Evolution of the Ranger 2.3L EcoBoost Engine

CoastieN70

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I found this interesting

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/detroit-auto-show/a15840269/ford-focus-rs-ranger-engine/

How Ford Modified the Focus RS's Engine for Ranger Duty
We poke around the Ranger's engine and discover a lot of similarities to Ford's hottest hatch.



Ford revealed the 2019 Ranger last week, telling us that its sole engine would be a 2.3L EcoBoost with a forged crankshaft and forged connecting rods. They declined to share any other specifications or performance data but luckily they brought an engine to their stand at the Detroit Auto Show. That allowed us to get a better look at how it was developed.

The 2.3L EcoBoost can be found in various configurations across the Ford line. It powers SUVs like the Lincoln MKC and Ford Explorer along with performance cars like the Mustang and Focus RS. It would be easy enough to think that the Ranger motor was just transferred over from the Mustang since they are both in a longitudinal configuration, but it needs enough torque to beat out the Colorado. That's why Ford went with a modified version of the Focus RS motor.

ranger-engine-cross-drilled-block-jpg-1516635005.jpg


Our first hint that it's based on the unit found in the Focus RS comes from the design of the block. That shows us that the Ranger motor employs a cross-drilled deck for cooling which is only found in the Focus RS at this time. We covered this type of cooling mechanism in our Focus RS head gasket story, but the general idea is that coolant flows through the block below the bore bridge instead of across the top. Inside the block, the rotating assembly appears to be lifted straight from the Focus RS; it contains the forged crankshaft, forged connecting rods, and coated pistons found in the hot hatch.

ranger-engine-rods-and-crank-jpg-1516635047.jpg


Although the top is almost identical to the Focus RS block, the bottom has been modified and has a slightly different casting. The oil pump has been moved from its location beside the crank gear and now runs off the balance shafts in the oil pan. This move was likely done to make the front a little narrower in order to make space for the four-wheel drive components that will be used in the Ranger.

ranger-oil-cooler-jpg-1516635074.jpg


The oil cooling system has also been upgraded with the addition of a new housing that includes a larger oil cooler and a filter that now points to the side instead of down towards the oil pan. This housing is novel since it also appears to be where the motor mount will connect to the engine.

ranger-cylinder-head-and-new-fan-mount-1516635134.jpg


The oil pump move is not the only change to the front of the block as the harmonic balancer has also been changed. It now includes a provision for a wider front belt which will coincide with the belt-driven fan that will be installed on the Ranger. This is also apparent when you look a little higher up towards the cam gears where there is now a cast mount for the fan to attach to. The timing cover has been modified to allow for the fan mount and the removal of the oil pump below. The rest of the belt drive appears to be identical to the Focus with the water pump visible in the same 3 o’clock position on both engines.

ranger-engine-overview-front-1516635166.jpg


Moving up towards the cylinder head it is apparent that most of it was transferred over. The head casting and valvetrain components appear to be identical but a few external changes have been made. The valve cover shows some additional strengthening ribs on the front but is mostly the same. The direct injection pump is mounted in the same position on the left rear side of the head but the vacuum pump beside it on the Focus is gone. This pump is used to provide a vacuum backup for the brake booster on the other models and the unit may now be gone or relocated on the Ranger.

ranger-egr-and-direct-injection-pump-jpg-1516635228.jpg


We now find an EGR cooler below the injection pump which has not been used on this size of EcoBoost motor in the past. The EGR system was likely implemented to assist with emissions by pumping hot air into the intake to richen up the fuel mixture as needed. The secondary benefit of EGR is that the warm air being pumped back in can also assist to prevent knock when the engine is under high load. The pipe that leads across the back of the head into the intake manifold appears to be the main change to the induction system there as the rest of the manifold appears to match what is found on the Mustang.

ranger-engine-turbocharger-1516635252.jpg


Moving around to the other side of the head, we find the familiar three-port integrated exhaust manifold that leads into a twin-scroll turbocharger. Although we do not have exact specs on the turbocharger just yet, the inducer wheel appears to be slightly larger than the Mustang unit.

ranger-electronic-active-wastegate-1516635286.jpg


We find another new piece in this area as this turbo is the first in the series to employ an electronic wastegate. The rest of the lineup uses a mechanical penumatic wastegate so this advancement should allow more granular control of boost pressure. This is important since the Ranger will likely be sold in high volume and small changes like this can help to improve fuel efficiency and emissions.



