Considering a V8 swap


EvanCole45

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Hello, I have been considering a V8 swap on my 1988 Ranger GT. I have read some articles and forum posts on here about V8 swaps and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of agreement on what route to go. I would prefer a carbureted swap because of the simplicity, and I'd be looking for 250-300 rwhp to make the swap worthwhile. Some good options for this swap seem to be the 4.6, 351w, 302 or a 347 stroker. I'm just looking for some guidance on the difficulties of this swap, carbureted vs fuel injected and any other advice. I know the 5.0 swap from the explorer is the easiest, however that engine doesn't make enough power to be worth the time in m opinion. I would like to keep the budget for the swap below 6k and a manual transmission is a must. Hope you all have some advice and knowledge to give.
Thanks, Evan
 


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RonD

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The 302(5.0l) swap is popular because engine is only 19" wide, so FITS between steering shaft and heater box, well mostly, lol
And exhaust manifolds can be done inside the frame rails
When a 90deg engine has Overhead Cams it makes it alot wider(the 4.0l SOHC is a 60deg)
And larger engines are, well LARGER, lol

The Explorer V8 EFI intake is lower so fits under the hood better than the Truck V8 intakes

This swap article has some engine dimensions: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/V8Conversions.shtml

The 351w is only 2" wider but, even that matters alot
Making the engine fit is one thing.........................but remember you will need to SERVICE it, change spark plugs, so keep that in mind when deciding

As far as carb or EFI, to each his own
The EFI would be more reliable and more expensive
Carb would be easier and less expensive

You can build a 300hp 302 without spending too much, stroker adds more HP and cost, but doesn't change the width, which is the limiting factor in a Ranger


The 1997 to 2003 F-150s with 4.2l V6 used the M5R2 manual transmission with shifter in the same place as the smaller Ranger M5R1 was, so fits nicely
4.2L V6 used same bolt pattern as 302(small block), you would need to drill out the M5R2 bolt holes a bit as the 4.2l used metric size and 302 used SAE size

There are other manuals that fit the 302, but watch the shifter placement that can be a real problem
 
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RonD

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Well I think you can spend any amount on building an engine, pretty sure you wouldn't have to spend 6k to get 300hp from a 302 or 351
 

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Explorer is the best engine to start with IMO.

You get the best front belt drive with the best intake with the best heads... in one very easy to find package.

Nothing listed will make 250-300hp without some building.
 

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I would prefer a carbureted swap because of the simplicity,
Yes, because the necessary modifications to the fuel system are much simpler than just plugging in an existing harness and going.
 

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The EFI would be more reliable and more expensive
Carb would be easier and less expensive
I can go to almost any junk yard within two hours of me and yank a complete V8 engine, harness, and computer, with EFI system intact for about the same price as buying a new Holley or Edelbrock 4-barrel.
 

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96/98 dual fuel line Expo 5.0 -- Best EFI and ignition Ford ever paired with the 302. Only needs 6 or 7 wires between body and engine to work.

AFR heads, decent cam, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, torque monster headers.

Dial fuel pressure up till EFI has trouble keeping fuel ratio at low load then back off pressure a couple psi.

You'll have the power you're looking for.
 

EvanCole45

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96/98 dual fuel line Expo 5.0 -- Best EFI and ignition Ford ever paired with the 302. Only needs 6 or 7 wires between body and engine to work.

AFR heads, decent cam, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, torque monster headers.

Dial fuel pressure up till EFI has trouble keeping fuel ratio at low load then back off pressure a couple psi.

You'll have the power you're looking for.
How much did this cost you? And how much time?
 

Ramcharger90

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Even if you get a set of gt40 or gt40p heads and port match them you can make more power than most guys claim the factory block can handle. Obviously Cam, injector size, maf, intake, headers, etc are a factor in all of this on the power your going to make. degree of your timing, spark, spark plug heat range. What is the trucks purpose? Are you on a fixed budget? If the answer is Daily driver or weekend warrior, and yes then a mild build using a exploder 5.0 with tfs1 cam or a B or E cam heavy springs, roller rockers, hardened pushrods and port and polished p heads or 3 bars, will get you really close with a gt40 intake and half the cost of all the heads etc. Figure about 2k in rebuild and go fast parts. With cost of engine included.
 

