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Discussion Starter #1
Forgive me if this rambles...

I work for a mining company and had a 56 mile (one way) commute to the mine that I was at. I got a chance to buy a wrecked '83 Ford Ranger diesel p/u with 89k miles and no transmission. (another long story) It had a 2.2L 4.135 Perkins designed, Mazda manufactured engine. I found a sweet rust free '90 Ranger XLT with no engine and built up a truck for my commute. I located a bad 4speed and mated its front housing with the guts/rear housings of a Mazda P/U 5 speed. Last fall I got it on the road and was fairly pleased with its performance. There was only one place on my commute where I would have to downshift to fourth but there was hardly ever any traffic on this route.

Last February I got a promotion but that included a move to a different mine. This shortened my commute to 49 miles one way but over a different road. This route has three very long and steep grades and lots of traffic during both of my commutes. All of the traffic hinders me from getting a run at the long hills. (The 2.2 is no powerhouse) I sometimes get all the way down into third and as slow as 35MPH on these hills. My mileage, which wasn't nearly as good as I had hoped, fell from 28+ on my old commute to 24-25 on the new one.

These engines have a reputation for rocker arm problems and that is starting to show up in my engine (another long story). I had planned to add a turbo and an intercooler to liven things up a bit, but now that I am faced with the rocker arm troubles already (I've put about 10k miles on it) I am hesitant to sink any money into it.

I have spent hours reading up on the Ranger conversions on here and am probably going to go ahead with the swap. I have located a decent deal on a VE pump motor and Ford adapter. I've also located a couple of M5R2 transmissions to choose from.

I guess I am seeking confirmation on what I have gleaned from the threads that I have read:

If I use the M5R2 transmission (instead of a ZF) and notch the oil pan I should be able to shoehorn the 4bt into my Ranger without a body lift?

Since this is a 2wd commuter rig that is meant more for economy/reliability than performance/off-road ability I don't want to lift the body. I would rather add a hood bulge and/or modify the transmission tunnel if it comes to that.

I ran across a M5R1 transmission somewhere. Are they a possibility or is there some reason to avoid them?

We use a lot of 4BTs in mining equipment and have great luck out of them and I like the idea of that level of reliability in my daily driver.

I am going next week to look at the engine that I mentioned above. I will have to take the guys word that it runs good since it is out. Is there anything that I need to look for in particular? Telltale signs of potential problems?

Thanks,

PbBelly
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I bought a 4BT yesterday. 30k miles since a complete overhaul by a Cummins franchise. It has a Ford adapter and t-19 with it. I am still up in the air on whether I want to use a M5R2 and possibly avoid tunnel modifications or go with a ZF (I've located a couple of each fairly close to home. The cheapest ZF is double the price of the cheapest M5R2). I am leaning toward the ZF and cutting the tunnel and firewall. Then maybe I can avoid hacking on the oil pan and shift my center of gravity rearward a bit. I go to pick the engine up on Saturday-I couldn't haul it in the rig that I was in yesterday-I was in the are for another reason and took advantage to have a quick look.

Thanks for all of the input so far!
 

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With 2wd and no body lift you are going to need to cut the tunnel and firewall a lot.
 

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Use the M5R2, it fits nicely in an RBV and lived just fine behind the torquey 300 inline 6s.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Keep the T-19 and install ranger overdrive box?
2 sticks, might be kinda cool, like the old duo-plex trannys.
ranger overdrive box=$$$

(but I did know where one was for an SM465 GM transmission that could have been had fairly cheap, but then I'd need a different bellhousing adapter etc...)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I haven't been able to work on my 4bt project because I have been busy with some home maintenance, but am almost to the point that I can resume. A few questions have come up:

1. The previous owner removed the exhaust manifold and replaced it without the gaskets. I don't know if he just intended to buy some and didn't get around to it or if he intentionally left them out thinking there would be less opportunity for leaks at high boost pressures?? Any thoughts?

2. I have a line on a very, very cheap, low mileage ZF transmission, but it has one upper mounting ear broken off (and apparently missing). I don't think this would hurt anything since it won't be ever working very hard given the limited capacity of the Ranger. My only misgivings about a ZF vs an M5R2 is the granny low first gear which would be fairly useless in my application. Opinions on running it with an ear missing??? (assuming that the ear doesn't turn up, in which case I would definitely repair it)

3. I have the opportunity to get a p-pump and other necessary accessories off of a CPL 2109 4bta at a fairly good bargain. I figure that this pump will need modifications to use in an automotive application and I don't think it will give me any advantages over my VE pump since I am not going for maximum HP but mainly for durability & economy. Opinions?

Thanks
 
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