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Old 06-24-2003, 06:51 PM
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Ford Ranger V8 Conversion

Okay..A new thread and room to make plenty of mistakes .I'm going to need all the advice that I can get,if possible.I sat up until 4:00 this morning researching the Ford Ranger V8 Conversion,and found lots of info,basically referring back to what I read awhile back when I first had the urge to do this conversion.

I think that I have everything worked out for the conversion,as far as details.I just haven't done the hands-on part yet.But,that's coming.I want this little truck to be worth the effort when I'm done.I don't want to do a hack job of any sort either.Just a nice,clean,and easy-as-possible conversion,if that's possible :laugh: .

Now,for my engine..A Ford 302 is what I'm going to use.The local junkyard has a 302 out of a 1978 or 1979 Ford Thunderbird.It's all complete and I believe he said that it was a factory 4-Barrel.It had all of the harnesses that it had on it when it was in the car,going by what he said..So,it's complete.Now,I want to build a 347 Stroker with a 3.40" stroke and forged pistons,rods,and crank,in case I ever decided to spray the little guy .I figure a set of twin 750 "Double-Pumper" Holley's and the K&N filters on top of that.I don't know about my heads yet.That's one thing that I need help from you guys on.I need a little help in choosing a cam,also.Also,on the exhaust.I'll post my main questions at the bottom of the page.That'll be where I'll need the help.

Now,for the transmission..Along with the 302 that I mentioned above out of the Thunderbird,there's a transmission bolted to it.Now,as far as I know,it's either a C4 or an FMX.The guy at the yard said that one of his employees said that it looked like an FMX.Is there anyway that I can tell?About the only thing that I know about a C4 is that it is about 18" long.Also,am I going to need to use one of those transmission adapters?They bolt to the transmission to make it a certain lenght to keep from having to have driveshaft modifications.You can find them at the following link:

http://www.jamesduff.com/broncoII/v8conversion.html

Now,for the differential..I'm going to get a Ford 8.8" out of a later model Ranger,if I don't get a Ranger that was made before 1990.Then,I'll probably go with a set of either 3.55's or 3.73's.Whichever you guys think would be best.I want to have rear discs,so I'm going to try to make me a "kit" off of parts available at the junkyard.

Now for the suspension..I'm thinking of staying with stock except for maybe a set of air shocks.Then,I'll probably try to make me another "kit" to put front discs on the truck.I'll probably stick with power steering and also with a mechanical fan.If the Ranger's factory gauges won't work with the V8,I'll get a complete set of AutoMeters.That should settle that little problem.I'll probably shave the door handles and then take my stereo system out of my Escort and install it into my Ranger .That should make it a little more enjoyable.I think that I'm going to go with Weld Racing Rodlite Rims wrapped with a set of BFG T/A's.That should be good.I might even put a 16 gallon fuel cell in the bed to put a little more weight on the rear axles and then to get rid of the heavy factory tank.That should work.

Now for the questions..

1) What should I do for my engine heads as far as building them,what year to look for,etc.?
2) For the exhaust,will shorty headers for a 1979-1993 5.0 work with my Ranger?
3) What type of cam should should I use?
4) Will I have to use one of those transmission adapters,seen at James Duff's website above?
5) Is $100 bad for an all-original 302 and auto transmission out of a 1978 or 1979 Ford Thunderchicken?

I think that will be all for now.Thanks for any help,advice,criticism,etc. that is given.I appreciate it all .

Jacob Middleton

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Old 06-24-2003, 07:52 PM
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One of my friends in high shcool put a 302 in his 94 Ranger. Everything worked great except one thing. The suspension. The front end came down and the alignment was all messed then he tried to fix it himself and made it worse. The tires were toed out about 10-15 degrees. He ended up using some heavier springs to counter the extra weight of the engine. Is the original engine a 4 banger? if so I would investigate stiffer springs for the front end.
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:02 PM
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Well,the Ranger that I'm looking at right now is a 1984 model and it's a 4 banger.I was thinking of the stiffer springs.Plus,I was kinda wanting to lower it 2".

Jacob Middleton
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:04 PM
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Answer to number 5. I don't know alot about Ford engines, although I would assume the heads on that engine would probably be weak, and power low for the whole thing. $100 seems just about right though, if its still in good condition that would be a great starting point
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:09 PM
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Thanks for the advice.I had the same thought on the heads myself..That's why I'll probably look for a different set,something around the early 70's.Since it's a SBF,would a set of heads off a 351C or 351W work on my 302?

Jacob Middleton
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:21 PM
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Does anyone have any pics of a Ranger V8 Conversion?Some under-hood shots and under-body shots,if you have any.Also,there's this CD on eBay that has the entire V8 Conversion on it,(You put it in your CD-Rom and there's all the info you need about the V8 Conversion).It's $25.Do you guys think that it would be worth that?

