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2002 Ford Explorer 4.0 XLT Future Mods Questions

Siphix

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Ford Explorer XLT V6
Hello all, so I have a 2002 Ford Explorer 4.0 XLT with a couple mods done already, such as a custom CAI (if you want to consider it "cold air") and 2.5 in custom cat-back exhaust (single exit). If anyone is interested what it currently looks like, I can upload some picture of it.
These are a list of mods that I will be getting in the very near future:
Now a couple questions for those who may have already done these mods... How demanding will the electric fan be and would getting a higher amperage alternator (Security Check) help with the amp draw? I can either get a 130A or 225A or just leave the system alone (Security Check), but I am not familiar with this stuff, so any input would be greatly appreciated. I will also be getting an amp in the near future as well, so I just want to make sure that the charging system will remain sufficient for everything that is running.

I was considering getting an under-drive pulley from auto specialities (Auto Specialties 526400 Auto Specialties Underdrive Crankshaft Pulleys | Summit Racing), but I haven't really heard of good gains from these, as it will also under-drive my charging system (which I know I can fix by a smaller alternator pulley, which isn't an issue). Any input on this would also be appreciated. (I have read all about Aldive's MPG monster, so I have some knowledge about these MPG and performance mods, although my Explorer is a few years newer)

As for the headers, I have the passenger side EGR system, so I reached out to JBA and they said that they no longer make the JBA headers for the passenger side EGR system, but I have found some in stock on the website listed above. I would just like to hear any input on these. I should mention that I am not really looking for power, but really better MPG (and a meaner sound is always great). Power is always nice, but since I do a lot of city driving currently and only highway trips occasionally, I am just trying to increase the mileage. I do understand that the header bolts typically break off, so I would have these professionally installed since I do not have the time to mess with them especially since I am in college, as well as trouble with the EGR line breaking, so I know that I may need that replaced as well.

For the starter, how would the Mean Green gear reduction start work for these Explorers? I know it has no performance gains or mileage gains since it is literally a starter, I am just looking for quicker starts, especially since it takes a second to start up during the winter months, and I do plan on keeping this truck for many years down the road.

Finally, I just got new tires on my Explorer and would really like to keep them, as I have no interested in lifting the truck for bigger tires or wheels. I understand that the stock wheel on my Explorer are 16x7, but these are 16x8. Would I run into any issues with them and what are your opinions on them?

Anyways, thank you for looking at my post and any feedback is greatly appreciated!
 



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SirKng

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Eau Claire
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2005 Ford Explorer XLT
So I can only speak about the wheels. Those should work fine especially with stock size tires. They will stick out a little bit, nothing too extreme and will look great.
 






J_C

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1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
There are a number of different ways I could go with this post.

I don't think your engine performance mods are worthwhile when there's a 4.6L gen 3. Granted, AWD. Are you aiming for serious off-roading? Edit: Nevermind, those were the usual goals of other owners but you want something very different/strange/unobtainable/unviable.

Yes you want the higher amp alternator to support an electric fan and amp, and do not want the under-drive pulley or else you're essentially erasing much of the gains made from the higher cap alternator. Smaller alternator pulley, yeah but then you increase the load again, sort of defeating the purpose and are spinning water pump slower while trying to make more power = more heat.

These have a sufficient air box/intake and don't really need a CAI. You completely lost me at more MPG, as the expense and value of your time will completely swamp a little bit lower fuel expense. It's just not the right vehicle for city driving if that matters.

You are better off with it taking a second to start (a "second", really??), some people deliberately want it to take longer so more oil is pumped, lessening wear on the main weakness of this engine, the timing chain tensioners and guides. However, it's more likely that slow starting is lack of current to the starter, or worn out starter, or ignition (plugs and wires) need replaced.

I don't understand your statement about tires. You just got new tires, so are they rubbing or not? Tires aren't rated in width (I mean the inch rim width stated) so do you mean you got new/replaced wider rims too? Again are they rubbing? There are many factors with different rims including hub offset and size of tire fitted to them. If you are sticking with the stock size tire, there was little reason to go with the wider rims. I may not understand what you mean.

Generally if your goal is higher MPG, you don't increase rim or tire width, keep rotational mass at a minimum and since you are only going at city speeds, larger diameter isn't going to give you much of a better final gear ratio either, unless you have a 4.10 rear diff and drive fast in the city.

