
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Doc
2002 Ranger w/96 Expo5.0 V8


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So, you want a V8 powered Ranger

 

Just a couple thoughts on the challenges and issues involved.  At first glance, the 98 and newer Rangers appear to have the same engine bay as the 96 – 01 Explorer and while there are significant similarities, there are a BUNCH of differences.

 

I’ll try to go through a couple of the common issues.  All of these issues have been met and many different solutions have been published for each.  There’s NO right or wrong path, just choose what works for you and your unique combination of bits/parts/pieces!

 

Even with the challenges, this is a great way to perk up your Ranger.  Easy?  No!  Doable?  VERY!

 

Engine mounts:

 

If your Ranger is a 4x4 or the Edge/Sport model with torsion bar front suspension, the 96 – 01 Explorer V8 essentially drops in/bolts in.

 

But, if you have a coil spring front suspension, custom engine mounting plates to go between the mounts and engine block are required.  Also, the spacer under the left front mount must be removed and that requires dropping the spring from that side of the suspension. 

 

The alignment pin for the mount is different than the pin for the spacer, you’ll need to drill the cross member for the pin.

 

Lastly, many of the mounting plates out there lower the right side of the engine for leveling; I believe raising the left side of the engine is preferable to add clearance between the oil pan and steering unit

 

Wiring/Electrical

 

There is no one-stop shopping:  Between 96 and 01, the Explorers had 3 different wirings for the Engine bay and between 98 and 04, the Rangers have 5.  Only one combination is plug and play.

 

Please!  Get the Ford EVTM for both your Ranger and the doner Explorer so you can ID the differences.  It’s not fun, and can be intimidating, but has to be done.

 

Hands down, the biggest challenge is in the A/C wiring. 

 

Generally, the Ranger uses the PCM to fully control the A/C – the Ranger A/C switch simply sends an on/off signal to the PCM and the PCM does the rest. On the Explorer, the PCM is only a safety along with the high and low pressure switches.

 

So, in the Rangers, the PCM turns the A/C on if all conditions are met, in the Explorers, the PCM turns the A/C off at WOT and leaves the rest of the A/C controls to the switches and safeties.

 

The starter harness is not a direct swap onto the Ranger but can be adapted to fit the Rangers power distro system.

 

Getting the water temp gauge to work can be an issue – the one wire sensor on the earlier V8s does not send the correct signal to the gauge.  The good news is the later 2 wire sensor can be installed and wired with a single wire to the signal out terminal on the sensor.

 

Getting the Tach to work correctly is a simple matter of re-pinning the ground wire for the tach behind the instrument cluster.  On a V6, the black/yellow wire on pin 8 on the middle sized plug needs to be moved to pin 16 on the largest plug.  On the I4’s, simply add a ground to pin 16 on the large plug.

 

 

The later Rangers’s dash is not compatible with the earlier Expo’s PCM  For the 2004 MY Rangers, getting the water temp and tach to work correctly is an issue, it’s very likely best to swap in an earlier instrument cluster despite the wiring involved on any conversion on a 2004 or newer Ranger.

 

 

PATS

 

PATS – Passive Anti-Theft System – can be a scary issue.  The 4 cyl Rangers don’t have PATS and after that, there are two different types. 

 

Type “B” used on the ’98 Ranger and the ’98-01 Expo’s has a module above the glove box along with the sensor ring around the ignition switch. 

 

Type “E” on the later Rangers uses a different key and omits the module, the PCM includes that function.

 

To solve, you can add the module from the doner Expo or get a custom tune for the PCM that turns off PATS.

 

Even with all the wiring and modules installed, the Ranger key won’t match the Expo PATS system so programming in keys is required.

 

One solution is to get a full copy of FORSCAN – allows you to program in keys. 

 

If you’re lucky enough to have two unique keys for the doner Expo, you can program your own keys by using the built-in programming protocol. 

 

New type “B” blanks can be bought on-line.  Have 1 all metal key and two type “B” keys cut to the Ranger’s ignition lock.

 

Using the all metal key to turn the lock, but holding the Expo’s key head against the all metal key, initiate the learning process and then “add” the new type “B” keys.

