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2.3L ('83-'97) Can I switch out a 2.9 for a 2.3


ropinwillie

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My 89 2.9 v6 auto trans blew up tonight and I was wondering if I can put a 87 2.3L 4 cylinder without any problems or what do I need to change to get this done thanks in advance
 


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Shran

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What blew up? The engine or the trans?
 

RonD

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Not an easy swap
The V6 is wide so can be mounted on the frame rails, the 4cylinder isn't as wide so needs drivers side motor mount on a cross brace that runs from frame rail to frame rail

The engine computer and wiring harness needs to be swapped

Won't be plug and play you will need to splice some wires which you will have to ID yourself since this wouldn't be a common swap

If the 1987 2.3l is also an automatic it has the same A4LD transmission as the 1989 2.9l, so you could swap bellhousings, its not easy but certainly easier and better than swapping engines

If its a manual then that adds another layer of complications, lol
But 1987 manual has removable/swappable bellhousing, so....................
 
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ropinwillie

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Not an easy swap
The V6 is wide so can be mounted on the frame rails, the 4cylinder isn't as wide so needs drivers side motor mount on a cross brace that runs from frame rail to frame rail

The engine computer and wiring harness needs to be swapped

Won't be plug and play you will need to splice some wires which you will have to ID yourself since this wouldn't be a common swap

If the 1987 2.3l is also an automatic it has the same A4LD transmission as the 1989 2.9l, so you could swap bellhousings, its not easy but certainly easier and better than swapping engines

If its a manual then that adds another layer of complications, lol
But 1987 manual has removable/swappable bellhousing, so....................
RonD I have a doner truck so it should have all that correct?
 

Shran

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OK. Personally... if I was you... I would find a donor Ranger or Explorer, 89-94, with a 4.0 and swap that in. Why? It'll bolt up to your transmission and the wiring changes are minimal. Or just replace the 2.9.

Why not use the 2.3?

Bellhousing, torque converter, flywheel and starter are all different
Your 87 wiring will be very difficult to graft onto an '89 truck
Motor mounts are much different, radiator is different
You could find an 89 up 4 cylinder harness but it won't work with the '87 engine

Personally I think swapping the 2.3 in is a huge waste of time unless you have a lot of free time on your hands and access to a substantial supply of parts. A 4.0 swap is just a lot easier and your truck is an ideal candidate for it, or just replace the 2.9.
 

franklin2

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OK. Personally... if I was you... I would find a donor Ranger or Explorer, 89-94, with a 4.0 and swap that in. Why? It'll bolt up to your transmission and the wiring changes are minimal.
I have been on this board a little less than a year now, but I am not getting the impression that the wiring from a 2.9 to a 4.0 is that simple. Going by the many posts and questions about it. And it seems there is not one "this is the way to do it" because it depends on what year 4.0 you get. Most people hate wiring, and it seems that is what that swap is all about. The engine install must be easy.
 

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They may have been 'leasing' (for lack of a better term) the software to Ford, instead of Ford buying it outright. Just a guess but see stuff like that all the time in my job.
 
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I have been on this board a little less than a year now, but I am not getting the impression that the wiring from a 2.9 to a 4.0 is that simple.
A 4.0 swap is quite easy. Get the ford evtm for both vehicles and youll be set. 4.0 swap on my 90 bronco ii was only 6 or 7 wires.
 

Shran

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I have been on this board a little less than a year now, but I am not getting the impression that the wiring from a 2.9 to a 4.0 is that simple. Going by the many posts and questions about it. And it seems there is not one "this is the way to do it" because it depends on what year 4.0 you get. Most people hate wiring, and it seems that is what that swap is all about. The engine install must be easy.
So second gen trucks are kind of a unique thing because you could get a 4.0 from the factory... so a 4.0 swap can be almost a direct plug and play thing with the right donor truck, or very close to it.

First gen trucks are much more complex and that's where most of the 4.0 swaps happen, and it's also why people say they are not easy...because they're not... there is a lot more wire splicing and stuff. The 2.3 swap idea that has been proposed is pretty complex simply because there are so many things that need to be changed. I would be more supportive of the idea if the 2.3 donor was 89 or newer.

There's not really an accurate "how to" because of the variations in recipient and donor trucks. For example a 94 Explorer donor going into an '83 Bronco II is going to be completely different than a 91 Ranger donor going into an '89 Ranger and a '99 Ranger going into a '90 Ranger will be different than either of the first two... no two swaps are the same. Ranger into Ranger is the easiest and most straightforward and 89-94 trucks are the easiest to work with IMO.
 

franklin2

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There are so many questions on 4.0 swaps as far as the wiring, you guys should start a thread to archive this knowledge. What years the swap was , and what wires had to be spliced, cut or added. It would be a nice update to the tech forum. There is one article in there and it's a little hard to follow.
 
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I don't think a thread like that would be possible because everyone's truck can be different.
 

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A.2.3 beats a 2.9 in every aspect.
 

Shran

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I have a feeling that it's going to be less and less relevant in the near future regardless. I have a giant stash of parts, enough to do several 4.0 swaps assuming I had engines on hand but the supply of good stuff is dwindling, and it's happening fast. The big local junkyards don't have much of anything from the 90's even, the smaller yards are just now starting to crush all their older stuff too.

If I had no parts stash and a nice truck that needed an engine, I'd really be looking at a reman long block or something else entirely... Ecoboost/ecotech swap, LS swap, even a GM 4.3 would be pretty easy.
 

franklin2

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I have a feeling that it's going to be less and less relevant in the near future regardless. I have a giant stash of parts, enough to do several 4.0 swaps assuming I had engines on hand but the supply of good stuff is dwindling, and it's happening fast. The big local junkyards don't have much of anything from the 90's even, the smaller yards are just now starting to crush all their older stuff too.

If I had no parts stash and a nice truck that needed an engine, I'd really be looking at a reman long block or something else entirely... Ecoboost/ecotech swap, LS swap, even a GM 4.3 would be pretty easy.
Hopefully the aftermarket fuel injection systems get more popular, and thus less expensive. That would be a good way to get a late model engine in one of these trucks and skip all the factory computer mess and black boxes. The aftermarket efi has made the LS swaps even more popular. I wish someone would come out with one of those systems for a v6. Plug and play and self tune and all that good stuff like the LS engines have.
 


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