2.3L ('83-'97) 2.3 n/a upgrades


Trucker1159

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So I just recently bought an 83 ranger with a 2.3 and a 4-speed. I'm looking to find some info on some easy (non-expensive) upgraded to do while I sort out my body work/paint and get some of the other more ridiculous mods and parts sorted.
 


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Dirtman

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So friggin big!
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Go here. They sell everything performance wise for the 2.3 lima engine. Turbo kits would be the ultimate power producer but they are not cheap unless you can source parts from a turbo coupe in the junkyard which are rare.

 

Trucker1159

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Thank you. I appreciate the help unfortunately that web site wouldn't actually show me any parts other then parts not relivent to my engine
 

racsan

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roll a 4.10 rear axle under the back end if you dont already have one. If you happen to have 3.45’s youll notice a big increase in performance and can actually use overdrive on level ground instead of just downhill grades.
 

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Going from 3.45:1 gearing to 4.10:1 gearing makes a WORLD of difference.
 

maximized98

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Interesting, I may try that as well
 

Daniel Black

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A gear swap would be cheapest and easiest. I put a ton of money in a N/A 2.3 a couple years ago and it was disappointing. There aren't many things that are cheap for a 2.3 performance wise. I guess if I did it again the only thing I would do is upgrade to a roller camshaft and followers from an 8 plug 2.3 from late '88-'95 I think or '96 when they changed valve stem size. They can be had cheap at upull yards and they're usually in good shape. Then the late models had the factory header style manifold. Does it make more power? I don't know but they're definitely lighter so that might help but if you still have smog and egr it would be a pain redoing the egr pipe. In my opinion the 2.3 is either all out race or a gas mileage tractor motor, just not a lot of bang for the buck on upgrades. A solid tune up would likely be the best route if it hasn't had one in a while. You can try RacerWalsh, Bo-Port or Raceengineering if you want to spend some coin but I wouldn't recommend it.
 

Trucker1159

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I don't have emissions were I live the of pump was gone the minute I got it home.
 

Daniel Black

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With the smog crap gone you can run a real long tube header then which might help a little on power. I got one online for a Pinto for around $75 and it fit my '87 fine.
 

Trucker1159

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I'm trying to find the pinto 2-barrel intake some I can put a Holley on it
 

Daniel Black

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That can lead to a whole lot more problems. If you still have the stock carbureted Ranger cylinder head it has round intake ports. Pintos will have oval ports and early '80s cars and 4-plug efi Rangers have D shaped ports. Cannon makes an intake for round port Rangers but it isn't cheap.
20200309_191439.jpg
 

EnzoSZ

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Hello guys,
The post make me curious because I've got a 1995 2.3l SOHC, I live in the mountains so when there's a small hill or anything, it's so slow.. I see that you're talking about gearing swap. Is that an easy thing to find? I live in France so I don't know if I can find something compatible. And I actually can't spend much money for a turbo or thing like that.
And is that an hard task to do?

Thanks
 

racsan

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not hard at all, have junkyards there? just go get a complete rear axle with the gear ratio you want, axle codes are on the door sticker. unbolt your U-bolts and disconnet the brakes , old axle out/new axle in. Its not a bad idea on the “new” axle to replace the seals and brake parts. My shoes were good but I put new wheel cylinders in and new spring kits, ran new brake line along axle and new axle & pinion shaft seals and of course fresh oil.
 

EnzoSZ

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So yeah it's easier to find a complete axle then just swapping the bearing.
We do have JY here but well... It's generally european cars, nothing compatible, a lot of EU cars are FWD, and in any case, as my Ranger as been imported it's not easy to find parts for ahah
Do you know some cars with a rear axle compatible?
 

EnzoSZ

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Hi,
Back on it, looking for informations.
I actually got a 3.75, 7.5" rear axle. I'd like to know if it's hard to change ONLY the gears, swap to an 4.10, 7.5" gearing set.
I looked for a complete axle, from an explorer for exemple, and there's some big work to do..
As I said, I'm from france, so it's hard to find car who can have good parts for my ranger, so I may have the idea to go for a gearing set. Bad idea? Hard to swap? The difference will be enough?

Thanks!
 


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