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2nd gen Explorer V8 headers

i am frustrated with Bob of TMH. i have been trying to get him to build me a set of his newest edition, the 1-1/2 to 1-5/8 stepped headers for my Mounty. we have talked on numerous occasions over the last 4 months and i still have no real date. communication is terrible. he has never called me back and 1 out of 10 times i try to call, he picks up. to his credit, he told me he wouldnt take a penny or promise shipment until he had a perfect set of headers. but i am putting my new engine in in 1 month and i need some friggin headers and the standard TM's won't flow enough.

well, necessity is the mother of invention, so i decided to come up with my own design. i did this before on my 351w based mounty project and it turned out well, so i thought i would give it a go with the 302 engine. so, i started by measuring and building the engine and engine bay obstructions in CAD. then, i designed my headers in 3D. gotta say they are pretty nice! i used a 1-5/8 primary to a 4 in 1 collector with a 2-1/2 exit, 2 bolt flange and a ball flange gasket donut. they exit near where the stockers do, but without a set of stockers in hand, measuring through the wheel well openings is the best i could do. doesn't really matter, because to take advantage of these headers, i will need a custom 2-1/2 y-pipe. the pipes all run down from the head flange. none of this up and over crap and no 2 piece bolt together primaries.

i am very satisfied with the clearances around parts and there are no kinks around the steering shaft. the DS header should go in easy enough with only disconnecting the steering shaft from the column and swinging it out. the PS header may be more difficult. hard to tell without actually trying it. it may have to go in from below by removing the starter, which wouldnt be so bad. the only sticky point is i dont think the dipstick will route through its normal path, but a SN95 mustang dipstick might work. easy enough to mess with after the fact.

ok, so my question here is would anyone be interested in buying a set of these for their 2nd gen? it would be nice to have an alternative to TMH, but i won't put in the extra effort to test, productionize and have them professionally built if there aren't any takers. this isn't a call for money or commitment, just an indication of potential customers. i will do my best to keep prices in line with the competition, so plan on 700-800 for a set with all the hardware and gaskets. maybe even a new dipstick and tube if needed. 1 size will fit all for these head flanges...same as every other aftermarket mustang header on the market. i think even the bung for EGR would be there regardless. i would just sell a longer flexible EGR tube separately (since the location would be farther away than the stocker).

here are some teaser pics of the model...
 

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When I did my 90mm throttle body elbow, I took a cast aluminum explorer elbow and cut off both flanges with my bandsaw, then took an off the shelf cast aluminum 3.5" elbow I got on eBay cut it down a bit and then welded it up.

Something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/170338907236?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649

interesting. since it was a cast elbow, i assume it had a pretty thick wall (compared to a tube)? what was the ID? my current elbow is a 3" exhaust, which is actually more like 73mm inside. i am trying to work out a 3.5" tube (about 85mm inside), but that large of a tube interferes with the internal EGR passage from the intake manifold. i assume you either did a 98+ external EGR or eliminated the EGR all together?
 



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Yes that does bring new ideas to mind. I wonder if those come with larger radius turns in them. I'm planning an inlet plenum for the KB blower I have, and I'd prefer to make the plenum include the EGR boss. I'd like to make it extend all the way to replace the elbow, and point towards the front air cleaner.
 






I deleted EGR when I did the maf, injectors, and blower.
 






UPDATE: design is final and Been sent to a couple of places to be manufactured. Got one no quote. The other place can do it but it will cost a buttload of cash. 1900 for a welding fixture. 1900 for cutting fixtures. 2000 for engineering. 3500 to buy them the dies to bend 1-5/8 2"radius. Then I get to pay 660 each for 30 units. One of which will be kept by them for their tooling. One of which will be mine for fitment before the rest are made. So 28k gets me 28 pairs of headers. That's 1000 my cost before adding gaskets, boxes, hardware, packing materials, advertising, merchant fees(to get paid), etc.

I am going to make a new set for myself (the prototypes werent usable) and maybe see what it would be like to self-manufacture. From my conversations with bob Pasquale (TMH), he did something similar. He cut the tubes and tac'd them together and then sent them to Al's headers to have them finish welding and coat them. Don't know how he did that for as long as he did? That's nuts!
 






