Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!
I'm new here and am looking for some advice on some rangers I'm getting for free. I have always had ford and love em so these rangers are the perfect opportunity to get into drag racing and off roading all at once! One ranger is a 4x4 with a lift and the other is a 2x4 from down south. I would love to repower them both with v-8's and in need of advice. I would love to shoehorn a 390 or even 429 into the 2x4 to make one angry drag truck. The 4x4 could get a 302 or 351 as there are many kits I have found for that conversion just wondering whats the best out there for quality,price,and ease of installation. Thanks in advance for any advice!
Tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,342 Posts
+1. It's easy power with a 385 series (Lima/460), but the pickups really don't like the extra weight on the nose. The 351/393/408/427 stroker saves weight, and even a cheap version 302/331/347 with light juice or boost will make power to go 9's and be streetable. What years are your Rangers?

Kits out there are mostly for off-roaders where body lifts can help a lot for clearances. I use racing mounts from places like SpeedwayMotors.com or the captured Mustang GT/convertible mounts flipped like many others do for small blocks as they can hold more power than adapted Ranger mounts, and can be positioned anywhere that works. The adjustable mounts are nice - but you're adjusting whatever mounts you install anyway, and I don't know how they hold with serious power. Headers should be bought or made first, as fitting the rest will partially depend on how the headers hit or miss. 16x18 and 16x22 2-row cross-flow aluminum radiators are on Fleabay that fit over the frame rails and inside the rad support for well under $200.

The other problem with kits is what water pump or accessories and trans you use. One affects length to the radiator and if it's cut for recess or not, and the other means cut 'n fit or a sledgehammer in the trans tunnel - or not. My point is, unless you have a specific combination that the kit maker says will "drop-in" (ha ha), you are going to be in for some light fabbing in any case, and a kit may not be of any real advantage. I just use a tape measure and use what works best. The downside to that approach is waiting for the next parts so you can move on. That shouldn't be an issue for you, as you'll be doing so many other mods on the trucks that you can get other stuff done while waiting for UPS.

The time you save in homework can save much more in the swaps, but the info out there is sketchy, so don't plan too hard. I found that things folks said in Ranger forums were often just not true on my swaps. Too many changes over the model years with different options, and folks don't specify what theirs was. So just pick a direction that seems most reasonable and has the best info or chance of success, and go for it.

David
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Great info PSIG! Honestly I don't know what years they are yet as the guy is a little tough to get a hold of cause he does'nt have a cel,(thats right here in farm country Minnesota there are still people without a cel phone!),I'm hoping to get out there this weekend to see and pick them up. All I know for sure is that the 2x4 came from down south and the 4X4 has a lift kit and no engine so god only knows what I'm getting myself into! I like the mustang motor mount idea so I may go that route if this all pans out. By the way are we talkin fox body mustang motor mounts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,342 Posts
... I like the mustang motor mount idea so I may go that route if this all pans out. By the way are we talkin fox body mustang motor mounts?
Yes, most commonly the '94-'95 Mustang GT, or just two right mounts as I'm using this time on a '94 SuperCab - BUT wait and see what you have, as it will make a big difference what you use to make the swaps.

David
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
Great info PSIG! Honestly I don't know what years they are yet as the guy is a little tough to get a hold of cause he does'nt have a cel,(thats right here in farm country Minnesota there are still people without a cel phone!),I'm hoping to get out there this weekend to see and pick them up. All I know for sure is that the 2x4 came from down south and the 4X4 has a lift kit and no engine so god only knows what I'm getting myself into! I like the mustang motor mount idea so I may go that route if this all pans out. By the way are we talkin fox body mustang motor mounts?
"only knows what I'm getting myself into" Why do I believe that !

hope's of building two trucks , lot of work .

info you left out... skill level , what performance level for the trucks

1/4 mi. times in the 18+ seconds or 11 sec. and lower et . offroad ,
as a rock crawler or mud truck or just drive across a feild ?

then there is the most important thing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
"only knows what I'm getting myself into" Why do I believe that !

hope's of building two trucks , lot of work .

info you left out... skill level , what performance level for the trucks

1/4 mi. times in the 18+ seconds or 11 sec. and lower et . offroad ,
as a rock crawler or mud truck or just drive across a feild ?

