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Old 12-03-2003, 10:45 AM
amp17757 amp17757 is offline
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Question 3.8 V6 engine swap into older Rangers???

I'm very curious ... I've seen a number of threads relating to various engine swaps, usually from a 4 or V6 to a V8. However, I don't recall seeing any swaps froma a 4-banger, 2.8 or 2.9 to a 3.8 . Is it possible?? I am assuming that engine mounts & other hardware would be similar, if not identical, since a few other Ford vehicles can house anything from a 4-banger to a 302 (Mustang for example). If one were to obtain an older 3.8 from a rear drive Ford vehicle, how difficult would it be to drop it into an '85 Ranger?? And, if considering automatics, would an A4LD bolt up to it?? If considering 5 speeds, would an older RANGER 5 speed bolt up?? Or would it have to be a passenger car 5 speed (Borg Warner T5, or other)?? I know there are a few folks reading these threads who have done some unusual swaps and mods. Tell me what you know, and your opinions. THANKS!!
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Old 12-03-2003, 10:49 AM
amp17757 amp17757 is offline
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By the way, I'm talking 2WD, and 5 speed MANUAL. Sorry for the lack of details.
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Old 12-03-2003, 12:32 PM
Superunknown98 Superunknown98 is offline
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yes it has been done, check the ranger station.
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Old 12-04-2003, 01:58 AM
dashashopdog dashashopdog is offline
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well the 3.8 has a differnt bell housing than the 3.9-4.0. you will need the 5.0 bell housing to make it work(if the 3.8 was rwd) if not it uses the late 3.0 bell housing. your best bet would be to find a turbo coupe motor and wiring harness, and swapping it over. that would make any ranger boil the tires.. Kurt
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:42 AM
goinlowbII goinlowbII is offline
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just a qustion ... and a thought... werent the 2.8 and the 2.9's and the 3.8 excluding the SC all about the same horsepower rateing of around 140 h.p??? ..
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:51 AM
amp17757 amp17757 is offline
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The 2.8 carbureted engine was a 110 horse, the first version of the 2.9 fuel injected engine was a 140 horse. One of the things that I am wondering (and the reason for this post) is if the RWD auto version of the 3.8 has a better ratio of horsepower/torque to fuel economy. One of the subjects that has appeared many times in this forum is how relatively poor the fuel economy is for Rangers, considering that you can get the SAME (or sometimes slightly better) fuel economy with a V8 F150!! If a 3.8 Ranger could develop up close to 200 horses, yet still get over 20MPG easily, it would be a great option to consider. If it would be a worthy rival for a 302 Ranger, but with fewer mods required to install, I would consider it.

Any other thoughts?? Opinions??
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Old 12-04-2003, 12:11 PM
goinlowbII goinlowbII is offline
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i get where your coming from .... it may be a mod worth doing ....somthing difrent .. it may be just as easy to do a 4.0 converson ... and a heck of alot easyer than a 302 swap ..that i didin a bronco II..and hated cus it took so long ... and still dont want to run right due to some wireing problems.......if you decide to go with the 3.8 let me know how it goes .. i have a 86 t-bird sitting waiting for a project......also i see ur from harrisburg ... what you think of the emmesions that they started this month? i cant get my truck inspected till my garage gets there equipment ...that should have been bought already ... its a joke in the making
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Old 12-04-2003, 01:57 PM
amp17757 amp17757 is offline
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"goinlowbII", fortunately, both my vehicles are already inspected until September of 2004. I too am curious how this new emissions thing is going to go. Vehicles older than 1996 are not going to be tested for actual emissions, only a visual to make sure that all equipment is intact. For my Ranger, that won't be a problem, all equipment is still intact, even though it doesn't all work (the smog pump does not work at all, but it is there). As for my Eagle, I'm a little concerned. Everything is "there", but, I have done some mods. On an orphan that old, I think they'll be challenged just to FIND all the specs, let alone be familiar enough with them to know what they're looking at. They SHOULD go easy on it, because all the important stuff is still there (cat conv, PCV, all vents [carb bowl, gas tank], no leaks, no blue or black smoke, good gas tank & cap, all the obvious stuff). I think it will be a little like the current SAFETY inspection ... meaning, some garages scrutinize EVERYTHING, whether it really affects safety or not. The FAIR garages do what was really intended ... "if it is safe, it will pass, end of story". If I can find a garage that will have this same philosophy about emissions, I'll be in good shape. I think that all owners of 1995 and older vehicles will be faced with the same challenge, just simply finding a garage that will be REASONABLE, and FAIR. The REAL problem will be vehicles that have been modified for performance. I plan to modify BOTH my vehicles, but I really need to do a lot of investigating first, as do all of us who like to "soup" our wheels. I guess we'll see how it goes within the coming year or so.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:26 PM
AlfredB1979 AlfredB1979 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by amp17757
One of the subjects that has appeared many times in this forum is how relatively poor the fuel economy is for Rangers, considering that you can get the SAME (or sometimes slightly better) fuel economy with a V8 F150!! If a 3.8 Ranger could develop up close to 200 horses, yet still get over 20MPG easily, it would be a great option to consider. If it would be a worthy rival for a 302 Ranger, but with fewer mods required to install, I would consider it.

