Prerunner Articles

Ecoboost Ranger Prerunner

There are a lot of rumors going around that Ford might offer the 3.5 liter twin-turbo Ecoboost motor as a crate engine complete with its own stand-alone wiring harness. This got me thinking how great it would be to swap this in our Ranger prerunner.

Our Ranger prerunner is a 2004 Ranger with the 4.0 SOHC motor, which for its time was not a bad motor though it lacks a bit a horsepower, it has some good low end grunt and revs all the way up to 6 grand.

After turning it into the prerunner you see today with the added weight of the Dixon Bros long travel kit and the FOX SHOX front and rear plus all the extra tubing on the truck you start to notice how low the power is of the 4.0 V-6.

I know we could swap in a 5.0 V-8 but then we couldn’t drive it on the streets as it wouldn’t pass smog. We could also throw a supercharger at it but at around $4k, that is a huge investment and we would have to run premium gas further adding to the costs.

A few months back I test drive a 2012 F-150 with the Ecoboost motor in it, and this thing felt like a hotrod. We have also see Ford campaign an F-150 equipped with the Ecoboost in Baja and it did really well. So it got us thinking how would our Ranger prerunner do with the same motor and about 1000 pounds less weight?

Well the first thing that comes to mind is we would definitely be able to smoke our 33’s even on pavement. We would go from 200 HP (claimed by Ford) to 365 HP (@5000 rpm) and 420 pounds-feet (@ only 2500 rpm) of torque. It would probably smoke any V-8 Ranger.

I already know if Ford releases the 3.5 liter Ecoboost as a crate motor it is not going to be cheap. When compared to the cost of a supercharger and the cost of premium gas the Ecoboost looks like a better option. Also we would get a huge jump in fuel economy. Right now our Ranger gets about 15 mpg on the highway. The fiberglass front fenders catch a lot of air. In the F-150 you could expect 21 to 23 mpg so we would get about 25 mpg since our Ranger is much lighter than an F-150.

We will keep looking and hopefully the rumors will turn into truths and Ford will offer the 3.5 liter Ecoboost as a crate motor soon. If the price is right we might have to get our hands on one of them.

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