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Modifying Small Block Ford Cylinder Heads
Modifying Small
Block Ford Cylinder

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Ford Transmission
The Ranger and Bronco II V-8 Conversion
There are several choices of transmissions that can be used with a small block V8 in a Ranger or
Bronco II. If you wish to use an automatic transmission your choices are a C-4, C-5, or if you want
an overdrive transmission, the AOD. Tail housings and output shafts are available from after
market sources to allow any of these automatics transmissions to be installed into a four-wheel
drive Ranger with a V8. If you want a manual transmission you can use the factory Ranger
transmission with a special bell housing and clutch assembly or you can install a T-5 manual
transmission from a Mustang. The T-5 is considerably more durable when installed behind a V8,
however clutch linkage has to be fabricated to work with its bell-housing.
Most Rangers use an A4LD automatic overdrive transmission. If you have an overdrive automatic in
a Ranger or Bronco II it's an A4LD. There is no bell housing available to install a V8 to this
transmission, and even if you could, these transmissions had durability concerns with the torque
from a V6, so a V8 would probably destroy an A4LD in a short period of time
The C-4 automatic transmission is generally used for the two wheel drive installations but can be
used for four wheel drive installations as well. The C-5 was used in some early 80s four-wheel drive
rangers with V6 engines. The C-5 from a four-wheel drive Ranger can be converted to a C-4, a V8
bell housing installed, and used for a V8 installation in a four-wheel drive Ranger. They use a
special short output shaft and tail housing to bolt up to the ranger transfer case. These parts are
no longer available from Ford, so if you need to convert a standard car C-4 to a four-wheel drive
Ranger C-4, you'll have to find used parts from a Ranger or Bronco II or purchase an after-market
tail housing and output shaft.
You may find it will make transmission installation easier with the middle cross member removed
from the chassis. The factory rivets on this cross member can be ground off and driven out with a
center punch. The rivets can then be replaced with bolts so that the cross member can be removed
whenever necessary. You may find that some transmissions can not be removed from underneath
the vehicle with the cross-member in place because of the height of the bell housing. The cross
member must be reinstalled, as it is an integral part of the chassis and suspension.
Ford C-4 Bellhousing
On some transmissions, such as the C-4, Ford has
used a variety of bell housings, flywheels, and starters
over the years. Whenever you have a choice, use the
smallest diameter flywheel and bell housing available
to provide much needed clearance. You do need to
use the correct starter and flywheel for the bell
housing your using, regardless of which transmission
you choose to install. Worth mentioning, 1975-78
Mustang II with a 302 and C-4 combination had a
special small diameter bell housing, flywheel, and
starter assembly, which fit the Ranger and Bronco II
chassis nicely.
Ford V8 Ranger Firewall Modification Before installing your transmission take a hammer
and fold over the body seam between the firewall and
the floor pan. This will help provide some additional
room to tighten the bell-housing bolts. With certain
bell housings you may have to dent the firewall and
transmission tunnel  to provide clearance before your
transmission is installed. The transmission may have
to be temporarily installed so clearance can be
checked, then removed so that you have adequate
room to modify the body. You may find it necessary to
dent the floor pan at the corners where the
transmission tunnel meets the floor pan for
transmission linkage or to clear certain headers.
Here is a few tips for C-4 installation. If your Ranger was originally equipped with a 4 speed manual
transmission and is a 2-wheel drive, a C-4 will bolt right into the chassis with the 4-speed
transmission mount and cross member. The existing drive shaft will be the correct length as well,
but will require a different yoke for a C-4 or C-5 to install it in your new transmission. If your Ranger
was equipped with a 5 speed Mazda transmission from the factory, your existing drive shaft will work
as will your existing transmission yoke. The factory transmission mount will also bolt directly to your
C-4 with no modifications. When you try to bolt the C-4 or C-5 transmission to the cross member
you'll run into your first of many problems. The cross member is further rearward on the chassis on
a vehicle originally equipped with a 5 speed or A4LD. You have two choices for the cross member.
You can build a bracket with slots for the transmission mount to bolt onto and weld it onto the front
of the cross member. This bracket is welded to the factory cross member to allow the transmission
mount to be moved a few inches forward from where it originally was located. The other choice is to
remove the frame brackets for the transmission cross member and relocate them a few inches
forward of where they were located.
If you're installing the big block 429/460 in a Ranger you only have one practical transmission
choice, the C-6. This is a very large transmission and although it bolts in with the same
transmission mount as the C-4 and C-5 that's the only part that will work without modification. The
transmission cross member will have to be moved rearward to locate the transmission correctly.
The firewall will have to be modified for the large bell housing and to allow the transmission to be
moved rearward enough for adequate room at the front of the engine. This requires cutting out a
large portion of the center of the firewall and relocating it three inches more rearward. The drive
shaft will have to be shortened and a yoke for a C-6 transmission installed.
Ford Ranger Modifications for 460 Engine
If you look closely at this picture you can see the
radical surgery that was performed to move the
center of the firewall three inches rearward to
provide clearance for a 466 cubic-inch Ford big
There were many different shift linkage shafts used on C-4 and C-5 transmissions. Unless your
using a C-5 originally from a Ranger or Bronco II I would recommend installing an after market
shifter such as a B&M Mega shifter to hook up your transmission shift linkage. After market shifters
such as the B&M Mega shifter come with all the necessary brackets and cables necessary for
installation. B&M is also manufacturing a special truck Mega Shifter with a taller base than the
standard car shifter to help position the shifter correctly for the driver.
The transmission dipstick seems to have a way of always coming out in the wrong place on this
transmission swap, usually interfering with the heater/air conditioner plenum. Transmission dipstick
tubes usually kink when you try to bend them and even if they don't, they may no longer read fluid
level accurately. A flexible transmission dipstick tube is available from Lokar. It's made from flexible
braided stainless steel and is available for around $50.00. This allows you to route the dipstick tube
to come out where ever it's convenient on your particular application
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This has been a sample page from

