A completely insane/stupid 4.9l swap. Yes, I'm serious. | Page 6 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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A completely insane/stupid 4.9l swap. Yes, I'm serious.

Alright guys, a micro update for now... I know it seems like I've been shady, but just busy in general. Ol ugly is here (nightmare), got the engine, trans, t-case, and wiring harness pulled out of it (not quite a nightmare, but damn, that engine is big as hell), and tomorrow I should have most if not all the stuff I need out of it, and should be able to post some pics for you guys. I was looking at the engine once I got it pulled out, and I'm thinking of re-doing the intake and putting the t-body and other accessories on the right side, instead of off to the left. Anyways, I'll get you guys the juicy details tomorrow.

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Alright guys, sorry it's taken so long for an update. Been super busy with a variety of things. It'll slow down quite a bit now, hopefully. So, we'll start out with the nightmare: getting the truck here. I went down, took off the tow hooks (pain in the ass because a couple of the bolts didn't wanna move, damn fine thread 1/2" bolts, 1st problem), bolted up the tow bar brackets, and thought I was good. It had some lights on the back of the flatbed, I grabbed a bit of old wire from the job and 45 minutes later of diagnosing wiring problems, I finally get em wired up (2nd problem). So, I start driving, and it felt like it was a little loose (I have a 1 7/8" ball, the tow bar is set up for 2"), so I decide to stop at the parts store right up the street to grab the right size hitch, because it felt a little loose. Well, I forgot ol ugly doesn't turn so much as she berths (like a ship), and I took the tight turn into the lot too tight. Next thing I know, I hear a "pop!" come from the back, and my truck rolls into the side of my bumper (3rd problem). Oh, what the hell?!?! So, I had to end up locking it into 4wd to drag this heavy sumbitch that was sitting out halfway in traffic, and finish pulling up to the far end on the lot.

I get out, and take a look at the damage... Not pretty at all. Snapped three 1/2" bolts, ripped almost completely through the frame on one side, and pulled so hard on one of the fender washers, that it left a perfect hexagonal imprint through it. You've got to be kidding me :mad:... So I go into the store, grab the correct hitch, and come back out. Luckily there was an Ace hardware right across the street and *lightbulb* grade 8 bolts! Why didn't I think of that sooner??? :banghead: So, I go and pick up the rather pricey grade 8's (about $2 a bolt), and some flanged nuts, replace em, and here comes the hard part: kicking the mounts straight so I can get the tow bar pins back in em. So, after about 15 minutes of forceful kicking and re-tightening, I finally had it all solved... Or so I thought. Remembering my turn-radius lesson, I start off again, giving plenty of room to maneuver my mini-convoy, get literally no farther than 500 feet, turning to get onto the street, when I hear another "pop!" ARE YOU F***ING SERIOUS????? :fire:

I had SNAPPED a grade 8 bolt. Srsly??? (4th problem) Okay... wat do? At this point, I considered calling a tow truck. I had about 3 hours into this, and had moved less than a mile... Then I thought about the $ I had dumped into this, and didn't feel like dumping the $50-75 for a tow. It would turn out, there were 2 forces I hadn't calculated, the outward and inward motions from starting and stopping, as the mounts go down about 4.5", and out around 12", and I hadn't calculated those forces with the amplification that the mounts provided, and didn't have a piece of metal bracing it to compensate those forces. I needed a solution. So, (some of you may disown me for this next stunt, I'm pretty sure it qualifies me for the "redneck of the month" award) I headed back to ace for what else? Another grade 8, a 2x4", a wood saw, and of course, DUCT TAPE! (I can hear the "Oh God... What did he do?"'s already...)

