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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone tried to turbo a 4.0L Ranger before?

My brother is into turbos and I was rolling ideas round in my head bout giving it a try on my Ranger.

Anyone see any major problems with this idea? Weak points in the motor or anything? I would only run round 6 to 8 PSI boost max, nothing wild n crazy.

Any thoughts/opinions would be nice, I am putting 33s on it so more power would be nice to wake it up again after.
 

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Yep. Up-side is a great boost in torque. Downside is the weakness of the factory heads. They won't take higher boost on pump gas with heavy ignition retard for long. Your idea of 6-8 psig is a good target. I would strongly suggest the iron aftermarket replacement heads of you're going to lean on it often or more. The short block is good. You'll need bigger injectors and a bit stronger valve springs, as the boost will fight valve closing and limit your revs if you want them. BTW, if you are changing heads eventually, and you have the early '90s heads, get the later '95+ heads to lower the compression a bit. This gives more power without retarding the ignition as much on pump gas. Flow your stock pump to see if it's enough. It should be, but I did not check mine and just threw a 190lph in there as it was on the shelf anyway. The rest of the fuel system will handle it fine.

What does a turbo 4L do? The effect is much like a strong street V8 conversion. About the same performance at 6+ psig as a 5.0L/302 with intake, headers, porting, and a street cam. Be sure to size your turbine(s) to have power in the RPM range you want it. Of course, that's always a rule, but especially important if you need lower-RPM grunt for big tires and off-roading. Fair warning—boost is addictive. The 4L has limits (I have two going to the recycler in the bed of my truck right now), and you'll probably end-up going turbo V8 one day anyway, just to feed the monkey. Starting with the 4L is fine, but begin preparing for the inevitable. ;)

BTW, I have one set left of the 4.0L turbo header flanges available. I had these custom cut for building turbo headers from sch. 40 weld els that slip inside the flanges for support and strength. I'll post a pic later tonight when I can get to my camera.

David
 

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The plastic upper intake may pose an issue as well. Have seen them explode with plugged egr, can't imagine the can take a whole lot of pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have an 07 Ranger, finding room in the engine bay for the turbo may be a bigger challenge than I had anticipated too!

Where do you find aftermarket iron heads for a 4.0? I have looked with no luck.
What suggestions would you have for the upper intake?

Should I run an intercooler as well? I figure its probably a good idea just to be on the safe side.

And David some pics would be awesome! :tup: I am not sure how to go about doing the flanges, a buddy of mine has a plasma cutter at work, I think its a computer controlled thing but I am not sure I was gonna ask him if he could help me out
 

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Time-out. You have the SOHC 4.0L. You're better-off with that one than the OHV 4.0L. You can go with what you have at 6-8 psi. You will still need the injectors and such, and the new valve springs to prevent valve float. Yes, the intake will hold the boost, but as mentioned, being plastic you have no error room. Tune it carefully to avoid any backfiring that would shatter the intake. The stiffer valve springs are also there to prevent backfiring at higher revs from float. That doesn't mean you can rev higher than before - just that you won't float at normal max rev's.

The header flanges I have are for the 4.0 OHV, and so you'll have to make your own or find a source if there is one these days. Do a search on the Ranger sites for others that have gone this path for lots of ideas on combinations that fit. Search the Mustang V6 sites for ideas that may be made to fit the Ranger. Indeed, the '07 SOHC does not leave a lot of room for extra stuff. And yes, you will want an air-air intercooler, or an air-water system. I use an air-water system as it's easier to plumb with the smaller water hoses than the big pipes - but I have room for the exchanger with no AC. Use what fits.

David

4.0 OHV turbo header flanges I had custom CNC plasma cut. Note the oversize port holes. This is to prevent the pipe from being smaller than the port - which is huge on 4.0s:


Here I angled the shot to show how the pipe sockets were honed for a snug fit on schedule 40 weld-els. You can butt weld the pipes to the flange, but that tends to crack easily with heat stress. With this method, the pipe is supported through the flange (tacked on the outside and fully welded on the inside) and actually becomes part of the flange gasket sealing system after blanchard ginding it all when finished. Much stronger and more crack resistant:

 

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I'm kind of curious as to where you go with this. I have a 96 Ranger 3.0 for a daily and was tossing around the idea of a turbo as well.

Keep us updated!
 

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The most important question to ask is what you want out of it. In some cases, just adding some power makes it go from a slug to a reasonable driver. In other cases you may want WOOHOO! fire-breathing performance. Either one or in-between is fine, but if you estimate low, you will be disappointed, as 50-100% more horsepower is great, but may not really make a difference in how you like to drive the thing.

