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2.3 Ecoboost Swap, 1990 Ranger



Munts77

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Sweet Home OR
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3T
Transmission
Manual
I attempted to install the engine in the truck with the transmission still attached but I couldn't get it snaked into the truck. I opted for splitting the engine and transmission and just installing the engine by itself but this to proved to be a challenge.

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luckily for me I like to keep extra parts laying around, I had a frame from a 94 ranger I parted out so I decided to roll the truck out and bring it the frame so that I could check fitment of the motor mounts and trans crossmember. This is where I ran into issues with the oil pan and oil filter.

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in the previous photos, the engine was resting on the oil pan, also there was interference with the right side traction beam, it wanted to share the same space as the oil pan.

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I marked up the oil pan to what would make good clearance and did test cuts with my old broken one.

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This will require modifying the oil pick up as it is now outside of the oil pan. this provides just enough clearance for the suspension.

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Once the clearance was confirmed I transferred the measurements to my good oil pan and did a rough cut using a cut off wheel. I then switched over to a milling machine and cut it to the final dimensions so that I would have clean surface to weld to that was also perfectly flat/perpendicular.

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Next step was to cut out some sheet aluminum to fill in the hole, pretty straight forward sheet metal fab. Tacked it in place and then bolted it back on the ranger to confirm fitment/ clearance.

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That all looked good so I took it back to the shop and finished welding it.

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Unfortunately I don't have any photos of the oil pick up modification but I extended it about an inch and modified the support bracket. I also had to modify the oil pan again because there was a dimple inside that was preventing me from moving the pickup back more so I machined it out and filled the hole with some plate aluminum. With that done it was time to bolt the pan on for the last time and seal it up.

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Next will be pulling the body of the Ranger and bolting this in to the frame.
 

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bobbywalter

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V8 Engine Swap
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woodhaven mi
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1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
So it looks like you are running as far forward as possible.


That pan is similar to the ranger pan.

On backset measurement ...from trans rear face of block to the 2wd tib suspension/k member I had 10.5 ish inches.....the 4x4 ttb was real bad, wanting a remote sump.

With sas it's a non issue with 4 in suspension and 3 in body lift. Can place the engine where it wants to be.

2wd trucks are much more work. Hats off to the work your doing with documentation...thank you.

Are the mount details plotted possibly in your cad side of things?
 

bobbywalter

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Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Here is standard Mazda L longitudinal block ...not sure it it would help... Still looks like it needs the pan cut .... The oil pans can potentially swap. I don't remember if the timing covers can .. I know the oil pump setup changed though.. so maybe not. The timing chain setup is different iirc as well.


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KIMG1014.JPG
KIMG1012.JPG
 

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Munts77

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Messages
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Reaction score
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Location
Sweet Home OR
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3T
Transmission
Manual
Now that the engine fit in the test frame, it was time to put it in the project truck. This meant pulling the entire body off the frame, it's not to bad of a job. The bed is an easy 6 bolt along with the cab, only challenge with the cab besides lifting it is remembering everything you forgot to disconnect. My brother and I lifted the bed off by hand, used a boom truck to lift the cab off.

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With that out of the way it was really easy to fit the engine and trans in to the frame.

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While waiting on a few things I decided it would be a good time to swap out the rear axle. From experience I know the 7.5 wouldn't last one week in this truck so I sourced an 8.8 from an Explore with disk brakes. I made sure to find one with 4.10 gears.
I also decided to weld the axle tubes as they are prone to twisting from high power. There is a lot of info out there on welding them but a few tips: the center section is cast iron not cast steel, it requires Nickel welding rod, make sure to constantly preheat it between welds, I did one inch beads alternating sides.
There is a lot of info out there for 8.8 swaps but the general idea is that it's simple, just need to weld on new perches. This is the second one I have done, the first being in my 84 Bronco 2.

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Now on to getting the cab to fit. Knowing it would be on and off multiple times, I decided to suspend it from an engine hoist. This allowed me to lower it down on to the frame and find where it was going to hit and then cut for clearance. I put 2x4s between the cab mounts to suspend the cab higher than normal to make it easier to see where it would be hitting.

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The main spots I found to have issues were the heater box and rain gutter/ wiper transmission valley, marked with yellow paint pen. The heater box could be left alone if modifications were made to the water outlet on the back of the engine. There was also some trimming required in the transmission tunnel.

