1992 Ranger 2.9 to 4.0 and tranny?


Kidreb

New member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
Automatic
Howdy all. I'm a grown man finally getting a chance to a) get into this hobby and b) build my dream truck since Junior high. Lost my '99 after 16 years via hydroplane.
Found/bought a 92 Ranger A4LD 4x4. Engine shot but the rest is gorgeous. I want to put a 4.0 and compatible tranny in as well. I know barely enough to be dangerous but I'm smart, mechanically-inclined and committed.
My question: is this swap "easy" (relatively speaking, of course) and what are the obstacles this rookie should know about? Btw, it has a 3" lift on 30" tires. I know there's previous threads but small situational discrepencies and inner-thread debates got me off course. Any insight is beyond appreciated.
PS- this truck DESERVES to be resurrected. Thanks!
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 173A8B749AB83C Expires: January 1, 2020

rusty ol ranger

2.9L Mafia-Don
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
Messages
4,903
Reaction score
878
Points
113
Location
Michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
4.0 is a pretty easy/common swap for a 2.9.

Trans and motormounts are the same, juat a few wireing things to figure out.

Personally though, id put in another 2.9.
 

Kidreb

New member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
Automatic
Thanks for the reply. I'm curious tho, what makes you say you'd keep a 2.9? I'm taking & considering all feedback b4 making any moves. Thanks.
 

adsm08

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Ford Technician
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
32,046
Reaction score
1,358
Points
113
Location
Dillsburg PA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.50X15
Thanks for the reply. I'm curious tho, what makes you say you'd keep a 2.9? I'm taking & considering all feedback b4 making any moves. Thanks.
Rusty thinks the 2.9 is the superior engine despite the 2.9 and the 4.0 having all the same weak links. It's really a matter of opinion in this case.

The 2.9 is a great engine, I'd still rather have a 4.0.

The 4.0 will drop right in place of the 2.9, but the wiring will need to be changed. If you are lucky enough to find a 90-92 4.0 Ranger the wiring is as easy as taking that harness and throwing it in your truck. A 90-94 Explorer harness can be made to work, but is more work, they are also more common.

The 2.9 trans will bolt to the 4.0, but I wouldn't bother with an A4LD at all if you are already open to a trans swap. Get an M5OD and never worry about the transmission.
 

rusty ol ranger

2.9L Mafia-Don
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
Messages
4,903
Reaction score
878
Points
113
Location
Michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
Thanks for the reply. I'm curious tho, what makes you say you'd keep a 2.9? I'm taking & considering all feedback b4 making any moves. Thanks.
The 2.9 gets somewhat better MPG, is overall just as reliable, and the 4.0 doesnt really "feel" that much stronger then a good runnin 2.9.

These are just opinions, but its still what ive experenced.

I guess to sum it up is (and once again, opinion), is the 4.0 gets applauded and praised when its really nothing special, and the 2.9 generally gets shit on when its actually deserving of way more credit then it gets.
 

Kidreb

New member
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Transmission
Automatic
Thanks again, fellas. Huge help. Does the lift/tire size, which I want to keep, play a factor in determining the size of the next engine?
 

rusty ol ranger

2.9L Mafia-Don
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2007
Messages
4,903
Reaction score
878
Points
113
Location
Michigan
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
A legend to the old man, a hero to the child...
Thanks again, fellas. Huge help. Does the lift/tire size, which I want to keep, play a factor in determining the size of the next engine?
Yes and no.

A 2.9 will turn 30s just fine, as will a 4.0. If youre dissatisfied with the power of wfatever engine you choose you can always regear.
 

adsm08

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Ford Technician
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
32,046
Reaction score
1,358
Points
113
Location
Dillsburg PA
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.50X15
The 2.9 gets somewhat better MPG, is overall just as reliable, and the 4.0 doesnt really "feel" that much stronger then a good runnin 2.9.
I was able to notice a difference each time I changed my engine. 1st time I went from a whooped stock 2.9 to one with 10K miles on a rebuild and performance cam. The original would barely climb the hills in the area I was living in, the HIPO would scoot.

I pulled that for my B2 and because I had wanted a 4.0 for the Ranger for a while. I didn't notice any difference in MPG, or around town unloaded driving. Loaded down was where I really noticed the difference. When I did that swap I was running scrap once a month, usually two 55G barrels of used oil filters and whatever else I had accumulated through the month. The road to the scale had some small hills and a lot of twists and turns. With the 2.9 I was constantly back and forth between 3rd and 4th. After the 4.0 I could leave it in 4th the whole way once I got out of town.


I guess to sum it up is (and once again, opinion), is the 4.0 gets applauded and praised when its really nothing special, and the 2.9 generally gets shit on when its actually deserving of way more credit then it gets.
I will agree that the 2.9 gets talked down and the 4.0 over-hyped. There is more off-the-rack performance stuff for the 4.0 though. The cam in my HIPO 2.9 was a custom grind the guy I bought it from had done.



Yes and no.

A 2.9 will turn 30s just fine, as will a 4.0. If youre dissatisfied with the power of wfatever engine you choose you can always regear.
Right on. A 2.9 with 4.10 gears will spin 30s just as easy as a 4.0 will with the same gears. Ford actually didn't put 4.10 gears in a 7.5 axle behind a 2.9 5-speed because they'd break stuff.
 
Last edited:

a31ford

Electronics GURU
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
Joined
Apr 15, 2012
Messages
559
Reaction score
21
Points
18
Location
Brandon, Manitoba
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9
Transmission
Manual
Just reading... got a trashed minivan with a 4.0 was thinking about it for the 88 XLT
......
 

csmall88

New member
Joined
Mar 11, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Columbia, SC
Vehicle Year
1992
Make / Model
Ford Explorer
Transmission
Manual
have you started this swap yet? I got in a wreck in my 92 ex and the body is absolutely trashed but the mechanics are perfectly fine. I wanna swap the heart into an 89 ranger
 


Top