I have a gas efficient bare bones, manual transmission, smallest model, 1990 ford ranger. She's a great little truck but I have a torn rotater cuff and can't do the no power steering thing anymore. The 2 mechanics I have spoken with have quoted me a fortune... I'm very mechanical, but my chiltons manual is lacking in detail on this one. Please help.
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There are no V8s that will bolt right up to your existing drivetrain. The swap would require modification of motor mounts, heater fan box or firewall depending on your motor of choice, a larger capacity radiator, splicing into your existing wiring, a v8 transmission (ie C4 if automatic) and a v8 transfer case if 4x4, and a minimum of a 8.8" ford rear end (preferably a 9" ford rear end)/dana 44 front end to handle the power.
There are many books out there specifically detailing how to swap a v8 into a Ford Ranger. Refer to this site if you are really interested in undertaking this project: http://www.jamesduff.com/broncoII/v8conversion.html
You'll also need to change the steering box. The stock axle should be okay to use. Be careful hooking up the new box and make sure it is centered, the same number of turns to the stop when you turn it left or right. Also make sure the pitman arm is the same length, on the Ranger, so the front end isn't out of whack, and check the clearance at the radiator and fan. Hope this helps.
your best bet would be to locate a junk yard that has an automatic equipped truck that is complete and bargain for every thing to change your truck over ( they may even be willing to allow you to trade your manual parts in on the needed items to change yours over)
this is an extensive opperation as you will need to change your steering column ,your radiator , if your truck is equiped with electronic shift for the transfer case you will have to change all this out also you need to look at the throtle body to see if yours has the linkage for the automatic trans
tp cable to hook up to if not you will need to change this also
you will need to switch computers as you will need one programed for the automatic
I all way say its cheaper to trade your truck for one with an automatic
but I have changed quite a few over for people who just did not want to part with their truck lol