Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Best year for a project build

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Arrowhead300, August 20, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Arrowhead300

    Arrowhead300 New Member

    Joined:
    April 2, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Stillwater, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 Ford Escape
    Thinking of using an '02-'10 Explorer / Mountaineer / Aviator as a basis for a chassis swap. Will be a V8 RWD, possibly AWD or 4x4 depending on the donor (not many RWD available up here in the Northeast - although it looks like it's pretty straight forward to delete the front running gear and TC and swap the trans tail shaft). Wondering what years are best for the engines / transmission / drive line. I know there are some issues with transmissions with some years. I'm partial to the DOHC in the Aviator (have rebuilt a few of the Mark VIII versions). I thought I read an article about the Aviator engines saying the '05 was best as some head issues had been corrected by the. I thought I read that the IRS was not the best and can have issues.

    I was leaning toward the '05 Aviator, but have seen a lot of '03's available for cheap. Not discounting the Explorers though, but should I look for the '06-'10 for better components?

    Any info would be appreciated. And yes, I'm quite capable of the project, already have the body for the swap and have done this before just with different vehicles. Just not very familiar with the nuances in the Explorer line up. Thanks
     
  2. Support EF

    Join the Elite Explorers for $20

    Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



  3. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    August 27, 2015
    Messages:
    689
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Michigan
    City, State:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 XLT 4WD
    2002 XLS 2WD
    Frankly, I'm not sure what you are planning to do. Could you be more clear?

    But based on your post, I can offer:
    (1). You would have to remove/switch the transmission tails between 4wd & 2wd from the inside of the case, so you're looking at a complete teardown if you plan to swap. At that point you should do a complete overhaul/rebuild;
    (2). I own both a '02 (2wd) and '10 (4wd). The '10 has a noticeably nicer (more comfortable) ride, and a plusher interior. And Bluetooth works well for phone. But I find myself driving the '02 more often for the faster pickup, better mileage, and great handling (after replacing both front wheel bearings, inner and outer tie rods, several ball joints, links, and a realignment. Otherwise they are essentially the same truck;
    (3). The 4th gen trucks had stability control, which is probably a good thing. Check Edmunds.com for particulars year to year. NB: the 3rd gens are MUCH more resistant to rollover than 2d gens even without stability control, due to wider, lower frame and independent rear suspension;
    (4). I think early 4th gens had radiator problems.
     
  4. Arrowhead300

    Arrowhead300 New Member

    Joined:
    April 2, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Stillwater, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 Ford Escape
  5. Arrowhead300

    Arrowhead300 New Member

    Joined:
    April 2, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Stillwater, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 Ford Escape
    Sorry, I was trying to keep it simple. My son and I did a '62 F100 Unibody swap on to a '11 Crown Vic chassis. The body fit like a glove although there are drawbacks to the CV swap. The frame rails are too wide so they encroach on the steps of the early trucks (we shaved the rails about an inch on both sides so the steps didn't have to be modified). The rear axle kick up on the CV frame is huge and also locates the gas tank which is mounted to the body so you loose a lot of the bed when you drop the body down. Also, the track width on the CV is really too wide for the F100. It works, but makes wheel and tire fitment very difficult.

    The 02-10 Exp / Avi / Mount also have an almost identical wheelbase as the early 60's F100 short bed pickups but the Explorer chassis eliminates all the issues the CV has. And bonus the gas tank is mounted to the frame so that eliminates having to retrofit an aftermarket tank to support the EFI. The frame rails fit, it has a narrower track width, has IRS and has a lower kick up over the rear axle so your not loosing as much in the pickup bed. I already have a '63 F100 ready to do the swap, just trying to find the right chassis. In fact I test fitted his truck body onto an Explorer frame a bought cheap just to do a mock up.

    Thanks for you input though, that's what I'm looking for.

    Very rough mock up test I did:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    August 27, 2015
    Messages:
    689
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Michigan
    City, State:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 XLT 4WD
    2002 XLS 2WD
    Very cool!

    Given all the work you're planning to do -- mostly to counteract the (presumably) rusted-out frame of circa 1960's trucks -- seems sensible to use the newest body-on-frame explorer you can find (MY 2010), at least if its economically viable. At least if you're buying used trucks in the North.