I went back across the street with my newly acquired hardware and toolry, and got to work. (Although my preferred method of fixing this solution would have been a 6"x4" plate of 1/2" steel and an arc welder.) I cut the 2x4" to go in between the tow bar mounts, duct taped that in there, and took my chain out of the back and wrapped it as tightly as I could around the mounts to keep them moving away from each other. See picture one. So, a few prayers and some gentle driving later, I made it the final 10 or so miles home. Not hard at all... :rolleyes:

After I got it home I procrastinated and did some work to the DD Blazer, and called it good for that week, as I had to call a temporary hiatus on working on my truck. One of the maintenance guys brought me his VERY kick ass engine hoist (a 4500lb double-pumper unit... Lemme go ahead and say that thing is friggin SWEET!), and from there, I started work on my ugly maiden.

WOW, I gotta say, working on the F, compared to the Ex, was a DREAM! There was so much room, and the engine was so easily accessible, it'll blow your mind. Removal of the harness in the engine bay was WAY easier than expected. In fact, everything went relatively easily, minus 3 issues, 2 a/c coupling nuts that absolutely refused to break loose without the help of my 6'4" 265 lb buddy and me working alternative wrenches to break it loose. Seriously, that thing was built to LAST. The apocalypse could hit and those nuts wouldn't loosen. T'was bad... The other issue was dropping the trans/t-case, as they're big, heavy, and a little hard to maneuver out of the engine + clutch without a trans jack. Third was the physical removal of the motor: OH...MY...GOD, that thing is HUGE. Must be the truck that makes that engine look smaller, lol.

I had to let the air out of the tires to get enough clearance to remove this thing... Once I did that the axle limited the amount that I could get the hoist in, which made things fun. One the removal, I only saw one hook on the engine, right at the very front. Well, this isn't going to do I thought, and without the trans along with the motor mounts unbolted, the engine had sagged down towards the back, making access to pretty much anything on the back of the head impossible. I took my chain and routed it down to where the trans bolt holes were, hooked up a smaller chain through the provided motor pull mount, and tried an yank. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! No. This motor is so beastly it's absurd. The only way to remove this motor is with the one motor pull hook, because this motor has to swing out from it's resting place. It eventually required some careful positioning and a little prying with a 2x4 to get her out. Oh, and there (once again) was about squat for clearance with my garage door, lol.

I was able to remove the engine, trans, and t-case in one night, which aint too bad. I got what I think I need of the harness out of the truck (demo saws make EVERYTHING so easy to access...). The engine and trans are completely filthy. I've gotta replace the rubber shifter boot right on top of the trans, and the engine needs a brand new set of anything that keeps oil in in, lol. Seriously, this thing is SO filthy, it's incredible. The crud actually has layers, that's how bad it is. After the gaskets, seals, and boot, these things are going down to a serve-yourself wash to remove some of this absurd filth. I'm going to inquire about a trailer from a friend or one of the rental places around here, because I'm going to remove the ass-end and turn it into a trailer. I took the liberty of removing the rusty tanks with the smelly old gas (that was TONS of fun...) and have to remove the rear driveshaft and chop the frame... But I'm going to wait til I get it on the trailer first, so I can just roll the rear off of it. Oh, and I figured out what I'm gonna do if the emissions stuff ever comes through NE... Ecoboost anyone? :burnout: If I had $40k to drop on a new truck, it'd be an '11 F150 in a heartbeat! So, enough with the blablablah, here's some pics.

Thank God I didn't meet a Trooper... I think I would've got a talking to... :rolleyes:

Looks inviting

Check out all that awesome work room and simplicity!

Wiring harness. The little yellow things are sticky notes for reference :D

So much torque, it requires a chain to prevent it from completely obliterating the engine bay! Lol, I don't know if it was factory or not, but I figured you guys would get a big a kick out of it as I did...

Notice the incredible filth...

This is how t-cases are supposed to be made. Looking @ you, Ford. Size 11 boot for reference

Boot for reference. The bellhousing on this thing is MASSIVE compared to the Ex

Let em bleed...

Lowered for effect

Notice the incredible sag...

First attempt at a straight pull. Didn't work out so well...