Ramcharger90

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If you really want to run good get some p38 heads a good cam, and the valve reliefs cut down in the pistons. And you will make more than that block can handle for to long.

 

EvanCole45

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Even if you get a set of gt40 or gt40p heads and port match them you can make more power than most guys claim the factory block can handle. Obviously Cam, injector size, maf, intake, headers, etc are a factor in all of this on the power your going to make. degree of your timing, spark, spark plug heat range. What is the trucks purpose? Are you on a fixed budget? If the answer is Daily driver or weekend warrior, and yes then a mild build using a exploder 5.0 with tfs1 cam or a B or E cam heavy springs, roller rockers, hardened pushrods and port and polished p heads or 3 bars, will get you really close with a gt40 intake and half the cost of all the heads etc. Figure about 2k in rebuild and go fast parts. With cost of engine included.

I’m a high schooler so I’m on a very tight budget and I plan on doing the swap summer of 2021 after I graduate. I thought I’d get a big head start on the research so I can be 100% prepared. I would really like to keep the project under 5k from start to finish but I understand that probably won’t happen so my hard budget is 6k. As far as the purpose of the truck, it will be my daily driver and I will take it to college with me, so repairs need to be easy. I am pretty mechanically inclined, but I am horrible at dealing with electronics (part of why I’m leaning towards a carbureted engine). I plan on adding more aftermarket parts to the engine over the years and I would rather not deal with having someone dyno tune it every time I add something.
 

EvanCole45

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3-4 inches by a guy in the early 90s
If you really want to run good get some p38 heads a good cam, and the valve reliefs cut down in the pistons. And you will make more than that block can handle for to long.

Looks like a great upgrade but way out of my price range.
 

Ramcharger90

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I’m a high schooler so I’m on a very tight budget and I plan on doing the swap summer of 2021 after I graduate. I thought I’d get a big head start on the research so I can be 100% prepared. I would really like to keep the project under 5k from start to finish but I understand that probably won’t happen so my hard budget is 6k. As far as the purpose of the truck, it will be my daily driver and I will take it to college with me, so repairs need to be easy. I am pretty mechanically inclined, but I am horrible at dealing with electronics (part of why I’m leaning towards a carbureted engine). I plan on adding more aftermarket parts to the engine over the years and I would rather not deal with having someone dyno tune it every time I add something.
Honestly get a 5.0 out of an exploder.
Crown vic or mustang oil pan
A9l computer and mass air harness from a 87-93 mustang.
M5odr2 transmission.
8.8 rear and run it.

Till you get done with schooling, then worry about the fast truck. I waited to build my 5.0 Ranger for about 10 years after I graduated. Nothing wrong with collecting parts till then. But daily driver its a simple setup. 12 wires, good up to 300hp with the intake. You'll have the good heads with the exploder 5.0, then if you want a cam then you need springs, and rockers, pushrods and you might as well put lifters in. But those pistons will be fine and the bottom end for a decent 300hp build. And you dont have to tune for every lil thing.
 

EvanCole45

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Honestly get a 5.0 out of an exploder.
Crown vic or mustang oil pan
A9l computer and mass air harness from a 87-93 mustang.
M5odr2 transmission.
8.8 rear and run it.

Till you get done with schooling, then worry about the fast truck. I waited to build my 5.0 Ranger for about 10 years after I graduated. Nothing wrong with collecting parts till then. But daily driver its a simple setup. 12 wires, good up to 300hp with the intake. You'll have the good heads with the exploder 5.0, then if you want a cam then you need springs, and rockers, pushrods and you might as well put lifters in. But those pistons will be fine and the bottom end for a decent 300hp build. And you dont have to tune for every lil thing.
What did you do for the transmission cross member in your build?
 


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