Dismiss Notice



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

Manual Transmission in 4x4 Sport Trac

Discussion in '2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac' started by 1.8TTony, March 3, 2019.

  • Searches ExplorerForum.com
    1. 1.8TTony

      1.8TTony New Member

      Joined:
      January 8, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      3
      Location:
      California
      City, State:
      Chico
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2003 ST XLS
      2004 ST XLT
      Ok, so I just now bought a 2003 4x4 Sport Trac. I paid $1,000 for it. It has a manual transmission.

      I've never seen a manual transmission in a 4 wheel drive Sport Trac. I've seen manuals in a few 2 wheel drive, but never in a 4.

      Anyhow, this ST has a bad timing chain guide on the passenger side cylinder head.

      I'm going to replace the engine with another from a 2003 (same year) Explorer. My intention is to replace the engine and sell the truck & make some extra $$$ on it.

      I'm wondering how rare is this Sport Trac with the 4x4 & manual transmission combo.

      And:

      How desirable is the manual in a 4x?

      I prefer manuals over automatics for the simple fact that the manuals Outlast automatics.

      Who prefers what, and why.
       
    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. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

      Joined:
      September 2, 2011
      Messages:
      12,308
      Likes Received:
      868
      Trophy Points:
      143
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      x
      IDK how rare a manual trans is in a 4x4 Sport Trac, but I don't think it's particularly rare. My feeling would be that a manual trans is not very, desirable, mostly because people don't seem to want manual transmissions any more, plus many younger people never learned to drive a manual. Perhaps it's more desirable in a 4x4 for off-road use?

      Reading your plan to flip this truck makes me smile. I tried the same thing 4 years ago with a 2001 Sport Trac I found on CL for $1000. I bought it sight-unseen as a non-runner. Seller got it for payment on a debt and it needed a fuel pump (it ran on starting fluid). In retrospect I wish I'd never bought it. Besides the fuel pump that damn truck needed so much work it took me months, working on it daily, to straighten it out. I swapped in a lot of new and good used parts and did all the labor myself to minimize the costs, but in the end I could have bought a Sport Trac in good condition for what I put into that truck in parts. The list of repairs I've made is well over 2 typed pages long. Good thing I enjoy working on/restoring vehicles, but biggest POS I've ever bought. I never got to flip it because it broke down regularly and had/developed engine problems. Now, 4 years/15,000 miles later, it sits in my barn needing a head gasket and timing chain work. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it. I really like the utility on the Sport Trac and have used it as my daily driver (it grew on me). The engine is the only thing wrong with it currently (plus maybe a new EPC solenoid), but to replace it with a crate motor is a big expense and a ton of labor. I can find a used engine for around $700, but these engines all seem to have/develop timing chain problems, so I'd want to rebuild any used engine I could find with over 100K on it. I've owned 3 SOHC V6 Explorer's over the years and every one of them had, or developed, timing chain problems, so owning another SOHC makes me cringe.

      Here's a partial list of repairs I made to my ST:
      Installed a new fuel pump, strainer sock and filter
      Installed a new master window switch
      Installed new hood supports
      Installed all new body mount bushings
      Installed new front sway bar links
      Installed new rear sway bar bushings
      Installed a complete used rear diff
      Installed new serpentine belt, pulleys and tensioner
      Installed a new Motorcraft T-stat
      Installed a new PCV valve and hose
      Installed new radiator and hoses
      Fixed broken A/C high-pressure switch
      Replaced a bad blend door actuator
      Reconnected heater control valve's vacuum hose
      Fixed non-working overhead console display
      Flushed engine, cooling system and transmission multiple times
      Installed new valve cover and intake manifold gaskets
      Installed new timing chain tensioners and 00M12 kit
      Replaced a broken rear axle
      Installed new upper control arms and lower ball joints
      Rebuilt a totally gutted rear door
      Replaced both rear interior door handles
      Replace worn out driver's door upper door hinge
      Installed a new windshield
      Installed 4 new tires
      Installed new front and rear brakes
      Replaced a mangled battery box
      Replaced a chewed up front bumper cover
      Repaired a broken driving/fog light bracket
      Replaced missing hard tonneau cover parts
      Replaced cracked tail lights
      Replaced about a half dozen burnt-out light bulbs
      Installed the new cyl #3 spark plug and wire the PO never bothered to install
      Spent a week cleaning and detailing the interior, exterior and bed liner

      BTW - You don't need to limit yourself to a 2003 replacement engine. The 4.0L SOHC long blocks (Explorer, Mountaineer or Mustang '98-2010) are all the same and are interchangeable. The 4x4 SOHC engines had an internal balance shaft, but that shouldn't stop using one w/out the balance shaft. No one's really sure why the balance shaft was used in the 4x4 models.

      Good luck with your project.
       
