Ford Authority

Donut Media Puts $50K Engine Into $500 Ford Ranger: Video

As Ford Authority previously reported, the folks behind the YouTube channel Donut Media recently purchased a rather well-worn Ford Ranger for the paltry sum of $500. After taking the pickup out for a spin in the desert, they gave us a list of the many things that are wrong it, which isn’t terribly surprising given its low purchase price – but also revealed that they planned on sinking a significant amount of money into the compact pickup with the intentions of going desert racing. Thus far, that has included of $15,000 in suspension bits and pieces, as well as a set of $5,000 brakes. Now, an even bigger lump sum of money has gone to the powertrain present in the future desert-racing Ford Ranger.

$500 Desert Racing Ford Ranger Project Engine Swap - Engine Bay 001

As they get ready to compete in this year’s NORRA 500 off-road race, Donut Media knows that they have to sink a ton of money into their well-worn Ford Ranger to make it capable of withstanding seriously punishing conditions, and that’s precisely the case with its new beating heart. Unfortunately, for Ford fans, that engine is an LSX-based powerplant that they purchased for a cool $15,000, though that was just a sliver of the total investment they ultimately made to get it up and running in the older pickup.

Those components include a full cooling system fit for desert racing, all of the requisite electrical components, a fuel cell, and the transmission, all of which added up to a rather eye-opening $50,000 investment. In spite of that, the new crate LSX was only expected to crank out around 500 horsepower at the wheels, though in all fairness, that’s a lot more than the 150ish wheel horsepower offered up by the outgoing V6.

Once this heart transplant of sorts was complete, the new LSX V8 laid down a bit less than expected on the dyno – 453 horsepower and around 550 pound-feet of torque, though that’s still a pretty healthy number. However, even with this investment now totaling $75,000, the old Ford Ranger isn’t quite ready to go yet – it still needs $18,000 worth of interior parts including a roll cage and racing seats, which is next up on the team’s to-do list.

We’ll have more cool videos like this to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Ranger news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Steve

    Why is this here? This isn’t a GW site is it?

  2. Steve

    Oops! GM site.


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