3.5L ecoboost or bust


retep88

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Like the Click bait title suggests, I am trying to put the 3.5L ecoboost into a ranger :D

This Project has been in the planning stages for about two years (since 2017), so before I show you where I am at now, I need to tell you about where I have been.

It started with me wanting a Factory Five Cobra Kit car... But after reading a post on their forum titled something to the effect of "read this before you buy a cobra kit car" I got spooked and thought maybe I would do a boring V8 swap on a cheap Miata instead. But while I was looking car, I kept finding rangers for sale. I have a soft spot for rangers since my first truck was a 91 ranger (see profile pic).

I ended up buying a 2000 ranger 2.5L manual. In hind sight I wish I had bought a better chassis, but it's too late now.

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Before I did anything else on the truck, I had to get rid of that Case Sticker since I work on Green stuff ;)

The first day of driving the truck legally (with plates and insurance) I was driving home from work and I kept thinking how strange the truck was handling. I knew the front suspension was jacked (more on that later) but it was really bad. Then about 6 miles from home I felt the back corner of the truck drop

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and I had lost a wheel...

I found the tire, called a buddy to bring a jack and a lug wrench, and managed to limp it home. New wheel studs, brake cylinder, brake hardware, and a brake line and I was back on the road.
 


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retep88

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The idea for the 3.5L ecoboost came from Truck Tech on PowerNation TV when they put one into an F100. I thought the truck was really cool and different. I have seen lots of V8 swaps, but I hadn't see that many Twin turbo V6 rangers around. Ford had already released the control pack for the 3.5, so I knew I would be able to run the engine. So the trick would be finding a Manual trans to fit it.

In the mean time, the exhaust on the ranger was Stupid loud. The previous owner (curse him and his tool box) had replaced the factory exhaust with a bit of flex pipe and a glass pack. I thought "no big deal, I'll just weld on another muffler behind it, just something that will quiet the truck down until I get to the swap". But no dice, still just as loud. So I thought maybe their was a leak at the donut going to the manifold, east fix. When I pulled off the flange I found this:

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"well there's your problem" :mad:

I fixed it, drove it around the rest of the summer, and parked it over the winter to pick it back up in the spring of 2018.
 

retep88

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That winter I continued to research parts for the swap...

Since the 3.5 is based on the 3.7L na engine ford used in the mustang, I could use a mustang flywheel and clutch, but I still wasn't sure on the transmission. I was originally going to use a Tremec like TruckTech had used for their f100 build, but that was going to be expensive. Even a used one was going to be 2K, but I was already getting a flywheel and clutch from a 3.7L mustang, why not get it's transmission as well?! Plus they where only 800$ at the salvage yards (I love car-part.com). The tricky part was going to be the shifter since it was remote mounted on the mustangs. But Spring soon came and I could work on my ranger again.

The seats had to go. The truck had 200K miles and the seats showed everyone one of them. The foam was gone, the cloth was ripped, and there was chew stains on the seat; gross. So I went on craigslist to find the cheapest pair of seats I could find and ended up buying a pair of seats from a Crown vic cop car. I don't recommend that swap. The seats are WAY to big and bottom ended up about two inches higher than it was before. Not to mention the amount of custom fab that had to be done to remake the brackets.

26639


I got the seats in just in time to drive it around a little bit before going on vacation. But before I left, I found these on Craigslists, 200 for the seat of 4.

26640
 

retep88

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When I bought the truck, I knew there was an issue with the front suspension, the tire was wearing on the inside really bad and so I set about replacing the suspension components before putting on my fancy new wheels and tires.

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everything was a pretty rusty mess, and I had to bust out my 3/4 inch drive set to get some of the bolts loose, but it mostly came apart without the need for a cut off wheel. I wire wheeled what I could get too easily (I was planning to finish it when I did the swap), treated the rust, and painted the frame.

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I ended up finding the issue with my alignment. The bushings in all four pivot points were shot. but the worst were the ones on the upper control arms.

