My 2.0-to-2.3 swap


kishy

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Hi folks!

To recap on my brief history here at TRS...

I initially came here seeking to know if I could use 2.3 parts to EFI swap my existing 2.0: http://therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175086

But I encountered a few too many unknowns to want to risk that, and came across a supposedly nearly-new 2.3 (F5 part numbers, is a 95+ 2.3 Lima, but is set up like a 93-94 EEC-IV example) which I inquired about here: http://therangerstation.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175138

The existing 2.0 has serious oil consumption issues (around a quart per hour of runtime and visibly smokes under all conditions) and the carb has a worn throttle shaft causing an uncorrectable vacuum leak, so the logical choice was to just ditch this engine entirely.

I have been quietly hunting parts, mapping wires, and mentally preparing to do this engine swap to get rid of my 2.0. We're finally here, ish.

---

First, I needed to figure out a way to mount an EFI high pressure pump. My preference was to put it in the tank like most vehicles from the 80s onwards do, although there are some exceptions, notably some but not all Fords (including the Ranger until 1988).

I determined that my exact same fuel tank (which I purchased new in 2015 - Spectra F21C) was used through 1988, after which a new tank was introduced. I went to a junkyard to check if a 1988 2.3 EFI truck used the same tank and found it did. This meant I could salvage its fuel sender, which would gain me a return line (needed for EFI) and the hanger for the in-tank pump.

1988 still uses two pumps, and the one inside the tank is very small. However, I bought a Carter P74123 pump which is also very small despite being a normal EFI pump, and was able to make it fit. I had to recondition the contacts in the fuel gauge sender as it had a lot of opens and high resistance spots which would make the gauge unreliable. I tested the new sender with my existing cluster and verified it behaves well, before committing to installing it. I also replaced the wires on the sending unit which feed the pump, because the old ones for the low pressure lift pump seemed a little thin.

With this, I will be able to use 1993-scavenged plastic fuel lines to feed the fuel rail which is also a 1993 part.

The tank came out and the sender went into the tank yesterday 9/14. The tank is still outside the truck as I felt it would be best to have room to move around under there for mating the transmission to the engine post-swap.
















---

Today, I replaced the starter relay (aka solenoid). This is important because the original installed on my truck is the old-school vertical style with a D8 part number, which does not have a flyback diode within. Flyback diodes were added to the design beginning in the 80s for EFI vehicles because a relay not so-equipped can damage electronics like the ignition module or ECM. The new relay will avoid that. I made sure after doing this that all vehicle electronics including the starter circuit work, so if there is a starting issue after the swap, at least I know this is working correctly.

I drained the coolant and oil. Removed the air intake tube and air cleaner. Removed the radiator. Removed the idle speed computer, Duraspark module, and ignition coil. Removed the engine harness (note to self - this contains the reverse light switch pigtail, if different from the one on the 93 harness). Removed the fan clutch and fan, hoping to reuse these on the new engine.

Unbolted engine mounts, unbolted trans from engine, unbolted exhaust bolts (one came out clean, one snapped off). Put a jack under the trans, then hooked my engine crane to the 2.0 and gave it a tug. Popped out pretty easily. Removed the engine mount brackets from the old engine as I need to reuse those, but I will use new actual mounts. Also knocked out the bellhousing alignment dowels (hollow metal tubes at the leftmost and rightmost bolt holes for aligning trans properly) because my new engine lacks them.

I am currently on a bit of a break from the heat and to grab some food. Next steps will likely involve cleaning the engine bay and finding all the wires I need to connect things to. The new engine may go in by the end of the weekend but probably won't. I suspect I'll appreciate having the extra room to work for making wiring alterations.

































 


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Nice job man! Im yanking my 2.3 out as we speak, I would sold a bad reman cylinder head so i had to yank it apart again.
 

kishy

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Nice job man! Im yanking my 2.3 out as we speak, I would sold a bad reman cylinder head so i had to yank it apart again.
That's awful. You specifically buy a reman head to try to reduce the work required, and they go and screw you over with sloppy work.



Progress for the day was fairly minimal. I'm going to need some input here from the crowd, maybe.

Removed wires from 85 harness for 1G alternator which will not be used with the new engine. Keeping the original charge wire in the picture though as, depending on how much of the 93 wiring I use, I may end up keeping all body electronics fed off that original wire. The 3G alternator will have a new dedicated charge wire directly to the relay terminal as well.

