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3.0 sho in 4x4 99 ranger


14TR

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So I committed to buying the 3.2. I had previously decided I didn’t want it as I already have the 3.0 from my buddy, but I figured it was cheap enough to warrant it for whatever parts are interchangeable, not to mention wiring etc in case I don’t go with the megasquirt (though I am leaning that way). Having said that you could guess I have decided to go with the sho swap instead of the 2.3T as previously discussed. The deciding factor was the race I just attended two weekends ago. The class the 2.3T would put me in has very few competitors and they are all LS powered vehicles (4.8 through 6.0). The 3.0 sho will put me in the second to bottom class, competing with stock 4.0 Cherokees and lightly worked V6’s. Plus that class tends to have 10-12 competitors per race so more seat time and potential points if this setup proves competitive.

I’ll be putting up a video on my YouTube channel soon going over some basics of the Ranger build. For now I’ve been stripping the truck, pulling the glass, removing the bed (which will go back on) and building and installing the cage (I built a tube bender for just this purpose). I’ll likely get the Ranger race ready with the stock 3.0 Vulcan in it and run it at a race or two to ensure it’s performing as it should (though it’ll be woefully underpowered and not competitive) before starting on the sho swap.

To my knowledge no one has completed an sho swap in a 4x4 Ranger (except for old pics of some trophy truck I found on the internet with no details etc). As I’ve mentioned previously in this thread, I’m fortunate that since it’s a race truck I’m not as confined with certain elements of the swap as a daily driver. For example I have no intention of flipping the intake and will instead be cutting a hole in the firewall for the portion of the intake occupying that space. This works for me anyway as a lot of racers end up putting a 180 degree elbow on the throttle body anyway to keep the filter away from the mud and water. In my case it’s already where I want it. I also don’t have to deal with the encumbrances of heat or AC or stock battery location, etc. I’m looking into possibly picking up a M5OD to swap, though I’m also seriously considering keeping the 4r44e and have read the schematics to put together a “manual” controller for the trans. Will it need a different stall converter? Yes. Will the increased RPM destroy the transmission? I don’t know, maybe. I kind of don’t care. If I got one season of racing out of that trans I’ll be happy.
 

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rubydist

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Especially if you go with an automatic trans, you will want the added torque of the 3.2 engine. Its really the intake cams that are different, but it makes a significant difference in torque and performance under 4k rpm.
 

bhgl

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Lotta respect for your devotion on this project, I'm eager to see your progress my guy keep it up!
 

14TR

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I’m back and forth on the 3.0 vs 3.2. The added displacement requires the truck to weigh 132lbs more to maintain my targeted class. However I don’t know exactly what this truck is going to weigh once finished with me in it anyway, so if I’m already at that weight, I might as well enjoy the added cubic inches
 

14TR

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I’ve also looked into the dyno graphs of the stock engines. I think the intake cam accounts for a lot of it, but there must be significant tuning differences in ignition and fuel too. I suspect the 3.0 punched out to 3.2 would make more power than the 3.2 with the 3.0 cams if that makes sense. In other words, the cam swap in a 3.2 would probably want the 3.0 ecu as well
 

rubydist

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I have owned a bunch of the Gen1/2 SHO cars. In one of them I put 3.0 intake cams in a 3.2 manual that I had, and I really regretted it. Yes, it ran stronger at over 5k rpm, but for street driving it was way better with the 3.2 cams. The difference is the intake cams. The exhaust cams are the same, and a 3.2 in a manual trans car runs fine with the 3.0 manual pcm.
 

14TR

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Good to know. I wonder what the trade off would be overall. We run these trucks 4wd low range so usually you’re pretty much always high rpm. The added torque and broader curve would be good too though with the 3.2, so it would be hard to predict without trying both.

I think it’s going to come down to race weight. If it’s light enough I’ll probably stick with the 3.0. If it’s over the weight needed for the 3.2 I’d put that in first and probably run it with stock cams, then at some point swap in 3.0 intake cams to see if it was worth it. Again, I don’t doubt for a street vehicle the fatter curve is worth the loss up top, but with a race only application, especially in low range, it might make up for it
 

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