5.0L Conversion Project "running" | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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5.0L Conversion Project "running"

5.0L Conversion Project "running" and being SOLD!

Well, Got the V8 running....well sorta.
at the moment it sorta sounds like a 500 HP big block V8. (due to the incomplete exhaust and intake system.) There are a lots of minor problems that have to be fixed.... so I am taking it in to a shop to have it all checked up. (before it becomes my daily driver)

1) get a donor car! finding parts for an incomplete engine is expensive and time consuming
2.) Do a 2in Body Lift. Just a minor body lift would solve a LOT of problems!!! I choose not to lift my rig, and SUFFERED the consequences!
3.) The WIRING IS THE EASIEST PART OF THE CONVERSION!!!!!!!! It took me 3 hours to wire it up right. (did I forget to mention that was after a day of wiring it up wrong) I will publish a website telling you how to wire these things up. Its extremely easy!
4.) Nothing is bolt on in this conversion, be prepared to make everything custom. Just because you have a Kit from A.A or L&L or Kaufmann, etc, etc, Doesn't mean SH*T!!! I found that out. (it was not as bolt on as I thought)
-You need to have a lot of money set aside for this conversion. Plan on 5,000+ min. (unless you have a donor car)

Here are My Specs:I converted my Base 91 XLT 4DR 4X4 Explorer in to a:

1994 Limited edition Explorer. (yes I did a complete wiring change from headlight to tailight) I also installed the complete 94 limited interior ...yes its very different than the Eddie Bauer)
Engine Used: 1992 5.0L EFI MAF Mustang V8 with 53,000 mile. Last ran in 1997 (Have vin)
-TRANS: Automatic Overdrive (AOD) 10K since rebuild
-Adapters: Advance Adapters AOD to Borg Warner 1354 Transfer Case Adapter. A.A. Motor Mounts, Headman Headers.
-Exhaust: 3in single w/ catalytic conv and muffler
-Radiator: 1997 5.0L V8 Explorer radiator. This radiator will not fit in your stock ranger or explorer. (83-95) I had to widen the frame rails, and hack away alot of the front clip. The 5.0 v8 radiator DARWFS the orig 4.0 rad.
-Cooling: There is not room for a MECH fan. Will be using an electric.

Thats all the info I have for now.... Its been a long two weeks! Go ahead and ask any questions. In time I will create a website that explains in detail, how to do a v8 conversion....and all the stufff they dont tell ya! and remember.....dont let the efi wiring scare ya! Its your friend!

Like I said feel free to contact me with questions or comments!

Al Seybold

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Pictures! I want to see pictures.

I like to see how you wired up the 5.0 in 3 hours. The 5.0 conversion harnesses I've built have have taken me over 30 hours a piece. It actually takes a bit more involvement to make them look factory than tapping in the guages, fuel pump, backup lamps, etc to the explorer harness.


Wow Al

It sound like you had a lot of problems. I agree with you on the conversion kits, I didn't like the quality or fit of the James Duff and will be making my own mounts for my Explorer.

Also if a donor car isn't available then at least make a list of all the parts needed and then have them before starting the conversion.

You did the wiring in 3 hours, thats amazing, it took me ten hours one Satuarday to graphed the Mustang harness to the Explorer harness so that I could just plug it in and go.

I think that the biggest problem with the conversion is that everyone gets the older Mustang engines because they're so plentiful. This engine just doesn't suit the Explorer engine compartment because of the intake and front accesories. The '94 - '95 Mustang and '91 to '93 T-bird/Cougar engines are way better suited for the application. A perfect examble is Ford used that engine in thier '96 or '97 Ranger 5.0L experiement and that chassis is still just like the '91 to '94 Explorer chassis.

Concerning wiring:
I forgot to mention........I spent about one day researching and planning out the wiring in my head. I did not have a helms manual for the mustang. (I only had a helms manual for the explorer)

Like Speedfreak says.....I highly reccomend the T-bird style intake. In fact I actually started out with a 92 T-bird 5.0 engine for my conversion, but trade it for a 92 Mustang 5.0. The T-bird engine I was using had to many missing parts.

