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Opinion: 4.0 vs 2.3T Swap


Protowrxs

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Backstory:

89 Ranger 4x4 - 2.9l v6, 5sp, brought back from death in a field as a winter driver, prerunner look alike, fun truck.

2.9L has the noisy lifter world and is drinking antifreeze
No white smoke, just burning water, guess cracked head?
Intake was off when we got it so it has new lower/upper and valve cover gaskets. Nothing in the oil and compression is good on all cylinders.

Starts, runs, but... noisy and thirsty.

Looking for a swap likely next spring and have two 2.3T motors hanging around doing nothing. An 86 low mile with harness, computer, etc and an 88 high mile without much else.

I'm debating doing the 2.3T swap since I have an 88 TC and an 85 SVO and love the Lima turbo motors.

But 4.0L seems to be the swap of choice for the sixers.

What is involved in a v6 to 2.3 swap? I'll pull the v6 engine/computer harness and use the 2.3T one, guessing motor mounts, clutch disk, and exhaust for sure.

Wanting to keep A/C so a relocate on the turbo is needed but the lo mile 2.3 has all the brackets, A/C compressor, Alt, PS mount, etc for up front. Battery going in the bed so room for the VAM in the corner.

If 2.3T sure it will end up with a front mount and BOV in the long run.

Opinions?

Ideas?

Go 4.0 V or 2.3 T?

Tried and true?
Or something different with a motor I know well?

Thanks for any input...
-Stephen
 


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RangerFabWorks

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4.0 simply because of the torque. i dont think the 2.3 will be happy in a 4wd drive. and i think the truck would be a bit of a dog until the turbo spools up.


but then again. TURBO 4.0. waaaaa haaaaa haaaaaaaa
 

dangerranger83

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Ive seen an offroad RBV that had a TC2.3 and saw videos of it and I was very impressed.

But a 4.0 will bolt to your current tranny too, saving you the hassle of a tranny swap (or bellhousing depending on the tranny it has).

But as I just read, you have the engine already so if you can switch put bellhousings then the TC2.3 may be cheaper but if it cant be swapped then its up to what you want to do....engine swap or tranny swap.

But if you want the best of both worlds, and a bit more money out of your pocket, then 4.0 with the banshee turbo charger kit for the 4.0 will give you it all. All you have to do is get a 3.8 supercharger since it doesnt comne with the kit. But does give a bolt on 60 more horse power.

Dont know if I have helped, but gave my opinions to this that I could...so far that is.
 

chilsam

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I'd go 4.0 we did this swap "from 2.9" with my sons 89 loridr he luvs it gets 2nd n 3rd gear scratch without effort.
 

Aaron84

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If you dont have the m5rod1 trans the mazda one wont last long with the 4.0
 

Protowrxs

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If you dont have the m5rod1 trans the mazda one wont last long with the 4.0
I've seen that comment in various other threads. Not sure how to ID what I have though. I believe it's an FM 146 trans, and I guess that is not good for a 4.0? I'd just as soon go with the 2.3T for my needs but am not sure that wouldn't require a trans swap in itself? Unless someone has a lead on a replacement bell housing.

If so it seems 2.3 4x4's are not that easy to find anyhow so I'm not sure what trans I'd need to put the 2.3T in.

Loads of bars leak and similar seems to stop the water in the oil issue for the short term until I find a better solution. Just don't want to dump a load of money into a $400 play vehicle at this time.
 

fordman2121

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I swapped in a 2.3 turbo out of a 88 t-bird. Its not 100% done yet but Ive been driving it for a while. Instaed of runnin on gas I run on LP. Ive got locked timing and I think thats where the majority of my down fall is on it. It is lazy until boost comes in and thats late with the locked timing. The nice thing is with the LP I have never heard it detinate and ive got the waste gate unhooked. It wasnt bad on the road until I swapped to the 31s, but at the same time my low speed fuel screw came out and Im running pig rich so now its bad on the bottom end. In the woods, were it spends most of its time now, in low range I can spool the turbo just fine and it spins the tires pretty good.

If I were to do it again I would do the 2.3 turbo again with an automatic instead of the manual. Run a bigger intercooler, I used the stock one just mounted it in front of the rad. I would also, and I need to this anyway, get an MSD box to adjust my timing.
 

Protowrxs

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Thanks for the input - interesting hearing of an LP 2.3T - haven't seen that before. I'm leaning towards the 2.3T mainly as I already have the engines/harness/computer, know the 2.3T engines pretty well... and just have always liked them.

