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View Poll Results: Should I keep the original Distributor or install a new HEI?
Keep the old one 0 0%
Purchase the HEI 2 100.00%
Use the "Cash for Clunkers" Government money and buy a new truck! 1 50.00%
I don't care! 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 2. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-05-2009, 07:25 PM
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Cramming a V8 into My 2000 Ford Ranger with 3.0L Engine

I was given a 1985 Mustang with a 5.0 H.O. engine and an AOD transmission. Along with that came the "necessity" to transform my 2000 Ranger into a hotrod.

I'm good with a wrench and I've actually got the engine most of the way complete. I took off the EFI and replaced it with an Edelbrock 289 Performer Intake and an Edelbrock 750 CFM 4-barrel carb (I'm not comfortable with automotive computers...I'm kinda' old school, I guess). I purchased a newly rebuilt AOD transmission and still have the old driveshaft from the '85 Mustang.

Here are my questions:

1. The Distributor - is there any benefit to purchasing a new HEI distributor that has the coil and everything built right into it vs. trying to hotwire the Mustang's original distro.? If I should keep the original, how do I wire it up?

2. Motor mounts - I have the old ones from the Mustang. I also purchased the V8 motor mounts for an Eddie Bower Explorer. Not sure if that was necessary but I thought it might be. What did you use? How did it work out?

3. Any thoughts on the linkage between the carb and the transmission? I'm guessing I should have something for "kick-down" when passing but I'm not that experienced with this part of the mechanical spectrum.

4. Wiring - can I still use the original Ford Ranger Oil pressure, temperature, etc. gauges? If so how do I wire them up to the existing harness? If not, what is the best way to accomplish monitoring my 'new' motor's vital signs?

5. Cooling - Any thoughts on what I should use for a radiator? The one in the Ranger is only 4 months old but since it's a single core, I'd guess it's not going to even come close to cooling a V8 sufficiently.

Any help that you can give is GREATLY appreciated!!!
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:48 PM
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Well let me be the first to vote to replace the Distributor.

The gages should hook up the same way as they are on the current motor. Just pull the sensors and install them in your new motor. At most you may have to get some adapters to make them fit but they should still work the same way they work now.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:57 PM
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Distro Replacement

Jake, thanks for the ULTRA-Quick reply!

I'm sure I can get the gauges connected as you said. Thanks for the tip.

What Distributor would you suggest using? I like the MSD 8352 (All-in-one) but any thoughts?
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:21 PM
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Just be aware that if you are subject to emissions testing, this swap will not be legal.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:21 PM
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easiest way to V8 a '98- current Ranger is to use a 1998-2001 Ford Explorer 5.0L and harness.. it'll make more power than the '85 HO and just be plain easier to install.. and it would pass inspections in most states



also, the Ranger oil preassure gauge is nothing but an idiot light
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Dragon
The gages should hook up the same way as they are on the current motor. Just pull the sensors and install them in your new motor. At most you may have to get some adapters to make them fit but they should still work the same way they work now.
What Jake said and I second the dist,MSD is a good choice. That is what I swapped to on this truck.Made a world of difference in the way it ran. Unfortunately I can't find the pic's of the motor or the interior ,and I can't take new ones as I no longer own the truck and it's in central Alabama.Health issue's forced the sale but it's still in the family in a round about way as I sold it to my niece's husband.
You will be pleased with the way your truck runs when you get it done.
Good Luck and post some pic's when you get it on the road.
Kenny
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Last edited by Shelby1; 08-05-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
easiest way to V8 a '98- current Ranger is to use a 1998-2001 Ford Explorer 5.0L and harness.. it'll make more power than the '85 HO and just be plain easier to install.. and it would pass inspections in most states
Actually, a 2000-up motor would be legal just about anywhere (including Calif) so long as all the original emissions equipment was swapped as well. The rule of thumb is that you can swap a newer (as in, cleaner) engine but not an older one.
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Old 08-07-2009, 10:00 PM
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Starting today...