 

 

Speed signal

 

For the most part, the Rangers use the PCM to generate a speed signal from the transmission.  The 4 cylinder Rangers use the GEM to generate the signal from the ABS system.

 

The 96 – 98 Explorers use an electro-mechanical sensor on the transmission (VSS), the 99 – 01 use the ABS module along with the G-Force transducer under the left seat to generation a signal.

 

Be careful and aware!  It’s very easy to have NO speed signal at all if you drop a later Expo V8 into a Ranger.  The transmission won’t shift, the engine won’t rev correctly and the speedometer won’t work!

 

Possible solutions include:

 – If the transmission tail cone and output shaft allow, use an earlier VSS – simple 2 wire hook up.

-- Swap in and mod the wiring to use a 4 cyl GEM

-- Swap in and mod the wiring to use an Expo ABS ecu and G-Force sensor

-- There is at least one company, Dakota Digital, that makes a module that takes the ABS signal and generates the correct speed signal.

 

Fuel System

 

Two different systems that operate at different pressures.

 

The “low” pressure system uses a fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail to route excess fuel back to the fuel tank.

 

The “high” pressure system uses a 3 nipple fuel filter, the 3rd nipped routes fuel back to the in-take fuel pressure regulator.

 

Because of the pressure differences, you can’t simply mix and match pieces.  The lower pressure PCM and injectors can’t correctly meter fuel at the higher pressures.

 

To lower the fuel pressure for an earlier V8, pull the FPR out of the tank and extend the fuel return line from behind the fuel filter up to the fuel rail.

 

Or, to try and use the higher pressure system, replace the injectors with smaller ones and use a “non-return” fuel rail.  Think you’ll need to go from 19 lbs/hour at 37 psi injectors to 19 lbs/hour at 55 psi.

 

Air Conditioning

 

The Ranger A/C condenser, liquid line, accumulator and evap coil all work with the Expo’s V8 A/C hose assembly.

 

But…Using an Explorer evap coil and liquid line will add clearance for the right exhaust manifold.

 

Exhaust Manifolds/Headers

 

Ford used two different V8 Exhaust manifolds:  The 96/97 Expos got very restrictive tubular manifolds that are notorious for cracking.  The 98 – 01 got slightly better cast manifolds with an EGR port.

 

The EGR port can be blocked off for use on the earlier engines.

 

For headers, only a few hit and miss options:

 

Ford Performance Parts did a V8 header for the Explorers – they do sometimes show up used and very rarely, as NOS in various “for sale” markets

 

OBX has some stainless headers, availability is VERY spotty

 

Torque Monster makes a beautiful set, availability has been hit or miss, but production/sales have moved away from AL’s headers and there are hopes for a real improvement in availability.

 

Engine cooling

 

The Explorer V8 Radiator is a bolt in.  But, depending on how high the engine is mounted to clear the steering rack, the fan shroud may, or may not be suitable.

 

Personally, with my ’02 coil spring Ranger, I found trimming the Ranger 3.0 fan shroud to fit the Expo radiator gave the best fit.  Approx 7/8 was trimmed across both the top and bottom edges of the shroud and the lower mounting tabs needed just a bit clipped off to center the shroud on the radiator with the fan centered in the shroud.

 

Air Cleaner

 

The Explorer V8 air cleaner is NOT a bolt in, the mounting pins are in different locations than the Ranger.

 

Both the early round air filter and later square ones can be used.  Mostly cosmetic.  The earlier MAF can be removed from the round air filter and used on the square with the later air tube.

 

Oil Pan – Possibly the hardest hurdle to overcome!!!!!

 

There is darn little room below the engine for the rack and pinion unit.  Most oil pans are too deep at the oil pump and end up resting on the steering unit.  Also, the pans are too wide to clear the Expo’s OEM left exhaust down pipe.

 

The Explorers had both a cast aluminum pan and a pressed steel one.  Both pans are very tight to the oil pump and are clearance for the left exhaust down pipe.  But… at least on the coil spring Rangers, NEITHER will let the engine drop into the engine bay with the transmission bolted to the engine.

