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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been away from this site for a while, and since being gone I’ve swapped a Isuzu d201 into a 2000 Ford ranger extended cab. I’ve taken pictures to document it all. I daily drive the truck. Though I heavily vote AGAINST this combo. However I do yield 30+ mpg on highway and 24 city averaging 27 combined. Bear with me as I dig up all my information to post on here. I shall start at the beginning of this journey. Anyone wanting to do this you should know you’ll have to be creative and have loads of patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This journey began a few years back. My uncle purchased a thermal king refrigeration trailer for the purpose of storage. I bought the Isuzu d201 from him for about $300. The removal of this engine really isn’t pleasant. Anyway upon getting the engine home I pulled the huge oil pan off hoping to see something similar to the kubota reefer engines, it’s not. For starters the oil pump hangs 7” below the oil pan mounting surface and halfway back on the engine as well. So a rear sump is out of the question. This conveniently ends up being right where the engine cradle is on my ‘92 ranger. So I found the 2000 ranger 4x4 and there’s more room down there with the front axle pumpkin offset to the left. So I began bending some 16ga sheet steel to fabricate my oil pan from. Also not pleasant. This engine was never used in anything but a reefer unit. So also unlike the kubota guys there was no skid-loader oil pan to use. Using small angle iron and a few pieces of 3/4” strap metal, welder and a large quantity of gasketing RTV, the oil pan was mounted and sealed to the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oil pan was now sorted, on to the adapter plate, also no one makes an adapter plate for this engine. Ok the 2000 ranger was an automatic truck and the reason I got it so cheap was that the truck wouldn’t shift properly once warmed up. So I was wanting to get the most out of this build, especially learning by this point that the Isuzu d201 makes an astonishing 34hp at 2200rpm. I mean wow! What have I gotten into? Ok well back on course. I know over the years ranger running gear hasn’t changed a lot I located a 5spd 4x4 trans from an ‘87 ranger with the 2.9l v6. I wanted one that was completely manual everything. For engaging the various 4 wheel functions. And a clutch pedal from a ‘94 ranger. I grabbed a scrap of plexiglass and placed it on the transmission bell housing marking the holes that were available and drilled a hole where the input shaft pilot bearing would ride. As to keep it centered. Then flipped it over and placed it on the engine, with the flywheel removed, and lined it up with the pilot in the end of the crankshaft. Upon looking around at my options I noticed that if I rotated the transmission about 10-15 degrees to the driver side, one bolt lines up! I transferred my new bolt pattern to 1/4” plate steel and with one bolt lining up all the rest of the engine bolts were countersunk with Allen head bolts and the transmission bolts were bolted to my adapter plate.
 

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WOW, what a journey, keep it coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now the flywheel. Oh man the flywheel, so the Isuzu flywheel is this weird cast piece with a bunch of dowels sticking out of it. That won’t drive a clutch at all. So I thought I’d just drill that pattern onto a different flywheel. Well I had the flywheel from the 2.9l that my transmission came from. But it’s bolt pattern is soo narrow there’s no room around the bolt holes to re drill the flywheel. But oddly enough I had the flywheel from my ‘92 ranger with the 2.3l and that pattern is much larger and there’s plenty of meat around those holes. So I centered the Isuzu flywheel up on the ‘92 2.3l flywheel and noticed 2 holes line up but are the wrong size. So the Isuzu required a larger bolt. I enlarged the 2 holes and bolted the 2 together so that they wouldn’t move at all. time to head to the drill press! So when it was all said and done 2 line up great but with a slight resizing of the holes. 2 are half a hole off and 2 are nowhere near a hole. I cut a piece of 1/4” plate and drilled the pattern to space the flywheel from the engine the same as the adapter plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok starter placement... the ‘87 trans wants the starter to be on the left side, but remember I rotated the transmission left? So this puts the starter in my oil pan a bit, the Isuzu puts the started on the right side so With the transmission removed, I stuck the 4.0l starter in the hole for the Isuzu starter and drilled my adapter plate for proper tooth engagement of the flywheel. Then I plasma cut the aluminum bell housing of the transmission to clear the nose of the starter. The Isuzu starter teeth are pitched too coarse and the flywheel is a different diameter to use the Isuzu starter. FYI
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now is a good time to fabricate engine mounts, on an engine that was never intended to be mounted by anything other than the oil pan.. ugh! I really have chosen the wrong engine! There are a few bolt holes scattered along the sides of these engines. And luckily there’s a couple embossed, beefy areas that look like perhaps they would have been for future bolt holes. THANK GOD! I made the engine side of the mount from flat plate. I caught a couple holes that were preexisting and I was feeling a little froggy so I drilled into those beefed up embossed areas a decent amount and tapped them for 5/16 bolts getting about 4-5 coarse threads in there. Now to sink this thing into the truck and dangle it in the engine bay for mount placement. Well this part becomes one of those things where on paper the measurements worked but in reality it didn’t... I was able to get the transmission mount to go right into the existing trans crossmember. And While the engine side is still dangling from