Traced wires against manual and verified functions where possible.

Ran fuel sender wiring under truck. Lines still need to be done but that won't be hard.

Measured for new ground wire. The original is severely corroded inside the jacket for much of its length.

Determined I will need to modify one of the engine mount brackets due to clearance against the newer style alternator bracket. I will also need to replace a plug (the 2.3T turbo oil return I think?) with a flush one to clear the bracket.

Came up with a few mystery wires I want to identify before proceeding. These all pertain to features my truck never had, so since it doesn't have them, I can't easily figure out what the wires did. The early EVTMs are not good for figuring out wire functions if you don't already know what feature they pertain to.










Mystery wires I can't identify yet:

Pink with black dots, pink with red dots, and blue with black dots, coming through the firewall and ending at a 3-pin round connector located near the washer fluid reservoir:
update Oct 1: still don't know what these are


Purple/yellow coming through the firewall together with the blower motor and resistor wires, ending in a 1-pin connector affixed to the passenger side fender sheetmetal:
Edit: upon closer inspection it is Yellow with a Purple stripe (Y/P).
update Oct 1: still don't know what this is
Inside the firewall, it goes through C213 with the blower motor wiring.
On the other side of C213 it becomes green with a gray stripe.


1: Light blue wires (no stripes). Update Oct 1: Still don't know what it is.
One comes through the firewall together with the main harness, going to a 1-pin connector which was unused in my truck. The wire continues back out of the connector along to another connector, a 4-pin one that looks similar to the Duraspark connectors. The other side of that connector did not have a corresponding wire populated.

2: Solid green wire (no stripes). Update Oct 1: it's the BOO (brake on/off) signal from the stop light switch.
Comes through the firewall together with the main harness and originally went to a 2-pin connector, also similar to the Duraspark connectors, which was not used on my truck.


This is the connector I snipped off the green wire, for reference.



If anyone knows the functions of the mystery wires, I'd appreciate knowing. I'll continue to search the EVTM and maybe something will jump out at me.

None of these are the hood light wire, I know where that is.
 
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kishy

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Swap progress for today:
Finished mapping wires, with exception of clutch safety switch signal to computer which I may worry about after completion. I'm not altering the original 'start' circuit, but need to add switching between SIG RTN and ECM Pin 30 so the computer knows when the clutch pedal is down. The clutch switch has a connector for a second circuit which I will be examining further for this purpose.

The mystery wires described above are still unknown; they won't affect wiring up the 93 stuff, but it would be nice to know what they are for.

Mocked up fitment of 93 air cleaner assembly and found it fits perfectly. I was concerned about the battery tray being on that side, but it looks like it's going to work. This simplifies things like using off-the-shelf air filters, 93 factory original zip tube and sensor placement, as well as the cold weather air diverter function to pull pre-heated air off the exhaust manifold. As a winter vehicle, it makes sense to have that operational.

Focus will shift to the new engine shortly. Need to scope the cylinders to make sure they haven't rusted from not running in 15-20 years. Sorting out the mount bracket, replacing the timing belt, installing a thermostat, installing a block heater and maybe replacing the rear main seal pre-emptively are on the list.

I'm somewhat concerned about the passenger side engine mount. In order to use my original 85 mount bracket, I need to cut a fair bit of metal off of it to clear the alternator bracket. I can only attach it with 3 of its original 4 bolts due to lack of the 4th boss on the newer block. It's not clear that I could use a junkyard 93(ish) mount bracket because the mount itself also changed at some point, and might be a different height (no way to know without taking some measurements).





















 

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I would not get too concerned about having only 3 of 4 bolts for the passenger side mount bracket. This thing does not produce enough torque to worry, IMO.