Jacob Middleton
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:30 PM
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I really don't believe in buying things on the internet but 25.00 for some info on what you are planning to do and some pics to help you out wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Old 06-24-2003, 09:11 PM
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I have done two of these conversions the first was a hack job back in high school but the second was nice it was a bronco2. we used the c4 and had the shafts cut. The heater box has to be cut so becarful if the vehicle has air there is not enough room to make the heater work correctly. Also if you use the 351w heads they are slightly larger cause the same problem. On the first we cut the raditor support and moved the raditor to get a fan in there (BAD idea). The second one was alot better we left the fan off the engine just ran the water pump pully then installed a dual fan set through the grill hooked one fan up straight to the ignition the other to a temp sending unit in top of the water neck. As far as the springs skyjacker 650# 2in over coil and the correct ball joint caster units(this can be done at a alignment shop). You will also have to decide on a pancake style (smaller oil filter) or a relocated unit, dont be tempted to notch out any thing to get one in there . As far as the electric system i cut off every thing but the chargnig, starting, coil and spark plug wires and ran points. Have sold one and totaled the other will try to get pics from new owner of the bronco it is still in the area. HTH
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Old 06-24-2003, 10:57 PM
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First of all your gauges will work if you wire them right.
Second use new stock springs from a V-6 Ranger only a 200 lb difference in weight. Then get some 2" drop spindles.
Third the heater box just needs to be notched. The last one I did I notched it on a curve and filled in the hole I made with a piece of sheet metal rivited in.
Fourth the ignition box and wiring from the ranger can be hooked up directly to the 302. Use the stock Ranger coil every thing will be good.
Fifth 2 Holley 750s sounds like over kill for a 347.
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:18 AM
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I would get AFR 165cc heads if you want to spend money. If not, the best stock heads would probably be E7TEs found on stock mustang 5.0 liters, just grind out the thermactor hump, and gasket match the ports and you should be good. As for a cam, get something with about 210-230 degress duration for the street and nothing over .510 lift. Otherwise, youll be doing more harm than good.

Two 750s is definately overkill for a 347. Hell, one 750 is almost overkill. If you really want 2 carburetors, holley makes 450cfm 4 barrels and edelbrock makes 500cfm 4 barrells. Its a ***** to tune them both so itll run right. Id recomend one 650 to tell you the truth.

Youll probably need the trans adapter if your using a c4, otherwise, just get a new driveshaft....it might be cheaper in the long run. I got a 3" aluminum driveshaft made with 1330 u-joints for $250.

ooh, you can put on 351c heads but youll need a custom intake, and you need to drill out some holes for the water crossover in the intake. 351w heads are identical to 302 heads on the outside, and for the most part, have near same size ports and valves unless they are 69-73 heads. 351w heads have bigger combustion chambers too, so youll loose compression............just stick with 302 heads, unless you know what your getting, youll be better off.


Get 3.73s in the rear end, most trucks come with that gear ratio stock.
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:34 AM
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Thanks guys.All this feedback is really helping me out.The adapter is anywhere from $400-$500..I think that I can get a driveshaft out of the junkyard and have my cousin,(he's a pro welder),to cut and weld it to be the right lenght.I think that I can do that for less than the cost of one of those adapters.This driveshaft that you have mustang66maniac,stupid question but,is it made for the V8 Ranger using a C4 or will it need to be modified?

On the oil filter..I think by pancake style,you meant one of those really small Fram's,correct?I know what you're talking about if so.That's what I thought in the beginning.It's going to be tight under the hood as it is..Much less with another hose or 2 going en-route to somewhere.I want to use a mechanical fan,if possible.I don't want anymore electronics than I can help.

I know that a set of dual 750's sounded like a little much.I may not even go with a 347 seeing that they cost so much to build.I'll just stick with my .030 bore and a set of 10:1 flattops .I like the sound of the cam also.Will that give the engine somewhat of a rough idle?I want that for sure,just let people know that you have somewhat of an engine under there..I don't really care if it's a sleeper or not.

My budget is $5,000.Hopefully I can get it done for this and have it ready at least by my senior year in high school.Maybe it will all work out .Thanks again for the help.Keep the posts coming.I'll probably have alot more questions,if ya'll don't mind .

Jacob Middleton
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Old 06-25-2003, 12:49 AM
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For the exhaust,I was thinking about those shorty Mustang headers and then getting the local muffler shop to mandrel-bend me 2 pipes that will hook the headers,curve down,and then run straight back.Then,put 2 Flowmaster 30 Series Mufflers about a foot before you get to the differential with 2 turndown tips to keep the exhaust off the underside of the truck.No cats at all .Does that sound like a good idea?Being that far back,when I'm stopped somewhere with the engine running,I won't get strangled by the fumes hopefully.Also,there will be no pipes hanging out the sides or anything like that.

Jacob Middleton
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:05 AM
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the cam specs i gave earlier will give you a good lopey idle and should make power till 5200-5800rpm depending on what you get. the driveshaft i got is actually for my car...302 t-5 in a 66 mustang. i just gave an example of how cheap you can get a driveshaft made.
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Old 06-25-2003, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mustang66maniac
the driveshaft i got is actually for my car...302 t-5 in a 66 mustang. i just gave an example of how cheap you can get a driveshaft made.
Sorry about that bro.I didn't read it closely enough.I don't know why they would want to make those adapters,unless someone just buys them because they think that they have to have them.You could basically cut-to-fit your own driveshaft if you had some type of welder and a torch,sazall,or something.Of course,I don't know if I'd trust some welds or not.The ones that I do don't usually work out .But oh well..That's what I've got my cousin next door for .

Jacob Middleton
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
I want to use a mechanical fan,if possible.I don't want anymore electronics than I can help.
It will never fit. And if it did you still wouldnt want it.
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