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Completed Project 2000 Sport Long term project vehicle

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
Modifications Performed
Removed side step bars (post #3)
Replaced single row (1 inch thick) radiator with double row (2 inch thick) radiator (post #3)
Installed towing wiring and bumper mounted ball (post #8)
Replaced stock right caster/camber bolts with large range adjustable bolts (post #9)
Replaced 2 piece right upper control arm with 1 piece arm (post #9)
Installed throttle cable tensioner to reduce slack (post #10)
Lowered rear 0.75 inches by replacing monoleaf rear springs with 3 leaves plus overload leaf springs (post #14)
Installed Edelbrock IAS lowering rear shocks (post #15)
Installed Akimoto racing air filter (post #16)
Replaced stock left caster/camber bolts with large range adjustable bolts (post #18)
Installed Edelbrock IAS lowering front shocks (post #19)

Lowered front 0.75 inches (post #20)
Modified front bump stops (post #20)
Relocated stock external ATF cooler (post #24)
Added second external ATF cooler (post #24)
Installed remote full flow ATF filter & temperature sender (post #24)
Installed remote full flow & bypass engine oil filters & temperature sender (post #25)
Installed external engine oil cooler (post #25)
Installed A pillar pod mounted multi-function temperature gauge (post #27)
Installed two 1.75 inch internal diameter cold air ducts to air filter enclosure (post #28)
Removed 1 3/4 inch diameter inlet cone from air filter enclosure (post #28)
Installed wideband O2 sensor in left downpipe & pod pillar mounted wideband air/fuel ratio meter (post #29)
Replaced stock 65mm throttle body with a Ford prototype 75mm racing ported and polished throttle body (post #31)
Removed throttle cable tensioner & installed 75mm to 65mm throttle body spacer (post #31)
Replaced stock 55mm MAF sensor with 90mm Lightning MAF sensor (post #32)
Designed & built MAF sensor amplifier to compensate for MAF sensor upgrade (post #35)
Replaced Akimoto cone air filter with Spectre 4 inch diameter outlet cone filter (post #35)
Replaced petroleum based rear axle lubricant with synthetic lubricant (post #37)
Installed oil pressure sending unit at oil pressure switch port (post #41)
Modified A pillar pod muti-function temperature gauge to display relative oil pressure (post #43)
Modified PCV valve associated hose configuration (post #46)
Replaced & adjusted mechanical idle speed adjustment screw (post #50)
Replaced petroleum based engine oil with synthetic oil (post #51)
Removed MAF sensor amplifier and loaded custom tune from Henson Performance (post #55)
Painted engine block Ford blue (post #58)
Painted exhaust manifolds silver (post #58)
Reinforced thermostat housing (post #60)
Installed under hood remote starter control (post #63)
Replaced main intake tube C clamps with T-bolt clamps (post #64)
Installed Accusump 3 quart engine pre-oiler (post #66)
Replaced 5R55E reverse servo gaskets with D ring gaskets (post #70)
Installed Canton Racing 215 deg F thermostat for engine oil cooler (post #80)
Replaced stock front sway bar bushings & end links with polyurethane bushings & links from Energy Suspension (post #81)
Replaced stock exhaust system from manifold outlets back with high flow cats, Y pipe, muffler, tailpipe and turndown (post #82)
Replaced stock fuel pump with Aeromotive Stealth 340 lph high flow pump (post #85)
Replaced stock 130 amp 4G alternator with custom built 240 amp 4G alternator (post #87)
Installed Banshee/M90 supercharger (post #88)
Installed electronic fuel pressure controller (post #90)
Upgraded electronic fuel pressure controller (post #93)
Upgraded engine gauges (post #94)
Modified hood for M90 pulley clearance (post #95)
Purchased SCT's Advantage III Racer Pro software tuning package to generate my own tunes (post #97)
Upgraded intercooler heat exchanger (post #98)
Installed thermostat metal lower housing (post #99)

