Anyone ever swap a 5 speed into a 5.0 AWD Automatic? | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Anyone ever swap a 5 speed into a 5.0 AWD Automatic?


I'm not talking about running it down the highway in 3rd gear. I'm talking about where the revs will dip to when shifting up. Stand on the pedal with the automatic and see where where it dips to when shifting into second.

Furthermore, a 302 is a 302. Block, heads, crank, pistons, cam, valves, timing chain, all a 302. Nothing is "built" any different. It is "tuned" differently via the computer with regards to fuel trim and spark advance. Nothing about the tuning is going to break anything. Frankly, all of that can (and possibly will be) adjusted for high end performance instead of torque.

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Incidentally, in 96 when Ford started putting the 302 into the Explorer it was no longer available in the Mustang, and was on it's way out in the F150. Not only was it a great fit for the truck and turned out to be one of Ford's better moves, it was a brilliant way to burn off overstock 302's that had been lying around. It was the last hurrah for the 302 because the next generation Ford small block had taken it's place in production.

Furthermore, a 302 is a 302. Block, heads, crank, pistons, cam, valves, timing chain, all a 302. Nothing is "built" any different.

Pistons are different (weaker), valve train is different (weaker springs, valve seats)... not build to stay at 4000 rpm. Even the oil pump is different!

The cam is also very different... but I think he gets the point. There isn't really a lot a 302 in an explorer has in common with a 302 in a mustang, and especially not a 302 in a performance oriented mustang. They are build completely differently

Granted, you CAN build them like a higher performance car.... but it is still sitting in the front of a 4500 lb un-aerodynamic AWD brick. I'll take the reliability, decent fuel economy (all things considered), and low end power in my explorer. If I want something fast, I'll build a car instead. But, I've had plenty of fast cars, so I'm in no hurry right now. I have power to move down down the freeway just as fast as everyone else while pulling the things I want to pull in a vehicle that I like and am comfortable with.

If you want a peppy explorer, you need to get rid of the AWD or lower it, stiffen the hell out of it, and build the engine seriously. Even then you would still be better off with a 2wd, and even better off still if you put all that 5.0 stuff in a lowered sport and saved yourself 600 pounds of weight to carry.

Pistons are different (weaker), valve train is different (weaker springs, valve seats)... not build to stay at 4000 rpm. Even the oil pump is different!

Again, not talking about staying at 4000 rpm. I wasnt even talking about staying at 3000 rpm. I'm talking about shift points and where they'll be with a M5R2. Just because I'm concerned about where the shift points will be using a heavier duty truck transmission (in a vehicle much smaller and with much less towing capacity than the source vehicle) doesn't mean I plan to drive it around in 3rd gear all the time. But yes, I am wondering just how the truck will react if I'm doing 70 mph and slide it down into 3rd to aggressively pass a truck. I'm really not sure which part of this you are not getting.

How exactly does one go about making a weaker valve seat? I have very serious doubts that the factory pistons are any different. I think you give far too much credit to what Ford did to the 5.0 to put it into a mustang. I know there's a few differences with the 5.0HO, but that's not really what we're talking about.

I'll believe the cam is cut a little different but it's still a 302 cam. (and not a big deal to swap it either) I can believe the Oil pump is different too. That's about where it stops.

And just for the record, it's not far under 3000rpms now when I'm holding it at about 80-85mph in Overdrive.

I really don't see where you guys are coming from or why you're so concerned about what I do with my truck. Especially to the extent that maybe for some reason I shouldn't or it's just a stupid idea to build and drive an XLT like a sport truck. Because it being heavy is somehow a reason to not do it? Then to say that I'd be better off with 2wd than AWD for performance? Sure, maybe 2wd is lighter but has it occurred to either of you that AWD traction might be a big concern? If you look, I do live in Michigan. We tend to get a bit of this thing called snow. Regardless of all else, I do wanna be able to drive this truck year round (the main reason I bought it and ditched my 2wd truck in the first place).

If either of you guys were paying attention earlier in the discussion, I actually already have a car with a big motor. I call her Pontiac. I do have my reasons for not daily driving that car and preferring an SUV (even if I want that SUV to be fast). Most of those reasons revolve around having a family, car seats for the small ones, room for the dog and cargo room.

I'll thank you both kindly to quit giving me grief about what I'd like to do. There's really no reason for it and as best I can tell, neither of you really know much about "building". So please, take your bolt ons and your bad attitudes based on bad information and leave me to make my own choices about my own truck and the things I'd like to do to it. Use your truck for what you like, and I'll use mine for me.

And last but most certainly not least, I have plans for the motor too. That's likely going to come after the transmission though because it's just how I see fit in doing it. I am going to enjoy my truck and enjoy modding it how I see fit. If there's a problem with that, well, Haters gonna hate.:thumbdwn:

Oh and BTW, can anyone tell me the GVW of GM's camaro/firebird? It's 4500 lbs and will smoke most any 5.0 production mustang out there.

Those vehicles all weighed different if I recall. In 85 I had a z28 that I recall weighed 3100 pounds.

Good luck.

There were only a few years in the early 90's that the engines in the explorers and mustangs were identical. If I recall the biggest difference is in the cams that are used. You're not going to be running high rpm's for a very long period with the explorer 5.0. There are things you can do. But it will cost a substantial amount of money.

