2.3 Ecoboost impression from test driving Ranger

Hyperforming

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Like a lot of you I’ve been left scratching my head and a little bummed about Ford’s engine choices and particularly the restricting of the manual to the 2.3. My only experience prior to this with any Ecoboost was test driving an F150 with the 3.5 and I will say I would own one if I’d found one in my price range at the time (I’ve got a Tundra 5.7 instead). Will probably go that way in the future.

I’ve read some in the past about the 2.7 and it seems to be impressive in stock form and jaw dropping when tuned/modified. Prior to the last couple weeks I didn’t know much of anything about the 2.3 though. So for the sake of science I decided to go test drive a Ranger today (gonna try out a 2.7 F150 soon just ‘cause) . It’s the same level of tune that will be coming on the Bronco and shares a basic platform so that’s the closest thing for now to sample. I’ve been nonstop consuming Bronco info since the release and I was hoping that maybe I’d find the 2.3 lacking and it would curb my enthusiasm since I’m pretty set on a manual. It did not.

If anything I’m more excited now. I’m sure there is plenty of credit due to the 10 speed but before we even left the parking lot I was noticing from the passenger seat how eager the Ranger was to go and it got better once I drove. The throttle response was great with no real noticeable turbo lag and it has some character and presence without being coarse like domestic 4 bangers in the past were. It also wasn’t buzzy like I find inline-4 motorcycles to be.

I had made it clear to the salesman that I wasn’t a buyer so I didn’t flog it like I typically would a vehicle I was seriously considering purchasing but what really impressed me was that I didn’t have to to be impressed. It reminded me of the first time I drove an S13 240sx. My uncle dealt in wholesale cars and I drove one home for him. When I got there I popped the hood because I didn’t believe it was a 4 cylinder and then I told him to make me a price. I still miss that car.

I watched some videos last night, one of which was TFL trying the tune from 5 star. They tested the Ranger prior to the tune and got a 7.4 second 0-60 (5.4 tuned). When I’m in my Tundra I definitely won’t be expecting to embarrass any Rangers from a red light. I didn’t feel like my truck was slow afterwards but it showed me how much is left on the table with even a 6 speed auto.

Which leads me to the 10 speed. It’s definitely quirky. I’ve heard people say it hunts a lot but it has to to do its job and while it’s not terrible, it is noticeable in that it feels a little busy mostly in on/off throttle situations. It’s not bad, it’s just a different feel especially for us dinosaurs that remember 3 speed autos. Modern transmissions do a lot of learning and in this case I think that more miles will improve the experience as it starts to adjust to your driving style so a short test drive of a new vehicle isn’t a fair shake either way but I’m leaning positive.

All in all I’m pretty stoked. I basically found out that even if the Bronco only came in a 2.3 10 speed combo I’m still looking forward to getting my hands on one. And if the 7 speed is a decent box it’s gonna be a blast. I would recommend anyone wanting the manual (or just to save some money) but concerned about the smaller motor go try out a Ranger and I think you’ll feel better about putting that deposit down.
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Hyperforming

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I want a manual and am pretty upset about the lack of 2.7L. I appreciate your post. Will be test driving a 2.3L Ranger soon.
It’s understandable. I’m looking forward to trying out the 2.7 in the F150. I’m probably gonna drive a Ranger again just for the heck of it hopefully back to back with the 2.7. When I was writing the original post though it really did get me thinking about how much it reminded me of my old 240sx and how much I loved that car. It was just such a well balanced package and everything worked together so you could focus on driving and weren’t distracted by any one aspect of it. Im sure it has a little to do with the concept of it being more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow. The older I get, the more I appreciate that and the idea of having a vehicle that doesn’t need a bunch of mods to be enjoyable. You start changing things and it throws off the balance and starts the avalanche of future upgrades to support the first one. Especially when you start adding power.

After watching some more videos of tuned 2.7s I’m fairly certain that’s why we aren’t getting a manual with that motor. I saw an F150 earlier with a tune and upgraded turbos, intake, and exhaust that was putting 556 to the wheels and roughly the same torque. The Tremec TKO 5 speed I put in my old Fox Body was rated for like 450ft lb. Maybe. In a light car like that on street tires you can get a way with it for a while but in a truck or suv with big tires and especially if you start shocking the driveline things are gonna break. And they do not want that.

It’s pretty unbelievable what Dodge has achieved with the SRT line. Especially the Demon. To build a drivetrain that will withstand that kind of torture took a lot. A lot of money, testing, balls, etc. But you look at the Tremec 6 speed they use and it’s a monster because everything has to be so beefy inside. The more gears in the box the less room there is, plus with the Bronco needing to have a transfer case on a relatively short wheelbase, I don’t think they could realistically make a manual strong enough to withstand what these things could get thrown at them. There just isn’t room. Not in the driveline or in the budget.

