99 Ranger 2.5 camshaft?

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99 Ranger 2.5 camshaft?

Post by plowboy34 »

My dad has this truck and he has been on me for over a year now to help it have more low end....it is a gutless wonder. I keep telling him it's a four banger and it's not suppose to pull like a freight train it's suppose to get 30mpg which it does. He is not buying it and won't leave me alone, he reminds me of me making my bicycle climb hills easier and if I could do that I can make a four banger pull..... :roll:

Anyway's I have never done anything with a four banger as far as performance, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a cam that I could put in this thing to help it just like you can the SBF. I can't find anything on Summit Racing or anywhere else. Just hoping maybe someone else's dad has hounded them before on this same problem and they came up with a solution.... :D
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Re: 99 Ranger 2.5 camshaft?

Post by cgrey8 »

First of all, regearing a bike to climb a hill better comes with a side-effect. Yeah it may be easier to climb the hill, but it'll do it slower with a lower gear OR you'll have to pedal faster than you did before. Same will be true with the engine and lower gears. It'll pull off the line harder, but it'll have to rev WAY up to do it or you'll be shifting at about 3-4mph.

Ever heard the statement There's no replacement for displacement? Displacement is the displacement of air through the engine however that happens, but most people just assume it only refers to CID. It does not. Whatever you can do to increase airflow through the engine is an increase in displacement of air. And higher airflow equals more power.

Cams can only shift when and where the displacement is optimized in the RPM range of the engine. But it can't force more air into the engine than what the engine can hold. So to get more air into the engine via cam is to put a higher-revving cam in it to optimize the RPM range where the engine has the physical ability to cycle more air through the engine. What I don't know is how high a 2.3L can spin safely on stock or near stock parts. And this doesn't solve the off-idle gutlessness. So this move would have to be coupled with a rearend gear swap to get the gear lower.

So how do you get more off-idle torque? You need more air in the engine. That's done by increasing the displacement of the engine physically (more cylinders, stroker kit, etc), better flowing intake/heads/exhaust, or shove more air in via super/turbo charging. Since 2.3L engines just don't stroke well and I just don't know of many performance intake & heads for the 2.3L, super/turbo is about the only viable option. And the most popular for the 2.3L is turbo charging particularly since Ford had turbo 2.3Ls stock in the T-birds and the Merkurs. Although I've heard rumor that those turboed engines aren't the same 2.3L that comes in most vehicles. I don't know if that means there's a difference in head or head & block. That'd be something to research if you don't already know. But even if they were different, I believe there are people that have turbo'd the stock n/a 2.3L without too much problem. The heavily boosted ones are well over 300hp and keeping right up with modified 302s. I don't think you are wanting to go to that extreme. But a boost of 4-6PSI isn't unreasonable and should be quite doable...and would improve off-idle torque some. I do recall those old 2.3L Turboed engines did have a bit of lag. They didn't lay down rubber at the snap of the throttle like a V8 would. The turbo had to spool up. Now whether that's because the stock turbos were poorly sized that's just what happens on small turbo'd engines, I don't know.

Superchargers are usually easier to install since you only have to deal with the intake air, not the exhaust and don't have the lag. But I don't like them. They waste gas at WOT and depending on whether they have the ability to be bypassed, waste gas at cruise. Unlike with turbos, superchargers put a LOT of parasitic load on the engine. While you may be getting 300hp out the flywheel end of the engine, the engine is having to produce 350-400hp total. And that means it's having to burn enough fuel to produce all that. And the engine wear and stress on parts is also feeling the total. Superchargers have their place, but if given a choice, I'd choose turbo over super any day if I could.

Now once all this is done, if you do wind up tampering with the rearend gears, you'll no longer have a 30mpg getter since your cruising gear will have the engine whining higher than it does now. Although if you left the gears alone and only did a power-adder like a turbo, I'd expect cruising fuel economy to be relatively unchanged. Some claim higher MPG with a turbo. Although I'm not sure how that's possible on anything but a diesel.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on it.
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Re: 99 Ranger 2.5 camshaft?

Post by Dave »

I had a '98' 2.5L manual that was great in town but out on the road into a stiff wind, it would top out at 72 mph. Took a look and it only had the 3.45 gear in it when a 4.10 would have been much better. Them little motors like to rev. I have no problem with either of my 3.0L motors getting up and moving but they have the 3.73 gear. Load them up and not so good. All these new OHC motors are too much for me to even think about working on.
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