1999 Ford Explorer 4.0 SOHC - Help with cracked head | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1999 Ford Explorer 4.0 SOHC - Help with cracked head


Active Member
November 22, 2015
Reaction score
City, State
Ocala, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Mercury Mountaineer
Hey guys,

I'm looking at purchasing a 1999 Ford Explorer with the 4.0 SOHC. This will be my first V6 Explorer, I've also got a 1997 Mountaineer.

I'm getting it for $250.00, the thing is immaculate. The only problem is, it's got a cracked head. I know nothing about these 4.0's.

What I was wondering, is what's the best source for a set of heads? I'm not looking to spend big money, but I do want it to last.

Any input is appreciated. And I know how you all love pics, but I haven't gotten it yet, so here are the advertisement pics.





Cheap would be from a junk yard or salvage seller on Craigslist, eBay, etc, then have a machine shop check them or better still find a seller that'll let you get them checked before committing to the purchase.

I assume you're installing it yourself, as paying a shop to do the work starts to make the value of a $250 purchase price vanish, as you're raising cost to near where you could get a different Explorer without a cracked head... and who knows, it could also need timing chain and tensioners done at some point. Without it running (nearly right) it's hard to gauge what more might need done.

How certain is the seller of the cracked head diagnosis? Was the engine torn down and head examined, or a crack is visible from the outside, or could it have been a best guess as to the worst problem it could have when it could be a warped head or just a blown gasket?

I've even heard of people taking vehicles to the local stealership, who produces an estimate for the most expensive thing that could possibly be wrong, and sometimes even a very expensive thing that couldn't possibly be the cause but the customer doesn't know any better and the shop sticks to what was in that estimate regardless of what they eventually find and do to fix it. Yes that's illegal but if they think nobody will be the wiser...

Uh oh. He's a Gator. Better watch out.


Haha. I've decided to just swap the interior into my Mountaineer since it's in beautiful shape, you can see it in my signature thread.

I'm parting out the rest.