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1988 4X4 Ranger V8 302/5.0 Swap


TheDucksNutz

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V8 Engine Swap
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Arizona
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
Working on getting started for my V8 swap! I got an 8.8 rear end out of a '97 explorer last week. I also ordered a fuel injected crate motor from BluePrint Engines that's going to be delivered towards the end of January. Here's the link to the one I got.

https://blueprintengines.com/collections/ford-compatible/products/bp302rctf

I'm stoked to finally get the project going but I'm turning to TRS because I'm not sure what transmission and transfer case to get. I want to keep it a 5 speed manual and have been told to look into getting a T-5 from a Mustang by someone and also been suggested to get an S5-42 from an '87-'92 F-Series by another guy. However, I've seen a lot of talk in the Forums about the M5R2. Which one is the best choice? If I go with the M5R2 does it matter what year I go with? Will they all bolt up to a 302?

The purpose I want this truck to serve is I want it to be a reliable daily driver that can handle itself off-road. I don't plan on taking it to Moab and doing any gnarly crawling or anything like that. However, I am an avid hunter and need it to be able to handle itself 4 wheeling. So basically I want to set it up with quality, reliabIe parts and am not necessarily looking to do a "budget" build. At the end of the day I'm looking for the power of a V8 while still retaining the nimble size of a small truck. (Like most who do the Ranger V8 swap I assume...). I plan on running 33's on it when it's all said and done so I'll eventually have 4.10 gears in it, and a rear locker, etc...

All that being said, do you guys also have any suggestions on front ends while maintaining the same wheel base width? Will the stock front end in the '88 Ranger hold up? Is it best to do a straight axel swap?

I'll stop there for now, thanks for your knowledge and time!
 

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rusty ol ranger

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Most guys run the mazda 5 sp from a 97-03 4.2L F150
 

TheDucksNutz

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V8 Engine Swap
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Age
30
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Arizona
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
Most guys run the mazda 5 sp from a 97-03 4.2L F150
Nice, do you know if that tranny will bolt up to the engine easily? Or is there fab work involved in getting it to mate up?
 

scotts90ranger

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The reason they use that particular version is it puts the shifter in the right place for a Ranger and it bolts to a 302 directly.

While looking for one of those grab the manual transfer case that would be on one of those as well (or any '97-03 F150), it's a narrow little guy, should probably grab the drivelines too as you'll need at least the yokes that will go into the T case...
 

TheDucksNutz

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Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
The reason they use that particular version is it puts the shifter in the right place for a Ranger and it bolts to a 302 directly.

While looking for one of those grab the manual transfer case that would be on one of those as well (or any '97-03 F150), it's a narrow little guy, should probably grab the drivelines too as you'll need at least the yokes that will go into the T case...
Thats awesome, thanks for the info!
 

scotts90ranger

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4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
No problem, I put a manual transfer case on my '00 V8 Explorer, the Borg Warner 44-06 transfer case is the narrowest of the full size non iron case transfer cases that will bolt up, it's not short but not too bad...
 

TheDucksNutz

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V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
No problem, I put a manual transfer case on my '00 V8 Explorer, the Borg Warner 44-06 transfer case is the narrowest of the full size non iron case transfer cases that will bolt up, it's not short but not too bad...
Should I be concerned about space? Is there a reason why narrower is better?
 

scotts90ranger

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Frame rails on a Ranger are narrow is the main reason it's a concern, if I remember right the front output offset difference between the 44-06 and the normal older 13-56 from the older F150's is like 4" which also means they hang down less... the 44-06 is really close in offset to the 13-50 that you have now
 

TheDucksNutz

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1988
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Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
Frame rails on a Ranger are narrow is the main reason it's a concern, if I remember right the front output offset difference between the 44-06 and the normal older 13-56 from the older F150's is like 4" which also means they hang down less... the 44-06 is really close in offset to the 13-50 that you have now
Ahhhhhh, gotcha. That makes sense. It has an electric transfer case in it now, are those plug and play/ is it a pain to keep it that way? Or is it better to get a manual one?
 

scotts90ranger

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4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
There's electric versions as well which are more common, you might have to adapt the wires but it might be compatible otherwise, someone else would need to comment on that.
 