Any other thoughts?? Opinions??

Well, most F-150s that get decent mpgs are SLUGS! The 4.2 and 4.6L usually have no better than 3.55s in those cases....ask any F-truck owner about the "power" and they won't give you a good reaction.

The smaller Ranger engines need to rev...the 4.0L, with higher gearing, would get good mpgs, but would you want that (3.08s for example) in a 4.0L 4x4?

If you want to get a stock 3.8L with worthy swap power, the 190 hp models were all OBD-2 and you'd need to rewire the whole truck for that!

Even in that case, the trade-off is gearing. And most with mpg issues, other than the 3.0L, have modsthat kill mpgs.
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:35 PM
dashashopdog dashashopdog is offline
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the worst fuel economy i have ever gotten in my wifes 88 2.9 4x4 ranger with 32's is 15. and that was while i was towing. quite inpressive since we are at 4600' elevation. on average it will get 19.6 mpg. on long trips i will see in excess of 25 mpg. i have never seen a 5.0 ever get fuel economy like that. i would rather do the 5.0 conversion than a 3.8. the same amount of work would be required, and there is no subsitute for cubes. plus the performance parts available for the 5.0 motor far and exceed that of the 3.8l. ok besides the sc.. Kurt
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:23 AM
amp17757 amp17757 is offline
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"dashashopdog", 25mpg, that's pretty good for sure. I've only read and spoken to a few Ranger owners that get anywhere NEAR that with ANY of the V6's. If I owned a 2.9 that was getting that kind of mileage, I wouldn't consider doing ANY mods or swaps. I'd be happy with it.

"AlfredB1979", F150's are "slugs"?? I didn't know that, nor would I have guessed. I know that nowadays, with fuel injection, and the very well integrated emissions and fuel system controls and high energy ignitions, the "gap" between V8's and smaller engines has pretty much been "closed". Performance pretty much determines fuel economy, no matter how many cylinders and/or cubes are doing the job. I'm recalling the 70's, when 8 cylinders meant 12mpg muscle, and 6 meant 20mpg adequacy, and 4 meant 30mpg dog.

Thanks for all the input!!!
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Old 12-06-2003, 10:29 AM
goinlowbII goinlowbII is offline
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i dont own a ranger anymore but my bronco II with 3.73's 5 speed and 33"s on the highway gets about 17-22 .. and i was talking to my friend who runs a garage ...he said for the most part thats most likeley what they will do ..if it has it and its there its ok . i was worried about my 302 in my 89bII and he gave me the book .. it says nothing about the engine size .. as long as i have a air filter a cat and the pcv valve im good to go ....
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Old 12-06-2003, 10:29 AM
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