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bit off more than I can chew 1986

tom86

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Hampden Ma
Vehicle Year
1986
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Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Bought a project ranger perfect frame great body but very rough! I have the engine out of the truck and on an engine stand. Where do I begin? any suggestions
 


tom86

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1986
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Ford Ranger
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Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
for a novice taking on this project would I be better to just buy a referb long block for $1700
 

JerrySab

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Vehicle Year
1988
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Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Hey guy! Welcome to the forum.

what are your goals for the project?
What exactly are the issues you’re experiencing?

I wasn’t in a dissimilar place from you and did manage to find all I’d need to get my truck running really well. You describing some issues and honest assssment of truck let us know!
 

tom86

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1986
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Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
so I need to find an engine schematic or a step by step 2.9l engine rebuild book I have found them for 255ci and up but have yet to find one for the 177 ci 2.9l
 

bobbywalter

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Location
woodhaven mi
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1988
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FORD mostly
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V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"

rang-a-stang

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Location
Camarillo, CA
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
31x10.50R15
I agree with tom86. Your better off buying a long block with a warranty. My last engine build had $2000 in machine work alone. Then I put it all together and had a bunch of other problems.
 

bobbywalter

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Location
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Vehicle Year
1988
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FORD mostly
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V8
Engine Size
BIGGER
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
I agree with tom86. Your better off buying a long block with a warranty. My last engine build had $2000 in machine work alone. Then I put it all together and had a bunch of other problems.

To be fair....the last time I did the longblock warranty thing....the 4th one was a charm... Two had junk pistons...the 3rd was only good for 3 to 5 psi oil pressure with my hd drill.

And the 4th was still a clattering pos.

Better off with a machine shop on some engines.
 

ecgreen

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Location
Dunbarton NH
Vehicle Year
1989
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
3"
Tire Size
33
Hey guy! Welcome to the forum.

what are your goals for the project?
What exactly are the issues you’re experiencing?

I wasn’t in a dissimilar place from you and did manage to find all I’d need to get my truck running really well. You describing some issues and honest assssment of truck let us know!
This! Decide what you want to have at the end of all this. Do you just want a running junker? Full restoration? Rebuild nice, but not too nice? Offroading? Street queen? Original stock form? Lifted? Etc...Then make a plan for how to get there. Realize that it is going to take twice as long as you think and costs 5 times as much. And at the end of the day it is still going to be a crappy RBV. Then take a deep breath and tackle one problem at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

For me, I knew I was building a wheeler/overlander and I approached it that way. Here are some lessons I learned:

1. Every seal, bearing, hose, gasket and wear item is to be presumed toast! If you think you its OK, its not.
2. If you have something apart, replace everything you can at that time! You are looking at 100s of hours of work ahead of you. If you have to go back in somewhere you are wasting time.
3. Consider dismantling the entire truck. I wish I had done this, because in the end there is not a bolt I haven't touched and it would literally have been faster, and easier, to just dismantle the whole thing and start from there.
4. Take pictures and lablel everything! You will forget, so document!
5. Buy the best parts you can afford. New parts today are essentially untested crap that is slapped together and the customer is left to figure out if it works or not.
6. Slow down! If you get in over your head, realize its 2021. You have the interwebs! Stop and do your research. Resist the urge to "Git er done".
7. Enjoy! Thats what you started this for.

Sean
 

Uncle Gump

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Location
Ottawa IL
Vehicle Year
2006/1986
Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
I'm going to add to the @ecgreen list...

8. Understand completely that you will never get anywhere close to what you will spend if you decide to sell it.
 

tom86

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Hampden Ma
Vehicle Year
1986
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Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Hey guy! Welcome to the forum.

what are your goals for the project?
What exactly are the issues you’re experiencing?

I wasn’t in a dissimilar place from you and did manage to find all I’d need to get my truck running really well. You describing some issues and honest assssment of truck let us know!
So tho big thing is I need a engine blueprint I checked into a master engine rebuild kit looking at $500 and my time but I need something to follow this will be the first time I’m doing this
 

tom86

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Location
Hampden Ma
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
So tho big thing is I need a engine blueprint I checked into a master engine rebuild kit looking at $500 and my time but I need something to follow this will be the first time I’m doing this
I want to basically rebuild this truck
 

Uncle Gump

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Make / Model
Ranger/BroncoII
Engine Size
4.0L SOHC/2.9L
2WD / 4WD
4WD
My credo
Lead, Follow or get out of my way
If you want to rebuild it... tear it down... do a full inspection... send block and heads out for machine work... do not buy any parts before you know exactly what you need.

Start the project by finding a factory service manual. Maybe .pdf type from ebay.

Understand it is a bunch of work... and money. I would never discourage anyone from doing their own work... but if you're rebuilding the entire truck... a reman long block will free your time to do a bunch of the less intricate stuff.
 

Nez'sRanger

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Pennsylvania
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1989
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Ford
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2.9L V6
Transmission
Manual
There's a really good book on our "lovely" 2.9s called "How-To Build and Modify Ford 60 Degree Engines" by Sven Pruett.
Don't let the stupid $400 Amazon one get you down. Keep looking on eBay. They turn up a LOT cheaper.
While it may be geared for a performance build, it still is very helpful even for a regular rebuild. As you read through it, he tells you what tolerances you need to look for in an engine rebuild, what types of machines you want your machine shop to have (it's an older book, so I'm sure there are more effective versions of those machines out today).
He goes all out and even grinds out casting lines in an effort to minimize places where stress cracks could form (probably not a problem for non-racing applications, but still, neat info to have!)
 

19Walt93

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Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
I always build my own engines because rebuilt means different thing to different people. It should mean functionally new. The first thing to do is find a good machine shop to work with and have them check out the block, heads, crank, and everything else before ordering parts to make sure (1) it's worth fixing and (2) you buy what you need and not a bunch of parts that you don't need. Do it right or you'll end up doing it over, wasting time and money. I prefer Clevite bearing and Felpro gaskets, Victor Reine gaskets are good, too, Mr Gasket stuff is junk. The 2.9 I did last year wasn't in terrible shape, just worn and leaking everywhere. The machine shop got the engine parts for me and I assembled it after the machining was done.
 

dirtymike

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Age
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Location
knoxville TN
Vehicle Year
1987
Make / Model
Ranger lwb
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
1 inch spacers
Tire Size
P23575R15
My credo
Do unto others then Split-probasti me et chognuisti me
"How-To Build and Modify Ford 60 Degree Engines" by Sven Pruett. I can find certain paragraphs of this book but cant find the complete book online. The price is a bit steep. Anybody her have a copy.
 

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