New to rangers engine direction


Zergt

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Hey Guys,

I just got my 1990 Ford Ranger XLT a couple weeks ago and I love the truck but it is in poor condition. I replaced the cooling system and cleaned it out but my butt dyno is telling it it has about 70 horsepower when the oil pressure decides to be at a normal metric (usually its low on the gauge despite having oil). From what I have found these engines have issues with the oil pump and cam bearings, so i've concluded it can be a number of things that would be hard to troubleshoot without having the engine out. I have been looking over all the options for different engines and I was especially fond of the Taurus SHO swap and there is a rebuilt one in my area for 250 dollars, but I have the Mitsubishi FM146 4x4 transmission which is not compatible. That was a hard hit because I really wanted to have a high revving engine.

So I am at the point where I am certain that engine is coming out this summer and I am wondering without sacrificing 4x4 and swapping transmissions whats the best direction for a motor in this truck. There are rebuild kits for about 290 dollars that is pistons, bearings and gaskets. I have local junkyards where I can get a 4.0 for about 150 dollars (I would have to rebuild still). I just want a functioning truck with a decent engine. I am very rough on my vehicles and street drive them a little harder than I should. Should I rebuild my 2.9 or should I make the sacrifice to 2wd and SHO swap it. I have replaced my share of engines but i've never done a swap but I am confident with time and money I could get it done. Is it worth rebuilding the 2.9?
 


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adsm08

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The FM146 won't hold long behind a 4.0. The 2.9 is a decent engine when it is in fighting form, but with even the newest of them 25 years old already they are showing their age. If you are dead set against replacing the trans look into rebuilding the 2.9, and maybe doing some performance upgrades while you are in there.

I thought the SHO 3.0 would bolt to a 3.0 M5OD though, that could keep your 4x4 and it will bolt right in in place of you 146.
 

Zergt

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I was referencing the Manual transmission codes on Ranger station and the forums I found about the SHO swap were not entirely clear. A lot of opinions opposed to solid information. Thats very interesting to hear the 3.0 m50d will bolt in. I just want a fun truck that also useful in winter because Minnesota is a rough place for RWD and my summer daily is an e46 so when I park it I need my other vehicle to be something that will get through the winter.


Mazda M50D-R1
M​
1988 & Up 4-Cylinder Rangers
1988-1992 2.9L 2WD Rangers
1991-2000 4.0L Ranger
1991 - Up 3.0L Ranger


Im guessing it would be this trans then. I didn't see 4x4 by the 3.0 ranger so I figured it was also 2wd
 

adsm08

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I know where were a few sets of conflicting information floating around, and there still are, but I recall seeing a picture here of what was supposedly a SHO 3.0 bolted to what was definitely an M5OD-R1. I can't remember who posted it though, and with the recent change in forum software it may not be up anymore.
 


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