5.0L vs 4.6L HP&Torque | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

5.0L vs 4.6L HP&Torque


Explorer Addict
July 16, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Explorer
Does anyone know the specs for both motors?

The 4.6L I assume is a OHC?

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!

I know the specs for the 5.0 is like 215hp and 280 fp/tq. I also know that a stock 4.6 vs a stock 5.0 the 5.0 would get beat

I wonder whether the 5 speed of the newer X is more the key than the 4.6?
I know many people say that the newer X will beat an older one, but gearing is everything and having 5 as opposed to just 4 has to be an advantage.

yeah it is. I wish i had a 5 sp auto in my 5.0. But WIth good mods the 4 can be better. When i shift im at about 3k-3.5k and thats my optimum power range so it pulls hard and the longer gears keep me in my power range longer. My truck whoops up on a stock 4.6 now (My dad's)

215hp/288lbft for a 5.0.

239hp/282lbft for a 4.6.

The 5.0's torque comes on much lower in the powerband than the 4.6, which is typically the problem with all 4.6's.

The 5sp tranny in the 4.6 gives it a slight advantage but that can quickly be overcome in the 5.0's with a shift kit. Even a chip would help. Besides, if you're worried about the long term, the 4R70W in the 5.0's is bulletproof.

With only an intake, exhaust, and suspension mods, I've never lost to a 4.6, though, I've only "raced" two. However, if the Explorers had the DOHC 4.6 instead of the SOHC, I probably wouldn't have a chance. However, 5.0's respond MUCH better to mods than 4.6's. Just pick up any Mustang magazine and compare the hp of any modded 5.0 'stang to a 4.6. There's really no comparison.

I was just revisiting my tow vehicle and pondering whether to continue my quest to SC my 5.0, get a new X with the 4.6, or wait until I have the cash and get a real tow vehicle such as a F250.

Just got back from a 3000 mile camping trip towing from CT to FL and back again and the Mounty performed well, but could have used just a little more umpth in some of the hills although I made all doing at least the speed limit but the little 5.0L was working. With a bit moe power I could hold OD longer, and stay in 3rd up a hill before downshifting to 2nd and really winding out.

I am just afraid that if I go the SC route that heat will be my enemy, some of the hills I encountered through PA and NY were lengthy.

As far as towing goes, I don't think you would be any better off with a 4.6 vs. the 5.0 you have right now. Gears are everything...if you have bad gears you can get out-towed by a V6. If you have good gears and a bolt-on modded 5.0, the 5.0 is a towing monster.

If you're not quite happy with your 5.0's towing performance, I'd suggest doing all of the bolt on mods...open-element air intake, 3" diameter exhaust pipe with high-flow muffler, larger throttle body, larger MAF housing, and lastly, computer chip. You'll notice a difference towing or not after doing all of that.