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Old 11-20-2012, 09:15 PM   #1
SRBird
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Default Turbo coupe engine swap on 4x4

The more I've considered my next project as a Ranger, I've decided that what I want is an 86 to 88 4x4 5 speed turbo coupe conversion, either reg cab or super cab. Since 4 cyl 4x4s appear rare on KIJIJI, I'm considering possibly swap a 2.3 Turbo from a TBird into a 2.9 V6 4x4 Ranger. Question is will the Turbo-4 cyl bolt onto the V6 5 speed bell housing of a 4x4. If not, then what should I do? Keep bell housing from 4 cyl and will it bolt right up on the 5 speed tranny? Does the Turbo Coupe 4 cyl + its 5 speed tranny drop in without mods to drive shafts? Just looking for ideas. Thanks to all who respond.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #2
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They don't share the same bell housings. 2.3L/2.5L only. You can try and find any year Lima 4x4 Ranger, OBDI and swap over the engine/fuel delivery and re-pin the ECU. OBDII and swap just the Rods and Pistons, E6, IHI, Injectors, Fuel pump and get it tuned at a speed shop with the Stock ranger ECU. A4LD 4x4's have the Transfer case built onto the transmission as part of the tail shaft, even if you had a bell housing for one, I don't recommend using an A4LD. If you did buy an automatic a manual swap on one of these trucks difficult as you'd still need a transfer case and the appropriate drive shafts as well as a higher gear ratio, front and rear axles.

Not sure about the 2.3L/2.5L Automatic ratios, but the manuals typically are 3.73's with the exception of the older 3.45's. My 4.0L is 3.08's but it's definitely something to consider as crawling isnt so easy with low gear ratios. Unless there is a low range to compensate.

Summed up your easiest/cheapest route is to find an OBDI EFI 2.3L Ranger 4x4 and swap the Engine, Fuel pump (unless it's the dual pump design these support ~15psi of boost) and re-pin the ECU
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Last edited by RacinGas; 11-20-2012 at 09:35 PM..
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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No it won't bolt up to the bellhousing. You will have to either buy an older Toyo Koygo transmission (what I have and makes a LOT of noise) or get an M50D from a newer Ranger but more rare. You could also run a divorced transfercase but on a reg cab it would have a tiny rear drive shaft and a long front drive shaft.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:19 AM   #4
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Thanks "Supa" Dave. Now I know an auto truck wouldn't work without difficulty. Any idea if I swapped a 2.9 v6 with both the Lima engine + manual bell housing, that both would bolt to the manual tranny without affecting the rest of the driveline?
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:17 AM   #5
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Why does it matter if you mess with the driveshafts? You can get them shortened and lengthened.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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He'd also have to buy a manual transmission assuming he wants a 5 speed and transfer case if he went with an automatic born truck, otherwise he's going to have to swap bell housings and suffer the wrath of the not so awesome stock A4LD behind a turbo engine. It's not just drive shafts.

To answer your transmission question only the 2.9L and 4.0L can share manual/automatic transmissions (4.0L's are beefier). The M50D's are all one piece with non-interchanging "bells". You may have to travel a state/province over to find what you are looking for.


Might be worth asking this guy what engine it has if he/she doesnt know just ask for the 8th digit of the VIN.
http://calgary.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ422302388
http://calgary.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ428567102
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Cars aren't all about brochures, you have to customize, it's all between you and the car you build, it's like a bond, a commitment. Sounds like a marriage, except when you trade up you don't lose half your sh*t.

Last edited by RacinGas; 11-21-2012 at 10:57 AM..
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks... I would steer clear of auto trucks, unless manual 4x4's are hard to come by. I am looking to keep it somewhat simple. I guess I need to keep my eyes out for a 4cyl 4x4 and jump on it if I do come across one. There is a shop near by that I was recommended for driveshaft work so if using the turbo coupe engine and 5 speed together results in just a little driveshaft mods on a manual V6 4x4 hen I just may want to go that route.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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If the manuals use a divorced transfer case (I know the auto's don't) I don't see why you couldn't swap the 2.3T over with it's manual transmission if it has one and replace the V6 and it's manual because they are not interchangeable (Bell bolt patterns are different and do not separate from the main housing). Maybe that's what Hagan was thinking?

You would need some minor fabrication, the ECU and Complete harness from the Donor car to swap along with it. You also have to remember the speedo is cable driven and other factors when doing these major swaps which could possibly include an A/C retrofit if you want to keep it. Wish Bender or even Ron would get in here and chime in on what all is exactly needed for something like this. (V6 Manual - 2.3T Manual Swap) >.>
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92 4.0L Ranger
93 1.3L Festiva
94 4.0L Ranger
95 2.3L Ranger
97 2.3L Ranger
98 2.5L Ranger
00 3.8L Mustang

Cars aren't all about brochures, you have to customize, it's all between you and the car you build, it's like a bond, a commitment. Sounds like a marriage, except when you trade up you don't lose half your sh*t.

Last edited by RacinGas; 11-21-2012 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #9
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Thanks, the speedometer is definitely something to think about. AC not much of a concern in Calgary for the few days that it would nice. Its mostly dry here even in summer. The KIJIJI posts are interesting!
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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from what i've read so far : 1983 to 1989 ranger came with either a fm-145 or 146 (manual transmissions) or the tk (dont know about these). those use a separate bell housing. i assume the 2.0 and 2.3 trucks of that era shared the same trans as the 2.8, just different bellhousing. this is the case for my 86 diesel ranger (bellhousing and engine are differents, the rest of the truck shares everything with the other rangers.) so what i'd be after if i were you is a solid, 5 speed, 4x4. then a bellhousing to swap in your engine. crawl under a couple trucks you go see before buying, look at the differences in the bellhousing.
the fms trans are not the strongest either... dont know how they handle the boost....

my 0.02$

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