I hate to suggest it but the things you've done and are doing, seem like a colossal waste if the main goal is just higher city fuel economy. The vehicle is worth very little, and the gains to be had are very little. It's a poor investment for the purpose stated and if you just bought this vehicle, I would focus more on wear item maintenance as there are a lot of things that start to wear out at that age.

Since you're not turning it into a rock crawler, I would minimize expense and put the money in the bank to buy something more modern with better fuel economy... based on what you've stated.

Feel free to ignore my post, I'm not looking to argue. You just strike me as who I was when around 20 y/o, looking to bolt on anything I could and rationalize it after the fact, when there's a diminishing return for the purpose stated and life is too short to put this effort into a vehicle only to eek out a little more fuel economy for city driving.
 






J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
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Messages
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1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
Also, I don't understand the different directions you're going. Previously you posted that you were looking for a 255/55/R18? With "a thick sidewall" which adds rotational mass, so worse fuel economy (all else equal), and yet, that's an 18", increase, while now going from 16" x 7 to 16" x 8?


I have a nagging suspicion that something is afoul.
 






Siphix

New Member
Joined
January 27, 2021
Messages
6
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City, State
DE and PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Ford Explorer XLT V6
There are a number of different ways I could go with this post.

I don't think your engine performance mods are worthwhile when there's a 4.6L gen 3. Granted, AWD. Are you aiming for serious off-roading? Edit: Nevermind, those were the usual goals of other owners but you want something very different/strange/unobtainable/unviable.

Yes you want the higher amp alternator to support an electric fan and amp, and do not want the under-drive pulley or else you're essentially erasing much of the gains made from the higher cap alternator. Smaller alternator pulley, yeah but then you increase the load again, sort of defeating the purpose and are spinning water pump slower while trying to make more power = more heat.

These have a sufficient air box/intake and don't really need a CAI. You completely lost me at more MPG, as the expense and value of your time will completely swamp a little bit lower fuel expense. It's just not the right vehicle for city driving if that matters.

You are better off with it taking a second to start (a "second", really??), some people deliberately want it to take longer so more oil is pumped, lessening wear on the main weakness of this engine, the timing chain tensioners and guides. However, it's more likely that slow starting is lack of current to the starter, or worn out starter, or ignition (plugs and wires) need replaced.

I don't understand your statement about tires. You just got new tires, so are they rubbing or not? Tires aren't rated in width (I mean the inch rim width stated) so do you mean you got new/replaced wider rims too? Again are they rubbing? There are many factors with different rims including hub offset and size of tire fitted to them. If you are sticking with the stock size tire, there was little reason to go with the wider rims. I may not understand what you mean.

Generally if your goal is higher MPG, you don't increase rim or tire width, keep rotational mass at a minimum and since you are only going at city speeds, larger diameter isn't going to give you much of a better final gear ratio either, unless you have a 4.10 rear diff and drive fast in the city.

I hate to suggest it but the things you've done and are doing, seem like a colossal waste if the main goal is just higher city fuel economy. The vehicle is worth very little, and the gains to be had are very little. It's a poor investment for the purpose stated and if you just bought this vehicle, I would focus more on wear item maintenance as there are a lot of things that start to wear out at that age.

Since you're not turning it into a rock crawler, I would minimize expense and put the money in the bank to buy something more modern with better fuel economy... based on what you've stated.

Feel free to ignore my post, I'm not looking to argue. You just strike me as who I was when around 20 y/o, looking to bolt on anything I could and rationalize it after the fact, when there's a diminishing return for the purpose stated and life is too short to put this effort into a vehicle only to eek out a little more fuel economy for city driving.
Hey, thank you for your response! I really appreciate your insight. As for the tires, they are stock size, as in 16 in. Ignore my older post about larger wheels. I am just interested in 16 in rims, especially since I just got new tires all around, so what I am trying to ask if I would run into any issues with them being 16x8 instead of the stock 16x7 rims, but someone previously answered my question about that. Overall, my goal is more MPG. I do a lot of city driving currently only because of where I am located for college, but I plan to keep this vehicle for many more years, so I'd ideally like to do anything to increase its MPG. I think I will just go with an e-fan, which will definitely help improve the MPG, and maybe headers down the road. Let me know what you think.
 






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