Maintenance Performed

Replaced windshield (post #2)
Replaced tires with BF Goodrich Long Trail T/A Tour P235/75XL108T 15 inch tires (post #2)
Replaced hood lift cartridges (post #3)
Replaced left lower control arm (post #17)
Installed 00m12 kit intake manifold gaskets, left chain tensioner & oil galley reducer (post #45)
Replaced PCV valve (post #46)
Replaced fuel filter (post #48)
Replaced camshaft timing cassettes, tensioner & guide, primary chain & sprockets (post #56)
Degunked engine internals (post #58)
Replaced radiator cooling fan blade (post #59)
Replaced rear main seal (post #61)
Replaced water pump (post #68)
Replaced 5R55E transmission filter, blown valve body separator plate gasket, broken solenoid mounting bracket (post #70)
Replaced split flexible fuel hose from tank to rigid fuel line (post #74)
Replaced serpentine belt & tensioner pulley (post #78)
Repaired rear hatch strikers (post #79)
Replaced rear axle vent hose (post #86)

The photos below show my 2000 Explorer Sport that I purchased from a tow truck driver in May, 2009. It had been abandoned on the freeway and the tow truck driver obtained ownership as payment for the towing fee. The only thing that prevented the vehicle from running was a bad camshaft sensor. The tow truck driver replaced it, the spark plugs, and engine oil and filter.

These photos were taken after considerable cleaning and polishing. The external paint is Toreador Red and the interior is gray. The body is in fairly good condition with a few minor dings and no visible rust.
I purchased my Sport for $3,000 in Concord, North Carolina. It had 150,000 miles on the odometer and was dirty inside and out. Although it doesn't show in the photo below there are multiple cracks in the windshield.

I retired on July 4 and decided to search for a smaller SUV to replace my 1997 Tahoe shown in the background. I did considerable research and narrowed my search to a two door. While I have owned Jeeps for most of my driving life, I knew from past experience that the Cherokee Sport made me feel cramped when driving. I also eliminated the Blazer for the same reason. I eventually settled on the Explorer liking the simplicity and handling of front engine rear wheel drive. 2000 was the last year that Ford made the body style I preferred so that's what I looked for. Toreador Red was my first color choice so I was thrilled when an advertisement for one showed up on Craigslist.
It rained about one third of the way home to Greenville, South Carolina. The cracked windshield caused the windshield wipers to smear which made the drive home somewhat stressful. Adding to the stress was an alarm that sounded about every fifteen minutes because one of the sensors on the rear hatch was misaligned. Another aggravation was failure of the power side mirrors to adjust. I was also concerned about the tires. The original spare was on the right front since one of the tires was flat.

The other three tires had virtually no tread remaining. I drove a maximum of 55 miles per hour when there was no rain and 50 miles per hour in the rain.

The vehicle was originally purchased in Texas as indicated by the license plate.

You can see that the left rear is considerably lower than the right. I bought my Sport as a utility vehicle but also as a long term test bed for experimentation. I am an electrical engineer by degree and a former senior systems engineer. I will be trying various performance and fuel economy modifications on my Sport for many years. I intend to keep it for the remainder of my driving years.





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Front sway bar bushings & links

While working on the installation of my engine oil thermostat I noticed that the left front sway bar link had failed.

I decided to purchase a sway bar bushing and link kit from Energy Suspension. Their website lists my front bar as having a 34 mm diameter. Using calipers to measure the stock bar I got a similar measurement so I ordered their kit (Part Number: 4.5155)

There are two colors available (red and black). I learned from the product description that the black polyurethane contains a graphite lubricant while the red doesn't so I ordered the black. The link design is superior to stock because the outer diameter of the washers is large enough to prevent the grommets from being pushed past them. The link bolts, spacers and washers are heavy duty and should last many years. The bushings have molded depressions to hold the provided lubricant.

