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Old 01-09-2011, 12:16 PM
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Deser racing ranger?

I have decided to build the 91 ranger that i have sitting out in the ding weed into a desert race truck. one, because it is just sitting back there rotting and two, because there is a desert short course offroad racetrack being put in her in madras. does anybody have any suggestions. the truck doesn't have an engine transmission or transfer case right now so i will probably start looking for something. also, i think that i'll cut and turn the front twin traction beam suspension and put some larger spring up front and add some leafs in the back. I have a set of 32" BFG all terrains that i'm planning on throwing on there.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:32 PM
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Find the 4.0 OHV engine and trans, trans case, from a 91-96 Explorer, that way parts are real easy to find.......That TTB dana 35 in the Ranger can handle a fair amount of abuse, hell, I have the old Dana 28 on my old Ranger and it has not broke in 390,000 miles.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:49 PM
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I had an 87 ranger that i put through alot of abuse and never had a probblem with the running gear, i did have to put two 5 speeds in it though.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by LJForrist View Post
I had an 87 ranger that i put through alot of abuse and never had a probblem with the running gear, i did have to put two 5 speeds in it though.
Must have been the FM146 or Mitsubishi trans, my TK-5 has 390,000 miles on it and still going strong.....A little noisy on cold mornings, but gone within a couple miles.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:13 PM
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yeah, i wasnt sur of the model # but im sure thats the one that was put behind the 2.3
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:42 PM
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There were about 6 different manual gearboxes put behind 2.0s,2.3s, 2.8s, 2.9s, 3.0s and 4.0s through the years, maybe more, its hard to say with certainty.

I know the TK-4/5 trans is supported by Advanced Adapters to be run behind 302s and 351w Ranger V8 swaps, so it is tuff!

There are SO many crashed Explorers in the J-yards that they are a great source of parts, cheap too!
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:07 PM
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that sounds pretty good. I like the idea of putting a 302 in there but don't know if maybe i'd be tackling more than i want. Is there pretty good power out of the 4.0
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:11 PM
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4.0 OHV is rated conservatively at 160 hp and 220 ft lbs torque........its got the grunt.
302/351w swaps are easy in Rangers and Bronco IIs........but you don't need all that power and the extra weight up front, for the off road stuff.
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:56 PM
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I am concerned about adding the extra weight but the short course racing that i hope to be doing is going to require accelerating out of corners into jumps, and breaking all four loose to drift corners, so i do think the power could help. I'm sure i wont be at that level right out of the chute, but thats what i'll be working toward.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:01 PM
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I still think the 4.0 would be the best choice for you.......think about it, 160hp......thats more hp than 302s, 318s, and 350s had during the bad old days of the late 70s!......you will be striping the truck of added weight too, for racing......thats free hp right there.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:05 PM
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yeah, i think that is going to be the cheapest and easiest way to do it also. the weight is probably the biggest concern. i think if i get that thing lightend up quite a bit then the 160 out to push me around fine.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:11 PM
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I can't find them right now, but there are a couple of companies that used to support performance goodies for the OHV Ford 4.0

There is also the SOHC 4.0 used in new Explorers and Rangers that is well over 200hp, but it comes with more electronics, more sensors, different trans, and reliability problems with cam phasers in earlier versions........Depends how ambitious you are, I really should not quote on this motor as I have little experience with it.......The old push-rod 4.0 is a good simple, stout engine.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:02 PM
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Dave, I have a 4.0 SOHC in my Mustang, great power. It is hooked to a 5sp. Will run circles around my wifes 4.0 Areo. And it gets better milage to boot.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:12 PM
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I have heard it had teething troubles for the first 2-3 yrs...........My dad has a 4.0 SOHC in his 09 Explorer, no problems and tows a boat like a V8.

4.0 OHV in a Aero has a lot of work to do!
My wifes 96 Explorer Limited 4.0 OHV will run 80 on the freeway all day long, and feels only slightly less powerful when pulling the boat, than Dads 09.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:57 PM
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The areo is a great little truck, it does go good. The Mustang is a 07
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