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Old 02-20-2014, 12:23 PM   #1
brokenwall
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Thinking about building a Duratec 2.3 to swap

So I have had a bit of an idea running through my head and decided to reach out for some advice. So let me get to the basics.

The vehicle in question is a stock 2007 Ford Ranger XL (Reg Cab) 2WD powered by a Duratec 2.3L 4cyl and a Mazda M50D-R1 5spd transmission. All this power is delivered through a Non-Limited Slip rear end. I bought this truck with 13 miles on it and it now has over 156k and has had a great life. As it being my first vehicle I purchased I would love to give it a better life as time moves on.

My thoughts are to:

1) upgrade the engine
2) replace the transmission with a good Tremec
3) replace the rear-end with one that has Limited-Slip

Engine:
The truck has never been quick and never did I require it to be more than it was. But sometimes towards the end of this year I will be breaking 200k on the original motor and transmission. The truck is to remain a nice commuter for back and forth to work, as well as light duty when I need to pull a trailer or haul something. I originally wanted to do a V8 swap but the cost and time of the swap would be high as well as expensive. I then had the idea of doing an EcoBoost swap but the problem is finding a proper ECU as well as getting out of line on cost. Then I realized the best option for me is to find a good Duratec 2.3 Block to start to build on and build a replacement motor while I continue to drive that I can just drop in.

I am going to build the motor with all new accessories (water pump, alternator, AC compressor, power steering) and hopefully drop it in and keep everything else ready to go. This is when I noticed that I should reach out to others who have experience with this motor and ask for help.

Goals:
Keep the cost low and build over time
Get up to about 250hp (stock is 143hp)
Keep the fuel mileage and reliability of the original motor or improve it.

Questions:
How much of a problem am I going to have with a build like this?
I was thinking I could share some information from the Mazda3 and Focus guys?
How bout the option of a Turbo and going for a reliable 275-300hp+?

This build will be starting with a block and probably running an aftermarket head and forged internals.


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Old 02-21-2014, 08:48 AM   #2
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I came here cause I know that the Focus community has alot more experience with building the Duratec motors, the Ranger community is more for V8 swaps and 4.0V6 builds.

The engine runs great right now, I just was trying to get a good idea if it will be worth the trouble to build the motor on a budget.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:21 AM   #3
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If i was you i would find your self a focus 2.3 head. It flows more then the ranger 2.3 head. The ranger head is the same as the focus 2.0 head.
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Old 02-21-2014, 03:54 PM   #4
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Yeah, get a focus 2.3 head. I'd put some H-beam rods in it, like 9:1 compression pistons if your gonna go turbo, and a set of turbo cams. Run something like a T3/T4 turbo with maybe around 15-18 psi and that should get you into the 300HP ballpark for a turbo build, you could even run a GT28 if your don't want to go above 300HP and that will give you a little more "instant" power.

If your gonna stay NA I would still get the 2.3 focus head and put some H-beam rods to have a strong bottom end, stock compression is 10:1 and you could probably get up into the 200HP ballpark on stock pistons NA but you would probably want to go up to some 11:1 or 12:1 compression pistons if you want to go above that. And of course you would need some cams, stage 1 should be more than adaquate for what you want, probably upgrade the valves and valve springs. A header and intake, its easier to get into the HP your looking at with a turbo. You can see 250HP on a stock engine with a GT28 turbo with 8-12 psi.
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black05 View Post
If i was you i would find your self a focus 2.3 head. It flows more then the ranger 2.3 head. The ranger head is the same as the focus 2.0 head.
This^^^^^^^^^^= get a foci 23 head.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phestezio View Post
Yeah, get a focus 2.3 head. I'd put some H-beam rods in it, like 9:1 compression pistons if your gonna go turbo, and a set of turbo cams. Run something like a T3/T4 turbo with maybe around 15-18 psi and that should get you into the 300HP ballpark for a turbo build, you could even run a GT28 if your don't want to go above 300HP and that will give you a little more "instant" power.

If your gonna stay NA I would still get the 2.3 focus head and put some H-beam rods to have a strong bottom end, stock compression is 10:1 and you could probably get up into the 200HP ballpark on stock pistons NA but you would probably want to go up to some 11:1 or 12:1 compression pistons if you want to go above that. And of course you would need some cams, stage 1 should be more than adaquate for what you want, probably upgrade the valves and valve springs. A header and intake, its easier to get into the HP your looking at with a turbo. You can see 250HP on a stock engine with a GT28 turbo with 8-12 psi.
& This^^^^^^^^ n/a you'll need 11:1 pistons.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:16 AM   #6
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Sorry I have been swamped with work and just kept forgetting to come back here to reply to this post.

My goal is to start with giving my Ranger more low-end torque and a broader powerband. I used 250hp as a reasonable number. I am not looking to make a sport truck or a drag machine.

I will continue to use my Ranger as a daily driver, and just want to make it so that when I do pull a trailer with bikes it doesn't feel the load as bad. Also improve basic driveability without requiring to wait for boost to build or building some crazy N/A motor.


Truck has been amazing to own, and I just want to give it further life. So as far as power, I am not set on 250hp, but I don't want to create some 400hp machine and ruin gas mileage.


So should I use a stock Focus 2.3 Head or go with something Aftermarket?
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:41 AM   #7
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If you want more pulling torque why not look at the 2.5 I4 Duratec short block with the 2.3 head

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Old 03-23-2014, 10:46 AM   #8
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I didn't think about finding a 2.5 Duratec, but what about the crank for those, I was informed that alot of people love the Ranger crank as it is forged and capable of supporting 400hp without any issues.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:59 PM   #9
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Yeah id do a 2.5 as well. Massive sells a VCT delete kit for them too

Is the ranger crank actually forged? I always thought it was desirable because of the lack of a gear for the balance shafts. Little lighter, thats all.

The 2.5 uses a set of balance shafts just like the focus 2.3, and i believe it isnt forged, but havent heard of anyone snapping cranks on a ~250hp turbo build on a duratec.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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No the ranger crank is not forged

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