 

Personally, I chose to re-work an Expo pressed steel pan by moving the front lower edge of the sump back 2” and used a generic rear sump oil pick up tube.  Lets the engine/trans go in a unit.

 

Transmission

 

The Ford 4R70W is one of Ford’s better RWD auto boxes and largely bolts onto the Ranger’s transmission crossmember.

 

Couple possible issues.  By the time I got the oil pan off the rack and pinion unit, I had to shim the transmission mount by ¾” to better match the pinion angle.

 

The doner Expo transmission cooler lines were a near but not perfect fit at the Ranger’s front cross member.

 

The transmission dip stick tube’s retaining bolt is an SOB to install at the back of the right head -  Try cutting a 7/16” bolt into a stud and using a nut and washer instead!

 

Driveshaft

 

The SWB/Std cab Ranger has the same wheelbase as the 4 door Explorers and the drive shaft will swap over.

 

The LWB or Extended cab Rangers have a much longer wheel base and you can either get a custom shaft made up or get very lucky and find a suitable one in a yard.

 

Rear Axle

                                                

Most Rangers use Ford’s 7.5” open rear diff – much less than ideal for a V8 Conversion.

 

The Expo rear axle is NOT a direct swap.  The Expo axle sits on top of the rear springs and the Ranger axle bolts on under the rear springs.  New spring perches need to be welded on.

 

Also, the Expo rear shock mounts are part of the spring plates and don’t cross over to the Ranger’s shock locations.  Adding a pair of generic 3” tube shock mounts is not hard or expensive and offers a much better solution than trying to force the Expo mounts to work with the Ranger shock solution.

 

The Ranger master cylinder will happily work with the Expo rear disk brakes and the Expo parking brake cables will work with the Ranger, but care must be taken to route the cables, left cable will want to  rub on the rear tire.  The rear flex hose from the Ranger is in exactly the right position to attach to the Expo axle’s brake line block.

 

A “easier” path is to find a Ranger with an 8.8” LSD diff in a breakers yard and install that.

 

Either way, moving away from the open 7.5” diff and to the 8.8 LSD is a worthwhile effort.

 

Oil Filter

 

Without an adapter, the SBF’s oil filter will hit the steering unit.

 

One option is an aftermarket oil filter relocation kit.

 

Ford opted for two different angle adapters.

 

The earlier adapter included a water/oil heat exchanger – problem is, the inner hose to the water pump is no longer available and can only be approximated by cutting up a radiator hose with an appropriate bend and size.

 

The later adapter omits the heat exchanger but uses a different size/thread filter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last edited on Sat Nov 25th, 2017 06:09 pm by Doc



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 Posted: Sat Nov 25th, 2017 08:30 pm
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mhoward
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Another excellent read! Thanks Doc, for the effort in bringing this information to the forum! :)



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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 04:21 am
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TheArcticWolf1911
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Jeez, from what I heard, a 5.0 was a lot easier than that. Not so sure I want to go through all of that now.



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1999 Ford Ranger XLT - 3.0 V6 4x4 - Loaded
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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 10:24 am
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JAMMAN

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If you have a 98 through 2000 4wd ranger with a 6, and use a 98 thru 2000 expo with a 5.0, it is much easier.

A 2WD coil spring ranger is the hardest IMO.



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 Posted: Sun Nov 26th, 2017 07:15 pm
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TheArcticWolf1911
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Well, Mine is a 99 with the 3.slow, and it seems I can get those expos all day long.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 12:32 am
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JAMMAN

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I'm going to open this back up after finding a couple posts by Doc on other forums, it seems as if he has a LOT of info stored on swaps. I saw a "Excel spread sheet" mentioned :)

So first question, which combo is 100% plug and play?



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00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño
Modern technology has us all connected like the Borg on Star Trek. The Smart phone is a device used to keep us plugged into the coveted collective.
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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 01:38 am
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To me the easiest swap is a 302 car bed. T5 5 speed msd ignition 10 wires at the most and easy to work on and cheap on the pocket



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 04:16 pm
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410customs
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"So first question, which combo is 100% plug and play?"