I started tearing apart the 2000 Ranger. Not as daunting a task as I originally thought. THANKS SO MUCH for all the replies and tips. I'll post pics as soon as I get the chance!
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:15 PM
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purchase a dura-spark2 dist and a summit brand ingnition box and hook up to schematic, cheap less than 200$$$ and easy and reliable. you will need a special cable from lokar to go from your carb to tranny, it around 100$$ also AOD require proper line pressure adjustment to work properly, canbe tricky and costly if not properly adjusted. also dont be fooled by the radiator try it first, 5.0 generaly are cool running engines, however if you want to change it dual andtripple core are available for this application
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:00 AM
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Update

Okay...so I've already started. At this point, I've done the following:

1. Removed the old 3.0 engine and transmission. (You wouldn't happen to know of anyone who needs a GREAT standard transmission, AC Compressor, smog pump, alternator, or other engine units for a 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, or 2003 Ford Ranger with a 3.0L, would you???)
2. Removed the single core radiator and AC condensing unit.
3. Cutout the area of the Blower motor box that housed the AC cooling unit and fiberglassed a new channel from the firewall "hole" to the blower "intake".
4. Purchased and installed a 3" body lift kit on eBay - and found out once I removed the bed liner that the bed was completely rusted at the "leach line" next to the bulkhead. I found a J/Y that sold me the entire front 1' of another Ranger bed and spent three days cutting, fitting, and welding the new piece into my existing truck bed. Looks great.
5. Replaced the rear spring shackles since I has the bed off and it was easier to do it than lying on the ground!
5. For the dizzy, I purchased an MSD "Read to Run" distributor and a Blaster 2 coil. They're standalone, since the dizzy has a built-in magnetic pickup.

A problem I had was finding OEM Frame Brackets, motor mounts, and motor mount plates for the V8 that would clear the Camber Adjustment mounts on the top of the frame, either side of the crossmember. I consulted a local Ford Dealer parts desk and found out that the Frame Brackets are not a "serviceable unit" - in other words, they don't sell the brackets; they're fabricated and welded to the yoke at the factory and Ford doesn't provide them without purchasing an entire frame unit. Well, that's not happening!!!

So, using a level and a plumb, I designed my own motor mount "towers" and fabricated them out of 1/4", cold-rolled plate. BTW...if you're going to do this yourself, know that the angle of the crossmember, relative to the plane of the frame, is 52.5 degrees. Since the 2000 (and newer) Ranger has a rack and pinion versus the 'old-style' steering box, it necessitated raising the engine above the plane of the lower crossmember so the dual sump oil pan would clear. I gave myself extra room (in case I have to work on the oil pan), too, since I had to go to all this trouble.

A couple issues I'm running into are:
1. Wiring - I can't find anyone who has the wiring diagram(s) for the engine wiring loom, including the computer, and the set of wires that connect to the box-connector at the steering column. My engine and transmission are standalone so I don't think I need anything from or connected to the Computer(???) Is my assumption correct? If anyone has these diagrams, please PM them to me or post them, I'd REALLY appreciate it!!!
2. Transmission - I purchased a rebuilt AOD with a 2800rpm stall converter. I don't have the wiring diagrams for the AOD electrical and was wondering if someone could help me out with this. My expertise ends with knowing how to bolt the Converter to the flywheel. align the spline, and bolt the transmission up. Other than that (and knowing how to spell "transmission") I don't know the first thing about them. Your help would be immensly appreciated.

So far, that's where the project stands. I'm going to take pics this afternoon and post them! This has been a VERY REWARDING project, to date!!!
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:18 AM
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could have used V8 explorer mounts. 1998-2000 and it would have bolted right in. as for the wiring. Haynes manuals do have the wiring. you can probably remove everything and wire in a basic kit. the gauge cluster is all computer controlled so you'll need new gauges..
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