Hey guys, I have a 1989 ford ranger with a 2.9l standard. I would like to put a 302 in it and i was just wondering what steps were involed or if it was a direct drop in, if anyone knows anything about this please let me no, Thank you.
I wouldn't do it with an 89, because of the EFI (if it came standard). But if you found a guy that does electrical work in cars it could work if you push the firewall back, reinforce the frame, drill pilot holes for your motor mounts, and change your drivetrain. If you change your drivetrain it will help instead of leaving what in there now. The V8 will chew up the transmission.
Christian, The 302 swap into a Ranger or Bronco II is done all the time and there are kits out there that supply the motor and tranny mounts you need to drop in a 302 and an AOD tranny or a stick. No need to move the firewall.....as there's plenty of room in the engine compartment as is. The existing tranny will not work with the 302 since it won't even bolt up. In order to make the swap you'll need to find a donor vehicle with the EFI 302, wiring harness, tranny, crossmember, fuel system, computer etc. to make the swap a fairly easy process. You'll also have to have a custom driveshaft made and you should seriously consider swapping in a Ford 8.8" rear end or you'll be spending $1000 on gears every six months if you're hard on it.
It can be done, but plan on spending at least $2000-3000 on parts alone. If cost doesn't matter, go for it. You definitely won't be disappointed with the power.