None of them
You can get very close...like all you have to do is change one motor mount,  wire the AC switch from Explorer to Ranger, change some power steering lines and then the explorer 5.0 bolts in
None of these are 100% plug and play, even with the easiest conversions chances are you will still have to address driveshafts and exhaust, some simple plumbing, wiring and sorting out of what goes where and why.
If it was easy or if all these conversions were the same I would sell a conversion harness and conversion pieces!!...A single Ranger to explorer wiring harness is not really possible because every single Ranger to 5.0 conversion is a little different....

98-01 V6 rangers / B3000 /B4000 are the easiest to convert using a 98-01 5.0L donor
But I still do not consider a drivetrain swap as "easy" I know none of mine were just plug and play.........

Two things that will help you a GREAT deal when doing any drive train mix matching:
1. Get the entire donor
2. Do not get rid of any parts until the conversion is done

It's not that hard! If you can pull an engine you can probably pull off a 5.0 swap, I always tell my boys "any wrench monkey can bolt one of these together" but you better go into it knowing what you are getting into (Research!) and be good at solving problems (with the help of the FordRangers.com of course!)
Any 98+ Ranger can accept a 5.0 rather easily...but this is still a drive train conversion
About as easy as they get as far as drive train conversions are concerned
you ALWAYS have bugs to work out before the conversion is 100% done because the instrument clusters change, the fuel systems change, and the wiring changes sometimes even mid year!

Just about every single possible combination has been done and sorted out in one way or another, the trick is having all the right parts and information available for YOUR conversion

Last edited on Wed Dec 5th, 2018 06:01 pm by 410customs



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 06:12 pm
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JAMMAN wrote:
If you have a 98 through 2000 4wd ranger with a 6, and use a 98 thru 2000 expo with a 5.0, it is much easier.

A 2WD coil spring ranger is the hardest IMO.

This.  There is a chart that shows the similarities.  ITs why I want to swap my 99 to a 5.0.  Its a 4.0 auto truck, so the swap is fairly simple.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 07:19 pm
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Doc
2002 Ranger w/96 Expo5.0 V8


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Closest electrically is an 00/01 Expo/Mounty 5.0 into a 98/99 Ranger.

Same PATS and fuel pressure

The 42 pin connector and a/c logic is plug and play.

Still leaves minor wiring stretching for starter, maybe alt and a/c compressor.

Mechanically, the SWB torsion bar front end 98 and newer Rangers are the closest match.  Think even the front driveshaft fits if installing an AWD 5.0 into a 4WD Ranger.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 07:39 pm
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Glad you came by :)

Permission to post a clip from your spread sheet on the wiring differences between a 96 explorer and a 2000 ranger. It was very informative, and opens eyes to the differences in the actual Ranger C110 42 pin connector to the expo C115 42 pin connector.



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00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin
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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2018 09:56 pm
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I would like to put a 5.0 in to my 2000 4x4.



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Research, research, research. For hours. Every time you get a chance. Even then, you're gonna run into little issues that are somewhat difficult to solve, but chances are, it's been done already and someone online has documented it to help you. Which goes back to research, research, research..




GB :)

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 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2018 10:25 am
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Doc
2002 Ranger w/96 Expo5.0 V8


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Sure! But, of possible more use is a spreadsheet of 96 - 01 Expo and 98 - 02 Rangers that I have, just never found a way to keep the data visually useful.

Most forum software condenses tables into clutter



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 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2018 10:35 am
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BUTTT this software you can attach the actual document with the attachment button, I have just added XLS to the array of allowable extensions. If the extension on your file is xlsx or something like that just PM me and I'll add it to the list.

It is stored in the MySQL database so it cannot be retrieved as a file from the outside without actually visiting the board.

Your post on another forum.

