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Ford Ranger III



  • Basically it boils down to bell housing bolt patterns and torque ratings. I had a friend at a parts store who took a 5 speed, 4 cylinder mustand (1990ish) and put a 302 on it. The transmission was kept original. Last I know he was still running around town with no backseat, and loud [non-permissible content removed] mufflers and the common cheap bolt ons. The transmission survived,(unknown how long) but for the time I kept in contact it worked fine. I bet that trans and rear end were receiving major abuse, and doubt they would last over a couple of years, but it did work then. Automatics are a different story. They have different stall speeds, different gearing, that one would probably not want to swap those around.
    Just don't forget that Ford can share parts with Mazda, Lincoln and Mercury, and even Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Jaguar. While those last three aren't as likely, the first ones are. This helps keep the cost down because that 3.0l transmission goes on many other vehicles across the whole Ford corporation. Vice versa, and same for most other engines/trans.
    It would be nice if everyone was interchangable, but for the most part they just won't fit. I could probably rattle off a little something about late 60's bolt patterns, but haven't really had any experience with anything newer. Besides most automatics are computer controlled, it would be just too hard to make your own breed.
    Why not just make them all heavy duty? Probably to keep prices down. By that mark I wish the 2.3l would be the 2.3l SV0 turbo motor from the earlier mustangs, but again, cost and power curve characteristics would probably not benefit the compact truck.
    Also the 5 speed auto wasn't introduced because it was required, but more to help out gas milage with that extra final gear. Pretty cool that it is available, but I still prefer a stick in a truck.

    Where's Modvptnl? He probably know more about this than me...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i know this has been discussed before but i want to know specifics to the ranger so here goes. i have the 2.5 liter four cylinder. i want to get it to a total of 130 horsepower. its has 119 stock, and i added a K&N filter. will remvoing the snorkle/air silencer make it run better or have more power, and will it void my warranty? any other performance tips which can help?
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,744
    putting on a cold air k&N intake and a Throttle body spacer. Should increase mid to top end horsepower but not torque. Add a Cat back exhaust system and you should be pushing your desired HP rating. A street legal Header system wouldn't hurt either. Do all three and you might see a bit more than a 11 HP bump. In any case it will feel stronger.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    but where do i start? how much $$? and will it affect warranty or mileage?
  • Your warranty will be not be in affect if the part that failed is not a Ford Oringinal Equipment or if non-original equipment part caused the original part to fail. That's why it pays to know your dealership well. Bring donuts, become a good friend...

    Good thing about removing the snorkle and replacing the air filter is that it can be undone in under 10-15 minutes. No warranty to worry about there. Also invest in premium spark plugs and spark wires. I'm sure you could do a little internet searching for many other ideas...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    what the heck is it? also, i have heard that the hotter plugs dont do much, and that the premium wires arent really an upgrade. any thoughts?
  • That long tube infront of the air filter housing. It's designed for silencing the intake noise, and lower the sound ouput of the engine. But it also restricts incoming airflow. If you're really want to improve things, you can make a cold air induction yourself. All you got to do is have a tube that runs from the airbox intake to somewhere where cold outside wind can get to it. You can even get a little ram air effect if you do it right. Just do what you can to help the engine breathe and burn better. Every little bit will eventually add to the grin on your face.

    Better wires and plugs just ensure the best spark is produced from the coil pack. I'm not so crazy about going hotter, as much as going to Iridium or platinum. It's an expensive initial investment, but will last a looooong time.

    It's all about the little details. If you bang the garbage out your air filter every oil change, occasionally use injector cleaner or oil additives (I recommend zmax), then your engine will run strong for many years. That's why my 1993 2.3l has reached 138k miles and the valve cover has yet to come off once.
  • Does anyone have accurate EPA mileages? What is the claimed is what is your actual? thanks.

  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    I have a 00 Ranger 4x4 XLT 4.0 with 5 speed auto. It has an ARE cap and 15 inch Michelins 235's. It consistently gets 17 mpg in my "mixed" driving". The best I have done is about 20 to 20.5 at a steady 60 to 65. The worst is about 14 to 14.5 (i.e. lousy) in cold weather around town . It has the 3.73 rearend. At 70 to 75, the MPG drops to about 18.5. This is all pretty typical. If this truck was 6 inches lower it would probably get another .5 MPG. You can do better with an F 150 or a Siverado LS 2x4. My neighbor gets about 1 mpg BETTER with his 99 F-150, small V8, auto XLT extended cab 2x4. Pushrod 4.0 Rangers are gas hogs for their size [that 4.0 engine is not very efficient and is an old design..however, rleiable and strong]. The 3.0 "pinger" is better on gas, but you have to put up with the snap, crackle and pop. As I have said before, if this truck didn't vibrate me to death at highway speeds, I would LOVE it. The engine is great and I like the ergonomics of the cab very much. I like the seats, inspite of the complaints about them (I am 5ft8 and 150 lbs, so these seats aren't made for big guys).
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i knew that the 2.3 liter was a twin plug setup, and i knew my 2.5 liter is a close relation to the 2.3, but when i popped open the hood i was dismayed to see "plugs, plugs everywhere." lol
    so my questions are:
    why in the hell do we need twice as many plugs as usual?
    why did they see the need to move that idea to the 2.5?
    and finally, does having 8 plugs help me? does it get better mileage, more power?
  • frey44frey44 Posts: 230
    My old 89 Nissan has a twin plug head. It allows for a cleaner exhaust in that the spark is distributed over a larger combustion area. Also, I recall reading that a slightly higher compression ratio is more feasible with the new Ford design with twin plugs, with supposedly reduced detonation. The higher CR is, of course, good in that using regular fuel you theoretically would get more power. After hearing the 3.0 V6 Ranger motors ping themselves into oblivion, it is good Ford is addressing this on their little 4 banger. It seems like a nice little motor for guys who don't need to tow or haul much.
  • Word on the street is the 3.0l was revised for 2002. I'm still trying to get any new owners to let us know their experiences with this motor. Hopefully Ford has fixed the issues with the past design... vehicle_id=524&press_subsection_id=421&make_id=92