Oh and BTW, can anyone tell me the GVW of GM's camaro/firebird? It's 4500 lbs and will smoke most any 5.0 production mustang out there.

You want curb weight, which in 96 was 3400 lbs, and that was approaching its heaviest... GVWR is the MAXIMUM weight of a vehicle when loaded with cargo. The GVW of a 5.0 mustang is also around 4500 lbs, and I seem to recall that from the factory, they run about the same time as a firebird when you have them both in the normal V8 trim.

As far as the engine stuff goes... well, talk to an engine builder or look at what the guys on the mustang boards do when they use explorer engines for cheap builds. HiPo cam, swap out valves and springs, machine the heads, upgrade valve seats and bolt everything on top, onto the lower half of their original engine.

I don't care what you do with your truck, but lighter isn't the only benefit a 2wd has. The AWD transfer case REALLY wastes a lot of the power that can be going to the wheels. That's half the reason some guys on here swap to the 4wd transfer case, to get all that extra power down to the ground. I'm not getting down on you for wanting to enjoy your truck, I was just trying to recommend some things to you. What you want to believe is up to you.

It isn't like I said that modifying your truck is stupid. I said if you want something fun on the street, you should lower it, stiffen it up, and consider getting rid of the AWD. I live in South Dakota, so I know a thing or two about snow and ice, but I got by just fine for YEARS with 2wd. My last explorer was a 4wd first gen, and I only ever used the 4wd a couple times, and that was for mud. I will grant you, I love the way the AWD performs in the snow, ice and wet, and that is the one thing that has kept me holding onto my AWD too instead of going 4wd. But, I'm giving up a lot of power and pep for this.

I'll tell you what I have done with my truck though. I did swap in an e303 cam, because I find them to be nice mild cams for a DD, and a more aggressive cam would need different springs, plus I happened to have one I wasn't using. There are better cams to use though that don't require changes to the valvetrain. I also swapped out to an electric fan. My truck is on all new suspension, and most of it is fairly upgraded compared to the factory. It does make a difference too. However, I am at factory ride height, and used to have a mild lift in my suspension, because I do use my truck to go offroad. If my explorer was a street only explorer, I would drop this ***** down a couple inches faster than you can say wheel gap, just because it would net me a little fuel mileage and a lower center of gravity/more comfort. I've got torque monster headers for my engine to breath out of, new magnaflow SS cat pipes dumping into 2.5" exhaust to keep things quiet.

But hey, if you think us car junkies who look forward to visiting a forum that revolves mostly around modification are getting down on you for wanting to enjoy your truck, you can believe that. Honetly, we are just trying to help you along the way.

Wasn't you so much. Maybe just a 1/3rd of it. idk.

The tone in here started going in a strange direction. As for the AWD, I'm not real concerned if I lose a bit of pep out of it. I REALLY like the way it handles. Not just in the snow, but even on the wet and to extents the dry. The feeling of the rears letting go to immediately have the fronts grab is something else.

I can't say with any kind of certainty just how far I'll go into modding this truck. What I do know is expressways in Michigan have a 70mph speed limit. 85-90 is quite the norm for passenger vehicles and there can be a lot of passing involved. I drive on them very often. You have to, to get just about anywhere.

I'm certainly not looking to turn it into some kind of pro-street truck. Lowering it a bit is not out of the question. Neither is a set of 17" rally wheels and z-rated tires in the summer time. I just finished up rebuilding most of the suspension. Ball joints, shocks, sway bar links, shackles in the back. It rides really nice. Corners much better than I expected too.

As for a trans, I'd really like a 5-speed. I'd really prefer it be close geared and not geared like a truck trans where the emphasis is payload. I want the responsiveness and drivability on the high end. 0-60 is fine, 60-100 is where I want a little more out of it.

Some point down the road, probably after the trans, I'm gonna pick up a junkyard Explorer 5.0. Gonna rebuild it, maybe do a little something with the cam and valve train. Maybe even send the heads to a machine shop for some extra loving care. Preferably before I destroy the motor that's already got 211k on it, I'll have a suitable replacement to go in it. Like I said, I'm not looking for pro street. 250hp at 4500 rpm would be just fine by me.

I'm a speed junky, I just want it to be fun to drive. (more than it already is, cause I'm not complaining much as it is).

I have a set of 18s with good tires on them that I don't need, but shipping would be a *****. they are heavy.

That's way down the road if I ever do get to it. Rims are pricey as it is. I think 18 is a bit bigger than I'd want to go with it too. 17 might actually be pushing it. I like having a little bit of sidewall. Both for comfort as well as feeling a little bit of tire roll on hard turns. When profile gets really low you don't "feel it". You go straight from pushing it to the limit to exceeding the limit (and spinning around) with no indication that it's about to do so.

I don't totally understand the fascination with super low profile. If it really did perform better than having some sidewall Nascar and Indy series cars would be using them. I think it works better for what I would like to call "passive aggressive driving". Where people wanna make hard 90 degree turns at lower speeds as hard as possible. For seriously high speed curve hugging you really want to have a little give to the sidewalls. Especially considering that public roads are not perfect and at high speed the slightest bumps can cause nasty wheel hop. The slightly bigger sidewall will absorb part of that blow and keep the wheels on the pavement where they belong.