the engine hoist, I got the stock automatic drive shaft to fit right in so I knew that I needed to make this work. Up front on engine side of things. I ended up offsetting the engine to the passenger side about 2” just so I could get the engine low enough and still have it clear the front differential and the hood. Remember the oil pump Is smack dab in the middle of the engine and 7” down. I made the oil pan to just clear the pump so I would have maximum clearance when it came time to mounting the engine. I reused the 4.0l rubber mounts and cut and welded my own mount perches from steel scraps that were duplicated from cardboard templates. Finally the engine is mounted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok on to more piddly stuff. The Isuzu came with a nice sized Bosch alternator on it so I just adapted the ranger wiring to match that and I would just worry about modern conveniences like power brakes and power steering later. At this point I was ready for proof of concept. I dropped the fuel tank and removed the fuel pump while I was in there I noticed the return line goes almost as low as the suction screen did. So I’m going to use the return line as my suction line. I then reinstalled the tank. While I was there and the fuel filler hose was disconnected I took a hammer and a flat head BFS and persuaded the fuel filler to be more diesel pump friendly. It’s held in by 3 plastic spokes, thumped each one and dug out the remaining pieces and reassembled. On to the in-line fuel filter, using a tubing cutter and a short section of fuel grade rubber hose I removed the metal nipples off the filter, poked them into the existing fittings and put the rubber hose in place of the fuel filter. Up at the engine lift pump I cut off the fittings that used to go the 4.0l fuel rail and slid on more fuel hose with about a 4” overlap and clamped it with 2 hose clamps but the ranger fuel lines are only hard plastic so don’t get real mean with tightening them. From there I went to the Isuzu lift pump. I purchased the first spin on filter manifold I saw and a fuel/water separator filter to spin onto it. Here I thought I’d be crafty and use 2 inexpensive pressure gauges to monitor the filter life using differential pressure. I drilled the aluminum casting of the filter manifold with 1/8” pipe threads on the inlet and outlet sides and installed the gauges. My failure was I chose 15psi gauges and the lift pump maxed them out, so one day I’ll get 30psi gauges to replace them. I made a bracket and mounted it on the inner frame rail right behind the radiator. Then I plumbed from the filter to the injection pump. There fuel is sorted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Other small stuff. With the engine mounted and fuel plumbed and such, time for gauges! I screwed the ranger oil pressure sender into the oil filter manifold, oh and while I’m here the oil filter for this engine is massive so it wouldn’t clear the front suspension mounting bracket. Off to the WIX website. There they have a neat little tool where you punch in your filter number and it will tell you everything about it, gasket size, thread pitch, bypass pressure and micron of filter element. So I found a smaller filter that met similar specs and after going to Oreilly’s with list of 4 or so part numbers I found one that was cheap and properly sized. One was $10 more than the other 3, and 2 were in stock so my choices were narrowed for me. On to coolant sensor, the stock 4.0l gauge screwed right into the thermostat housing and while I was there I noticed the Isuzu thermostat was falling apart! And it only available from Europe as most parts for this engine are. Well long-story short ranger 3.0 thermostat fits right in without modification and only cost a few bucks. I grabbed a 190* thermostat, Diesels like their heat ya know. There was an open plug in the thermostat housing so I bought a thermal switch from amazon and I wanted my cooling fan to come on after my thermostat opened so to keep the electrical draw only to when necessary. The switch I grabbed comes on at 200* and off at I believe 185 or 190*. As for radiator hoses I used a combination of the Isuzu hoses and ranger hoses. I was able to use the ranger upper hose with only having to make a hose “shim” to the thermostat housing. The thermostat housing has a very small port on it. So I left 2” of Isuzu hose on it and slid ranger hose all the way over it and clamped it down. The lower hose was a similar deal. I did have to cut the lower hose in the middle and clock it differently and reattach it using a piece of aluminized exhaust coupler from Oreilly’s and a couple hose clamps. I acquired a cooling fan from a pile of fans at the junk yard and wired it up to suck thru the radiator. Using a 30a relay and the thermal switch mentioned above I got the cooling fan installed. (The Isuzu fan mechanical fan was not reused In this incarnation.) the throttle cable was barley long enough to reach the passenger side injection pump and once it got there the throttle travel on the Isuzu engine was very short so I bolted on a piece of small strap metal and transplanted the ranger throttle stud to it so the cable would clip right on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok let’s fire this thing up!!! The fuel cutoff solenoid was wired up to the wire that used to excite the coil on the 4.0l. I left the hood off in traditional hot rod fashion and fashioned up a vertical “hater pipe”. This engine was only designed to run at 2 speeds and so the linkages and throttle stops on the injection pump show this. Using the optical tachometer it was something like 1800 and 2200rpm. So I dropped the idle screw all the way down to 1000rpm. Mostly because down around 7-800rpm it shakes so bad. 1000rpm is much smoother. Plus this engine isn’t going to eat a lot of fuel so that high of idle is fine. And I adjusted the governor speed to a gutsy 3000rpm. Time to go for a drive! Oh man! Was it gutless! Wow! 40mph on flat ground. Couldn’t even hit the governor in high gear, Gotta fix