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Questions/Discussion on a Swap im Considering on my 1984 Ranger


Austin.J

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united states, washington
Vehicle Year
1984
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Manual
I've got an 84 ranger, lifted, both suspension and body, and on 31s right now. shes got the 2.8L v6 and a manual transmission and she is 4wd. I want to use her as a daily and for some light-mild off roading applications. The thing i wanted to bring up and ask/talk about is Ive been offered a Donor truck for free, 2001 Chevy 1500 with a 4.8L Vortec in it. I haven't said yes or no yet because im still thinking on it. I have the whole Chevy (Engine, Transmission and Tcase, Harness, Fuel system ETC), minus the rear axle, since it was taken out. my biggest concern is can the ranger axles handle something like that, or would I need to swap the axles out with something else?

Ive never done any kind of swap or anything, I do have resources and people who will help me do it, so its something that is achieveable for me, but i wanted to ask on here from people who know more than I do, what it would ential, what concerns i should have, and things to look out for, and overall if you all think its even worth it.
 


SenorNoob

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Middle Tennessee
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
1.5" Front + 4" Rear
Tire Size
245-70-R16
If it hasn't been upgraded already, (Unlikely with a 2.8 still in place.) you truck has Dana 28 and (some parts NLA) and 7.5. I wouldn't expect either to last very long with that much power. That being said, it would depend entirely on how much skinny pedal you use.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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D35 is a bolt in upgrade for the front.

The 7.5 will do ok with some care, a Ranger 8.8 is a bolt in swap. Explorer 8.8 is basically the same axle they used in F-150's for years and fits with a little bit of fab (weld on perches and shock mounts)
 

19Walt93

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1993
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351
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Automatic
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2WD
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3"
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235/55R16
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It's hard to beat a free donor vehicle but I'd give it serious thought before you start. Mixing brands adds complexity to the job and likely means more fabrication will be required. I would also rebuild the engine and whatever other components you plan to use before spending time and money to swap them in- they're 23 years old. The 7.5 might hold up if you're not rough with it but I doubt the transmission or front end would.
 

bobbywalter

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Location
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1988
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V8
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BIGGER
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Automatic
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4WD
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sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
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this would be my first choice for a cost effective v8 swap for a daily. just depends on miles and actual condition like anything. these engines easily exceed 350k miles in hotshot applications with minimal maintenance like many ford 302s. they are in tons of vans that hotshot all over long haul even today. though i would lean 5.3. the 4.8 is a great engine for the gen 1 RBV platform. es[ecially a daily driver. it is basically the same power level as TRS 1 and Jim was able to drive sensibly enough to keep it alive in regards to powertrain. something I can not do. but....they will work fine for daily driving until your ready to upgrade. you wont even know if you need to upgrade until your breaking stuff.


as for the front axle....unlike in the past....and this may have changed since last i dealt with working on a d28...(which has been at least two years) there were chro-mo aftermarket axles available for it relatively cost effective. we did a whole set of shafts....and spiders and wheel bearings under 500 bux if i remember right.. i had a good set of spindles.....which it also needed.... pretty much a stock bronco 2 that was only street driven at the time.

these are certainly stronger then oem axleshafts but with 23 spline inners....meh. you wont know till ya try.

as mentioned upgrades are basic bolt-ins and depending on where you live easily available to good luck.

the exhaust manifolds are easily cut and weldable to fit up.....you may or may not need to swap out the oil pan depending on goals and actual suspension setup....mounts are fairly easy to construct. i assume it is an auto. you can run the ar5 transmission and t case from the colorado platform with a fab bot adapter. those are still pretty cheap and available.

in regards to the gen 1 platform....this swap is not any different then a small block ford swap.
 

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