Rebuilding a 93 Ford Ranger - Worth it?

I currently drive a 1993 Ford Ranger XLT with 153,000 miles on it. About two years ago, the transmission started acting up and sometimes wouldn’t shift. My mechanic said that it was something to do with some rubber bits that regulate the fluid in it, and that if the ones on the outside were bad, the ones inside would be just as bad. It was going to cost several hundred dollars more to fix the inside ones, and se we just fixed the outside ones. It has run fine, until recently. Now, it seems, the inside gaskets are bad as well, as it takes five minutes of warm up before it will shift gears. Also, while originally it got around 18-20 MPG, it now gets 12-14 MPG.

At this point my dad and I are thinking about having a new engine put in. And, since the transmission is starting to die, we should have that fixed too. My question’s are - Would it be possible to replace the current V6 engine with a V4 in order to increase the gas mileage (since we really don’t haul all that much stuff)? Also, about how much should replacing the engine and transmission cost? And finally, do you think it would be worth it? We really can’t afford a new car, and I am very attached to my little truck…

Thanks for your help, and feel free to ask me any questions about the car you would like!

A '93 is probably EFI. This means using a carb’ed 4-banger swap or getting a completely new ECM and harness to make it work. You’ll probably never get enough fuel economy out of it to make it worth-while. Also, the transmission is electronic, meaning you’ll need a new controller for the 4-banger version of the transmission as well.

If you’d like to return this truck to it’s former glory, doing as much as you can yourself is the only way to go. Having shops do the work will kill the budget, and your better off buying a newer used truck. But, refreshing the engine will be costly, and so will the transmission. Even if you do the work for the engine, the machine work and parts will still cost a couple of grand. Then the transmission work is best done by a pro. Automatic transmissions require a lot of specialty tools, and that will shatter your budget.

I’d say my good-byes and shop for a newer used truck, myself. You would also get more money selling the truck yourself than taking it in on a trade.