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Thread: Explorer 4.0 V6 to 5.0 V8 Swap

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Default Explorer 4.0 V6 to 5.0 V8 Swap

    I decided that instead of rebuilding my V6 that I wanted a V8 instead. Since the Explorer came with a V8 in 1996 converting to the V8 should be easy. Especially since I have a complete running (well it was) 1997 Explorer for the swap.

    So a little background on my truck. It's a 1995 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 that started off as my wifes daily driver shortly after my first daughter was born. It came with a 4.0 V6 that was rated at 160hp and 225tq. After my second daughter was born we bought a suburban and the Explorer became my offroad vehicle. My first mod was a torsion bar twist, home made rear springs with Warrior shackles and 31x10.5x15 tires. I wheeled it like that for many years before I decided that I wanted to do a solid axle swap on it which I believe I've already posted on here.

    On to the donor truck was my nephews 1997 Eddie Bauer edition 5.0 V8 AWD. He had previously tried to sell it on here but was not able to. He recently moved to FL and I now have the truck for my conversion. The v8 was rated at 210hp and 280tq. Quite a bit more than my V6. He bought the truck back when he lived in NY so that should give you an idea of what I'm in store for.

    So here are the trucks and the start of the engine/transmission/t-case removal. What should have only taken a couple hours took about 16 because everything was so rusted.








  2. #2
    Mega Member jeepspeed's Avatar
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    oh man he lived right by me! it had that huge front bumper on it right?

    ---------- Post added at 08:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:43 PM ----------

    and any way you would wanna get rid of the rear hatch and taillights on the donor one?
    Quote Originally Posted by half-ass astronaut View Post
    Go drink bleach.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Yep. We pulled it off a full size Bronco at the wrecking for $40 then I cut 10 inches out of the center, sleeved it and installed it on his truck.

    The rear hatch is rusted beyond repair but the tail lights are good. However, they aren't the stock ones. He installed a set of euro lights on it. If you want them I'll sell them for $40.




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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I pulled the engine tonight and I'll start disassembling it tomorrow. Hopefully the cylinders are in good shape and it will just need a hone. I'm going to wait until I have the engine rebuilt and ready to drop in before pull the engine out of mine and then I'll switch the wiring harnesses and computers.




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    Face for Radio! JosB's Avatar
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    Awesome! I had a friend do this swap with his 97 Ranger. Got it BAR'ed too so its all legal. You will be happy with it.

    --JosB
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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Here are a couple more of the engine. Externally there is a lot of rust but internally it looks good. There's little wear on the cylinder walls and the valves look good.





    I also disassembled the heads today to do some mild porting on them. I finished one and started the other. I'll finish it up tomorrow and post some better pictures.

    This is a stock exhaust.


    I concentrated on the roof and pocket and didn't make the port much bigger. To my surprise the short side radius on both the exhaust and the intake didn't need to be touched.



    Intake after blending.



    Intake after shaping the valve guide. This is all that was done to the intake.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I still didn't finish the second head but here are some more pictures of the finished one. I also ordered new springs and valve stem seals today.


















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    Senior Member soundrums's Avatar
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    looks good man, did the same to mine, no burs and all smooth

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Just a small update. The block and heads are at the machine shop for a bore/hone and a valve job/resurface. I'm also getting new pistons and rings from them.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I picked up my block, pistons, rings, main/rod bearings and heads from the machinist yesterday. I had to work on my Cobra today so I didn't get much done on this engine but I did manage to clean it along with the crank and then installed the main bearings and crank. Tomorrow I'll get all the pistons installed and check to see how far down in the hole they are so that I can order my head gaskets.

  11. #11
    4.0 HO dezert dreaming's Avatar
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    Are you going to part the other expo?
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG View Post
    your names sand freak im sure you could make it in the sand bro......
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Star View Post
    but your miss dgaf.....

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dezert dreaming View Post
    Are you going to part the other expo?
    Yes but not until I'm done with it.

    I got the short block assembled today. I'll post up pictures tomorrow because I'm too tired to do it tonight. I cc'd the combustion chambers and checked to see how far down the new pistons are so that I could order my head gaskets. The new pistons are .030 down, have +3cc valve reliefs and the heads have a 60cc combustion chamber after some unshrouding of the intake valve and being milled .020. So I ordered .039 (stock is .050) gaskets which should give me 9.11:1 compression.

    Here are some pictures.









    Last edited by 94cobra69ss396; 08-29-2011 at 08:39 AM. Reason: Added pictures.

  13. #13
    Senior Member blue oval's Avatar
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    looks clean. can't believe the V8 only came with 210 hp

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    They only had an 8.5:1 compression ratio, a milder cam than what the Mustangs came with and the exhaust manifolds are terrible. Here's the stock (top) compared to an FRPP header. I have the FRPP headers but can't install them because they aren't CARB legal.

    Last edited by 94cobra69ss396; 08-29-2011 at 07:16 PM.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    My head gasket arrived today so I went this afternoon also picked up some ARP head bolts from GTR High Performance. Tonight I installed the heads, pushrods and rockers and set the preload on the lifters. I also installed the lower intake which I painted black and the camshaft position sensor. Pictures from tonight. Sorry that they are so dark. I'll get some better ones tomorrow.




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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Here are more pictures.








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    2:AM Fabrication 84prerunner's Avatar
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    looks good!

