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Which 2.3 are exchangeable?


85TurboDangler

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I’m looking to replace the 2.3 in my 85 Ranger and I’m looking for a direct replacement for the sake of California smog. I’ve seen some 85 2.3s out of a Topaz but I’m wondering if that would be a good replacement. Or could I go to pick n pull and get one out of an 94 Ranger? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 


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scotts90ranger

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The Tempo/Topaz 2.3L is completely different, so ignore those, it's a completely different design...

For direct drop in you need a '85-88 Ranger 2.3L so the intake manifold will bolt up and everything, unless you are willing to change to your original head then you can go up to '94.
 

1990RangerinSK

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I’m looking to replace the 2.3 in my 85 Ranger and I’m looking for a direct replacement for the sake of California smog. I’ve seen some 85 2.3s out of a Topaz but I’m wondering if that would be a good replacement. Or could I go to pick n pull and get one out of an 94 Ranger? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The Tempo/Topaz 2.3L is completely different, so ignore those, it's a completely different design...

For direct drop in you need a '85-88 Ranger 2.3L so the intake manifold will bolt up and everything, unless you are willing to change to your original head then you can go up to '94.
What he said about the Tempo/Topaz 2.3. You'll want to use the Lima/Pinto 2.3. You can grab one out of the following vehicles:
 

scotts90ranger

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That is a better list than I gave, but there were several different cylinder heads, and if memory serves the only ones to match up with a fuel injected '85 Ranger would be the early fuel injected engines with D port heads which were ran in Mustangs longer than Rangers but I don't remember what year... Blocks matters less, there's small internal changes over the years but maintained fairly interchangeable through '94 after which the oil pump moved and you can't put a distributor in...
 

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Mercury Marquis had a 4 banger?????? Is that different than a Grand Marquis? A V8 was part of the point of a Grand Marquis/ Crown Vic.
 

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Yes there is a difference between a Marquis and a Grand Marquis.

To the OP, I would try to stick with an engine setup for a RWD. Less stuff that needs swapped.
 

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On above list don't get anything after 1988, as the distributor hole was removed from block in the early 1990's and 1989 and up had dual spark plug heads
1988 was last year for distributor in 2.3l Lima engine

So no Ranger or Mustang 2.3l engines 1989 and up
 

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I'm pretty sure Mustangs ran a distributor until '91, but yeah...
 

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85TurboDangler

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That is a better list than I gave, but there were several different cylinder heads, and if memory serves the only ones to match up with a fuel injected '85 Ranger would be the early fuel injected engines with D port heads which were ran in Mustangs longer than Rangers but I don't remember what year... Blocks matters less, there's small internal changes over the years but maintained fairly interchangeable through '94 after which the oil pump moved and you can't put a distributor in...
So what you’re saying is as long as I get a 2.3 block before 94, I could configure the engine into an engine from an 85? My original plan was the completely tear the engine down to the block and start the engine from scratch with new heads and everything anyways
 

scotts90ranger

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Pretty much, just make sure it has a distributor hole as far as the block goes... there's small silly things different through the years, starting in '86 the crank journals shrunk some for less friction and I think in the same year the trough in the rear main cap went away for a single piece oil pan gasket, somewhere around '87 started with the aluminum oil pan which should work for yours if you find an engine with one. The rest of the differences in those years are mostly in the cylinder head, like said above the early fuel injection heads were unique on the intake side (all Lima's are the same on the exhaust side...) so to keep your current intake manifold and stuff you need a '85-88 head.

For stuff like this I miss having DaveR around... I was a dumb kid back in the day but I learned a lot...
 

85TurboDangler

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Pretty much, just make sure it has a distributor hole as far as the block goes... there's small silly things different through the years, starting in '86 the crank journals shrunk some for less friction and I think in the same year the trough in the rear main cap went away for a single piece oil pan gasket, somewhere around '87 started with the aluminum oil pan which should work for yours if you find an engine with one. The rest of the differences in those years are mostly in the cylinder head, like said above the early fuel injection heads were unique on the intake side (all Lima's are the same on the exhaust side...) so to keep your current intake manifold and stuff you need a '85-88 head.

For stuff like this I miss having DaveR around... I was a dumb kid back in the day but I learned a lot...
Gotcha would you happen to know anything about California laws? I have a 2.3 turbo from a thunderbird in the truck right now but that’s a no no for Cali so I’m going back to the original engine. I’m wondering if there would be any discrepancies if I went the route I’m thinking of. I know it’s a replacement engine it’s good but I’m wondering if there would be a problem if there’s small details that would cause me issues with smog or something like that
 

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A complete 85 or newer oem turbo setup with all of the smog components should be workable with the ref
 

85TurboDangler

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A complete 85 or newer oem turbo setup with all of the smog components should be workable with the ref
I think it would have to be a 2.3 turbo diesel I’ve got the 2.3 turbo gas out of the thunderbird. Rules say that the engine has to be out of a truck if it’s going into a truck, same thing for cars.
 

bobbywalter

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Keep reading. Same family engine ... Talk to ref directly
 


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