The Ranger and Bronco II V8 Conversion The Ranger and Bronco II
V-8 Conversion
289, 302, 351, 429 and 460
This 30 page booklet is about building high
performance Ford Rangers and Bronco II. V-8
engine conversion
is discussed in detail for the
small block 289, 302, 351W and the big block 429
and 460. Part numbers used are given, illustrations
of modifications are provided, complete conversion
kits are discussed, parts manufacturers and
suppliers are listed, and much more. Read the
pages for more details!
If you're serious about building a V-8 Ranger,
you need this book!
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter.
Item #: MRE117
8 1/2 x 11"
30 Pages
40 b/w photos
spiral bound
Price: $12.00
Click here to buy now!
Chap. 1 - The V-8 Conversion
Chap. 2 - V-8 Motor Mounts
Chap. 3 - V-8 Transmissions
Chap. 4 - V-8 Cooling System
Chap. 5 - Axles

Other items you might be interested in

Ford Ranger and Bronco II Repair Manual 1983-1992
Includes sections on routine maintenance, tune-up
procedures, engine repair, cooling and heating, air
conditioning, fuel and exhaust, emissions control systems,
ignition systems, brakes, suspension and steering, electrical
systems and wiring diagrams. With a Haynes manual, you
can do it yourself…from simple maintenance to basic repairs.
Haynes writes every book based on a complete teardown of
the vehicle. They learn the best ways to do a job and that
makes it quicker, easier and cheaper for you. Haynes books
have clear instructions and plenty of photographs that show
each step. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can save
big with Haynes!
Ford Ranger and Bronco II Repair Manual 1983-1992
$ 22.95

Ford Ranger Repair Manual 1993-2010
This repair manual covers the 1993 to 2010 Ford
Ranger. This manual contains easy to follow step by step
instructions linked to hundreds of photographs and
illustrations. Included in this manual is a troubleshooting
section to help identify specific problems; tips that give
valuable short cuts to make the job easier and eliminate
the need for special tools; notes, cautions and warnings
for the home mechanic.
Ford Ranger Repair Manual 1993-2010
$ 24.95

How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
By increasing the bore and stroke of your current
engine, you can add those cubic inches without the
hassle of switching to a big block. George Reid
thoroughly explains the building of a small block Ford
stroker, paying special attention to the effect that
increasing the bore and stroke have on the engine as a
whole. Also included is a complete guide to factory head
and block castings, as well as aftermarket block and
head guides, so you can choose exactly the right parts
for your project.
How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks
$ 22.95

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