After my failed Central America trip my engine developed a knock. Expecting the worse I began to tear down the engine for a rebuild.

All external items removed from the engine compartment.

Tentatively planning a solid axle swap, I remove the front suspension.

I was somewhat being sluggish on working on the truck. The trip failing was wearing on me and now the engine possibly being bad was heavy on my mind. I got a bit of motivation finally to pull the motor.

I pulled the valve cover off just after for a quick peek. Very clean for 250k milesĀ and hard miles at that.

Looks like very minimal wear as well on the cam shafts. I may get lucky and be able to do a basic overhaul. Next I need to disassemble the head and bottom end. I know I’ll need piston rings and some new rods as there was a rod knock.

Finished pulling the motor apart, but stopped because I was stumped.

Set everything out so I know how to reassemble.

250,000 miles and pretty much no where at all. The hone marks are barley worn off.

Yep, even to the bottom of the cylinder. A testament of taking care of equipment and using synthetic oil since day 1.

Here’s the part that stumps me. I pulled the motor apart because of a rod knock. I know I’m not the only one who heard it as it wasn’t quiet at all. But after examining, rod bearings are good and no slop anywhere. I had no idea what could of been knocking.

After a few weeks I decided to pull the trigger on getting a used motor. It’s clean, has 120k miles and I should have it by mid next week. This is better option overall than rebuilding my current motor. Rebuilding would cost way more as if I do rebuild I need special tools, machine shop work/cleaning, new bearings, seals, pistons, oil pump,all the other pieces and the hassle of rebuilding/timing. I wouldn’t want to do a poor job rebuilding and the cost to do it right is way too high. The used motor is only $600 and has a 90 day warranty. Yeah, it has 100k miles but after researching these motors are good for 500k. So I think overall this is my best option.

Time for the heart transplant. 2.3L DOHC 4 Cylinder with 120,000 miles. In great shape. Has 99% of everything on it. Will be doing some basic mods to fix issues I had with the last motor. Mainly the hard coolant line that runs behind the block.

The motor has been set in place. You can tell where the truck is usually used most of its life. Everything has a layer of dirt, except the new motor.

Engine test run and runs great!

Did my first test run since the new motor was installed. 100+ miles this afternoon. Dang its a good feeling to drive the Ranger again.

Took longer to get back on the road then I wanted. Had to replace a bunch of things including the wheel bearings again as I didn’t do the axle swap. I replaced them recently after the failed spindle last summer. I’m a bit disappointed at Timken. I expected better from them. The seals were cracked when I pulled off the rotor. I’m guessing the cracks must of let water in, allowing the bearings to eat themselves. Used National bearings this time with a SFK seal. Hope it fairs better.

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