The suspected drainback plug could be shortened to create clearance. There should never be a reason to remove it unless you plan on installing a turbo. I do not have one of these to know that it is a drainback fitting. The lima was used in the 84-ish(?) turbo T-birds, but I never looked to see what my brothers car had as a drain fitting, nor where.
I have an 85 with factory 2.3 EFI, and still like it. It is Canyon Red and would be a twin save for the rust factor(CA & GA don't use much corrosives on the roadway).
Given you are going to a 93 vintage, I doubt my 85 EVTM would be much help. The connector over on the passenger side, single wire could be the A/C clutch control wire or the wire with a diode(prevent flyback current). I have a factory plastic 'sheet' that pushes onto some threaded rod to cover a passel of connectors. As I remember, there are a few not used. My model was vary basic, so lots of accessories were not installed. The same harness was used for the Bronco II, so it has/had options for console stuff.
There was a guy on Ford-Trucks that restored his Bronco, repairing floor pan rust, and I conversed with him about a problem he had with wiring. He may have good knowledge, but may not visit here. You might want to look there in small truck/vehicle section. It's been a while.
tom
 

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I would not get too concerned about having only 3 of 4 bolts for the passenger side mount bracket. This thing does not produce enough torque to worry, IMO.

The suspected drainback plug could be shortened to create clearance. There should never be a reason to remove it unless you plan on installing a turbo. I do not have one of these to know that it is a drainback fitting. The lima was used in the 84-ish(?) turbo T-birds, but I never looked to see what my brothers car had as a drain fitting, nor where.
I have an 85 with factory 2.3 EFI, and still like it. It is Canyon Red and would be a twin save for the rust factor(CA & GA don't use much corrosives on the roadway).
Given you are going to a 93 vintage, I doubt my 85 EVTM would be much help. The connector over on the passenger side, single wire could be the A/C clutch control wire or the wire with a diode(prevent flyback current). I have a factory plastic 'sheet' that pushes onto some threaded rod to cover a passel of connectors. As I remember, there are a few not used. My model was vary basic, so lots of accessories were not installed. The same harness was used for the Bronco II, so it has/had options for console stuff.
There was a guy on Ford-Trucks that restored his Bronco, repairing floor pan rust, and I conversed with him about a problem he had with wiring. He may have good knowledge, but may not visit here. You might want to look there in small truck/vehicle section. It's been a while.
tom
I was thinking that, about the torque being not enough to worry. But Ford saw fit to make the passenger side bracket a fair bit bigger than the driver side one, and mount it with that extra bolt, so I figured they had an engineering reason for it. I suppose I'll cut the bracket down and if it somehow fails in the future I'll come up with something at the time.

I will replace the square-headed plug with a recessed/flush plug instead.

Worth keeping in mind as it affects a lot of "little things" that this is a 95+ engine (95-97 I suppose), but is wired for EEC-IV which was used up to 94. So all my wiring is akin to a 93-94 truck but the engine "hard parts" are like a 95.

I have the 85 and 93 EVTMs, which have been very helpful, but there are dramatic differences between the early-mid-80s EVTM vs the later one. The later books are way more detailed with pinouts for most body connectors and more complete diagrams with better descriptions.

I have that plastic cover you describe, it covered up the connectors on the driver fender apron. Depending on how this wiring mess looks when I finish with it, that cover may or may not go back on, mostly coming down to if it will even fit...I'm adding more wire to the truck than it already has at all.

I've never done anything quite as involved as this project, but I'm hoping my attention to detail is leading to a successful result.
 
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scotts90ranger

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That plug that is sticking out too far is just a coolant drain plug so you can drain the block, the turbo oil drain is lower and several inches back from there, it's been a while since I've looked although it's going to come up soon since my turbo needs attention...
 

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That plug that is sticking out too far is just a coolant drain plug so you can drain the block, the turbo oil drain is lower and several inches back from there, it's been a while since I've looked although it's going to come up soon since my turbo needs attention...
Ah, thanks. The plug turns out not to stick out too far, and clears the mount bracket with room to spare. It won't be removable without taking the mount bracket off but that doesn't concern me.

Last night, lugged the engine and mount over to a buddy's shop for his review. We surveyed the mount bracket situation and we came up with a solution. Not pretty but it will work. He is confident that I am fine without the fourth mounting bolt and pointed out that engines with a lot more output are mounted with a lot less material than this one is.

Not shown, we also briefly scoped the cylinders and found clean crosshatching, no evidence of rust, but some carbon deposits (it has ran before but not for long) and other light debris which will be thoroughly blown out before turning the engine. The twin plug head is a bit of a blessing in that sense because a vacuum can go on one side while compressed air goes in the other. I have no plans of removing the head after seeing this.







 

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Polling the crowd (hopefully some feedback will come...):

I am intending to replace the timing belt and rear main seal on this.
Timing belt: because it's original, old, and has been in the same position for one to two decades and may react poorly to suddenly being used.
Rear main: for reasons as above plus it's an incredible pain to change out once the engine is in the truck.

