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slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/27/12 4:04 p.m.

So this is Tonto:

Why Tonto? Cause Tonto always got treated like crap or beat up while the Lone Ranger saved the day. I'm pretty sure "Kimosabe" means "bite me" in whatever language Tonto spoke. Pretty much this is my new yard truck. It will be abused, left outside, and generally ignored until needed to make things work. Kind of like poor old Tonto.

Anyway, I got it for free. It has a blown head gasket (confirmed today) and an exhaust leak. 1991 Ranger with a 2.3L and manual transmission. No frills, just a little truck. I'm planning on swapping in a used engine, but I'm tempted to try that Blue Devil Pour-n-Go head gasket snake oil. I'd kind of like to put the truck to work ASAP and if I can get a few hauling runs out of it before yanking the motor I'll be happy. Worst case scenario I'm pulling the motor anyway, so I figure it can't make it any worse.

I've got a set of 16" Lincoln Mark VII basketweave wheels that will be going on it soon. I also have the 5.0L and AOD out of the Lincoln as well, but it will be a while til that goes in.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/27/12 5:38 p.m.

So Tonto is in his new home:

He was a little nervous about moving, poor thing wet itself:

The ailing 2.3L:

It was POURING water out the back of the block right here:

Motor runs, but it is done for sure. I have JUST enough room in the garage to pull the motor. It is actually sitting sideways in the back of my garage where the workshop is supposed to be. My other two cars are parked like normal in front. When Tonto is running again, I'll probably shove my '88 Mirage Turbo back there next. Probably start on pulling apart the truck this week. I'm going to try pulling the hood to see if that makes things easier. Sadly the 5.0L is sitting five feet in front of the truck, but this isn't the time for a swap. But eventually it will be...

Winston
Winston Reader
5/27/12 5:41 p.m.

I had a '90 Ranger that did 245,000 miles before it got traded in (still running strong, I just needed something that was guaranteed stone reliable and not likely to have unexpected problems due to age). The only work (besides fluid changes and brake pads/shoes) that was ever done to it was 2 or 3 alternator replacements and an A/C system reseal and recharge. Much of that mileage was pulling trailers, and I also learned to drive a stick on it. It left the stable with the original clutch, still gripping strong!

Great little trucks.

Ranger50
Ranger50 SuperDork
5/27/12 5:41 p.m.

I hate you. Seriously, I hate you.

Graefin10
Graefin10 Dork
5/27/12 6:02 p.m.

In reply to slefain:

Several years ago I used a product I think put out under the name "Bars Leak" to seal a blown h.g. and it worked on two different vehicles. Just make sure the cooling system is free of oil and give it plenty of time to harden before putting water back in.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
5/27/12 6:11 p.m.

that's a super easy headgasket to change, fyi. I'd just get a felpro 1035 & call it a day.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/27/12 6:35 p.m.
belteshazzar wrote: that's a super easy headgasket to change, fyi. I'd just get a felpro 1035 & call it a day.

My brother-in-law drove it sans temp gauge til it quit. I'm pretty sure he did some serious damage. The volume of water coming out the back along with a steady amount of exhaust gas make for a pretty large leak. I'd hate to spend all that time digging down to the head gasket only to find the head is cracked (or possibly even the block). I found a few used engines locally for between $300 and $400, so I'm going to go that route. I'll do the clutch while I'm in there, plus a new timing belt.

So far my total investment is $132 for towing. If I can get it running tip top for under a grand I'll be thrilled.

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing Dork
5/27/12 6:38 p.m.

Figures, it is in Atlanta.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
5/27/12 7:28 p.m.

understandable.

man i'd be 5.0, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

any effort or cash putting another N/A lima in there is better spent making one hell of a hybrid.

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade SuperDork
5/27/12 7:50 p.m.

I drove one of those for a delivery truck. I'd kill for another.

stanger_missle
stanger_missle Reader
5/27/12 7:53 p.m.

As a former '91 Ranger owner, I whole-heartedly approve. Mine was a 2.3l, 5spd, 2wd, longbed.

It's a bummer the PO overheated it. The 2.3L Lima is such a durable engine. Underpowered, yes, but John Deere-like durability.

I wanted to transplant a TurboCoupe 2.3T but finances (and a wife) at the time would not allow it. It died an untimely death at the hands of a young, ignorant guy (my troop)that I sold it to for $600.

Javelin
Javelin UltimaDork
5/27/12 8:32 p.m.

A Lima 2.3 is one of the easiest head gaskets in the world (after you change all of Ford's idiotic multiple different sized bolts and studs in SAE and metric to some common sizing). I'd echo the just do it and/or swap in a 5.0.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/27/12 9:46 p.m.

I'm worried that the V8 swap will turn in to a never ending project. I need a lot of stuff to do it right. The truck has to pass the sniffer test, so emissions legal is a must. I have a 5.0L from my old Lincoln Mark VII with most of the front accessories, but minus the upper intake manifold. I have an AOD but no torque converter, and the old driveshaft from the Lincoln. That it is. I'd need a Mustang computer, wiring harness, complete upper intake, some sort of exhaust system with cats, an automatic shifter with cable, and to fab up fuel lines.

