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2.3L ('83-'97) late model dual plug ranger head on 88 ranger block/pistons/bottom end


stamina

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2021
Messages
227
Reaction score
34
Points
28
Location
Wilmington, NC
Vehicle Year
1990
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
4” suspension
Tire Size
265/75/r16
My credo
built her in a storage unit
i bought an engine transmission xcase combo on facebook this weekend for $150 which consisted of a 2.3 fully dressed engine, a 4x4 2.3 M5OD, and a BW 13-50. all of which was the original drive train of a 1988 ranger which had EFI, a dizzwop, single plug head, and the wild accessory brackets. im going to sell/get rid of the x case, use the transmission, and i want to use the block because it is in pretty good condition and was basically free, but i want to use the computer and harness and accessories/brackets and a head out of a 91-92ish truck to match my body style/year/computers/emissions. my main question is will the dual plug head cause problems with the pistons that are in the 1988 block, or will it just raise compression a lil bit something like that? and will all the things i mentioned bolt up like i think they will like the accessory brackets from a later model truck with serp belt? thank you!!
 


scotts90ranger

Well-Known Member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
8,358
Reaction score
4,886
Points
113
Location
Dayton Oregon
Vehicle Year
1990, 1997
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Engine Size
2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
6
Tire Size
35"
With an '88 block it should be similar, you'll have to put in your oil pump drive deal from the stock block. You mention '92, that's the break point for round tooth timing belt where the older had square tooth belts, you can use a round tooth belt on square pulleys but not the other way around but might as well match them if you have them.

Compression ratio is the same on all but the turbo engines as far as I remember, I don't think the combustion chamber changed much until the '95ish era when the valve stems got smaller and they reworked the blocks to move the oil pumps...

The main issue you are going to have is the crank sensor bracket and front seal housing but depending on your skillset it's not too bad... you need the newer front seal housing, you'll have to slot one of the holes, it'll be obvious when you set it on the older block... For the crank sensor take some cardboard (cereal box, 30 pack of beer layer separator, etc...), punch a hole for the bracket alignment pin then take a center punch and mark out the front cover bolt holes and block bottom flange face along with the two bolt holes for the crank sensor bracket. As accurately as humanly possibly transfer the 3 holes to the older block and drill/tap them to 6mm threads, I'm tryin to remember but I think all go through... For the alignment pin use a long 6mm bolt with a shoulder, cut the head off and slot the end and red loctite that in place. I've done that to two blocks now as old as '85 and it's worked for 14? years so far, many will tell you it's not possible and not worth it...

As far as accessories the only issue I've ran into is the 3rd hole for the alternator bracket being missing on the '85 block so I drilled and tapped that to 10mm to match the factory hole, it goes through to the crankcase so thread sealant is recommended...

FWIW I'm running a '86ish turbo engine single plug with the DIS system using only the passenger side coil pack and '89 Ranger accessories...
 

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