Seriously considering throwing in the towel on Ranger V8 project


Trailrated92

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Sigh, I hate to say it, but Im seriously considering throwing in the towel on my 95 Ranger Super Cab V8. I originally bought it 4 years ago as a non running basket case that already had the conversion done, but the guy couldnt get the butchered harness figured out and wanted to move on. I've made ALOT of progress over the last few years, in fits and starts, as money became available. But Im now at the point of saying "the hell with it" and walking away. Every time I fix one issue, two more present themselves.

I was TOLD by the seller its a Mustang 302, I KNOW for a fact ( we checked) that its got GT 40 heads on it. But there are other clues that point to it being an Explorer 5.0. Im trying to overhaul the front engine accessories and bracketry that the previous owners totally butchered and keep running into issues. Two different sources confirmed that the timing chain cover is the same for 95 Mustang OR 96 to 01 Explorer 5.0. Both a 98 Explorer 5.0 and a 95 Mustang 5.0 water pump fit perfectly and bolt right up to the timing chain cover with zero issues.

The previous owner had the water pump pulley reversed and WELDED on to get the belt geometry right, and Im try to fix that. From the V8 Swap Tech Article, and other sources, I've learned the 95 Mustang FEAD set up is the shortest one which maximizes clearance to fit the electric fan on the back of the radiator. And I've confirmed that the 95 Mustang 5.0 reverse rotation water pump is in fact roughly 3/4 of an inch shorter than the 98 Explorer 5.0 water pump. On a side note, the 98 Explorer water pump uses a VERY odd ball smooth pulley with a center hole thats almost 3 inches across. NO ONE, not Ford, not OReillys, Not Autozone, NO ONE carries this specific pulley. Its a junkyard find only. I DID luck out and find one but thats besides the point.

I can find a "short" aluminum crank pulley, the correct water pump pulley and the alternator pulley in an Aluminum Kit for the 95 water pump and a seperate aluminum 95 power steering pump pulley. That solves ALL my current belt geometry issues AND looks pretty good to boot. I should be happy right ? Not so fast. NO ONE makes an aftermarket alternator or power steering pump bracket for the 95 timing chain cover !!!!!

I already had a Speedmaster Alternator bracket kit sitting on the shelf, but the lower bracket bolt hole misses the bolt for the water pump by less than 1/4 inch. The Speed Master kit is for UP TO 93 only. Well, the 93 water pump only has 7 mounting bolt holes, NOT 9 like the 95 Mustang or 98 Explorer Water pumps. So thats no good.

Apparently no one makes an aftermarket power steering pump bracket for a 95 timing chain cover either ! I found plenty of aluminum brackets that are either a fully enclosed circle, or an 80% circle with the correct 3 bolt mounting configuration for the power steering pump, but I have no way of knowing if that bracket will fit the current timing chain cover unless I buy it and keep my fingers crossed.

If anyone has ANY suggestions or has run into something like this before, PLEASE speak up. I really dont want to walk away from the project, especially since Im betting a Ford Master Tech could take one look at it and know exactly how to resolve everything. But Im seriously running out of patience with this thing. It mocks me daily when I go to and come home from work and see it sitting there and I cant actually drive it.
 


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Brown_Eminence

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Sigh, I hate to say it, but Im seriously considering throwing in the towel on my 95 Ranger Super Cab V8. I originally bought it 4 years ago as a non running basket case that already had the conversion done, but the guy couldnt get the butchered harness figured out and wanted to move on. I've made ALOT of progress over the last few years, in fits and starts, as money became available. But Im now at the point of saying "the hell with it" and walking away. Every time I fix one issue, two more present themselves.

I was TOLD by the seller its a Mustang 302, I KNOW for a fact ( we checked) that its got GT 40 heads on it. But there are other clues that point to it being an Explorer 5.0. Im trying to overhaul the front engine accessories and bracketry that the previous owners totally butchered and keep running into issues. Two different sources confirmed that the timing chain cover is the same for 95 Mustang OR 96 to 01 Explorer 5.0. Both a 98 Explorer 5.0 and a 95 Mustang 5.0 water pump fit perfectly and bolt right up to the timing chain cover with zero issues.

