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Kenne Bell Explorer Phase 2 build begins!!!

I finally got off of my lazy butt and started tearing KBX down for its phase 2 stage of mods I have planned for it. I took a vid but way too busy/lazy to post it. The whole front end and hood are pretty much torn off and I just dropped the radiator out. I should be pulling the engine tomorrow if my schedule allows. A lot of interesting things going on with this stage of mods. After this stage of mods are completed I should be able to lay down some pretty respectable power finally; along with some good ET's in the 1/4 mile.

So far the additional mods that are sitting in my garage are:

*VT built 4.6 Billet shortblock
*Kenne Bell 8 rib swap kit w/ 2.75" snout pulley
*KB 8.5" crank pulley (20psi boost)
*New adapted fenderwell CAI fabbed by yours truly (very custom)
*Steeda billet fuel rails w/ -8AN crossover
*JBA headers
*Meziere electric water pump WP347
*Meziere wiring kit
*SD 60 lb/hr injectors
*SCT BA2800 MAS (swapping from my existing BA2400)
*Art Carr 4R70W tranny w/ 3200 stall TC built to withstand 900 hp. I am sure the swap from the 5R to the standalone 4R will be fun.
*8 bolt flywheel
*SN-197 Tranny K-member adapter for 4R70W
*Dual Ford GT (supercar) fuel pumps
*Dual -8AN fuel lines
*Aeromotive A-1000 FPR
*-6AN return line
*Baumann TMU for 4R70W
*4R70W tranny wiring harness



*Custom driveshaft (after new tranny is in)


Anyways in the list of mods I am probably forgetting something in one of the lists. Should be fun. Hopefully I can get it to 600 within the next few months if things go well (money+time). I love doing all the work on my own truck and all, but I kind of wish I could snap my fingers and have it done. Along with the power mods I am also going to be going with a chrome accented Black and Ford blue theme under the hood. The valve covers will get the Ford blue along with the billet rails which already are blue along with the elec fan. Depending on price I might take my PA perf. alternator I been running and have it powdercoated blue also. Well I have yapped for long enough in here tonight. Good night.
 



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Jakee said:
What, the LS? Sure, give me 15. hehee


The way the weather is looking around here I might need to trailer my cars out to Texas just to get a run in before seasons end! :D With the piddly delays, like the AC compressor, custom tranny linkage and TCS wiring pinouts, in the Explorer project things are not moving at a very brisk pace. Factor in the upcoming wedding and honey moon followed by me teaching class in Brunswick, Maine for a few weeks straight and I might not get my chance to close this season out the right way.

Even if there are minor problems and gltches here and there I am still making decent progress when I have time. Got the fenderwell all resituated so once I drop my new engine back in I can drop my cold air intake through and behind the front bumper to pull some nice cold air into my 4" intake. It should supply me with close to enough cool air for the 2.2 @ 20 psi. Also got the TCS computer routed into the passenger compartment and hidden nicely yet still accessible for reprogram. Once I get some wiring diagrams from Alldata I can finish wiring the TCS up. Then all I have to do is fabricate the custom transmission supplementary crossmember brace, recieve and install the Mustang GT AC compressor, swap the 8 rib pulley onto it and drop the engine back in and hook everything back up. Wire the KB digital ignition booster in there as well as the wiring for the water pump and fuel system then cut a custom driveshaft for it w/ correct splining. Then troubleshoot everything and tune it. :D It may look like a long list, but it pales in comparison to what I have already done.
 



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rocket 5979 said:
The way the weather is looking around here I might need to trailer my cars out to Texas just to get a run in before seasons end! :D With the piddly delays, like the AC compressor, custom tranny linkage and TCS wiring pinouts, in the Explorer project things are not moving at a very brisk pace. Factor in the upcoming wedding and honey moon followed by me teaching class in Brunswick, Maine for a few weeks straight and I might not get my chance to close this season out the right way.

