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2.9L turbo/engine swap

ShortwaveGnat03

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1989
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Hey guys so I'm new to all this and have never done anything like to my car before, but I would like to start learning. So i have an 1989 Ford Ranger 2.9L and people have told I should do stuff to it, however people have given so many options I don't know what to do. So I would like it to accelerate faster and also whenever I drive to the beach I'm having to go uphill and in order to just be at the speed limit 55 I have to be pedal to the metal, so I would like to upgrade my truck in a way with that stuff in mind. What would you guys suggest? I would like a really cool but expensive option with also a less expensive but also good options.

Other information since I'm new to this forum. I bought the truck 4 years ago for $4000 with 98k miles on it from an older couple who took very good care of it so it was clean and wasn't a shitbox haha. This was my first car ever so I would like to keep it for as long as possible but still have fun with it. I also don't take it out doing crazy stuff because of it being in such good condition and I would like to keep it until it dies.
 

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duffy

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A cheap trick is to find a throttle body from an 86-87 2.9......The 89' had a 50 mm TB and the older one is 58 mm.......a significant increase in size. I found a really dirty one, complete, for $20. It won't get you any appreciable HP but the throttle response is much better
 

Bgunner

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The 2.9L like the 3.0L are gutless and like high RPM's to stay in there power range so drive it as so. A turbo or super charger would necessitate the use of a different PCM most likely an aftermarket one to be able to control spark and fuel management, quite a bit of work, not to mention the internals are not meant to take that much pressure so bent connecting rods are a possibility. Just thinking longevity with that.

I am not trying to steer you away from the idea but give knowledge before the project gets started. Hills suck in the 3.0L as well so I feel your pain.

What gearing do you have in the rear end? A swap to a 4.10 ratio could help but kill Highway fuel economy.
 

rusty ol ranger

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The 2.9L like the 3.0L are gutless and like high RPM's to stay in there power range so drive it as so. A turbo or super charger would necessitate the use of a different PCM most likely an aftermarket one to be able to control spark and fuel management, quite a bit of work, not to mention the internals are not meant to take that much pressure so bent connecting rods are a possibility. Just thinking longevity with that.

I am not trying to steer you away from the idea but give knowledge before the project gets started. Hills suck in the 3.0L as well so I feel your pain.

What gearing do you have in the rear end? A swap to a 4.10 ratio could help but kill Highway fuel economy.
The 2.9 does much better down low then a 3.0 and overall feels more responsive except for maybe a 55-80 run.

Anyways...how steep is this hill? If youre floored to get up it i would first start by making sure the engine itself is healthy (compression check), and making sure the cat is healthy (vacuum gauge), then doing a full tune up and correcting any codes it throws before you go whole hog into a turbo.

Its possible and been done but slapping a turbo on if the thing needs rebuilt is only going to make more issues. Ive never found a hill i couldnt keep 55 up staying off the floor in 5th....unless i was towing something heavy, and then a quick drop to 4th usually solved that pretty quick.

The 2.9 is pretty gutsy given its size and the era it came from. Also curious...you automatic or manual?

But yes swapping to a 4.10 rear would absolultly give you more giddyup, im guessing you have 3.45's now.

I hate to mention this as im the 2.9's biggest advocate but as a last resort if your 2.9 is worn out, or youre still not happy with it after getting it in tip top shape the 4.0 is a pretty easy and common swap, espicially in a 2nd (89-92) gen.
 
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superj

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since your truck is an auto, i bet the best way to move towards faster starts and quicker climbs is to make it a stick. my truck (3.0 v6) is fun to drive because it is a stick. as an auto, it would probably be terrible and i would have already gotten rid of it
 

ShortwaveGnat03

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The 2.9 does much better down low then a 3.0 and overall feels more responsive except for maybe a 55-80 run.

Anyways...how steep is this hill? If youre floored to get up it i would first start by making sure the engine itself is healthy (compression check), and making sure the cat is healthy (vacuum gauge), then doing a full tune up and correcting any codes it throws before you go whole hog into a turbo.

Its possible and been done but slapping a turbo on if the thing needs rebuilt is only going to make more issues. Ive never found a hill i couldnt keep 55 up staying off the floor in 5th....unless i was towing something heavy, and then a quick drop to 4th usually solved that pretty quick.