      Last edited: March 4, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
    4. 410Fortune

      410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

      Joined:
      August 3, 2000
      Messages:
      23,079
      Likes Received:
      434
      Trophy Points:
      113
      City, State:
      7B Panhandle
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      B2 Mod
      I think it will take the right buyer, but the sport tracs do have a following and they will come for the right price.
      I have "flipped" probably 50 explorers, sports, mountaineers, rangers, etc
      Sport tracs are excellent flips because they have a higher resale value then then Gen II explorer yet share the parts.
      As these trucks get older, the amount of potential buyers is getting smaller also. However, ranger based trucks do have a following, the rangers and sport tracs are still good sellers because people love them. The 5 speed makes that truck MORE desirable to certain buyers because anyone who runs in Ranger/explorer circles knows the horror stories that follow the a4ld/4r55e and 5r55e automatics.
      The sohc engine with M5OD manual transmission is a preferred setup for a purist, I would say 60% of sport trac buyers will be happy to find out it has a 5 speed and clutch.
      I would try to find the latest SOHC engine I could with the fewest miles, install a brand new clutch and all clutch hydraulics, use OEM parts. Clean that sucker up, go through the front end, make sure shes in trip top shape and post her for top of the market price in your area....then wait.
      Most trucks I sell go in the first couple of days, some of the more special ones can take up to 6 months to sell, but they do sell....it's all about getting your price and still making a profit! Good luck!
       
      Last edited: March 4, 2019
    5. Paul Fithian

      Paul Fithian Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      October 12, 2016
      Messages:
      227
      Media:
      11
      Albums:
      1
      Likes Received:
      46
      Trophy Points:
      38
      City, State:
      Long Beach, IN
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2001 Sport Trac Job 1
      Unless you plan on using it, not sure that the amount of effort or expense to fix it will generate any profit. This frame off restoration just sold for $7,700
      2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac Explorer | eBay

      Use only Ford parts for the timing chain components.

      Rangers with manual transmission and 4WD are more common, our son has a 2000 model with that setup.
       
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
      • Useful Useful x 1
    6. mic98xlt

      mic98xlt Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      June 4, 2005
      Messages:
      365
      Likes Received:
      24
      Trophy Points:
      28
      City, State:
      West Haven, Ct.
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      98 XLT
      03 Sport
      Hey Paul, that E-Bay listing really was pretty nice. As they say sometimes on TV, "Well brought!" I noticed it had the new fiberglass hood for the Sport Trac's which looks like a early Mustang hood and it looks really sweet. For those whom may be interested, I attached the link to the build and a couple pictures.

      Sport Trac?




      sport trac hood1.jpg sport trac hood2.jpg sport trac hood3.jpg
       
    7. 1.8TTony

      1.8TTony New Member

      Joined:
      January 8, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      3
      Location:
      California
      City, State:
      Chico
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2003 ST XLS
      2004 ST XLT
      Ok. Well, I picked up a motor from (David) a friend of mine. He operates a tow truck service company. He sold me an Explorer engine for $500. The odometer on the SUV displays 96,500 miles. The intake manifold is different. Some other pieces on the engine are also different, but he assures me that the block/heads are identical. The engine code from the Explorer is E. The engine code on my Sport Trac is also E. Both engines are 2003........David explained to me that the reason the engines appear different is because the components required to run an auto trans vs a manual trans are different.

      There are three (???) different engine codes for these Explorers: W code is for v8 gasoline engines. E code is for v6 gasoline engines. K code is for Flex Fuel engines. There may be one other code for v8 engines with Flex Fuel (FF) capability, but I'm not sure about that. My friend David told me that the difference between a FF engine and a gasoline only engine is the fuel delivery system.

      I have a family member who works at a Cadillac dealership, I had him order me a timing chain kit, an oil pump, gaskets, seals and freeze plugs. I also had him order a clutch kit which includes flywheel, disc and pressure plate. All parts are OEM FoMoCo. Even though he works at a Cadillac dealership, he was able to get the parts at cost with no dealership mark-up. Plus, he also gets employee discount + supervisor discount + loyalty discount. All told, these parts are coming in under $600........you would NOT believe what the dealership price mark-up is on parts. More than 100% mark-up!!!

      So, tomorrow I will be stripping everything off the engine I bought today. The engine still has everything bolted up to it: Steering pump, alternator, fan clutch, fan, a/c pump, exhaust manifolds, intake manifold, throttle body, etc.... Then pop out all the freeze plugs. I'm going to also drop off the engine at another friends house so he can install the timing chain kit (I'm not confident that I could get the timing right the first time) and my friend works at a Ford dealership as ASE tech. He will then install the timing kit once the kit arrives

      Additionally, I'll be pulling the engine out of my ST tomorrow. I might not feel confident doing a timing chain kit on one of these engines, but I know I can pull one of these engines in one & a half hours.

      I can't wait to get this thing back on the road. So far I've traded my vehicle repair skills for a (used) set of 235/75/15 mud tires, with 15" wheels, a used A.R.E. bed lid and am shopping around for an inexpensive 3" lift kit.

      So far I've got right around $2,000 tied up into this truck........$1,000 for the truck. $600 in parts, $200 for trailer rental, $200 for fuel......I won't count the $400 I lost at the casino while eating lunch!!!

