2.3 to 5.0 engine swap


Asked by May 30, 2010 at 10:25 AM about the 1984 Ford Ranger

Question type: Car Customization

hello everyone, just wondering about a few things for my project that I am about to under take.  I have a 84 ranger 2.3L with a leaky valve cover gasket and valve seals are gone on it too, but other wise for one spot on the hood the body is perfect, frame is soild, and came with 4 new tires sitting in the box.  All for 400 bucks.  But the thing is that i want something with guts and keep it a manual trans, and so a friend of mine wants to sell me a 302 (5.0L) with a 5spd side shift trans.  But because of how far back the shifter sits, I would have to toss the bench seat and go bucket seats or go with a side shift to topshift  conversion kit making it just like a mustang trans.  So what's your thought's, because as far as I know this  has never been done before.

23 Answers


been done lots. Its just easier to make it an auto though. Its not exactly a bolt in to get the engine in, takes a lot more work than say a s-10 v-8 swap. In mine i left it an auto. Still had to swap oil pan, exhaust manifolds from numerous donor vehicles, move the steering linkage, relocate rad forward, motor and trans mounts, cut and modify heater box, cut and balance driveshaft. Upgrade u-joints so they don't blow on you. etc etc. Plus then your diff will end up blowing up on you like my last 3 have. have to switch from a 7.5 to an 8.8 out of a mid to late 90's ranger. relocate shock and spring mounts. As for seats mine has bickets from a 88 mustang gt, gives it some more room, and easy to put in. Good luck with the job though, its a blast when you get it done

13 people found this helpful.

Agreed, it has been done a lot, although I have yet to see a 5-speed side shift (most were 3 and 4-speed). I had an 85 Ranger that I converted to a v8 back in..... Wow... 1997... I used a totaled 93 cobra as a donor.. The only real modification I did was cutting about 4 inches out of the floor for relocation of the gear shift.. I don't know if you would have to take the bench seat out or not. I took the seats out of the cobra and moved them over (original plan). And you will want to get the rear axle out of a v6 or v8 Explorer... There are quite a few sites out that offer v8 swap parts and adapters to make your swap easier (just Google it). Best of luck on your swap.. It can be a headache. But well worth the fun.

10 people found this helpful.

I have done this before and it would be best if you can find a small block c6 auto. your never gonna need the top end the 5 speed will give you and it was gonna be a tremendous amount of work to put in the 5 speed. make sure you get a big sledge hammer and enlarge the tranny tunnel at the fire wall the transmission doesnt fit in there. your exhaust is gonna be tricky too because the stock headers dump into the underside of your feet. i ran mine with open headers and it was melting my shoes. LOL after you blow out the stock rearend from burnouts try to find a shortened 9 inch. good luck.

8 people found this helpful.

though you were the expert.

2 people found this helpful.

lol sounds like my ranger, leaky valve cover gasket, replaced the gasket, valve seals going, let'em go, head gasket, pedal to the metal until it blows for good. But i was going to do that swap, it didn't work out. but learned a lot while researching, the side shift would be interfering with a bucket seat better to make it a topshift, with a MOD5-R2 you will have to shorten the shifter (measured one up once), you will have to do some cutting if you want to keep it a stick and having 5 gears with a OD will make it cruse nice with a good gear spread. maybe even run some 3.73 gears and get 2000rpm on the hwy with the right tire. Make it easier on yourself and take the cab and box off when and if you actually do it. I will be replacing my 2.3L with a EFI 2.9

2 people found this helpful.

Couple of issues to tackle not hard but costs money and time. Need 90 degree oil filter relocater kit so filter wont hit steering gearbox. Clutch actuation with manual trans can be tricky depending on donor/recipient. t5 has rear shift lever. If you do t56 you have shifter mounting options. Mine has a northern allstar 3 core conversion available on ebay. Cooling fan is a SPAL electric slimline 16" fan. Also crossmember might need some consideration depending on transmission chose.. Check James Duff or Ranger Forum.

4 people found this helpful.

I have 93 ranger I want to do this with. If I go to an automatic traission do I need to change computer as well?

14 people found this helpful.

I have 5 speed 6 cyl in it and I know it will match to the 302 i just had heard about it needing to go from standard transmission to an automatic and I didn't know why.. I can do it but if the top end of the five speed is not necessary .. I wanna got automatic.. Makes sense . I just was wondering if it effects computer because with standard in order for vehicle to start u have to press in clutch

6 people found this helpful.

