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Another 1998 Explorer Sport V8 Project. . .Completed!

I just saw this thread. Awesome! Tims right, that start-up surge drives me crazy. I've been playing around with start-up fuel and start-up air all winter with limited success. These motors sure drink a lot of gas when cold, that I do know.
 



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I also like that hood. The one I was wishing for came on the F150's and similar on a Ranger once, Cobra F1 is what I recall it named. I bought pieces of one to see about grafting to a stock hood.
That would fit the lines of our 2nd gens very well!
 






I just saw this thread. Awesome! Tims right, that start-up surge drives me crazy. I've been playing around with start-up fuel and start-up air all winter with limited success. These motors sure drink a lot of gas when cold, that I do know.
Glad to know there is a handful of you guys playing with these Explorer ecus. I've been working with a guy (Decipha) off and on for several months; I don't know what I would have done without him. With the cam that's in it, plus the gearing and aluminum flywheel, it really is difficult for it not to want to "buck" under 2000 rpm in the lower gears. He has done an admirable job compared to where we started, but I think that ultimately I am going to have to go with the aftermarket Holley system (speed density) to get it right; I am sure the perfect combination is in there somewhere, but the eec-v's seem to want to fight you every step of the way. We have even played with the later pcm's (cbr2's and eqe5's), but the little things is what get you.

For instance, the pcm for the Crown Vics usually don't have the chip to run the in-dash tach, plus there were some ECT signal issues. The 99-2001 pcm's allow you to run the 2-wire, non Hall Effect camshaft position sensor, but there were PATS problems that were encountered with the fuel pump signal. In the end, we just went back with the NRT1, and we are currently trying to program a way for the fuel injectors to take over the nitrous fuel enrichment duties (not to mention a way to retard the timing). Part of the reason I threw in the towel were the constant changing of the pin positions of the pcm connector; I didn't know how much more it would take before something was damaged beyond repair.

On fuel consumption, while not great, it still does better than I had anticipated. Once warm and on the highway, it will do around 16 mpg at 75+ mph cruise (admittedly calculating off the trip meter on the dash, but still better than i feared). These 2-doors have very small fuel tanks, but you can gain at least two gallons by going in there and modifying the filler and vent necks to eliminate a huge "dead air" space at the top. Once done, I probably wouldn't recommend packing the tank full and leaving it in the sun (even though I havent seen any leaks), but for a road trip, I am refilling about every 250-275 miles.
 






Glad to know there is a handful of you guys playing with these Explorer ecus. I've been working with a guy (Decipha) off and on for several months; I don't know what I would have done without him. With the cam that's in it, plus the gearing and aluminum flywheel, it really is difficult for it not to want to "buck" under 2000 rpm in the lower gears. He has done an admirable job compared to where we started, but I think that ultimately I am going to have to go with the aftermarket Holley system (speed density) to get it right; I am sure the perfect combination is in there somewhere, but the eec-v's seem to want to fight you every step of the way. We have even played with the later pcm's (cbr2's and eqe5's), but the little things is what get you.

For instance, the pcm for the Crown Vics usually don't have the chip to run the in-dash tach, plus there were some ECT signal issues. The 99-2001 pcm's allow you to run the 2-wire, non Hall Effect camshaft position sensor, but there were PATS problems that were encountered with the fuel pump signal. In the end, we just went back with the NRT1, and we are currently trying to program a way for the fuel injectors to take over the nitrous fuel enrichment duties (not to mention a way to retard the timing). Part of the reason I threw in the towel were the constant changing of the pin positions of the pcm connector; I didn't know how much more it would take before something was damaged beyond repair.

On fuel consumption, while not great, it still does better than I had anticipated. Once warm and on the highway, it will do around 16 mpg at 75+ mph cruise (admittedly calculating off the trip meter on the dash, but still better than i feared). These 2-doors have very small fuel tanks, but you can gain at least two gallons by going in there and modifying the filler and vent necks to eliminate a huge "dead air" space at the top. Once done, I probably wouldn't recommend packing the tank full and leaving it in the sun (even though I havent seen any leaks), but for a road trip, I am refilling about every 250-275 miles.

