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03 3.0 ranger upgrade

dfratus

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Hello, I want to tow a small camper with my 03, 3.0L extended cab Ranger. Power is an issue. I put a performance chip on the maf sensor and am thinking of exhaust headers. Anybody have recommendations for sparking this puppy up?
 


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If the engine is running well and has not lost any power due to compression, spark or fuel issues, you have a few options to increase power.

- More air flow accompanied by more fuel. Bigger cylinders, bigger valves, ported heads, new camshaft, headers and a tune to match will move more air through the engine, albeit at a higher RPM, which wouldn't be ideal for towing.
- Bigger Engine
- Forced Induction with either a supercharger or turbo charger

You could also put lower gears in the differential(s) to help with towing heavy loads.
 
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What exactly did you put on the MAF sensor?

Are you sure the truck is tuned up properly and running as well as it did from the factory? Start there, because you're chasing your tail with other changes until that's complete.

Have you considered regearing it to help a bit with low end performance? Not sure if you're 2wd or 4wd, but a set of 4.10 gears may help quite a bit if you aren't already there.
 

dfratus

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Thanks for the info. I put something called a performance chip on the maf sensor that is supposed to increase power and mpg. Seemed to help some but it also seems like anything that I do seems to help some at first. I'm not wanting to do a lot of expensive mods to this truck. The headers seemed like a reasonable way to gain some hp. I'm having trouble finding some for the 3.0L engine though. Most of them fit a 4.0. I don't know what the gearing is now but if I wanted to change it would it mean changing the whole rear end? I don't have a shop or even a slab to work on. AZ desert back yard is all I have. So I guess the gear ratio would be on the tag attached to the differential cover. I'll be checking it out in the morning. Thanks again. . .
Oh yeah, the truck is 2wheel drive and the trailer is rated at 2000 lbs.
 
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Thanks for the info. I put something called a performance chip on the maf sensor that is supposed to increase power and mpg. Seemed to help some but it also seems like anything that I do seems to help some at first. I'm not wanting to do a lot of expensive mods to this truck. The headers seemed like a reasonable way to gain some hp. I'm having trouble finding some for the 3.0L engine though. Most of them fit a 4.0. I don't know what the gearing is now but if I wanted to change it would it mean changing the whole rear end? I don't have a shop or even a slab to work on. AZ desert back yard is all I have. So I guess the gear ratio would be on the tag attached to the differential cover. I'll be checking it out in the morning. Thanks again. . .
Oh yeah, the truck is 2wheel drive and the trailer is rated at 2000 lbs.
People have been looking for bolt on horsepower for centuries. in the old days they added horses , real horses to the wagons.

Why don't you just look for another truck? Unless you like changing out engines, adding superchargers turbos Etc.

Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
 

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Rear axle ratio is listed on Drivers Door label, read here: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/axle_codes.shtml

Headers do not add horsepower or torque, they change WHEN you get HP and torque in the RPM band
Rangers have factory mid RPM range headers
Most want lower end power so get low RPM range headers
Racing headers are high RPM range

Scavenging the exhaust flow is what 'headers' do
The velocity of the exhaust leaving a cylinder is used to lower the pressure at the closed exhaust valves on that bank of the engine
The smaller header pipes dump exhaust into a larger 'collector' pipe, this is where velocity comes in, in a certain RPM range this faster flowing exhaust hitting the larger pipe causes a pressure drop in the other smaller pipes on that collector.
This pressure drop means the pistons on that bank do not have to 'push as hard' to get exhaust out, so more power is left in the crank for the rear wheels.
This is the scavenged power headers provide

The diameter of the smaller pipes and the length, and the diameter of the collector pipe are how the RPM band is tuned, it is a science, lol, and above my pay grade


3.0l Vulcan was designed as a high RPM engine, making best torque above 3,400RPM, most engines make best torque at 2,400RPM
So you need to drive it like you know this, keep engine in the 3,400-3,900RPM range for best power, you are NOT over REVing it
2003 3.0l actually has best torque at 3,900RPM, and best horse power at 5,200RPM

Torque is what gets you up to speed
Horse power is what keeps you at that speed

Good read here on 3.0l and power ranges: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/3_0performance.shtml

Also some performance add ons


Switching to an electric radiator fan and removing the mechanical fan always adds HP and increases MPG
Mechanical fan is always drawing engine power whether it is needed or not, fan clutch helps but power draw is always there.
E-fan only draws power(alternator) when extra cooling is needed, like when driving slow or idling, when driving at highway speeds the speed/air flow cools the rad, e-fan is off, not drawing any power, so best power and MPG when you need it
HP increase will not be much or the MPG gain, but it won't be 0 :)
 
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OP, you have brought up a number of condratictory ideas in this thread, like "More power AND better fuel economy". "More horse power AND not spending a lot of money", and "2000 lb trailer AND 3.0L". None of these are concepts that go together under the laws of physics in our Universe.

