351w swap questions | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

351w swap questions


July 20, 2014
Reaction score
City, State
Austin, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 4 door
Couldn't find the answers to what i need in searching.. In my picture, you can see I still have a couple inches to go to seat the motor plate on the mount, and the oil pump is already hitting the steering cooler/rad thing. I started with a 4.0 so not sure how the 5.0's are, but what am I missing here? I am hoping I can flip the bracket it is on and re-do the tubing, but if these are made with 5.0's why is this so off?

When i pulled it and seated the motor, the pump was touching the steering crossmember; in the swap pictures i have seen there is a small gap between them.. I assume this is where I need to raise the motor, but where do the spacers need to go? My idea is to put an inch spacer between the engine block and the plate, with longer bolts. I will not have a hood so space isn't an issue.

And last is my oil pan. I currently have a mustang dual sump pan for this block I was going to use for a previous project, but am hoping I can make it work for this. Is it possible to cut a few inches off of the front sump and weld a flat plate on there?

Thanks in advance to you 351w swap/knowledgable guys


  • 20141123_151556.jpg
    68.6 KB · Views: 517

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Ok, so I haven't started my 351w swap yet but have done extensive research on it and from I've read and seen it's not easy but can be done with some fabrication skills and enough money and patience.








Ok, so these are the ones I have saved over time to go back and reread once I'm done with my SAS and can start doing the full 1989 F-250 351w, C6, 1356 t-case swap ito my '03 Sport Trac.

Yeah been through all those already, but thanks!

For those that have lifted their motor, would I be able to do a 1" solid bar spacer between the engine plates and the engine? I think that would give me enough clearance to run the dual sump pan; not sure where to put the spacers or if an inch is too much. Again no hood clearance issues

Which engine mounting plates are you using? As I recall, the OEM Explorer 5.0 SBF plates are dead level with the bottom of the block. Your plates look higher than that. (Might be the picture)

There is precious little room between the oil pump and steering, the Explorer 5.0 oil pan is super tight to the pump for that reason. No reason not to trim the dual sump to fit. You can all but dimple the floor of the pan for the 4 bolts on the oil pump if you need to.

One issue with lifting the engine is space above the transmission goes away FAST -- there's not much there either. Reshaping the pinch weld between the floor pan and firewall will probably be required. If you simply tilt the engine at the front, you might throw drive shaft angles off so you might need to lift the rear of the trans to match.

Another issue with lifting the engine will be (if using a mechanical fan) the fan shroud. Keeping the fan (roughly) centered in the shroud will be an issue.

The plates you sold me! When fitting the motor without the pan, the oil pump was perfectly touching the steering.. I figured putting an inch of spacing between the plates and the block would give me the room to use the dual sump, since the bottom of the sump IS so close to the pump. Long story short, this is a street rod build and the body of the explorer has been scrapped; clearance issues aren't my concern outside of this.

Hmmmm, Ok, so without the power steering fluid cooler in place, the oil pump touches the steering?

Definitely time to either scrap the cooler or mod it to move if forward and down to make room for the oil pan. That cooler is on the low pressure return side, easy to mount it nearly anywhere and run trans cooler lines to it.

Yea, the dual sump pan is about an inch deeper at the front than the original fitted Expo rear sump pan.

In your situation, no real reason not to simply the lift that needed inch, you won't be fighting the rest of the insanely tight clearance issues found in the Expo.

Probably the easiest way to add that inch is with welded on sleeves atop the mounting plates and simply use longer bolts to secure the plates to the block. Do go with high strength Grade 8 (or higher mil spec). It'll be a neat, clean mod that won't add a ton of "bodge" factor.

if you did know this already, sorry for posting, but both the 4L and 5L power steering coolers are different.

4L power steering cooler is the one on top


4L mounted on rack


5L mounted on rack. as you can see, it sits a lot lower.


Thank you both, and i had no clue the coolers were different; makes sense now. I'm gonna go ahead and space the motor above the plates and hopefully gain enough clearance to fit the dual sump. The cooler was able to be flipped over and new lines will have to be fabbed. Thanks again guys