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3.0 sho in 4x4 99 ranger


14TR

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Ok I don’t want to be “that guy” talking about all these different swaps and not accomplishing any of them, but here’s the deal…

For the last 15 years I’ve planned on swapping a 2.3turbo out of a thunderbird turbo coupe into a bronco 2 for the type of racing we do (I had started a thread on it a few months ago in the B2 section). I have the engine, the proper trans, and the 2.3 to FM 145 bell housing. I got looking further into the condition of the bronco a couple weeks ago and it got rough!! It’s been sitting since about 2009-2010 without being raced or moved. Bad enough to the point I decided it wasn’t worth the effort to use that vehicle, but can use parts off of it. In the ast week I found a good deal on a 99 ranger ext cab with the 3.0 and auto 4x4. Bad rockers, nice frame! Yes it’s starting from scratch since it isn’t already set up with a cage etc, but it’ll be worth it for the good bones (I’m going to make a separate thread regarding cage options fyi).

I can swap in the 2.3 and FM145 into this truck and get this thing rolling in the next few months possibly, but another option is get the cage in it race ready and still run it with the 3.0 Vulcan in it in a much lower class and just see how she does. While pondering the option with my buddy I race with, I casually mention that the only engine I know of that shares a bell housings pattern with the 3.0 is the 3.0/3.2 Yamaha SHO engine. He reminds me (I had long forgotten this) he has a 3.0 SHO engine on a crate in the garage that he believes is good running condition that I can have. Now I know it’ll bolt to the trans, and the engine would scream, and it’ll only be like one class higher than the 3.0 Vulcan, but is there any other concerns?
I’m not worried about electronics as I’d either look for the appropriate harness and EEC to run it, or run megasquirt since that was the plan for the 2.3 anyway and I have one already. I know about the magazine ranger sho from 30 years ago, but I’m not certain what all had to be done. Keep in mind this is strictly a race truck. Don’t care about AC accessories, emissions, or even longevity of the trans. Would the oil pan need to be custom? I assume the engine mounts are in the same location? I appreciate input and feedback. I’d still like to do the 2.3 someday because it’s been on my mind so long, it just seems like this is begging for it since the truck happens to have the right trans to bolt to it and the engine could be had for free

P.S. I have an above average equipped shop and good (not claiming great) fabrication skills) . Welders, lathe, Bridgeport, CNC plasma table, etc.
 


bhgl

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The 3.0 SHO swap is a long desired, elusive swap. It seems no one online has finished one, let alone documented it. Every now and then, someone like you or me thinks about doing it, but it never comes to fruition, turns out it's more complicated than simply bolting it up to your existing transmission, even without considering the engine management aspect.

There's lots of good motors that make better swap candidates due to documentation, parts availability, e.t.c. There's lots of little weird things you'll need to consider to do a SHO swap, including but not limited to:
-Full ECU for the engine, and potentially transmission, with a tune.
-cutting the existing trans tunnel to clear the motor, its fat heads, and its fat intake.
-spacing the intake manifold since when you turn it 180 degrees it'll be pointing directly at your belt drive
-steering column clearance will either be tight, or non existent thanks to those massive heads
-custom exhaust manifolds
-buying very specific flywheel/clutch combos
-a whole whack of things that have never been documented

Here's the thread I've found with the most info and documentation:

https://www.therangerstation.com/forums/index.php?threads/b3000-sho-swap.184909

If you do it, good luck! If you don't, please let me buy the motor, I'll drive down all the way from Canada to pick it up!
 

don4331

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Dumb questions: Doesn't the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) run both the engine and the transmission (and transmission should be 4r44E)

I'm not sure a Ranger 3.0 PCM would allow you to take advantage of the SHO engine. I'm not sure a SHO PCM would run the Ranger auto (and I'm not sure it would like the extra revs - torque converter stall too low0
Megasquirt would solve the issue of letting the SHO rev, but controling the 2ndary intake is going to take some programming and you'll still have to program the transmission

Manual would be so much easier...
 

bhgl

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Dumb questions: Doesn't the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) run both the engine and the transmission (and transmission should be 4r44E)

I'm not sure a Ranger 3.0 PCM would allow you to take advantage of the SHO engine. I'm not sure a SHO PCM would run the Ranger auto (and I'm not sure it would like the extra revs - torque converter stall too low0
Megasquirt would solve the issue of letting the SHO rev, but controling the 2ndary intake is going to take some programming and you'll still have to program the transmission

Manual would be so much easier...
Running a SHO with an auto would probably involve either a standalone trans controller, which I believe is in fact made for the 5r44e and 5r55e, or through some true wizardry spoofing the PCM into thinking that there's an engine attached to it (since the SHO motor would pretty much have to have a standalone), and doing some sort of ratio'd spoof of the SHO's RPMs into the standard vulcan's RPMs at given speeds so that the shift points sort of line up.

An exercise in impossibility/futility frankly to try and use any of the stock computers to run the drivetrain, at least in my opinion of course.
 