This is specifically concerning 96 expo v8 2000 ranger 3.0 :

4.......Ignore, same function
13......VSS Ground, ground* on Explorer side, unused on Ranger side
27......Ignore
28......Starter relay Ground on Ranger side, unused on Expo side
35......A/C WOT control on Ranger side, unused on Expo
37......A/C WOT control on Expo side, A/C switch on Ranger side.
41......Ignore -- both sides might be unused
42......Explorer Ground, maybe Ranger alternator power

Fixes:
........C110 = original Ranger 3.0 harness 42 pin connector
........C115 = Explorer 5.0 42 pin connector
........C139 = A/C high pressure's path to ground (below fuse/relay box)
........C1006 = A/C compressor relay

A/C Compressor control:
........Loop C110 pin 37 to C110 Pin 35
........Route C139 pin 5 to C115 pin 37 and to C1006 pin 6
........Remove F1.25 10a fuse for a/c clutch
........Repin relay from NO to NC (Swap pins 2/3)

Tachometer
........Move Pin 8 on 10 pin connector to slot 16 on 16 pin connector at back of instrument cluster

Starter:
........Route C110 pin 28 to Ground, leave C115 pin 28 disconnected

VSS ground
........Route C115 pin 13 to ground
........Leave C110 pin 13 open

PCM ground
........Route C115 pin 42 to ground
........Leave C110 pin 42 open if used



____________________
00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño
Modern technology has us all connected like the Borg on Star Trek. The Smart phone is a device used to keep us plugged into the coveted collective.
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 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2018 01:02 pm
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Cool!!!



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 Posted: Wed Jan 23rd, 2019 11:25 pm
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Does the PATS have to be used in a V-8 Conversion ?

I was thinking a three-wire harness from Ford could be used.

In fact I was thinking of using an after market computer that works with the Ford Three-Wire Harness not a stock ford unit ?

Of course I live in SoCal and doing anything with the OEM computer/engine isn't going to be easy.



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Backrack mod'd to fit Steppie, Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 05:36 pm
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Ya don't need pats. There are places you can send your pcm to and they will write pats out. Around 100 bucks.

Have never had it done myself, pats is the least of problems.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 05:42 pm
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All the wires that need to be switched you listed above if you are replacing a 3.0 with a V-8, what wires need to be switched if you are replacing a 4.0 with a V-8?.



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That's specifically a 96 5.0. I would imagine the wires would be about the same, that wasn't my info though I copied that from a post Doc made on another forum.



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00 XLT 4WD XCSB 4.0 G2
00 XLT 2WD RCSB 5.0 swap Gherkin
00 XLT 4WD RCSB 3.GO! Jalapeño
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 Posted: Thu Jan 24th, 2019 05:51 pm
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JAMMAN wrote:
That's specifically a 96 5.0. I would imagine the wires would be about the same, that wasn't my info though I copied that from a post Doc made on another forum.
Thanks.



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08 Escape 4x4(spare)
00 Ranger Extd Cab 4x4 4.0 OHV, Auto(My DD)
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Any Ranger from 96+ has the 42 pin connector, the wiring to convert to 5.0l is very simple. VERY similar to a 3.0 conversion
When I wire up the 2001 Sport trac downstairs I will detail what all had to move
I am gearing up to work on trucks pretty much full time come spring so you will start to see many build threads. I have been setting up shop for almost a year now :) almost ready!



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Scrambler82
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Another question.

Is it easier to convert a 2WD Ranger to a V8 or a 4WD Ranger ?



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Scrambler82 wrote:
Another question.

Is it easier to convert a 2WD Ranger to a V8 or a 4WD Ranger  ?


I think that question almost answers itself, IF you're attempting to keep the truck as it was originally configured with respect to 2x4 vs 4x4.. The 2wd version is very easy to swap a V8 in to..

Truthfully, even if you were converting a 4x4 in to a 2x4 truck, it would still be much easier to start with a 2x4 truck.

Much less to deal with.

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 Posted: Sun Mar 17th, 2019 09:48 am
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I see what you are saying, less mechanically, wiring should be the same or close to it !

Thanks



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Ltr,
2003 EDGE, Std Cab, Steppie, E4 Red, 5sp, 4x
Large Tube Rear Axle, 31 Spline - FX4, 4.56 Gears, OX Locked
5" SuperLift, 33" x 12.50 x 15" BFG ATs,
Hurst Shifter w/Longer Replacement Shift Handle with (Homemade) Mounting Adapter; 1.5" up x 1" back.
Backrack mod'd to fit Steppie, Front and Rear Bumpers by Custom 4x4 Fabrication, OK.
Working on more Mods, just need more time, longer days would work !
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