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1997 Ford Explorer - V8 - 5.0 - AWD

Hello Explorer Fans.

I have been on the forums for some time and have extensively read many threads. I have enjoyed the forums so far. Now I have a question of opinion for you all.

I currently own 97' V6 SOHC Sport and I love it. I was going to SAS it, but Id rather do it to a V8 Explorer, plus, manual TC's are readily available for the swap.

To get to the point, I'm looking at a 97' 5.0 AWD Explorer (166,000 miles) (for a few hundred bucks). It's a solid vehicle, straight but its flashing a few codes. I looked up the codes here on the forums and it appears to be a "simple" fix. It idles well, but has an obvious 'lumpiness' to it. When you accelerate under load, you can sort of hear and feel it. The codes I got were P1132 - Lack of Oxygen Sensor indicates Rich and P1131 - Lack of Heater Oxygen Sensor indicates Lean. Both appear to be O2 sensor issues which may not be that big a deal. The trans seems to shift well with no obvious issues.

I'm very mechanical in nature (I work on my own cars/trucks) and fabrication of all I want to do...is what I do.

I just wanted a few opinions on the success of fixing this issue and any potential things I should look for before i pull the trigger and pick this thing up.

Thanks everyone.
 



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Spudhut

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That's heavy duty there. Do you need a skid plate there too?

I could build something off the cross member but will have to set up suspension links first to figure mounting. Sky is the limit at this point.
 



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Spring mount tacked in place and frame notched for clearance:
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Started mocking up the link suspension. I was going to countersink the mounts into the trans cross-member, but I may just weld them in place and gusset as needed to keep them more parallel to the ground. Let me know your thoughts, I'm open for discussion....A few photos a different angles for different visuals.

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This view to show clearance to header pipe:
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Spudhut

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Can anyone provide any recommendation for the steering rods? I'm thinking GM 1 ton tie rod ends or Heim Joints. I'm not particular in spending another $60-$100 for a reamer to make the 1-Ton conversion....but...I want to go with what's best.

Any input is appreciated.

@Turdle ; @Rick ; @CDW6212R ; @johnny499 ; @yostyexplorer94 ; @BKennedy ; @Styx
 






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Project still on the go....Been a little distracted at home...hope to get more done this weekend - at least get the trailing arms mocked in placed to make ready to get panhard in place.
 






Turdle

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Can anyone provide any recommendation for the steering rods? I'm thinking GM 1 ton tie rod ends or Heim Joints. I'm not particular in spending another $60-$100 for a reamer to make the 1-Ton conversion....but...I want to go with what's best.

Any input is appreciated.

@Turdle ; @Rick ; @CDW6212R ; @johnny499 ; @yostyexplorer94 ; @BKennedy ; @Styx


I tried copying the desert guys and used heims. However, they are not the proper choice for moist conditions IMO, so, I would do the 1 ton ball joints which are a "wet" joint rather than he "dry" joint of a heim. heims get kinda squeeky and noisy when exposed to moisture
.
 






WormsExplorer

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New Trans Crossmember fab'ed in to make room for front drive shaft. Cutting stock crossmember out once new mount is installed.

Credit for idea goes to @johnny499 - Thank you!

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Do you have a full picture of the Trans mount?
 






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@WormsExplorer - Ill take some and post them for you.

Thanks @Turdle for your feedback. That explanation helps me immensely
 






yostyexplorer94

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I really like my one ton tie rod ends. I have replaced 2 tie rod ends since I sas years ago. I grease them quite often though
 












Spudhut

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@WormsExplorer

Sorry my friend...been crazy here at home.

I used @johnny499 idea to create mine (see page 3 about 1/2 way down - great photos): Mn Mountaineer V8 SAS


Im hoping to jump on this thing this weekend to get front panhard completed/mocked and hopefully the steering box in place. :)
 






Spudhut

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I made the time to work on my Explorer this weekend...Lets dive in.

2 things I needed to get accomplished: Mount F150 steering box and get front panhard bar installed.

:thumbsup: I got the front pretty much mocked up (tacked) in place. This is the first swap of this type that I have ever done, I ENCOURAGE ANY AND ALL FEEDBACK IS MUCH APPRECIATED. Especially before I start to final weld everything in place. :) PLEASE COMMENT. :)

Steering:
***Before I start on the install of the steering box. Its important that you pick up a oil filter relocation kit. Its a tight fit between the engine and frame.

Im going to talk mainly the steering shaft and the modifications I did to make this work. Unfortunately the Stock 93' F150 shaft wont mate to the 97 Explorer steering column. The box install has been touched by many others. ie: @johnny499 Mountaineer thread was a huge help.

93' Ford F150 Shaft - there are 2 spot welds on each side of the shaft that need to be removed. You need the lower section/rag joint to mate to the steering box.
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Stock 97' Ford Explorer Steering Shaft-
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97' Ford Explorer Steering Shaft - Where to cut? there is a 'keyed' shape that matches F150 steering shaft.
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F150 and Ford Explorer Shafts joined
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Final completed shaft. Note that a large section of F150 shaft has been removed and spliced at the rag joint. I TIG welded the butt weld to ensure good penetration. This shaft still slips like the original Explorer shaft. Tight Space in there.
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Steering Box installed - Clearance of final installation. Zero binding, smooth turning from inside. Sure is a great feeling to be at this point.
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F150 Steering Box installed:

Added info. If you want to convert your pressure port to accept an AN6 type fitting, there is an adapter that you can pick up. The port has 1/2-20 threads in it (smaller port). (AN6 to 1/2-20 Inverted Flare) This adapter will allow you to have a standard high pressure hydraulic hose with AN6 fitting made for this application. Part number for adapter is FRA-491955.

You can take your stock Explorer hose (if in good condition) and have a 90 degree AN6 fitting crimped on at steering box side to mate the box to your stock power steering pump. Return line should be made easily.

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Mbrooks420

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Looks like a great job. You might want to slap a piece of loom over those fuel lines to avoid the zip tie from sawing through in time.
 






Spudhut

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Panhard Install - Suspension Photos: All I have left to do is finish steering rods using 1ton GM Y-Steering setup.

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Spudhut

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Looks like a great job. You might want to slap a piece of loom over those fuel lines to avoid the zip tie from sawing through in time.

Thanks. The zip tie is to get stuff out of the way of the plasma cutter and to get my hands in there. I plan on re-doing all the lines or re-mounting the factory lines. Got too many things 'mocked up' at this point...thank goodness for task lists. :)
 






Spudhut

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Upper spring bushing/keeper shaft thing :crazy: cut from Jeep Cherokee - bolted to upper spring mount plate.

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Spudhut

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Bringing back up for feedback before I start welding this beast together. Im ready to set on all 4 tires. :)
 












Spudhut

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The time has come. I pushed hard last week and finally got the beast on the ground on all 4's. I have read so many times how great it feels to be at this point - It certainly feels great and accomplished. I still have much to do, but for this being my first 4x4 type build vs Hot Rods the past 17 yrs, I'm pretty proud of what I have done so far.

Here she is right after she touched down on the ground
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@CDW6212R - As for getting her out - I had to put new shoes (stock tires) on her to bring her into the sunlight.
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Spudhut

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I slapped the 33's on them and decided to take a 'family' photo

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