Since the bumper was off for relocating my remote oil filters for the engine oil thermostat installation access to the front sway bar mounts and end links was improved from the front. After removing the end links I loosened all four bar mount bolts. I knew that the bar was solid (heavy) and that I was in an awkward position while under the vehicle loosening the mount bolts. As a safety precaution I positioned jacks stands an inch below the bar on each side.

I'm glad that I did because when I removed the second bolt on the passenger side with my right hand I wasn't ready for the weight of the bar with my left hand but the jack stand stopped the bar. If not for the jack stand the falling bar could have broken my nose or caused a concussion.

I removed the old bushings which were actually in fine condition. After installing the new bushings on the bar I decided to press the bushings into the mount using two pieces of plywood and a C clamp.

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Exhaust system upgrade

For more details:
Wastegate Exhaust System?

In anticipation of installing a supercharger on my SOHC V6 I decided to upgrade my exhaust system. My Sport stock system is apparently somewhat different from that of the 4 door models. Probably because of the shorter length (11 inches). My stock system was as follows:

Manifold outlet (2 inch) > cat > dual in/single out muffler > resonator > tailpipe

I think most (if not all) of the connecting pipes were 2 inch diameter although it was signficantly less at some of the bends.

The lower O2 sensor shown is for the wideband air/fuel ratio meter.

I wanted a variable (progressive) exhaust system that would maximize performance at high engine speeds but not sacrifice torque at low to mid range engine speeds. I also wanted a moderate sound level during normal (mild acceleration) driving. The upgraded exhaust system is as follows:

Manifold outlet flange downpipe (2 inch dia.) cut at 2 inch length and flared to 2.25 inch dia. > 2.25 in/out Flow Monster high flow cats:

An O2 sensor bung and plug were added on the passenger side downpipe to allow moving the wideband O2 sensor or adding a second one that I could switch to.
Cat output pipes flared to 2.5 in dia. > 2.5 in dia. flanges

The flanges allow separate removal of the passenger and driver side downpipe/cat assembly. This makes it easier to pull the transmission pan and work on the transmission with it in the vehicle.

The post cat O2 sensors are installed after the 2.5 inch flanges and in a location/position allowing access for replacement from under the vehicle.
2.5 inch flange pipes > 2.5 dual in/3.0 single out Magnaflow Y pipe

Y pipe > 3.0 single in/single out muffler

Exhaust upgrade - muffler & tailpipe

The muffler is a Dynomax VT center in/center out EPA 49 state approved rated for 5.9 liter engines.

It has a valve opening that varies with pressure (flow).

There's a pad between the valve and its seat to prevent clatter. There is a glass fiber packed single chamber upstream of the valve with a straight thru perforated core. It is essentially a glass packed muffler with a variable restrictor.

All of the stock heat shields and hangers were retained.

The tailpipe is routed above the rear axle in the stock manner.

Routing the 3 inch diameter tailpipe between the shock and the rear sway bar link was a tight fit.

Exhaust upgrade - turndown

At cold start idle the exhaust sound was louder than I desired so I searched for a quieting tip with a 3 inch diameter inlet. Unfortunately, almost all of them had a 4 inch or larger outside diameter and would not fit below the bumper without rebending the tailpipe. I settled for a Dynatech vortex cone inserted turndown.


According to Dynatech's advertising literature circle track racers insert the vortex cone into their exhaust collectors to reduce exhaust volume (noise) with minimal performance degradation. The noise reduction is from 1 to 3 decibels which is about a 25% to 50% reduction in noise power. The cone extends pretty far into the pipe.

I read somewhere that down and to the side at 45 degrees is best to reduce drone so I had the exhaust shop shorten the tailpipe and weld on the turndown that way.

