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"Crate Motor" Information Needed

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by YamahaRick, December 30, 2004.

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    1. YamahaRick

      YamahaRick Active Member

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      I have a 1996 V8 XLT four door with 190K miles on it. Borla exhaust, Ford headers, Saleen suspension components, and maybe a few other odds and ends. Runs great, but I know it won't last forever.

      When I had purchased it new in 96, my goal was to reach either ten years, or 250K miles, of use. Well I will hit the first goal in 18 months. And the 250K mileage mark shortly thereafter.

      At that point, I'm pretty sure I would like to install a brand new engine and drivetrain. With that in mind, what are some good resources to learn more about what sort of "crate motors" are available for the Explorer.

      Part of the reason/justification for the engine replacement is the desire to add a supercharger as well. Might as well do that on a brand new engine, versus one with 250K miles of wear and tear.

      Any info would be appreciated.
       
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    3. Creager

      Creager Well-Known Member

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      This is kinda a vauge answer, but you did ask an open ended question.

      you got a couple routes you can go... stick with the 244 or go bigger with a 302 or even a 351? 302 i believe has more proformance (superchargers) out on the market then the 351. The 244 has virtually nothing, though you can come across some stuff, a good supercharger is very unlikely.

      The 302 is also easier to install then the 351. 351 will pretty much require a body lift, the oil pan and the steering can be difficult.

      its all up to you man...

      start looking here
      http://www.rebuilt-auto-engines.com/
       
    4. section525

      section525 sextion525 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    5. JDraper

      JDraper Somewhat Functional Moderator Emeritus

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      I'd go with a Ford Motorsports 347 stroker. It's based off the 5.0 block, so it will fit without a problem, and you can use all the 5.0 accessories and bolt-ons. If you have emissions testing where you are, it should also pass if properly equipped. Right now, a 347 short block from Summit Racing goes for about $2400.00. Fully outfitted with the "Z" heads, the 347 can put out over 450HP NA.

      There are also some pretty potent 5.0 crate motors out there from FMS. You can get a fully assembled 345HP N.A. crate motor ready to drop in (even comes with the Explorer timing cover, water pump and damper!) from CJ Pony Parts for $3199.95
       
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Your choice should be influenced by supercharger kits which don't exist yet. Current supercharger kits add little added power, so just about any current 302 engine will work.(stock replacement or SC'ing)

      tmsoko is working on a kit which right now adds almost 200 HP, and he is shooting for another 200HP. When he reaches over about 450HP, the stock block is not good enough. Most current 302 crate engines use a stock block. A Sportsman 302 block would be a good upgrade.

      Look to very reputable big crate engine builders for a quality stroker engine. Skip Jasper and the other normal rebuilders Look to Ford, DHS, Central Coast, or many others that you can learn about from the magazines or forums. Ask about a better than stock block, and oil control for street use. Make sure you specify its possible use so that the proper rings are installed, and compression. Good luck,
      DonW
       
    7. Eneurb

      Eneurb Active Member

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      I have to agree with using the stroker motor if you want to spend the dough... it'll blow your mind!
       
    8. tmsoko

      tmsoko Active Member

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      As I pointed out in the other thread, be careful to keep an eye on the imbalance of the stroker shortblock. To use the Explorer crank damper/trigger/pulley, you need to have a 50oz imbalance shortblock. There are plenty out there, just make sur eyou get than, not a 28oz or 0oz.

      For blocks, the stock is goo to ~450 as Don said, the sportsman is actually not thast much better. A Mexican block can handle a few more HP, but still not worth the money. Next is a Boss 302 block (~$800-1500), good to 800 for sure, some say to 1000hp. After than, A4 (~1000-1250 if you can find) good 1000ish, the comes R302/Dart/World Products blocks (~$1800+), all good well into 1000HP range.

      For a basic engine replacement with stroker and potential for S/C, you should be OK with a stock block, just remember your limits. Probably want a main girdle.
       
    9. YamahaRick

      YamahaRick Active Member

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      Folks, I appreciate the feedback.

      My objective is to have a reliable motor with more than stock HP, but nothing totally outrageous. I do have emissions testing in my state (Georgia), so I don't plan on going too far off the deep end. Budget, of course, is another concern.

      I've reviewed the crate motors from Ford, as well as some of the other resources mentioned here. One thing I cannot recall ... what was the rated HP for the 302 V8 in the Explorer? I know the HP values for the crates motors are probably at the crank ... and I need to know that value for my stock engine as reference. From what I can recall, I believe it was about 210.