Interesting, I too would like to know more about the different PCM tuning. I've heard of the later PCM's being better to tune with, but hadn't hunted for any examples. I'd like one to work well with boost for the street. Decipha has been helpful on many forums with tuning advice, I have just read some and tried to follow the logic. I'd be open to a COP system conversion(later PCM etc) if the results were enough better, to justify the work.
 






i bet that raises a few eye brows at a stop light! thats also a very smooth idle. member dono has tuned my truck and his and we both have a surge before the warm up cycle has passed. is it possible for a wot video or just not yet.
i also get a kick out of us older guys that have these. no punk kid would never expect whats under the hood lol
Hopefully I can get a road test video up at some point. You are right though, anybody that has their windows down when they pull up beside you knows something is different! If someone really wanted to have some fun for a stoplight car, getting the weight off and running an automatic with a good high-stall converter and a set of 4.56 gears in the rearend could really clean up on Saturday night; unfortunately, my shifting skills aren't up to par with the guys raised on T-5's and carbon fiber-lined blocking rings. It is hard for guys today to understand what some of us went through during the muscle car drought of the 70's that affects our thinking. To a young kid back then, a close-ratio Toploader out of a mustang was something that you would only see at a car show; the good hardware was just not available for a do-it-yourselfer trying to build a hot rod. . .so if you did have one, you knew that if you abused it and it broke, parts were unavailable!
 






Yeah, try to put together a Cleveland right now, or any FE engine. I was a teenager and spent a lot of time in JYds looking at older cars, but no real muscle cars showed up there in the late 70's. So I collected a few parts for my 72 Ranchero, from all of the cousin chassis cars, wiring for power windows etc, console and dash stuff etc. Now I need a solid better body to build up, everything is scarce unlike a GM you can get a catalog, and buy all new parts for.
 






I like the Ford F-150 Cobra hood but it's to long in the front. The Ranger is a better option. PCM tuning is out of the question here in Cali do to the CARB restrictions though I do have a slight tune for the Explorer Express SuperCharger.
 






Who made the headers? Are they custom made or?
 






Who made the headers? Are they custom made or?
Custom Headers, made by Exotic Exhaust Fabrication in Hiram, Georgia. Matt does wonderful work. In addressing temperature control under the hood, I had them thermal coated, with FireSleeves around the steering shaft and fuel lines.
 






Custom Headers, made by Exotic Exhaust Fabrication in Hiram, Georgia. Matt does wonderful work. In addressing temperature control under the hood, I had them thermal coated, with FireSleeves around the steering shaft and fuel lines.

Are those sport frames the same as the full size explore? I'm building a 2000 ranger and the only thing that fits is the torque monster headers..so.. I'll need to have a set of at least 1 5/8 built for my 331 with a blower
 






Are those sport frames the same as the full size explore? I'm building a 2000 ranger and the only thing that fits is the torque monster headers..so.. I'll need to have a set of at least 1 5/8 built for my 331 with a blower

A 331(332) engine, with a blower, that will need 1.75" manifolds for sure. You might call them(EEF in GA) and ask if they could make a shorty, even just a manifold to fit the Ranger/Explorer, keeping the collector near but not necessarily at the stock location. I've looked closely at the left collector space many times, it's a tight space there given the shielded fuel and brake lines along the frame. Fitting a 2.5" pipe is tough, maybe it can work, the heat getting through that shield is hard to predict. I'm aiming at making a 1 5/8" log manifold, not straight or fancy, just fitted around the steering shaft as possible. A 2.5" collector is going to be hard there, plus routing around the front pinion and u-joint. To fit something bigger, like 3" pipe, I see the fuel and brake lines having to be moved. I've considered what it could be like to make them go through the frame, and up through a hole just behind the UCA mounting.
 






Yeah man, there is just no room in there little trucks. I may just do a foxbody again. But, again..everyone has one. Not taking anything from them, I've had a gand ful of them and love them. I'm just going to finish this one up, make sure it rides good to my standards.and enjoy this one for a little bit before I jump into a another oroject
 






What CDW6212R said; you can gain some wiggle room if you are willing to change from the stock collector location. Also since mine is 2WD I was able to have more room to work with. On the Rangers, other than the steering changes that I'm aware of, I will defer to others who have experience with them to better guide you!
 






I believe the Rangers with the torsion bars have basically the same front frame as the 98-01 Explorers. I knew a forum friend over ten years ago who had a front Explorer frame section to mock up his 302 install, and part of making 1 5/8" headers for it. He quit on the headers, started some 1.75" headers for a 351W, and ended those due to the collector outlet on the left side. His Ranger was a short bed of about 2001 also, orange/gold, with a KB blower on it.
 

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97 and below rangers, were tortion bar trucks. They have more room that the coil spring trucks. Mine is a 2000. I honestly believe,would almost bet on it that if you moved the fuel lines on the ranger you could have some good.headers made. At the very least some 1 5/8 shorties. I can always have outside the frame headers made..but this is a street truck and that is not an option on this one.
Sorry, didnt mean to.clog up the OP thread
 






83-97 Ranger 2wd and 4wd TTB twin traction beam with COIL SPRINGS
98-11 Ranger 4wd is SLA suspension, Torsion bar is the spring

Yes the 98+ Ranger SLA frame is nearly identical to the 95-01 Explorer frame (until the B pillar anyways)......

