'91 Explorer 289 Build | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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'91 Explorer 289 Build

One-ate-6ix

Member
Joined
June 26, 2012
Messages
17
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0
City, State
Medford, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 Explorer
Alright guys! New here, wanted to share my build with you guys, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions along the way. So this winter my explorer with the 4.0 ohv dropped a rod at 247,x.. miles. (Only about 2000 by me). It's my first car, got it given to me for my 16th birthday. We thought about just getting a new 4.0 from a junkyard, but instead we decided on a 289. Now let me get this out of the way from the start, I would have gone for a newer 5.0 drivetrain hands down. However I already had this engine, it's a 1967, 289 out of a Mercury Cougar. It's got stock internals, OS valves, a mild street cam, stock ported heads, Edlebrock Torker intake manifold, and a Carter racing carb (not sure what size). Wasn't enough in the Cougar so we got a 390 GT for it, :D but thats a seperate project. So I've got quite a bit done so far, I have a c4 tranny that we bolted to the stock transfer case with an adapter from Advanced Adapters. We fabed up some motor mounts, and fabed up a dual sump oil pan.

Heres some pics of the latest work.:salute:

This is the engine sitting down in the engine bay.
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Here's our new radiator, got a universal radiator from Jegs to fit up under the gille.
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There was some cutting to do.

Cutting out the side mounts for the stock radiator.
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Also had to cut into the top.
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And a place for the cap.
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Here it is sitting up under the grille.
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Made a little lip to go around the edge where the cap goes!;)
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Also finally got the shaft to connect the tanny to the tranfer case! Been waiting on this baby for months!!:D
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I'll keep everyone up to date with pics and videos on how its going!
 



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To get enough torque from this engine, IMO a lower gear change would be in order.
And how about the need for leaded gas, is that an issue?
And remember, if your running a flat tappet cam, make sure your using an oil for flat tappet cams ie with ZDDP.
 






Well it's already gonna have more torque than the stock 4.0 :D
but I plan on at least 4.56's, since it'll be getting bigger tires and lift shortly after we get it running.
 






Interesting. All that work for not munch gain IMHO. But hey your rig & it looks like you have the tools & knowledge to do it. Good luck
 






Well the 4.0 is rated at 155hp stock, and the 289 is rated at 225hp stock, and it's not stock. Also I didn't have to buy a new engine and tranny, it's what I already had. I'm not expecting too much out of just the 289.
But don't worry too much, it's gonna get a lift and tires first, but its not gonna stay a 289 for very long! :D
 






So here's a problem I have, since the 289 is carbed and the X is set up for FI, I was planning on using a pressure regulator with the stock in tank fuel pump. But it also has a return line, I thought it might be a good idea to keep this, so I have a constant circulation of cool fuel to the carb. And ideas if this would work good or not?
 






I think summitracing has everything you need for that. I haven't looked for it in a while, but I remember an adjustable FPR with return line.
They also have EFI kits/intakes for that motor in case later you decide that carb is too much trouble off road.
 












None right now. We have the stock 289 manifolds but they don't fit right. I'm looking to get decent headers for it. Stock manifolds wont flow very well with those ported heads. What performance exhaust system are you talking about?
 






What exhaust manifolds are on the engine? On the 2nd generation Explorers there isn't room for a performance exhaust system. Is the same thing true for your 1st generation Explorer?

Looking at the pics of the engine installed it appears that there is a bit more room than with a 5.0, probably room for a decent set of shorty headers, or there is always the option to make custom headers.
 






Custom headers

None right now. We have the stock 289 manifolds but they don't fit right. I'm looking to get decent headers for it. Stock manifolds wont flow very well with those ported heads. What performance exhaust system are you talking about?

That was my point. For the stock body on frame height I'm not aware of any performance headers that will fit other than custom.
 






That was my point. For the stock body on frame height I'm not aware of any performance headers that will fit other than custom.

Ohhh I gotcha, Advanced Adapters says they make headers that fit the conversion. I was planning on trying some shorty headers. Idk if theirs more room than with a modern 5.0 swap. But a 289 is just a 302 with a slightly shorter stroke, block is exactly the same.
 












Been a while since I've been able to make an update on this! Been really busy with school starting back up. So the engine is in for good now! Got it all cleaned up with some fresh ford blue paint, chrome valve covers, thermostat ect. (I'll post some more pics as soon as I can).

Instead of hooking up a floor shifter, I decided to stay with the stock column shifter, so I fabbed up some brackets, and turned down a new pin to go on the shifter arm.
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Also made a few little carvings in my top radiator mount ;)
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Also, after this is done, I'd like to set it up with a SAS and a rear locker, I won't trouble anyone with basic questions, I've done some decent research, but I'm looking to do a full size axle swap, but I don't think I want quite full width. Anyone on here done a full width axle swap and cut them down a bit?

Any other suggestions on it let me know.
 






I was going to narrow a 79 f150 dana 44 axle for my solid axle swap. After reading quite a few posts of people saying they wish they would have just went full width, I decided full width it is!

If your going to narrow a solid dana 44, just take 6 inches off of the passenger side tube and order yourself an early bronco replacement shaft

I don't recall seeing what axles you want to run. 1/2 ton ? 1 ton? Rockwells?
 






Not sure what axles I want to run yet, sell me on some, haha.
Yea I wasn't wanting to narrow them too much, in between full width and stock, but I'm open to the idea of full width also.
 






Interesting build. Definitely going to keep an eye on this.

As the owner of a 69 Cougar XR7, I'd like to know more about yours. Are you on CCOA?
 






I'm not! The Cougar was my dads old car. It's a 67, came stock with the 289, ported head, OS valves, ect. wasnt enough so we got a 390. It's a custom purplish maroon color, paints in great shape (stock color, just not what was originally on the car). The interior is had, but its getting redone. I was just about to dive into that project when my 4.0 threw a rod. So I thought what the hell? I'm not just gonna let that 289 sit and rust now am I? :)
 






I like the way you think. I have a parts 69 Cougar with a 351W 4v that I've often wondered if it would fit in my Sport Trac. That's part of my interest in your build. 400 plus ft lbs of torque would be beautiful with my one tons.
 



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Yea if I had the option I would have liked to do it with a 351w but the 289 was what I had! I figure its probably around 280-300 hp at the flywheel with whats been done to it. So it should get up and go a lot better than stock! And if I ever get bored with it there's no lack of mods for a SBF. Maybe itll see some FI soon! If you need to know anything about my build feel free to ask. I'm sure a 351w will go in a sport trac, it's just how much fabbing you wanna do to get there!
 






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