For example, I would be perfectly satisfied adding 5 psi to a Suzuki Samurai so it can zip up onramps and cruise at 70+ on the expressway with everyone else. For what it is, it's fun and I'm just raising the power to what it should have been from the factory, and that's all I'll ever need. Cool. On the other hand, I know my 5.0L turbo will not be enough in the Ranger to do the trick for me, as I want to run better than mid-11s in the quarter with my heavy street daily driver. Therefore I could (or should) jump straight to a 5.8L or a stroker and get the 10.01s I'll eventually be targeting. To throw the 5.0 in is not a complete waste, and fills the gap, but will not satisfy the needs I ultimately have for it.

The up-side is that the changes to the Ranger will allow a virtual drop-in of the bigger engine later, though it won't get me where I want to go right now. Bottom-line is that I'm not building the Ranger right, and spending time and money that should be going into the final version. My excuse is that I just can't wait any longer, and 400+ RWHP will have to do for now, which is more than plenty on the street (duh) but won't cut the numbers I want on the strip.

Ahh... the quandries. Will whatever your thinking of fill the bill in the long run? Or, is it just something you know you'll blow up pushing too hard for what you really want, but will just use it to gain quick satisfaction and experience with? Only you know the answer. Decisions, decisions...

David
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Haha oh yeah I know what you mean, depending how my other build goes this summer (1930 ford model a, 5.0 edelbrock victor jr heads etc.) I may not even get around to the ranger. Basically what I need out of the ranger is to keep up with bigger tires etc as I go. A little more get up and go would be cool to just to screw with the occasional jackass on the street too. :D And if I can piece together a setup with extra power for relatively cheap that would be ideal. I am not sure what other mods have the same power:price ratio as turbo, as far as I know its one of the best. The whole idea started when my dad bought an ecoboost F150 and I took her for a spin :bow: that 3.5 in there is awesome haha.

By no means will I be using it on the strip, although a build like that would be awesome... :( maybe in the VERY distant future.

Getting everything to fit is worrying me the most so far, that and tuning, what do you use to tune your setup?

Thanks David,
Justin
 

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Have a look at the turbo forums. Used to be turbomustangs.com. Some guys have done 4.0's over there.

I've come to the conclusion that if you're going to use EFI with a turbo, it's not going to be cheap. And a blow-thru carb (a good one anyway) is going to be close to $1000. Or do like I did and try to build your own blow thru carb and go through several engines before it was close to being tuned (the hard way).

Lots of different ways of doing it.
 

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...Getting everything to fit is worrying me the most so far, that and tuning, what do you use to tune your setup?
A lot of guys use the EEC with success, but I only use aftermarket EFI controllers. My Ranger uses an MS1 V3.0, which retails as a kit for about $200-250. Much more capable (especially for performance stuff like boost and N2O) than the EEC, and much easier to tune with various programs available. While mine controls everything, you may only want to just piggyback it to control your fuel and timing (so the EEC still controls the trans, AC, cruise control, etc.), which is how I used one with my old work truck. Add another $100+ for a WBO2 to get useful tuning data.

I have to admit I'm spoiled by the tuning programs for it, as they tune the majority of your fueling as you drive. There are very advanced versions that run to over $500, but those are unnecessary for most applications, unless squeaking for mileage competitions, or controlling extra electronic gizmos and such. These controllers are not toys, and have controlled high-end racing machines from the Huber 9-second 2.3 Mustang, to the record-breaking twin-turbo Studebaker Bonneville racer, even to a Merlin V12 pulling tractor. One of the most common uses is FSAE college mileage competitions on Briggs & Stratton single cylinder engines. The system is very flexible, though of course that can confuse you with all the options.

On the Ranger, the MS1 controls fuel, ignition (distributorless coil packs), cooling fan, water injection, turbo anti-lag, rev limit, two-step staging rev limit, boost control, launch control, traction control (retards power if it senses the tires slipping) electronic idle control, and a couple other things. A bit more advanced than EEC. ;) Yet cheaper for the whole unit than many EEC tuning setups. That's just me. For a basic driver, EEC can do well also.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That sounds like a pretty sweet system, a ton more reading Ill have to do now haha.

I did have one other question, I live in an area that the temps vary regularly from +40 Celsius (104 F) in the summer to -40 Celsius (-40 F) in the winter. Will the extreme temperature changes effect the operation of everything? I am worried that it wont run properly in the winter or that I will see detonation in the summer, since this is my DD I cant have that happening.

Would I be able to store like 2 different tunes? Have one for warmer weather and one for colder or what would be best?

Thanks,
Justin
 

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... I did have one other question, I live in an area that the temps vary regularly from +40 Celsius (104 F) in the summer to -40 Celsius (-40 F) in the winter. Will the extreme temperature changes effect the operation of everything? ...
No problem. Unlike a carb, EFI compensates for altitude, intake air temp, coolant temp, and other factors. That's why it has those pesky sensors. ;) One tune for all seasons, for power, and for economy. We can even add a fuel sensor so it changes parameters on-the-fly if we change fuel, like adding race fuel at the track, or filling with ethanol-laced pump gas. Going bonkers and filling with methanol race fuel at the track? OK, then indeed there is a built-in second set of tables (tune) and you can use it with the flip of a switch.

