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Project Explobra

Discussion in 'Modified 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by 87350gta, October 4, 2016.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    I decided to make a new thread, my old tread was straying pretty far from where it started and this is an all new animal. So anyway, my 2002 explorer limited started life as a 4.0l v6 4x4. I swapped a 4.6 4v from a mark viii, which is what the previous thread covered. This new thread is dedicated to the "Terminator" swap that has since happened. Some of you have been following the other thread know most of this info, but I want this to help someone doing a similar swap. For those of you that don't know, a Terminator is the engine that originally came in a 2003-2004 cobra mustang. It is a 4v 4.6l dohc with a m112 eaton supercharger and forged internals. They were rated around 390 hp and 390 ft/lbs from the factory. With simple bolt ons they could easily support 500+ hp. I was lucky enough to be doing an engine swap on my dad 2004 cobra and obtained his factory engine for my swap. Having just completed the 4v swap in my explorer and being very disappointed in it, I felt this would make me happy.

    This thread will only cover what I needed to do to go from a N/A engine to the supercharged engine. So out came the all aluminum boat anchor, and in went the iron block terminator that I had already resealed and installed GT supercar cams. The install went pretty well. The alternator mounting was a slight issue. It is mounted low on the drivers side, very close to the frame rail. Also the oil filter had to be remotely mounted, I mounted it underneath the battery behind the bumper. I was able to use the factory explorer power steering lines on the cobra pump, also the explorer a/c compressor is a must.
    I used the aviator exhaust manifolds from the previous swap, as well as, the factory explorer v8 y-pipe.

    The factory explorer pcm was retained with the custom tuning done by myself, which proved to be very time consuming and I still have some very minor things to polish on it. The SCT pro racer software is awesome. All of the sensors were also used from the cobra. I had to eliminate the mechanical clutch fan as the cobra engine has no provision on the water pump, and it is a dual belt drive so you can't even see the front of the pump. I added 2 12" electric cooling fans and a stand alone control module for them. I mounted the factory heat exchanger in the lower opening of the bumper, and the electric pump in the open space at the pass front just inside the bumper. The heat exchanger tank is mounted to the upper radiator cover. It is entirely too small and will be changed out very soon. I also upgraded the factory trans cooler to a 6.0l superduty cooler sandwiched in the factory location. I also upgraded the trans cooler lines to 1/2" to go with the larger cooler.

    The flexplate was a bit of a challenge. The cobra and all oem forged crankshafts use an 8-bolt mount and the explorers and aviators all had 6-bolt mountings. The explorer/mountaineer/aviator flexplate is unique in its design and isn't shared with anything else. The 3v 4.6l in the mustang with the 5r55 might be similar, but I don't know. The explorer 3v 4.6 all had a 6r60 trans so that's a no go. I ended up getting a washer plate from the cobra flywheel and welded it to the explorer flexplate. Then redrilled the 6 holes that were needed. 2 of the hole lines up between both patterns.

    I haven't had any issues with the stock rebuilt trans so far. I have another trans that will get rebuilt and upgraded and swapped in. But that will have to wait for now.

    I have went to the drag strip once so far, and was very disappointed with my times. 14.50 at 93mph. I have made several changes to the tune and it feels a ton faster. I am going back tomorrow night and hopefully can run a mid 13, which is what I was expecting. I have a smaller blower pulley to swap on also, but I want to see what I can get out of it on the stock pulley.
     
    Last edited: December 9, 2016
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  3. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. JoshMcMadMac

    JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    I love you...
     
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  5. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks for starting this new thread with photos and tips. What changes, if any, did you have to make to the fuel supply system? Did you use the Explorer/Navigator engine wiring harness or the Terminator engine wiring harness?
     
  6. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    Wow that's nice!
     
  7. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    Ah yes, the fuel system, forgot about that. So I took the factory fuel pump assy out, replaced the explorer pump with one of the cobra pumps, then added the other cobra pump next to it. The cobra runs 2 pumps in tandem. Other than that is the stock explorer system. I did replace the line from the filter to the fuel rail with a -6 braided line and AN fittings.