The previous owner had the water pump pulley reversed and WELDED on to get the belt geometry right, and Im try to fix that. From the V8 Swap Tech Article, and other sources, I've learned the 95 Mustang FEAD set up is the shortest one which maximizes clearance to fit the electric fan on the back of the radiator. And I've confirmed that the 95 Mustang 5.0 reverse rotation water pump is in fact roughly 3/4 of an inch shorter than the 98 Explorer 5.0 water pump. On a side note, the 98 Explorer water pump uses a VERY odd ball smooth pulley with a center hole thats almost 3 inches across. NO ONE, not Ford, not OReillys, Not Autozone, NO ONE carries this specific pulley. Its a junkyard find only. I DID luck out and find one but thats besides the point.

I can find a "short" aluminum crank pulley, the correct water pump pulley and the alternator pulley in an Aluminum Kit for the 95 water pump and a seperate aluminum 95 power steering pump pulley. That solves ALL my current belt geometry issues AND looks pretty good to boot. I should be happy right ? Not so fast. NO ONE makes an aftermarket alternator or power steering pump bracket for the 95 timing chain cover !!!!!

I already had a Speedmaster Alternator bracket kit sitting on the shelf, but the lower bracket bolt hole misses the bolt for the water pump by less than 1/4 inch. The Speed Master kit is for UP TO 93 only. Well, the 93 water pump only has 7 mounting bolt holes, NOT 9 like the 95 Mustang or 98 Explorer Water pumps. So thats no good.

Apparently no one makes an aftermarket power steering pump bracket for a 95 timing chain cover either ! I found plenty of aluminum brackets that are either a fully enclosed circle, or an 80% circle with the correct 3 bolt mounting configuration for the power steering pump, but I have no way of knowing if that bracket will fit the current timing chain cover unless I buy it and keep my fingers crossed.

If anyone has ANY suggestions or has run into something like this before, PLEASE speak up. I really dont want to walk away from the project, especially since Im betting a Ford Master Tech could take one look at it and know exactly how to resolve everything. But Im seriously running out of patience with this thing. It mocks me daily when I go to and come home from work and see it sitting there and I cant actually drive it.
damn it dude...i wished i could help ya.!
but its apparent you've got the knowledge & skills to do so...(so) all i can offer is

* DUDE DON'T GIVE UP..YOU HAD A DREAM A IDEA...& YOUR SOO CLOSE TO YOUR FINISH LINE RIGHT.. CLOSER THAN SOME ON HERE. !

I KNOW IT'S FUSTRIDING, TAKE A DAY OR SO & LEAVE IT WALK AWAY..BUT DONT GIVE UP...( SORRY ) I WISHED I COULD HELP YA MORE. I ONLY HOPE MY WORKS WILL GIVE YA LIL BOOST..!


-GOD BLESS YA ,BROTHER.!
 

SenorNoob

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I know it's erases your work to date, but; why not get the entire FEAD from one vehicle and start there?
 

Blmpkn

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An awful job/career is something to give up on.

American politics is something to give up on.


Don't give up on the poor ranger.
 

Junglejoe

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Well, if it was me.. go to the yard and get the entire acc's off.of.a v8 moungaineeror explore.and be done with it. That part at the very least
The 95 mustang feed is not the shortest. The explorer FEAD is.
The 96-01 should all use the same water pump pully, you got a.pic of that oddball thing?

If the harness is butchered up..just replace it. That way you know what you have
 

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The 2 missing water pump bolt holes aren't used on most newer engines. They sit at the bottom of the timing cover recess below the distributor, I cut off 5/16 bolts and cut a slot in them, apply teflon thread sealer and screw them into the holes. Ford didn't bother to plug the holes,they just bolted the newer pump to the engine.
I agree with getting the whole FEAD system off a vehicle at a salvage yard, that way everything will line up and fit. And used OEM is cheaper than aftermarket stuff. I used a Fox body FEAD set up because a friend gave it to me but I had to buy a $90 Ford Performance bracket to make it fit the 351. Because it's so long I had to put the radiator inside the core support. I also used the same timing cover you're describing.
If the engine hasn't been apart and has Gt40 heads, it's either an Explorer/Mountaineer or a 93 Mustang Cobra, I'd bet on the Explorer.
I used a Pertronics distributor and a Holley on my 351 Ranger. I stripped 4 boxes full of wiring harness out of the truck, reused the under dash fuse box and made my own harness- after buying a 93 EVTM to use as a guide and so I could mark changes I made. I detest ABS and eliminated it since most of the system was missing. I don't need a light to tell me to buckle up, that the parking brake is on, or that my door is open.
Don't give up, if it was easy everybody would do it.
This is the best picture I've got of my FEAD system.
lf eng view.JPG
 

