2000 Ford explorer xls 4wd OHV to a SOHC | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2000 Ford explorer xls 4wd OHV to a SOHC

August 17, 2015
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City, State
Milford, DE
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Ford Explorer
So! Let me get straight to the point with this thread. Lately I have been pondering the idea of taking my Explorer that has an OHV motor in it and swapping it to the SOHC motor. I know that the OHV is much more reliable than the SOHC (I know first hand with the '02-'05s with the thermostat housing and the timing chain guides alone). My step dad has told me that I shouldn't do the swap because he has had his OHV sport with a 5 speed in it and hasn't had any problems with it, and its got 200+ thousand miles on the motor. However, I would like to have more power, whether its modding the OHV or swapping to the SOHC. I already know from being told by another member on here that if I am gonna follow through with this, then I should choose the same year explorer that has a SOHC in it. If I choose the same year then I guess the computer wont know the difference?:exporange

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I'd be leery of the SOHC, just because of the timing chain issues. I've got over 400,000 on my 94 OHV right now, and it still runs like a top! Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

PCM hardware type?

I couldn't find the PCM hardware type listed for a 2000 Explorer with the OHV V6 but for a 1999 it is ML2-842. The PCM hardware types I found for a 2000 SOHC are ML2-842 and ML2-8B1. I suggest that you check your PCM for its hardware type and catch word/code.

There are differences between the OHV and SOHC V6s. The PCM strategy will probably be different and the calibration will definitely be different. The SOHC has a knock sensor and the OHV doesn't. The firmware in the OHV PCM will not support the knock sensor. The SOHC may start and run on the OHV PCM but not at it's optimum performance. The SOHC has a camshaft position sensor and the OHV has a synchronizer. They perform the same function but for some years the sensor electrical characteristics were different. As I recall in 2000 both engines have 8 bolt crankshaft flanges. I don't know if the flexplates are the same but if not you could probably swap them so either should bolt up to your current torque converter. Either crankshaft should mate with the transmission input shaft. I think the exhaust configuration is different for the two engines. You may have to replace the exhaust from the manifolds back. The engine wiring harness and intake configuration is different.

Unless you already have a donor vehicle with the SOHC V6 I advise against the swap. Just buy another Explorer with the SOHC V6 and sell yours with the OHV V6. The days of easy different engine type swaps ended with the incorporation of computer controlled fuel injection and ignition. You'll end up spending a lot of time and money trying to get the "kluge" working properly and you'll need something else to drive during the process. You'll spend enough time and money just keeping an SOHC V6 with 5R55E powered vehicle running reliably. Any SOHC V6 vehicle or engine you purchase with over 150K miles and the original camshaft timing related components is a candidate for potential significant engine repairs. Spend your time and money upgrading the timing chain components instead of trying to get a kluge to work. After that you can look at adding more performance.

Thanks for that info, I too have pondered doing that swap in a Ranger and you answered all my questions.

The reason I wanted to do the swap is that I drove a Sporttrac with a SOHC 5 speed and it would pull very nicely in the higher rpm range where my OHV Ranger would torque more at low revs but didn't pull much more after 4000 rpms.

I had the same problem with my 96 Explorer with an OHV motor. As soon as I hit 4 grand it would fall on its face. My 2004 Ranger had the SOHC motor and that thing ran uo to 6 grand and still pulled.