Do we have any opinions on things like the valve seals? Seems to me they're more likely to be good than bad, and also seems to me they can be changed in the vehicle if need be, so in the event they are bad from age, it won't necessitate removing the engine or head.
 

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I would leave the valve stem seals alone.

I would for sure replace the timing belt though I had one in my truck from new for a good long time. I felt it was old enough rather than had too many miles.

I'd inspect the rear main seal. If it looked as if the lip area was hardened, replace, but otherwise I am hesitant to change rear main seals.

Have you considered the front seal condition? It is just as old and set in its ways.

tom
 

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I would leave the valve stem seals alone.

I would for sure replace the timing belt though I had one in my truck from new for a good long time. I felt it was old enough rather than had too many miles.

I'd inspect the rear main seal. If it looked as if the lip area was hardened, replace, but otherwise I am hesitant to change rear main seals.

Have you considered the front seal condition? It is just as old and set in its ways.

tom
Timing belt is a for-sure thing, I have it on hand and plan to do it before dropping the engine in.

Valve stem seals look doable-enough in the truck that I'll leave them.

Front seal wasn't really on my radar, no. Seems to me that with the engine being canted backwards like it is in a RWD vehicle, leaks at a crank seal will favour the rear. The rear also is much easier to do out of the truck than in, while I'm thinking the front can be done in the truck. Though, maybe it's best to consider doing it while doing the timing belt. The list of "might-as-wells" can get scary.

I do know that the 90s was a new era for automotive gaskets and seals, and everything just generally seemed to last a lot longer. I've never worked with any engine this new and probably have expectations inspired by my 5.0s which are a lot more "old-school" when it comes to craptastic gaskets.
 

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Been a little sidetracked, but some progress has kind of happened:

New starter arrived. I could have used the old direct-drive one, but wanted a gear reduction starter for various good reasons. $40 on Amazon (price increased following my purchase), we'll see how it performs/lasts.

Reviewed my RockAuto purchase history and verified I have, in fact, five rear main seals on-hand already (because I am forgetful and re-buy many parts many times over). SBF and the Lima use the same rear main, so I will pull one of those from the parts stash. The rear main is apparently stupid easy to change with the engine out, just drive screws into it at opposite points and give them a tug.

Valve stem seals arrived. Something funny about that.
By price, $0.44/ea, it should have been sold as individuals, but the photo showed 4, so I wondered if I might get (purchase quantity x 4) or just (purchase quantity).
I bought 10 so I'd have room for error during install.
I now own 40 valve stem seals. Friend with machine shop who works on 2.3Ts periodically wants the excess so that works out OK.
Valve spring compressor (the compact screw type) is in transit from Amazon presently.

Purchased a new valve cover gasket as well, only to realize that I already had one for this engine. Oops.

Exhaust manifold (junkyard pull from a 93) is at aforementioned machine shop to be checked for trueness at the ports, and tossed on the belt sander if needed. Also separated the EGR tube there, got the broken O2 out (that took some heat), and broke the studs off. Friend is getting the remainder of the studs out before I take the manifold back.

Last night, did some harness wrapping so the wires can stop being a big jumbled mess, and mocked up placement in the truck. Everything should be in pretty much the right spots (exception being the main 12V supply into the fuse box, but that's easy). Monsoon-like rains drove me inside, but next step for the harness is soldering up some connections to actually mate the 93 harness with the 85 truck. It will be mostly "unpluggable" from the truck, something I consider important.

 

kishy

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Progress from last night:

Removed engine mounts. What a pain that passenger side one is...if I had a front sway bar, I'd have needed to take a fair bit apart to get to that nut. Extensions, a "mid" depth socket (a full deep socket would require frame hackery) and a good u-joint with my ratcheting breaker bar made it happen.

New passenger side mount looks to be a perfect fit. New driver side is not. It sits too far forward on the crossmember which will screw up the longitudinal alignment of the engine, I suspect too far to be taken up by flex in all the mounts and could cause a driveshaft alignment issue. On top of that, the top side of the mount does not align with the holes on the engine bracket. Need to either modify this or find a mount that doesn't suck. Might put truck together with the original mount and deal with it later (never). They aren't totally shot, just squished down a bit.