That said, with a turbo we can go one step further, and alter running based on some new stuff that happens. For example, the turbo when making pressure also makes heat. That heat (some absorbed by the intercooler) pushes us closer to det, and with crappy fuels like pump gas, that happens quickly. I know that's what you were thinking about. :tup: So, we tell the ECM to compensate more with that heat, and depending on other factors (like 104°F outside) and higher coolant temps, etc. - to pull timing, or reduce boost levels, or add more water injection, or whatever will keep us at available max power but safe.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So it would probably be a good idea to get one of those tuners first, get used to it, and get it working like I want it.. then make the bigger mods once I know how to do everything. That way once I have the work done I am not sitting there with a useless vehicle while I try to figure out how to tune er.
 

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Excellent plan, and lets you tune just for what you've changed as you go.

Legal small-print:
Keep in-mind, altering the tuning parameters will cause failure to pass emissions testing with OBD-II. Not that it can't be as clean, just that the factory ECU (if piggy-backed) will report oddly. They don't actually test for exhaust pipe emissions, but just ask the OBD controller if everything is OK. Mods - even if clean - will not report as all-OK. These mods are 'illegal' in some areas, so check that first.

This is the biggest reason I run a pre-'95 Ranger, as it's the last of the pre-OBD-II trucks. Local testing is by sniffer, and it can be tuned to run cleaner than stock. However, in some areas, it's not the emissions but the mods that are illegal. Do your homework and CYA.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We dont have emissions testing here at all, never had to do any of that kind of thing, so thats not a problem. :D :tup:
Ill update you guys when I figure out the tuner system, and go from there.
If I put in electric pusher fans would I be able to control them with that tuner too? I figure if I move the fan and relocate the battery that should free up a fair amount of room in the engine bay.
 

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If I put in electric pusher fans would I be able to control them with that tuner too?
Yep. It's a bit of a jump to get a handle on what can be done with a system like this. Things you've dreamed of and some you haven't - primarily limited by how many outputs you have. Example - you have a giant turbo on a race car that's faster than hell, but takes forever to spool-up and leaves the line like a pig.

Option 1: Set anti-lag, which retards ignition and dumps-in a bunch of fuel to cause 'afterburn', spooling your turbo to full boost while sitting still on the start line. It's automatic, and only engages when it's at WOT, under X psi boost, and the car isn't moving. You floor it and wait for the green. While you sit there, it rev-limits to launch RPM (maybe 2500 or whatever you set) and anti-lags at full boost. You leave on green and the anti-lag and rev-limit instantly stop and you're hauling away at full boost and max torque with your nose in the air. Slick.

Option 2: You also install a shot of nitrous. You just sit at the line as above with your foot mashed on the pedal but no boost yet. You release brake or pop the clutch from launch rev-limit and the N2O automatically engages, adding xxx HP and spooling the turbo to full boost almost instantly. Bam. After a fraction of a second it stops spraying automatically when boost hits x psi and lets the turbo do the work. You launched on nitrous, your turbo is boosting at peak torque, and your front tires haven't even come back down. Very Slick.

These are just two of many options on just one subject. You can go bonkers creatively tailoring the system to your needs or desires, using parameters you never even thought of using that way before. Will you use many of the things you can do with one? Probably not. But you could. When you sell your truck, you can pull the ECU and bolt it on your Harley, or your boat, or your dune buggy, or...

Did you know many manual transmissions can be shifted WOT at redline without using the clutch if the RPM and load are synchronized by the EFI? Uh huh. :D Wouldn't it be nice to have a valet switch for your turbo when your 'buddy' borrows it? No problem. Maybe you don't want any more spark pug wires and want to just run those little coils that go right on top of each spark plug. Can do. I could go on all night. I'll shut up now.

David
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Lmao wow, thats awesome :D.
Now the hard part tho, I have to figure the damn thing out haha. Guess Ill be reading, reading, and more reading. Is the MS compatible with Mac?
 

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One of the most common uses is FSAE college mileage competitions on Briggs & Stratton single cylinder engines. The system is very flexible, though of course that can confuse you with all the options.
David
FSAE and Supermileage are two different series. One makes hypermiling lawnmowers (Supermileage) and the other builds racecars capable of spanking most supercars. (Formula SAE)



 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry for all the questions, I was reading on the website more about the MS systems it asks:
b. Will you be controlling ignition timing?

If NO, then MegaSquirt-I™ will most likely suffice.
If YES, then an MS-II® or MicroSquirt® (or MS-II Sequencer®) is your best option for controlling spark advance.

If I am utilizing a turbo in the future would the MS-II be a good idea to control the ingnition timing? How do you do that with the MS-I Dave?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
whoops sorry scratch that question, I read further and the MS-II system has ignition control native to it whereas you can upgrade MS-I to control that stuff with the firmware eh
 
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