I am not sure what you guys mean about the kits not being bolt in!
I used the L&L Kit and I had to drill one hole in the cross member.
The trans adapter from AA bolted on and the transfer case after that.
Drive shafts did not have to be modified so they were bolt on also.
Mounting the oil filter relocation mount did require a little thought but it took two holes and tapping to mount it, OK so I had to modify the hoses to fit where I wanted it.

The electrical took a little longer, just had to find the right type of power wires. The fuel pump gave me a little trouble but when I found the right wire, thanks to Ford, that wired up OK too.

So I am not being critical but I did not have any major problems with my mechanical install.
Although, were with a Ranger, I have not completed then swap into the Navajo yet. ($$$$)

Where did you have problems, mounts, oil filter relocation, transmission/transfer case?

Let the forum know, maybe you can save us the troubles.

:us: :chug: :can:


Glad to hear it's running!

I agree with what your saying. The wiring was easy ( I sent it to someone else ). Also, I have a 3" body lift and still running into some clearance issues.

I think the big differances in most of these swaps comes from the variaty of mustang or donor engines being used. I am having all kinds of porblems that I just didn't expect. Even with all the questions asked ahead of time, I still ran into issues where it was not expected.

It makes me somewhat leery of answering some of the questions I get asked, because it sometimes depends on what intake or wiring harness you have.

Anyway, Congrats on getting to this point. I expect mine to be finished sometime in March.


With the conversion I did I used James Duff mounts. They were simple enough but I think the engine sat a little too high. I am going to see if I can make something more like the '96 Explorer mount for my own truck. All the rest of the problems I had (which were minimal) were all related to the intake. If I used the '94 Mustang style intake and valve covers (stamped steel vs. cast aluminum) I think that most of these problems would have bein eliminated. The oil relocator worked well but I didn't like it's quality, other than that with the conversion I did, I found the hardest part to be wiring. With the wiring though, I was looking for show quality and stock appearance so I spent alot of time on execution.

NOT ALL 5.0's ARE ALIKE!!!! That is a very True statement.....(made by Gofast)

Sandy...... the motor mount situation was not as easy on mine. I must have spent two days putting the enigne in test fitting the engine.....repositioning it. What I meant to say was...... Just because you have a shiny new conversion kit, doesnt mean everything is just gonna bolt in.

Im selling the 5.0 H.O. Conversion project, I found out the engine I was given...... must of ran w/out oil for awhile..... Anyway, The Bearings are spun, thus resulting in a LOUD ROD KNOCK. (rotational noise) I can get a new engine.....(free Replacement) but I dont have the time or money to go through the whole process again. You can see the AD in the "For Sale" section of the board. (the new engine is a 92 T-bird 5.0 H.O....which is extremely different than my 92 Mustang 5.0 setup, to make it worse, its missiong some of the front Accesories)

Thanks for all the help. I WILL STILL BE MAKING A GUIDE ON HOW TO WIRE THESE THINGS UP......in three hours......the easy way.... :-)


Good :) and Bad :( I guess.

Good Luck on the sale.

I have a semi finished project just sitting around my Boston area garage with no one to buy it. If you happen to find another person to buy a Navajo/9"/D44 project vehicle let me know. :confused:

:us: :chug: :can:

In case I do run across somebody who wants a "semi-finished Navajo/9"/D44 project vehicle " I will let them know! :-)


When you get your wiring notes done I would like a copy. Whattransmission did you use? did it have a neutral detect switch as well as the reverse switch?

I'm just about to get started on a convesion. I just picked up an engine (96 Explorer 5.0), and transmission (Mazda M5R2 - full size Ford F150 / Bronco tranny). I hope to get the transmissionin without a body lift.

I will start ordering the rest of the parts in the next few days.

I will drop off the heads to be reconditioned and ported.

Meantime I will clean out the 4.0 and do my prep work.

How did you set up your exhaust system, specifically who's headers, cats, muffler, pipe size did you use?

Selling that thing is going to be very difficult.
Once you have done a conversion like that the market of people you can sell too just went down about 90%.

