1997 V8 Explorer PCM w/harness and transmission transplant in my 1977 351w F150 | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1997 V8 Explorer PCM w/harness and transmission transplant in my 1977 351w F150

This is my work in progress thread to my 1977 F150. I purchased the truck as a stock 2wd swaped 351w / C6 truck with a 2.72 9" rear end. The minute I bought the truck I knew I was going to swap it to EFI but it needs to be done affordable as this is going to be my run around the shop work truck. I also know overdrive is about necessary these days so that needs to be in my upgrades to gain more power and fuel economy. This truck will be a daily driver so no antique tags for it. It will need a Virginia state inspection when complete(no smog here). Here is the plan:

Engine: 351w roller block, Explorer GT40 heads (.5" head bolt holes)

Intake: Knock off PP 351w mustang intake

Fuel system: Mid 90s F150 factory rear tank setup.

Ignition: Stock Explorer coil tower ignition with modified cam pos sensor and damper dudes 28oz explorer balancer for crank trigger

Belt drive/timing cover: Factory explorer 5.0

Exhaust: Long tube summit racing headers w/o2s welded in. Truck will stay true dual with single MagnaFlow cats, probably no mufflers. (Cats required for state inspection)

Transmission: 96 Explorer 4r70w 2wd

Flexplate: Mid 80s Crown Vic LTD w/351w and AOD

Computer and Harness: 97 Explorer XDT3 pcm w/ full harness

Rear axle: 9" w/3.50 gears (eventually 4.10 or 4.11)

I posted this in the need for speed section as this applies to anyone wanting to upgrade their explorer to a 351w using stock pcm (although I don't have oil pan or header concerns). Here's a pic of when I picked it up. I've had it for a little over a year now and had it running before it came in the shop.


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Thanks for reminding me, I have a vb out a wrecked 04 v6 mustang I pulled out the yard about a year ago on my shelf somewhere I can use. I also have the drill bits and instructions from my baumann engineering shift kit from years ago I'll use to compare.

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I have not done the "J Mod" yet, but I read the various instructions from sites I found last year. The holes vary based on who's doing it, and the application. The springs were the hardest part to select or find, because of differing opinions on affects, and the applications. I plan to select hole sizes on the low side, since it seems likely going back in to adjust is part of the process, for each application. The 2004 VB will be sized on the less harsh side no doubt, but a great initial starting place.

"and the Cobra had the slightly higher lift Cobra cam."

Likely because the Cobra was the only one with factory roller-rocker arms. imp

"and the Cobra had the slightly higher lift Cobra cam."

Likely because the Cobra was the only one with factory roller-rocker arms. imp

Yes, the 94/95 did have roller rockers, 1.7:1 instead of 1.6:1 if I recall correctly.

Years ago, my friend and I helped another friend with his 95 Cobra. The balancer let go and he decided my rebuilt 302 from my first Lincoln was worth the upgrade($1700). We installed my engine that had Edelbrock heads and intake on it, and my friend got the old Cobra engine as partial payment. I hope to borrow the GT40 heads from that to swap onto my 98 engine(to build exhaust manifolds to fit them), and get the Cobra intake for a wrecked 94 GT I have to fix up. We have some parts, but little time to do anything.

Little bit of progress. Hoping to have engine and trans sitting in the frame by the end of the month. Only areas on frame that needs attention is where the body mounts sit. I've also lost the use of my trailer for the next two weeks unless I REALLY need it.




So made some progress......Got the frame painted, new brakes, new kingpins, 3.50 rear axle rebuilt. Still have to fix the frame where the front body mounts sit and a bunch of little things but the suspension is done. Few issues have arose though.

First is the trans mount: It needs to be moved back 2". Problem is the current mount is right where the frame starts to go up in the back, so it can't just be moved back. Also If I leave it where it is and modify the mount it will be near impossible to get the pan off. A new crossmember will be made out of tube.

