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INFO: 2004 B3000 to 2.3 Engine swap


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Jul 2, 2011
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I recently put a 2.3l engine in a 2004 mazda b3000. Since there isn't really info available online on how to do this or if it's even possible, I decided to write a post on it. This could even be used as a tech article.

The Vehicle
2004 b3000 with sport package (torsion bar suspension). Manual transmission, 2wd.
The 3.0l engine hadn't worked for a few years and would misfire under load. The engine would perform okay when cold but would misfire badly when it was at normal operating temperature and especially going up hills. It came up as misfire in cylinder #3. A new coil pack, plug wires and spark plugs didn't help the problem. Besides that, the manifolds leaked (some of the manifold bolts had rusted off completely) and it got bad gas mileage.

The Donor
Donor vehicle was a 2002 Ford Ranger. Coil spring suspension, manual transmission, 2wd. 250,000 km.

What you need from the donor vehicle
Keep in mind that my vehicles were produced in different years. Some of these things may not be needed depending on what year(s) your vehicles are.
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Radiator
  • Coolant overflow/windshield washer reservoir
  • Air intake hose
  • Throttle cable
  • PCM
  • Key and ignition
  • Fuel line (from the fuel filter to the engine)
  • Exhaust
  • Starter
  • Power steering reservoir and power steering line from the pump to the rack.
  • Motor mounts
  • Wiring from both vehicles
You will need the whole engine.

The transmission is almost the same, but the bellhousing is a bit different.

The radiator on the 2.3 does not have a filler cap like the 3.0. Engine coolant is filled by pouring it into the overflow reservoir.

Coolant overflow and air intake hose
These totally different design than the 3.0 equivalent.

Throttle Cable
The throttle cable on the 2.3 is shorter.

PCM, key and ignition
The PCM has an anti-theft system that connects to the chip in the key, so I just used the key from the 2.3.

Fuel Line
The fuel lines were different. I swapped out the two connecting lines that go from the fuel filter to the engine. I used the 2002 style fuel filter.

Cut off the catalytic converter and weld the new exhaust up in a way that works.

Starter is different.

Power Steering
Power steering is set up differently in the 2.3. The 3.0 has a fluid reservoir around the pump and the 2.3 has a bottle with a hose coming out the bottom of it.
The 2.3 pressure line turns the opposite way and has a pressure switch on it. If the pressure line on the donor is seized and won't come off, you can take the pressure switch and put it on your original pressure line. The original will flex enough to connect.

Air Conditioning
The B3000 had air conditioning but the donor vehicle did not. Legally, the air conditioner coolant is supposed to be drained and stored, but if you do disconnect the a/c lines yourself I recommend that you do it outside. The lines are under a lot of pressure and much oil will go everywhere when the lines are opened.

Motor Mounts
This is the most difficult part.
The motor mounts and the mounting points on the frame are different. I had to remove the coil springs from the donor to unbolt the motor mounts.
However, you may not have to unbolt the mounts if you cut out the crossmember.

With the 3.0, the motor mounts are side by side. On the 2.3, the right motor mount is about 2.75 inches closer to the front of the vehicle than the left mount. The angle of the brackets on the frame is different as well. The 3.0 has brackets are on the frame, and the 2.3 the cross member is designed differently and the motor mounts bolt into the crossmember.


Ranger 2.3

Remove the shaft coupler between the steering column and the steering rack on both vehicles.

On the 3.0, Cut the right (passenger side) frame bracket off completely, and cut the left bracket off about 1.5 inches from the frame.

On the 2.3, cut out the the top of the crossmember from one side of the frame to the other in one single piece.

You will be left with this

Install the 2.3 transmission by mounting it to the crossmember. I used a board on top of the torsion bars to hold the transmission up. Open the bleeder screw on the slave cylinder. If you bolt the engine to the transmission with the bleeder closed, the slave cylinder will explode.

Bolt the motor mounts to the cut out cross member piece. Bolt on the motor mounts. Bolt the mounts to the engine. Lower the engine into the truck and bolt up the transmission until it is snug all the way around. I used four bolts.

From here you should be able to guess where the engine should go based off the frame and where it looks level, etc. Tack weld the cross piece in place. Remove engine carefully and weld the cross piece to the frame.

Something like this will work

Now you're all set. Install the engine and attach all the wires, hoses, cables, etc. Weld up the exhaust as you see fit.


Ignition coils

C110 on the cab side of the 2.3 Ranger with Pin #1 removed

The main harness connecting the engine/pcm to the cabin is C110.
Connector 110 on imgur

C110 for 2002 2.3

The engine will not start without power going to pin #1, Red/light green wire. The 3.0 plug has no pin in #1 so you will have to use one from the 2.3.
Connect pin #1 to a fuse in the fuse panel. I used the 4x4 fuse because it was not used.

Oil pressure gauge
The oil pressure sender functions differently on the 2.3 than the 3.0. Remove the oil sender from the top rear of the 3.0 and put it on the 2.3 beside the oil filter.
The wire that goes to the dash from the oil sender is dark green/white. On the 3.0 it goes thru pin #26. On the 2.3, the wire goes thru C139 pin #8.
C139 is the square 12-pin connector coming from the engine and plugs into the cab underneath the brake master cylinder. Cut the wire going to pin #26 on the cab side and connect it to the dark green/white wire coming from C139. The A/C on the 3.0 was also wired thru C139

Engine Temperature gauge
The coolant temperature sender on the 2.3 behaves differently than the 3.0 one. The dash gauge wasn't working correctly so I swapped it for the 3.0 one. This is on the very back of the engine on the 2.3 close to the electronic thermostat. The plug is different so you will have to cut off the 2.3 temperature sender plug and solder the 3.0 on.

Backup lamps and C311
On the 3.0, 6 wires go to the transmission crossmember then back onto the frame and then connect up to the main cabin wiring under the brake master cylinder.

Connector 311

Cut the wire black/pink wire coming from the transmission reverse switch and connect it to the black/pink wire coming out of C311. Note that you must connect the backup lamp wire here not at the front of the cab to the black/pink wire!

I didn't bother with pin #3 or pin #7 as the carbon canister has long since fell off and been thrown away.

Hope this info helps yall out there. Feel free to post any questions or info on how you did your swap.
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Jun 2, 2012
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Very nice write up :icon_thumby: :icon_thumby: :icon_thumby:

Ranger Sport Honduras

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Awesome write up!
What gears does the B3000 has? Curious to see if 4.10 or 3.73 as the mayority of the 2.3s

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Jul 2, 2011
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the b3000 has 4.10's and the 2.3 ranger had 3.73's


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Mar 18, 2016
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I have done this conversion my self back in may... I took a 2001 2.3L Duratec 5spd and put in a 99 B3000 AUTO. It went from a single cab ranger into a 4dr B3000. I switch all wiring, fuel lines, brake lines, dash wiring and cab wiring. Touch 95% of the truck even spliced in some wires to control the speakers in the doors...Biggest difference between my two trucks was the motor mounts were nearly flipped where the pins locate the mounts.

3.0L to 2.3L
Auto to 5spd
Single cab to 4dr cab
PATS B to PATS E security

I know whats involved, I can help too.

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