Drift Truck Help


dexter1096

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I have just bought a 1996 ford ranger 5 speed 2.3L and I want to turn it into a drift truck. Its got over 300,000 miles on it but it still runs and drives fine, I already plan to lower it with dream beams and a rear flip kit. I also plan to weld the diff, will it drift on the stock 2.3L power or will I need to swap/mod the engine and if so what even transmission could I put into it because I know for sure the stock 5 speed wont take much more power. Basically I wanna know if im going to have to fabricate my whole way thou this.

Thanks!
 


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Bird76Mojo

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It's very doubtful a stock 300,000 mile 2.3 is gonna do any drifting at all. With a full rebuild it might "want" to.. With a power adder it definitely would. I'd start sourcing some 2.3 Turbo Coupe parts or looking in to 2.3 Ranger turbo builds if it were me..

Don't plan on welding the diff if you want to drive it anywhere. It won't last, and when it fails it will fail spectacularly.
 

dexter1096

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I've daily driven welded diffs allot, is this one really that bad?
 

JoshT

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Basically I wanna know if im going to have to fabricate my whole way thou this.
Basically yes. Where you going to drift around Warner Robins anyway?

Not trying to discourage you, buy you are probably going to need a lot more power even trying to spin one wheel. To spin both wheels drifting (and expect it to last) you're going to need a fresh engine with better internals and probably some power adders as well.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Well, the differential is probably a 7.5" so it's not the strongest axle to begin with.
 

dexter1096

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I can spin one wheel find and even do rolling burnouts on hot dry road with stock engine so I don't think I will have to compleatly replace the engine in order to build a drift truck
 

Dirtman

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Just to be clear... You want to take a 23 year old 4 cylinder truck with about 140 horsepower and over 300 thousand miles on it, weld up the diff, race it, and use it as a daily driver at the same time?

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Dirtman

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Well... stifling my intense urge to be sarcastic. What you want to do is just not logical. The rear end is too weak to be welded. Swapping in a 8.8 with a limited slip is much more practical. Also if you use one from an explorer you will gain rear disc brakes which will be a huge advantage on the track, especially since you could later upgrade to twin calipers and a hand brake. BUT even an 8.8 wont stand up to running welded on the street for any amount of time. A lunchbox locker would be the best bet if you want to spend the money.

The 2.3 lima has tons of upgrades available but face it, it has 300+ thousand miles. You start throwing power at it and it is going to die. Rebuilding it wouldn't be worth it either in my opinion because for the money could just swap in a 5.0. Again, an explorer would be the best place to get one. You've practically doubled your horsepower power right there. And if you find a wrecked explorer you could buy the whole truck and you've got your motor, and new rear end from one place.

With the 5.0 you've also expanded your transmission options. A mustang t-5 would be a good choice if you want to stay with a manual, if not go with a c4. Your stock trans is the m5od, not bad but not made for power and also has a billion miles on it.

So in summary for the cost of a wrecked explorer you've got an engine with twice the power, a much stronger rear with much better brakes and a limited slip. Also the chance to use a good solid trans like the t-5. Throw in the cost of a junkyard t-5 and between that and the explorer you will literally spend less than what it would take to get that worn out 2.3 to 200hp. And you now have an entire drivetrain with pretty much unlimited upgrade potential. (When your done you could part out what's left of the explorer and get some of your money back)

Or you could just buy an old mustang that already has a 5.0, T5, and 8.8 and fix it up... but if it's the ranger you like the bottom line is you simply lack the basic fundamental drivetrain to do what you want to do and you need to replace it.
 
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stmitch

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I agree with the explorer axle swap idea. It's stronger, probably comes with a factory limited slip, and disc brakes. It will also lower the truck about 5 inches which means you don't have to buy a flip kit. Stock Explorer rear sway bar is nice and fat which should make oversteer easier.

