Brett's 4.0L SOHC Swap | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Brett's 4.0L SOHC Swap

Okay, the time has come to start this swap. While everyone was off goofing around in Moab over the weekend, I pulled my old 4.0L and 5spd from my sport.

Here are the details:

The patient - 1994 Explorer Sport 4.0L ohv 5spd manual 151K miles
The donor - 2004 Ranger 4.0L sohc 5spd manual 7K miles

My plan is to use as much of the original 94 electronics as possible. Yes, I could wire in the 04 electronics and computer, but I just don't want to. I'm trying to keep this swap simple so it "could" be done in a weekend.

Other details to sort out are:
Oil pan
Front Dress
Fuel Line
Vaccum lines

Pictures will follow shortly as I take them.

If anyone has done this before and can share their expience, please post in this thread. I believe that this has been done before, but as far as I know, there is not much documentation for a 1st gen 4x4 chassis. I know some ranger guys have done this with some 2wd trucks. There is very limited knowledge about this swap in the early trucks. Sure anyone can swap in 5.0L's with all the adaptors available. Let's hear about the experiences with 4.0L SOHC swap.

I would like to keep this thread on track with useful information relating to the swap. PLEASE do not post dumb comments like "where are the pictures" or "wow, this is cool". Please keep those to yourself.


Time spent pulling drivetrain and cleaning up = 8hrs. Total time = 8hrs.


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For the $$$ Rick you should also look at your V8 options, 5.0L's are far cheaper to build and make even more

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Why be normal:D

And a 5.0 in a first gen is SOOOO normal!

it is compared to the SOHC

Nicely done, not exactly what you see everyday but power is possible 350 hp sound good?

was it in '04 that they first started making reliable SOHCs?

no 97 was the only real troublesome year and even most of those go pretty well over 200K miles, especially if the TSB's are performed.

97 was the first year of the SOHC, 98 is good, 99+ is even better

I thought they used the plastic tensioner up until at least 2000...

From what I head, even after you replace the chain tensioner there is still a bad part at the rear of the motor which requires pulling the motor to get access to. Ford just was banking that by the time it went out most explorers would be totaled so they never released a kit like they did for the timing chain. Heck, it could be related to the timing chain issue, I can't remember.

Every SOHC I have known with the TSB performed is still running, I think 4 or 5 trucks
That is an interesting note abut the tensioner update in 01, with the amount of labor it cost Ford to repair all those SOHC tensioners I am wondering if they would really skimp on the replacement part? I dont know I never did the TSB myself I did look at the timing covers on Brett's sohc and think to myself "what a mess" look at all those chains :)

Check out this SOHC powered Ranger, recently built by/for Fiberwerx, notice anything about the SOHC intakes? hehehe what a cool trick.




So the TSB was released in '01 you say?

Is that the mass air INSIDE the cabin???

do you have another shot of the passenger header?

Whats the hole above the center console for?

there are lots of pictures of this truck, the passenger side manifold looks just like the drivers side, except it has the ret of the exhaust attached in the pic

What I was showing you is the upper intake manifold has been rotated 180 degrees, so the throttle body points into the cab, so yes the MAS and air box are in the cab, for desert race trucks they often suck the intake air from inside the cabin, and use a very fancy air filtration system for the engine and for the driver and co driver.

Apparently flipping the plastic intake around is simple, thats pretty common on many engines, I know the older 5.0L intakes can point either direction with only a little work to the throttle cable bracket.

Thats pretty interresting man, I don't have a whole lot of experience 4x4in yet...

I've only been out once when my truck was bone stock a week after I bought it. I saw some really awesome looking vehicles out there which sparked my intrest in this site and eventually my lift.

I've been stuck tryin to get my truck in a condition to take a small beating and its just been sittin on the street for the last 4 months. Everytime I come home I stare at it and wish I could go take it for a spin. A lot of the off roading concepts are new to me.

that Fiberwerx truck is 2wd :)
I beat the living crap out of my BII when it was stockish off road, when I was introduced to what even a stockish Ford 4x4 could do, I ran with it. The truck took it like a pro, you dont have to build a $60K race truck to have fun in the dirt, the best way to build a truck is to start small and wheel small, your off road experience will grow along with your rig.
Any Explorer 4x4 is a great place to start, they are stout and reliable vehicles.

Bretts truck is sweet. I want to see it in person. You guys up for 21 road Friday and Saturday 29th and 30th, Jaime?

Oh yeah, Brett did you also swap the 5spd from the Ranger or are you using the 5spd that was in your Explorer?

I used the 04 Ranger 5spd, clutch, slave, flywheel, etc. I bolted up the 94 transfer case to the 04 transmission.

I also had to swap out the top shift rail plate between the 94 and 04 tranny's. The 04 does not have the sensor for the neutral safety switch. It does have a boss for it but it is not tapped and threaded. See the picture below.

The 04 Ranger plate is on the left, the 94 plate is on the right. Notice the sensor and wire hanging off to the right of the 94 plate.


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I assume you used the newer 5 speed but did you happen to compare them while they were out to see if the older one would have worked or vice versa(trying to find out if the hd would work behind a 99 ohv)? I know you said they were the same length, was the bellhousing the same bolt pattern and the input shaft the same spline/width/length? What about the clutch, hydraulic line, and pilot bearing?

The 04 Ranger 5spd will bolt to an ohv as well. It actually has the bellhousing hole for either engine. Tranny's are identicle in terms of spline/width/length, etc...

I used the 94 clutch master cylinder and line and just plugged it into the 04 slave cylinder.

The 94 tcase bolted up to it as well.


Here is what I would like to do:
mate an '02 SOHC to a '96 4R55E

I have read that if you try to swap to a newer SOHC from a OHV you will only be able to use 7/8 bolts on the 4R55E. I wonder if the bell housing on the 5R55E or a 5 speed will bolt up to the 4R55E. That way I could keep all 8 bolts.

why? 7 bolts is plenty

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Cuz I'm **** about this kinda stuff ;)

If it won't cost me too much and I can find a bell housing pretty easy, might as well while I'm in there...