Trailrated92

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The 2 missing water pump bolt holes aren't used on most newer engines. They sit at the bottom of the timing cover recess below the distributor, I cut off 5/16 bolts and cut a slot in them, apply teflon thread sealer and screw them into the holes. Ford didn't bother to plug the holes,they just bolted the newer pump to the engine.
I agree with getting the whole FEAD system off a vehicle at a salvage yard, that way everything will line up and fit. And used OEM is cheaper than aftermarket stuff. I used a Fox body FEAD set up because a friend gave it to me but I had to buy a $90 Ford Performance bracket to make it fit the 351. Because it's so long I had to put the radiator inside the core support. I also used the same timing cover you're describing.
If the engine hasn't been apart and has Gt40 heads, it's either an Explorer/Mountaineer or a 93 Mustang Cobra, I'd bet on the Explorer.
I used a Pertronics distributor and a Holley on my 351 Ranger. I stripped 4 boxes full of wiring harness out of the truck, reused the under dash fuse box and made my own harness- after buying a 93 EVTM to use as a guide and so I could mark changes I made. I detest ABS and eliminated it since most of the system was missing. I don't need a light to tell me to buckle up, that the parking brake is on, or that my door is open.
Don't give up, if it was easy everybody would do it.
This is the best picture I've got of my FEAD system.View attachment 43916

"If the engine hasn't been apart and has Gt40 heads, it's either an Explorer/Mountaineer or a 93 Mustang Cobra, I'd bet on the Explorer." I would tend to agree, EXCEPT the harmonic balancer CLEARLY ISNT an Explorer Balancer. The Explorer harmonic balancer is VERY distinctive and a one piece unit that incorporates the crank pulley. What came off my existing motor is a 4 bolt, 2 1/2 inch deep crank pulley that was bolted TO the harmonic balancer and can be seperated
 

Trailrated92

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Well, if it was me.. go to the yard and get the entire acc's off.of.a v8 moungaineeror explore.and be done with it. That part at the very least
The 95 mustang feed is not the shortest. The explorer FEAD is.
The 96-01 should all use the same water pump pully, you got a.pic of that oddball thing?

If the harness is butchered up..just replace it. That way you know what you have
Measured on a flat surface with a straight edge, the 95 Mustang Water pump hub height is 3/4 of an inch shorter than the 98 Explorer 5.0 water pump hub height. This is confirmed by the specs sheet that was printed out by OReillys when I was looking for the proper pump.

Water pump pulley
 

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"If the engine hasn't been apart and has Gt40 heads, it's either an Explorer/Mountaineer or a 93 Mustang Cobra, I'd bet on the Explorer." I would tend to agree, EXCEPT the harmonic balancer CLEARLY ISNT an Explorer Balancer. The Explorer harmonic balancer is VERY distinctive and a one piece unit that incorporates the crank pulley. What came off my existing motor is a 4 bolt, 2 1/2 inch deep crank pulley that was bolted TO the harmonic balancer and can be seperated
Or 94-95 Cobra.... I have one of you need measurements.
 

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Seems after all that work a pulley problem shouldn't be the straw that breaks your back...Maybe you just need a break from it lol.
Unless your budget or time is extremely limited, maybe have a shop or a buddy make you a bracket? Steel is simple enough to work with.

If your hearts just not in it anymore, sell it to a good new home. Find a project you enjoy, or just have more time and money for other things.
If your heart is in it, then maybe just throw more money at it lol...

I'll buy all kinds crap I need, might need, and its variations if there's more than one option. I hate having to make another parts store run or wait for order delivery mid project. Figure I just buy everything, and return/resell what I don't use (or keep it as a spare). If I need to fab up a bracket or something, I will usually whip up a quick one, then make a better nice one later if the geometry worked. Being a hoarder of parts and scrap metal helps.
 

