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Old 07-23-2013, 04:13 AM   #1
ty.thompson1981
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Default Ty's 97 Ranger 302 swap

What's going on guys? I posted some stuff for my swap a couple months back. Since then the truck has come quite a ways. I will talk about what I did and the issues I ran into so hopefully anyone doing this swap in the future will have an insight to some of the issues that may or may not arise.

Disassembly:
First off my truck is a 97 regular cab ranger that had the 2.3 and 5 spd manual. I wanted to keep it 5 spd so I went with a 302 and t5 combo from an 89 mustang GT. I got the complete car running for a steal from a friend of mine for $400 believe it or not. The body was in rough shape but the engine and trans are strong and smooth. First thing I did was obviously pull the 2.3 and trans which was a nightmare in itself. Many of you may not have trouble as pulling an engine and trans is fairly easy but my truck's underbody is a mess of rust. It was an up north truck that I bought from a girl from Michigan. After many broken bolts and curse words, I finally got the old power plant out. The motor mounts were also a pain to remove as well due to the rust.

Engine install:
My first hurdle was redrilling the motor mount holes to seat the 302. It took me a bit but I finally got it. Mine actually sits to where I didn't even have to touch the heater box at all. In fact, I actually have a little space between the box and valve cover. I test fitted the engine in and out of the vehicle about 7 or 8 times before I finally got it where I wanted. I dropped the engine and trans in together after installing a new clutch, gasket kit, rear main seal and with NO accessories attached to the engine. I learned the hard way that it wouldn't fit with any of the accessories mounted as I almost got it stuck.

Drive Train:
Next came cutting a hole for the shifter. As many of you know, the T5 shifter sits quite a bit further back than the stock ranger shifter so cutting a new hole was necessary. The way I did it was I jacked up the trans as far as it would go till it hit the tunnel. Then drilled a hole through the floor so I would know where the end of the shifter was. I then measured the length and with of the shifter hole in the trans and measured the area inside the truck using my hole I drilled as a guide, then I cut with a die grinder. When you do this, make sure you have the engine and trans located EXACTLY where you want them to be so you won't have to keep cutting a bigger hole as to compensate for any mistakes. The next hurdle was the trans crossmember. As some of you know and some will find out, the crossmember had to be relocated forward. Fighting with the stock one was a nightmare because everything was so rusty so i actually cut/unbolted the stock one from the brackets, ordered a universal piece, drilled some holes in the frame and mounted. came out pretty nice. My stock ranger driveshaft bolted up perfectly with no modification what so ever. Only thing is I still have the stock 7.5 rear end in the truck and will be swapping it out for an 8.8 from a 4 liter ranger that I have. Hopefully the driveshaft won't be an issue. Next was to mount a new external clutch slave cylinder. I googled external clutch cylinders for this swap. They are a little pricey but what can you do. My kit cost me $250 all together. It was fairly easy to install. I have not bled the clutch yet so I'm not sure if it will fully engage or give me any problems yet.

Accessories and Cooling:
Next came the accessories. To anyone thinking of doing this swap in the future, I hear that the explorer 5.0 engine swap is a bit easier to do because the accessories give you more clearance between the radiator and engine. The accessories from my 89 GT proved to be a bit of a pain in the ass to work with for this swap because everything is so tight. The water pump sticks pretty far out so I had to cut away at the radiator support to get the radiator to sit back a few inches more to clear the pump. So far I have a couple inches between my radiator, which by the way I am using a stock 4 liter ranger piece, and a pair of 10" electric fans that I got off of amazon for $40 with the mounting kit. If you want to use a mechanical fan, you will definitely have to go with the explorer accessories. Another issue I faced was the location of the power steering pump. On the mustangs, the pump is on the side of the block and it sat almost right on top of the damn steering box. This meant that I was going to have to get some very short power steering lines made. Another reason that the explorer accessories may be better choice if you want to keep the power steering. After trying about 4 hose shops in my area, none of them were able to make me the lines I needed so I actually removed the pump all entirely and made myself a powersteering loop line out of some 3/8 hard brake line. I cut the fittings off the lines that were on the factory pump and flared them to my brake line and voila! No more power steering problems. I am accustom to manual steering as most of my previous mustangs that I built I put manual rack and pinions in them. I would like to get my A/C back but I'm not sure how to do that yet as I have the stock mustang compressor. The ranger radiator is not nearly as wide as the stock mustang one so the mustang condenser won't fit. I tried the factory 2.3 liter condenser just to see if it will fit on the radiator and it is also too wide. I will have to figure that one out. Once I do find a condenser that will fit, I will have to relocate the fans behind the radiator and run them as pusher fans. I will then have to get custom A/C lines made. Anyone have any suggestions please feel free to let me know.


