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Next project vehicle?

Discussion in 'Need for Speed!' started by 2000StreetRod, November 9, 2014.

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    1. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Have you considered the Aviator since you started hunting for the truck? I'd rather have the Lincoln if it'd be feasible. A spare engine is a good thing.
       
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    3. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      considered Aviator

      I did consider the Aviator but I don't like the way the front end looks and it's significantly heavier than the Explorer.
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I see, I understand that, the tastes we have are all different.

      I like the Aviator enough to have one, but I don't like a large number of the Fords from 10+ years ago. I love the back end of the new MKZ, but the front of it is awful. I'd buy the Fusion gladly versus the MKZ, though they are almost the same cars.
       
    5. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Finally got one

      So I agreed to buy the 2003 Limited. I just have to wait for the young lady (seller) to get her dad to send the title from Charleston. The vehicle was purchased new in Greenville by her dad as her high school graduation gift. I rather like the color scheme with the bumpers and body matching black.
      03Front.jpg
      There's a very small parking lot ding in the driver side door. I didn't see any others.
      03LeftSide.jpg
      17 inch wheels (even a matching spare) with new tires and brakes last year.
      The rear hatch has the common failure.
      03Rear.jpg
      It has the towing package but she said she's never towed anything. I get to keep the bar & ball.
      The driver seat is in very good condition for 180K miles.
      03LeftFrontInside.jpg
      She said she always kept her car clean and it shows (seats, carpet, etc.).
      03Cargo.jpg
      It has 3rd row seating.
      The underside of the vehicle testifies to the advantage of spending its entire life in Greenville.
      03NoRust.jpg
      I didn't see any significant rust anywhere.

      The only mechanical failure she remembers is the overdrive quit working and it was fixed by installing a new shift solenoid. I drove in all of the gear selections available checking for engine braking, upshift flares, and downshifts and detected no problems. Engine was quiet and smooth at idle, acceleration and cruise. It has the 3.55:1 conventional differential which is a candidate for upgrade to 3.73:1 limited slip. The only complaint I have is there is only one key and fob but I'll gladly pay the local PATS qualified locksmith for two more keys. There's a chance I can get the vehicle before I leave town next week. I'm pretty excited about the deal and almost hesitant to tear into the engine. I'll find some things to do on my Sport while I get used to the Limited.
       
      Last edited: October 17, 2015
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Congrats Dale, it likes very nice.
       
    7. 4pointslow

      4pointslow Explorer Torture Tester Elite Explorer

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      Explorer

      Congratulations, that is one nice looking Explorer!
      I love the black.
      So clean underneath, makes me want to move to Greenville.
       
    8. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      inlet or outlet?

      Luke, please confirm that the port in the block valley is an inlet (return from the interior heater) to the water pump and not an outlet.
      CobraSVTBlock.jpg
      I seem to remember that another forum member said it was an outlet to the interior heater. Unfortunately, neither the Explorer or Aviator shop manuals explain how the cooling system works - only how to remove and install the components. If it is an inlet then that will work fine for the added head port outlets return. However, I don't want to put the heater core in series with the head return loop. I would add a Y in the loop for the heater core return. I hope that return port in the valley is large enough for the combined flow from both heads and the heater.
       
    9. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      I will double check that when I get to work in the morning. Nice looking explorer.
       
    10. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      Yes, the fitting behind the water pump in the valley is the heater core outlet/ return line to pump.
       