With the turndown the exhaust is definitely quieter at cold start idle thru warmup with my Sport in Park. When increasing the engine speed there is a sound transition at about 2500 rpm that continues thru 2900 rpm. It reminded me of what happens when a tuned cavity resonates. Above 3,000 rpm the exhaust is less loud and just sounds "sweet". The sound level doesn't seem to significantly increase from 3,000 to 5,000 rpm. The exhaust just has a higher frequency. The "resonance" occurs in the same engine speed range for decreasing engine speed.

I'm a fairly conservative individual and don't like drawing attention to my vehicle when driving normally. I think I can live with the system as it is from now until I get the supercharger installed. It will be interesting to learn how boost affects the "resonance". The increased airflow during boost may alter when (rpm range) the resonance occurs.

high flow fuel pump

For more details: Fuel pump replacement - 2000 Explorer Sport

In preparation for installing a supercharger I replaced my stock fuel pump with a high flow pump. The Aeromotive Stealth 340 fuel pump (p/n 11142) I chose to install is not designed for returnless fuel systems and draws about 16 amps at 65 psi. It's 340 liter per hour capacity greatly exceeds the needs of my future M90 equipped engine. According to the manufacturer it can support up to 700 flywheel horsepower on a forced induction fuel injected engine with high flow fuel filter and AN-06 or equivalent fuel line. One reason I selected the pump is it's highly compatible with pulse width modulated controllers which I plan to incorporate in the future. I do not recommend this pump for your Explorer nor does Aeromotive.

I was unable to find a thread describing replacement of the fuel pump in a 2nd generation returnless fuel system by removing the fuel tank so I generated one: Fuel pump replacement - 2000 Explorer Sport
The photo below shows the Stealth pump installed in the fuel pump assembly prior to installing the pickup screen.

My fuel pressure at engine idle is now a steady 67 psi instead of 62 psi with the stock pump. Being steady was a relief because I was concerned that the stock FPR might not have enough bypass flow capacity to keep up with the Stealth pump output. However, the increase from 62 to 67 psi represents a potential 8% richness increase at WOT (10.7:1 instead of the previous 11.6:1). My custom tune may have to be adjusted.



rear axle vent hose

Replacing my fuel pump reminded me that I did not install a new rear axle vent hose when I discovered it was broken off when fixing a fuel leak. The distance between the rear axle and the body is constantly changing due to body roll, braking, accelerating, bumps and pot holes. When the other end of the vent hose is attached to the body the distance changes flex, stretch and compress the hose causing it to fail.

I found a length of 5/16 internal diameter hose with some established bends in my hose box. I cut it to length and installed one end on the rear axle vent and locked it in position with a fuel hose clamp.

I created a loop with two plastic cable ties for the other hose end to hang thru.

I used drdoom's trick of partially inserting a trim panel retainer clip in the open end to keep out dirt and moisture.

There are two grooves in the retainer clip sides that allow ventilation as long as the head is not seated against the hose end.

240 amp 4G alternator upgrade

Details about this upgrade: Alternator upgrade - 4G, 3G large or small case?

My justification for upgrading the stock 130 amp 4G alternator to meet existing and planned power consumption increases:

1. High flow fuel pump
2. Intercooler pump
3. Electric motor driven radiator cooling fan
4. Electric power steering pump

The parts purchased for my implementation:

New 240 amp alternator (with stock size pulley) from Carolina Alternators custom built by owner Tom Coker. He has agreed to build high current alternators for any Explorer owned by Explorer Forum members.
275 amp Megafuse
Megafuse terminal lugs
1/0 gauge red stranded high flex copper cable
1/0 gauge black stranded high flex copper cable
Audiopipe BT-705P positive battery terminal
Audiopipe BT-705N negative battery terminal
Alternator charge terminal
Alternator charge terminal boot
Split convoluted loom
Cable ties

I removed the entire charge/starter/battery wirng harness to replace the charge cable and because it was poorly done in the vicinity of the oil pressure switch.

The new charge cable with terminal and boot on the stock alternator.