Trailrated92

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Seems after all that work a pulley problem shouldn't be the straw that breaks your back...Maybe you just need a break from it lol.
Unless your budget or time is extremely limited, maybe have a shop or a buddy make you a bracket? Steel is simple enough to work with.

If your hearts just not in it anymore, sell it to a good new home. Find a project you enjoy, or just have more time and money for other things.
If your heart is in it, then maybe just throw more money at it lol...

I'll buy all kinds crap I need, might need, and its variations if there's more than one option. I hate having to make another parts store run or wait for order delivery mid project. Figure I just buy everything, and return/resell what I don't use (or keep it as a spare). If I need to fab up a bracket or something, I will usually whip up a quick one, then make a better nice one later if the geometry worked. Being a hoarder of parts and scrap metal helps.
Im just insanely frustrated............................. Its killing me that I cant drive it. Not only cause its a blast to drive, but Im kinda under the gun to get it road worthy ASAP so I can put my daily driver 02 Expedition in the shop for some much needed repairs and preventative maintence. I generally subscribe to your method, I buy all kinds of shit and then return what I dont wind up needing. Its just particularly difficult right now as a Single Dad of two, with my reduced hours at work because of the Covid 19 thing, and my daughter waiting anxiously for me to fix and get her Jeep Grand Cherokee ready in time for when she turns 16 in August.

I guess it boils down to, Im annoyed as hell that I somehow always manage to wind up with projects that are seemingly ALWAYS way more involved than they rightly should be. While others have everything practically fall into place without a thought. It would help if Ford didnt have 9 different timing chain covers, 5 different potential water pump pulleys, 2 or 3 different possible crank pulleys, and the aftermarket houses DIDNT basically pretend the 94/95 302 didnt exist.

I THINK I've finally come up with a solution. Im just gonna run the 98 Explorer water pump with the odd ball pulley and my existing bracketry, just to get it up and going again. And then Im gonna slowly start buying everything I need to convert it over to 87 to 93 302 FEAD and keep my fingers crossed I'll have the clearance I need for the electric fan. Then I'll set aside a weekend once I have EVERYTHING and switch it all over at once.
 

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Yep I been there....and that sounds like a good solution. You did say you just want the running. Can always go back later.

I got the same way after my ranger was down for awhile...One repair/mod after another, and constantly waiting for parts ordered to arrive started to drag out. I finally slapped it back together for so I could at least drive the thing.

I couldnt get my efan swap dialed without more time and parts, so I just slapped the fan clutch setup back in w/ new parts. Shes running so cherry right now I may just leave it be for awhile...maybe even slang the efan.

Maybe jump on the cherokee for awhile. Sounds weird but it might help, like having it off your mind, and plate while dealing w/ this 5.0...
 

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I always find it curious what people think are the "correct way", versus the "wrong way" or the "backyard mess" or the previous owner's "butchery". I know things can be cobbled together in not very well engineered fashion. But there are also many ways to modify things to make them work, drill a hole here, weld a bracket there, etc. It won't be stock, but it can work fine. But some people think if it's not factory, it's "not right" or "rigged" and they can't stand it. I see nothing wrong with adding a spacer here or a washer or two there to make things line up and work on the front of a engine.
 

Trailrated92

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I always find it curious what people think are the "correct way", versus the "wrong way" or the "backyard mess" or the previous owner's "butchery". I know things can be cobbled together in not very well engineered fashion. But there are also many ways to modify things to make them work, drill a hole here, weld a bracket there, etc. It won't be stock, but it can work fine. But some people think if it's not factory, it's "not right" or "rigged" and they can't stand it. I see nothing wrong with adding a spacer here or a washer or two there to make things line up and work on the front of a engine.
I agree, however, the nightmare Im dealing with is WAY beyond that. Like, installing a Plastic Jaz Racing Fuel Cell under the bed and securing it with black duct tape wrapped 2X4s between the frame rails ? Or plumbing said fuel cell with copper ICE MAKER line ? Or how about WELDING the water pump pulley on in reverse configuration ? Perhaps running out of #8 AN braided line and using hose clamps and a plastic 90 and a length of #6 AN and forcing that onto a # 8 A/N 90 ? Or maybe WELDING the male adapters into the remote spin on oil filter re locate kit ? And yes, there's plenty more beleive me
 


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