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 Post subject: Duratec Donor Build
PostPosted: August 31, 2019, 4:08 pm 
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Joined: August 28, 2019, 8:56 pm
Posts: 2
For what seems like the last year, I've been searching around the internet for information on the potential of Duratec 2.3l swap. I just could not find a lot of help on any of the Ranger or General Builder forums. Then I came across the Locost USA Forum and evidently this is where it's at!

I'm looking at taking the engine, transmission, powertrain control module, and any other components from a Ford Ranger pickup and installing them in a new IFS frame for a '36 Ford pickup. In posing questions to other forums, all I generally hear is "That's ridiculous, you need to put in a 5.0 Coyote; . . . 7.3 Powerstroke; . . . Chevy LS.", etc. A '36 Ford pickup is not a large vehicle; it weighted in at about 2900 lbs, of which some 500+ was in the Flathead V8 engine. I'm not wanting to build a 500 hp hot rod or seeking quarter-mile times. I'm looking to build an efficient daily driver that could take me across the country if I wanted it to.

I've never done an engine swap with an ECU, OBDII, or PATS, (nothing newer than 1975). I had also thought about a Duratec 3.0 V6 from a Lincoln LS, but thought the Ranger might be a more simple application. It seems that if I were to pull everything from a Ford Ranger donor, I should be able to reassemble back into this new project.

Perhaps the first question should be, "What is everything I'd need from the donor to make the drivetrain work in a new chassis?"

Is one year of Ranger better than another to choose as a donor? I was considering 2004 - 2006 model years.

Is seeking out a lower mileage salvage vehicle a good option or should I look for an operating, on-the-road truck?

What minor engine mods might assure decent performance? Remember, I'm just looking to get from one point to another, and maybe have a little fun getting there.

Any advice, recommendations, guidance or references I might search out, would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions working my way thru such a project.


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 Post subject: Re: Duratec Donor Build
PostPosted: September 2, 2019, 1:39 am 
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Joined: January 18, 2015, 2:34 am
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Location: Los Angeles
I used the motor from a 2008 Ranger (2.3l) for my Birkin. I would imagine that you could use it pretty much as is, including the power steering pump and alternator. Space shouldn’t be too much of a consideration in that engine bay. If you use an aftermarket ECU, you can go to Crower stage 2 cams for a bit more oomph. The fuel injection needs 42-43 psi at the fuel rail so plan accordingly. If you can find a 2.0l Ecoboost, you will have well over 200 hp and a ton of torque with great drivability. You just need to fit in the intercooler.


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 Post subject: Re: Duratec Donor Build
PostPosted: September 2, 2019, 6:56 am 
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Joined: December 22, 2006, 2:05 pm
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A 36 ford is tight at the firewall with a small block chevy due to the rear mount distributor so a distributorless inline 4 or a v6. You could modify the firewall with a pocket for clearance.

A 36 ford frame needs a rear sump oil pan. Duratec is sort of full length/mid sump with an aluminum pan but might fit okay if you mount it high enough and have enough tunnel room for a higher trans and driveshaft.

Given the curb weight and touring driving style, ample low end torque is desirable.

For long term rebuild ability at reasonable cost, I'd look at iron heads that rebuilders won't crack by installing new valve guides. They tend to fully crack six months later, causing high oil consumption. Steel guides loosen in aluminum heads at running temp, much less overheat. Same thing for valve seats. I think it was the duratec that was dropping valve seats if the engine got too hot but I don't remember. Might have been the zetec instead. These things can be repaired correctly but you are at the mercy of the rebuilder's newest employee.

I'd fit either a manual trans, a reliable auto overdrive with an on/off converter clutch, or a t350 with a tight (large/low stall) converter and highway geared diff such as 2.9:1 and a basic efi with minimal sensors.

For a best single donor, that narrows it down to an early 90s gm 4.3L v6 700r4 TBI combo.

You can find s10s. blazers, and astrovans from this time frame on occasion at salvage auctions that run and drive but have been totaled due to vehicle value versus repair cost.

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 Post subject: Re: Duratec Donor Build
PostPosted: September 3, 2019, 8:47 pm 
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Joined: August 28, 2019, 8:56 pm
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I was wanting to use a more modern Ford motor for this build. Don't really want to cut up the truck body, it's complete and all steel. I know that a lot of folks have installed Ford 302 V8s, out of something like a 1989 Crown Victoria, in this type vehicle. It can get a little close at the radiator, so some ditch the engine-driven fan and use an electric one mounted on the radiator. I had an old 1962 Chevy 283 in this truck at one time, but am starting over with an aftermarket IFS frame and trying to update and modernize the whole drivetrain. Sort of a restomod project.

Appreciate the thoughts on the 2.3l installation and its potential issues. I was enthused about shedding a lot of pounds with the aluminum block engine, expecting it would same me some gas and improve weight distribution. Just out of curiosity, what's the weight of a Birkin or other Locost-type vehicles?

How about some thoughts on original engine ECU vs aftermarket units? I'm not sure if I'm ready to jump into something like that. I don't suspect it takes a mastermind to bring the original ECU across with the engine/transmission. Is there PATS associated with the Rangers?


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