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    Face for Radio! JosB's Avatar
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    really making some progress with this project. looks badass too. haha

    --JosB
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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I haven't worked on this for a while but I got back to it today. It went a little slow today but only because I was training some new hired helpers. We picked up some new valve cover and exhaust bolts along with gaskets. What took the most time was getting the rusted exhaust flange bolts out. Worst part is I can't find anyone who carries replacements.

    Here are some pictures from today.





















    Tomorrow I'll start pulling the engine/trans/transfer case out on my truck.

  20. #20
    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I worked on it all day today and got everything pulled. I only took a couple pictures which I'll post up later. If I have time tomorrow night I'll start swapping everything over form the '97 to the '95.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Here are the only pictures I took yesterday.




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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I was able to work on it a little tonight. I moved the throttle cable, cruise control and EVAP from the '97 to the '95. I also removed the complete engine/lighting wire harness from the '97. Next up will be to remove the one from the '95 and then install the '97 harness into the '95. Here's the only picture I took.


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    Senior Member ray aguilar's Avatar
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    that looks like such a pain in ars!! is the wiring harness gonna go right in or does it have to be modified?

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    It should go right in.

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    Senior Member ray aguilar's Avatar
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    cool, i was gonna swap a 5.0 into my old expo a while back but after looking at all the wiring i got scared and backed out haha
    looking good though, keep up the good work!

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    Face for Radio! JosB's Avatar
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    been watching this thread to see if you had made some progress. Glad the swap is going well. lol

    --JosB
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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Thanks. Everything so far has just been moving parts from one truck to the other. The only part I can see being an issue is if the steering box is going to be in the way with the 5.0 because of the oil filter location. The final thing that will be different is I need to install a manual transfer case from an F150 because the 5.0 Explorers only came with an AWD transfer case.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I got the engine harness out of the '95 and found that the pins are different on the dash harnesses. So I pulled the dash harness out of the '97 and I'm comparing it to the one in the '95. The '97 has a lot more options on it so it has more connectors but I think I'm going to be able to use the one that's in the '95 and just add the OBDII connector along with a few additional things that it needs for the OBDII. Last night I traced the wiring that goes back to the fuel pump/rear ABS/EVAP canister purge valve.

    Here are some various pictures.

    4.0 engine harness.





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    I have a BW4406 t-case and the correct drivelines that I was going to put in my 98' but I ended up going with an Atlas. Let me know if you can't find one down there.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Thanks. The local wrecking yard to me has a lot of F150 4x4's so I think I'll be able to find one. Although I do need to find one that has the speed sensor on the output shaft so that might limit me. Does the one you have have it? Also, do you have all the linkage with the shifter for it or just the case?

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I worked on the wiring harness some today. I traced down some of the wires that I don't have in the '95 in the '97 dash harness and moved them into the '95 dash harness. I left off tracing the wires for the OBDII connector that is under the dash. Once I follow all those I move them over to the '95. Here are a few pictures of the mess.








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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I got a little more done today after I prepped the Cobra for the autocross tomorrow. I was able to pull all the needed wires from the OBDII connector and install them in my harness. It turned out that I only needed to add three wires because my truck has an OBDII connector under the dash and it had 4 of the 7 already. They were in a different location than they were on the '97 so I moved those as well. Here's what the connector looks like and the dash harness that I had to trace them in.



    This is where I had to add the three to match the engine harness.


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    Senior Member Ridetime4's Avatar
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    Just wondering what the hp and torque gains we're over the stock compression.

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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    I have no idea because I haven't finished it yet. If I had to guess I would say that it will only have around 10-20 lb/ft more than it did before.

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    Senior Member mounty71's Avatar
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    Is this going to be ready for truckhaven next weekend?
    Quote Originally Posted by TRAILRIDEIN2WD View Post
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    Senior Member 94cobra69ss396's Avatar
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    Nope. I haven't been working on it lately because I've been busy with work and my Cobra. I also have other plans for next weekend. I'll get back to it in a couple of weeks though. My next step is to drop the tank on the '95 so that I can run all the wiring for the fuel pump/EVAP/ABS from the '97.

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    Pop rocks master chemist. busted bones's Avatar
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    Cool project and man that wiring looked intimidating to say the least.
    "Dude, we have a problem" "No we dont, our livers do."
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    Member Haris's Avatar
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    I did (still working on) a 99 2wd Doner Explorer 5.0 swapping into my 99 Ranger 2wd. Like you, I have the whole Doner vehicle and the whole intentions on this was to keep it smog legal...but that has been tougher than expected. Sooo many little pitfalls and lessons learned that im just thinking about spending the $250 and get the smog handled. It currently is running like a champ and im happy with it but still has its little quirks...Good luck on the wiring...let me know if you have any questions that I probably encountered.
    thanks

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    Really nice built. Wiring does look extremely complicated. You seem to be knowledgeable on what your doing. Good luck and I hope the build goes smooth. I am starting to research a 5.0 swap in my 4.0 SOHC Ranger. Ill watch your build closely.

  40. #40
    Member Haris's Avatar
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    Well im just learning as im going...i can maybe make a new thread and post pics up of my Ranger and if anybody has any questions hopefully i can answer them. I want to know how your swap is goin though so keep this updated!...and im sure you've seen this already but this is what really helped me

    Swapping An Explorer 5.0L In To A 1998-Up Ranger

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