As for the 5.0 swap, I don't see it as being much better than anything you could do with the 2.3L. They had 215hp/288ft-lbs when new. Less now that they're all almost 20 years old with tons of miles. To make any real power out of it you have to spend a bunch of money on upgrades, and they're freakin heavy. And they tend to crack or split blocks once you get over 400-ish hp. Swapping to a completely different engine and trans is going to be a bunch more work and down time for the truck than building another 2.3L on a stand and swapping it in in a day or two.
 

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As for the 5.0 swap, I don't see it as being much better than anything you could do with the 2.3L. They had 215hp/288ft-lbs when new. Less now that they're all almost 20 years old with tons of miles. To make any real power out of it you have to spend a bunch of money on upgrades, and they're freakin heavy. And they tend to crack or split blocks once you get over 400-ish hp. Swapping to a completely different engine and trans is going to be a bunch more work and down time for the truck than building another 2.3L on a stand and swapping it in in a day or two.
If the 2.3 is going to surpass the factory block strength of a 5.0 the M5ODR1 behind it isn't long for this world in a race application anyway.

The Ford guy in me says go 2v 4.6 (they take boost very well) until you can make it a dedicated race truck and then sneak up on a coyote and the trans will already be there.

The realist says go late model GM on the powertrain. Good power in a good sized package.
 

Bird76Mojo

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Lots of Foxbody's out there running a stock block at 500+ (even 550+) without cracking. It's all in the tune...


There's a ton of difference between doing one-wheel burnouts, or even rolling burnouts, and actually lighting up both rear tires enough to actually keep a drift going for any meaningful amount of time.. While turning (drifting) when you transfer the weight over to one rear tire while in a drift, it's gonna be hard for that truck to keep that tire broke loose. Let alone break that tire loose on demand.
 

dexter1096

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I dont wanna know that my truck is gonna blow or that my diff gonna "fail spectacularly" i just wanna know the mods i have to do to get this bad boy to drift
 

2Krngr

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A truck a recently sold would be similar to what you are describing, Regular cab, 2.5l / 5spd, explorer 8.8 lsd 3:73, explorer sway bar and 5/7 drop. Here is the link to the for sale ad: https://www.therangerstation.com/forums/index.php?threads/va-1999-mazda-b2500-lowered-5-spd-8-8-lsd.177837/#post-1663267

I have had lots of rangers, of all motors and trim levels. But focusing on the truck I linked it would drift well in the rain, but on dry pavement it wouldn't do it with the 17"s but when I had 15"s with 225/50 nitto 450s on it you could drift a single corner with some entry momentum but you really had to huck it in hard. You're not gonna break a refreshed 8.8 LSD I wouldn't be concerned with that, but don't waste your time with welding either size axle, welded diffs are shit to drive, my local junkyard sells explorer axles for $100 they are everywhere.

The smaller the wheel/tire combo you run the easier you can break them loose, but you also run out the rpms much faster as well.

It could drift circles around a cone ok, but you literally had to give that motor every single ounce of everything it had to make it do it. You will never ever manji a straight, not gonna happen, and you will never transition directions. The truck just doesn't have the power or the rpms, it just runs out of power and then hooks, which is dangerous. There is no modulation of the throttle, it's everything, and without modulation you don't have control.

The ranger chassis is doable, but solid axles are shit for actually drifting, converting to IRS would be night and day. Either 4.0 version would be a much better choice than the 2.3/2.5, and the supercabs drift better than a regular cab because of the longer wheelbase, but they are alot heavier as well so your eating more power.

Drifting is not about about big power, but you do need enough to overcome the vehicle weight and surface traction level. There are some really good drivers at the local events that drive non-turbo 200hp cars. It about suspension setup and skill, not really about power.

If you want to learn to drift, buy a 240 or is300 like everyone else strip it down and go smash it up. You are working against learning how to drift using a ranger (or truck) because you will be fighting the platform you are using. I'm not saying don't do it, because it is doable, but it's a seriously uphill battle and the time/money is better spent learning the skill first.
 
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dexter1096

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I know how to drift I've done it allot in other cars I just simply want to make this truck drift and i have a very tight budget and alredy spent most of it on truck
 


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