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With the clearance hole cut and hammered out for the High Pressure Fuel Pump, I filled it in with sheet metal, welded, sealed, and painted it. The Heater box hole was filled in with plastic that I cut out of an interior trim panel from a Ford Superduty, it was glued in place with 2 part epoxy.


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Next will be the wiring harness layout and exhaust
 

bobbywalter

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Points
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Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Nice work .

Definitely will be able to run ac in a normal truck too.

Sweet.
 

bobbywalter

TRS Technical Staff
V8 Engine Swap
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Joined
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Messages
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Reaction score
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Points
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Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
Did you get to look at the ranger pans at all?
 

Munts77

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Sweet Home OR
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1984
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Ford
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2.3T
Transmission
Manual
Did you get to look at the ranger pans at all?
I have not looked in to the Ranger pan, Esslinger is starting to make custom oil pans for these, that would be my route if I did it again.
 

Munts77

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Messages
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Reaction score
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Location
Sweet Home OR
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3T
Transmission
Manual
With the cab and engine fitting around each other it was time to lay out the wiring harness. I purchased the Ford Performance Control Pack for the 2.3L ecoboost ( M-6017-23T). I found that this was going to be the easiest route to go. I could have striped down the mustang harness and had the PATS deleted on the computer but that was going to take more time than I wanted to put in to it. This kit comes with a bunch of extra intake ducts and parts that I won't use so they will be sold on ebay to recoup costs.

The Ford harness is well labeled and comes with basic instructions to install it, the Ecu is a specific one from Ford for this set up. The best part is that COBB tuning supports this setup with their tuner so it will be easy to plug and play and install custom tunes.

I played with several different layout options but settled on having the ecu on the passenger fender well , running the main harness across the firewall and having the fuse box on the driver fender. This would work out well as I plan to move the battery to the driver side to make room for an air box on the passenger fender well.

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The Harness will take a bit more work to integrate in to the ranger but for now I have a basic layout and can start planing how to hook everything up.

Up next is to take the cab back off the ranger and work on the exhaust system and a few other components. I utilised part up the mustang downpipe and grafted it in to 3in pipe after the o2 sensor. This went in to a flex joint and then an electric exhaust dump/cut out. I wanted the truck to still be quiet for normal driving so I sourced a new muffler for a 1994 F250 with a 460, this has a 3in inlet and two 2 1/8 outlets, this should allow for plenty of flow and to tame the noise down to a factory sound.

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The exhaust still needs the tailpipe section which can be done later with the cab on, I switched gears to the other side of the engine by installing a remote oil filter set up.
The factory ecoboost oil filter location was interfering with the motor mounts so I purchased a Mountune remote oil filter plate for the 2.3 ecoboost and a Wix oil filter base that uses the standard ford 51515 filter ( about twice the size of the original EB filter). I mounted the filter to the frame so that it would be easy to access under the truck.

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I plumbed the lines with Earls Untrapro hose, I then realised that I would still need to modify the motor mount to clear the fittings on the take off plate. a few cuts and some angle iron solved the problem.

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that's it for now, up next I will have more details on the 8.8 install and more wiring.
 

Blmpkn

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Location
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Vehicle Year
2021
Make / Model
Ford ranger
Engine Type
2.3 EcoBoost
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" level
Tire Size
275/65/18
My credo
Its probably better to be self deprecating than self defecating.
To steal PJ's saying.... I love you.
 

Munts77

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Location
Sweet Home OR
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3T
Transmission
Manual
Sorry for the delay in posting more on this project, have been busy with a lot of things.

I got the cab back on the truck, I think this is the final time...

It was time to do the final installation of the rear axle assembly. I did a bunch of measuring and figured out the layout for the new axle perches ( bought them from Barnes Offroad) .
I don't have a good photo of it but i had to get the truck at ride height to set the pinion angle so I put an engine block and some other weight on the back to get the truck to set correctly without a bed on it. I set the pinion angle so that the pinion would be parallel with the transmission output. Once that was set I welded the perches to the axle, also installed new shock mounts that I styled off the original mounts from the 7.5, alot easier than trying to reuse them.
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With everything welded I took some time to paint the axle so that it would look good, bolted it into the truck with new unbolts and a spring plate I designed to work as a mount for my axle wrap setup I will be building later. also had to ad a few mounting tabs for the brake lines.

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With that done I moved to hooking up the hydraulic clutch, Earls fittings sells an adapter to go from the Ford clutch master to a -4 AN fitting ( Part # LS641001ERL ), then ran a stainless clutch line down to the transmission and used another adapter to connect to the mustang transmission. with a bit of gravity bleeding it all worked perfectly.