    11. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      Nice addition to your Explorer family :chug:
       
    12. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      heater core return

      Thanks! I found a parts diagram that also confirms that.
      EngineParts.jpg
      Item 48 is identified as the heater water inlet tube. There's a vacuum controlled heater water control valve just like on my Sport.
      HeaterCntrlVlv.jpg
      I found a photo online of a 99 Cobra that shows the stock cooling system for the passenger side head.
      99CobraRear.jpg
      The fitting for the passenger side head cooling is at the lower right of the photo. The flow is up from the fitting into a hose that goes to one of the tubes or hoses at the front of the engine. The inlet and outlet heater hose ends are just above the rear of the passenger side head. The Aviator stock configuration should be similar. I like the idea of an outlet port at the end of each head being joined together is a Y or T and then using the heater return tube and a separate return hose for the heater. That way the flow thru both heads will be equal and not competing with the heater flow. I also noticed from the photo the close proximity of the EGR tube to the to be added driver side coolant port. I'll purchase coolant mod parts with the least interference with the stock EGR tube and the possible blower plenum.
       
    13. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That's a good picture of the backside of the DOHC heads. I have a set of NOS 99-02 heads that the shipper UPS broke one corner off from the back of one head. I need to get around to reattaching that piece and sell them. Time to eat, and mow the grass before it rains again.
       
    14. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      2 port or 4 port heater valve

      My Sport and I think the Limited have 2 port vacuum controlled heater valves.
      2PortHeaterVlv.jpg
      Heater coolant either flows thru the valve or it is blocked. In looking thru the Aviator drawings it appears to also have the 2 port valve. However, Rock Auto shows a 4 port heater valve for Explorers with an engine oil cooler (I didn't know there were any other than my Sport).
      4PortHeaterVlvA.jpg
      I haven't determined how it works but it potentially could route the head discharge back to the heater return port in the valley or route the discharge thru the heater core and then to the return port. On the Ranger it's called a bypass valve.
      4PortHeaterVlvB.jpg
      There appears to be an arrow on the top of the right port shown above indicating the direction of flow.

      My goal is improved head cooling with the minimum components possible. In my opinion the Aviator stock cooling implementation is a real kluge.
       
    15. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      main bearing cap bolts

      According to my internet research all of the Windsor aluminum block 4.6L V8s from 98 1/2 to 2011 have 6 bolt main bearing cap bolts: a side bolt thru the block on either end of the cap
      MainCapBoltsSide.jpg
      and two vertical bolts thru either end of the cap into the block.
      MainCapBoltsTop.jpg

      Because of the difficulty I experienced in removing the side bolts I ordered a set of high quality ARP bolts (P/N 156-5001). Unlike the stock torque-to-yield (TTY) side bolts the ARP bolts can be reused.

      I am having difficulty deciding what vertical bolts to order for the main caps that will allow me to use the Mach 1 windage tray I purchased.
      WindageTray1.jpg
      WindageTray2.jpg
      So far the only windage tray compatible ARP stud bolt sets I've found (P/N 156-5901) are for the 3 valve engine. They are expensive ($268) and don't appear to fit my Cobra/Mach 1 tray. Also, modifications to the oil pickup tube are required for the tray and the stud bolts. I'm considering purchasing one of the windate trays that fits between the oil pan and the block and mounts with oil pan bolts.
      Canton20-939.jpg
      It also requires removal of the "scraper" on the oil pickup tube.
      CobraOilPickup.jpg
       
    16. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Romeo vs Windsor

      One plan is to use the crankshaft and two of the connecting rods from the Explorer to replace the same unusable parts in the Aviator block. The Aviator block is a Windsor and the Explorer block is probably a Romeo. According to the Tasca parts database the part numbers are the same for both models. However, I found an article online about rebuilding the 4.6L that states the rods were upgraded (reinforced big ends) at different times in the assembly plants. I found four used 2003 Explorer rod/piston assemblies on eBay for $20 each. The seller couldn't find any numbers stamped on the rods where they are on my Aviator rods so I ordered two of them to compare to mine. I'll compare the weights and physical dimensions. If they're not the same I'll have spares for the Explorer engine.

