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Thread: 2.3 Swap?

  1. Default 2.3 Swap?


    I'm new here and this is my first post.
    I have a '32 Ford pickup with an '84 Thunderbird TurboCoupe 4 cyl and 5 speed trans. (The trans is out of an '87 TC). I've been running the truck like this for about 5 years and have about 25 000 miles on it.

    Unfortunately, I cooked the engine a few weeks ago.
    I need a quick, easy, cheap fix.

    I can get a good running, low mileage 2.3l out of a 2002 Ranger for cheap.

    Does anyone have any ideas how I can make the Ranger 2.3 run without getting into a crazy amount of wiring / electronics? I can buy the engine but getting the wiring harness and computer is a totally different deal. Even if I could get all that stuff, I don't have the time or patience anymore to cut it down and make it all work.

    I had a nightmare of a time doing my Turbo 2.3l conversion. I've got a least a month of wiring work in there and it was absolute Hell. I don't want to get into anything like that again.

    If I could find a good carbureted 2.3 out of a pre-electronic Ford, I'd take it in a heartbeat but stuff like that is near impossible to find around me.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do here?

    If I can't make a newer 2.3 work in that truck without too much trouble, I'm just going to drop in a 302. I REALLY don't want to go that way but I don't want to get too heavily involved with this vehicle right now.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me with this!


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    I have no idea about a engine for you bud....but that's a sweet phucking ride if you ask me!!!

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    I think you'll find that the 2002 Ranger 2.3 is a Duratec engine, and a completely different design than the old Lima engine you're running now. It would be a cool swap, but I wouldn't expect it to be anywhere near bolt in, and it's going to take some wiring for sure. I'd personally take the time and either get that newer 2.3 Duratec working in there or rebuild the old Lima TC 2.3 as I think that's a cool and unique truck and would be less unique and interesting with a 302.

    Maybe look at a rusted out pre-2001 2.3 Ranger as a donor as the Lima engine should bolt up to your existing trans and mounts, and even though there would be some wiring, at least you'd have absolutely everything you need on the donor.
    Last edited by carson blocks; 08-27-2013 at 11:18 AM.

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    Dario.. or at least he will know where to get one..

    I have a 2.3T in my Datsun, i would sell it but it has 230000k on it and the last couple thousand have been real tough ones..

    BTW, cool fricken truck

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    I used a harness form the Detail zone, and had it running in a couple hours.. Im not that smart to redo the original harnesses..

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    Thanks very much for the info, advice and nice words about my truck, I really appreciate it.
    I wasn't aware that the 2002 engine would be different - I just assumed it'd bolt up to the '87 trans I have in the truck. I figured there was going to be a lot of wiring though and that's what I don't want to get into.

    It's looking like my easiest route out of this is to just swap in another turbo 2.3. I'm not a huge fan of gas guzzling V8's. They're a lot of fun but I'll have to do a ton of re-engineering to go back to a V8. The truck had a heavily built Chevy V-8 in it when I bought it. Moving to the 2.3 Turbo allowed me 30 mpg in town (if I stayed off the turbo), and enough room to install A/C.

    So it looks like another turbo 2.3 or sell it

    I guess I'll have to do some digging around and see what kind of 2.3 turbos I can find around these parts. Unfortunately, everything seems to be pretty baffed out and the thought of doing all this work just to install a worn-out engine doesn't make much sense.

    Thanks again for everyone's help and advice - again, it's much appreciated.

    Just for giggles, here is a link to a video I made a few years ago with the truck. I had no intention of selling it but it seems applicable now!! I hope you like it. (No sound effects were added!)



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  9. #9


    I love that you are running a 2.3t in that truck so unique. Everybody and his dog has a "rat-rod" with a V8 in it.
    2011 Nissan Frontier (daily driver)
    2007 BMW 5'er (wifey's)
    2004 Audi A4 1.8T 6spd Stage III

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Sylvan Lake,AB


    Nice truck
    1987 Mustang GT T-Top

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