Truck is an 85 and I'm reusing the 2.0 engine brackets. Mounts were bought for an 85 2.0. There's no reason for these not to fit other than sloppy engineering.








Test fitted cupholders from a 94. Not a perfect fit, but fits the trans tunnel well enough that I'll explore modding this to fit in place better. It'd be nice to have cupholders.




Tidied up my aux lighting wiring which was a mess since I installed it. I will likely relocate this stuff into the ex-93 fuse and relay box eventually, but keeping it as-is until the truck runs. Also added the second wire for the gear reduction starter and reconfigured the terminals on the starter relay as required.




Primed and painted the thermostat housing and ECT 'socket' thing that goes on a heater hose. It later occurred to me that I could have used a 95 thermostat housing with integrated port for the ECT, but this will be fine. It also occurred to me that there was no benefit to painting these, but at least they should stay pretty for a while, with the exception of the tool marks the ECT piece will receive.

 

tomw

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To my old eye, it appears the drivers side mount has the locating pin flipped 180 from where it should be. And. The passenger side mount (the square one?) looks as if its pins are flipped also in the picture showing new and old alongside each other.(about the 7th pic down.)
Pic 5 & 6 show two different mounts... the 'new' shifted forward some amount(longitudinally, as you noted) such that I think, given the above, you have some mounts that were not made any sort of engineering spec. I'd trust the old ones more if the rubber has not separated. At least you know they should keep the drive train aligned and prevent any U-joint weirdness & vibration.
In short, I'd use both old mounts. Or cut off the alignment dowels and install so they match the factory position & placement. I'm smart enough to be able to put them in w/o flipping them(assembly line helpers for installation, I think) and go slow enough to get the embedded threaded rod in its proper position when lowering the engine, etc. The mounts are bolted to the block and the whole lowered onto the chassis, so the pins help. Not needed for any other reason(I think).
tom
 

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Because of how much of a pain it is to get at the passenger side mount, and the fact the new one is correct for it, I will put the new mount there, as well as the new trans mount. The driver side one, I'll reuse the original and if it becomes an issue in the future, I'll have just the one mount to change out.

Of course on the other hand I could modify it (zip off the dowels, maybe egg out the hole on the mount bracket) and see how well everything lines up. Nothing lost if it doesn't work, since the mount is junk otherwise.

Further reference about the problem mount:



Progress today:

Successfully mated '93 and '85 harnesses. Although subtly different, the 93 wiring terminals actually fit into the 85 connector I was hoping to use, so the harness fairly nearly just "plugs in" which is what I was aiming for.
Verified power distribution works and ECM operates the fuel pump relay ( = engine should be plug-n-play once installed).
Replaced the rear main. Not hard by any stretch but glad I wasn't doing it from below the truck.
Tried to find my pigtail for the older style EGR valve but couldn't, so probably getting a junkyard one tomorrow.

The charge circuit is absolutely hideous but should work well enough.
Battery on passenger side, positive cable goes to B stud on starter relay.
16ga fuse link-protected wire runs across the engine bay to driver side where it originally went into a splice that joined together with alternator output, regulator sense wire, and the two main feeds to the interior behind additional fuse links.

I changed this by re-routing the battery positive running across the engine bay to go to the power 'in' on the '93 underhood fuse panel, where the alternator charge wire also goes (so it will charge the battery through that lame wire across the rad support).
The '93 fuse panel and harness has fused outputs which have been connected to the two main feeds into the interior.
The alternator is a 95A 3G so I don't anticipate any issues with the truck being able to 'run off the alternator' so the skinny wire for the battery is likely a non-issue. I've studied it fairly closely to make sure there are no undersized wires that will be overloaded and I'm pretty sure nothing is going to melt under peak draw.







Identified one of the 'mystery wires' just by chance. Solid light green through the firewall is the BOO (brake) output before it gets interrupted by the MFS. This now goes to the ECM because it wants to see a BOO input, as well as tees off for future use to run a high mount stop lamp which I've wanted to do forever but didn't realize I had such easy access to that signal outside of the dash.

Drew up a little diagram of how I might take care of the clutch switch input to the computer in the event there is no viable way to plug a second circuit into the existing clutch switch. The alternate plan is to take the start circuit off the switch and put it through a relay, as well as a second relay for the ECM clutch input, and have both relays be triggered by the clutch switch.
 
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