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'99 Explorer LS Swap Finished - Was has anyone done it?

Go go gadget flame suit :D

Has anyone ever done a Chevrolet LS series motor swap in their 2nd gen explorer, or any gen explorer for that matter? I know it is a popular swap for fox body cars.

Links or pics would be appreciated. The google didn't yield much. I saw a thread with an 01 sport, but the project didn't appear to get anywhere. Thanks!

(Edit) - This turns into a build thread... Keep reading.

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subscribing because my buddy still sprays his 6.0 ls2 with a 100 shot, and it has 270k miles on the stock internals.

So yeah, there's that.

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Exactly. They can hold up to a lot of abuse. That, and if you blow it up, you just get another from the salvage yard, instead of paying for a lot of expensive internals and machine work.

The motor itself fits fine, provided you have the proper accessory layout and clearance the AC box. The exhaust manifolds are where it would get tricky with a NA setup. Of course, 5.0 the explorer manifolds are tricky too, we just have bolt in options available. With the stock truck water pump, I have about 1.5" from the snout of the water pump pulley to the stock radiator core, but I am going to see if I can sink the engine more and tuck it back a little farther. There is a step in the firewall, and I think I can tuck the intake manifold inside that recess. Electric fans will be a must, regardless.

It is getting cold here and with no heat in the garage, I am not going to get too much farther before spring. I will use the down time to collect parts.

I have the engine/trans in my parts truck with tacked up motor mounts and have been laying out the hot and cold side turbo plumbing. Trans crossmember still is nonexistent due to the ice cold concrete. I had to purchase an accessory bracket setup to mount the alternator and PS pump in a different layout. Overall I am quite happy with how it is coming together. I have most all of my parts/materials at this point so I should be able to crank away once it warms up. I mess with it for a half day here and there if I have time when the temps are above 20-25 degrees.

No pics for now, but this thing is gonna be sick. I will start another thread when I really get going on it.

I picked the project back up earlier this month and plan to have it running and driving by the end of July to work out the kinks for an event in early August. I am working on it almost daily. Things are coming along well but everything is still all in the donor vehicle. I need to pull the 5.0 out of my sport and get to swapping soon in order to hit my date but still have some fab work left before I can do it.

obviously no frame rail issues. I can hardly wait to see how things come together and the challenges.

Take lots of pics.

I will document it as best I can. The power goal is 5-600hp at the rear tires, so we shall see what happens. lol

Anyone follow SloppyMechanics on YouTube? Guy swapped in a 6.0 from a van with 226,000 miles into his Colorado. Installed a turbo and had 460 hp. He eventually upgraded the turbo and threw on a 50 shot of nitrous and made 1067 hp on a stock LS. Only thing changed was the can. I also think he swapped an Explorer rear rend on the Colorado.

Here's a vid of him running 9.78 in the 1/4 mile.

Mr. Happel's build is one of my inspirations for sure.

Fired it up today. I hope to get it out on the road tomorrow. I need a buddy to help me get a nice safe low boost tune on it for powercruise this coming weekend. Here is a pic from when i was doing wiring the other day.


Yes! Any exhaust video clips??

I'm super impressed.
There must have been all kinds of challenges to overcome.
From what I can tell, all you have lost so far is air conditioning, rad overflow, and wiper juice.

What was your attack on the motor mounts?
What happened with the transmission?
How are you handling the gauges?

So many questions, lol.

Excellent Eric, great work to get it all arranged well.

I watched on the Corral as a member there transplanted an LS3 into his Volvo, now listed as the fifth best project on a car magazine's site. The engine is very compact, exhaust too, and the aftermarket supports swaps with wiring etc.

I will do a basic thread later with all the specs, but for now I will say that I have an overflow tank and washer tank that are going on shortly. The only real losses are AC, cruise control, and gauge cluster. The gauges will be replaced with a digital dash at some point. The time crunch I am under has led me to cut some corners and I will have to circle back around to clean some things up down the road. The goal was to make it as much of a bolt in swap as possible, meaning little to no modifications to body or frame, only to bolt on stock parts. I modded a stock trans crossmember and made motor mounts that drop onto the factory threaded stud mounts. Time will tell what power they can hold. All in all I feel this arrangement is far more serviceable than the 5.0 engine installation.

thats brilliant, i'm amazed it fits.

can't wait to hear more details

Had it at the track for Powercruise USA this weekend. Basically you get to drive the road course and fly down the main straight which is normally the drag strip. There are a lot of cars on the track at any given time so it can get a little wild but for the most part people behave. I have some heating issues and some more tuning to take care of but overall the thing held up ok and it's a blast. It is way quicker than before and there is still plenty of room to turn up the boost.


So you went RWD in the end yeah?

Nice work Eric. Do you think it is possible to keep 4wd with this swap?

Excellent, I'm glad you are enjoying it, good fun.

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Thanks, guys. Yes it is RWD. I do think that with some custom oil pan work that 4wd could work. I was initially laying out the swap in an awd v8 model and tried to get away with leaving the diff in but had to pull it because of an oil pan interference. Transfer case clearance is an unknown but I would like to think it could work out. The trick is getting the front output to shoot through above the trans and torsion bar mount crossmember.