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302 Swap in a 1990 Ranger

Bricoop

Well-Known Member
I'm buying a 1990 Ranger used in 24 Hours of LeMons racing. I need help choosing the right donor vehicle to pull a 302 and transmission out of. It is a proper POS racecar, so most of the comforts have been removed, including the power steering. We think a 302 out of an explorer or mustang will be best, but trying to figure out what years to shoot for. Planning on buying a salvage vehicle or a police auction. We want to keep it manual, but otherwise are open to options. This will be a track only car, so smog and other road legal components are not needed. Depending on the donor, we'll probably replace the headers and exhaust system with catless pipes.

Currently it has a gutless 2.9 liter with a 5 speed. It has a 8.8 rear end with a 31 spline and limited slip diff (out of an explorer). It's a 2WD. Currently it is balanced and handles surprisingly well 54.7%/45.3% (without driver), but that will get worse with the 302, new transmission and the driver.

Thanks in advance
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
crown vic motor, maybe?, can you shove motor back any??, thats a race that looks cool, isnt there a cost cap too?
 
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Bricoop

Well-Known Member
crown vic motor, maybe?, can you shove motor back any??, thats a race the looks cool, isnt there a cost cap too?
Haven’t looked much into the crown Vic but will start looking. There is a price limit, but cheating is fine, as long as your creative or bring a bribe for the officials.
 

jon coleman

Well-Known Member
maybe get lucky and find a sho Taurus, i remember one at ecology years back, i heard those v6s are capable of Hugh hp numbers.,or, call it a mazda truck and stuff a 13 b in it,w a phat turbo, that would be exciting
 

Bricoop

Well-Known Member
maybe get lucky and find a sho Taurus, i remember one at ecology years back, i heard those v6s are capable of Hugh hp numbers.,or, call it a mazda truck and stuff a 13 b in it,w a phat turbo, that would be exciting
Our theme is going to make fun of Tesla. We did consider a diesel for a quick second.
 

Bricoop

Well-Known Member
I think we found a donor. It’s a 1994 mustang gt hardtop. It sounds like it’s going to be a pretty easy swap. I need to some research on the transmission to find out what adapters are needed. Here’s the details:

It now needs engine mounts an oil pan gasket, new seals on the dif and some rear tires. That and the photos you see are the cons
Pros:
3:73 gears
Underdrive pulleys
Healthy 5.0L
5 speed
Sound system, amp in trunk
Alarm system
New battery, front tires,alignment, spark plugs, distributor, flywheel, clutch, rear main seal, harmonic balancer, thermostat, thermostat housing, main coolant hoses. Fresh oil, coolant and transmission fluid. Got a bunch of receipts and an off-road xpipe that will be included.
 

landshark

Well-Known Member
I was going to say early/mid 90's 5.0 mustang would be the most straight forward with a manual and without dealing with the 4r70w computer and AWD/4WD drivetrain of the explorer.

Although you can find v8 Ford explorers (around here anyway) for $500 or less...

Always wanted to do the 24 of lemons, should be fun with the v8 in a ranger :)
 

Bricoop

Well-Known Member
Been doing more research. Sounds like the swap will be pretty easy. We need new motor mounts, new headers, fuel pressure regulator, and oil filter relocation. Power-steering has been removed, so not sure if the relocation is needed, but it sounds like it makes the swap much easier. The donor has a world class T-5, which will probably need to be rebuilt at some time. For now we'll run it til it blows. I also need to see what changes need to be made for the clutch (Hydraulic throw out bearing verses cable clutch). It currently has the original brakes on the front. I need to look into what options we have for putting disc brakes on it. I've heard the iBeam may limit the options. Other than that, I'm not aware of anything else I need at this time.

I still have a lot to learn about this, but headed in the right direction. Going to see the Donor on Saturday.
 

DSRacing

Mini Metal MOD
Here are some photos of my 5.0 swap from a few years ago. It was 306 ci with Edelbrock aluminum heads, and Canton Road race oil pan. Art Carr C-4 transmission with a reverse manual valve body. The intake and mass air sensor was from a 93 Mustang.





 

Bricoop

Well-Known Member
Here are some photos of my 5.0 swap from a few years ago. It was 306 ci with Edelbrock aluminum heads, and Canton Road race oil pan. Art Carr C-4 transmission with a reverse manual valve body. The intake and mass air sensor was from a 93 Mustang.





Really appreciate it, thanks. We are planning on using a T-5 world class. It looks like we need make an External Slave and a custom bracket.
 
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