    Combine this whole line together and copy into your Address bar for the correct article. Remove any spaces in the middle.

    matt--->The 2.5 is bascially a stroked 2.3l. I heard that the dual spark head was for increased power, due to the low cubic inch (140) of the engine. I'd like to see a 4.2l v6 borrowed from the f-150, or even a 3.8l v6 from the Mustangs in the Ranger. The 4.2l generates 252 lbs of torque at 3400 RPM...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i am leasing my Ranger, but i am going to buy it (should have simply bought in the first place, duh).
    when i own it, i intend to play with it a little to get more punch from my 2.5 liter.
    I added a K&N filter and i am going to also play with my air intake. after it is out of warranty i am thinking of milling down the head to increase compression or maybe getting new heads for it. any suggestions? i would like around 145 or so horsepower to go along with my 23 mpg.
  • 140 cubic inches was for the 2.3l.

    Sounds a little pricey for a 4 banger... But if you want the kick, sounds good. An exhaust system might be close to that amount too. Do web searches for 2.3l mustangs and performance parts for them. The 4 banger mustang is kind of the red-headed step child as far as parts availability, but they can be found. (Under drive pulleys, chips, and a few other ideas here and there...)
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    a new catback system would increase my horsepower by 10 horsepower???
    if so i am going to do it asap. any preference as to brands/shops?
    also, would such a system damage my factory warranty?
  • With 20,000 miles (4.0 w/auto), 16" tires and Off-Road gears (4.10), mine gets up to 19 highway (just under 70 MPH) and around 12 - 14 city. That beat the 95 F-150 it replaced (302 V8) with 15" tires and Off-Road by about 2 MPG.
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    so, i was checking my oil tonight and i saw a sticker i had never seen before. it was under the hood on the "shelf" above the radiator. it said that my PCM had been replaced as of July 12, 2001.
    Why would my PCM be replaced? does this hurt anything or help anything in the long run?
  • Well I run hooker headers and warlock mufflers on a 460 big block, but that's in my 67 mustang. :) My '93 is all stock, so I don't have any experience in brands. But the brands I know of are dynomax, borla, flowmaster, and bassani, and one of them can probably offer a kit. Just look in a JEG'S or Summit Magazine and you can find other companies that you can try calling to see if they can help you out. If you go the full route (not just cat-back) you will be losing a little (tiny bit) of low end torque, but you'll gain an equal or more amount of higher end HP/power.
    The way the warranty thing goes is that if it's not Ford OEM, they won't warranty it, but any other part on the vehicle not affected by such replacement should still be covered. Exhaust shouldn't affect much but itself. I would just try to get to know your service technicians and manager at your dealership. I'd rather have them as friends than just strangers or enemies. Can't hurt asking their opinion and policy on stuff like that.

    Sounds like a sticker marking your car to receive a replacement. That's where they stick the R-134 freon replacements, and other stuff like that. Maybe your sticker was a recall or TSB of some sort, or maybe a special repair(if it's a used truck). All-in-all, you should feel better off because it's been replaced with the aparantly correct one.

    Here's a cheap and easy way for a little more HP. If your engine seems to have more power when cold, then replace your thermostat with one rated in the 160-180 degree range. This will force your computer into a "cold" loop, and milage may suffer, but your engine will always act like it does after you pull onto your first street in the morning...
  • mjbwrtrmjbwrtr Posts: 172
    i was going to ask you about the thermostat but i forgot to...funny that you should suggest it. thanks for your advice...
    also, does it take the computer time to adjust to my mods?
  • will adjust itself based on sensor outputs. It has a specific datamap of fuel/air/rpm/speed/temperature ratios. Small things like mass or ram air for the Ford small block v8's had different computers. So if you change anything that could affect air/fuel flow or burning, then a computer adjustment would be beneficial. The computer will adjust to a degree, but it's always trying to reach it's default settings. Hence when you put in a lower degree thermostat, the computer will adjust the fuel/air ratio to rich, possibly decreasing fuel milage and increasing idle RPM. While the engine itself runs cooler, there will be less heat for the heater and defroster.
    Trick is to try getting all the modifications done, so you know what to tell the company burning the chip for you. But a new exhaust or removing your air silencer and changing filters won't require or really benefit from a chip. Milling heads, adjusting timing, cams, new injectors, new gears, that sort of thing would probably take advantage of reprograming the computer.

    Ever think about just swapping out the rear end gear? Installing a numerically higher gear (like .25 higher) would give you better zip, but you would sacrifice cruising RPM a little. It would feel like an extra 20 horses or so.
This discussion has been closed.