TheDucksNutz

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V8
Engine Size
302
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
33"
There's electric versions as well which are more common, you might have to adapt the wires but it might be compatible otherwise, someone else would need to comment on that.
Awesome, thanks again for the help Scott!
 

Northidahotrailblazer

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Solid Axle Swap 4x4
Total Lift
8 inches
Tire Size
37"
If I wasn't on a tight budget and I wanted something I would never have to deal with again. I would do a ZF5 and a NP205. I have a M5R2 behind my diesel in my B2. People say they don't hold up to power well. Being that you have a non stock 5.0 that might be something to consider. The only issues is like Scott said, the ZF5 doesn't have the shifter in the best location, but lots of people have made them work. but you really cant go wrong with a ZF5 and twin sticking the np205 and you got your self a very solid setup. The ZF5s are a better transmission than the M5R2s. They just don't fit the best.

If you go with a M5R2 you want the one from a V6 4.2 97-02 f150. one from a 4.6 wont work. wrong bell housing. The V6 is the small block ford bell housing.
 

scotts90ranger

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35"
Main dumb thing about the ZF5 as I think they're similar to what I rebuilt on my F350 diesel (the gas were the "wide ratio" where the diesels were "close ratio" if I remember right, no granny for the diesels) a few months ago is the dang thing is like 200 pounds, I don't think the M5OD-R2 is much heavier than the R1 (probably why those have a bad rap) which is like 75 pounds...

Lot of options, depends a lot on the amount of abuse you plan on giving to things and how much you are willing to fabricate... I'm hoping to be contempt with my turbo ranger and my V8 explorer with 4R70W (mildly built) with eventually a Dana 50TTB and 10.25" rear with as much suspension travel as I can get... sure a twin sticked 205 would be nicer but the lower low range should be good too... not that I plan on doing rock stuff but more high speed...
 

Northidahotrailblazer

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Tire Size
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Main dumb thing about the ZF5 as I think they're similar to what I rebuilt on my F350 diesel (the gas were the "wide ratio" where the diesels were "close ratio" if I remember right, no granny for the diesels) a few months ago is the dang thing is like 200 pounds, I don't think the M5OD-R2 is much heavier than the R1 (probably why those have a bad rap) which is like 75 pounds...

Lot of options, depends a lot on the amount of abuse you plan on giving to things and how much you are willing to fabricate... I'm hoping to be contempt with my turbo ranger and my V8 explorer with 4R70W (mildly built) with eventually a Dana 50TTB and 10.25" rear with as much suspension travel as I can get... sure a twin sticked 205 would be nicer but the lower low range should be good too... not that I plan on doing rock stuff but more high speed...
Yeah it 100% depends on what OP wants. The specs of his engine he bought are over a 150 hp more than what an explorer 5.0 engine is stock. Thats the only reason why I suggested a ZF5 over the M5R2. I don't know what the deal breaker is on power on a M5R2 is. The bronco guys don't like the M5R2. I don't have any personal experience with the ZF5 i just know its whats talked about as the better transmission. but i'm sure your right about the gear ratios. I'm not sure if thats better or worse. or if theres better ones. I know they put ZF5s behind 351s. Not sure if the ZF5 was behind f150s or not. The OP really needs to do some more research and see whats up. The biggest potential issue i see is the more power of his crate engine that he got is to much for M5R2. Might last a while might last not long. Idk, how much power a M5R2 can take. Just something to consider anyways.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Nice, do you know if that tranny will bolt up to the engine easily? Or is there fab work involved in getting it to mate up?
Scott covered it well. I personally havent done the swap but was passing along what i had read over the years in this place.
 

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