The 2.9 is pretty gutsy given its size and the era it came from. Also curious...you automatic or manual?

But yes swapping to a 4.10 rear would absolultly give you more giddyup, im guessing you have 3.45's now.

I hate to mention this as im the 2.9's biggest advocate but as a last resort if your 2.9 is worn out, or youre still not happy with it after getting it in tip top shape the 4.0 is a pretty easy and common swap, espicially in a 2nd (89-92) gen.
The 2.9 does much better down low then a 3.0 and overall feels more responsive except for maybe a 55-80 run.

Anyways...how steep is this hill? If youre floored to get up it i would first start by making sure the engine itself is healthy (compression check), and making sure the cat is healthy (vacuum gauge), then doing a full tune up and correcting any codes it throws before you go whole hog into a turbo.

Its possible and been done but slapping a turbo on if the thing needs rebuilt is only going to make more issues. Ive never found a hill i couldnt keep 55 up staying off the floor in 5th....unless i was towing something heavy, and then a quick drop to 4th usually solved that pretty quick.

The 2.9 is pretty gutsy given its size and the era it came from. Also curious...you automatic or manual?

But yes swapping to a 4.10 rear would absolultly give you more giddyup, im guessing you have 3.45's now.

I hate to mention this as im the 2.9's biggest advocate but as a last resort if your 2.9 is worn out, or youre still not happy with it after getting it in tip top shape the 4.0 is a pretty easy and common swap, espicially in a 2nd (89-92) gen.
The 2.9 does much better down low then a 3.0 and overall feels more responsive except for maybe a 55-80 run.

Anyways...how steep is this hill? If youre floored to get up it i would first start by making sure the engine itself is healthy (compression check), and making sure the cat is healthy (vacuum gauge), then doing a full tune up and correcting any codes it throws before you go whole hog into a turbo.

Its possible and been done but slapping a turbo on if the thing needs rebuilt is only going to make more issues. Ive never found a hill i couldnt keep 55 up staying off the floor in 5th....unless i was towing something heavy, and then a quick drop to 4th usually solved that pretty quick.

The 2.9 is pretty gutsy given its size and the era it came from. Also curious...you automatic or manual?

But yes swapping to a 4.10 rear would absolultly give you more giddyup, im guessing you have 3.45's now.

I hate to mention this as im the 2.9's biggest advocate but as a last resort if your 2.9 is worn out, or youre still not happy with it after getting it in tip top shape the 4.0 is a pretty easy and common swap, espicially in a 2nd (89-92) gen.
I don't check stuff on my car I bring it to a family friend's shop, so I've brought my truck in for it to get completely looked at and they said it looks good. It has been awhile since I drove to the beach and on those hills but it's possible I was going a little more than 55 with the pedal to the floor I just mainly remember doing that just to avoid someone riding my ass super hard. Also yes my truck is a automatic. So with all that which do you think I should look into doing first, switching to a 4.10 rear or getting a turbo.
 

rusty ol ranger

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I don't check stuff on my car I bring it to a family friend's shop, so I've brought my truck in for it to get completely looked at and they said it looks good. It has been awhile since I drove to the beach and on those hills but it's possible I was going a little more than 55 with the pedal to the floor I just mainly remember doing that just to avoid someone riding my ass super hard. Also yes my truck is a automatic. So with all that which do you think I should look into doing first, switching to a 4.10 rear or getting a turbo.
4.10's

Looking into a manual trans swap would also benefit.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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Pull over and let ass riders pass...
 

bobbywalter

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Be cool to see a 2.9 turbo build.
 

kodogtwh

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I just finished my 2.9 turbo build. had to sacrifice a lot of fender liner, but the result is great. I have yet to get it on a dyno, so power numbers are unknown. I have a thread on here somewhere of the in-progress build. It's a completely stock engine with an upgraded fuel system and a standalone ECU to control it, and according to the math of my injectors and the duty cycle they run at at WOT, it's making ~240hp at the crank. You have a late model 2.9 in your truck so the heads should survive. Mine seem to be. The clutch, not so much.
 

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