Finished mine after many stop n starts. Computer from donor vehicle if ur going efi. U can bypass clutch neutral safety switch.


I have an 88' ranger 2.9L what would i need to do to complete an engine swap with a 5.0L v8 302 mustang engine? like the year, steps and what to be aware of please I am in need of help lol I'm struggling. my ranger is a 4x4 and its an automatic so is it smarter to try and put in a manual trannsmission for the mustang engine or keep it an automatic? any tips and anything would be very helpful. thank you!

9 people found this helpful.

I have a 1996 ford ranger 2wd 2.3 and I want to swap it to a 5.0 what year,make and model would be the easiest to go with. Want to stay with fuel injection just don't know if a 96 model will be compatible with the 98-01 explorers.

21 people found this helpful.

ok i have a 1992 ford ranger 2.9 liter 5 speed with a lot of work done but still not fast enough. i dont want to put a pile of money into it but i want a V8 in it. also need to keep it 5 speed. what year and motor size would bold up without an adapter. please and thankyou if you have more info my cell is 740-440-0651

5 people found this helpful.

Sell the v8 and trans ..rebuild the 2300. To accept a turbo charger and blow those v8 conversions off the road lol. You can do not all fpr about 2200 bucks inc a performance clutch and some resesrch into finding a used turbo set up . Or find a Thunderbird / super bird as a donor it has everything you need Inc. Rear end trans ,plumbing . I've done 2 in 30 years it may not rumble like a v8 but it sure will boggle minds as you go by spooling up .lol good luck

3 people found this helpful.

Any built ranger is nice to see, I'm the only one in my area with a 5.0 in one. Deffinetly a head turner & funny when Chevy guys stare. 90 ranger, 3" body lift 86 5.0 with tfs heads, push rods, type e cam, roller rockers & lifters. Edlebrock 600 on rpm performer intake bolted to a C4 trans b&m shift kit, straight pipes to magniflow, old school polluter lol.

6 people found this helpful.

I have a 92 ranger auto granny and I'm wanting to put a 5.0L HD motor in. What year model do I need to go with?

5 people found this helpful.

A lot to explain I'd research your options decide if you want EFI or carburation, auto granny Or manual. I like the sound of C4 shift kit whistling away & I keep it mostly country roads so I'm ok with 3 gears. I have my eye on a 327 202 heads Muncie 4 speed in a 58 vette guy mite never part with even thou the vette's body's junk, Kinda sin putting in a ranger but an option with more fabrication. You could put 3.9L 4BT diesel in that would be sick! Here's a link of what's involved if you decide to use a Mustang 5.0. http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/V8Con versions.html

2 people found this helpful.

Does anybody know if a 2000 Ford Ranger transmission can be removed and replaced with a 2002 Ford transmission both 2.3 L engines both manual

3 people found this helpful.

I've done the v8 swap on my 94 extended cab. Lots of trial and error! The best option for a manual transmission is a t56 because of its relocatable shifter. But you a still have the problem of the clutch. My ranger is hydraulic. Also you have to choose exhaust manifold/headers carefully. Then theres the oil filter relocator kit and custom driveshaft. Northern allstar makes a v8 conversion radiator. And the motor mount adapters are easy to get and fit well. I went with a 14 inch electric fan to leave a little room. I've read somewhere that explorer v8 accessories can give you some more clearance than mustang ones if you want to go thru the trouble.

2 people found this helpful.

can i put the motor and transmission out of a 94 ranger in a 99

3 people found this helpful.

I want to do my 93 splash with 98 explorer 5.0 but don't know about PATS if I need to use the steering column

2 people found this helpful.

super old thread and the guy probably is long gone by now, BUT i have an 83 ranger with a 302 and a t5 manual trans. it fits with the stock ranger 60/40 bench seat. you need a stick that either goes straight up, or has a slight bend forward, but in 4th the stick won't touch the seat. i've since swapped to a pair of buckets out of a Mustang2, but i rocked that stock bench for a season and a half. also, yeah, there's allot of steps to doing the whole swap. headers are a nightmare. and you need to drill new holes in the cross member for your engine mounts, and its literally a trial and error thing. this isn't a weekend swap. or week- long swap.

1 people found this helpful.

this is wear the T5 shifter sits after swapping in large Mustang2 buckets out of a 77 Ghia trim stang. this stick i swapped in has a bit of a curve back towards the driver. its the perfect position for me to comfortably row gears.

3 people found this helpful.

Will a 2.9l clutch fit a 2.3l

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