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1995 Ranger/B4000 TDI Swap

RamblerRyGuy

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Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
19
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Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
Things started out for me before I owned my Ranger. I followed BleepinJeep on youtube and Nate on that channel has a PD TDI in his Jeep Wrangler TJ. He has a series of videos that go into details on TDI swaps both specifically about Jeeps and also in general. Nate left and made his own channel, doing the same great content. Jon from BleepinJeep also started a build series of his 2001 Jeep Cherokee, and it has been the biggest inspiration for me to do my own swap.

I then bought my third Ford Ranger. (I know it looks like a B4000, but it is technically a Ranger. It had a body swap when the original rusted out. I'll be calling it a Ranger from now on...also I like Rangers a smidge better.)

Having read Greengeeker's and Honeybadger's TDI Ranger builds about two years ago, I decided to build my own Ranger, and the opportunity came not long after I bought my 1995 Ranger. I bought the truck in early 2019 and when summer came I found that there were a few things that the previous owner had let go and this resulted in it pinging for a long period of time. There was a problem with the EGR that I believe was the original cause of the pinging, but the previous owner didn't do anything about it. Unfortunately, I found out about it later since, of course, the 4.0 didn't really ping with a cold engine during a test drive.

I got to thinking about it and although there are a decent amount of Jeep TDI swap videos, there aren't really any of a Ranger TDI swap except for a couple short videos by Greengeeker on youtube. So I decided I will add my swap to my youtube channel to help others in the TDI and Ford communities with some good quality info and video. Unfortunately, I got a new computer and lost my video Adobe software so I can't edit my videos. The video series has been put on hold for a bit. I'll add a link to the video series once I get it uploaded. For now, I'm more worried about getting the swap done.

Well anyway, I found a heck of a deal on a fully dressed 1999 Beetle ALH TDI that included the wiring harness, ECU, throttle pedal, and the engine stand it was on. The country feller I bought it from daily drove the Beetle and took everything out in order to put it in a Samurai he had. I guess things fell through when he had to sell the Samurai for some reason I don't recall, and he had to get rid of the TDI he had already pulled.

I started pulling the 4.0 V6 out of the Ranger in early April of this year with the help of a good friend. We removed the engine, trans, transfer case, and driveshafts removed in 4 hours flat. I was glad to have that part out of the way quickly so I could get started on the swap quicker.

Since I had been gathering parts for about 6 months and had been preparing for this, I wasted no time starting the swap process. I also miss the truck already. I got the engine up to the barn from my garage and started tearing things off I knew I didn't need.
Anyone who is considering a swap like this, study as many swaps into a vehicle like yours like I did with Greengeeker's and Honeybadger's swaps, but also study other types of swaps because you'll learn extra things you may not get from other build threads.

The next day I immediately jumped into mocking the engine up in the engine bay, seeing what would fit and what would need to be fiddled with.

Thankfully, Honeybadger has done a lot of figuring out for this gen of Ranger already. I knew I needed to remove the a/c compressor and cut the portion of the bracket off that holds the a/c compressor and alternator. This is needed in order to clear the steering box on the Ranger. This is different from the 1998-2012 Ranger because that year of Ranger has a steering rack and it's a whole other can of worms. A lot of what I have to say about initial fitment of the engine is repeating of what Honeybadger has done in his build swap. Chances are, if you're considering this swap, you've read as many forums as possible, but if you haven't already, you should check out his swap. https://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=455909
The 1990-1997 year-span of Ranger has some sticky spots. I didn't find it to be horribly hard in retrospect, but it will really help you out if you see what others have done, from my experience. Also, read Greengeeker's forum. It's loaded with technical info that is quite helpful, even though his Ranger is a 2001 and isn't 4x4.

Shown in the pictures below, your biggest fight will be for clearance between the turbo actuator valve and your engine mount, and between your alternator and steering box. The clearance between the turbo actuator valve and engine mount, in my case, was determined by how low you make the engine sit, how far back you put the engine in the truck, and the clocking of the engine in relation to the trans.

