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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've been looking around at various builds and only know I want the 4BT with the NV4500 so far for the swap but don't know much else as to what to do. Never done an engine swap nor have I adapted a transmission into a car it wasn't meant to. So I was hoping I could have the basics sketched out first with your help.

I do wish to keep my AC and 4x4 capabilities and all else is free range. My goal is for an overlander build in the end with the reliability and great fuel economy from the 4bt. I plan on keeping it stick shift and will be hauling many camping supplies. I plan on spanning this project over time as I am being cautious of the current economy so I don't mind taking baby steps. My top priority is reliability and I thank you all greatly if you layout the general basics for me to start on.
 

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Have you considered keeping your Ford all Ford? How about using the ZF5-42 or 5-47 instead of the NV4500 which costs a lot more and is harder to find a good one, at least around here.

There is a posting here at 4BTSWAPS on all the specs of the Ford ZF series transmissions and what applications they were from so I would search for and reference that page for the pertinent information you need. The ZF is from full size F-series trucks and was also used in the full size Bronco behind engines such as the 4.9L (300- six), the 5.0L (302-V8), the 5.8L (351W-V8) engines using the small block bolt pattern. The Ford to ASE adapter & flywheel used on the Cummins 3.9BT/BTA are much cheaper than the adapter used on the NV4500 series from a GM application and nowhere near as rare either. The only other adapter and flywheel even close to the same price is the even more common adapter used on the Dodge Cummins 5.9 to NV4500 series. However, Ford sold way more trucks in the 1980's & 1990's than the Dodge RAM counterparts so that is why you stand a better chance with Ford IMHO.

Do not go for the 7.3L Diesel variant of the ZF s5-42/47 as it has Big Block bolt pattern bellhousing and is 100% NOT COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR RANGER 4BT SWAP.

I would consider a small block ZF5-42 or ZF5-47 if you can find one in one of the millions of F-series trucks in salvage yards all over the country. Any with the above mentioned engines would work. They were in Bronco's, F250 and F350 4x4 applications and we have seen quite a few of them recently on the flat nose Ford's of that generation. I snagged my ZF out of a 1994 Bronco full-size that had a 5.9L V8 in it for a mere $200. Someone was nice enough to have already crawled under the beast and removed it for me too as they wanted the motor which was gone.

Take the Mazda transmission out and sell it if that is what your Ranger is equipped with as they are durable and worth money to someone in need and it will help recoup some cost on your ZF replacement.

The only possible negative I see on using ZF transmissions over the NV4500 is the internal unitized slave cylinder & release bearing setup. Most NV4500's use external slave and clutch fork but I have managed well over 140,000 miles on the unitized clutch in Jeeps and F-series truck transmissions in the past so it is fairly reliable at this point.

Get an entire clutch disc, pressure plate, master & slave hydraulics that are pre-bled and filled with fluid already. Do the F-series clutch rod heim joint conversion mod to your clutch pushrod and swing arm assembly, you'll be GTG. All FORD parts in an all Ford install except the Cummins 4BT itself.

Buy a used potato/bread/bakery truck 4BT package that has the following already attached:

Buy it with the Ford ASE adapter & flywheel attached. Many bakeries etc. ran fleets of Grumman step-vans and others on the Ford chassis with a Ford type manual 3 or 4 speed. That will have the adapter you need if you hunt for it already attached and the flywheel saving you $$$.

Depending on the application, it may have a P-series or VE series injector pump. The P-Series is preferred but there is NOTHING WRONG with the VE series if that is what is available at time of purchase. IF you plan to tune, the P-series Bosch has more tweaks and is easier to hotrod, that is all.

If the application your motor came from was Ford, it may have a Ford style alternator on it already. It may or may not have power steering. I got one with Saginaw power steering pump and it also had the vacuum pump attached to the Saginaw power steering pump to run the HVAC controls and the vacuum brake booster already in the recipient vehicle.

Depending on how the Ranger is laid out, you may have to pay close attention to the oil pan position. Many step vans had a forward sump. You may need this or you may have to get a rear sump pan. The pans are the same and can be reversed but the oil pump pickup tube and screen are different. You will need the one that your application requires to fit under the hood and clear suspension or frame parts and axles in the Ranger.

I put my engine in a Jeep CJ-7 so it had a passenger side carrier and drive shaft. Motor is offset an inch or two to the drivers side for clearance of said drive shaft. I had enough lift and clearance that front or rear sump made no difference on my engine. On a Ranger truck, I don't believe you can take that liberty with vertical clearance so check and make sure.

I used the original ignition wire that went to the coil and dropping resistor, removed the dropping resistor and power the fuel delivery cutoff solenoid directly from this wire. The alternator was a Ford and it connected to the factory Ford wiring in the Jeep CJ along with the starter motor etc. Super easy to hook up electronics.

Oil pressure, Coolant Temperature connected with pipe thread adapters to the spots they fit in the 4BT so it will be the same for the Ranger.

Tach is driven from the Alternator in my CJ application, you may need a Hall-Effect pickup instead, I don't know how the tach in your Ranger works as it's been since 1993 when I had a 4x4 Ranger pickup.

Motor mounts: You want to use center mount motor mounts that are above the crankshaft to mitigate vibrations. Refer to someone like farmstronginc.com for that info. Maybe he has some universal motor mounts that will fit your Ranger application. In any event, he has some research done on his website about vibration mitigation and why you should not use the front mounts on a 4BT. It will also possibly damage the transmission bellhousing which is cast one piece in the ZF so a big NO-NO on that.

Hope some of this helps you start to piece together your 4BT swap. I don't regret for a minute driving around in my 4BT CJ-7. It was the most transformative modification I've done to my Jeep and there ain't much Jeep left of my Jeep considering the drivetrain and axles are from Ford, GM and Cummins. Body, frame and doors are about all that's still original AMC Jeep stuff!


Have fun!

RR
 

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Another point I want to make is be careful of the intercooler variant with high mount water intercooler as you won't have room for the hood to close on the Ranger truck.

You'll know it by the high fin looking thing in the intake where the air charge tube goes into. That will not allow you to close your hood without making a hole in it.

RR
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the suggestion RR. A friend of mine recently brought to my attention the R2.8 cummins. They're hard to come buy but seem to be better fitted for a swap for someone like me. Does anyone have information on that conversion too? I'd like to weigh both decisions before pulling the trigger soon
 

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Yes @Pinecone you can talk to TJ Legel @farmstronginc.com, he makes motor mounts for the R2.8 Cummins if you go that route. I don't know if he partners with Chad McKinney out of Ohio that has the Quick Draw brand of SAE Cummins transmission adapters these days. In the past they had collaborations with kits together based on that R2.8 engine including a motor, Farmstrong mounts and the SAE to transmission adapters from QD. You may search or talk to both of them, they will have leads on exactly what you are looking for, both used and new parts. I don't have an affiliation with them other than a motor and the mounts on one of my own swaps. I've used Advanced Adapters for the transfer case adapter on a Ford ZF and also on GM transmissions in past swaps. I got involved with the 4BT before the R2.8 was really out.

Best of luck in your swap endeavors!


RR
 

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Yes, the R2.8 would be a very good match for the smaller pickups. Base price from Cummins is $8499. If I remember correctly the engine has an SAE2 transmission mount. That could present a problem in a small truck and require some body work to make it fit. If you have ac you'll have to work that out. As was pointed out, Quickdraw Brands has adapters for the NV4500. You'd need an intercooler for that engine. At the moment, Cummins is out of stock on those. Also, they are not available in a couple states and part of Canada. Companies who custom install those tend to charge in the $20,000 or higher range.
 
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