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1996 explorer 4.0 engine compatibility

ZAP.143

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Lansing,ny
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Black Explorer Sport
As the title suggests I’m looking to see what my options with as little modification as possible to replace my engine. I have a 1996 Ford Explorer sport 4.0 OHV with around 125k mikes on it. I’ve owned it since 2009 with 72k on it it was my first car and I’ve maintained it very well. My grandmother bought it new in 1996 so my family has owned it since new. It has a lot of sentimental value to me. 1.5 years ago I was driving like normal and boom I blew up the engine no warning gaping hole in the block oil pouring out of cracked oil pan. Still runs on 5 cyls tho! I’m very disappointed because my grandparents serviced it regularly with a dealer and I’ve been a mechanic since I’ve owned it and took great care of it. It’s getting very hard to find engines for these ohv explorers. I’m aware that there are subtle changes through the years of ohv 4.0. If I look up a true drop in motor for it it says 95-96. That’s very limited since they are 24-25 years old. I’ve seen some newer and some older engines available but don’t want to leap into replacing the engine to have it not run great. I’m aware the upper intake has to be changed using older model engines. But does the design of the heads and internals of different year engines cause running issues if put into my 1996. I’m on a limited budget being I have a 3yr old boy and many other projects on my hands. But I don’t want my first vehicle to sit there and rot away while I’m unable to find a reasonable replacement engine! Thanks in advance for any help! Sorry if that was long winded also my first post! Have a good day and I hope everyone is staying healthy!
 

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410Fortune

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B2 "Slightly" Modified
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you want a 98-01 OHV from a Ranger or Explorer with lowest miles you can find
Ebay is a great place for these
You will strip your 96 block down to the longblock (block and heads)
strip the new engine down to the long block
Install the new engine
start putting your 96 parts on it, intakes, sensors, accessories, fuel rail and plumbing

I have done this many many times! Some of the largest wreckers in the USA sell on Ebay and they sell good stuff and stand behind it
ford 4.0 ohv engine | eBay

Is your sport a 5 speed or auto?
 
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ZAP.143

New Member
Joined
July 4, 2016
Messages
9
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4
City, State
Lansing,ny
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Black Explorer Sport
you want a 98-01 OHV from a Ranger or Explorer with lowest miles you can find
Ebay is a great place for these
You will strip your 96 block down to the longblock (block and heads)
strip the new engine down to the long block
Install the new engine
start putting your 96 parts on it, intakes, sensors, accessories, fuel rail and plumbing

I have done this many many times! Some of the largest wreckers in the USA sell on Ebay and they sell good stuff and stand behind it
ford 4.0 ohv engine | eBay

Is your sport a 5 speed or auto?

My sport is an automatic I wish it was a 5 speed! I thought the internals in the late 96 and the 97 also the 98-01 ohvs had redesigned heads pistons and flywheels (8bolt). It also seems impossible to find a somewhat lower mileage engine for less than 500-600$ they all have like 150k to over 200k for that price. I had found a 93 4.0 somewhat locally that they just dropped the price from 200$ to 50$ to just get rid of it and comes with a trans (won’t work for mine nor do I need it). But I was weary of the design changes of pistons heads and supposed bolt holes in blocks that won’t work for my mounts? Ive done a lot of research on this forum and other Ford forums and some people say it all works fine if you swap your stuff... then there’s the Ford history of the 4.0 ohv saying nothing is interchangeable. I love this old vehicle but financially I can’t afford to spend 450-900$ for an engine at this point in my life. But like I fear it will sit and rust away and be junk. I don’t have a garage to store it unfortunately. Thanks for your advice btw.
 
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boominXplorer

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00 4x4 Mounty
Definitely dont go backwards in years. Like 410 said a 98-01 ohv would be a bolt in "upgrade" that goes to an 8 bolt flexplate. Most junkyard motors come with the flexplate but you need to check it for straightness before installing. A 95-97 would be a direct swap long block (wiring is different on the 95). Dont forget to look at Rangers for your engine also.
 
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ZAP.143

New Member
Joined
July 4, 2016
Messages
9
Reaction score
4
City, State
Lansing,ny
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Black Explorer Sport
Definitely dont go backwards in years. Like 410 said a 98-01 ohv would be a bolt in "upgrade" that goes to an 8 bolt flexplate. Most junkyard motors come with the flexplate but you need to check it for straightness before installing. A 95-97 would be a direct swap long block (wiring is different on the 95). Dont forget to look at Rangers for your engine also.

Thanks for all the advice I appreciate it all. Maybe someone on here has an idea of someone who might have an engine with less than 100k that would fit my explorer without killing my bank account. I’ve searched my local listings and I don’t come up with much other than sohc engines. On eBay they just seem overpriced with high mileage and the last engine I got on eBay blew up in 40k miles so I had to change it again and it supposedly only had 70k miles. That was an s10 blazer but still.. ha.
 
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