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4.0L Engine Year Compatibility?

29Rat

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Well, 230k miles and the timing chain gave out on my '03 4.0L without warning. I'd like to put a used engine back in the car, already have the old one out, and figure $800 or less for an engine with under 150k miles is worth it, and for sure put new gears, chain, and tensioners in it. I'm pretty frugal, so figure this is my cheapest option, being that the car is in tip top shape. The valves are bent, need to pull the heads, but I can guarantee the pistons are going to have some dents in them, and not worth the risk of using, being so the price of new (used) heads, unless these heads are rebuildable, which is unlikely, and how much time it takes to pull the engine.

I've tried looking up engine compatibility, but there's a lot of "this year should work" and not "this year will work". I'm looking at either buying a parts vehicle with a bad transmission, wrecked, etc. or a complete used engine, which is easy enough to find on ebay, craigslist, marketplace, etc. My car has the 8th vin digit as a "K", and is flex fuel. All I need is a long block that is compatible with my year. What years of engines can I use? And what's the difference between 2wd and 4wd engines? Must I use a 4wd engine?
 


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vroomzoomboom

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any 4L sohc will for from anything. some people will argue that if it was a 4x4, you will need a motor from a 4x4 because it has a balance shaft it in. i will argue no on that. how does the motor know what its going into. so with that said, any ranger, explorer, explorer sport trac, and mustang that had a 4L sohc in it will work, you will just have do strip it to the short block (which is what you said you need, and its true) and transfer any sensor, harness, intake, exhaust manifolds fuel injectors and rails over unless you get lucky, and find the same year from the same model truck
 




koda2000

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Any 4.0L SOHC engine '98-2010 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger(?) or Mustang. You will need to switch over peripheral bolt-on pieces from your old engine.
 




29Rat

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Ok, that's kind of what I've concluded also. Also, what about the balance shaft, I see some say it reduces vibration, others say no vibration w/o. Can I take the balance shaft off of my bad motor, and install it on a used non-balance shaft engine? Or will there be no provisions on a non-balance shaft engine for a balance shaft?
 




koda2000

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Ok, that's kind of what I've concluded also. Also, what about the balance shaft, I see some say it reduces vibration, others say no vibration w/o. Can I take the balance shaft off of my bad motor, and install it on a used non-balance shaft engine? Or will there be no provisions on a non-balance shaft engine for a balance shaft?

Most here believe the balance shaft is not necessary. Some here have even removed the balance shaft because it can cause problems. If you feel you must have the balance shaft you will limit the number of used replacement SOHC engines available to you.
 




imp

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Most here believe the balance shaft is not necessary. Some here have even removed the balance shaft because it can cause problems. If you feel you must have the balance shaft you will limit the number of used replacement SOHC engines available to you.
@koda2000

Ah, but you did not commit to a personal opinion regarding keeping a balance shaft, or not.........care to? imp
 




koda2000

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@koda2000

Ah, but you did not commit to a personal opinion regarding keeping a balance shaft, or not.........care to? imp

I've never had a SOHC with the balance shaft. so I have no personal opinion. I'm just going by what I've read here.

More chains and moving parts, more potential problems. How's that?
 




imp

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I've never had a SOHC with the balance shaft. so I have no personal opinion. I'm just going by what I've read here.

More chains and moving parts, more potential problems. How's that?
@koda2000
That's pretty solid! Thanks! imp
 




1.8TTony

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I felt no difference with or without a balance shaft. 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel drive. Absolutely no difference.

I have two trucks. One is 4x the other is 2x.

No difference when driving the 4x in 4x4 or 2x4.

It doesn't matter what engine code is in the VIN....... The code that most people think indicates the type of engine actually indicates the fuel delivery package: Injectors, intake manifold, EGR pipe, fuel rail configuration......

You MUST use the engine harness that came with your truck. Your harness connectors will dictate which fuel injectors you can use........I only mentioned this because I recently did an engine swap where both engines were the same year, same Flex Fuel...... But the fuel injector connectors were different.
 




koda2000

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As I said earlier, the 4.0L SOHC ('97-'10) engines are interchangeable and the long-blocks (engine plus oil pan and heads) are all the same. You will need to swap over ALL the peripheral parts (bolt-on's, wire harnesses, fuel injectors, senors) from your old engine. @1.8TTony supports what I told you regarding the balance shaft not being necessary. You should be concerned more with locating an engine that is as new as possible with as few miles as possible. It doesn't matter what it came out of (Explorer, Mountaineer or a Mustang). The 4.0L SOHC's seem to all eventually develop T/C problems. This typically occurs at under/around 175K-200K, even on engines that were well maintained (there are exceptions). If you expect to get another 100K out of a used engine look for one that has as few miles on it as possible and buy one that you can hear run before you put your money down. I'm in the process of pulling the engine out of my '01 Sport Trac (w/200,000 miles). I hope to be able to rebuild it, but I need to disassemble and assess it's condition. If I find I can not rebuild it I'll have to decide whether a reman engine is worth the expense, or to scrap the vehicle. I wouldn't install a salvaged engine w/out replacing the timing chain components and super low mileage engines are difficult to locate and expensive.
 




imp

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I felt no difference with or without a balance shaft. 4 wheel drive or 2 wheel drive. Absolutely no difference.

I have two trucks. One is 4x the other is 2x.

No difference when driving the 4x in 4x4 or 2x4.

It doesn't matter what engine code is in the VIN....... The code that most people think indicates the type of engine actually indicates the fuel delivery package: Injectors, intake manifold, EGR pipe, fuel rail configuration......

You MUST use the engine harness that came with your truck. Your harness connectors will dictate which fuel injectors you can use........I only mentioned this because I recently did an engine swap where both engines were the same year, same Flex Fuel...... But the fuel injector connectors were different.
@1.8TTony
Purchased new aftermarket O2s for my '04 Ex. Lo and behold, the connectors had no lugs on them to "key" into the harness. The original O2s are lugged differently upstream and downstream to prevent the wrong one being stuck in place. The before-cat and after-cat O2s are NOT identical.

Aftermarket builder covers other applications by not having the lugs, and the unwary can easily foul up. imp
 




29Rat

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Well guys/gals, I picked up a 2004 Explorer AWD w/ 101k miles on it, w/ failing transmission. $850, and about $40 in gas. Don't think it's too bad of a deal, hope I get $300 for scrap, might keep the transmission and rebuild it though, anyone have experience with that? Like, where are the numbers to make sure it's the same one that's in my '03. Also anyone recommend a timing chain and guide kit, and do I need a tool to hold the cams? Haven't looked up how to replace them yet. Already have the engine pulled, took about 5 hours, a lot rustier than my '03, broke two exhaust manifold bolts :angryfire: hopefully they come out of the head easy. Oh and I'd like to keep the balance shaft, I personally don't want to go through all this work and have a vibration, seeming as it's a commuter vehicle that runs in that 2-3k rpms two hours a day on the interstate. Thanks everyone!
 




29Rat

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Oh, forgot to ask! So the engine is a 2004, and my vehicle is a 2003, are the harmonic balance and flywheel the same, or will I need to swap those over from my 2003 engine onto the 2004 engine?
 




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