Even if there are minor problems and gltches here and there I am still making decent progress when I have time. Got the fenderwell all resituated so once I drop my new engine back in I can drop my cold air intake through and behind the front bumper to pull some nice cold air into my 4" intake. It should supply me with close to enough cool air for the 2.2 @ 20 psi. Also got the TCS computer routed into the passenger compartment and hidden nicely yet still accessible for reprogram. Once I get some wiring diagrams from Alldata I can finish wiring the TCS up. Then all I have to do is fabricate the custom transmission supplementary crossmember brace, recieve and install the Mustang GT AC compressor, swap the 8 rib pulley onto it and drop the engine back in and hook everything back up. Wire the KB digital ignition booster in there as well as the wiring for the water pump and fuel system then cut a custom driveshaft for it w/ correct splining. Then troubleshoot everything and tune it. :D It may look like a long list, but it pales in comparison to what I have already done.

Don't feel alone. I just bought my other half a car, a ring, and asked her to marry me. Sometimes they don't understand why a customer tuner is high on the priority list so I had to do for her first. However, I'm paying off a few bills in the next week and will be ready to start sinking a lot more money into mine. Should be making a lot better progress.

Even with all that, I probably have a fraction of what you have, so I have no clue.

When you get done, trailer that bad boy up and come on down here. There's a track 45 Minutes away. You could trip a bunch of cowboys out with your 10 second exploder. Or even better, when you get done, trailer that bad boy to Alabama. We'll meet up with JAH and have some fun.

James - Will your wife mind if a couple of guys you meet over the internet crashes at the pad for a night? just kidding...
 






More updates...

The update:

Ok, well I finally got off my rear and subscribed to Alldata to get my PCM wiring schematics. It was a pain in the arse but I got the TCS all wired up! This was a significant phase in this project and I am glad it is done. Enough wiring involved where now that I have completed it I would not feel scared to install my own standalone engine management unit either.

I also got the new Mustang GT AC compressor on. Of course the wiring pigtail harness is not the same so I have a little wiring to do. Also the AC lines are not configured the same so I will need to cut, reconfigure and weld those to match my chassis before I attach the lines themselves.

I also completed the 8 rib front accessory swap and have the 8 rib serpentine belt on and routed.

I also forget if I mentioned this earlier or not but I also finished doing a total redesign and fabrication of the tranny shift linkage arm too. Should work really well and be slightly adjustable so I will be able to make sure that my tranny truly is in Park or drive and have my instrument panel actually show the same and also stay lined up well.



My thoughts on projects like this:

Now that I look back upon this project I will forewarn everyone that may want to do this in the future......DON'T! There are waaaaaay too many very custom projects that I have had to do to make this happen. I counted them up the other day and I came up to about 7 full custom projects in their own right. Unless you know your stuff forwards and back do not even attempt something like this as it is not for the faint of heart. Don't get me wrong, it has been one hell of a fun project so far but unless your an expert in metal fabrication, electrical, A/C, vehicular mechanics, mechanical engineering & design and vehicle tuning then I don't suggest it. I firmly believe that not even a Ford Master Tech could do something like this (I know a few FMT's ;) ).



Overall things are going well and I am REAL close to dropping the new engine assembly back in. The unfortunate thing is that, besides tomorrow, I won't even be able to work on my truck for one month. Between my wedding & honeymoon and then an impending 2 week business trip to Maine I will not be able to resume work and drop the engine in till early November. Looks like I will have to wait till next year to put down an 11 second ET. Oh well, in this type of project patience truly is a virtue.
 






So, leave your garage door unlocked and we'll all come up and work on it while you're on the honeymoon.
 






au01st said:
So, leave your garage door unlocked and we'll all come up and work on it while you're on the honeymoon.


Yeah...... that's it :smoke: :D
 






au01st said:
So, leave your garage door unlocked and we'll all come up and work on it while you're on the honeymoon.