On the plus side, JEGS sells this: http://www.jegs.com/i/Trans+Dapt/969/9716K/10002/-1

Frankly the biggest concern I have is getting the EFI up and running in a way that will pass emissions.

(edit) Alright, it looks like this is quite possibly the most popular engine swap in all for Ford vehicle history.

Here is a manual: http://www.harwoodperformance.bizland.com/Manual.htm

A pretty detailed site: http://www.v8-ranger.com/

A forum: http://www.rangerpowersports.com/forum/f12/

Another site: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/V8Conversions.html

Another forum: http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=c2db180d22483900e012573cf0f8fadc&f=11

So there is a ton of info out there. Time to read and plan, then do a rough cost analysis. I'm looking at at least $500 just to swap in a used 4-banger. I'm guessing a V8 swap from this point will cost a grand easy.

Moving_Target
Moving_Target New Reader
5/28/12 5:39 a.m.

Personally, I'd just stick with a used replacement engine. Futzing around with a V8 conversion is nice and all but don't get carried away here. It's a run of the mill Ranger.

I have a very rusty '90 Ranger XLT that I use once in a while to haul stuff and drive to work if the DD is down for repairs. I wouldn't consider using it to tow anything of significance with the 2.9L V6 but it's handy for bulky but light objects and trips to the u-pull-it. Don't over-think this vehicle into a money-pit project.

It's a Ranger. fini.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
5/28/12 9:34 a.m.

you sound like a reasonable fellow.

please, leave this forum now.

Moving_Target
Moving_Target New Reader
5/28/12 10:09 a.m.

Let me tally up the receipts for the BMW engine swap in progress (and still not done) and the money blown on my Rustang (still looks like a POS) so far...

Reasonable? I'm as irresponsible as any one of you kooks.

I just don't think "fun" or "cool" when I think of hot-rodding a Ranger.

Track down a drop-in 2.3L engine and drive it.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
5/28/12 12:04 p.m.

I love those trucks.. the one I was looking at earlier this year is up for sale now.. $3500 with the 4 mated to an auto.. if it had been a manual, I would have thought hard about it

fast_eddie_72
fast_eddie_72 SuperDork
5/28/12 12:11 p.m.
slefain wrote: Anyway, I got it for free. It has a blown head gasket (confirmed today) and an exhaust leak.

Nice. Head gasket on a 2.3 is cake. Fix it and forget it.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/28/12 1:41 p.m.
Moving_Target wrote: Let me tally up the receipts for the BMW engine swap in progress (and still not done) and the money blown on my Rustang (still looks like a POS) so far... Reasonable? I'm as irresponsible as any one of you kooks. I just don't think "fun" or "cool" when I think of hot-rodding a Ranger. Track down a drop-in 2.3L engine and drive it.

I used to hot rod Lincolns. I had a '90 Mark VII with 1.7 roller rockers, ported intake, headers, a shift kit, 3.73 gears and side pipes. The Mark VII was totaled, but I have driveline, hence the swap idea. Oddly, a V8 Ranger sounds bitchin to me. I've always wanted a V8 S-10 or the like, and this might be the excuse I've been looking for. But I do understand the thought of just dropping another 2.3L in there.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
5/28/12 2:24 p.m.

my extended cab 2wd ranger only weighs about 3000lbs, if the scrap yard scales are to be believed. yours would be another hundred less at least.

integraguy
integraguy UltraDork
5/28/12 3:57 p.m.

In that little known edition of Webster's dictionary that is sold to gearheads only, next to the term and definition for RUGGED, is a picture of a 4 cylinder Ford Ranger...with a manual transmission.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/28/12 6:43 p.m.

Well I spent a little time this afternoon yanking the hood and unplugging stuff from the engine.

Need to drain the radiator, unhook the fuel lines, undo the power steering lines, drop the exhaust, disconnect the shift linkage, drop the driveshaft, then it is just motor and trans mounts. I'm going to try and pull the engine and trans as a unit.

I had a flash of "what the hell am I doing" today as I read over wiring diagrams, but I think this is something I have to do. I've always wanted to do some sort of crazy engine swap but have never had the opportunity (or so I told myself). I finally have a shop and tools to make something like this happen. As a bonus, my wife supports doing the swap. Can't knock that! Plus I have help:

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UltraDork
5/28/12 8:27 p.m.

so by "crazy engine swap", you mean, the 5.0?

hell yeah.

turbojunker
turbojunker HalfDork
5/28/12 8:47 p.m.

You should be able to make some money back by selling that M5OD to someone. When I needed one people sure were proud of them.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
5/29/12 9:10 a.m.
turbojunker wrote: You should be able to make some money back by selling that M5OD to someone. When I needed one people sure were proud of them.

That thought did occur to me. It would be nice to recoup some of my costs.Looks like going rate around Atlanta is $400-$500 for the M/T unit. That would cover a nice chunk of my costs. I'll probably wait til I have everything up and running with the V8 first though before I go selling off the old 2.3L stuff.

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