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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting to buy an early ('83-8
shortbed ranger and plop a 350-400hp 289 in it for a project rig for a little while now. I want to do a 289 mainly because of the coolness factor (everyone's got a 5.0), and because RPMs are good
. Basically I want something that's streetable, but nothing you'd let your mom drive to the store, and fun to take downtown on Friday nights and put those high-school ricer punks in their place,
! Anyways, I've been throwing different combinations in Dyno2000 just to get an idea of the combo I'd put together, and here's what I've got in mind at this point.

Stock 289 block, rods, crank
Ported stock heads or World Products Windsor Jrs
9.5-10:1 compression
750cfm double pumper
Single plane intake (suggestions?)
headers (again, suggestions?)
Flowmaster 40's, dual 2.5"(?) exiting before right rear
Comp Magnum 282 (adv.) .528" solid lifter cam
5 speed tranny (which one?)

And as I stated in another thread, I'm a college student, so this will be an EXTREME budget buildup. This is why I'm thinking of the WP or stock heads, because of cost. My best friend works at a shop that they build race engines all the time, so I'll get a little break on shop labor, and I'll have some good knowledgeable people around for the building process.

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome. Is 400hp too unrealistic? Should I go with WP Sr's instead of the Jr heads, or something else altogether? is a 750 carb too much (assuming I want to hit 400hp at around 6000rpm)? Different camshaft?

I've read that shortbed rangers weigh in at around 2700lbs, so after swapping in a small block and 5 speed (and after grenading the rearend, a 9" with 4.10s or 4.56s), I don't think it'll weigh much over 2800lbs. So assuming I can get decent traction, what ET would you expect? I'm thinking mid 12's, that'd be nice.
 

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Unless you've already got the 289 shortblock in good shape I'd go with the 302.Its not easy to make 400 hp with one of these motors cheaply and the extra stroke is supposed to be worth 15ftlbs of torque alone.I don't think two similarily built 302vs289 motors would rev any differently and if you go with the 5.0 you get a roller cam and won't have to worry about getting the proper balance flywheel or flexplate depending on what tranny your running.Once the engine is together no one will no what size it is anyway.
 

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For a budget, you might want to consider a larger displacement to keep RPM lower. High RPM (required for low displacement/high power) will cost big bucks to produce that kind of power.

Lots of Windsor junkies on this board, for good reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've heard the 351 is quite a bit more work to get to fit in the Ranger engine compartment, so that's why I decided to go with the 289/302. Really, if I could get a 302 for cheap, I'd go with that, but I'd prefer a 289, I dunno why, just personal preference I guess. I figure whatever I put together, I'd like peak power around 6000 rpm, so I'd probably never take it over 7000, which from what I've heard should be fine for a stock 289 or 302 bottom end. I might get four bolt mains if it's in the budget, but I dunno if that's really necessary. The combo I mentioned with WP Windsor Jrs makes 380hp @ 6000, or with ported stock heads (using the flow numbers from the sbf head shootout here) about 360hp @ 6000 on Dyno2000. So assuming I go with either a 289 or 302, what can you recommend for intake, carb size, etc.?

_________________
'86 Bronco fullsize, 460cid, E4OD w/ Baumannator TCS, 4" Rancho lift, 2" body lift, 35x12.5 BFG AT KOs, 4.56 gears, Auburn posi in the 9" rear, Digital instruments, 600watt Pioneer sound system

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Motorhead on 3/29/02 10:14am ]</font>
 

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I'd definitely go with a 289/302 over a 351W. The engine compartments on those Rangers are tight enough with the 2.9L V6's, which look tiny compared to a small block. I think the main area where you'll need to watch for clearance, regardless of the engine, is the heater / A/C box. It's only got a little bit of clearance with a V6, so I'm sure you'll probably have to do some trimming if you plan on keeping it.

-Brian
 

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Motorhead,
I have a 289 that I am about to start rebuilding in the next few weeks after i pull it out of my falcon. It is going back into a 64 falcon, and just as you, I am also a college student on an extremely small budget.
Let me know more about your motor when you build it up. I am looking at retaining the stock bottom end. I'll probably just polish the stock heads and upgrade the intake-exhaust-cam.
So I am very interseted in what you are going to decide on for your final project, and what kind of power it is capable of.
Keep us posted.

J
 

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dont try it with stock style heads - they wont cut it even with porting - use the mounts and headers from the same manufacturer - i dont really care for the trans dapt or or the total performance or the ones with the try-y headers -- L&L, Hooker make excellent products -- the L&L company does the whole kit all the way to the radiator --- the stock 7.5" rear is pretty tough - can run 12's with it--- need to run an engine driven fan- tough to cool with an electric fan - especially with a/c -- I've got probably 25,000 + miles on my swap - so feel free to ask for comments -- been through a LOT of parts
 

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I can help with the truck part. I have an 83 4 cyl. I'm selling for $550. Its in pretty good shape but the four is dying. the outside has surface rust but no holes or major dents. Let me know. Ken [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well Ken, that sounds like a perfect candidate... only one thing, your profile says you're in New Jersey, and I'm in Idaho, so that's a helluva trip to make for a bargain ranger, hehe. Actually there's a Ranger that's a little closer (Portland) that I've got an eye on. It's pretty rough, but if the price is right, it'd be worth the drive. Strange how something that seems so common becomes scarce when you're looking for one, LOL! Thanks for the offer though.
 

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Dang, you've been reading my mind, LOL. I found a Ranger here for a few bucks(motor is shot). I have been toying with the idea of moving my race stuff over to it and finishing out my fastback stock so I can catch girls, uh, cruise around the street in it.

Forget the ricers, I want to go stomp on some of those 350/S10's out there at my track, HEH!
 

