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Hey everyone I just wanted to get some other opinions on this topic. I was wondering if the ford ranger is a good host for a 4bt? I like the idea of a small pickup with a fuel efficient but still powerful motor. I plan on doing some mods to the motor and I’m shootings for 190-200 hp. What is a good manual trans and transfer case combo? What supporting mods would need to be done to the truck itself? I appreciate any feedback, thanks!
 

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I've had good luck with my 1986 Ford F150. It is documented in my build thread (link is in my signature below). I have no idea what your skills are, what your budget is, or what sort of workshop is available to you. Most swaps take months to years to complete. Successful completion is easier if you have a good plan.

The fact that you are asking questions first is a good thing. I recommend reading a few build threads (on this web site) to get a feel for the complexity of the process - AND - the pitfalls that get encountered along the way. It is not going to come together in a 3 day weekend.

Short story:

1. I lucked out and bought a running 4bt in a 1986 Grumman bread van (Ford 350 chassis - single wheel rear axle). I registered it and drove it for over a year to work the bugs out of the engine (and save up to buy a pickup).

2. Bought a 1986 Ford F150 stepside pickup ($1,000 Craigslist "wonder"). Internet lore said that my 4bt would drop right on the F150 (300 CID Ford straight 6 cylinder engine) motor mounts:
a. First I had to notch the cowl (between the hood and windshield) for the motor to slide in the hole.
b. Had to modify the windshield wiper linkage to clear the newly fabricated notch.
c. Wow, it really rests on the F150 motor mounts - Measure the driveline angles - OOPS, the drive shave angles do NOT come close to working (The F150 frame Kick-up is very different from the E350 kick-up).
d. Make custom motor mounts, send out the welding because I can't weld (old guy with a defibrillator)
e. Stock turbocharger location requires that the down pipe goes thru the glove compartment...

Lots more in my build thread...

Good luck (and Happy Holidays), Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've had good luck with my 1986 Ford F150. It is documented in my build thread (link is in my signature below). I have no idea what your skills are, what your budget is, or what sort of workshop is available to you. Most swaps take months to years to complete. Successful completion is easier if you have a good plan.

The fact that you are asking questions first is a good thing. I recommend reading a few build threads (on this web site) to get a feel for the complexity of the process - AND - the pitfalls that get encountered along the way. It is not going to come together in a 3 day weekend.

Short story:

1. I lucked out and bought a running 4bt in a 1986 Grumman bread van (Ford 350 chassis - single wheel rear axle). I registered it and drove it for over a year to work the bugs out of the engine (and save up to buy a pickup).

2. Bought a 1986 Ford F150 stepside pickup ($1,000 Craigslist "wonder"). Internet lore said that my 4bt would drop right on the F150 (300 CID Ford straight 6 cylinder engine) motor mounts:
a. First I had to notch the cowl (between the hood and windshield) for the motor to slide in the hole.
b. Had to modify the windshield wiper linkage to clear the newly fabricated notch.
c. Wow, it really rests on the F150 motor mounts - Measure the driveline angles - OOPS, the drive shave angles do NOT come close to working (The F150 frame Kick-up is very different from the E350 kick-up).
d. Make custom motor mounts, send out the welding because I can't weld (old guy with a defibrillator)
e. Stock turbocharger location requires that the down pipe goes thru the glove compartment...

Lots more in my build thread...

Good luck (and Happy Holidays), Russ
Thanks Russ, that was very helpful! I wouldn’t say I’m the most skilled I’m in my early 20’s and still have a lot to learn but I’ve owned diesels since I was a teenager and Im very familiar with Cummins and I have done some manual transmission conversions and rebuilds as well. This will be my first major project and I’m using it as a opportunity to learn what I don’t know for future builds. I already have the 4bt I just can’t decide what I want to put it in.
 