    The 2010 Explorer XLT I bought (Michigan) had just had $3,000 transmission rebuild done a few months before (@ 116k miles. I don't know what the problem with it was. If you could have bought that truck, for example, before the rebuild for $3,500 -- and were prepared to deal with the transmission issue yourself, that would be a good solution.

    You and I both live in the Northern "rust belt." You could justify an older Explorer if purchasing a Southern or Southwestern truck (less undercarriage rust).

    I'm pretty sure there are differences between the 3rd and 4th gen frames, though subtle. I don't know if they matter to you. The FRONT wheel bearings/hubs were modified (you can verify this by checking the RockAuto part nos.), but the rear wheel bearings are identical. So no, they did not resolve that issue. I am still using the original OEM rear wheel bearings on my '02 @ 205k miles, so its not exactly a defect. They can just be a bear to replace, depending on rust and equipment for the job. (The front bearings are replaced as part of the hub, and not that bad to do.)

    BTW, I repaired the overdrive bore issue on my '02 4.0L SOHC trans. 5R55W? I used a kit I bought from a shop in Wisconsin (can find the name if you want). The great thing is that i did not have to drop the trans or tear it apart to drill out the bore and sleeve it with brass. Been shifting great for 15k miles so far since that repair.
     
  7. Arrowhead300

    Arrowhead300 New Member

    Joined:
    April 2, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Stillwater, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 Ford Escape
    Thanks for the insight. I used to be a show car snob and think chassis swaps were pretty ghetto. But after tens of thousands of dollars and thousands of hours building highly finished cars for myself and others, I can appreciate the simpler and more cost effective approach to a chassis swap. My son's truck may look like it drove out of the junk yard, but it can comfortably cruise at 80 on the highway and stop and turn as well as any modern vehicle. And it was done at 1/4 of the budget doing it scratch built.
     
  8. Arrowhead300

    Arrowhead300 New Member

    Joined:
    April 2, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Stillwater, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 Ford Escape
    I've been finding quite a few sub $2K explorers. I debating on whether going real cheap with a bad trans or high end driver that won;t need any work. I like the Aviator with a 4 cam engine, but they get a premium. A low mileage with body damage is what I need to find.

    Here's his '62 we put on the Crown vic chassis. Still has heat / AC and power steering. Never even disconnected the A/C lines or brake lines. Kept the the CV firewall and half the CV floor.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    August 27, 2015
    Messages:
    689
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    74
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Michigan
    City, State:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 XLT 4WD
    2002 XLS 2WD
    Wild. Can you get the speedo and fuel gauges to work?
     
  10. Arrowhead300

    Arrowhead300 New Member

    Joined:
    April 2, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Stillwater, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2010 Ford Escape
    The cluster in the dash is from the CV. Tach, speedometer, temp, oil press and fuel level all work. We did have to some finagling with the fuel sending unit as we used a '70 mustang tank between the rails under the bed.

    I kind like the '06+ Explorer cluster, I think that would retrofit pretty nicely. You can get OEM style F100 cluster that will connect to the OBD2 port, so that is an option also, but pricey.
     
  11. mountaineer2004

    mountaineer2004 Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    October 28, 2014
    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2004 Mountaineer (V8)
    Amazing. And to think I consider changing oil and a light bulb to be a day's work.
     
  12. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    June 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,471
    Media:
    5
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Trophy Points:
    143
    City, State:
    Knoxville, TN
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Limited AWD
    I love the projects, any of those wake me up. I can't say anything about the newer trucks, but there are many threads here already showing older trucks with 2nd gen Explorer chassis' under them. The 302/4R70W is much more reliable than the next generations.

    In the very near future, all of the recent 5.0 modular engines/trans, and chassis, those will be great project parts donors. People are already dropping the 2012ish and newer F150 engine and trans, into Fox Mustangs etc, just like the LS took off ages ago. My 92 Lincoln I'm in deep to putting a 347 and 4R into it, if I began now I'd get the 5.0/6R80 instead from a late Ford, and have better/smoother/higher power, and six speeds.

    Oh, I just remembered, the rear diff, issue of the 2002-2010's, that was from the AL case. Ford hadn't figured out the best setup specs to have them live. Hopefully by now they can be set up to survive much longer. Ford does that a lot, bring out new tech, and then spend many production years sorting out the issues.
     

Share This Page







We Support Our Troops!