then there is the most important thing
And what's your budget for both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gotta check condition first to find out what I'm gonna spend. Of course that's after the discussion with the wife! I can't do my own machining but everything else including bodywork will be done by me and my stepson. I have acsess to evrything else besides precision machining equiptment. My stepson already has a drag truck capable of high 11's and it ain't a ford so I gotta build one that can spank him! Dad and I restore antique ih tractors and tractor pull so I have a mechanical background.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I used 72 econoline motor mounts with a 3/4" spacer under them. A foxbody oil pan, foxbody 5.0l headers with some frame massaging. Cut slits in the floor to firewall seam and fold it over for extra clearance. An oil filter relocator that the lines come out 90 degrees from the block. The stock 7.5 rear diff lasted until I started launching right on the converter with the juice. I use a stock 4.0l rad, with a electric fan in front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,617 Posts
If you're looking for 11's you're already well beyond my experience level, I'm just barely into the 12s. For the drag truck traction is going to be your biggest issue, I think a well set up 4-link setup is about the only way to get real good traction in these things (maybe a ladder bar setup would work well too). I got nearly all my v8 swap parts from James Duff, this was over 10 years ago, looks like they have most the same stuff but I don't know if more is available now than there used to be from other vendors. The JD headers are nice long tube, but a little small at 1.5" tube (works OK for my 289, would want something bigger for a stroker like you're talking), so you may want to look elsewhere. I've heard many of the headers made for early mustangs will fit in the Ranger chassis. I wouldn't bother with a big block, more trouble than it's worth, you can still make a small block make just as much power, many parts like heads are way cheaper for the small blocks and more selection to find your price/performance sweet spot. And with traction being an issue, it would be even worse with the low-end torque of the big block. Rangerpowersports.com forum and therangerstation.com are both good sources for getting acquainted with the V8 swap. Just my $.02
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
I know some guys that bought wrecked late 90,s 5.0 Explorers and pulled all the parts to swap in similar year Rangers. They told me it was almost a bolt in deal. Some thing to look at. I just picked up a complete 1998 5.0, 4R70w, and all wheel drive transfer case. Also had all harnesses, computer, and exhaust past cats. $300 with 125K miles. Could be a cheap way to start. I have a 347 Explorer with over 200K on it now so they are pretty tough trucks. 347 has been in it over 80K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
276 Posts
I know some guys that bought wrecked late 90,s 5.0 Explorers and pulled all the parts to swap in similar year Rangers. They told me it was almost a bolt in deal. Some thing to look at. I just picked up a complete 1998 5.0, 4R70w, and all wheel drive transfer case. Also had all harnesses, computer, and exhaust past cats. $300 with 125K miles. Could be a cheap way to start. I have a 347 Explorer with over 200K on it now so they are pretty tough trucks. 347 has been in it over 80K.
And the 96-97 explorers used the gt-40 motor and come with stainless equal length shory headers. Cant wait for my dad to get rid of his 96 so I can pick it up and throw a turbo on it. hehe
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
Gotta check condition first to find out what I'm gonna spend. Of course that's after the discussion with the wife! I can't do my own machining but everything else including bodywork will be done by me and my stepson. I have acsess to evrything else besides precision machining equiptment. My stepson already has a drag truck capable of high 11's and it ain't a ford so I gotta build one that can spank him! Dad and I restore antique ih tractors and tractor pull so I have a mechanical background.
your stepson has a high 11's truck .

how much detail do you know about ? tell me about what you know of it , cost, what mods done ... cover everything .plus fuel used

I know what it would take . looking at his ride you'll have a goog idea
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,010 Posts
you vote for a 351W , now what
some build info for the build of that 351W to beat that other brand trucks high 11's 1/4 mi .
We also don't know a thing about this other truck. Sure we could "bench build" an 11 second ranger, but to what end? I also have to go with dropping a 460 based motor in the drag truck, sure it'll be a tight fit but well worth the power gains IMHO, and with an aluminum top end it can shed quite a bit of weight.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,355 Posts
We also don't know a thing about this other truck. Sure we could "bench build" an 11 second ranger, but to what end? I also have to go with dropping a 460 based motor in the drag truck, sure it'll be a tight fit but well worth the power gains IMHO, and with an aluminum top end it can shed quite a bit of weight.
bench build .. all builds start that way .
to what end .... simple to a few 1/10's better than the other brand .

stroking a 351W to 408 ... why ? for the extra cubes to get more power ?

A 460 has 109 more to start with . cost way less to build . no need for a stroker kit stroker kit is in the budget than 545 cubes is easy for close to the same money . stock early heads with the right mods (yes heavy) can hit 650 hp with tons of Tq , all on pump gas with the big cubes.

the truck , long as its not wreck or a rusted pos , way care . going to a race not a show
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top