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Howdy and welcome to the forum, I'm also in my early 20's and own a 2004 ranger and just finished my first diesel swap as well. It's a 4bt powered 96 Chevy k1500 Z71.
126768

  • A 4bt in a ranger has been done and and documented numerous times, a quick search of the forum will get you enough reading material to keep you busy for a while. Also YouTube has a number of ranger swap vids. There is a guy on the 4bt Facebook page with a 12v in a sas ranger and on YouTube there's a guy with a 3-53 Detroit in one. I know a guy locally that helped someone put a 5f913 deutz in one.
  • So, it will fit, especially with a body lift or sas (solid axle swap) and a Ford small block trans will bolt right up if you have that flywheel housing.
  • I've been wanting to do a 4bt swap for at least 4 years now and actually considered swapping my ranger when I bought it last year with 2 spun rod bearings but I found a used engine with only 42k for $650 and just replaced it. Although it's still not a diesel I do not regret this, I have $2700 in the entire ride with new clutch, wheels and tires, new shocks etc. and it gets 25.5mpg local and 27.5-28 highway with aggressive tires. It's the 2.3l 5spd but I can't say it lacks power either as one day my boss's truck broke and I pulled our pressure washing machine over our central PA mountians and it could hold 40 mph even on the steeper grades probably gross weight of around 6k. My point is that this is stock 4bt performance territory for a fraction of the cost.
  • I don't think I'd what my 4bt in a truck any smaller than a half ton but then mine has 7x10 injectors and compounds I did some towing with mine when I was breaking in my engine and I could tell I will run out of brakes and handling before I run out of power.
    126769
  • My conclusion is this, if you have a 4bt and are looking for a truck I'd recommend a 90's or older f150 or f250 first and the same time frame Chevy second. It all depends on your tastes. If you have a ranger looking for a diesel may I suggest a vw TDI, a Mercedes, or a Kubota.
What ever you decide to do do your homework and then stick to it till it's done 'cause it will drag out. But it will be worth it.
 

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Yoder's post has the info that is pertinent. I would second a half ton truck for a 4bt, GM trucks will fit a 6bt, so there would be plenty of room for a 4 with an I'cooler. Won't have to change front axles, etc.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Howdy and welcome to the forum, I'm also in my early 20's and own a 2004 ranger and just finished my first diesel swap as well. It's a 4bt powered 96 Chevy k1500 Z71. View attachment 126768
  • A 4bt in a ranger has been done and and documented numerous times, a quick search of the forum will get you enough reading material to keep you busy for a while. Also YouTube has a number of ranger swap vids. There is a guy on the 4bt Facebook page with a 12v in a sas ranger and on YouTube there's a guy with a 3-53 Detroit in one. I know a guy locally that helped someone put a 5f913 deutz in one.
  • So, it will fit, especially with a body lift or sas (solid axle swap) and a Ford small block trans will bolt right up if you have that flywheel housing.
  • I've been wanting to do a 4bt swap for at least 4 years now and actually considered swapping my ranger when I bought it last year with 2 spun rod bearings but I found a used engine with only 42k for $650 and just replaced it. Although it's still not a diesel I do not regret this, I have $2700 in the entire ride with new clutch, wheels and tires, new shocks etc. and it gets 25.5mpg local and 27.5-28 highway with aggressive tires. It's the 2.3l 5spd but I can't say it lacks power either as one day my boss's truck broke and I pulled our pressure washing machine over our central PA mountians and it could hold 40 mph even on the steeper grades probably gross weight of around 6k. My point is that this is stock 4bt performance territory for a fraction of the cost.
  • I don't think I'd what my 4bt in a truck any smaller than a half ton but then mine has 7x10 injectors and compounds I did some towing with mine when I was breaking in my engine and I could tell I will run out of brakes and handling before I run out of power. View attachment 126769
  • My conclusion is this, if you have a 4bt and are looking for a truck I'd recommend a 90's or older f150 or f250 first and the same time frame Chevy second. It all depends on your tastes. If you have a ranger looking for a diesel may I suggest a vw TDI, a Mercedes, or a Kubota.
What ever you decide to do do your homework and then stick to it till it's done 'cause it will drag out. But it will be worth it.
Thank you for the advice! What turbos are you running? I was leaning towards an old square body ford but was curious if you can fit a block that’s that tall in a compact truck like that. I’m shooting for about 200hp or more if feasible. I have the motor rebuilt with studs and all that and I was considering doing a compound build as well but I just don’t know if it’s practical for the 4bt. Would you recommend that setup? Also, what trans and t-case would you recommend for an old f-150?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you for the advice! What turbos are you running? I was leaning towards an old square body ford but was curious if you can fit a block that’s that tall in a compact truck like that. I’m shooting for about 200hp or more if feasible. I have the motor rebuilt with studs and all that and I was considering doing a compound build as well but I just don’t know if it’s practical for the 4bt. Would you recommend that setup? Also, what trans and t-case would you recommend for an old f-150?
I would prefer a 5 speed as well, would a nv4500 be a good fit?
 

