new to builds

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Addison, May 7, 2018.

  1. Addison

    Addison New Member

    so I have a 87 ford ranger xlt it has the 2.9l V6 engine in it, and I'm new to working on my own truck let alone upgrading them. I don't want to do an engine swap right now I do want to add more horsepower, I'm thinking about putting a new cam in it and switch over to electric fans and aluminum radiator. As well as switching out the rear end for something with post traction in it. I just do not have a clue where to start or what parts to get and where to get them any suggestions would be helpful thanks.
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  3. Scrambler82

    Scrambler82 Old Guy User

    I can't tell you exactly what to do but here are my thoughts on getting started.
    There are problems with the heads, cracks and freeze plugs, the stock computer may not handle this mods but should, and the motor should be removed from the chassis.

    The 2.9L is a good motor but so under powered adding a cam and rocker, headers and exhaust, and a chip will cost you and if you approach this mod the right way you need to rebuild the engine or at least get a new engine.

    If you put a list of parts together, and then look at the labor to rebuild the engine and heads, then compare that money to just upgrade the mortar, you might see there is a reason no one does much with the stock 2.9Ls and use the Go-To Motor - a 5.0L V-8.

    A stock 5.0L will perform far better and smoother than the 2.9L and everything stock on both engines, you should get better mpg from etc 5.0L. At least I did when I did my 5.0L Swap in an '88 STX 4x.

    Yes either way it can get pricey fast when you do it right, so this is something you need to look at a stock 5.0L or a 2.9L with a lot of mods, run the numbers before deciding.
    There is another engine that can work a little better and might take mods better than the 2.9L and that the earlier OHV 4.0L, not the newer one with all of its electronics.
    They are a bolt in and the wiring, if you get the Engine Harness/Computer with the engine will swap in.

    The Radiator, if you are stock the radiator should be ok, if it is leaking or you have unknown over-heating problems then you may need a new one, if you do a 5.0 swap you well need a new one.

    When looking for a rear axle, check out the width of your rear axle ands if the Explorer Axles will fit, they have 8.8 Axles with posi, check the gearing to match what you have and what wherever you want to go with engine mods. Also, if you drive a 4x make sure the gears in the front and rear match in ratio of close as possible.

    I have driven the 4.0L OHV engines, they are decent enough and a little less expensive than do a 5.0L Swap.
    The 5.0L was nice and I would do one again, if I didn't live out here in No-No Land, SoCal.

    Sorry I can't help you out on particulars, you will need to talk to other, also in other sites with 2.9L Forums, see what people have done and look at the over-all cost and compare. If you haven't done work on your own truck before... some of the mods you want will take a good mechanical ability or access to someone that has done it before, putting the cam in the block is one thing but then you need to tune it ! the rear axle is a straight forward swap if you find one that has the same sprint perch measurement as yours. Radiator, if you do it, is easy enough but when you start thinking engines, rebuilds, camshafts/lifters/EFI, it turns into a "Which Way do I go" !

    Put all of the numbers together, find out where and if you can get the parts you want, look at what you think you can do yourself and if you can get help from someone that has done the mods, then drop the hammer and get the parts together and get it done.

    Me... I always have had the problem of losing at something, thinking it look easy enough, getting the stuff together, and finding out it isn't what I thought it would be and I start to lose interest. So thinking it threw, and then get it done.

    Good Luck on your Mods, it is fun and enjoyable to drive a vehicle you have modified.
    Addison likes this.

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