Rocket - Just have the parts for us in the garage. I bet with a few of us, we can get it running and make some passes. No, we better not do that, he's put his heart and sole in this one so...

All I can say is, I have a pc of this truck (Rockets) on mine right now. I have the old TB and if you make the fastest X out there don't think I'm not going to ask you to sign the darn thing! (I might have a slow sploder but I do have Rockets old TB on it!!)
 






rocket 5979 said:
Looks like I will have to wait till next year to put down an 11 second ET. Oh well, in this type of project patience truly is a virtue.


Amen to that, man... I'm still dying to order my new engine, but I know it's going to take me all winter to get my swap done. I keep humming the G&R song 'patience' over and over again. It's become my mantra :crazy:
 






Welp, back from the honeymoon. Went very well. Had a great time. Still getting used to this damn big hunk of heavy metal on my left hand though. :D I am not a big jewelry wearer.

Still got to go on my business trip in another two days and will be back late this month for a week.

One VERY cool thing was that I got a nice autofeed welder from my buddy Jim as a wedding present. So you know what that means??? Well it means that I will have to do the twin turbo Lincoln LS project! :thumbsup: Though it will be a little while till then, now that I have one more very important piece of equipment to be able to do the job I am one more step in the right direction.

BTW Jake, when I hit 10's in my truck (season after next) send that TB back to me and I will engrave my trucks name into the top of it.
 






Cool, should be another 10 HP atleast.

Congrads on the marriage.
 






Jakee said:
Cool, should be another 10 HP atleast.

Congrads on the marriage.



It shows that your a NOOB Jake.... :D

The engraving doesn't add power it makes the truck lighter! I wonder how much ET is affected by 3 grams weight reduction? ;) :D
 






rocket 5979 said:
It shows that your a NOOB Jake.... :D

The engraving doesn't add power it makes the truck lighter! I wonder how much ET is affected by 3 grams weight reduction? ;) :D


Not sure, but before you attempt the 10 second ET, I would suggest using the rest room first. You'll be lighter.
 






I got the custom A/C done now.

I also modified my tranny shifter linkage. Fairly custom project in it own right. I had to make custom brackets to mount my TRS (tranny range sensor) inverted and then remount my actual linkage arm. I got to use my new welder and fabricate a few more parts for it so it was fun. I am glad to have figured this way out because I had large concerns with the original way I had things mounted that the linkage cable would have to bend at an odd angle. Now I got that all fixed and good to go. Relatively smallish project when compared to everything else, but it is a relief to know I won't have to worry about that once everything is back in.




Going to install my 30 in HG and 30 psi boost gauge today. Simple little project...

Also waiting for FEDEX to drop my ARP flexplate bolts off so I can bolt it up and bolt my TC to it and then bolt the tranny and engine together.

UPS will also be stopping by today and dropping my GI Joe Gripper plate off today as well. It will relocate my supercharger idler pulley to give me more belt wrap around my tiny snout pulley I have on the Kenne Bell 2.2. I could have machined this myself easily enough, but I didn't feel like messing with it because I knew what they would send me is a quality product that looks real nice too and wasn't too expensive. This coupled with my 8 rib front serpentine swap that I already did will almost eliminate belt slip while even running 20+ psi boost! I will have an instant 20 psi right when I hit the gas off idle and it won't drop off till I hit my shift point.




I do admit that I have been taking my sweet time on this project as of late. I figure that since the racing season is over there is no real rush now. I do want to finish this up so I can run my nitrous in the LS again though one more time before winter sets in. I promised myself that I would not run it (often :wink: ) when the Explorer is torn apart just in case something happened.
 






Well I hit another slight glitch late last night. I found out that my stocker Explorer starter would not work with my new 8 bolt flexplate due to my older 6 bolt one having a deeper dish in it which required my stocker starter snout to be a tad long than needed. I kind of figured I would run into this problem when I tore the engine down and looked at some things. Anyways. I got a new starter for a 2003 Mach 1 that is made for the 8 bolt flywheel and also mates with the 4R70W tranny as well. Installed that real quick today. I could have taken a shortcut by shimming my stocker starter away from the tranny bellhousing but I wanted as much positive engagement between the bellhousing and starter as possible.

