Project Blue Ranger

5.0 V8 All Wheel Drive

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Project Overview

The Truck




Cable X

With Project Red Ranger finally complete I decided it was time to work on my daily driver and so is born Project Blue Ranger.
Now unlike the Red Ranger the Blue Ranger is going to be a much more realistic swap of what the average guy would do. It's not going to be an insane tear down and complete rebuild from a frame up that takes almost 5 years. This will be a practical daily driver swap.

I'm going to do bits and pieces over the weekends to get ready for the main swap so the actual engine swap can happen as quickly as possibly.

In Kansas City we have to deal with snow in the winter so loosing the 4x4 is not an option. However with a V8 under the hood traction on dry pavement can be a challenge too. So I decided this will be a full time all wheel drive swap. Great traction in snow, rain, and dry pavement.

The Truck.
My daily driver is a 94 4x4 Extended cab Ranger with a manual 5 speed transmission in it. At this current time of writing it has over 150 000 miles on it and still runs very strong. I've tinkered a little with it and will list the current modifications before the V8 swap later.

The donor
The engine and transmission going into the Ranger is from a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer with only 11000 miles. That was a lucky find. A salvage yard sitting about 200 miles out in the country had it sitting there. Seems like a really good deal but we'll see when it actually fires up. The AWD transfer case came from the same place but from a 98 Explorer with 19000 miles on it. For simplicity sake from here on out I'll refer to all the donor parts, engine, transmission, and transfer case as Explorer parts.

Some Complications
When swapping the late model Explorer engines into 1998+ Rangers life is very simple. I haven't actually done that so I won't go into much detail. However there are people on my message board that have and can answer your questions.
For me trying to use the 2000 Explorer computer, fuel rail and injectors and a few other parts poses some challenges. Here are some issues I know of.

1) 99-01 Explorers use a returnless fuel system. These are different fuel rails.
2) 99-01 injectors and cam sensor has different connectors.
3) Speed signal for the 4R70W transmission comes from the ABS module which in turn gets its signal from the rear axle sensor.
4) Vapor control side of fuel system needs to be able to hold a vacuum of 14 in/h2o. This means I'll need the vapor mangagment valve (vmv), charcoal canister, and canister vent solenoid (cv), and fuel tank pressure (ftp) sensor (mounted in the tank) from the explorer.
5) 96-97 Explorer has GT40 heads with an internal EGR.
6) 97&1/4-01 have P heads with external EGR.
7) 98-01 is the better 4r70w and has two extra wires over the 94-97.
8) PCM's from 98 and up are tied in with the PATS anti-theft system.

*Many thanks to everyone on my message board that donated the above 8 points.

Points 1, 3, and 4 were show stoppers for me. So I decided to scrap the Explorer computer and wiring harness and go with an 89-93 Mustang ECC.
Here is a break down of parts I changed over.

1) 89-93 Mustang injection harness.
2) 94-95 Mustang fuel rail and fuel injectors.
3) 89-93 Mustang main harness and ECC.
4) 89-93 Mustang distributor instead of the cam sensor.
I also changed the following sensors just to match the Mustang harness and keep life simple.
5) 89-93 Oil pressure sending unit.
6) 89-93 Engine temp sensor.
7) 89-93 Coolant temp sensor.

This leaves the electronic 4r70w transmission with a problem because the Explorer PCM controlled both the engine and transmission. To solve this I used a stand alone transmission control module made by Baumann Engineering.