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1993 Ranger with a 88 SVO engine and 2.5l pistons
#1

Man that title is a mouthful! Whats up everybody! I have a huge project that I did and im excited to say i figured out my biggest drawback.

Lets preface this with the vehicle that I have and the background of it.

In the summer of 2019 I bought my first Subaru WRX. It was a 350whp protuned BEAST. i loved that thing. it took down so many steet races. even against 700hp chargers, it would give them a run for their money. It was e85 tuned, all the bells and whistles. Now, unfortunately it got rod knock and i had to get rid of it due to some other issues it had (rust being the biggest).

Well come november of 2019 i put the WRX up for trade or sale on facebook marketplace and got a reply back saying someone has a 1993 ford ranger with a 88 SVO 2.3l block with the 4 plug head and upgraded pistons and rods and is ready to see 500hp and doesnt want to work on it any more.

I had never heard of an SVO before. Did some research on the 2.3l blocks and man, closed deck cast iron block with an iron head. This thing will have no problems seeing boost. Then the forged pistons and rods sold me. That was the problem with the subaru motors, theyre just too weak for my liking and even with forged internals, blocks only good for 400whp or so before the piston walls give out.

So we met up, swapped cars and Ive had this ranger ever since.

The main problem with that ranger was that the harmonic balancer was bent and kept hitting the crank shaft position sensors and ripping them off. I bought and replaced the harmonic balancer and the sensor brand new. Then the mounting bracket had to be in the PERFECT position or again, it would knick the sensor and break it.

Couldnt stand it. So i did some research and found that 1995+ they used hall effect sensors that are off to the side and dont hit the harmonic balancer.

So this begins the wiring swap of the truck.

The truck sat all winter, come march or so i started getting back into working on it. I went to the junkyard and pulled a crankshaft position sensor, and harmonic balancer from a 1998 ranger.

The guy when he traded me the truck gave me a 1998 2.5l ECU and a Moates quarterhorse brand new.

So then i had to go back to the junkyard and grab the engine harness from the 1998 as well. Then i tried custom wiring a 1993 ranger internal harness to the 1995+ engine harness. didnt work.

Then i pulled everything. At this point its May and the truck has a 88 SVO block, 4 plug head, 2.5l forged pistons and rods, 1995+ wiring harness inside and out and new crank sensor, cam sensor and coil pack.

I try firing it up, nothing. I do a custom wiring for the starter and fuel and stuff, nothing. The truck isnt getting spark.

I then buy tuning software (Binary Editor) and im reading through the basic starters guide.

And i see it says "The moates quarterhorse with override the factory ecu tune"

Wait, youre telling me that this entire time im trying to find electrical grounds and faults and running from the junkyard and back and yada yada yada that the reason the truck wasnt firing over is because the quarterhorse is connected???? Yes. It was. If i had unplugged the quarterhorse, it probably would have fired right up.

Anyways, the moral of the story is that if you have a J3 tuner plugged in, Moates Quarterhorse or any tuner that plugs into the J3 or F3 port on the ECM, the tuner will override the stock factory tune from ford. So if you dont have a tune on that tuner, your vehicle isnt gonna start.
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#2

Just sold my 94 swapped ranger with ac and heat. Fun truck for sure!


Wow what a nightmare. I had something similar happen to me 20 years ago in a miata I turbocharged, going down Los angeles crest highway (the crest), and the engine shut down. Would not restart. I had it towed home, started trouble shooting and couldnt figure it out. Then one day I had to renew the registration and opened the glove box to see the piggy back module for the fuel was unplugged from the hard turns on the crest.

Plug it in and the car fired right up....lol
many Fords, just no time...
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