      I do have a friend that happens to be an incredibly good mechanic ... one of the reasons why my Explorer runs so well. He is perfectly capable of performing a total rebuild ... with that in mind, should I consider this as an option? Would typical labor costs plus parts be more or less than buying a crate motor?

      Another reason for being somewhat conservative is knowing that as HP increases, so does the need to upgrade the transmission and rear end. So, with that in mind, what options are available for me? I believe I have the AODE tranny, and a 3.73 rear end (trailer tow package). Is the differential 8.5"? I'm pulling that info out of my head ... or elsewhere, so to speak. You folks that are a bit more knowlegable please help me gather accurate information. I guess I should also mention that my primary objective is to have more power for towing a small trailer, versus 0-60 and 1/4 mile times. I race motorcycles, and tow a single axle trailer from time to time. I can two it fine fully loaded; I just can't do 75 on the Interstate with it. I'd rather have an over-engineered drive train than suffer with a failure in the middle of nowhere.

      Thanks again for the info folks.
       
    10. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Rick, thanks for the specific usage, it helps. You should probably retain the stock RPM range, all of the stock external parts, including the intake. Unless you are willing to deal with the small issues of a supercharger while towing, you should keep it normally aspirated.

      You could gain a ton of stock RPM power by buying a stroker with a matched higher compression and camshaft. That's a tall order, and a lot of research should be done ( call the bigger stroker builders about higher compression, and a compatible camshaft for towing). Avoid them if they cannot be specific about the camshaft working on the street without detonation.

      There was a magazine which had a 351W built with a high compression(about 11:1), long rods, ran on regular, and made 400HP. It was fuel injected, and had no detonation. The camshaft was the key, without it the engine couldn't run right with that high of compression.

      If you could change your compression from the stock 8.5:1 or so, to say 9.5:1, you could gain a lot of towing power.

      Stroking an engine is much more reasonable now. It does cost more to pay someone else, but the insurance that the block will be clearanced correctly is valuable. A "kit" is probably still in the $1000-$1500 range, while a stroker short block can be had for $2500. If a short block could be had with the desired compression ratio, cam, etc., I'd prefer to buy the shortblock.

      If you raise the compression ratio to a point where detonation, and gas quality are an issue, the heads will be very important. A builder of the whole longblock, who does entire combinations, may be better able to put together a combination that runs on pump gas.

      If you put together a higher flowing engine like has been suggested, then a much better entire exhaust would make a big difference. Good luck,
      DonW
       
    11. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Rick, your transmission is an AODE, technically.
      It is a large subject about a 4R70W versus an AODE, but the only big difference is that the 4R70W was created for the 4.6 modular V8's(different bellhousing pattern).

      When you ask for parts, agree with the "books", and call it a 4R70W, or they will get confused. It is virtually the same as a 94-95 Mustang GT AODE(302).

      Anyway, do rebuild it using the best frictions and steels that you can afford. Install a shift kit, I prefer TransGo, and replace the overdrive servo, piston, and spring with a larger set. The three OD parts directly control pressure to fourth gear, Towing is bad for bands, and most Ford transmissions use a band for high gear. That's why towing in OD is "bad."

      I will be rebuilding a spare 1997 Explorer AODE soon, and I will be doing these same things. I will check to make sure that the OD parts are the same as a 94-95 Mustang AODE. I assume that they are, and I will install a set of the Supercoupe "A" OD servo parts that I already have.

      Install a larger trans cooler, and filter. Add the cooler in parallel with your current aux. cooler, not in series. If you have never had any trans problems, install the filter on the trans output side, before the fluid reaches the radiator and coolers. The top fitting is usually the output on Ford auto trans'. Good luck,
      DonW ;)
       
    12. sk1er17

      sk1er17 My "Jeep Thing" itches...

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      stay away from jasper :thumbdwn:
       
    13. BeauJ

      BeauJ Moderator Emeritus

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      Why??? Have you had any problems with them? ;) :p
       
    14. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Look to the big names that you find in the late Mustang magazines, DHS, Central Coast, etc.
      DW
       
    15. YamahaRick

      YamahaRick Active Member

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      Well, my Explorer hit the 200K mark this week. So 50 more to go before I replace the motor. :)

      I figured I would bump this thread to see what, if any, other info is out there.
       

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