UPDATE: design is final and Been sent to a couple of places to be manufactured. Got one no quote. The other place can do it but it will cost a buttload of cash. 1900 for a welding fixture. 1900 for cutting fixtures. 2000 for engineering. 3500 to buy them the dies to bend 1-5/8 2"radius. Then I get to pay 660 each for 30 units. One of which will be kept by them for their tooling. One of which will be mine for fitment before the rest are made. So 28k gets me 28 pairs of headers. That's 1000 my cost before adding gaskets, boxes, hardware, packing materials, advertising, merchant fees(to get paid), etc.

I am going to make a new set for myself (the prototypes werent usable) and maybe see what it would be like to self-manufacture. From my conversations with bob Pasquale (TMH), he did something similar. He cut the tubes and tac'd them together and then sent them to Al's headers to have them finish welding and coat them. Don't know how he did that for as long as he did? That's nuts!

Interesting, and sad too.

I actually envision doing that with the headers I would like to finally make; cut and tack them together, and take to a trusted welder to finish weld. Then test fit them, and finally have them coated.

By chance were any of those without EGR bungs? I have not decided whether keeping an EGR system would be useful with boost, or worth the trouble.

I am interested in a pair as you have them worked out. I would use them now to change my exhaust with the stock engine, dyno before/after, and later build 1.75" headers if the blower project gets done.:salute:
 






i was going to kick the egr bung down the road. it seems simple enough to add it later.

i am now working on designing some wooden cutting fixtures so i can easily get the 180 degree tubes cut to the right angle and length. my issue right now is that i only had one pair of flanges made up, so unless i disassemble my prototypes to salvage the flanges, i need to wait another 4-6 weeks for another set to be made. i am hesitant in destroying my only example of the physical parts (even though i do have the 3d scanned model as backup).
 






Hmm, what flange choices did you find, and use? I gather that the 302 stock port location isn't great compared to the 351. I'm settled on the stock port outlets, but various heads have different bolt arrangements etc.

So are the TFS 190's a good workable port bolt pattern? I care about how they will fit for those of course, but I wonder if the GT40P heads will accept those headers well enough.
 






the bolt patterns are the same for most standard heads for the SBF. my flanges are my design and specifically modelled after the 190 FAC's, but they would be more than suitable for any of the smaller heads. i was asked before if they would work on the AFR 185's and they do use the same gasket, so its likely to work just fine. as long as there isn't a lip for the exiting exhaust to hit, its all gravy. i can't say the headers would be a good fit on the gt-40p's though, since they use a straight plug. that would have to be tried out by someone, as i don't have a set readily available (mine's an early 97 mounty).
 






You're a lucky SOB, those GT40 engines are hard to find now, here. I got one many years ago as a spare, and traded it to a friend who had his F150 blown up. I wish Ford hadn't of messed with the plugs, it wasn't worth the trouble.

Give me a heads up when you get close, I'm not "ready" yet, but soon will be.
 






I have one for you in the garage...just needs some rusted plugs drilled out to be a good core! Come get it!
 






Funny, somebody left the plugs in for too long, aren't platinum tips great?:eek:

I've got my eye on my friend's core 95 Cobra engine. He got it in trade for installing my old 91 302 that I rebuilt and sold to a friend who blew his 95(balancer). I'll use his GT40 heads and the rockers on my current 91 engine, to test the blower on.

We have parts, they just need some work.;)

...347
 






hey don, i see in your sig, that you are using 12.75 x 1.25 rotors. what are they from? did you make a custom caliper bracket or frankenstein it from another vehicle? i really want bigger brakes in the event that some day i actually get the thing running!
 






Yes, I made custom brakes several years ago. I couldn't find anything useful to adapt, because these rotors we use have 1.45" offsets, unlike a Mustang or Corvette that are .35" or .85" offset. Using those kind of rotors would place the caliper right out into the wheel, requiring those type of wheels. We also have bigger piston calipers than Mustangs etc.

I have a new pair of calipers that are six piston and use thick pads. I like the brakes I made, but the pads are typical vehicle sized, no longer wear gained. The first caliper was an OEM 65-82 Corvette, which gave great stopping power, but I wanted to try an SSBC replacement for them. That works too, but comes in two piston size choices. I picked the smaller one to see if it would be better than the OEM Corvette that was a hair too much. You would have to use ABS with the bigger calipers for sure, this SSBC unit is almost like the stock Explorer caliper in power.