Headers: I thought long tubes would be ideal but damn they are a pain to install. They don't make 351w headers and the ones I have are made for the 302. The drivers side fits with some decent hammering to clear the steering box (still only about 1/8" clearance after hammering). The passenger side hits the frame rail and the starter portion on the trans. Even with the cab off the engine has to be lifted to get the passenger header in. They will both "work" with a few dings but will be an absolute pain to service. I'm looking for other options which quite possibly means going to shorties. I've tried some mustang headers (short and long) and a set of explorer FMS headers and none work like I want.

I also broke down and bought the knock off PP 351w mustang swap intake. Seems to fit good and be of decent quality. Couldn't pass up the black Friday price of $285 for the polished upper and lower.

The cab has been in the back of the shop getting rust repair. Floors and cab corners are done, along with some patches in the door jam area. Down to roof repair and to decide how much rust I'll fix on the bed. It's all being patched right with steel, no body filler till the last step to make it purdy.







I also want to add it appears I got lucky with my pick n pull 96 Explorer 4r70w. I pulled the pan and found a reman valve body and bonded accumulators. The torque converter has a date on it of late 98 so it could if been rebuilt early in life. I has decided against upgrading the trans to the 98+ parts as this trans should be good to go (pulled from a wrecked 96 with 150k). I will upgrade or swap it out later if any issues arise.

Excellent progress, that chassis/frame work is tough and important. That should make the truck last a long time and not need much work in the near future.

I really want to see the motor fully dressed

I really want to see the motor fully dressed

It won't be long, maybe another month and it will be all sitting in there. With having 4 kids and a stay at home wifey I haven't got much done this month since Christmas is expensive for me lol. Work work work.

Small update though: Cab is 95% done with metal work, about to move on to coatings on it. I'm trying to figure out the rust in the cowl issue now. I have a few pinholes on either side I need to do something about. Crappy thing is the cowl can't be removed without drilling over 100 spot welds. I'm thinking some epoxy in the small holes and dumping in POR15.

Final deal on the engine and trans mounts are as such: I'm using the stock truck perches with 302 mounts and I've plated the trans crossmember so the explorer trans mount can be used. The factory trans mount was only attached by 1 bolt horizontally though the crossmember. That way with the offset of the explorer mount I only have to move the engine forward about 15/16" for everything to work right. I have also found an aluminum E250 driveshaft that will work perfectly for me once I move the engine.


These are the next headers I'm going to try. As you see in the pic below the summit long tubes that "everyone uses" is going to melt the steering box. Also with the motor going forward almost an inch they are just not going to work.

Next option is Hedman 88660 which are early 70s mustang 351w swap headers. They look like they will work perfectly if they don't hit the cab floor.



I have the same issues lol , maybe i can see it up close if we come get that tranny off you , havent got to that project yet , and ive got this sport trac just sitting here waiting to be frankenstined

Awesome! Wish I knew how to do all of this kind of stuff, lol.

Need to find somewhere close I can "intern" at for free on the weekends, lol! :D

Got my headers, they'll work way better than the previous set. They look like the might fit a v8 explorer with a 3" body lift with a few mods possibly. Pics taken with a used set of fms explorer gt40 headers to compare.






Man its been awhile. I took a little break from the truck, bought a house and lost all my free time until now. I literally pulled it out from the corner of my shop last week and got back on it.

Since my last update I've got the engine moved forward just under 1" and transmission crossmember modded to use an explorer mount. I'm still working on getting the long tubes to fit how I like but it's getting there. I've got most of the sheet metal work done that I wanted to also. Hoping to start running fuel lines and wiring soon.

Can't wait to see more

Moving can be fun!!!

Love this project keep it up when you can!

Here's how she sits at the moment. Even with the engine moved forward the header still barely hits the cab. Have a ton of finish work left and to build the wiring harness.





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I like where you're going with this! Nice!

But why you put chinese knockoff intake on classic v8 pickup. Why you no merica??