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Hello Everyone, Explorer build front to back, few questions.

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by blackoperative, March 7, 2014.

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  1. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    Let me start by saying hello to everyone. I have been coming here often after acquiring my '93 Explorer Sport, and now have some questions to hopefully be answered. I have searched all these things individually, but not finding the answers that pertain to my certain application.

    First of all let me explain my reasoning for this build. I got my Explorer for free from my now "ex" girlfriend. She bought a new car and I used the explorer to pull around my 4x8 trailer with a dirtbike on it. One weekend a few buddies wanted to go riding 2 hours away, so we loaded 3 bikes on an aluminum trailer and headed out. Long and frustrating story later, front seal pushed out of the trans half way there. When I got it back I figured out the problem and ordered a rebuild kit. I noticed the trans had been rebuilt once before, and I also found the OD clutches burnt, as well as reverse, which were completely destroyed (this was caused by reversing it off the trailer with low fluid, oops). Now this is the part of the story I dont like... I am a pretty good mechanic, but I was in such a hurry to get it done because it was my only running vehicle at the time, I figured that if the tranny worked before the seal pushed out, there was no need to clean the valve body or pump. Wow, do I regret this now. I reused the old torque converter.... bad idea. Didn't clean the coolers.... another bad idea. I knew this at the time too, but just didnt have the funds available to me, nor the time. Well, at this point it was no good to my ex, so she sold it to me for nothing.

    So... fast forward a year later and I am still driving it, but just barely. The trans hasnt gotten any worse, but this is how it is to drive...... First gear slips slightly, and shutters when you give it too much throttle. The shift to second is extremely soft, almost non existent. There is a flare into 3rd. The shift to OD is ok but there is no lockup. Reverse isnt too bad but will slip when there is enough load. Now, If I manually shift the transmission, First doesnt slip, but will still shutter, the shift to second is good, still a flare to 3rd, good shift to OD.

    Now for the engine, it never used hardly any oil, less than a quart in 3,000 miles. There is about 170k on the clock, just under. It is now using a quart every fuel fill up, with no leaks and no smoke. I checked the manifold bolts last weekend and there were 4 loose ones. Torqued them, but I suspect the gasket has gone. The only things done to the engine are a custom intake (stock plastic one had a hole in it), and the cats knocked out with a better muffler.

    Ultimately, this is my plan so far. I want mileage... thats it. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am not interested in power... or a lift... or big tires.... I just want mileage. Now, I know how to build motors for power, my Mitsubishi makes 500 all wheel horsepower on the stock 2.0L bottom end.... but Im a little lost when it comes to an Auto trans on an in-block cammed engine. I do know that I will be buying brand new 95TM heads to bump the compression to 10:1, porting them slightly, porting the manifolds, installing headers and a 2.5 inch custom exhaust. I will also be running a Megasquirt with a wideband in each bank to lean the mixtures out a bit. For the transmission I will be buying a good rebuild kit, with the carbon fiber bands, upgraded boost valves, o-ringed end plugs, HD 3rd/reverse drum, oversized servos... pretty much anything still available for the A4LD.

    Here are my couple questions... should I go with the 410 cam? I can do a search and find power power power, but nothing so far, at least as far as I can find, about mileage. The cam may be beneficial to the higher compression. My other question pertains to the Torque Converter... should I stick with the stock stall speed? 1800RPMs? Not too sure...

    Now, being in ND, this was my other idea.... as far as my research leads me to believe, using the later SOHC pistons with the 95TM heads will net a very high CR... like 13:1 or something like that. I could use this setup alongside E85 to get great results. The mileage would be better than pump gas, but my main concerns are these... will it produce too much power for the A4LD? And can the factory fuel system support that much alcohol (Meaning for instance, the pump and fuel lines. Injectors would need to be changed regardless).

    Please let me know any other thoughts of suggestions, I am open to any and all comments. Thanks for letting me be a part of this great forum!!

    Vehicle is a 1993 Ford Explorer Sport with 4WD
     
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  3. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    Best mileage gain for the buck would be to swap in a M50D 5 speed manual.

    And they can handle the power gains. Not bullet proof but tough and cheap to rebuild.

    Or if you want to go all racy with the a4ld you can drop $2200 on one of these:
    http://www.transmissioncenter.org/a4ld.htm
     
  4. Jason94sport

    Jason94sport Well-Known Member

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    I'd pool your $ sell the X get a civic....
    However, You may be better off just getting a reman 4.0, or even a junk yard engine with low miles & just go through a few things. Then also get a junk yard A4LD & put a shift kit & rebuild the VB.
     