      I still haven't decided what to do about the crankshaft. The Explorer has 180K miles on the odometer but according to the seller it has been well maintained. I can purchase a new OEM cast crankshaft for $254 with free shipping. It's tempting to build up the Aviator block at my leisure with purchased parts while driving the Explorer and getting familiar with it. Then I could spend less time performing the engine swap. There will be plenty of time consuming integration issues to resolve (cooling, wiring, EGR, fuel, intake, tuning, etc.). If I fail to resolve them then I can just reinstall the Explorer engine. If I'm successful, I can sell the Explorer assembled engine as is (with intake system, heads, camshaft timing, oil pan, exhaust manifolds, etc.) except for the flexplate, starter and accessories for maybe $1,000.
       
    17. Rick

      Rick Pumpkin Pilot Staff Member Admin Elite Explorer

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      6 bolt mains. That's impressive :burnout:
       
    18. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Aviator block needs boring

      I took my Aviator block to the local machine shop this morning and the machinist confirmed my measurements that the bores are out of tolerance for out-of-round, taper and surface condition. An alternative is to use the still yet to be purchased (father of the seller lost the title in the move from Greenville to Charleston) Explorer block. However, the odometer reading is 180K miles (typical for any 12 year old vehicle) and the block may be just as bad as the Aviator. I want to build a long block now that will last for as long as I can drive in the future. I may be able to purchase an entire rotating assembly for less than if I purchase the components individually and I've started researching what's available. A couple days ago a set of used Manley rods from a 2003 Cobra were listed on eBay for $450 and I offered $385 because there was a new set of the same rods listed for $589. The seller countered with a $400 price and I didn't accept it because I learned the rods came from multiple engines. My problem with purchasing a rotating assembly is finding pistons with my desired compression ratio with the larger chamber 4 valve heads. Also, I want a cast crank, but forged rods and pistons.
       
    19. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    20. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      They didn't make an 08 aviator. Only 03, 04, and 05. Could be an expedition or explorer block.
       
    21. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I know, that's why I listed the link so he could consider it, it's in his state SC. It appears the member is familiar with the parts, the head versions at least.
       
    22. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      It looks like pretty decent deal on the stuff.
       
    23. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      other blocks

      Don, thanks for the link to a source of other DOHC blocks, heads, etc. but I've pretty much decided to rebuild the Aviator block I have. Almost every 12 year old block I find will need to be rebuilt to last another 12 years. The machinist says my block is good other than the bores. I asked him to talk with his supplier about putting together a rotating assembly that satisfies my requirements: cast cranks with 6 bolt flange; forged H beam rods good to 500 fhp; forged .020 oversize pistons with a compression ratio of about 9.5:1 with my 4 valve heads. I've found Eagle assemblies that meet my requirements except for the pistons. They're either for too low compression (8.5:1) or too high compression (10.1:1) with my heads. I finally found a suitable JE piston with -10 cc dish (9.2:1 ratio) and valve reliefs for high lift cams. I'm hoping to get the supplier to swap the normal Arias piston in the Eagle assembly with the JE piston.
       
    24. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Very good, I know how some engine parts can be hell to sort through the choices.

      The "simple" 302/306 I want to build has few piston choices that reach close to 10:1, and not be forged. I'm eyeing a 2.6cc domed KB piston, but it's not light at all.

      Keep digging, you'll put together a nice combination I'm sure.
       
    25. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      left or right rod?

      Does anyone know if the 4.6L engine has left and right rods? I compared the two used 2003 Explorer rods I purchased with one of my Aviator rods and noticed they are identical except for the location of the thin rib of the I beam.
      Compare2.jpg
      On the Aviator rod (left in photo) the thin rib is on the right and for the Explorer rod (right in photo) the thin rib is on the left. There is nothing in the Aviator or Explorer shop manual about the rods being different. But both manuals instruct to mark the orientation of the rods and caps before disassembly and to reassemble with the same orientation.

      I'll check the rest of my Aviator rods to see if they are all the same.
       
    26. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      I have an assembled explorer engine on a stand at work. I'll see if I can see a difference and take some pics.
       

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