Guess I'm down to looking for a 2.3 bell housing that will fit an FM 146 trans if there is such an animal. Or I guess a 5 speed that will work with the transfer case / controls and the hydraulic clutch.

Anyone have one or other suggestions?

That was my thoughts - 2.3T - somehow make the AC work - front mount larger intercooler - blow off valve. This is not a hardcore off road truck, mainly just a 4x4 for the winter months and a driver/poser the rest of the time.

Thanks again...
 

AllanD

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Thanks for the input - interesting hearing of an LP 2.3T - haven't seen that before. I'm leaning towards the 2.3T mainly as I already have the engines/harness/computer, know the 2.3T engines pretty well... and just have always liked them.

Guess I'm down to looking for a 2.3 bell housing that will fit an FM 146 trans if there is such an animal. Or I guess a 5 speed that will work with the transfer case / controls and the hydraulic clutch.

Anyone have one or other suggestions?

That was my thoughts - 2.3T - somehow make the AC work - front mount larger intercooler - blow off valve. This is not a hardcore off road truck, mainly just a 4x4 for the winter months and a driver/poser the rest of the time.

Thanks again...
the bellhousing you are looking for simply does not exist, as the FM146 was only ever mated to a 2.9.

the 225ft/lb of a 4.0 turns that threasmission's internals into bad modern art
The 290-ish ft/lb of a 2.3T would make it dangerous to be around...

The reason the 4.0 is favored for engine swaps in 4x4's is because it works "down low" really well.... consider that your 2.9 was specified to produce 170ft/lb@2600rpm.


The 4.0 does that right off idle, making 200ftlb by 1250rpm and 220ft/lb in the mid teens, the 4.0 makes within a couple of ft/lb of it's peak torque in a band more than 800rpm wide and the specified torque peak @3000rpm is simply the highest rpm that the motor is making 225ft/lb.

Simply put once you get a 4.0 above 1500rpm...

An intercooled turbocoupe engine makes torque and power in
an rpm band rather like that of a 2.9, but is kinda flat below at lower rpm.

AD
 

Hahnsb2

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A 2.3 FM145 bell should fit a FM146. But it's a different slave setup.
 

AllanD

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If you dont have the m5rod1 trans the mazda one wont last long with the 4.0
The M5OD-R1 trans IS the "mazda trans"

It's the Mitsubishi trans that's pure garbage

AD
 

Munts77

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i'm planning on doing the same swap in my 84 bronco 2. it has the toyo kogyo transmission, i know the 2wd rangers with the 2.3 had the same trany so the bell housing should swap over. you would just have to get a older transmission and a bell housing from a 2wd ranger.
 

scotts90ranger

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hey, you're not that far from me. I wouldn't waste my time with the TK tranny, I see 4x4 M5OD tranny's on craigslist around here fairly often, there was one with an attached T case for like $150 about a month ago, it really is a better tranny, I've beat the HELL out of mine and it just asks for more... not to mention I think they only used that tranny for '85-86 as '87 was the first year of the M5OD

Honestly if I had to choose again I would seriously consider the 4.0 swap after having one in my Explorer, that engine is a beast... nearly the same HP as a stock 2.3T
 

fordman2121

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yes the 4.0 and stock 2.3t put out about the same power. I did race my brother with my 2.3t BII against his 4.0 EX and we were pretty much even till about 50 then I started pulling on him. I am now in the process of new turbo, porting head and bigger cam. When said and done I should be about 300 horse at the wheels. This is done with off the shelf parts and is fairly cheap. How much money does it take to get a 4.0 to that level? Im not bashing the 4.0 as its a very strong motor and is an easy swap, but once you ride in a boosted 2.3 youll be hooked, the pull it has when the turbo lights is increadable.
 

Protowrxs

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So all you 2.3T 4x4 owners, have info and /or pics of the install and/or build?

What trans do I need to go with the 2.3? The M50D has a 2.3 bell option?
I'm still up in the air but for my purposes the 2.3t really would work, just a winter get around and fun truck. No serious trailing or hard core stuff. Plus I have two 2.3t's sitting around.

I see a local 2.9 that is supposed to have less than 42,000 on it for around $400 so that would seem the easiest but not sure if it's the best long term.

Unless I can find a great deal on a 4.0 with the wiring and computer or an Explorer with a D35 that should be parted out I'm still stuck on options.

Decisions decisions. Thanks for the input.
Stephen
 


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