New 4x4 Ranger, good parts, which truck is the donor? 4x4 swap?


ExploreNW

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Hey guys!
Yesterday evening I picked up a red 4x4 2.3L 1995 Ranger for free 99. A lot of the stuff on this truck is good but it won't get in gear, leaks exhaust, and the interior is garbage after sitting under a tree for a few years with cracked windows. It has the good alloy 15" rims that I haven't been able to track down on Craigslist. My daily Ranger is also good, its body & cab are in much better condition than the new one, but it's only a 2x4, won't warm up to temp with new t-stats, power steering pump blasts fluid everywhere, diff leaks, and has 14" rims with junk "sporty" 205/70/14s from a 'Stang. Neither truck has air conditioning to worry about but the 95 is a CA truck with an EEC-V & OBD-II.

On runability: The 95 engine seems strong. Supposedly it has an extra 12hp. Clutch pedal feels a little soft and despite the transmission sliding right into gear nothing happens - our theory is that the slave cylinder puked its heart out. The oil in there is so bad I'd be cautious about the engine that supposedly has "95,000" according to the dash but there isn't a tick to be heard, unlike the 94. The 94 has seen every service interval according to the PO, has no blowby, and the oil comes out looking newish after 5,000. The 94 also gets an occasional check engine light that likes to go away before I can get the paperclip out.

Options:
Swap the good body & cab from my 94 over to the 95 chassis.
Swap the good rear axle, driveshafts, T-case, and 4x4 parts over to the 94 and carb the 94.

What sort of a hassle am I looking at, and do you guys think it's worth it? What would you do if these were your trucks?
 


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97Ranger3.0

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By the sound of it, that sounds more like the clutch is just worn and now slipping. If the slave cylinder was bad, it wouldn't let you shift into gear while the truck is running because the clutch wouldn't disengage. It sounds more like you can shift it into gear but when you let the clutch up the truck doesn't move.

If it were me, I'd fix the 95. The clutch job isn't too bad, just do some research on bleeding the clutch hydraulics beforehand and buy quality parts. It's not worth doing the job and cheaping out because you'll likely just end up having to do it all over again. Other than that, it sounds like it's a good truck with a not so good body. You could just swap out the panels that are bad for good ones, and get it all painted to match. Or if you had to swap the cab & bed it would probably still be easier to do so than to convert your 94 to a 4x4.

To convert that to a 4x4, you have to swap the engine crossmember and from what I've seen that practically requires engine removal. Do some research on it, there was a guy on these forums somewhere who did this recently. If I remember right he converted his 2.3 2wd to a 4.0 4wd. Also to do the conversion, you'd have to swap the transmission and t-case together into your 94 at which point you may as well also do the clutch job on that truck anyway. As for carbing the 94, I don't see any benefit in that. Another reason the 95 is preferable in my opinion is the fact that it has obd-2. I know some people don't like the extra headache of more emissions controls and all that, but obd-2 is far better than obd-1 in my opinion. Being able to easily hook up a scanner to it to diagnose issues is a great thing.

However, if the interior in your 95 is junk, swapping your 94 interior in probably won't be super simple. I'd imagine the wiring setup for the dash is quite a bit different. You'd likely have to find another 95-97 donor for the interior to eliminate having to mess with too much wiring.

Just my thoughts. Your best bet is to do some research and look for forum posts of people who have done similar things and decide for yourself what would be easiest for you with what resources you have.
 

RonD

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4x4's start with a different frame...............its not a bolt on "option" added during assembly

So if you want a 4WD then you will use the 4WD frame and swap over 2WD body parts and drive train as you like
 

adsm08

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Why in the world would any of what you proposed involve a carburetor?
 


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