14TR

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Lots of good honest feedback guys, I really appreciate it. A few things you brought up I hadn’t considered. IF I do attempt the swap I’ll use the mega squirt for the engine. The guy I bought the ranger off of has a supposedly good condition m5od for another rusted out 3.0 ranger he had there, so that’s a possibility. The flipping of the intake I hadn’t considered, so that’s a genuine problem. I realized the engine is wide (as all DOHC V engines are) but I’m not too sure how wide. I owned two SHO’s back in the day and never gave it much consideration to be honest. I’ll have to measure the engine and the ranger engine bay in the next couple days because that would be an absolute dealbreaker as far as I’m concerned. Exhaust manifolds play into that consideration as well
 

bhgl

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Lots of good honest feedback guys, I really appreciate it. A few things you brought up I hadn’t considered. IF I do attempt the swap I’ll use the mega squirt for the engine. The guy I bought the ranger off of has a supposedly good condition m5od for another rusted out 3.0 ranger he had there, so that’s a possibility. The flipping of the intake I hadn’t considered, so that’s a genuine problem. I realized the engine is wide (as all DOHC V engines are) but I’m not too sure how wide. I owned two SHO’s back in the day and never gave it much consideration to be honest. I’ll have to measure the engine and the ranger engine bay in the next couple days because that would be an absolute dealbreaker as far as I’m concerned. Exhaust manifolds play into that consideration as well
You most definitely will either have to cut and weld in a new trans tunnel to make space for the engine, or figure out a way to space the engine forward. If you build brand new mounts for the entire drivetrain to move it forward, you'll have to get a new driveshaft built and figure out the geometry there.

This swap is super deceptive, because there's rumour and story about how "the trans bellhousing bolts right up!", and "you can flip the intake 180 degrees for longitudinal applications!", but in reality it's a LOT of custom fabrication to get the SHO in and running well.
 

bhgl

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Oh! Keeping it 4x4 will be an even bigger headache by the way, since you'll to do more custom work making sure you can actually hook up a transfer case, and the associated drive shafts.
 

14TR

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I’m going to still do some measuring and see just how far off things are. I read every post of the other build thread that was linked. 1000% agree it’s more work than the 2.3 turbo swap I had originally intended. The only initial allure of the sho swap was that it’s unique, I have access to the engine, and the class factor it would put the ranger in is so low I think it would wipe the floor with the other vehicles in that class. Plus, I was initially under the impression it wouldn’t have been that involved. Having said all that, if the measurements aren’t too far off I’m able to make certain concessions that the other swaps may not be able to make since it’s a race only vehicle. Accessories I’d NEED are limited to an alternator for example. Firewall clearance (within reason) is no big deal as the entire dash is being removed and will just be a plain aluminum sheet dash, so theoretically at least, the intake could stay in its stock orientation with the air filter in the cabin under the dash, etc. next biggest issue would seem to be exhaust and/or steering. In the other thread, the builder suggested in the end he should have modified the steering vs custom headers. A lot of the guys I race with, one of my best friends in fact, uses hydro steering on his race jeep. Again, not saying this is the route I’m going to go, just that it’s still worth taking some critical measurements and seeing just how far fabrication would have to go in this stripped down, bare bones environment.

if it’s looking to be as difficult as it seems so far, I’ll stick with the 2.3t. In fact the only thing I don’t like about the 2.3 swap is at some point over the last ten years, they modified the rules on turbos to the point it puts this truck competing against small displacement stock-ish LS swaps. Whereas ten plus years ago when I came up with that engine, the point penalty for a turbo on a 4 cylinder was small enough that it had you likely in a class with lightly worked V6’s and 4.0’s.
 

bhgl

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I’m going to still do some measuring and see just how far off things are. I read every post of the other build thread that was linked. 1000% agree it’s more work than the 2.3 turbo swap I had originally intended. The only initial allure of the sho swap was that it’s unique, I have access to the engine, and the class factor it would put the ranger in is so low I think it would wipe the floor with the other vehicles in that class. Plus, I was initially under the impression it wouldn’t have been that involved. Having said all that, if the measurements aren’t too far off I’m able to make certain concessions that the other swaps may not be able to make since it’s a race only vehicle. Accessories I’d NEED are limited to an alternator for example. Firewall clearance (within reason) is no big deal as the entire dash is being removed and will just be a plain aluminum sheet dash, so theoretically at least, the intake could stay in its stock orientation with the air filter in the cabin under the dash, etc. next biggest issue would seem to be exhaust and/or steering. In the other thread, the builder suggested in the end he should have modified the steering vs custom headers. A lot of the guys I race with, one of my best friends in fact, uses hydro steering on his race jeep. Again, not saying this is the route I’m going to go, just that it’s still worth taking some critical measurements and seeing just how far fabrication would have to go in this stripped down, bare bones environment.

if it’s looking to be as difficult as it seems so far, I’ll stick with the 2.3t. In fact the only thing I don’t like about the 2.3 swap is at some point over the last ten years, they modified the rules on turbos to the point it puts this truck competing against small displacement stock-ish LS swaps. Whereas ten plus years ago when I came up with that engine, the point penalty for a turbo on a 4 cylinder was small enough that it had you likely in a class with lightly worked V6’s and 4.0’s.
I've been chatting with the gentleman in the last thread about SHO swaps, turns out you "shouldn't" have to clearance the body in order to get it mounted in.