    As for the wiring, I mostly used the existing harness I had for the previous 4 valve swap. I had to change the wiring to the IAC and TP, as well as the charging system harness, since the alternator is in a different location. I also moved the IAT sensor from the mass air flow to the lower intake, which is the stock location for the Cobra.

    I went to the track tonight. Still not happy with the time, but better than before. Ran a 14.20 at 97. 60 foot was a little slower than last time, but it's progress.
     
  8. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    Never mind my kids yelling, this was my run from tonight. If there weren't as many cars there I would have got another run or two in.
     
    Last edited: December 9, 2016
  9. ANTHONY-GATLIN

    ANTHONY-GATLIN Elite Explorer

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    respect
    loving this project
     
  10. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    I finally have the next upgrade ready to go. A 2.9" billetflow supercharger pulley, larger billet idler pulleys, and an upgraded alternator with a larger pulley. The factory alternator is too small, 105 amp, the factory explorer is 130 amp. I have added several more components, and it wasn't working well, especially at idle or above 6000 rpm. So I bought a 180 amp alternator for an E350 ambulance and swapped the front case half with one form a mid 90s Taurus. Should work great, as long as the case doesn't hit the drivers side frame rail. I was planning on swapping everything next week, but, 3rd gear started acting up in my trans and I don't think pushing 5-6 more pounds of boost into the engine is smart. I guess I should hunk about building a better trans first, I think I know a guy... on the other hand, I have another complete transmission, maybe I'll just put them on and see how much longer the trans will last.
     
  11. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I can't understand Ford's logic in using a lower amp alternator in a vehicle with increased electrical load.
     
  12. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    I can't either. With the added intercooler pump, dual cooling fans, extra fuel pump, and stereo with 2 amps, it has put quite a strain on the charging system. From what I have read, cobras suffer from charging system issues also. The alternator is spun faster to help with this, but at high rpm, it overspins. Hence the larger alternator pulley.
     
  13. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    I got some new wheels today!

    Before:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]

    I've been trying to find a set of these for 2-3 years that don't cost an arm and a leg.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    All right, I finally collected all of the parts and found the time to do this upgrade. Should have it done tomorrow and I can start on the new tune. New alternator is on, barely, with a larger diameter pulley. Have to rebuild my crank pulley assembly, the bushings were worn pretty bad. I am so glad I didn't have to pull the cooling system apart. I had just enough room to service everything. I discovered my intercooler reservoir is leaking at one of the hose connections, I want to add a larger tank anyway, so no big deal.[​IMG]
     
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  15. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Very nice! I'm considering a custom crossover coolant system to get the thermostat closer to the heads but haven't figured out a configuration costing less than $500.
     
  16. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    And all done. [​IMG]
     
  17. 2000StreetRod

    2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I seem to recall that the older Cobras had two IAT sensors - one before and one after the blower. However, the 2002 Explorer PCM only supports one IAT sensor. I assume that you're using the post blower location. How high are the IATs with boost? What is the anticipated max boost?
     
  18. 87350gta

    87350gta Active Member

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    Correct, I am using the after blower iat, which is iat2 for the cobra. It is mounted with a map sensor in the lower intake area. I still don't have a boost gauge, but this pulley is supposed to add 5-6 psi. My AFR gauge looked good on the way home, I was very easy on it. But I did make a couple quick pulls, went to around 11.5 under load. I haven't monitored iat at all. I will probably get a good tune day and dial it in a little better soon. I am trying to set up my double din radio to mirror my iPhone obd2 scanner app. I have seen some cool setups and want to do the same.
     
  19. GLOCKer

    GLOCKer Active Member

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    WOW!!! Damn neat!
     
  20. ANTHONY-GATLIN

    ANTHONY-GATLIN Elite Explorer

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  21. CapeLimited

    CapeLimited New Member

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    now this is just badassery!!
     

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