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I would prefer a 5 speed as well, would a nv4500 be a good fit?
I'd go with a small block Ford zf5 which is the factory 5spd behind the 5.0 and 5.8 in a 90's f250 as long as you're under 250hp. I believe the bw1356 was the primary t-case behind that trans and was a very stout unit. There's also a Mazda built 5spd similar to the sbf zf5 but I forget the model.
The main reason I recommended Ford over Chevy was because of the possibility of getting a factory 5spd truck and having your trans already in the truck and I understand they have a taller engine bay, especially the bullnose and older body styles.
I used the nv4500 found my for $800 which was a good deal the zf5 is a good bit cheaper also the nv4500 is a tall tranny if you look closely at my the truck you'll see I had to do a 1in body lift and haven't lifted the bed yet, this was both to keep my AC compressor in the factory location and to help the tranny fit better.
Member eggman's build thread will give you a good idea what you're looking at and Johnson's Gee Garage on YouTube covers it well too. And there's a sweet 77 f250 on the Rusty junk exhibition channel I believe he's a member on here as well. Just to to get the gears in your head turning 😁
My compounds consist of the 42mm hx30 that came with my engine and a cat version of the s258 that I got off a 3126 in a school bus at my local salvage yard for 40 bucks. I don't know when the hx30 spools as it seems there's always boost there and the cat starts to spool just a hair below 1800 and is in full song before 1900. I'm absolutely lovin it!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'd go with a small block Ford zf5 which is the factory 5spd behind the 5.0 and 5.8 in a 90's f250 as long as you're under 250hp. I believe the bw1356 was the primary t-case behind that trans and was a very stout unit. There's also a Mazda built 5spd similar to the sbf zf5 but I forget the model.
The main reason I recommended Ford over Chevy was because of the possibility of getting a factory 5spd truck and having your trans already in the truck and I understand they have a taller engine bay, especially the bullnose and older body styles.
I used the nv4500 found my for $800 which was a good deal the zf5 is a good bit cheaper also the nv4500 is a tall tranny if you look closely at my the truck you'll see I had to do a 1in body lift and haven't lifted the bed yet, this was both to keep my AC compressor in the factory location and to help the tranny fit better.
Member eggman's build thread will give you a good idea what you're looking at and Johnson's Gee Garage on YouTube covers it well too. And there's a sweet 77 f250 on the Rusty junk exhibition channel I believe he's a member on here as well. Just to to get the gears in your head turning 😁
My compounds consist of the 42mm hx30 that came with my engine and a cat version of the s258 that I got off a 3126 in a school bus at my local salvage yard for 40 bucks. I don't know when the hx30 spools as it seems there's always boost there and the cat starts to spool just a hair below 1800 and is in full song before 1900. I'm absolutely lovin it!
I really appreciate all the info! This definitely helped me get going in the right direction and I’m already getting my game plan together lol. Did you make your own piping for the turbos? Also, what’s a good recipe for 200-220hp? I have bigger injectors already and I have lift pumps and stuff layin around from other trucks and I also recently acquired a p pump and I’m in the process of swapping out the ve pump I know that will help with power but I’m just not familiar with this motor enough to know what’s a good starting point so I can dial it in from there.
 