Almost there. Notice that I'm not using the 2 chains anymore...

A little prying to get 'er past the crank pulley

Almost there...


Check the awesome door clearance :rolleyes:

This is the mechanic's equivalent of an 8-point buck...

And of course, victory beer!

I think I'm going to cut down the intake and it'll have everything on the right side instead of the left. It'll cut down on some of the height required for this thing, and I don't see anything keeping it from working. I'll do a bit of research to see if anybody has been successful in moving an efi intake to the left side, but from the carb'd versions of these engines, I've seen em run right off the left side of the engine, so it should work. Anyways, that's all I got for now. Gonna work on the bike. If there was a forum for em, I'd be able to keep you all updated on my eccentric motorcycle progress. I guess you'll have just have to stay posted for when I get back to it. :cool:


I'll be duct taped to a 2"X4" and drug down the street! :D :thumbsup: ;)

great thread. Can't wait to see the 300 in an Ex!

Well **** man! I just read all 6 pages and still havent seen the 300 sittin in the ex to prove it fits. I want to see it because it might help me decide if i can fit a 460 in an X or not... If a guy could do a rear mount rad some how in an X it would help greatly with clearence up front for these larger engines..

I like your 2x4 chain duct tape tow bar idea.. I love riggin **** up!

Glad to see this is still alive and well! Can't wait to see the "tower of power" go in an explorer. Good luck!

Yeah, the first couples pages was just a whole lot of bickering. It'll get there, its just gonna take a little time. I don't really have an yweekend time to work on it, so it takes me longer than if I had that amount of free time. I may use the rad out of the 150, the core is even thinner than the one off the X, its just a little wider. The other thing that will take some time is that this has to be designed so that I can work on it down the line, like every vehicle at some point. I think a lot of guys have dropped their X body onto old truck frames with the 300 in it, but as far as dropping on into the rails of an X/Ranger frame, me + Kert are the only ones crazy enough to have tried this, and Kert's farther along than I am, as far as that goes. He's had some issues, and so will I, so its just gonna take a little bit of brainpower and some think-juice (read: beer) t get this all accomplished. Or if gas goes down to $1.50 a gallon, I wouldn't have to work on the moto. One can dream still, right?

Well, dont throw your bike away just yet. I work in the oil fields up in ND and i assure you, the prices wont be going down enough to make any real difference.

Was this ever finished?

It's still in the works. Had to finish the trailer from the donor truck first, and then, you know the saying "life comes at you fast"? True to that saying life came at me with my first kid, and moving into a house requiring some substantial renovations/repairs, along with me being in the middle of starting a company. Suffice it to say, the Exploder has been put on the back burner for the time being. Money and time willing, I'll be able to recommence work on it in the summer.

Sounds like how my diesel project got backburnered. New junk house, new kid, new job... Good luck to you.

Well, on the bright side, Nebraska will never have emissions checks, so no matter how long it takes you, you won't ever have to take it apart again.

Sounds like how my diesel project got backburnered. New junk house, new kid, new job... Good luck to you.

Thats pretty similar to whats holding my diesel swap up too. Home repairs/renovations and kid.... same old job, just 1 less employee and the same amount of work.

Good luck to all of us.

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Sooo... Had a lot of fun out there today :rolleyes: My God, kudos to you guys that have worked on their trucks and seen how they're constructed and have kept them. Sweet Jesus doing jumping jacks, what a mess. Got the front driveshaft removed (check the pics on the carnage where the U-joint is on the front yoke), A/C evac'd, starter removed, and being that my impact gun rated for 625 ft lbs in reverse wouldn't even budge the manifold to down pipe bolts, I just unbolted the headers and will start hacking away at bolts once the engine is out of the way. I seriously can't believe that somebody signed off on the design of this thing. Added another thing to my bucket list: kick an Exploder engineer in the nuts.

"Added another thing to my bucket list: kick an Exploder engineer in the nuts." Lmfao