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Making truck faster

I’ve got a 1999 ranger and I’m wanting to add some more power . Being that it’s an older car it doesn’t really pull the way I’d want it to pull I was thinking of buying a cold air intake but I can’t find any for this model and year anyone know what modifications that can be made and where I can find the parts at

Unless you turbo/supercharge the engine, or put in a bigger engine, there’s nothing you can do to it to makes it significantly faster. CAIs are a waste of money by themselves. Which engine is in it?

As @texases said…You can do tweaks, but nothing short of a new engine or turbo to have anything significant.

What you can do is make sure the engine maintenance is up to date and that you’re not running oversized tires.

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2.5L 4 cylinder roughly 119 hp
And what turbo would you suggest should I get one ?
I was thinking of finding a small block mustang engine to swap with too

I strongly recommend against cold air intakes. They’ve been known to cause problems, and any “gains” are mostly in one’s mind.

I sincerely mean absolutely no disrespect, but the nature of your questions suggests that your experience and expertise does not lend itself to trying to add a turbocharger or otherwise soup up your engine. One of the hot rod magazines purchased a turbo kit off the internet and even with the engine on a test rig in a lab, and with experts adding the turbo, they had a terrible time installing it. They had to do some welding, some metalwork (reshaping part of the exhaust manifold, and still ended up putting the turbo in a position that would have been impossible in and engine compartment. They then ran the test on a dynamometer, and had to abort it because the pressure built to where the engine could have literally exploded. After doing even more work and purchasing another part, they were able to run the test. It did, ultimately, add horsepower, but their recommendation is to not try it at home. If you can’t pay an experienced speed shop to do it, than don’t.

My recommendation? If you want a faster truck, trade.


From what I recall of my “modding vehicles that shouldn’t really be modded” days, the stock pistons on the Ranger were not strong enough to handle pretty much any boost, which means any turbo you put on it necessitates new pistons.

Now, for what you’re gonna pay someone to put new pistons and forced induction on that old thing, you could get yourself something even faster off of Craigslist. Rangers were known for pretty much being dogs from a performance perspective – which is OK because they’re trucks and they’re meant to be hauling stuff, not hauling butt.

And you’ll notice that the fast trucks don’t haul much. The Syclone did 0-60 in a little less than 5 seconds, but also boasted a payload capacity of only 250 pounds, which means letting someone who enjoys food too much ride in the bed would overload it.

They had 3.0 and 4.0 V6 engines that year. I’d sell this one and buy one with one of the V6 engines.


It’s not just the engine, but the electronics and transmission, too, that need to be swapped. All you’re keeping is the body and seats. It’s not worth the cost to drop a new power train into this truck.

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Better plan on installing the entire Mustang engine, transmission and find a stronger 8.8 inch rearend out of maybe an early Explorer 'cause that rear axle will snap like a pretzel with a V8. And a bigger radiator and maybe bigger brakes to stop all that power.

If you hang a turbo on the 2.5 liter 4, it will just make broken engine parts, and transmission parts and rearend parts and, and, and. Do you get the picture?

Both are do-able but neither is cheap. @texases has the right answer. Trade it for a Ranger with a bigger engine and all the stuff to support it.


Richie Toast The last part of the screen name is what this Ranger will be unless the OP gets realistic.

Yes forget about the Mustang idea. Look fora SOHC 4.0 from either a Ranger or Explorer, but you will need the electronics and probably transmission too. Do NOT get a pushrod 4.0.
Having said all that, you will be much better off finding a 2001, has the SOHC V6, or newer Ranger.

You want to add a cold air intake?

The engine already has a cold air intake.


I almost spit out my Bourbon laughing :slight_smile:

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere! :smile:

Unless the OP decides to install heavy duty main bearings, that 19 year old engine will likely not survive its first acceleration run. And then we have the clutch, transmission, u-joints, and differential that would likely fail shortly after that.

“Hopping-up” a brand new engine might not be practical unless a lot of internal parts were also upgraded. “Hopping-up” a tired 19 year old engine is an exercise in futility, coupled with major repair expenses after the modifications destroy the old components.

As was already stated, the OP needs to sell this vehicle and buy one that meets his needs in terms of power.

Edited to add:
To try to translate the OP’s automotive situation into human terms, let us imagine that somebody wants to give his aged grandfather more energy, and decides that giving Gramps some Methamphetamine is just the ticket.
Yes, Gramps will be much more… speedy… for a very short period of time, and then his heart, liver, and kidneys will all fail because of that attempt to give his aged body more energy. Similarly, the tired old engine of this 19 year old truck will die a premature death if the OP attempts to make it more powerful.

Adding a turbocharger will be expensive. There’s also the issue of PCM reprogramming, larger fuel injectors, and possibly a higher discharge fuel pump. A functioning EGR system is also a necessity as detonation can kill an engine pretty quickly.

Far easier (compared to a turbocharger) would be to drop an SEFI 5.0 in it but that will involve some wrestling. It always does. The 80s/90s era 5.0s are simple to plumb in regard to the electrical connections.

If you plan on hammering the truck with a heavy foot you can probably kiss the stock rear axle goodbye at some point. There’s always a weak link in the chain…

I stuffed a 5.0 into a Snub Nose Merkur XR4ti although it took 6 months of spare time adapting, wrestling, and cursing.
If a 5.0 will go into one of those it will go into a Ranger.

Another thing to consider is, If the OP is required to have the vehicle emission tested, and the emission sticker under the hood doesn’t reflect the engine under the hood, the vehicle fails the test right-then-and-there.



Since OP’s vehicle is 1996 or newer, this would be correct here in Arizona. Also, the VIN programmed into the PCM must match the VIN of the vehicle itself. This would be a problem if you decide to swap in a used engine and PCM from a junkyard.

If you own a 1995 or older model, you are free to replace the engine as you see fit, as well as any electronics needed to make it run. Emissions testing for 1995 and older models consists of a visual inspection to make sure that no required emissions controls have been removed/defeated, a “treadmill test” and idle test, and a test of the fuel cap and fuel tank for vapor leakage. They do not plug anything into the onboard computer.

What the EPA is saying is, it’s against the law to install an older engine into a newer vehicle if that replacement engine lacks the emission control equipment for that model year of the vehicle.

So for example, if the vehicle came from the factory with a fuel injected engine, you can’t install an engine that’s carbureted.

But you can install a fuel injected engine into a vehicle that came from the factory with a carbureted engine.

I always hated working with CARB and the EPA