      Will post pics soon of my progress......should have this ST back on the road within a week. Trying to make this happen ASAP. It looks really nice. Paint has some surface scratches, Zero dents . Garaged it's whole life. A guy I know who works at Toyota owes me some vehicle reconditioning work for my installing an engine into his Nissan Armada
       
    8. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

      Joined:
      September 2, 2011
      Messages:
      12,308
      Likes Received:
      868
      Trophy Points:
      143
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      x
      All the SOHC 4.0L V6 engine long-blocks are identical 1997-2010 (other than the balance shaft used on the 4x4's), but you'll want to reuse anything from your old engine that us different.

      Not having the balance shaft on a 4x4 engine is not a big deal.

      Whoa - I would not jump to installing new freeze plugs or a timing chain kit in an engine with under 100K on it, especially if I was having someone not familiar with this job/engine working on it. It is very involved, time consuming and complicated to set the timing right on one of these motors. Special tools and skills/procedures are required. If it's not done perfectly you run the risk of ruining your "new" engine.

      I though you said you planned on flipping this truck? If so why would you put more any money into it than what is necessary? If you're now planning on keeping it some of the things you're planning on doing make more sense.
       
      Last edited: March 9, 2019
      • Like Like x 1
    9. 410Fortune

      410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

      Joined:
      August 3, 2000
      Messages:
      23,079
      Likes Received:
      434
      Trophy Points:
      113
      City, State:
      7B Panhandle
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      B2 Mod
      That new to you engine only needs a few parts.
      The intake manifolds are different because in 2003+ they changed to a one piece design and the sports and sport tracs are still hold out's meaning they still used the old style stuff even until the end of their model run in 2004.
      As koda said the longblock is identical
      You should just focus on doing tune up parts, new plugs, wires, thermostat, intake plenum gaskets, etc then see if the new engine has anything else that needs addressed like valve cover or oil pan gaskets.
      You should consider a new clutch and hydraulics while the engine is out
       
    10. 1.8TTony

      1.8TTony New Member

      Joined:
      January 8, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      3
      Location:
      California
      City, State:
      Chico
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2003 ST XLS
      2004 ST XLT
      Behind my house is a place where people go wheelin' and ride dirt bikes....I drive the ST back there on the trails & mud and had some fun with it. Figured if the engine breaks, it's no big deal. Anyhow, It was fun and this Sport Trac grew on me.

      I guess I'll be keeping it for a while.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

      Joined:
      September 2, 2011
      Messages:
      12,308
      Likes Received:
      868
      Trophy Points:
      143
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      x
      Yeah, it happens.
       
    12. 410Fortune

      410Fortune Snow Season Staff Member Moderator

      Joined:
      August 3, 2000
      Messages:
      23,079
      Likes Received:
      434
      Trophy Points:
      113
      City, State:
      7B Panhandle
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      B2 Mod
      When explorer enthusiast bring home a sport trac, it usually ends up trumping all the other builds and going in the garage :)
      Its a great setup! 4 full doors and a small bed and Explorer based! Heck yes. I love the sport trac, I have two....they are both going to be for sale unless I convince the wife to let me keep the white one
       
    13. 1.8TTony

      1.8TTony New Member

      Joined:
      January 8, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      3
      Location:
      California
      City, State:
      Chico
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2003 ST XLS
      2004 ST XLT
    14. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

      Joined:
      September 2, 2011
      Messages:
      12,308
      Likes Received:
      868
      Trophy Points:
      143
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      x
      I'd love my ST much more if it had a 5.0L V8 in it. As far as I'm concerned that would make the ST a perfect everyday vehicle. I'd love to do a 5.0L swap into mine (which is currently DOA with a blown head gasket) but that's too much effort for me. I'll probably look for a low mileage SOHC to stick in it, but first I'm planning on doing an autopsy on my engine to see if I think it's worth saving. I just watched a great YouTube video (by FordTechMakuloco) on replacing SOHC timing chain parts and now know/understand the mysteries of timing the cams. I'd also replace the head with the blown gasket as It's no-doubt warped.
       
    15. 1.8TTony

      1.8TTony New Member

      Joined:
      January 8, 2015
      Messages:
      7
      Likes Received:
      1
      Trophy Points:
      3
      Location:
      California
      City, State:
      Chico
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2003 ST XLS
      2004 ST XLT
      Those are the two ST's I bought earlier this week. I already swapped out the bad engine and installed a good running motor in its place. Runs really good. I love the manual transmission.......also installed a new clutch kit. Had the flywheel resurfaced. New Hydraulic throw-out bearing.

      The silver one has an automatic transmission. I bought it at auction for $525.......it currently has a bad engine......I am going to have the bad engine from the blue one repaired and then I'll install it into the silver one. I've already ordered a timing chain kit, head gaskets, head bolts, etc......I've already (for the most part) disassembled the bad engine that I pulled from the blue ST. The timing chain on the passenger head was broken into three big pieces. The timing design is overly complicated! What was Ford thinking! Anyhow, I won't be doing the engine assembly, just the R&R. Friend of mine is going to do the timing assembly. He works at Wittmeier Ford in Chico,Ca.
       

    Share This Page







    We Support Our Troops!