There are likely other smaller parts that may have slight changes, but the Ranger motor appears to share most of its components with the Focus RS while adding a few new parts. Based on what was shown for the mock-up and the data released by Ford so far, it appears that they might be shooting for a torque monster. I would not be surprised to see it exceeding the torque ratings of its competitors.



 
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MTB-BRUH

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Great read, thank you
 

Roofhopper

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Great read, I’m now curious if we have a vacuum booster pump, and if the there of is causing some of our harsh stopping issues...
 

RANGER_MARC

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Very interesting, indeed! I especially liked the conclusion, which we owners now know to be true: "it appears that they might be shooting for a torque monster...."
 
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NickTheEnforcer

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Nice to see we have a timing chain vs. rubber belt! One aspect I had not dug into...
Last 'bullet proof' motor I owned was a Jeep straight 6 4.0L cast block/head. Had two that were amazing one in a '94 J. Cherokee and one in a '99 JGC.
Old tech, a bit noisy, lousy MPG's but never failed.
Have high hopes for this 2.3L very impressed so far. at 70 mph I'm still below 2000 RPM's. amazing little motor.
 

pa-fatboy

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Nice to see we have a timing chain vs. rubber belt! One aspect I had not dug into...
Last 'bullet proof' motor I owned was a Jeep straight 6 4.0L cast block/head. Had two that were amazing one in a '94 J. Cherokee and one in a '99 JGC.
Old tech, a bit noisy, lousy MPG's but never failed.
Have high hopes for this 2.3L very impressed so far. at 70 mph I'm still below 2000 RPM's. amazing little motor.
I agree it is an amazing little motor. I am actually blown away by the power and torque in my Ranger as well as my wife’s 1.6 liter twin turbo Ford Fusion. I have not done anything to either power plants and both vehicles drive and provide amazing feedback.

In my teens I did have a ‘74 corolla and a ‘78 Civic. Thinking back on those cars I remember willing them to go up some hills...
 
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Pat Garrett

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I have read, and soon will see many upgrades to this motor...already a simple change of the intake and exhaust of the intercooler and waistgate long with a tune upgrade , and they’re claiming over 400 hp..
For some time now the same motor has been used in the focus RS in competition which will trickle down to , yep Our rangers

FD24AD7A-55F1-4893-AF53-2761534E5298.jpeg
 

Pat Garrett

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So then would the COBB TUNING FOCUS RS FMIC upgrade fit the Ranger ?
They don’t at present.... they’ve spent much of their time on the 150 raptor but the ranger is in the works.. their having fantastic results with that motor...
 

Kemo Sabe

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Very interesting, indeed! I especially liked the conclusion, which we owners now know to be true: "it appears that they might be shooting for a torque monster...."
Sorry to comment right here, but can’t see how otherwise.

Is it true that our 2.3 engine’s oil pump isn’t self-priming; that when changing oil, it must be done in less than 10 minutes?
Thanks!!
 

Dmax

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Sorry to comment right here, but can’t see how otherwise.

Is it true that our 2.3 engine’s oil pump isn’t self-priming; that when changing oil, it must be done in less than 10 minutes?
Thanks!!
What? I can’t picture the tech rushing around replacing oil like they have a shot clock. Hope not lol
 

Kemo Sabe

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What? I can’t picture the tech rushing around replacing oil like they have a shot clock. Hope not lol[/QUOTE

it’s something I read on another forum. Just glad it isn’t true as I like putter around when I’m piddling in the shop.
 

Racket

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We now find an EGR cooler below the injection pump which has not been used on this size of EcoBoost motor in the past. The EGR system was likely implemented to assist with emissions by pumping hot air into the intake to richen up the fuel mixture as needed. The secondary benefit of EGR is that the warm air being pumped back in can also assist to prevent knock when the engine is under high load.
Sounds like an oil catch can might cool (and condense) fumes more than intended, but I wonder if there is any real 'problem' with performance really? My UPR model came with a check valve... if emissions were really on Ford's mind I'd expect to see a second O2 sensor past the catalytic converter for finer tuning. Beefing up the intercooler flow alone would alter intake temps and change ignition advance. I think of those who drop doin on the 3 inch down pipe and exhaust and wonder if they gain as much as they could if a SVO model would likely include a whole 'nother turbo/intercooler/injector(s)/exhaust and tune. Not to mention a completely different differential ratio.... and horrible gas mileage.

But you know, someone would buy that anyway, just like that Shelby F 150.
 

T-Wrecks

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If we didn't know this I'd swear this engine was designed for a truck NOT a sports car, it works that well.
 











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