That's the rough set up. Please bear with my photo setup. Still getting used to TRS since I haven't posted a thread on here before.
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Uncle Gump

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Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
Nice...

I will be following along. Would like to do one of these swaps before I get to old to do it.

Carry on... and good luck!
 

RamblerRyGuy

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
3
Points
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Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
I have quite a few posts coming down the pike. Lots of work has been done to it so far.
 

RamblerRyGuy

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
Anyone who does this swap will either have to get creative with the oil drain bolt, making an access hole in the cross member (which would be very difficult), or use an oil extraction pump similar to what you'd use to change the oil in an inboard boat motor. Shown below is a picture of the oil pan to engine crossmember clearance.

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So next thing on the engine mock-up is to make the engine mounts now that I've decided where I want the engine.

My crude Cardboard Aided Design is shown in the pictures below as I make a template for my engine mounts. My swap is proof that you can do things with pretty crude methods, but still get some good results. The first picture is the beginnings of the driver's side mount.

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I manually bent the engine mount plate to match the the contour of the engine block. I heated this 3/16" steel up with a MAP gas torch, put it in a vise, and beat it to shape with a sledge hammer. Key is to work slowly and test fit it often. I tacked the mount together. Next is to finish weld it, add some strength gusseting, and paint it. Also, yes the mount is yellow. lol

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The passenger side is much easier to design and build. More crude CAD.

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I got the passenger side mount tacked together and ready for gusseting and finish welding. Unfortunately, there's not a great picture of the finished yellow product because the view is somewhat obstructed by the turbo.

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All finished with mounts. The strength gusseting on the passenger side mount is harder to see in the last picture, but it's there. If there's interest in how I gusseted it I'll draw up a picture of how I did it.
 

RamblerRyGuy

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
Next is to remove the newly mounted engine from the truck to replace the rear main seal and mount the trans the adapter plate I got from TDconversions.

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I definitely recommend dropping the money on exhaust wrap since the exhaust outlet is legitimately RIGHT by the starter. I must include that I have been warned by some knowledgeable folks that exhaust wrap can expedite corrosion of the exhaust pipe. Stainless steel exhaust is suggested. I will be doing more research into this before I make a decision what I will do. I'll come back with my findings. Whatever the case, exhaust heat on the starter was never a problem for the stock VW since the starter mounts from the opposite side of the transmission.

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Also shown in the above picture is the aftermarket turbo oil feed line you will need if you're swapping into a Ranger with the stock HVAC plenum still in place. Feel free to make a custom hard line and route it the way you wish, but I wanted to go the easier route. Also, braided steel lines are pretty.

While I have the engine out I want to modify the fuel lines. Thankfully, my generation of Ranger has both supply and return lines which is perfect for the diesel. The spot where I modified the stock Ranger fuel lines is where it transfers from hard line to braided steel right beside steering shaft on the driver's side frame rail.

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The OD of the fuel lines shown above is 1/4" but it necks down to a smaller diameter. I slid the rubber fuel line further down and clamped it down with a simple hose clamp. The highest pressure these unions will ever see is about 4-10 PSI, so no worries of leakage without much of a nipple on the end of the hard line.

I took a dremel and cut the crimped on braided steel section. Very quick, very easy. Zipped a cut in it and pried it apart with a screwdriver. Here is the aftermath of the.

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On to the fuel tank pickup. The in-tank pump needs to be removed completely because it can't handle the viscosity of diesel for a long period of time. Here is the stock pickup.

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There is good news for those of you that have this generation of Ranger. I removed the fuel pump so I'm left with a pickup line that is way too high up. All you need to do is get fuel rated hose (just like what the stock Ranger had connecting the fuel pump to the pickup line) and run it down to the level that the OEM pickup sock was. Now, if you just leave it at that, your rubber fuel line will curl eventually, as Jon from the YouTube channel BleepinJeep found out on his Cherokee build. I decided to take his original idea and try my own spin on it. I simply clamped the pickup hose to the return line next to it. If you do that, the hose will not be able to curl.

