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2.3 to 4.0 SOHC swap????


fordtech91

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Hey guys i have a 1997 2wd ranger with a 2.3 and manual transmission that i race. This winter i plan to 4.0 SOHC swap it in search for lot more power. Has anyone done this swap and if so any complications, hints, tricks, etc. (ecu's, fuel system, wiring, etc) i plan on swapping a 4.0 SOHC and a m50d out of a 4.0 into my truck. Just trying to make sure that before i go all out and buy the engine trans etc taht im not going to be getting into a ton of headaches and complications! Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 81874766E40C6A 5th, 2022
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It's pretty simple once you've done the homework on it. Are you using an M5ODR1 or R1HD? The biggest issue I had when swapping mine was clutch/flywheel. I ran a standard M5OD out of a 94 Explorer and it held up fine in my mud drag truck with locked front and rear axles and 38" tall Super Swamper Boggers. The issue I had was finding a flywheel for it since my motor had come from an 01 Explorer with an auto. The M5ODR1HD trans uses a slightly larger clutch and flywheel (I believe it was only 1/8" larger) than the push rod 4.0L trans used. From what I measured I believe the larger clutch will clear the bellhousing without an issue and has the same spline count so it would be a direct swap IF you can find a flywheel. I got the run around from every parts store I contacted and was told it was a dealer direct item only, and my dealer cost was over $1,000 for a flywheel. Made no sense to me but this is the answer I got from 2 weeks worth of phone calls researching and crossing part numbers. So I decided to go with a 4.0L Pushrod clutch/flywheel combo instead. This is where it got tricky. The pushrod 4.0L has a 6 bolt crank, the SOHC has an 8 bolt crankshaft. Soooo after more research and hours of pulling different flywheel pics off line and comparing all dimensions I found out that a 97 Ranger 4.0L uses an 8 bolt crank also and the flywheel matches in every other way. From what I found the 97 was the only year to run the 8 bolt crank. some later years may have also but according to the parts stores they were different. Aside from that little snag it was pretty much a plug and play swap. I used the SOHC Engine harness out of the explorer with my 98 3.0L ranger and initially fired it up on a non chipped 4.0L pushrod explorer ECU. Shortly after that I found a 97 SOHC explorer with a non PATS ECU in the bone yard so I swapped that in instead. All my gauges worked properly and the fuel lines plugged right in as well. The only thing I cut corners on was for the neutral saftey switch, I had it on a push button start so I could lurch it forward on the trailer with the starter and key off to sinch up my rear tie down chains. So I never chased down the wiring to get the nuetral saftey functioning properly since I didn't want it for my appliction. Hope this at least gives you a start on the swap. I loved mine and have sold several SOHC motors since to friends and customers wanting to do the same swap after riding in my truck:3gears:
 
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Couple pics of mine

Motor going into my 98 Ranger monday 007.JPG

Lifting the front end off a bump in the 4 foot deep race lane ranger jump resized (800x535).jpg
 

fordtech91

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thanks man for the info. I have come to the conclusion that im not using a SOHC anymore due to me picking up a complete 2000 explorer 4.0 pushrod. Its an automatic whic means i will have to find a 5speed flywheel and clutch and trans as well as a pcm out of a 5 speed correct? Or will my auto pcm be ok with a 5 speed??? Also other question i have is the 2000 4.0 is a returnless style fuel system and my 97 2.3 has a return style. I am still trying to figure out how to get around this. Is it possible to swap fuel rails off another 4.0 that has a return style and then just hook my 2 fuel lines up to the return style fuel rail and be done with it????
 
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I'm doing the exact same motor into a 97 4.0L Ranger right now. You'll need to use a return style fuel rail from a 97- Ranger or explorer and possibly the upper intake manifold, Mass air and some other bolt on sensors may be slightly different. It's just a matter of looking at what will plug in and what wont. I think you'll still have to deal with the 8 bolt flywheel so just buy one for a 97 Ranger if thats the case and In order for your neutral saftey to work correctly you will need the 5 speed ECU. When I did my swap I bypassed the nuetral saftey intentionally so running the auto ECU worked fine for me
 
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depending on where you are I have a few M5ODR1 tranny's
 

fordtech91

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depending on where you are I have a few M5ODR1 tranny's
alright thanks for the info man. I am definately going to by pass whatever i need to since i am racing with it so as long as it runs the way its suppossed to thats all i care bout. So your auto pcm works fine with your 5 speed??? Do you know what rev limiter is on auto pcm? if i swap fuel rails will the 4cyl pump supply enough pressure and volume of fuel for the 4.0? I am definately interested in a trans but i am in pennsylvania.... I have a buddy that has a 4wd m50d trans that i am going to swap tail housing and out put shafts if that will work to convert to 2wd..
 

Thed

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There is a lot of power to be had with the OHC 4.0L's. Research and you will find.

The Mustang guys had the same damn thing from 2005 to 2010 albeit maybe some small differences. You will not fave a problem finding parts for it.
 


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