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The picture didn't grab it, but I could see daylight between the parts

I did manage to get everything replaced though, just in time to put on the new wheels and tires (with a 1.25 inch spacer)

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after that, I was kind of out of stuff that I could do with the truck, so I drove and enjoyed it the rest of that summer. I was stuck waiting of funds (mainly my Christmas bonus) to purchase the rest of the parts that I needed for the swap. In the mean time, I went to work on my 1954 John Deere 70 getting that thing running (I am a man of many projects).

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retep88

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That brings us to this year. I got my bonus, and I could start buying parts. First up was this big old box of stuff that showed up from ford performance.

26648


In the box was my ECU, intake, wiring harness, throttle pedal (drive by wire) and some miscellaneous sensors. I was following the tracking so I knew it was coming, but I didn't know it was coming on a semi-truck. Fortunately my wife was home to sign for it, but she wasn't happy with this truck showing up (she was like 6 months pregnant at the time).

Next I picked up my engine from a local salvage yard, and then the transmission from one about an hour away (only place that had one). After picking up some factory hardware to bolt it all together, I ended up with something that looked likes this:

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Which pretty much gets everyone caught up to March/April of this year.
 

Ranger850

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Cant wait to see how this turns out. Great job so far.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Oooh, sign me up on this one.. I just hope it's not another dead-end thread...
 

Jim Oaks

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I think about this swap all the time. I have a 2016 Expedition with the 3.5 EB, so I know how powerful the motor is. All of that power in a Ford Ranger would be insanely awesome. You get this thing done, and I'm driving to Iowa and begging for a ride.
 

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I think about this swap all the time. I have a 2016 Expedition with the 3.5 EB, so I know how powerful the motor is. All of that power in a Ford Ranger would be insanely awesome. You get this thing done, and I'm driving to Iowa and begging for a ride.
Jim, I think your Expedition needs to sacrifice itself for TRS-2.
 

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Yesterday I was working on the truck in shorts and today it snows :annoyed:, Stupid Mid-west weather

A couple of weeks ago my wife had our third son. My work is pretty awesome in that I can get up to 4 weeks of paternal leave, so I have had some time off work, but baby comes first and I have barely gotten anything done. Before my son came, I did manage to get the old engine pulled.

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The core support was rusted out at the bottom so instead of trying to cut through a bunch of spot welds, I just sliced it inside of the lights. I have a new core support to replace it when I go to put all the sheet metal back on. What I am currently working on (no pictures yet) is cleaning up the engine bay, removing the old wiring harness, old rusty fuel and brake lines, and cleaning/painting the frame. I also swapped in a new set of ranger engine mounts which was a pain. I had to pull out my Coil spring to get to the bolt holding them in and that's hard to do when you don't have an engine weighing the front down.

While the In-laws were here, I did finish up my shifter bracket for the transmission.

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That was the shortest I could make it and still use the factory shifter box or what ever you want to call it. The black paint and the shadows really do a fine job of hiding some of the bugger welding I did :blush:. I am guessing that the shifter will be about 12 inches farther back than the stock shifter which puts in between my seats right at the front edge. Not Ideal, but it should work. It lets me keep he shifter short, which will be nice for the reverse lockout on the six speed.

Yesterday I pulled the fuel tank so I could swap out my fuel pump. The ecoboost wants 155 L/hr of fuel at 55 psi. When I ask the help line if there was a ford part he would recommend, he just laughed and said to use a Walbro fuel pump. I have the pump, just need to install it now, but I want to see what the weather is going to do. Nothing worse than being cold in the garage AND smelling like gas.

I just hope it's not another dead-end thread...
I hope so to, if It doesn't work out, at least every body got a good story out of it
 

retep88

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Some more details on my plans and research so far...