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The only other thing I did with the fuel system at this point is to remove the stock frame-mounted fuel filter since I will be installing an in line fuel filter/water separator from Nicktane. I have not yet installed a frame-mounted lift pump yet, but I have left provisions for it since I think eventually it would be nice for priming the high pressure pump. I have swapped out my stock injector nozzles for some Bosch style .764's. I have pop tested them to check for leaks and to give me a ballpark idea of what pressure's they're releasing at, and seeing the results, I will have to have Kerma calibrate them for me.
 

RamblerRyGuy

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
Pretty, shiny, newish turbo. Much better looking specimen than the original I had. Also this picture shows off the EGR blockoff plate on the manifold. I have since tapped that plate to accept my EGT probe.

6CE935FB-C783-4227-9F4F-1884A951B960 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

The whole unit on the ground all bolted together!

AC509110-D62E-4E13-8F6F-75ABA59B64EB by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

I wanted to keep the whole HVAC box unmodified mainly from laziness, not out of necessity. The biggest problem I faced was the vacuum pump nipple clearance. If I had an ounce of forethought in this case, I would've cut that air box bolt off shorter before I set the engine in place for the last time. The small coolant line from the back of the engine was somewhat difficult to run once everything was set in stone as well. There's only so much I can think ahead.
(To anyone doing any sort of engine swap, study up and make a comprehensive list of everything you can think of in order to be completed.)

9759B20A-7104-4240-8059-366B208B3C20 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

Now to complete the charge air pipe mock-up. I removed the air funnel from the grill area to make room for my dual intercooler setup I have planned.

84E0BD75-C6F2-44D1-B44B-2AB567CB7BFC by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

Up underneath the fiberglass grill and headlight valence I had to cut clearance for the intercoolers to fit.

3C11AE8A-49D7-4903-902A-7676C4036944 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

How everything looks with the grill set back in place.

D9022E6A-FC15-459E-88B8-A1380908101F by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

Just a simple mount for the intercoolers. Nothing was simple about mocking these up or routing the charge piping. I like the setup because it was the right price and very available, but I wouldn't recommend that anyone do the same.

C31295EA-E570-450B-BE61-88C029F45FCB by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

A look at the simple flaring technique that Honeybadger showed me in a video.

5FBF36DB-999B-460B-B1C5-9378A3FFC88C by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

The process along the way. Cut, deburr, flare.

35A7224A-6808-46A7-803F-39255E3ED6A8 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

Finally, a little peak at the charge piping routing minus most of the hose clamps.

978FDADC-B96B-433C-931F-018DFB271390 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

E3AA6ADA-DEE7-42CE-8B96-3EA254450C48 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

EE97ECF4-9315-4BC7-938C-3FC6A7459371 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

E93715DF-21BC-4D33-9256-E393A1FA3182 by Ryan Vincent, on Flickr

I am the most proud of this part of the routing. It was incredibly difficult to get the last 90's in.
 

RamblerRyGuy

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
19
Reaction score
3
Points
3
Location
Ohio
Vehicle Year
1995
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Size
1.9 TDI
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3 inch
Tire Size
33’s
My credo
Graduated one of the top in my class for automotive technology at Sinclair College, Ohio.
Having driven the truck for a while with this charge air cooling setup, I would definitely not recommend the setup I went with. I didn't really think ahead, but there is a lot of turbo lag for a few reasons. There is too much tubing length, way too many 90⁰ bends, and too many silicone couplers that will expand when the boost starts to build. I'd like to redo it with an air-to-water cooling system. Much easier to route and I figure I would only need two silicone couplers, and only two 90⁰ bends.

Oh well. Live and learn. It's part of the build process.
 

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