What I mean is we all build these monsters knowing that you will never get out of them what you have in, unless you are building them for special purpose, like racing or show.

It does not take more then a weekend to pull a 5.0 and drop in a new 5.0. You already have a hundred hours + in the conversion, whats another 15?

$6500 for somebody else's headache is not a smart buy. You are the only one who knows that truck.
the Ford guys scratch their heads and cry when they look under my truck, 93 OHV 4.0L, 94 Mazda 5 speed, 97 AWD 8.8, 92 D35 TTB, 95 T case, 94 EB interior, and thats just for starters, oh and it's an 88 BII.

I dropped my 5 speed 4 times last year, due to conversion/hydraulic clutch problems. Part of it, mix match of parts, part of it wear and tear. Still not exactly right. So now I'm looking to drop $1200 into converting her to an automatic. Something I always knew I would do (towing/4x4ing) but it came sooner then expected.
Do you know what a ***** it is to replace the pedal assembly, tranny, floor shifter, etc for an auto conversion? Not to mention the gathering of parts, the gambling on getting a good rebuild, etc...
It will all be worht it when she is an auto and I can focus on building a new performance 4.0L for her. The next step.
I may cuss and complain for a month because of all the crap it takes to do the conversion. But everyday on my way to the lake with the boat in tow it will al be worth it.

So buck up, swap in your replacement 5.0 and reap the rewards of all your hard work. Dont give up now, you will kick yourself later, even if you did get lucky enough to find $6500 for your project....

I think my truck is worth $25,000
hELL It's cost me about that in the last 6 years to build her
The blue book still says $3000

I am planning on starting the project in about a year. I too would be interested in any wiring diagrams or even mechanical diagrams you can come up with. When I do mine I plan on devoting a site to it and wouldn't mind starting that site now so I can gather all the needed info ahead of time.

Did you modify the motor any? When I do it I am planning on doing it from the block up so I can *tweak* it a little, I guess I need to see some pictures so I can see how much room there is. A guy up the street from me at a shop is doing it into a ranger I may see if he will elt me take a look at it!

410Fortune: haha.....your bronco II reminds me of my 1990 ranger..... it had a 1994 4.0L V6 in it, 93 Eddie Bauer interior, 92 axle, etc,etc.

I already got the replacement motor (92 t-bird 5.0 H.O.) Since everything is made to fit..... (all the conversion parts installed, it shouldnt take me more than a weekend to get it up and running. Last week, I was a little pissed off, and just coming out of the 2.5 week long swap, so I didnt want to have to think about doing it all over again. It looks like I'll end up putting the new engine in myself.

Thanks for the support!

I agree with the above post KEEP IT fix drive the peepee out of it and have a blast, I understand the upset but you know you want a 5.0 X and you know you will have a blast with it, good luck and let us know how things come out!!!!

Thanks...... The plan is this...... I will be pulling the bad 5.0 out of the xplorer, and I'm having a mechanic at the local speed shop who specializes in 5.0's do the install, and finish all the minor fabbing. Personally, I Just ran out of time.....if anybody can relate.. :-) It should be completely Done February 25.

Good Choice, Not easy, but good.

HAng in there.

Awhile back I had a 68 Camaro convertible. I rebuilt the motor, 13.5:1 compression. A cam that would shake the neighbors house. Chromed everything, custom wire harness that looked incredable. Muncie M20 ( Rock crusher ) 4:11 gears in back. I t looked and ran great. Took nine months to put the whole thing togather.

1st week broke in the motor, 2nd week dumped the clutch a 3.4K RPM lifted the front wheel maybe an inch, but broke the shock with the amount of extension.

3rd week, LAdy pulled out in front of me. Crunched the front clip, broke bothe motor mounts and when the motor slid forward it cracked the tranny before the crossmember mount sheared.

I sold the car the next day for 2K. The guy had to tow it home. I was depressed and wanted nothing to do with it.

I wish I had it back now. ( Of course, I wish I had about 6 others back now too )

Good choice keeping it. It's worth more running too.