That fox body I mentioned is one of the cars I miss the most. It had a built 302 bored 030 over, Edelbrock H,C,I , Long tubes, flow masters and a Procharger putting out 12psi. It was such a fun car that I could toss around like a go kart and light the tires at will but still be in control. And what’s really funny in the context of this topic is that car was putting out roughly the same thing to the wheels as a tuned 2.3. And I bet the 2.3 will still idle with the a/c on....
 

aabsalon

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For those planning to get the 2.3, will you install a catch can?
 

Potatomafia

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While I have never driven the Ranger, I had a coworker who bought one and I got to ride in it a few times. I felt the 2.3 was more than adequate in that truck. The 2.7 is going to be a real hotrod though.

I want a base just so I can get a manual. I had a 2012 JK Wrangler with the 6 speed which I had to seek out. It was a fun vehicle. Manuals are fun :).

I just hope the 7 speed manual isn't terrible. The Getrag in the Mustang (MT82) was pretty bad. I hope Getrag (and Ford) learned from that mistake.

I'm also curious to see if Ford will offer the Ecoboost Power Pack like they do for the Ranger. It takes the power from 270hp/310tq to 320hp/355tq in the Ranger. And it comes with a factory warranty.
 

Foordbrawnco

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While I have never driven the Ranger, I had a coworker who bought one and I got to ride in it a few times. I felt the 2.3 was more than adequate in that truck. The 2.7 is going to be a real hotrod though.

I want a base just so I can get a manual. I had a 2012 JK Wrangler with the 6 speed which I had to seek out. It was a fun vehicle. Manuals are fun :).

I just hope the 7 speed manual isn't terrible. The Getrag in the Mustang (MT82) was pretty bad. I hope Getrag (and Ford) learned from that mistake.

I'm also curious to see if Ford will offer the Ecoboost Power Pack like they do for the Ranger. It takes the power from 270hp/310tq to 320hp/355tq in the Ranger. And it comes with a factory warranty.
I'm also curious to see if Ford will offer the Ecoboost Power Pack like they do for the Ranger. It takes the power from 270hp/310tq to 320hp/355tq in the Ranger. And it comes with a factory warranty.
Any idea what this would cost at the ford house? I’m sure it’s a tune and different intake, or something along those lines
 

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I just hope the 7 speed manual isn't terrible. The Getrag in the Mustang (MT82) was pretty bad. I hope Getrag (and Ford) learned from that mistake.
From what I have read on this....They did learn. It's not that Getrag has chronically poor engineering, they were trying something new, it didn't workout as planned. They know they fucked up. How that thing made it through testing is beyond me..... which is slightly concerning, but there is nothing ground breakingly new in the design of the 7 speed.
I'd look at anything that is new tech to be of more concern.
 

Jmgunn0124

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Guess I know what I’m doing this weekend
 

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I want a manual and am pretty upset about the lack of 2.7L. I appreciate your post. Will be test driving a 2.3L Ranger soon.
I have a 2019 Ranger and I can say that after owning it for 8 months and daily driving it, the engine is the highlight of the truck. I have very few complaints about the Ranger but that engine is certainly not one of them. I was reluctant until I took an extended test drive and then I was sold. Plenty of power, easy to tune and I am excited to get the engine again in my upcoming bronco with a manual.
 

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...it feels a little busy mostly in on/off throttle situations. It’s not bad, it’s just a different feel especially for us dinosaurs that remember 3 speed autos.
Wow, turned 40 last weekend and you're already calling me a dinosaur????

I drive this beast as frequently as possible. 3 on the tree with a non-synchronized 1st gear never felt so good!

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The question on everyone's mind is "Will a new Miller fit in the back of a 2-door without folding the seats down?" (Oh, and there is a 3" lip in the trunk of a 1951 Fleetline Aerosedan.
The answer is yes!
New welder.jpg
 

Rick Astley

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I have a 2019 Ranger and I can say that after owning it for 8 months and daily driving it, the engine is the highlight of the truck. I have very few complaints about the Ranger but that engine is certainly not one of them. I was reluctant until I took an extended test drive and then I was sold. Plenty of power, easy to tune and I am excited to get the engine again in my upcoming bronco with a manual.
Exactly! GF has a '19 Ranger Lariat and couldn't agree with your assessment more!

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From what I have read on this....They did learn. It's not that Getrag has chronically poor engineering, they were trying something new, it didn't workout as planned.
What new things did they try?
 
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