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I actually did this swap in 1988 to an 83 Long Bed.If you go with a 351 or tall valve covers....hope you like not having heat.The heater/fan box is reeeeal tight against the passenger side valve cover on a 302 with stock valve covers,and thats without A/C.The combo is TONS of fun.Good luck on the traction action,you and a buddy could probably almost lift the back of a Ranger.I had a mildly warmed 302 with a C-4 and 8 inch rear and could hang with a stock 5.0 at the time,wouldnt run from him mind you but made him go home scratching his head(From a dead start forget trying this...see comment about traction above).Total Performance offers a complete kit for this engine swap.My 83 was an automatic from the factory with a floor shifter,the C-4 bolted right up to the existing linkage,a reeeeal time saver.If I think of anything else you might need to know I will post it here.

P.S. my cousin did the same thing to a short bed and it was a squirrely bitch compared to the long bed...my .02 worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I figured it'd have traction problems, but that's half the fun, right?

I could probably go with a longbed, but I just reeeally like the looks of the shortbed better, and I figured a shortbed would also have slightly more weight on the rear tires than a longbed. I thought for better weight distribution, a person could get a gas tank that goes behind the axle (like in a mustang), relocate the battery, and maybe a heavy-ass rear bumper or something just to shift more of the weight rearward, hah. Other than that, probly just have to get the widest, stickiest tires I can find, and maybe use some ladder bars or something similar to control axle wrap and wheel hop.

I'm still looking hard for a cheap rolling chassis (doesn't have to run, doesn't even need a motor, lol!), so if anyone knows of a ranger in the washington/idaho/oregon area for around $500 or less, I'd appreciate a heads up.


The main thing I wanted to hear from you guys is any recommendations on engine components. Seems like most of you guys know your smallblocks, and so any recommendations on the engine combo would be great. From what I've heard so far, it looks like I'm gonna need to bite the bullett and get some good aftermarket heads. Will the World Products iron heads be good heads, or do I need to go with some Ebrock RPMs or Trick Flows? What's a good small block single-plane for running in the 3500-6500 range? And should I try to find a split profile camshaft (more exhaust lift and duration) instead of the Comp cam I've picked? Also, is a 750 carb too much for a little 289 or 302? Thanks again, you guys have been real helpful.
 

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I disagree that you absolutely need aftermarket heads if this is a tight budget build.Port and polish your heads get some 1.90 and1.60 valves and you should be Ok depending on how fast you want to go.If you can afford aftermarket heads by all means buy them but the money might be needed somewhere else to get this combo together and sorted out.Check out how fast N2O Mike is running with 289 heads,I know he runs spray but still thats very impressive with stock castings.I saw a late 80's Ranger run a 11.10 at a Ford day drags a couple of years ago.I don't know all the details but he only had about a 8 or 9 inch slick on it so these things can be made to hook.Good luck with the swap.
 

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Ported stock heads will run good or you can throw some cheap aftermarket heads on there with no porting and run about as well. The aftermarkets will then open up more if you need it later. I run iron Windsor Jr's and I am no where near the limit on them yet. I did a little clean up on the exhaust but the intakes are untouched including the port mismatch with my intake manifold which I haven't yet fixed.

For a 6500 rpm single plane I would run a Weiand. The Vic Jr is good but probably a bit too much for a 6500 limit. To run low 12's or faster you are going to need to leave at around 4500 and turn up around 7 with a 289 or 302.

Whether you need a split grind or not will depend which heads you wind up with, what the flow ratio is on them and whether you run open headers or full exhaust.

Which carb you run depends how many cubes and what rpms its going to turn.

You really need to back up a step and decide your design and run issues before you start selecting your parts package.

_________________
1965 289 Mustang 2+2

best et to date: 12.53 @ 108.22
best et backwards: 12.59 @ 107.5

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Hottarod on 4/1/02 5:34am ]</font>
 

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- i have 66 289 heads w/ 1.95/1.6 valves -- screw in studs , etc - but i feel that a pair of dart roush heads would be more cost effective in the long run -- they are cheap for what you get - reworked stock heads can appraoch the cost of aftermarket heads if not careful -- with a stock longbed and a set of slapper bars and a camper top i dont have traction problems -- relocated the springs and narrowed a 9 inch and went up in smoke - go figure (messed up the suspension geometry i found later) runs low 12.20 on a 150 hit of nos - 13.60's off the bottle -- tried a lot of different combos and still looking -- going to a b/m holley 174 blower this summer
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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I have seen a ranger here in CA at the strip. I do not remember what it was running, but he had the full cage. It was a 351 W. and a shot of N2O. I talked to the guy, and he told me that it was a diesel truck originally so it did not have to be smogged. Check into that as well


Jeff Given
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Luckily I live in the great state of Idaho, where emissions-checking is a thing of the future (at least where I live).


I don't see us having sniffer tests here for quite a while. There is a tissue/paper/lumber mill in town (Potlatch Corp.), as well as a bullet manufacturer (Blount). I'm sure if anyone even mentions sniffer tests, half the population would be in an uproar about getting those places cleaned up first. That and, I'll bet less than 1/4 of the cars in town would actually pass the sniffer


My vision for this pickup is somewhat of a supertruck theme. Screaming small block, lowered slightly with 17" wheels and the fattest tires I can fit without tubbing. Lots of traction and handling adders, shave the fat everywhere within reason, relocate as much weight down low and to the rear as possible to get it better balanced. Also a roll cage whenever I get around to doing the interior.

Basically I want to get it running like a raped ape, then I'll start working on appearance, traction, etc. It'd almost be better to just leave the appearance as-is, get the exhaust mellowed out as much as possible, and the engine as bone-stock looking as possible so to the untrained (more like totally ignorant) eye it would look like a factory ranger under the hood. Dunno, lots of ideas floating around in my head.
 
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