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1983 2.3 Swap or Build


WriterDirectorL

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I have a 1983 Ranger with a 2.3 and a manual 4-speed w/overdrive. I am planning our my restoration and am not really sure what I want to do about the engine. The stock 2.3 was rated around 85hp.

Option 1: Rebuild the stock 2.3 and then add a few upgrades like cold-air, k&n filter, better exhaust system, upgraded ignition, simple bolt-on stuff.

Option 2: Swap the engine out for a newer fuel injected 2.3 with more hp, such as a 2006 or later.

I know lots of people build the old 2.3s for dirt tracking and such and there's plenty of parts for them. I read the 2006 later 2.3s are rated for around 140hp and I'm not looking to smoke the rear tires off, so the 140-150 hp range would be fine.

I know upgrading the existing 2.3 can gain me some horsepower without having to worry about changing wiring harnesses or transmissions. I do know upgrading to a newer 2.3 would require some wiring changes, but not sure if the trans will still bolt up.

Anybody tried these and have any advice? If upgrading to a newer 2.3 and the tranny won't bolt up, does anyone make a bellhousing adapter or would I have to change transmissions and...? I'd appreciate any knowledge, advice, or links to resources that could help me decide.
 


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RonD

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Welcome to TRS :)


In mid 2001 Rangers got the 2.3l Duratec DOHC engine, no relation to your 2.3l Lima SOHC engine, so different transmission needed, also OBD2 computer to run it.
IMO this would not be a good swap, a V8 swap would require the same work and cost, so go V8 not 2.3l Duratec

I would rebuild your current 2.3l, they are good engines, if you want power then do a turbo conversion, Ford did it and they run well, Lima engines like the turbo :)

Bolt on stuff is fine for looks, there is no power gain.

You can make your 2.3l a 2.5l, stroke it, ford made these stroked 2.5l Limas from 1997 to mid-2001, then the Duratecs went into Rangers.
Same block as you have now and same pistons, different crank and connecting rods
 

Mightyfordranger

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Agreed with thee aforementioned ^^^^ I own two Lima 2.3 powered rangers by nature they are slow

check out esslingerracing.com just google they have been makin good power with em for years

if your looking to go turbo witch isn't that hard look at stingerperformanceparts.com but does take alot of reading you'll have to plan it out so each part balances out others like lots of boost takes more fuel and an Intercooler but I caution you your drive train is really only good to about 200 HP before you start breaking things even then I'd be easy

you could look on crane cams website for a good cam and check out hot rod high too there's some good Info there also look through our tech library we have here

everyone else is gonna tell you to just v8 swap it tho it makes the most sense money wise but I still have plans for a 2.3 turbo in the future I love these little motors:icon_thumby:

Edit: honestly youll find more info faster if you just Google search "Ford 2.3 performance parts" then the time it would take for us to tell you
 
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stmitch

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I think a Duratec swap would be cool, but it would be a fair bit of work.
The Lima 2.3T is the cheaper, easier solution for sure.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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WriterDirectorL

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Thanks for all the information! I think I've made up my mind now to just go with the turbo 2.3 Lima option. As I said I only wanted to get it up to around 150hp because I know the trans and rears won't stand up to too much more. I'll make sure to keep those tech articles handy too!

Thanks.
 

Mightyfordranger

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3in
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No problem you just make sure to put up a build thread for us to read lol
 


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