4x4 4.0 to 2.3 Duratec Swap


Zander

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Hi guys I have a friend who has a 2002 4x4 Ranger with the 4.0 v6 and 5 Speed Manual and it's been blowing blue smoke for a while. He bought it used so who knows that the previous owner did to it but he was talking about swapping in something that'd get better mileage and I suggested the 2.3 duratec because of my own experience driving one. Anyway were not sure if the bellhousing on his 5 Speed would bolt up to the 2.3 duratec or if he'd need to swap the whole transmission, I know you can't do just the bellhousing. And if that's the case can he reuse the transfer case off his truck? Basically I'd like to know what all he'll need to swap out from a donor truck. I've had several Rangers but never tried anything like this and don't think I've ever heard of a 4x4 ext cab ranger with a 2.3 duratec. It'd probably have more power than my old 2.9 lol. Anyway thanks in advance for any help!
 


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Dirtman

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4.0 and 2.3 use different bell housings. If the 2.3 was 4x4 then you can reuse the transmission from the 2.3 truck. But if it was 2wd then the transfer case will not fit (output shafts are different length between 2wd and 4wd transmissions). And unfortunately not many 4x4 2.3 duratec trucks were made so.... Finding a transmission will be a major issue.

I think the whole things is a bad idea though. You're in for ALOT of work for an overall loss of power and minor mpg boost.
 

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The 2.3 will not make to a 4.0 transmission. And there were no 4x4 4-cyl Rangers built after 97, so you will be making a trans for this. If you can find a 2.3 5-speed you will already have all the parts you need to make it.

I don't know if the swap would be worthwhile though. An over-worked smaller engine is not doing to do any better, and can do worse, on fuel than an under-worked over-sized engine.
 

adsm08

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4.0 and 2.3 use different bell housings. If the 2.3 was 4x4 then you can reuse the transmission from the 2.3 truck. But if it was 2wd then the transfer case will not fit (output shafts are different length between 2wd and 4wd transmissions). And unfortunately not ANY 4x4 2.3 duratec trucks were made so.... Finding a transmission will be a major issue.

I think the whole things is a bad idea though. You're in for ALOT of work for an overall loss of power and minor mpg boost.
FIFY
 

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Well, learn something new everyday. I thought there was a few during the 01-02 years when they switched from the lima to the duratec.
 

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Well, learn something new everyday. I thought there was a few during the 01-02 years when they switched from the lima to the duratec.
No, they dropped the 4-cyl 4x4 combo for 1998.

There have been a few custom units made but they were home brew.
 

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You would buy a 2002 to 2011 2.3l Ranger or Mazda B2300 M5R1 2WD transmission and then pull off the 2WD tail shaft housing and output shaft then install the 4.0l's M5R1 4WD output shaft and housing
Quite a bit of disassembly is required

A replacement 4.0l SOHC engine would be better all around

Depending on your location you would end up with a Salvaged or Rebuilt title since 2.3l engine won't match the VIN of the vehicle its in
 

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The 2.3 will not make to a 4.0 transmission. And there were no 4x4 4-cyl Rangers built after 97, so you will be making a trans for this. If you can find a 2.3 5-speed you will already have all the parts you need to make it.

I don't know if the swap would be worthwhile though. An over-worked smaller engine is not doing to do any better, and can do worse, on fuel than an under-worked over-sized engine.
Well on the 96 ranger the 2.3 4wd got 18 city and 23 highway while the 4.0 4wd got 15 city and 20 highway. And keep in mind that was with the weak old lima engine, the duratec had way more power and better mpgs in the 2wd version so I'd expect an increase over the lima. 140 hp is nothing to sneeze at.
 

