In 1993 and 1998, when the truck was redesigned.
In 2002, Ford came out with a new Explorer line, but no major changes
for the Ranger.
They invested more money in the Explorer than the Ranger because they
thought that Ford would get a better return on investment.
The 4.0 L V6 engine is the same one as the one in the Explorer. I don't
know if the transmission and other drive train components are the same.
The first major split came in 1995. The complete divorce was after
2001. The current Explorer is unrelated to the Ranger except they both
are available with the 4.0L SOHC V-6 (but then so is the Mustang).
The Ranger, Explorer and Mustang also share the same automatic
transmission behind the 4.0L V-6.
There is not room in the Rangers engine compartment for the 4.6L V-8.
You can, with some work, shoe horn a 5.0 push road engine in the
engine compartment of a current Ranger.
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