One more 2wd 98 coil spring 5.0 swap.


Jbrown1238

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I thought I better get started on my 98 V8 Ranger thread before time started to slip away and some of the early details are lost. I sold my 2003 Mustang Cobra in September 2010 to help support this 98 Ranger project.



I sure will miss that 03. Best all around vehicle I ever owned. But the time has come for another truck and a V8 Ranger will help fill the void.

A week or so after selling the Cobra I found a 98 4cly XLT in Orlando Florida that had all the items I was looking for in a starting platform. These items included a step side bed, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, factory chrome wheels, and a fairly clean interior. The interior was a little more important to me than the exterior as the truck will be disassembled and painted once the V8 is installed and the initial bugs worked out.

Note to self: Disassemble the front clip and paint the engine compartment, fender rails, core support, etc. prior to engine install.

Here are a few photos of what I will be starting with.





The interior needed a good cleaning but it was complete and in fairly good condition. The dash and door panels along with the trim pieces will be dyed when the truck is painted and the carpet will be replaced.

While I am collecting parts for the V8 swap I will also be working on a few areas that need immediate attention.

1. Clean the seats! They look like 12 years of neglect.
2. The left rear quarter panel needs to be replaced.
3. The front bumper needs to be replaced.
4. The front suspension needs to be completely rebuilt.

Step one. Clean the seats!

I disassembled the seats and removed the seat covers.



I then sent them through the washing machine one at a time for two cycles each with my detergent of choice, Tide! Here are a few photos of the clean passenger seat next to the driver seat before it was washed.





I followed up by doing the same with the driver seat.

What an improvement. Now the inside of the truck feels clean and certainly smells fresh.



Step two. Replace left rear quarter panel.

I purchased a new quarter panel from e-bay and test fit it on the vehicle before painting it. At this point I am not sure if I will dust it real quick in the factory black or just leave it white for now. The truck is going to get a color change in a few short months.





A few days ago I picked up a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer 5.0 V8 with all accessory brackets, wiring, computer, air box, etc. from a salvage yard in Tampa.







I got the engine home and started disassembling it. Preparing the pieces that will be going out for porting, as well as categorizing other pieces for cleaning/stripping and paint. The short block looks like it is in very good condition for a 100,000 plus mile motor. I will be selling that unit and purchasing a new LRS economy short block as a starting foundation for the build. Nothing fancy or extremely exotic, just a nice reliable street motor with a few aftermarket pieces for some added performance.





 
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Jbrown1238

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Step three. Replace front bumper.

Another e-bay find, a new front bumper for $50.00. When the truck is painted in May 2011, the bumpers and front grill will be body color. I am still trying to decide on the exact color. I am thinking about a dark blue metallic, maybe 2002 Ford True Blue code L2.



Step four. Rebuild front suspension.

All the suspension pieces have been purchased and laid out on the ground to verify there are no packing errors. I will also be installing new front brakes at the same time. The rear brakes are in fair shape and should survive until after April 2011 when a new 8.8 rear end will be installed. The front suspension is scheduled to be completed on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

 
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Colin

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Nice build you've got going, can you pm me how you took apart the seats? I should really do this to my truck. :D
 

Mac

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Welcome! That is one really good clean motor inside, how many miles on it? Keep us posted on progress and what overall goal is?
Dave
 

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Nice Build so far! Keep us posted with pics!
 

Jbrown1238

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Nice build you've got going, can you pm me how you took apart the seats? I should really do this to my truck. :D
PM sent.
 

Jbrown1238

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Welcome! That is one really good clean motor inside, how many miles on it? Keep us posted on progress and what overall goal is?
Dave
It has a little over 100,000 miles. I picked it up from a salvage yard but plan on selling the shortblock over the next month or two. I hope to get $150.00- $200.00 from someone local.
 
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Jbrown1238

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Today I finished the front suspension and front brakes. I spent about two days working on it and taking my time and trying not to rush. I admit I had a little rest break every few hours so the job didn’t seem too bad.













I need to schedule an appointment to have the alignment done and I should be good for a few years. The new front end should make for a strong base for the 5.0 Explorer motor a few short months away. Now that the immediate necessary projects are out of the way I can focus on the engine build and upcoming swap. I am still trying to decide if I want to cut in that left rear quarter or just leave it white for now.
 

Jbrown1238

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The last few weeks things have slowed down a bit. I am still collecting parts for the 5.0 build but also planning for the holidays and spending a lot of time at work. Between now and the first of the year the progress will seem nonexistent. Things should pick up pace after that. I did manage to lower the truck 3 inches in the back and two inches up front. I also decided to wait on painting the new left quarter panel until the truck gets a color change in April/May of 2011. For now the damaged rear quarter was reinstalled so the truck is at least all one color while being driven. Here are a couple before and after photos of the drop.





 
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Jbrown1238

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Jbrown1238

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Although I was trying to wait until after the holidays I decided to go ahead and get the heads ready to go out for port work and a rebuild. After discussing my options with my son he recommended a local shop in Tarpon Springs that did a set of E7’s for his Ranger a while back. A few days ago the two of us disassembled the GT40P’s we will be using on the LRS Economy short block that will be coming early next year for the 98 Ranger.







After removing the rockers and the valves we did a quick inspection to make sure everything checked out as far as we could tell. The valves and the heads both looked good and should do fine once they are reworked. We will be adding a high performance spring kit from Trick Flow and valve stem seals from Ford Racing.











 

Jbrown1238

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After about 9 months of very little visual progress I thought I would try and bring my thread up to date. In January 2011 I left the company I had worked with for 24 years. That brought the Ranger engine swap to a screeching stop while I tried to replace my lost livelihood. After returning to the workforce I did manage to get a couple of the behind the scenes items crossed of the “To Do List”.

After I prepared the heads to go to the porter I media blasted the upper and lower intake with walnut shells and boxed both pieces up with the heads.









I picked up the finished heads as well as the upper and lower intake. The heads received the following work.

1. Trim and knock down the valve guide bumps in both intake and exhaust bowls
2. Back-cut the intake valves for better flow
3. Widen the push rod pinches to gasket-match the intake ports
4. Rough edge cleanup on the bowl / Bowl Blending
5. Increase & smooth the short side radius in the intake port
6. Raise/lower the intake port floor
7. Gasket match the intake ports
8. 3 angle valve job
9. Surfaced













The upper was gasket match ported and the lower was completely ported the entire length of the runners as well as gasket matched on both ends.



















I purchased a complete 8.8 Ranger rear end from my son. Since the time the photos were taken I have removed the drum brakes as a rear disc set up will be used. I had a 31 spline 8.8 Traction Lok diff with a set of 3:55 gears left over from my 03 Cobra. The 31 spline axles will be custom pieces from Moser when the time comes.










I also purchased a new King Cobra Clutch kit, bellhousing, a new flywheel, and a set of used Torque Monster Headers from eBay.



I wanted to add approximately 24 inches of wire between the 42 pin connector and the PCM. I didn’t like the idea of stretching the engine harness and having the large connector sitting out in plain view. I thought with some additional length the connector could be hidden from view. I cut and tagged some donor wire and built a small jig to hold the 42 pin connector and the section of harness to be modified.






Once everything was secured in place I started in the lower left corner of the 42 pin connector. Working left to right I cut and added wire one pin at a time carefully soldering and heat shrinking each connection.



I removed the front and rear bumpers and blocked and primed them preparing for paint. I sprayed both black to match the truck. After careful consideration I decided not to do a color change as originally planned. At some point in the future the entire truck will be sprayed in its original Black code UA.







 
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Colin

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damn that looks nice
 


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