Long story short, I have an extra pair of rotor hats, these are two piece deals. I could put together a system for you, given some time. The new Wilwood calipers will require another special custom bracket. That will end up with a lot of power too, those can't be had in other piston sizes. But the pads are very large and thick, what I want for the final system to be stronger and last longer.
 

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thanks for the info don. i appreicate the offer to put together a kit for me, but i am looking for more of an OE parts bin style setup. i don't want my POS truck to have better brakes than my Mustang...that would be unfair! it would, however, be great if i could swap my 14" 4-pot brembos i have on my Mustang onto the truck and get some bad boy stoptechs for the stang. i already use fr500 18x9mustang wheels on the mounty and they need spacers to fit right, so a shallow mustang rotor should be just fine.
 






There have been some PBR caliper kits made, first by Explorer Express(never sold to public), and then Ryan here, with his 92 Explorer(302 and TM headers, 95+ dash).

The PBR calipers are smaller than ours(38-41mm versus 45-48mm), so I;d expect them to have a little less power than my current SSBC's(43mm). I would say about 45mm pistons(x2) is the right balance for the truck. Almost all of the Mustang brake options have pistons in that smaller range.

For looks the Mustang brakes are a good option, I think Ryan did a fine job with adapting his for his 92 truck. I think making them fit a 95-01 would be a little tougher, but not too bad.

I came up with my size, to fit inside 16" OEM wheels(snow tires). Anything over about 12.8" or so makes you use 17's or more. So a 13.75" rotor would fit inside 17's.

Saleen had an option too, but the cost for rotors and pads was way way too high, say $800 and $300 per set. Those ate the rotors up quickly too. Eric here found a used set of parts, and made up the rest to work. Then he sold them as I recall, no idea what became of them.
 






I RECEIVED TB PARTS TODAY!!

I was like a kid on Christmas, ripping open boxes and immediately putting things together. first, the TB lever fits perfectly. I have full articulation and its a dead match to the stock lever ball location. its perfect! it totally looks stock (aside from the polished TB). So, I have a 75mm TB that will accept the factory cable with cruise. I used Stack Racing's 75mm TB. it was one of the few that had a removable lever, so I could exchange it for the EX version I designed. Its a prototype, so its bare steel and the notch for the spring got a bit out of shape being so close to the bend, but that's a minor revision. I am now going to try to work with Stack Racing to be able to provide TB's for the masses.

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I also got the parts for the TB elbow. I need to get them welded up, but everything fits together great. I started with the internal EGR setup, since that's what I need for my truck, but have the design for the external style as well. I will report back when I have that done!
 






That looks great, good work on the TB.

I've been brain storming for another engine down the road, after my two DD's are finished. My old 73 Ranchero will need a better engine than the old 351C 2V, so I searched the web for ideas. I love a Cleveland head, and came up with a 347 Clevor as a goal. That made me rethink the engine for my LSC, which is the 347 I've had done for two years. I may just swap this 347 out later and use it for the old truck, and stick a unique 347 in the LSC. That would be an alternative to adding boost to the car, I'd be fine with the Clevor as a NA combo.

Someone should try to build a Clevor for their Explorer, even if it's just to be different. I think the headers may be easier to make for the Cleveland head, since they point downward compared to a Windsor head.

Keep posting the cool pictures, that's half of the deal here.
 






I have a soft spot in my heart for cleavors...of course, starting with the 69 boss302. But, I would be really surprised if the heads would fit. It's going to be even more challenging to clear the a/c box and the steering shaft.

I expect my 3" 90 next week, so I can weld up the elbow and assemble it and the tb onto the engine and verify the throttle cable is going to work.
 






I have a soft spot in my heart for cleavors...of course, starting with the 69 boss302. But, I would be really surprised if the heads would fit. It's going to be even more challenging to clear the a/c box and the steering shaft.

...

That's just why I wouldn't try it for these trucks, it's tight in there. They'll fit in my Mark VII easily though, I just don't know how tough a well fitting header will be. CHI makes just about the best Cleveland head for the street, and they have a matching 185cc head and intake, including Windsor front dress bolt holes. A better price would help though.
 



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Hey guys it's been a while since I have been on and I have been checking on the status of the headers and TB and I must say I'm getting really excited for it now. I really want to get a set if they go into production. Everything looks awesome and keep up the good work.

-BA
 






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