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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-08-04, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question installing a GMC 350 into a ford Ranger??

Hey, I have a 1989 Ranger with a 2.9L fuel injected 2wd. I would like to know what is involved for installing a GMC 350 with a with a SM465 tranny. I would like to know what is involved for installing the drive train. What kind of torque can the frame rails handle? Is there some kind of adaptor plate for sale that runs from that transmission to the Ford rear end? If anyone could help that would be greatly appriciated.

Last edited by Christian; 01-09-04 at 07:51 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-04, 03:35 PM
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Re: GMC 350 into a ford Ranger


I'm a buddy of Chris' from school and I'm gonna be helping him out with this swap, and I will be providing the components for it :)

What we have is a 5.7 Litre 350 V8 longblock that I current am running in my 80 Sierra Classic 3/4 ton. I also have a SM465 transmission (3 speed with the granny gear, also called the low gear, its a run of the mill standard transmission installed in most standard Chevy / GMC pickups) What we are needing to know is just how much torque these little ranger frames can take without being damaged, and also just how tough the rear end is on it. I'm also looking into how a guy can fabricate some engine mounts, as well as modifying a rad support to fit the big 4 core rad that we are installing. I was pretty amazed at just how tiny those little rads are on these things!

If anyone here has any tips, or knows about any links to websites about people who have already done this swap, it would be much appreciated!

BTW -- I'm proud of you guys, no leaping all over him on the mention of a GM product :D

I'm sort of non-denominational that way, love all trucks but the new dodge trucks and their sucky transmissions :)
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-04, 06:19 PM
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Re: GMC 350 into a ford Ranger

I got three words for you guys: DON'T DO IT

It is too much hassle and too many things will go wrong and you never interchange diiferent companies. Beside a Ranger frame will snap if you monkeys ever get the erge to squak the tires. Trust me, stick with a Ford V8 with a Ford frame.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-04, 07:06 PM
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Re: GMC 350 into a ford Ranger

different maybe, but I put a 396/th400 in my 81 dodge d150(front sump 429 wouldnt fit-darn it). I used a set of bigblock 69 camaro frame stands and made steel adapter plates to bolt to stands/frame(didnt want to drill/weaken crossmember), the tranny crossmember needed two new holes drilled to bolt to frame, and another adapter plate for the rearmount. the th400 was longer than the dodge, so just cut/welded driveshaft, had local shop rebalance it. Moog(I think) makes adapter u joints to mix and match about anything- and cheep. Even cut/reworked the tailgate to say "dodge rat" instead of ram...was no hotrod, but torky enough to have some fun and overall was a perfect truck motor- drove it for 10 years. It finally started to rust, I pulled the BBC, and gave the chassis to a guy I used to work with, he put a smallblock back in and as far as I know its still on the road somewhere...
Being its a (albeit-light) truck, I personally wouldnt be too worried about the frame- now if you plan on loading the bed full and heading to the strip, you might be in trouble, but have you ever looked at how flimsy a mustang front end is? My 69's frontend looks weaker than any true frame I've ever seen, yet Ive seen pics of bigblock cars doing wheelstands...I bet if you tried it with door open the car would break in two! If I ever get my 429 in it, I'm staying with smallish tires.
A word of caution- Echeck might get you- if not applicable in your area, may still come back to haunt you if you sell it. by doing conversion, YOU are removing OEM pollution controls- if possible be sure to carryover all the GM smog crap if its a newer year motor- or pull motor out before even thinking of selling. It could trade hands several times, but if emissions EVER become an issue, you could get sued by owner(but I didnt know it was chevy powered?), or possibly even fined by state, but Ive never heard of them pushing it that far.

Confidence: that feeling you have just before you realize the mess you've gotten yourself into...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-03-04, 02:59 PM
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cool Re: GMC 350 into a ford Ranger

There was a guy who showed up at my Ranger club's off-road run last spring and he had a 350 Chevy in a 4wd Ranger, he was not a regular member. It had an automatic. Beyond that I don't know any particulars other than to say I've seen it done.

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