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Transmission swap


Winterleroy

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Indiana
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Transmission
Automatic
So I’m swapping the transmission in my 98 Ranger to a manual and I was wondering a very dumb sounding question. The truck I’m getting the transmission from is a 2.3l and mine is a 2.5l now I know I should change the ECU (or that is what I have read I’ve never done a swap like this before) but but what would happen if I didn’t? And I highly doubt it would work but could I use the ecu out of the 2.3 or would that mess with fuel injection? I’m very low on money and my transmission is going out already I got it all priced from my scrap yard and right now I’m up to a $400 transmission swap.
 


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wildbill23c

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1988
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Buy the manual ECU for the engine that's in your truck...with the manual transmission I don't think there's any ECU stuff that is read from the manual transmission...somebody with more electronics/transmission knowledge hopefully can shed better light on this subject as I'm far from an expert on this, however, manual transmission I don't really think matters as long as you get the right ECU to match the engine in this case you'd want the one for the 2.5L with a manual transmission, it might cause some weird idle issues if you use an automatic ECU on a truck with a manual transmission, maybe on a truck that old it may not matter, but as far as fuel injection timing that might be where the problem would be auto VS manual....I think the auto ECU also controls some of the electronic transmission shift solenoids as well which the manual transmission doesn't have and might throw some check engine codes as a result.
 

scotts90ranger

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2.3 Turbo
Transmission
Manual
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4WD
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6
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At worst you will have a check engine light and a high idle until you can find the right computer. I wouldn't stress about it much, sure it's not ideal but do what ya gotta do...
 

Shran

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It will be OK to use the auto ECM but I would replace it with a manual one eventually. I used one for a 4.0 swap and it ran pretty well... But I sold the truck to my buddy, he had the engine rebuilt, and it did not run right after that. Long story short he ended up taking it to a dyno shop, and they tuned it for him. The auto ECM was freaking out because of the lack of solenoids that it would normally see in the trans and it would start retarding the timing and cause what felt like a weird misfire. So it can do more than throw codes. Just fyi.
 

Winterleroy

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It will be OK to use the auto ECM but I would replace it with a manual one eventually. I used one for a 4.0 swap and it ran pretty well... But I sold the truck to my buddy, he had the engine rebuilt, and it did not run right after that. Long story short he ended up taking it to a dyno shop, and they tuned it for him. The auto ECM was freaking out because of the lack of solenoids that it would normally see in the trans and it would start retarding the timing and cause what felt like a weird misfire. So it can do more than throw codes. Just fyi.
Yeah I plan to get the right ECM soon as possible its just finding one that is
 

Shran

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You may be able to run the auto ECM and not ever notice a difference. The engine he rebuilt ended up with different pistons, higher compression, some other small mods. One step up from stock basically. The guy who ended up tuning it said that the issue may have been there all along but with the old worn out motor, it just wasn't obvious.

I've had an auto ECM in my V8 swapped Ranger for 10 years now and it has been fine but there's a big difference between a 1988 and a 1998 like you have.
 

RonD

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Just a heads up
Rangers had 2 different 2.3l engines
1983-1997 2.3l Lima
2001-2011 2.3l Duratec

Your 1998 2.5l is a stroked 2.3l Lima, so same engine block, so a transmission from a 1997 and earlier 2.3l will fit, bolt to your 2.5l
2001 and up 2.3l will NOT fit


Only wiring changes you NEED to do are Reverse lights and Neutral start switch
Computer will just turn on CEL(check engine light) because no transmission solenoids/sensors are connected, but engine will run fine
If engine ever "runs funny" then you will need to check the codes, because CEL is on all the time, so you won't know when new codes are set, engine codes
 


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