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Swap or Sniper EFI?


Tberry

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1985 Ranger 4WD, 2.8L V6, A4LD transmission, BW1350 Transfer Case. I've been going back and forth between keeping what I have and adding a Holley sniper or doing a 302 swap. I drive the truck 2 miles to work everyday. I like to hunt and fish in the hills and I live very rural/remote. I'd like to lift the truck and make it off road capable enough to stray from a logging road now and then.

Keeping what I have and adding Sniper
Pros: Everything is in and running fine as is. Saves me time and effort. Easy install and a little boost in power and mpgs. In the future if the engine fails I can still do the swap with another carbureted engine and keep the Holley for anything I wanna put into the truck.
Con: Low power in the 2.8L. Unknown engine history and maintenance. Miles could be 85k 185k or 285k. Unknown performance in the hills. Unknown what size tires and all that I can get away with running the 2.8.

302 install
Pros: Badass. Lots of power. Sounds cool. Seems simple enough to do. It'd be a fresh rebuild so I'd have confidence in the reliability.
Cons: Time and money. Never done a full swap before but I've worked on a lot of things and could figure it out. I'd have to daily drive my diesel while I finish the ranger.


I guess it kinda boils down to what the 2.8L is capable of. If I go sniper route, if the engine dies I will probably rebuild the 2.8 but who knows what I'll actually do when the time comes. I'd like a decent, fun, reliable, daily driver that I can take into the woods on occasion. I'd also like it to be reliable enough to drive a few hours to go dirt bike riding with my buddies. I plan on SAS the front. What size tires and lifts are people running with the 2.8L? If it's capable of 70 on the highway with some decent sized tires I'll keep it but I wanna know what the general consensus is because I'm new to these.

TIA
 


Josh B

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Seems the transmission, TC and Differentials should be good places to determine the miles, or at least their effect on the system.
What shows up on the drain plug magnet of the transmission, and have you ever pushed an extension magnet in farther to see if anything else was still inside
Can you pop the differential cover and guesstimate the actual wear, and does it lead you to believe it's more or less than the average of your presumed total mileage options

Just thinking out loud man but maybe any or all of those might be places to find your answers between stay or go. Sounds like a good plan either way, only may be big differences in price
 

Tberry

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Seems the transmission, TC and Differentials should be good places to determine the miles, or at least their effect on the system.
What shows up on the drain plug magnet of the transmission, and have you ever pushed an extension magnet in farther to see if anything else was still inside
Can you pop the differential cover and guesstimate the actual wear, and does it lead you to believe it's more or less than the average of your presumed total mileage options

Just thinking out loud man but maybe any or all of those might be places to find your answers between stay or go. Sounds like a good plan either way, only may be big differences in price
Yeah I'll have to take a look when I do the transmission fluid tomorrow. Maybe I'll go crazy and do the diff fluid too haha. I just got the truck last week. Ill check the magnet. Thanks for the tip I didn't think about checking that stuff.

And yeah I am pretty torn between the two but knowing the life that my V6 hopefully has left will definitely help.
 

bobbywalter

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the 2300 is good for 350 hp.....which is a solid 302. it can get better economy but its not as easy to del with to dial in.

just a fresh 2bbl may be all you need. i lke the holley products, and have had decent luck with them.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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The big issue I have with aftermarket EFI is roadside parts supply.

If a carb screws up you can generally clean it. If not even today parts stores stock some parts for them (especially Holley/Edelbrock)

If a factory EFI system drops an injector or whatever not a huge deal to get from a parts store.

If your FiTech or Sniper drops an injector you are dead in the water for 3-5 days until a new one comes in the mail.

As someone looking to go to a TBI injection system it has been a tough nut to crack.

OEM multiport has an appeal but I would need the fuel rail, harness, new fuel system (again) computer programmed for a manual trans, airbox... it escalates quickly.
 

sgtsandman

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Since the truck is new to you, I would give the truck a good once over and take stock of what you have before swapping and upgrading things.

Get a good baseline and feel for the condition of the truck and then decide where it’s needs tweaked.

Once you do that, maybe changing the axle gearing is all you need. Maybe the carburetor upgrade you are thinking about is the ticket. Take it a step at a time. See what the results are from what you did and go from there. Too many people go hog wild and lose track of what was a benefit, what did seemingly nothing, and what degraded from the end goal because a bunch of things were done at once.

Plus, this approach will save funds for when something breaks. If you spend your wad of cash on upgrades, you have nothing left to fix a bad starter or a water pump that decided it was time to give up.
 

Tberry

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The big issue I have with aftermarket EFI is roadside parts supply.

If a carb screws up you can generally clean it. If not even today parts stores stock some parts for them (especially Holley/Edelbrock)

If a factory EFI system drops an injector or whatever not a huge deal to get from a parts store.

