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347 updates

biff9703

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97 Explorer AWD 347 V8
You may remember awhile back I was installing a 347 in my 97 Ex. Had some problems with the TMH's, the spark plugs wouldn't go in after the headers were installed. They were for the GT40 heads, I have the P heads. I put the iron manifolds on, got an SCT tuner and the appropriate software. My son, who is an engineer, and has experience tuning with the SCT tuner, helped me get it tuned properly, was able to adjust the shift points, idle, and several other values I didn't know could be done. Since then, I've towed a small trailer to the SC coast, driven it back and forth to work, without any issues, but the mileage is slightly better, and the power is great. The real test came last week when I towed my Cobra replica on an open trailer from NC to Erie, Pa for a visit with friends. Made the trip last year, and the hill on I77 north in Virginia, going up to Fancy Gap was scary. I had the throttle wide open, 5000 rpm for almost 8 miles, and barely made 55mph. My engine oil temp pegged at 250, not sure how hot it actually got, but it was plenty hot. This year, I took it out of overdrive, put the criuse at 65, and it went all the way up the hill without downshifting, and the cruise stayed on! I couldn't believe the difference. I've been told that hill is the longest and steepest on the east coast. I never verified it, but it's a tough hill. I figured the loaded trailer weighs around 4200 lbs, so I'm really impressed at the performance. I got around 10mpg on the trip, which is good, get around 16 driving is back and forth to work, which is really good. More power, less fuel is SCT's slogan. I believe it! My engine has a Scat stroker kit, stock cam reground by Holman Moody in Charlotte, and the 1" upper intake spacer. My machine shop guy did the machine work, I did the assembly and install. I was going to sell the TMH's, but I got a set of aluminum heads and will be putting them on this fall. The project was kind of expensive, but worth it for the vastly towing performance, and the around town driveability is way more fun. I learned a ton from this site, and would like to say thanks to Jon (Turdle) and several others who have helped me along the way. I'm also thinking of changing the truck to 2 wheel drive, I really don't need AWD in NC. Maybe I just dream up these projects to keep myself entertained. Thanks again for all the help, and I'll post the results with the aluminum heads and TMH's when I get done. Will need to be retuned, but that's more father/son time! Never a bad thing.
 



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66427

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That's awesome, thanks for the updates.

Can't wait to hear more with the new heads and TM's.
What have you got for exhaust?
 






biff9703

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97 Explorer AWD 347 V8
Rear cats removed, 2 1/2" dual exhaust with turbo mufflers. Sounds good, but not too loud.
 












biff9703

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I did. Am reassembling it now. My friend at the engine shop hooked me up with a set of Liberty Performance Components aluminum heads. He ported them, and installed the 2.02/1.60 valves and the correct springs. I checked the spark plug and header fit twice before I bought them. I also rebuilt and updated a 2wd trans and removed all the awd stuff, as I really don't need awd in North Carolina. I'll post an update when I get it running. Wasn't easy replacing the heads in the truck. Am currently trying to find the right length pushrods to work with the new heads and roller rockers.Ps: GT40 heads would work, but he talked me into the aluminum heads since I was doing that much work, the gain would be worth it.
 






Dono

347 V8 Limited turbo
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I hear you. I had concerns about the issue with the time involved in ordering modified TM headers(and cost), so I stuck with gt40p's and had bigger valves, stronger springs, and porting done. Aluminum heads would probably have been the best route for weight savings alone, but I felt I was pretty much married to the 'P' heads.
 






biff9703

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I'm hoping I can find someone who wants to be married to my set of P heads. Only a few thousand miles since reconditioning.
 






Dono

347 V8 Limited turbo
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Apparently once they are massaged properly, they perform like the smaller AFR's. The weight is an issue, but the higher heat retention is actually a good thing in the combustion chamber.
The guy that ported mine (Thumper) says they are among the best heads Ford ever made.
 






biff9703

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Well, I got the aluminum heads on, and started the TMH install. My son tells me I need a Ford Lightning 90mm mass airflow sensor so the engine won't lean out at full throttle. He has the stock sensor set for max already, so I need one more part to run it wide open, but normal driving will be fine. I'll post results when I have some driving time in. Now the p heads and the awd stuff is going up for sale.
 






Dono

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Ah, Nice. You have been busy.
I just looked up those heads. They have pretty big intake runners at 190cc (Compared with the gt40p of 140cc) and nice big valves. Price is attractive also. I like the idea of buying the bare heads so you can make sure you have the correct springs for your cam, along with the valves (However exotic you choose to go). Also, very easy to a quick casting/flashing clean up.

Keep us up to date once that new maf goes in that isn't maxing out. Congratulations.
 






biff9703

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Well, I got the heads and TMH installed. I didn't need the Lightning MAF sensor. We didn't even have to adjust anything in the tune, as the stock MAF didn't max out. I lost about .5 mpg, no biggie. The power increase is more than I expected. I'm also pretty proud of the rebuild I did on the RWD transmission. Nice, quick shifts, but it doesn't bang into the next gear. Towed the trailer, and I was pleased at the power I had with that too. Still didn't max out the MAF, so I'm really pleased with the job. Been driving it a couple weeks now, and my hands are almost all healed up. A lot of work, but worth it in my opinion. Now I have to sell the Lightning MAF.
 






Dono

347 V8 Limited turbo
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Please tell me there's no metal shavings in the oil or filter.

Also, did you find anything that would cause pressure on the flex plate to cause the original issue?

Ruining a new motor scares the crap out of me. Its not only expense (big expense), but all the work in removing/reinstalling the motor, not to mention the down time and all those hours out of your life you will never get back. Its a lot of work on these, as space is tight.
 






biff9703

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No shavings in the oil or filter. I have 9k miles on the engine since original assembly. I've put dozens of engines together without any failures. There wasn't any problem with the trans or flexplate. I think you are thinking of someone else. This trans went together easy, worked perfect first time out. I only replaced it because I went from AWD to RWD. I have had enough of working on this truck. Time to move on to another project.
 






Dono

347 V8 Limited turbo
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Yes, I might be thinking of someone else. There seemed to be a bunch of thrust bearing failures that was also causing me stress as to what was going on as I'm getting ready to install a 347 also.

So your issue was the crazy spark plug issue with the tmh's. Congratulations on the finished product. A win, with no hangover, is a wonderful thing!
 






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