that. About a turn and a half on the fuel screw and I could just hit 60!!!! Well I drove it for a few weeks like this, avoiding main roads and such. My lack of power and exhaust system was not suitable for main roads. Time for a turbo! I found a Mitsubishi TEO4h turbo that should work. And I installed it, when making the oil pan I installed provisions for a oil drain line fitting, cause I new I would turbo it anyway even if it drove fine NA. I put a “T” fitting under my oil pressure sending unit and ran steel braided line to feed the turbocharger. The “turbo manifold” was a small piece of pipe with a flange welded to it to match the turbo flange. I was going to intercool the turbo setup but the intercooler I bought was about 1.5” too narrow. And wouldn’t allow the tubes to fit around the sides of the radiator. So using more aluminized exhaust tubing I plumbed the pressure side of the turbo to the intake manifold and installed a boost gauge. This way I could see all that awesome boost I was going to cram into it. And also installed a pyrometer too so I could see if I was going to melt stuff. Another turn of the fuel screw and down the road I went! The turbo I grabbed isn’t brand new, Or properly sized. But I get 8psi out of it. I wired the wastegate shut and hoped for more.... nope just 8psi. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I may have skipped a few details, the rear driveshaft is 2000 extended cab ranger and the front driveshaft is part ‘87 ranger and part 2000 ranger. The u-joints are the same size, so just put them together And install it. The truck has 4.10 ratios in it and originally ran on the 28.5” tires that ford intended it to. I had to cut a hole in the carpet and unbolt the panel above the trans to cut a hole for the shifter. Also the ‘87 shifter bends so far back it would hit the center console so some mapp gas persuasion and some manual pressure it’s right where it needs to be. The transfer case lever comes thru the floor right next to it and I had to grind a relief in the front cup holder so I could hit 2wd HI. But I retained all 4 stock cup holders! I mounted a vacuum pump from a 1990 F350 below the alternator. If I were to do it again I’d go electric vacuum pump. And the ‘87 power steering pump bracket was modded to mount on the driver side of the engine. Neatly enough the hydraulic fitting from the 2000 power steer pump unscrews from that pump and screws right into the ‘87 power steering pump. Then the 2000 pressure hose screwed right into the ‘87 pump. Ok here is the tricky part. The front hubs are vacuum engaged. And the truck didn’t like the fact that it doesn’t know if it’s in 4HI/ LO or 2wd. So here’s a free method to make front auto vacuum hubs into manual hubs. You can take the front dust caps off with just a screw driver and a hammer. They turn about 1/8th of a turn before they come off. Then there will be a diaphragm behind the cap. Leave it there. The metal screen on the cap needs to be removed and that area smoothed out. It needs to have a hole big enough for your finger to go in. Reinstall it and the front hubs now will work similar to a bic click ink pen. If you push on the diaphragm all the way in, this will be 4x4. If you push it in half way this will be 2wd. It takes some getting used to but it works. With the 4.10 gears and 28.5” tall tires, 70mph is the top speed. But due to the fact that the injection pump begins defuelling before you hit governor you only get 65mph. And from everything I see on the internet it’s not recommended to run this engine above 2700 rpm. So I have 31” tires on it which is giving me approximately 5mph speedometer error at 65mph. (Checked with gps) so it lets me hit 65 without being soo close to the governor. EGT on flat ground at 55-60 mph is 7-800* and at 65-70 it’s 8-900*.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This engine is 22-1 compression ratio and needed a second ground cable to go to the block from the battery for cold weather starting. The glow plugs were wired to a lawnmower start solenoid and a push button. However it starts so quickly it only needs glow plugging below 10*F and I only give it about 5-10 seconds of glow plug depending on how cold it is outside. Also I wanted more battery capacity for winter time so I upgraded my wife’s ‘07 explorer battery and took her old 65 group battery and modified the battery tray of the ranger to fit the longer battery. It starts so fast with 850cca battery installed. I have so much power I can spin all 4 tires in 4x4 HI in first gear.... in fresh powdery snow... hah but in 4LO first gear it’s a stump puller. I’ve experimented with alternative fuels a bit. I regularly run it on about 50% filtered waste engine oil and diesel. and in the summer I filter old deep fryer oil and pour it right in. This results in me being hungry when I get a whiff of the exhaust while driving. I’m going to figure out how to get pictures on here for your viewing pleasure. The truck is a basic daily driver. It runs and drives about like a 2.3 ranger if they’d done a extended cab 4x4 model. My wife drove it and expected it to be more complicated than it was. I took it to get inspected and just generically said’ “I’ve got a 2000 ranger that needs inspected.” It passed and he was wondering if I had imported one of the euro spec engines, because he hasn’t seen a ranger diesel since the 80’s and that’s the only way he knows the newer rangers having one. The radiator has soo much capacity that the cooling fan never operates. I’ve checked my wiring many times to make sure it’s still functional. It runs right at 190* and stays there. Cardboard is required in front of the radiator, in winter if you want heat in the cab. I’ve had 3 weirdos follow me to my destination cause they saw a plume of black from my tail pipe pulling away from a stop light. And they wanted to know what it was. I’ve run the exhaust to exit passenger side right in front of the rear tire with the obligatory chrome tip that is now stained mostly black.
 
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