The new Megafuse terminals with the stock 175 amp Megafuse.

The new wiring harness in the vicinity of the oil pressure switch.

The new ground cable harness.

The battery cables and junk Aapex terminals that I replaced with Audipipe terminals.

Banshee/M90 Supercharger Installation

For more details see: SOHC V6 Supercharger

After considering my street driving performance desires (significant low to mid range torque increase) and investigating various performance modifications I decided on a supercharger. I purchased one of RP Caster's Banshee M90 kits with the prototype intercooler option.

The stock engine wiring harness has the injector wiring between the head intake ports conflicting with the location of the Banshee manifold.

Also, I relocated the IAC valve, IAT sensor, throttle body/TPS, and EVR so I extensively modified the wiring harness.

I purchased Siemans Deka IV 60 lb/hr injectors because they have good low duty cycle control and will accommodate any reasonable future boost increases.

The intercooler is a heater core the appropriate size to fit in the manifold.

Banshee/M90 Supercharger Installation (Continued)

I selected a Bosch intercooler pump.

I installed it below the air filter enclosure.

I used a second stock ATF cooler for my intercooler heat exchanger.

For simplicity the intercooler system is unpressurized and I modified the coolant recovery reservoir to be the source and return of intercooler coolant.


Banshee/M90 Supercharger Installation (Continued) Electronic fuel pressure controller

For more details see: Electronic fuel pressure controller

The Aeromotive Stealth 340 high flow fuel pump I installed for my M90 supercharger installation has a capacity (340 liters per hour) that greatly exceeds the demands of my SOHC V6. During normal driving most of the pumped fuel is returned to the fuel tank via the intank fuel pressure regulator bypass hose. I purchased a fuel pressure sensor used on 3rd generation Explorers and had an adapter fabricated to mount the sensor on my Banshee kit fuel rail.

I purchased a mating connector and ran wiring in a loom thru the firewall to behind the instrument cluster.

I purchased an assembled generic electronic fuel pump controller.

I located the appropriate fuel pump wires to modify in the loom located in the driver side channel.

I attached the fuel pump controller to the underside of the turn/hazard flasher with a cable tie.

I set the fuel pump controller to maintain 43.5 psi at the fuel rail which should be adequate with my high flow fuel injectors.

Banshee/M90 Supercharger Installation (Continued)

The standard Banshee kit does not allow for retention of cruise control without modifying the hood for clearance so I devised my own intake system. I had a plenum intake adapter and a coupler with ports locally fabricated.

The spacer between the plenum and the adapter transitions the different diameters. It is made out of a section of my wife's old cutting board.

One port on the coupler comes from the remote IAC valve. The other port comes from the oil separator. Even though the 45 degree elbow is 5 ply silicone turbocharger hose it collapsed when I rapidly blipped the throttle so I had to replace it with metal.

The above photo also shows the locally fabricated throttle body to hose adapter, my homemade support bracket for the 75 mm ported and polished racing throttle body, and another locally fabricated two port coupler. One port of that coupler comes from the valve cover breather and the other port goes to the remote IACV. I had to purchase and install a shorter upper radiator hose to lower the throttle body as much as possible.

The remote IACV is a Mustang IACV mounted on a metal, weather proof electrical box that is mounted to the M90.

The oil separator is mounted between the coolant recovery and windshield washer reservoirs.

Note that the A/C receiver/drier port has been disconnected from the A/C manifold until I can get a custom tube fabricated.

Banshee/M90 Supercharger Installation (Continued)

The remote IACV box also connects to the fuel vapor management valve (bottom fitting).

The Banshee kit provides a mounting bracket to relocate the EGR vacuum regulator.

I devised my own EGR tube configuration. First I had the stock EGR valve port cut off and welded at a different angle.

Then I utilized I copper tubing and fittings brazed together at various lengths and angles and compression fittings to achieve my desired results.

Initially I installed a cone type air filter that pulled air from the engine compartment.

