Body Swap Vs Engine swap | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Body Swap Vs Engine swap


May 19, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Lincoln, NE
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 AWD V8
I am in need of advice.
I got a 97 explorer v8 awd (rebuilding the tranny and engine) it needs new fenders up front and hood, also needs doors fixed.

And ive got a 98 sohc bad motor but body is perfect.
Which is going to be the best route?
Swap the v8 and the tranny and transfer case? or swap the bodies?

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I would say it would be easyier to swap the engines, but I dont know how much needs to be swapped. Like do you have to swap full wiring harness and re wire all electrical. I have not done the research but it sounds like the engine swap would be the way to go. GOOD LUCK

Or take the doors, hoof, fenders off the 98 and put them on the 97, might be missmatched colors, but that is just more of a reason to learn how to paint, or have her painted.

Do you have titles to both vehicles and do you have a shop w/lift to work in? If yes to both questions I would do the body swap. With a lift I could do it in a day.

If your at home with some good tools and engine lift you might as well stick to swapping drivetrain. Its alot more work this way but its doable.

I'm with the motor swap, easy if you can do the electric. BUT, also consider the title, is it salvage? resale thoughts....

i got both titles both are clear, and yes i have acces to a lift. If body swap, what all needs to be done to lift the body? (Steering linkage wise)

Yeah Section525 has. Well he did a frame/drivetrain swap.

You undo the top steering linkage at the bolt where it goes into the fire wall.
Make sure you get all the wire connectors undone, there are a few ground straps to find also.
Brake lines from ABS pump, Parking brake cable, A/C lines from compressor, throttle and shift linkage.

I am sure I am missing something but undo the body bolts and then lift the body off the frame with the lift and roll the frame out. Then you just have to figure out how to move the body off the lift and do the same thing to the other truck.

I would get the body off the donor frame first and start selling stuff off it to get some $$ flowing.
Then prep the frame good, and while it is all opened up do the routine hard to get to maintenance.

This way it is ready to roll under the good body once it is up in the air. The old body can lay on the ground.

If you try to lift the good body first, you will end up with 2 truck bodies in the air