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92 Ranger 4L V6 Blown Gasket - Engine Swap/ Recommendations ?

eddiemay

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Hi everyone, I recently blew out my head gasket and trying to figure out the best approach to get my 92 Ranger XLT up and running again. Interested to hear if there are any recommendations or suggestions on a preferred engine swap. From my understanding, the head gasket cost will be too high and I should be looking for a new engine to replace it with as opposed to fixing the current engine. I have heard of Ford Mustang engines being used but would love to hear some insight on what would be cost-effective and still efficient in terms of power/output. Currently located in Victoria, BC Canada. Thanks for the help/advice!
 


RonD

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Not good suggestions you are getting

Head gaskets can be done with engine in vehicle, and not that expensive, under $1,000 even if you get two new heads, which usually is not needed

Head gaskets don't just blow one day, they blow if engine is overheated too much and too long, the head gasket gets CRUSHED from head metal expanding down

4.0l OHV used in 1990 to 2000 Rangers had an issue with weak spots in the heads if overheated as well, so can crack
So what happened?
Did a hose break, fan belt, ????

Don't need any special tools to do this work, a torque wrench when reassembling is about it
Heads need to go to a machine shop to be pressure tested and then resurfaced if OK

If your kilometres are under 350,000 then bottom end still has 200,000+ left
 

Bill

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Not good suggestions you are getting

Head gaskets can be done with engine in vehicle, and not that expensive, under $1,000 even if you get two new heads, which usually is not needed

Head gaskets don't just blow one day, they blow if engine is overheated too much and too long, the head gasket gets CRUSHED from head metal expanding down

4.0l OHV used in 1990 to 2000 Rangers had an issue with weak spots in the heads if overheated as well, so can crack
So what happened?
Did a hose break, fan belt, ????
They also suffer from that problem many engines have in the mid-90s after asbestos was removed from the head gasket material in that failure to maintain and change the coolant results in the acid in the coolant eating a path along once surface of the gasket resulting in coolant that leaks between the cylinder head and the block. It's visible by looking under the exhaust manifolds.
 

scotts90ranger

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Yeah, what they said, the early 4.0's also had intake manifold gaskets that liked to leak a bunch in the front.

Back 12 years ago I had a couple Explorers with 4.0L's, the first I got was an auto that had a bad intake gasket and I ended up changing the heads too, I lived in the city in a townhouse and did all that with minimal tools in the driveway before I knew much... If you're paying someone to do the work it could get expensive since labor is expensive, but so are replacement engines, engine swaps would be even worse...
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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Heads and head gaskets sound really crazy, but they are really not scary at all. Just remember to keep the pushrods in order and you are good to go. Follow the torque sequence. Everything has to be torqued in a specific sequence for heads and intakes. These engines are very easy to work on with little to no knowledge. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had heads off engines since getting into it back 20 years ago
 

rumblecloud

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My credo
What's the worst that could happen?
Also, posting the same query in two spots waters down the responses.
Check you other post for responses there as well.
 

lil_Blue_Ford

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Oh, and the only way an engine swap might be cheaper is if you do all the work yourself and are lucky enough to get a good matching engine cheap. Engine swaps where you get into changing to other engines and transmissions and all get expensive fast. Plus you really need some mechanical know-how, even for a relatively simple swap. I started a v-8 swap in my green Ranger because the transmission gave up and the engine had a suspected rear main leak. I got a running/driving donor Explorer that turned out to be a less than ideal swap, no problem, I’ll convert it. Throw some new plugs and wires on it, swap the injectors, fuel rail, harness and computer, cam sensor and be good to go...

Well, 7 plugs came out and the 8th broke in the head. 6 hours later and the easy out snapped. It wouldn’t dig out and it wouldn’t shatter. Had to pull the head. Broke a valve cover bolt and an intake bolt in the opposite head. Pulled the water pump then because I might as well put a new one on at this point and snapped a bolt there. Pulled the timing chain cover to get to it and broke the timing chain cover. Found the timing chain was stretched. Screwed up trying to get the broken valve cover bolt out and damaged two valve springs. Lost the spring keepers and locks before getting replacement springs. Got replacement keepers and locks only to find the missing ones. Found the valves were all pitted and needed ground. Still need to find a cam alignment tool for changing that over. Oh, and the fuel line wouldn’t come free so I’m replacing it with -AN line from the filter up. So much for yank it and shove it in. I’ve lost track of how much money has gone into this project.

Not saying a swap can’t be done, just know that it can be a can of worms.
 

Angie

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welcome

first thing to do is get a haynes or any other ford ranger "fix it" book. all the steps are laid out in there fairly good, complete with all torque specs. get a decent torque ratchet, and go to lordco and get a "top end" gasket kit for a 1991 + 4.L.

I will guess you are mechanically inclined enough to take the top of the engine apart? if so, it is fairly easy to do. patients and step by step is the key.

here is a easy to follow "how to" I made last year.

other question... are you 100% sure the head gasket is blown?

cheers

https://www.therangerstation.com/forums/index.php?threads/blown-head-gasket-replacing-4-l.194698/
 

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