3rd gen 4.0L to 4th gen 4.6L swap | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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3rd gen 4.0L to 4th gen 4.6L swap


New Member
July 18, 2017
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Explorer XLT 4.0L
I currently have a 2005 Explorer XLT 4.0L 4x4 and have been wanting to swap it to a 4.6L V8. Comparing the 3rd and 4th gen 4.6L V8s the 4th gen has about 50 more hp so I feel that would be the better swap.

Has anybody heard of someone that has performed this swap before? My questions:

  • Are the motor mount mounting positions on the body the same for the 4th gen as they are for the 3rd gen?
  • Is the 4th gen 4.6L engine bay/layout the same as the 3rd gen 4.6L one? If so, is it essentially the same things that would need to be changed as if I were doing a 3rd gen 4.0L to 3rd gen 4.6L swap? I know the steering rack is mounted differently on the 3rd gen 4.6L, is this the same as the 4th? Also is the radiator the same size and in the same spot for the 3rd and 4th gens? Is the front diff mounted in the same spot on the 4th gen?
  • The 3rd gen explorer has the PCM in the engine bay through the firewall, is this the same as the 4th gen? If so, would it be easy to connect the 4th gen PCM to the rest of the cars electrical systems?
  • Would I be able to use the 3rd gen shifter linkage with the 6 sp transmission since the 3rd gen is a column mount while the 4th gen is a console mount?
  • My explorer is a 4x4 with a class III/IV tow package so it has the 3.73 diff gear ratios I believe. With the 6sp trans, would I need to change the gearing in the front and rear diffs to the 3.55 gear sets that they had in the 4th gen 4.6Ls? The 3rd gen 4.6Ls with that tow package also had the 3.73 so why did they change to the 3.55 for the 4th gen?
  • If the diffs are compatible then how difficult would it be to still use the Advancetrac/RSC and 4x4 systems with the new transfer case or if the modules and wiring would need to be swapped as well, or is the 4th gen system better?
  • If the diffs have to be changed, is there a difference between the half shafts/hubs in the 4th gen or could I still use the 3rd gen ones?
  • What is the length difference if any between the 3rd and 4th gen drive/prop shafts and/or transmissions, or could you use the same drive/prop shaft as before?
  • Is the transmission mount the same or at least located in the same spot as in the 3rd gen model?
If any of these questions are answered I would be much appreciated and it would go a long way in determining if this swap would be an almost direct drop in or if it would need a lot of work and fabrication to make it work.