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5.0 V8 Swap: 14k Mile Ford Ranger

There are a few important numbers to keep track of here: this is a 1991 Ford Ranger pickup with 14,000 original miles. When it was new, it received an engine swap, with a 5.0 V8 from a wrecked Mustang with 1,200 miles on it at the time of the accident, and a matching 5-speed manual. Got it? Find this interesting daily-driver friendly hot rod here on craigslist with a $14,000 asking price. 

If all the numbers check out, what a cool project! The seller even had the odometer sent out for the mileage reading to align with his claims on the nearly-new Mustang motor. While that’s always going to be based on the seller’s good word, the engine bay does look clean enough to belong to a car with super low mileage. I’m always going to wonder what prompted the seller to use a single-cab Ranger of all vehicles for this swap, but the uniqueness of the project is half the appeal.

The other appeal comes from owning a mint example of a truck that is typically beaten to within an inch of its life as a cheap landscape company vehicle or parts runner for the local auto parts chain. This Ranger has escaped those fates and with only 14,000 miles on the chassis, the interior still presents as new. It’s blissfully simple otherwise, with crank windows and thin A-pillars that aren’t stuffed with airbags. My favorite detail is how stock the truck remains in appearance despite the serious engine upgrade.

$14,000 is a lot of money to spend on an old Ranger. That’s my hang-up here, as I absolutely respect the work done and love the clean execution. But if I had that much money burning a hole in my pocket, I’m not sure this is how I’d spend it – especially given I wouldn’t want to put too many miles on it and negate my investment. Hopefully, the high price ensures this Ranger stays in the hands of someone with the money and space to maintain its preserved condition.


  1. DAN

    thumbs up !

  2. Darrun

    If I read it right, the Tach was recalibrated, not the odometer. I’ve owned a few V8 Rangers (two currently). None quite as clean as this one though. The V8 in the small ranger makes for a real nice combo, and drives nice,as long as you’re aware of the potential for loss of traction.
    The price would deter me, but it would be hard to gather the parts and replicate it.

  3. MorganW Morgan Winter

    Love it…it would be a nice replacement for my worn-out, rusty 96 Ranger, but it’s out of my price range. Darrun, Thumbs Up.

  4. RichS

    If only it was a Ranger GT, that would have gone a long way (with me anyway) towards justifying the price tag.

  5. JW

    As a Ford truck guy I love it and if I had the cash sitting with nothing else needing it I would own this little beauty and since I never buy cars / trucks as investments I would drive the wheels off it.

  6. JamestownMike

    Minty truck and engine trans swap! Too bad it’s a longbed!

    Like 2
    • Jack

      That is exactly what I was thinking, aww, too bad it does not have a short bed!

      • JamestownMike

        I asked the seller if it’s an 8′ bed, seller responded saying it’s a 7 foot bed. Actual inside bed length of the 91 Ranger longbed is 7.25′ (87″). The 91 Ranger shortbed measures 6.23′ (74.75″).

  7. A. C.

    Are you sure it was a Mustang 5.0 and not one from a Ford truck or some other vehicle? A Mustang 5.0 should have the intake air coming from the passenger side of the engine, not the driver’s side. Maybe the intake manifold had to be changed from the Mustang engine?

    • RichS

      Good eye A.C.! Looks like the intake would have ran straight into the HVAC case on the passenger side had the Mustang intake been used as-was. Rotated from necessity.

  8. Todd Zuercher

    Yeah – definitely a flipped Mustang intake. More common than you think with swaps. It’s a little confusing because they used a manifold top plate from a standard 5.0 instead of the stock HO plate for that year.

  9. steve m

    Cool truck, I love it. Price is steep, but it could not be built for the asking……….are my eyes deceiving me or is it a long bed??????????? who would hotrod a long bed??????????

  10. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    This might be the closet we’ll ever get to the stillborn SVT Ranger:

  11. AMC

    I picked up my ’91, from a farmer in Iowa, only had 35k on it when I got it, 6 months ago….mine is stock,…V6, fully optioned out….I lot of elbow grease and a few weekends of giving it TLC, paint, carpets, all fluids changed, etc……I think she is now enjoying her retirement in Sunny Southern Cali. Most reliable truck I’ve ever owned.

    • SoCal Brian

      Too bad you rolled it!

      • Alan (Michigan)

        That would rate a Thumbs Up!
        Funny comment!

    • rando

      You’re in Australia? LOL. Nice truck

    • AMC

      Ok, so it would be funny if I intended to do it….IOS Apple!!!!!

    • Sophia

      That’s not a 91′ it’s a 93′ or later.

  12. Howard A Member

    I never was a fan of the small Ford pickups, but this truck is really cool. I bet it’s a blast to drive with instant throttle response, aka, power to pass. I wonder if traction is an issue? A popular swap, if I remember. Personally, I’d like an automatic, I don’t want to shift anymore, and the colors, sigh, so bland, wouldn’t this truck look nice in blue and don’t say silver. The other thing, is I need an extended cab. That extra room behind the seats comes in mighty handy. Very cool truck.

  13. JamestownMike

    Not only is it a regular cab and longbed, it was an ex 4 cylinder truck with a non-posi light duty rear end. Wonder how long that 4 cylinder rear end will hold up??……..and 14 grand??

    • Sophia

      The long beds are 8′. That is a standard 7′ bed. I imagine he swapped out the rear end too. I am doing a similar swap and no way I would keep the original 7.5″ axle in mine.

  14. rando

    Extended cabs were just coming into vogue in 91. I had a 92 Dakota short bed regular cab 4 cyl 5 spd. Yes it was slow. but when I was shopping I thought how ungainly the extended cabs looked. NOW it’s weird how a regular cab looks, compared to a club cab or extended cab. And just no space behind seats for much at all in a regular cab. What were we thinking? lol

  15. OhU8one2

    The wheel’s just aren’t for me. I would rather see like early 90’s SHO wheel’s on it. As for the rest of the truck,I like it. Granted I too would rather have X tended cab.

  16. johnj

    I swapped a 302 a with 4 barrel and C4 trans into an 86 short bed. Was a lot of fun for what it was. Light enough to be semi fast, and with a shift kit it would always chirp second gear. I towed a 19 foot boat with it, passed a chevy dually once going up a long grade that was also towing a boat. You could tell he floored it , black smoke pouring out as we passed him and he sure didn’t look happy. Of course we were laughing all the way. One of my projects I wish I would have kept.

  17. JamestownMike

    I just got an email from the seller stating, “13k is my final price”.

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