'06 Ranger Build

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taintstick

member
Sep 23, 2020
23
10
3
the deep south
Well, I guess it is time for my first post and to start my build thread, so here it is. I will post some photos of my truck tomorrow but its nothing you guys haven't already seen before. I have pretty much narrowed down everything that I want to do to my truck. Finally after hundreds of hours reading so many builds here. In no way am I a mechanic or fabricator of any sort, so I am definitely going to need some good advice from you guys. Luckily there is one local fab shop that knows what a long travel kit is and has done a few before. Here is what I got and what my plans are.

Truck:
2006 Ranger
2.3L with 5 speed manual
Single cab short bed

Plan:
Long Travel Suspension BTF
King 2.5 Coils and 2.0 Bumpstops
Deaver F31 or G50
Triple Bypass or Smooth Body Shocks, will probably start with smooth body for price
8.8 L/S Diff 31 spline with 3:73 gears, already purchased but will change to 4:10 once all is done
Fiberworks Fenders, 4.5" front and 6" out back but may change
32" or 33" by 10.5 tires
Mod the engine or swap
I know there is a lot more involved, just wanting to give a rundown of stuff.

This is why I decided to start my thread now instead of after the diff install. I just purchased the 8.8 today after a few weeks of searching for the right one. On my way out, the guy asked what I was doing. After giving him a little info, he made me turn around to go back to the explorer he is pulling the diff out of. Behold a 5.0, JAW dropped because I didn't know explorers had V8's.... He told me everything works and comes with a 3 month warranty. I asked how much, $900 for everything, motor transmission AC alternator harnesses, literally everything I could use out of it. It is a 1996.

My first question for all of you is, is that a deal? Because if it is, I will go Monday to buy it.

I am so dam excited for this project and looking forward to learn so much from you all!
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read my short story!
 

themoneypit

member
Jul 30, 2018
287
285
63
Missouri
Not a bad deal, though I'd probably talk him down a bit. If your truck is an Edge (torsion bars), the Explorer 5.0+trans will bolt straight in with zero mods. If your truck is an XL/XLT (coil springs up front), you'll need to buy a set of 4.0 motor mounts and the 5.0 engine swap plates (https://www.ebay.com/itm/98-11-Ford-Ranger-V8-302-swap-kit-motor-mounts-plates-2wd-/152046882412).

Your main bit of troubleshooting will likely be the wiring. An Expo 5.0 in a 1998 Ranger is 99% plug and play. I cut and spliced two wires during my swap. The Explorer 5.0 swap into a 2006 isn't documented quite as well, but it should still be fairly straightforward. If I were you, I would take basically all of the wiring from the Explorer. Engine harness, body harness, PCM, gauge cluster, dash harness etc. You might not need all of these in the end, but if you run into big issues with adapting the late model chassis wiring, you could very easily just use the entirety of the Explorer's wiring.

In my 1998 swap I used the Explorer PCM, engine, trans, driveshaft, engine harness, fuel lines, trans cooler+lines, radiator, AC condenser+lines, fan+shroud, intake+MAF, power steering hoses, cruise/throttle cables, fuel sender, and the pre-catback exhaust. Not all of this is necessarily required, but you can make the swap look 100% factory if you've got the parts.


You obviously won't be making crazy power with a stock 5.0, but the Expo->Ranger swap is so cheap and easy that I shill it pretty damn hard.
 

taintstick

member
Sep 23, 2020
23
10
3
the deep south
Sorry about that
Not a bad deal, though I'd probably talk him down a bit. If your truck is an Edge (torsion bars), the Explorer 5.0+trans will bolt straight in with zero mods. If your truck is an XL/XLT (coil springs up front), you'll need to buy a set of 4.0 motor mounts and the 5.0 engine swap plates (https://www.ebay.com/itm/98-11-Ford-Ranger-V8-302-swap-kit-motor-mounts-plates-2wd-/152046882412).

Your main bit of troubleshooting will likely be the wiring. An Expo 5.0 in a 1998 Ranger is 99% plug and play. I cut and spliced two wires during my swap. The Explorer 5.0 swap into a 2006 isn't documented quite as well, but it should still be fairly straightforward. If I were you, I would take basically all of the wiring from the Explorer. Engine harness, body harness, PCM, gauge cluster, dash harness etc. You might not need all of these in the end, but if you run into big issues with adapting the late model chassis wiring, you could very easily just use the entirety of the Explorer's wiring.

In my 1998 swap I used the Explorer PCM, engine, trans, driveshaft, engine harness, fuel lines, trans cooler+lines, radiator, AC condenser+lines, fan+shroud, intake+MAF, power steering hoses, cruise/throttle cables, fuel sender, and the pre-catback exhaust. Not all of this is necessarily required, but you can make the swap look 100% factory if you've got the parts.


You obviously won't be making crazy power with a stock 5.0, but the Expo->Ranger swap is so cheap and easy that I shill it pretty damn hard.
My bad, my truck is an xl/xlt. Thanks for that link, I just added it to my cart just in case. I agree with you that I should, hell they just started to tear this explorer apart, easy flip for them.
I definitely plan on taking everything that I possibly can. If he lets me pick at that explorer over like a months time, I’ll pay the $900 for sure. Convenience.
Going to use your list of parts as a guide, I greatly appreciate that! I am going to tear that explorer apart.
For now, since this is an all of a sudden decision, I’ll keep it stock. Has got a hell of a lot more power than my 2.3 so I’m cool with that.
I was debating the swap because to upgrade my 2.3 will take a hell of a lot more money ($4k/turbo) and many trips to the shop to get it right. The 5.0 has its own challenges but a much cheaper option and the power is there already. I also do not want to kill that 2.3 with all the extra weight added, I plan on a bed cage and a removable popup tent. 5.0 gots the torque off the back...
 

taintstick

member
Sep 23, 2020
23
10
3
the deep south
Ok so I took some photos of my truck as well as the new rusty diff that I scooped up today. Was also able to check the fluids from the motor and tranny, both looked good. Explorer had 122,xxx miles on the speedo, hopefully that is its true reading. Not sure if this would have any significance, but the tags on it expired in 2017, so hopefully its just surface rust that collected over a couple years of sitting. I asked the guy why this explorer ended up here, he said the owner had it sitting and that the water pump went out on it. When I looked at the motor, surprisingly the water pump was disconnected and just sitting on top. Nothing is missing yet from the engine bay but they have started to remove the belt and the cooling fan. My guess is because they took that water pump out to trash. He is also willing to help me with holding the explorer off to the side for me for about a month which was pretty cool.

Saw some people had issues with Iphone uploading and decided to get the DSLR. While trying to drag over to the little square, it said something went wrong to contact admin. Also, when I try to get the photos by clicking the square, the memory card does not have anything on it...is this a normal issue or am I being a blind newb to this.
 
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themoneypit

member
Jul 30, 2018
287
285
63
Missouri
I don't know if it's time gated or what based on account age, but I wasn't able to attach pictures directly for the first month or so I joined. I had to host the photos elsewhere and insert as media (imgur, photobucket, imageshack, etc). Might have just been a bug on my end as well, but the hosted photo workaround works if you're having issues.
 

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