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You would buy a 2002 to 2011 2.3l Ranger or Mazda B2300 M5R1 2WD transmission and then pull off the 2WD tail shaft housing and output shaft then install the 4.0l's M5R1 4WD output shaft and housing
Quite a bit of disassembly is required

A replacement 4.0l SOHC engine would be better all around

Depending on your location you would end up with a Salvaged or Rebuilt title since 2.3l engine won't match the VIN of the vehicle its in
Wouldn't that be true of a junkyard 4.0 also? Different VIN? He's not planning on rebuilding the one that's in it
 

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You would buy a 2002 to 2011 2.3l Ranger or Mazda B2300 M5R1 2WD transmission and then pull off the 2WD tail shaft housing and output shaft then install the 4.0l's M5R1 4WD output shaft and housing
Quite a bit of disassembly is required

A replacement 4.0l SOHC engine would be better all around

Depending on your location you would end up with a Salvaged or Rebuilt title since 2.3l engine won't match the VIN of the vehicle its in
So the rear end of the 4.0 tranny will bolt onto the front end of the 2.3 tranny correct? So it would essentially be keeping the tailshaft housing, output shaft and transfer case from the good truck (4x4) and swapping in a different engine/tranny from the donor (2x4) am I understanding this correctly?
By the way we haven't found a donor truck yet.
 

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Wouldn't that be true of a junkyard 4.0 also? Different VIN? He's not planning on rebuilding the one that's in it
VIN# just tells what engine is in the truck, 2.3, 3.0, or 4.0, so swapping 4.0 for 4.0 would not change VIN#
 

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So the rear end of the 4.0 tranny will bolt onto the front end of the 2.3 tranny correct? So it would essentially be keeping the tailshaft housing, output shaft and transfer case from the good truck (4x4) and swapping in a different engine/tranny from the donor (2x4) am I understanding this correctly?
By the way we haven't found a donor truck yet.
Yes, they are both M5OD-R1(M5R1) transmissions, they just have different main cases, which were made for specific engines
Then they could either get longer output shaft for 2WD or shorter output shaft for 4WD, and tail shaft housing to match 2WD or 4WD
So yes the rear attachment(tail shaft housing) is the same for any M5R1

They just never made 4WD version of M5R1 for 2.3l Duratec engine, so you need to make one

The 4.0l M5R1 did have different gear ratios, but you would be using the 2.3l gears so doesn't matter


8th digit in a Ford VIN is engine size, so if you put a 2.3l, or 3.0l for that matter, into a vehicle with 4.0l VIN then it no longer matches, and that can cause state or local DMV to make you get a "damaged" title, it depends on inspection or licensing requirements

If you swapped in another 4.0l then VIN still matches
 
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Dirtman

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Dont forget you need the wiring and ecu. Some parts of the harness will swap over but alot will need to be changed. And the ecu's are obviously not interchangeable. You'll also need to do AC lines, coolant lines, exhaust etc. Cost and work wise you're going to be in as deep as a 5.0 swap (plus the trans work).

And for what its worth my duratec gets good highway mileage 25+ but city driving it barely gets 15...
 
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I would buy a '02 Ranger with as many of the features as you can get to match - air, cruise, manual, etc.

In addition to the engine and transmission, wiring and ecu, there's things like PATS, which leads to door locks and tachometer for which you'll want the entire display; that you would want.

It's very much the converse of the 5.0 - down 2 cylinders rather than up. And 5.0 includes transmission/transfer case work - a 135x never bolts direct to AODE or M5OD-R2. Effort/cost being more/less equal...
 

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Yes, they are both M5OD-R1(M5R1) transmissions, they just have different main cases, which were made for specific engines
Then they could either get longer output shaft for 2WD or shorter output shaft for 4WD, and tail shaft housing to match 2WD or 4WD
So yes the rear attachment(tail shaft housing) is the same for any M5R1

They just never made 4WD version of M5R1 for 2.3l Duratec engine, so you need to make one

The 4.0l M5R1 did have different gear ratios, but you would be using the 2.3l gears so doesn't matter


8th digit in a Ford VIN is engine size, so if you put a 2.3l, or 3.0l for that matter, into a vehicle with 4.0l VIN then it no longer matches, and that can cause state or local DMV to make you get a "damaged" title, it depends on inspection or licensing requirements

If you swapped in another 4.0l then VIN still matches
OK gotcha. I'm in Iowa so not sure if that would matter anyway, we don't have any kind of inspection that I know of.
 


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