I also installed the Gripper Plate yesterday too. I went with a Gates 122.75" 8 rib belt to make things all good to go with my new belt wrap.

I also bolted the flexplate and tranny and everything up last night too. It is a HEAVY Mother but as long as things don't get too tight it should all slide in the engine bay and drop down to mount fairly quickly.

I ran all my vacuum and boost and intercooler lines tonight too. They are all already attached to the engine so I don't have to mess around with sitting in my engine bay on top of the motor fiddling around in tight spaces trying to tighten hose clamps.

I also installed my boost gauge and ran the pressure line out to the Y I put in the boost line right before my A-1000 FPR. It will not be fun to have to wire the light for it up because of my underdash being such a tight area!

If the weather is decent tomorrow I am thinking of dropping the engine and tranny assembly in tomorrow. Unfortunately they are calling for rain tomorrow. :mad:
 






When you drop it in tomorrow(hopefully), will you attempt to start it that day or is there still some other loose ends to deal with?
 






When you drop it in tomorrow(hopefully), will you attempt to start it that day or is there still some other loose ends to deal with?

There will be other minor loose ends to deal with. First, I got to finish up the new tranny crossmember to bolt the different tranny to.

I also got to make a new tune for the truck to run right.

Hook up the entire new return fuel system that I ended up designing.

Make a tune for the standalone tranny controller.

Wire a few more things up like elec water pump, KB BAS, elec fans for trans cooler, fuel pumps and a few more things I am probably forgetting.

Put the front end back on including bumper, HE, radiator, entire A/C system and so on...

Re-route the new CAI I will have to make here soon through the fenderwell and into the fender to draw fresh cold air. Possibly weld it all together (instead of rubber 90 degree bends) and then send it to a hookup i have to get it powdercoated Ford Blue. The welding and powdercoating I will probably hold off on until later after I get it running and broken in.



Overall it is not a lot of work to be done compared to what I have already finished.

Oh BTW the weather is CRAP here! No engine installing for me today. :mad: I take off out of town again this weekend so that means I will not be able to touch the truck until Thanksgiving week. Oh well no rush.
 






Well I finally dropped the engine/tranny and supercharger back in all in one shot today. I was planning to do it last night but I found out last minute that I had to modify the motor mounts. I had to drill one bolt hole in the driver side and I had to weld a bigger mounting tab on the passenger side to be able to have the boss on the block engage it too. It took me 4.5 hours to get it in all by myself. God was it a TIGHT fit with the entire assembly already together. It was so tight that I had to take my crank damper back off just to squeeze the engine in. Zero room to spare doing it this way, but it saved me time and hassle in the end. Well here is a few pics of the engine going in. I like this new digital camera we got.
 

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Here are a few more. :D
 

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For Christ's sake, with as much money as you have in that engine, you hang it with clothes line??? You could of at least used some oly serpentine belts. Man o man...

Looks great! How well does the 4R70W fit in the tunnel area?
 






For Christ's sake, with as much money as you have in that engine, you hang it with clothes line??? You could of at least used some oly serpentine belts. Man o man...

Looks great! How well does the 4R70W fit in the tunnel area?

Naaah, with as many ropes as I used that engine wasn't going anywhere. I used ropes because I didn't want to marr any surfaces and screw things up. Once of those ropes was able to lift the entire front end of the truck before, so with 6 different POC's on the engine that puppy wasn't going anywhere. I used to instruct rope rescue and rappeling for a year so I know a thing or two about ropes and knots. :thumbsup: :D

The trans fit nicely in the tunnel. Now all I got to do is weld the new crossmember brace up for it to mount the tranny permanently to.
 



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wow, guy, that new engine looks awesome in there...Awesome job!!!!
 






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