If your FiTech or Sniper drops an injector you are dead in the water for 3-5 days until a new one comes in the mail.

As someone looking to go to a TBI injection system it has been a tough nut to crack.

OEM multiport has an appeal but I would need the fuel rail, harness, new fuel system (again) computer programmed for a manual trans, airbox... it escalates quickly.
That's a good point thank you
 

Tberry

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Since the truck is new to you, I would give the truck a good once over and take stock of what you have before swapping and upgrading things.

Get a good baseline and feel for the condition of the truck and then decide where it’s needs tweaked.

Once you do that, maybe changing the axle gearing is all you need. Maybe the carburetor upgrade you are thinking about is the ticket. Take it a step at a time. See what the results are from what you did and go from there. Too many people go hog wild and lose track of what was a benefit, what did seemingly nothing, and what degraded from the end goal because a bunch of things were done at once.

Plus, this approach will save funds for when something breaks. If you spend your wad of cash on upgrades, you have nothing left to fix a bad starter or a water pump that decided it was time to give up.
Yeah good point. It's hard not to get excited about new toys hahaa.
 

sgtsandman

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2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Pre-2008 lift/Stock
Tire Size
31X10.5R15/265/65R17
Yeah good point. It's hard not to get excited about new toys hahaa.
We all fall victim to it. I have a 2019 I would love to start upgrading but I have more month than money and I have a 2011 I don’t have where I want it yet. Among other things. It certainly is a practice in patience.
 

bobbywalter

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Make / Model
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4WD
Total Lift
sawzall?
Tire Size
33-44
My credo
it is easier to fix and understand than "her"
The big issue I have with aftermarket EFI is roadside parts supply.

If a carb screws up you can generally clean it. If not even today parts stores stock some parts for them (especially Holley/Edelbrock)

If a factory EFI system drops an injector or whatever not a huge deal to get from a parts store.

If your FiTech or Sniper drops an injector you are dead in the water for 3-5 days until a new one comes in the mail.

As someone looking to go to a TBI injection system it has been a tough nut to crack.

OEM multiport has an appeal but I would need the fuel rail, harness, new fuel system (again) computer programmed for a manual trans, airbox... it escalates quickly.

thats what i always thought as well.


now mind you....i have brand new vehicles in my driveway since i went back to the oilfield full time. and that is specifically because i am a world away and i can not deal with issues when i am not close.

so.... i pay dearly to make sure my wife is mobile and secure. someone is coming to the rescue with alternate transportation in short order.

with what i have been doing the last 7 years i generally have a shop/company vehicle and that has really gone a long ways towards keeping my personal vehicles .....which are not new...... in the near zero cost bracket to own.



you know both of my personal vehicles. and those are my actual vehicles i use in my personal life..... which consist of the remains of an 88 ranger and an 90 bronco 2.

.....well....they are ranger BASED vehicles....not exactly stock.

my ranger is the 2bbl 302 of the diesel world...

the b2 is an OHV 4.0....with a manual trans.



both are ridiculously reliable.

and at the same time.....giant piles of crap.....when it comes to creature comforts.


and they get beaten to death....


they have proven more reliable then any new machine i use at work.


and i am the kind of guy that can fix crap on the side of the road.....and i certainly like junkyard availability.

my machines are exiting that era now if parts store availability is a factor. that is in regards to king pin 60 axles and 74 bronco axles.... i need to upgrade to super duty axles and gen 4 gm engines or hemi--- cyclone/coyote powertrains to have that safety net.




you can buy two fi techs or snipers for ANY gasoline engine of 3.5 liters or so.....and be golden.

seems pricey....but if your worried about rapid field fixes.....it is nothing.


the terminator x is a different animal. you are using all parts store consumable parts if you want........depending on power levels...


a spare computer is 6 to 800 bux for a standard trans model or non e trans auto... you need to get that when you can because its the one thing that is hard to get.


the only difference between a terminator x and a factory ecm is everything tunable fawking imaginable. the value is hard to grasp.






now.....as to reliability. you can not buy a new vehicle today more reliable then my ranger. or easier to fix on the fly.



i contrast that to the fact, all of my brand new vehicles have had to be in the shop for at least a week....because you aint buying shit instantly when there is an issue..... you have to wait.

so.....having worked with these aftermarket systems.....

i can say....yes. they too fail.

and unlike oem....they offer options to do what YOU want....

and when compared to using 25-30 year old systems.....are much more reliable.

and most importantly.....in terms of the wiring and pcm .....totally replaceable with everything new......NOW.

whether its a totota v8.....hemi v8......turbo lima.....302......coyote.....vortech.....

pretty awesome....we are very lucky....as crazy as this world is....its got kewl stuff.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I come out of my hole when I get the itch, look around... back up three times and punt the ball and go back in my hole pretty much.
 

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