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Now it is time to dive in to some wiring, using a Ford wiring diagram manual I was able to create a jumper harness that connected to the 2.3 standalone harness and plugged in to the factory ranger harness without cutting or splicing the main harness of the truck. I used an engine wiring harness to get the plugs I needed, I tapped into the circuits for key on/run and starter power. I go in to a little more detail on my videos i post to Youtube.

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Up next for the wiring was the main power distribution, to start this off I had to mount my new battery box and air intake box. I relocated the battery to the driver side so that I could have the airbox on the passenger fender right next to the turbo. I designed a custom airbox and battery tray then had a local shop cut and bend them for me.

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With those in place, I built and routed my power cables. I ran a 4 gauge wire from the original under hood fuse box to a 250 amp maxi fuse that was included with the wiring harness. I used 2 gauge wire for the main battery cables, ran the ground cable to the frame and to the engine block, a little overkill but I don't like to have issues with it later on. Used an old red top for mock up.

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I think that's enough for this post, next will be the shifter, driveshaft , and custom instrument cluster. A lot of the big things are out of the way.
 

Munts77

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Messages
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Location
Sweet Home OR
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.3T
Transmission
Manual
On to more progress.

the MT82 trans from the Mustang has a remote shifter that sets pretty far back, fortunately there is a company called MGW that makes custom shifters for these specifically for swaps. The main benefit is moving the shifter forward 6-8 inches from factory mustang location, the second benefit is that it bolts solely to the transmission and improves the shifting issues that the mt82 is known for.
I had to do some extra cutting in the trans tunnel to make it fit but it turned out good and is in a comfortable position, this is their 4.5 in version.
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With the shifter and transmission tunnel finished, it's on to the drive shaft. Having used the front half of the Mustang drive shaft I needed a custom shaft for the rear. I went with Tom Woods drives shafts and pleased with the results.

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Next step is the Custom instrument cluster, I wanted a factory look but had to go with aftermarket tachometer and speedometer to make everything work. I purchased Autometer gauges and proceeded to cut up the factory cluster so that it would fit. the only factory gauge I would be using is the fuel gauge, temp and oil pressure will be monitored using the COBB tuner.

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This also require modifying the wiring on the cluster and ranger, the tachometer eliminated one of the main plugs so I had to attach some wires to the printed circuit board and use Deutsch connectors for the new plug.

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I am Super happy with how the cluster turned out, has the exact look I was going for in my head.


With the interior mostly finished its on to the engine bay to work on some of the intake routing. There is a tight fitment between the air box and turbo so it required me to make a custom pipe from a bunch of pie cuts out of a 3.5in aluminum tube. I cut a bunch out on the band saw and then stacked them up to make a tight compound bend. I then proceeded to fully weld all the joints, grind the welds down and polish the aluminum.

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I also had to make a custom sensor block for the air intake temp sensor, just used some scrap aluminum and the drill press.

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With that completed I moved to installing the custom alternator relocation bracket, my second revision as the first had some dimensional issues.
this locates the alternator to the same position as the ac pump as the alternator interfered with the steering box.

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And the last thing for this Post is the Custom traction bar, I didn't like the options currently on the market so I designed my own traction bar set up. Pretty basic, attaches to top of axle leaf mount and runs forward to the frame above the front pivot of the leaf spring. Its up and out of the way and prevents any axle wrap.
To locate the front mount I set the suspension at ride height with a ratchet strap and used a laser level to line it up.

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I positioned the front bracket over the top of the leaf spring pivot point in order to reduce any binding in the suspension travel. With it tacked in place I set up my bushings and cut the tube to length. Once I was happy with the results I welded it all up and gave everything a shot of black paint.

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So that is it for this update. I am currently waiting for a custom radiator to be built and some parts to show up so that I can start on the intercooler. Truck is really close to being done, I plan on having it on the road by mid June.
 

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Blmpkn

Toilet enthusiast
Supporting Member
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Location
Southern maine
Vehicle Year
2021
Make / Model
Ford ranger
Engine Type
2.3 EcoBoost
Engine Size
2.3
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5" level
Tire Size
275/65/18
My credo
Its probably better to be self deprecating than self defecating.
Coming along nicely, good use for the laser level too!
 

bobbywalter

TRS Technical Staff
V8 Engine Swap
TRS Technical Advisor
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
22,349
Reaction score
2,889
Points
113
Location
woodhaven mi
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
FORD mostly
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"

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