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Like was mentioned, there have been a fair number of rangers done on the forum. Are you looking at 2wd or 4x4? Most have used one of the Ford transmissions to keep it simple. The M5R2-OD works fine so long as you don't abuse it. Second option is the ZF S5-42. May need a bit of front suspension work due to the engine weight which will be around 750 lbs. The 200 HP range is a popular power point. Just be mindful that these engines have an enormous amount of torque which can cause issues with drive train parts. At 200 HP you'll probably have torque in the 450-500 lb ft range.
 

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Like was mentioned, there have been a fair number of rangers done on the forum. Are you looking at 2wd or 4x4? Most have used one of the Ford transmissions to keep it simple. The M5R2-OD works fine so long as you don't abuse it. Second option is the ZF S5-42. May need a bit of front suspension work due to the engine weight which will be around 750 lbs. The 200 HP range is a popular power point. Just be mindful that these engines have an enormous amount of torque which can cause issues with drive train parts. At 200 HP you'll probably have torque in the 450-500 lb ft range.
I would like to do a 4x4 Build and I’ll check those options out as well! What’s a pretty typical 200hp set up for a 4bt?
 

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Was hoping someone with more experience would chime in but here's my take.

There is a thread I read a while back on the forum called the 200hp recipe(can't find it now) that pretty much laid it out plain and simple.

Personally I would stay with the ve pump for your power goals, simpler, better starting, smoother running, better mpg and slightly better street manners. Not that there's anything wrong with the p-pump but if I had both I'd go with the ve up to say 250hp or so. Just have a good electric lift pump set at 14psi or upgrade the mechanical to a hvlp piston type. You said you have your injectors already, what size did you decide to go with?
As far as turbos a single will easily make your power goals. Any of the hx30's will do it with the 44mm or 46mm performing best. I would probably recommend the he221 although that one takes a little work to adapt. These are the tried and proven units but there are other turbos out there that will do the trick too. I love how a compound set up drives, both my truck and my dad's 625 c15 cat powered Pete but I'll be the first one to admit they are a ton of work to fab, if you have the skills and tools to fab a set up go for it but otherwise a properly sized single will do just fine.
 

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Getting to 200 HP mainly involves 2 areas. The turbo and the injection system. On the turbo side it would probably be one of the HX30W family members. As Yoder mentioned, either the 44mm or 46mm Super work well. Either is a direct bolt on to the exhaust manifold. On the injection side, a bit depends on which 4bt you end up with. Engines are getting more scarce. The 2 primary road pumps were the VE and P7100. No need to install larger injectors but you want to be sure they are in good operating condition. If you get a VE model the upgraded lift pump is good advice. Most prefer the mechanical over an electric. A bit of adjusting fuel, timing, and a higher RPM governor spring should get you where you want. You can consider a few other engine mods for reliability. HD valve springs and head studs are 2 popular items that won't break the bank. Have you found an engine yet?
 

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Hey everyone I just wanted to get some other opinions on this topic. I was wondering if the ford ranger is a good host for a 4bt? I like the idea of a small pickup with a fuel efficient but still powerful motor. I plan on doing some mods to the motor and I’m shootings for 190-200 hp. What is a good manual trans and transfer case combo? What supporting mods would need to be done to the truck itself? I appreciate any feedback, thanks!
I have a dodge Dakota 2x4 with a 4bt that I have put around 100,000 miles on so far with no suspension issues, but the Dakota has the same wheel bearings as the full sized 150 ram 1/2 ton......the np535 has proven reliable as well that came behind the 4cyl gas. My 4bt dynoed 160hp and 400' lbs at the rear wheels..... geared at 2.71 runs [email protected] rpm. I don't tow with it as I have several first Gen Cummins for that purpose. ... gets 27 average city/highway, or running 85 agressive driving... drove it nicely one time on a long 75 mph drive and got 33mpg. Don't know how the ranger would hold up,but several have been built. ... there was a s10 Chevy 4bt that drove past my house daily for several years ,so it must have been fairly reliable. ... I would not recommend heavy towing with a 4bt or a small truck, moving things are easy but stopping is not.a guy put a 4bt in a 4x4 Chevy crew cab dually only to get less mileage than my factory dodge dually .... he was not happy with the outcome, as could be expected. ...
 
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