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Old 03-15-2015, 07:45 PM
Whitetail90 Whitetail90 is offline
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Need the Ranger experts advice...

I just bought a 87 ranger reg cab 5 speed, 4x4 with a bad 2.9 motor. I've heard the 2.9 was not the best engine and was worried about replacing it with another one. I seen where some guys have done a 4.0 swap but didn't know what all I would have to do? Different wiring harness and computer? Would my manual tranny hold up to the 4.0? Thanks for any advice
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:06 PM
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The 2.9 wasn't a very good motor both the 3.0 and 4.0 are much better, but to swap one of those you pretty much need a donor truck
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:21 PM
Whitetail90 Whitetail90 is offline
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I know the bell housing is the same so my manual tranny will work. I was just hoping someone would chime in who has swapped a 3.0 or a 4.0 in. I think I'll need the wiring harness of the donor truck and computer right?
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:44 PM
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Yes you will need the complete wiring harness and computer and you want to make sure you stay with an older OBD1 truck ('95 or older) or else you get into the much more complicated OBD2 system that needs the dash cluster and other parts. And just to be clear it's not likely any of the engine bay wiring in your '87 would be compatible with the wiring for a newer motor so you want all of it.
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:41 AM
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There are articles on swapping a 4.0 into an older or different vehicle here:

Ford Ranger 4.0L Engine Swap FAQs

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Old 03-16-2015, 09:26 PM
Whitetail90 Whitetail90 is offline
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Thanks! Part of me wants to find another running 2.9 but the reliability of it scares me.....
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:54 PM
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The 2.9 isn't necessarily the best engine ever built but not the worst either. I just swapped in a fresher 2.9 into my 89 Ranger that had 220,000 miles on the original motor myself. The PO definitely wasn't big on maintenance and I was impressed it actually ran that long.
If you were to go the new 2.9 route find a 89 or newer with the better heads and DON'T over heat it! And don't do extended oil changes!
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:33 AM
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That's what I'd rather do I think. If I got a newer 2.9 with the better heads, is everything the exact same when I go to hook everything up?
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:53 AM
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Just get a good remanned 2.9 and take care of the engine. The engine isn't really that bad, and you should never be overheating a motor anyways. If something starts going wrong, stop and turn it off!
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:02 AM
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Yeah I think that's the route I'd like to go. Do you know a good place to get a remanded 2.9?
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitetail90 View Post
Yeah I think that's the route I'd like to go. Do you know a good place to get a remanded 2.9?
Well Jasper used to carry them...but it doesn't seem like they do anymore. If there's any good builders around, I would consider having your current 2.9 block rebuilt. If not, I'd grab a junk yard 2.9 that's in good shape and take it to a good builder. Shouldn't be a ridiculous price. Polish ports, crank, new rod bearings, water pump, rings, gaskets.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:01 PM
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I called my local salvage yard, they don't have any 2.9 motors. They do have several early 90's ford 4.0 motors with wiring harness and everything for $300. If I go that route, I'll have to Change out my dash as well right?
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Old 03-17-2015, 03:43 PM
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Not if it is a 91-94 engine. Only 95 and later.

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Old 03-18-2015, 05:42 AM
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Would my fm145 handle the 4.0 or would I need to upgrade to a M50d-R1 from a 4.0? I don't hot rod my vehicles, just want it to last
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