  5. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    Thats a great idea but a civic won't pull my trailer haha. And I want to keep the A4LD, mine is definitely rebuildable. I dont need a new engine from a junk yard either, mine is in great shape. I want to know if anyone has experience with higher compression running a different cam and the effects of mileage. Thanks for the replies though!
     
  6. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    Everything that is done to that A4LD is the same exact parts I would put into mine. I have rebuilt many auto transmissions, the work is easy. I would actually be buying the ultimate kit from that company. I can save about 1900 by doing the work myself.
     
  7. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    It's not just a soft rebuild their doing to the trans for $2,200, All hard parts are new, all bushings are replaced with torington bearings, Hardened lockup shaft, hardened OD drum, Band anchors shored up, stronger planet cages, valve bores sleeved, best torque converter on the market, and the list goes on.

    You ain't doing that for $300.00

    You will have a good rebuild, and an improvement over stock , but no real horsepower handling gains and you will be retaining many of the known weak points.
     
  8. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    I will be doing most of those things as well. I have some of those things installed already, like the Torrington bearings and hardened drum, and the torque convertor I am buying will be theirs... but what stall? And i may not need to handle any additional power if I don't go E85 route...
     
  9. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    For a little more punch on launch 1800 but for all out fuel econ 1600.

    2wd & 4wd come stock with 1600

    Towing package gets the 1800 stall and 3.73 gears. Not so good for the fuel mileage.

    I'm guessing that your Sport is 2wd since it has the auto trans?

    Anyhow, just find out which gears you have or intend to run and tell PATC that you are shooting for fuel econ and towing blend and they will be best able to recommend the best stall for your application.

    The general rule a thumb is lower rpm stall for fuel econ. (and less heat) The Cologne V6 has good low end torque so I would think 1600 would be the way to go.

    I'm personalty going with 1600 for off road low rpm performance. My current one is the 1800 but it's worn, pitted and burnt no doubt, so it's fairly pitiful off road and flashes at about 2600, Way over brake stall. Yep, time for the new trans to go in. But the original just won't seem to die on me.
     
  10. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    I'm go'n all crazy with the wallet at PACT

    They are currently building a Stage 4 Dominator a4ld for me.

    Go'n with 25% lower first, 15% lower second and reducing overdrive to .85 to compensate for over-sized tires. Sort of a blend between highway & off road performance.

    $2800 ouch! But I'm confident it will be the last transmission I buy, even if I kill my current Ex and get another.

    They were even nice enough to let me make installment payments. $1,000 up front to source a good case and for parts, they went through three before finding one with no damage and a clean bore.

    It should be on the dyno next week for the test run and break -in. Then I have to pony up the rest of the $$$
     
    Last edited: March 9, 2014
  11. jonlax

    jonlax Active Member

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    E85 in a vehicle that's over 20 years old will destroy every plastic and rubber seal. As for a megasquirt set up, it wont net any gains or even save any parts as it is a fuel only tuning controller. Mega squirt is early 90's technology.
     
    Last edited: March 12, 2014
  12. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    I'm hope'n he'll do it; never know, he may come up with something worthwhile.

    Most of the best automotive innovations come from under the shade tree.
     
  13. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    Member "jd4242", Member "Anime", Member "2000streetrod" too mention a few,

    would be the guys to talk to about cams and forced induction and the like.

    Suggest you repost the engine related questions to the "Under the Hood" section, to get those guys involved.
     
  14. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    Megasquirt would allow me to get more power, eliminate detonation, and tune every single thing to get the best mileage. You don't need to run race gas with 13:1 compression, and actually you would add timing. E85 is race gas. Better, actually, as it cools the intake charge more than race gas. I was in the E85 scene right as it started getting big. I am unofficially the first person on the planet to run E85 in a base model Mitsubishi Lancer. 400 whp in a stock bottom end and stock cam. I now run a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8, and it makes 385awhp on 91, and 505whp on E85 @34psi. To take advantage of Ethanol you need heat, by means of forced induction, or high compression. Also with the megasquirt, i will be running wideband fuel correction, which allows me to keep the AFR at a steady 15.5:1 for best economy possible. Leaner on E85, around 16.5:1. These explorers have SS fuel lines don't they? Could have sworn mine does. And thanks for the converter tips, mine is 4WD and I'm assuming has the towing package because it has a factory auxiliary trans cooler... but not 100%. I will repost this in engine section. Sure appreciate all the comments so far!
     
