85 2.3T swap


Jeepsandrangers

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hello everyone. finally after a year of searching ive found a 88 turbo coupe and was able to purchase it as a donor for my 85 EFI 2.3 ranger. being a broke college student I cant afford to make the ranger quite the vehicle that I want it to be. so for now im just going to run the stock psi on the turbo and slowly upgrade the parts I would need to eventually get it to run a heavier load.

just had a few questions for some you guys

first of all, do one of you have the ECM pinout diagrams for the 85 ranger? I've seen the 88 on here, im not sure but it may be close enough to what I need.

Also what should I upgrade immidiately for the engine swap? (already have walbro pump, radiator off of a V6 ranger, the electric fans off of the turbo coupe) i know i need to upgrade the clutch as well. What i question is the strength of the rangers manual transmission (trans was sold off on the turbo coupe when i bought it) and the rear axle. ive seen the forum to swap the rear with the axle off of the explorers and will do it if it is a neccesity when swapping.

so really the question is what can the ranger withstand long enough until i will able to afford a fix for it lol

truly appreciate the help guys
 
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scotts90ranger

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I don't think as much is as necessary as you might have been lead to believe... Believe me I've been through what you are talking about and understand...

First off, the '88 is the same as the '85 for the wiring, it didn't change until '89 when the dual plug setup was added, even then it's very minor differences...

It doesn't hurt to upgrade the fuel pump but not 100% necessary for stock settings. The stock clutch will hold up for a while but if slipped a lot the life goes down a lot (I burnt up a stock clutch in 15k miles with my Ranger, but it's 4x4 and I was running 4.10 gears and 31" tires and went wheeling which involves slipping the clutch a lot at times). The transmission in an '85 isn't as strong as a M5OD that I'm running but should last a while, when it goes just look for a M5OD out of an '88-96 2.3L Ranger and grab trans, clutch master cylinder, hose, shifter and driveshaft which should handle anything you put to it unless you go for over about 250hp... same clutch so if you do end up upgrading no changes needed like you would end up with with a T5...

The 7.5" rear axle you have is just fine unless you have big sticky tires... I ran mine with 31" tires for a few years without a problem, a stock 2.3L turbo doesn't have enough torque to break too much... I am running around 200hp now and am running a 31 spline Explorer 8.8" axle with 5.13 gears and a locker, in first gear low range with the axle wrap I managed to twist an axle tube at the pinch weld and bend a leaf spring, but that took pulling ~20k pounds in first gear low range at near the rev limiter...

In short, as long as you get it running you will be fine. I would suggest replacing the intake manifold gasket at least while it is apart, maybe take the head off and freshen some things up before you get started... Oh, and schedule for more time than you think it will take :), I had great ambitions of getting it done on a thanksgiving long weekend... I got done with my swap on new years day... I could of course do it in a 3 day weekend now but things happen...
 

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I don't think as much is as necessary as you might have been lead to believe... Believe me I've been through what you are talking about and understand...



First off, the '88 is the same as the '85 for the wiring, it didn't change until '89 when the dual plug setup was added, even then it's very minor differences...



It doesn't hurt to upgrade the fuel pump but not 100% necessary for stock settings. The stock clutch will hold up for a while but if slipped a lot the life goes down a lot (I burnt up a stock clutch in 15k miles with my Ranger, but it's 4x4 and I was running 4.10 gears and 31" tires and went wheeling which involves slipping the clutch a lot at times). The transmission in an '85 isn't as strong as a M5OD that I'm running but should last a while, when it goes just look for a M5OD out of an '88-96 2.3L Ranger and grab trans, clutch master cylinder, hose, shifter and driveshaft which should handle anything you put to it unless you go for over about 250hp... same clutch so if you do end up upgrading no changes needed like you would end up with with a T5...



The 7.5" rear axle you have is just fine unless you have big sticky tires... I ran mine with 31" tires for a few years without a problem, a stock 2.3L turbo doesn't have enough torque to break too much... I am running around 200hp now and am running a 31 spline Explorer 8.8" axle with 5.13 gears and a locker, in first gear low range with the axle wrap I managed to twist an axle tube at the pinch weld and bend a leaf spring, but that took pulling ~20k pounds in first gear low range at near the rev limiter...



In short, as long as you get it running you will be fine. I would suggest replacing the intake manifold gasket at least while it is apart, maybe take the head off and freshen some things up before you get started... Oh, and schedule for more time than you think it will take :), I had great ambitions of getting it done on a thanksgiving long weekend... I got done with my swap on new years day... I could of course do it in a 3 day weekend now but things happen...


Thanks for the reply !

I’m thinking I’ll go ahead and swap the trans while I have the engine out and then a few months later do the axle as well.

When swapping the FM 145 to m5od would my transfer case bolt up to it? Or would I need to find another one along with the m5od trans?


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scotts90ranger

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All of the Ranger transfer cases bolt on the same and have the same shaft splines so you are good there. All of the BW 1350 or 1354 cases will bolt on. The only Ranger based vehicle with the more standard 6 bolt pattern and odd splines is the V8 explorers...

If your transfer case is manual, you will have to find a shift linkage for an M5OD though I believe, I don't remember 100% on that, I think the A4LD and M5OD linkages are the same for the 1354 but think there are a couple different linkages for the 1350...
 
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Jeepsandrangers

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Finally about to get my engine back from the machine shop. Scott, what would be my best route for finding the correct driveshafts for my M5od swap ? Mine is an 85 with the 7 ft. bed, so I didn’t know if I should find a later model truck that has the M5od and a similar wheel base to pull it off of.. what would you recommend?


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scotts90ranger

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That's easier to find than a short bed 4x4 M5OD... I couldn't find one until AFTER I had my old one rebuilt for around $400... all you need to do is find a 4x4 long bed Ranger with an A4LD or M5OD which means pretty much anything from '90 to '97, just keep en eye out if the suspected donor has a 2.9L as some of them had a different manual transmission that is a different length (all 2.9L autos are the A4LD). The only odd thing is you might have to swap the rear flange with what you have now, they changed to a flange from the U bolt style I believe in '89, should be the same U joint...
 

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Got her set in and looking to wire it up. Currently looking at the excel spreadsheet of the 1990 Ranger to 88 Turbo coupe. Being that mine is an 85 there are some differences. Going down the list, these have no wires in them that the spreadsheet does have #6,8,18,32, and 53. Some of these make sense since the truck is older and doesn’t have some of the features as later models. But since it does have a wire in 3, for example, it should have a wire in 6 for the ground. 53 made sense because it was for the A/T but it does have a wire in 52 which goes to that same solenoid for the A4LD trans. And these other two aren’t supposed to have a wire in them but they do #23, and 33. #23 is for the knock sensor (never really put it together but I think my 85 already had a knock sensor, will do a continuity test on the connector I think was for the knock sensor.)

Been looking for a diagram for the 85 2.3 but have been unsuccessful at finding one. Not sure where the best place to find one would be.


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