The 3.0 is a car engine. It doesn't have the power curve for towing that kind of weight and being happy about it. I'd be looking for a different truck.
 

Will

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From 9th grade on, back when I was a kid, me and my brothers raised ourselves. My mom was away at the seminary and my dad was an over-the-road trucker. He drove an International cab-over with a 318 8V71 Detroit Diesel. That's a 318hp engine in an 80,000# truck-trailer. He says that truck would run 90mph. We ride motorcycles over those roads now with his old buddies and run that fast all day long.

When I was in the Marine Corps we had a Cummins NH250 powered, 240hp, 65,000# gvwr truck pulling an 8-ton gun.

Point is, power is not a problem with any Ranger pulling a trailer. Any Ranger has plenty of power to pull anything. Getting the truck set up for the load is more important.

And then driving, of course. Let the engine spin. If it makes power at 4,000, let it be at 4K in the hills. Change gears. Drive the truck. You don't need more engine. You don't need a 350hp Hemi or Ecoboost or whatever. Set your truck up for what it needs to do and then drive it how it needs to be driven.
 

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That Detroit might have only had 300hp but it was built to make that all day long.

A car or pickup engine isn't built to operate under nearly max load like a semi truck engine. Neither was the axle, suspension or transmission.

How much you need depends on how big/heavy of a camper you have.
 

Will

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Yeah....a 150hp Ranger should be able to handle the minuscule load it is rated at all day long, which was my point. The weakness isn't the engine. My bus has a 60,000# GCVWR according to the manual--on 185hp. The Ranger doesn't need more power, was the point. My 185hp bus has radiator hoses a softball could fit through. Adding power to a Ranger 3.0 wouldn't increase it's ability to get rid of the heat while under load. Best to focus on the chassis than the drivetrain with a Ranger towing.
 

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It's a 2K pound trailer :icon_confused: Why should a V6 truck have difficulty with that as long as it doesn't have some huge like 60 sq-ft frontal area on it? (some of the 4-cyl trucks even had 2K+ tow ratings depending on the axle ratio).
I've towed a 4K lbs enclosed trailer up & down the west coast with my 2.9L... I don't know how different the 3.0L power curve is, but with 5-10 more HP (I don't have the '03 spec in front of me) I just don't see why the 3.0L couldn't at least hang with it.
Stopping the thing and sway-abatement are areas of far greater concern with RBVs & trailers (especially with shorter wheelbases like my BII)

I agree with Will and RonD. You probably need to modify your driving habits (let that 3.0 sing once in awhile). Changing rear end ratios may help too, though this would depend on what is currently in there now (combination of your axle ratio and tire size). Swapping the axle whole is generally the easiest way to change ratios if your desired ratio is something that was offered factory. Not hard to do on the ground or in a driveway (get some wood blocks or thick plywood to put your jackstands on if they want to sink down into the ground).
 
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dfratus

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Thanks to all who replied to my post. I appreciate your advice. . .
 

Will

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So what are you doing? We wanna know, man!
 

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It's a 2K pound trailer :icon_confused: Why should a V6 truck have difficulty with that as long as it doesn't have some huge like 60 sq-ft frontal area on it? (some of the 4-cyl trucks even had 2K+ tow ratings depending on the axle ratio).
I've towed a 4K lbs enclosed trailer up & down the west coast with my 2.9L... I don't know how different the 3.0L power curve is, but with 5-10 more HP (I don't have the '03 spec in front of me) I just don't see why the 3.0L couldn't at least hang with it.
Stopping the thing and sway-abatement are areas of far greater concern with RBVs & trailers (especially with shorter wheelbases like my BII)

I agree with Will and RonD. You probably need to modify your driving habits (let that 3.0 sing once in awhile). Changing rear end ratios may help too, though this would depend on what is currently in there now (combination of your axle ratio and tire size). Swapping the axle whole is generally the easiest way to change ratios if your desired ratio is something that was offered factory. Not hard to do on the ground or in a driveway (get some wood blocks or thick plywood to put your jackstands on if they want to sink down into the ground).

The 2.9 makes its torque 1000RPM lower then the 3.0. A 2.9 will tow circles around one.
 

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