Moving the EVAP and fuel lines is not difficult, heck the 05+ trucks already have the fuel line going up the spine of the transmission
 






83-97 Ranger 2wd and 4wd TTB twin traction beam with COIL SPRINGS
98-11 Ranger 4wd is SLA suspension, Torsion bar is the spring

Yes the 98+ Ranger SLA frame is nearly identical to the 95-01 Explorer frame (until the B pillar anyways)......

Moving the EVAP and fuel lines is not difficult, heck the 05+ trucks already have the fuel line going up the spine of the transmission
Yeah I know they all have coil springs, just easier to call it I beams or coil springs trucks. The ranger crowd knows the difference
What are those fittings called to put on the stock fuel lines? I."may" see what's involved in moving them..then I could.have some good headers made in frame
My truck is 2wd
 






Yeah I know they all have coil springs, just easier to call it I beams or coil springs trucks. The ranger crowd knows the difference
What are those fittings called to put on the stock fuel lines? I."may" see what's involved in moving them..then I could.have some good headers made in frame
My truck is 2wd

Unfortunately the four lines running there along the frame are hard lines, three steel and one aluminum. The large AL one is the emissions line going back to the fuel tank charcoal canister. That one would be easy to deal with. The two fuel lines end up near the UCA rear mount, and the brake line runs up to the ABS module. Those three would be tough to move.

I was considering if it had to be done, I'd remake those and bend new lines to stay inside the frame, through the boxed part where that heat shield is, and come out a hole cut in the top of the frame near where the originals go now(where the UCA bolt is hell to get in and out because of the lines). I have cut and flared brake line ends about five times, very carefully each time, without leaks. It is not easy, but with care can be done fine. But that is not a desired project, I avoid doing those critical flares.

The fuel lines will be relatively easy to make that change, because for much higher power, larger fuel lines are required anyway. If you're going that route, when installing bigger 6AN hoses, and fuel filter etc, making the flexible hoses go through a hole in the frame is not a big deal really. There has to be solid mounting of fuel and brake lines to keep them still and safe from wear or crushing.

So the hard part is mainly the one brake line. If you think you can clear out the area along there and cut the brake line around where the fuel filter is, to flare it, and add a new section bent to perfectly fit the frame and come up through it safely, the others are not that bad to deal with. I hadn't thought this all through in detail, until now. But that's really it, if you can get the lines off the inner surface of the frame, then the heat shield can be pushed up against the frame there, say an 1/8" from it, and you gain likely an inch there. The pinion outlet and driveshaft for a 4WD stop you from moving the collector down much. But a 2WD has more space there to work with, to make the turn to the right side.
 






Unfortunately the four lines running there along the frame are hard lines, three steel and one aluminum. The large AL one is the emissions line going back to the fuel tank charcoal canister. That one would be easy to deal with. The two fuel lines end up near the UCA rear mount, and the brake line runs up to the ABS module. Those three would be tough to move.

I was considering if it had to be done, I'd remake those and bend new lines to stay inside the frame, through the boxed part where that heat shield is, and come out a hole cut in the top of the frame near where the originals go now(where the UCA bolt is hell to get in and out because of the lines). I have cut and flared brake line ends about five times, very carefully each time, without leaks. It is not easy, but with care can be done fine. But that is not a desired project, I avoid doing those critical flares.

The fuel lines will be relatively easy to make that change, because for much higher power, larger fuel lines are required anyway. If you're going that route, when installing bigger 6AN hoses, and fuel filter etc, making the flexible hoses go through a hole in the frame is not a big deal really. There has to be solid mounting of fuel and brake lines to keep them still and safe from wear or crushing.

So the hard part is mainly the one brake line. If you think you can clear out the area along there and cut the brake line around where the fuel filter is, to flare it, and add a new section bent to perfectly fit the frame and come up through it safely, the others are not that bad to deal with. I hadn't thought this all through in detail, until now. But that's really it, if you can get the lines off the inner surface of the frame, then the heat shield can be pushed up against the frame there, say an 1/8" from it, and you gain likely an inch there. The pinion outlet and driveshaft for a 4WD stop you from moving the collector down much. But a 2WD has more space there to work with, to make the turn to the right side.
Well, why the engine bay is engine less..now is the time to see about doing that..Stay tuned. Ill.start a new thread
 



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