Given that you're going with a race application you'll have more liberty do fab, and get away without other things.

Exhaust will most likely need to be custom, but that may be a benefit to you since it could help you clear other components. The headers are designed for FWD applications, and seem to interfere with cross members. Although you may be able to do a single exit exhaust, routing through the passenger side, although no one's tried it yet so...

As for the intake, if you do leave it in it's stock orientation, it will in fact be pointing directly at the firewall. If you flip it around and put some phenolic spacers to clear it, you'll still have to section and clearance the intake manifold like Pat in the thread I referenced.

You will also have to clearance a cross member to fit the engine's oil pan, not by much however.

You're also going to be contending with the unobtainium of it all, as he just informed me.

The valve shims are nearly impossible to track down, and need pretty frequent servicing (something like every 60K miles with regular use).

The crankshaft bearings main bearings basically don't exist, and to get a suitable replacement you'll need to order ones for a Toyota camry, and do some dremel work to fit them.

The oil pumps are notorious for going out, and as such are in super short supply.

Timing covers are made out of plastic unfortunately, and are super brittle and known to crack, and their seals don't exist on the market really.

Since I too am interested in doing this swap in the far future, I've been recommended to start collecting whole engines, and their associated parts for the future.

Good luck on this one! Keep me updated as well, any information is greatly appreciated.

If you do decide against the swap, please let me know and I will haul ass from Canada to pick up your motor for a fair price!
 

14TR

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I’ll let you know man! I’m not delusional on this one, I want the thing racing as I’ve already wasted years and always putting the races on the back burner, so if it turns out to be a royal pain, I’ll immediately go back to the 2.3T swap. Worth looking into a bit more though before I put this to rest. I’ll keep you guys informed
 

14TR

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The other thing, to your point of replacement service parts etc, I have an engine run stand I’m finishing up. Even if the measurements work out not too bad, I need to ensure this engine actually runs and isn’t toast (the guy my buddy got it from claimed it was from a good running but wrecked SHO but who knows). If the engine runs well on the stand, I would be willing to invest more time and effort into considering the swap. If it turns out, it needs anything other than the most basic of service or repair, I’m going to pivot back to the four-cylinder swap.
 

bhgl

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The other thing, to your point of replacement service parts etc, I have an engine run stand I’m finishing up. Even if the measurements work out not too bad, I need to ensure this engine actually runs and isn’t toast (the guy my buddy got it from claimed it was from a good running but wrecked SHO but who knows). If the engine runs well on the stand, I would be willing to invest more time and effort into considering the swap. If it turns out, it needs anything other than the most basic of service or repair, I’m going to pivot back to the four-cylinder swap.
In the event is in fact bad, please do still let me know, there's plenty of parts I would love to salvage if possible, or even take the whole engine with me so I could start doing pre-fab.
 

14TR

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Bhgl: I came across an auto 93 SHO for sale about 20 minutes from me. Car looked decent from 100 yards away in the guys yard. I got up close and it’s very rotted. Fuel pump is shot (no surprise) but we got it fired up on ether and ran smooth and no issue for 30-40 seconds. 3.2 obviously. He wants $700 for the car and realizes that’s basically the engine value and that the car is shot. I think I’m good to go with my buddys 3.0 he has that I mentioned before. But I thought of you on this one. If you’re interested let me know
 

bhgl

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Bhgl: I came across an auto 93 SHO for sale about 20 minutes from me. Car looked decent from 100 yards away in the guys yard. I got up close and it’s very rotted. Fuel pump is shot (no surprise) but we got it fired up on ether and ran smooth and no issue for 30-40 seconds. 3.2 obviously. He wants $700 for the car and realizes that’s basically the engine value and that the car is shot. I think I’m good to go with my buddys 3.0 he has that I mentioned before. But I thought of you on this one. If you’re interested let me know
Hey thanks for thinking of me! I really appreciate it!

I'll have to let this one pass unfortunately since I'm looking for the 3.0 and associated parts primarily, I've also got a border and some import paperwork in between the two.

If you've got the spare change and time on your hands though, it may be worth it for you to pick it up as there are just a few interchangeable parts, and you can make good money by parting out the engine.

Thanks for thinking of me on that one!
 

14TR

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No worries! I knew you had mentioned how there’s surprisingly few interchangeable parts, but wasn’t sure if you were in the market for 3.0 or 3.2 or indifferent. I might pick it up just to save it
 

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