Eventually I modified the upper section of the stock air filter box so I could use my Amsoil replacement drop in filter and pull air from the front of the vehicle.

fuel pump controller upgrade

The fuel pump controller I used was designed for motorcycles with pumps drawing much less current than my Aeromotive Stealth 340 LPH pump. The power MOSFET burned up on my first short drive.

I purchased another one and attached metal cooling fins with thermal grease.

It has been reliable since the modification.


To monitor engine operation I started with a dash mounted boost/vacuum gauge and a pillar pod mounted Bank 2 wideband AFR meter.

Then I added a dash mounted oil pressure gauge.

Later I swapped the oil pressure gauge with the Bank 2 AFR meter and added another AFR meter for Bank 1. I don't like the angle of the AFR meters and will eventually permanently mount them at a more convenient angle.

There is also a pillar pod mounted oil temperature gauge that be switched between engine oil and ATF temperature.

Hood modifications

Even with a 2.7 in. dia. blower pulley there was no clearance between the top of the pulley and the stock hood.

Removing the hood insulation didn't help much. I made a first cut in the hood reinforcement and taped it. I taped the M90 pulley and applied white paint to the top of the pulley to find the exact point of interference (white mark).

Then I made the final cut.

There's clearance even when the engine is at WOT but I have good motor mounts.

M90 performance

James Henson of Henson Performance provided a custom tune for my M90 configuration. The max boost is about 6 psi. This is lower than I anticipated and may be due to my high flow exhaust. Dyno testing was done with a high speed fan in front of my Sport at radiator level and the cone air filter installed which drew air from the engine compartment. The rwtq increased from my baseline of 207 to 262 (+55) with the max occurring at the same engine speed of 3500 rpm. The rwhp increased from my baseline of 170 at 4800 rpm to 227 at 5300 rpm (+57).

The max IAT I logged was 174 degrees starting with an IAT of 132 degrees. With the high IAT the PCM retarded the tuned spark advance decreasing max power.

Advantage III

For more details: SOHC V6 tuning

I decided I wanted to be able to perform my own tuning so I purchased SCT's Advantage III Racer Pro software tuning package and a license for my stock strategy code CDE4. There is a fairly long learning curve because I don't have access to any of the calibration constants from any of my previous custom tunes.

Intercooler heat exchanger upgrade

An upgrade to my intercooler heat exchanger was needed to lower the max IATs during WOT and increase the spark advance for more power. A larger capacity exchanger would help as would a fan. A suction fan would be more effective than a blower fan but space was tight. I purchased the largest off the shelf oil cooler that would fit in the available space being utilized by the stock ATF cooler.

I purchased the largest fan that I thought would fit between the cooler and the A/C condenser.

With some minor cutting and hose rerouting I was able to make the cooler and fan fit.

I installed a Hobbs switch that would activate the fan when 1 psi (or more) of boost was detected.

I wired the output of the Hobbs switch to a car delay off timer so the fan would continue to run for several minutes after activated.

The output of the timer goes to a relay that controls the fan. I also installed a switch on the center console that allows me to activate the fan continuously.

Thermostat metal lower housing

For more details: metal thermostat housing soon available for v6 2005+ engine

One of the less reliable components of the SOHC V6 cooling system is the molded lower housing for the thermostat. It distorts and cracks with age resulting loss of coolant. Also the way the screw in sensors are mounted in the housing often results in coolant leaks when a sensor is replaced. An aftermarket metal housing became available so I purchased one. The photo below shows the top of the stock and aftermarket housings.

The photo below shows the bottom of each housing.

The sensor mounting clips are easy to install.

Since my housing bolts were badly corroded I purchased new bolts for the installation.

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Since my housing bolts were badly corroded I purchased new bolts for the installation.
Ford would only sell me a pack of 4 of them bolts $13 I still have like 3
Plus the three that came with my two piece housing