Intake: it came from ford with the ECU so that is covered
Intercooler: Aftermarket kit for the F150, it has plenty of connectors if I need to modify it for routing
Cooling: the F150 radiator is too wide for the ranger, but a radiator off a 2014 5.0L mustang should fit between the frame rails and have enough cooling for the truck, plus all the connections are in the same location. It's also a fully electric fan from the factory so I can order the fan shroud as well.
Fuel System: Walbro fuel pump, then convert everything over to 3/8 inch AN fuel line. the AN fuel line is probably not necessary, but it's easier to find adapters to go from the ranger fuel tank, to after market fuel pressure regulator to Ecoboost high pressure fuel pump. Haven't picked the fuel pressure regulator yet. The plan was to pick something up from summit racing.
Electrical: The battery will have to move, and the ECU came with it's own distribution box, so I will have to integrate the two together. not worried about it, but it will probably be tedious (I have the factory wiring diagram book for the ranger)
Driveline: I'll have to find a shop to make me a custom driveshaft, but not worried about it
Rear Axle: Ha ha ha ha.... I am going to replace it with a explorer 8.8 when I break the 7.5, mostly likely lower the truck at the same time and leave it spring under.


The things I am still stuck on:

Power Steering: I have several options, and deleting it isn't one of them. I am not driving the truck with a 3.5L v6 without power steering. The first is to get a power steering pump off a Ford Flex, but it replaces the AC compressor, which is another requirement that I have. The second is to create a custom mounting for the pump, but I have no clue how I would even start that. Third is to grab an electric hydraulic pump from a Volvo or Mini and let it run in default mode (full pressure all time), but I worry about life of the part doing that. Forth is to convert over to an electric power steering, but that is another option that I don't even know begin to tackle.

A/C: I want to road trip this truck and I would like for my wife to join me. That is only going to happen with A/C. Depending on what I do for power steering, this impacts what I do for the A/C system. The easiest would be to use a F150 compressor in the stock location and go about my day.

Clutch master Cylinder: The ranger master and the mustang slave don't want to play together, or at least they have different types of connections, so I either need to replace my master with one from a mustang, or adapt the ranger master to hook up to the mustang slave.
 

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Congrats on the baby!
 

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I would do an electric over hydraulic for the steering. But that's me. Look at BlackBII's White Ranger build, he did electric PS.

As for the clutch hydraulics, assuming the bore is going to give you the fluid movement you need, I would find a hose shop and get a custom one made. Personally, I'd try to get a little spud made with a check valve or something.

I hate few things that Ford has done more than I hate Mustang clutch hydraulics. They put a perfectly vertical connection with no check valve, on a slave that has no bleeder. If I could find the person who OK'd that design I would drag him out into the street and shoot him myself.
 

retep88

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I hate few things that Ford has done more than I hate Mustang clutch hydraulics. They put a perfectly vertical connection with no check valve, on a slave that has no bleeder.
Lol, if I went the mustang Master route I was going to pick this up since I wanted to be able to bleed the system. If I could find a way to put a -3 an fitting on the ranger master I would be set.
 

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If you don't mind spending the money on it, an adjustable depth aftermarket slave cylinder would be a sure way to make your connections play well together. Some even come with a small AN hose and an adapter to make it connect to your stock Ford clutch master cylinder. My Tilton slave came with the AN line AND the Ford master cylinder adapter when I bought it as part of a trans swap package from Modern Driveline.

You're right about the AN line for the fuel system. It's very easy thanks to companies like Russell making EFI QD connectors that fit the stock Ranger fuel tank pick-up. That's the route I chose, mainly for the ease of install and the safety aspect. I'm not sure on your overall fuel requirements but you might want to run a -8AN for the feed and a -6AN for the return if your system is a return style. I ran -6AN for both of mine but I'm using a mostly stock EFI 5.0.

http://www.russellperformance.com/mc/adapter-fittings/specialty-fuel-injected.shtml

If you'd like to keep your battery in the engine bay but you still have to move it, Trail Gear makes a very strong, SECURE, and well-built steel battery box that's more affordable than a lot of other brands. That's what I used. I did have to design and weld up my own mounting brackets but that was pretty easy. If memory serves me, I believe I was able to fit a group 34 battery?

TG2.jpg
 


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