  15. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    Also forgot to mention this: to combat the extra heat that goes along with a cast iron head, i plan to run a 180 degree thermostat, and one range colder plug. It still won't perform like an aluminum head, but it's better than how it would be completely stock.
     
  16. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    On their site they have 2 options for convertors... The first one II'm assuming is a 1600 stall. The second one they list gives an option for stall speed with the lowest being 1800. That sound right? I will give them a call. Sure appreciate all the info, I'm looking forward to hearinghow yours ends up.... sounds cool! I know the lower stall equals less slip, less heat, and for my application I'm not looking for power so I'm thinking 1600 will do. And if i go E85, i will have PLENTY of power to make up haha. I would imagine on E85 with that motor i could get around 300hp at the crank, easy.
     
  17. blackoperative

    blackoperative New Member

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    On their site they have 2 options for convertors... The first one II'm assuming is a 1600 stall. The second one they list gives an option for stall speed with the lowest being 1800. That sound right? I will give them a call. Sure appreciate all the info, I'm looking forward to hearinghow yours ends up.... sounds cool! I know the lower stall equals less slip, less heat, and for my application I'm not looking for power so I'm thinking 1600 will do. And if i go E85, i will have PLENTY of power to make up haha. I would imagine on E85 with that motor i could get around 300hp at the crank, easy.
     
  18. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    They rate the stage 2 at 350Hp, so if you build it like you plan to, it will handle it.
     
  19. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    If you do go with the 300+ Hp Engine build PATC recommends bracing the transfer case so you don't snap the tail housing off the trans.

    This will also prevent transmission mount tear-out.

    Not to mention the transfer case slap'n the floor pan.

    They made this same recommendation to me because of the moderate to severe off road use. Just to take the weight of the transfer off the tail housing, because of the lower gears and I intend to put a doubler behind it.

    I'm adding a lot of torque gain via the gearing rather than going the engine Hp route.

    All this gearing nonsense will give me a final crawl ratio of 55:1. Presently it is at 22:1; while retaining the stock 3.73 ring and pinion. I like the 3.73 because the ring and pinion are thick and large. The higher numerical gears (5.13) get real thin and narrow (weak), and would only get the crawl ratio to 31:1 (and cost the same as the custom gear set for the trans)

    Should launch like a rocket, but still drive smooth and retain fuel efficiency on the street/highway with the off-road low end torque in abundance.

    Even with stock size tires you may want to consider PATC's 20% reduction 1st and 15% 2nd planets over the stock ratios. Should gain you some fuel econ in the city. (and better towing performance) Highway performance would be unchanged. Stock 1st and 2nd are a bit long winded, you may have noticed. That is why this change is so popular in the mustangs. Better ET's and just plain drives better on the street.

    Use the stock valving if you do this though or it will hit 2nd hard, real hard! No shift kit. Just the shift correction kit.
     
    Last edited: March 10, 2014
  20. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    Since you do plan to tow I just can't leave you without this info:

    Notice in the shift chart that when the gear selector is in OD (automatic overdrive) that the OD clutch is NOT engaged. This puts the full load on the one way clutch (sprag) NOT good. It will fail. :(

    So for towing always use "Manual" shifting i.e. "D" drive. Until you get to cruise speed then you can slip it into OD. But it's up to you to remember to get off OD for hill climbs. If you don't, you will get some tragically hard downshifts right onto that same sprag. Design flaw? I would call it that. What I mean here is that when it downshifts at full throttle from OD and TCC lock it will hit 3rd gear with the OD clutches disengaged. Makes quite a bang right on the sprag, and PoP goes the weasel!:shoot:

    On first gear launches it is the same situation. I personally always drive it this way. Doesn't make sense to be pulling off a dead stop on the sprag (one way clutch) instead of the hydraulically applied clutch pack.

    Not to mention that the booster valve is set to high line pressure when in "manual" "D" drive. Faster shifts rather than the soccer mom imperceptible shifts you get in OD. They were going for smooth here at the expense of strength, But at least we have the option. Second gens have a push-button OD kill on the shift lever to make it easier to make this happen. Wonder why?:scratch:

    For this reason I'm guessing, the owners manual says NO towing in OD.

    Maybe some overdrive drums have come out shattered from this, just a guess. :shifty_ey

    You'll also notice in the chart why it is important ot keep the OD band adjusted. (fourth gear on the band only)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: March 10, 2014
  21. FR-425

    FR-425 Used to be a road here. Elite Explorer

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    Ok, FR-425;... ... . . shut up already! :crazy:
     

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