Fuel Injection and wiring:
Since I wanted to keep my truck fuel injected I pulled the entire computer and wiring harness out of my 89 GT. I purchased the Harwood manual as a guide for this swap. I especially bought it for the wiring help as I am not that good with wiring. I found out the hard way that the harwood manual wiring is based off a 93 mustang GT which is quite a bit different than the 89 GT wiring. I tried my hand at the wiring and was able to get the gauges working inside the truck but I was not able to get the fuel pump going. Long story short, I ended up finding a guy on this forum who was selling a complete harness for this swap that he built that ended up being a plug and play for my truck. If you are attempting this yourself, I would recommend paying a trained professional if you are not too electrical savy. The wiring harness I bought plugged right up and the truck fired right up.


Exhaust:
I am using Tri Y headers from a 1970 mustang. They are long tubes and they fit pretty good. My steering shaft hit a little bit on one of the pipes. I used my trusty die grinder to hack off the small piece that was hitting and now it's good to go. The headers I got from summit racing and they were only $150. Not bad. I purchased a custom h-pipe setup from the same guy I got the harness from. The set up is a true dual h pipe with two dynomax mufflers and both pipes loop around and exit out on the passenger side. The pipe needs some modifications as the guy I bought it from had different headers on his truck than mine. I will be taking the pipe to the exhaust shop so they can line everything up for me. So that means it will be open headers from my house to the shop. Yikes!

All in all it has been quite a journey. The truck isn't on the street yet as I am awaiting my electric fan wiring kit to come in the mail. Along with that, I have to bleed the clutch and then I will be able to drive it to the exhaust shop. I am not yet able to tell if it is all worth it but it should be because that 2.3 was definitely not cutting it. If anyone has any questions feel free to send me a message and I will try to answer as best I can according to what I have experienced during this swap. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:38 AM   #2
ashleyroachclip
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I used the entire mustang accessories drive setup and radiator in my 84 four wheel drive.
Yes I had to mount the fan on the grill side of the radiator but there is plenty of room , enough to use the mustang condenser for the air conditioning.
The power steering pump was not an issue since I used the hybrid engine mounts, gaining room here does mean notching the heater box.
I was also able to use all mustang radiator hoses and belt.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
ty.thompson1981
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Hmmm ok I may have to look into switching the fans to the other side to see if I can get the a/c going. It is hot as crap in TX so I'm going to need it. Thanks.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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Ty, welcome to trs. Looks like you did things the hard way. Did you try to do any research before attempting this swap? Trs is probably has the most V8 swapped rangers on the planet. I'm talking over a hundred members with successful swaps. Plenty of info here, do a search for V8 swaps, you'll have a couple weeks worth of reading. I have done several swaps into rangers and jeeps. Both my swaps in ny signature are detailed in the first post if you want to read em. Post up pics when you can. Congrats on your swap!

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I'm almost done putting it in
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Old 07-28-2013, 03:30 AM   #5
ty.thompson1981
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Hey thanks for the info. Yea I did a bunch of research before attempting the swap but it seems that my truck being as rusty underneath as it is contributed a lot to some of the issues I had. Right now the biggest issues I have are bleeding the clutch, water leak somewhere toward the back of the engine on the starter, and the water temp gauge in my truck isn't working. Other than that the engine fires up and runs good. The oil pressure is a little lower than I would like it I believe due to my relocation kit. Not sure how to remedy that.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:53 AM   #6
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Make sure on the block adapter "out" goes to the "in" on the filter housing. It's an easy and common error to get the routing wrong. Some filters like motorcraft have anti drain back valves built into the filter, which would cause low pressure...

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Old 08-21-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
ty.thompson1981
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hey RangerSVT I checked the lines on the kit and they are correct. For the hell of it I even switched the lines to see what would happen and still the same. I am using a motorcraft filter so that may contribute to it. What filter would you recommend? I hear the Fram filters suck even though I used them for years.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
ty.thompson1981
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also, how do you post pics up on this bad boy?
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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I'm running motorcraft filters. Make sure your lines are not in a bind or collapsing. To post pics you need to upload them to photobucket or similar site, copy the IMG code and paste it in your post...

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Old 08-22-2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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I'm using a fram filter and my oil pressure when warmed up is at 20psi on my 5.0 in my ranger.

SBF are good with 15-50psi from what i have been told.

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