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MAF housing question


Jack from JackOffRoad
Elite Explorer
August 26, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
West Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 2dr
I picked up a factory air intake from a 97 5.0 the other day and was reading on here about upgrading the 4.0 with a 5.0 MAF housing but most of the threads mentioned mustang parts. Is the 5.0 explorer MAF housing larger than the 4.0s? I'm going to go out here and take a look but thought id post the question in case someone has an answer or feedback for me.

- Jack

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OMG is there ever a difference in the two MAF housings. The 5.0 MAF is so much larger and free-er flowing. It is currently, though, sitting in a bucket of degreaser so i can get as much of the oxidation and crud off b4 i hit it with the dremel. Cant put a dirty part back on the car, especially one that will help it.

I know the connectors on the 2 MAF sensors is different, but is there any gain from using the newer OBDII sensor over the stock 93 4.0 sensor? i have the pigtail with about 6 inches of wire and it would be easy to convert over. just some thoughts

- Jack

When I upgraded to the 5.0L MAF, I just swapped the electronics from the 4.0L over and it works perfectly. With my way of thinking, I'd say stick with the sensor with the 4.0L, so you don't run into more problems down the road.

yeah i wasnt sure if the sensors read differently or not. but youre right, ima stick with the 4.0L sensor that way i dont have to hack up the factory harness.

Can you post some pictures on the difference in size and how they mount up?

here are a couple pictures showing the size difference, the difference is in the inner diameter and airway, notice how restrictive the stock 4.0L MAF housing is


they mount up the same, shown here


Even with the vertical metal piece in the 5.0, you still get a lot better flow than the 4.0. Area on the 5.0 MAF is approximately 50-60% better.

Other than holding the sensor, does that metal piece in the 5.0 serve any other purpose? If no, why not cut out everything below the sensor in the 5.0?

i was reading some threads about that and a few friends of mine do that with their MAFs in their LS1s. my belief is, it gathers the air to a central point to be read by the MAF wires. for now.. im leaving it.

Other than holding the sensor, does that metal piece in the 5.0 serve any other purpose? If no, why not cut out everything below the sensor in the 5.0?

I myself have wondered what possible gains could be had. I'm with SpdRcer34, like he says in the link above, it has to be to slow the air down and create turbulence to get "more accurate" readings. But I'm not sure what the difference might be, if there even is one.

If the purpose of the design is to slow down the air flow for the sake of turbulence to produce more accurate readings, it is odd that the internal design of the 4.0 and 5.0 MAFs are not the same.

However, you can "skin a cat" in more than one way, so presumably their are different MAF designs -- 5.0, 4.0 -- that will achieve the necessary turbulence. Of course none of what we're saying is scientific and I have actually seen aftermarket 5.0 Mustang MAF housing designs that don't have any sort of metal support under place for the air flow sensor.

But it's smart to err on the side of caution and not hack in to things unless you absolutely have to.

I'm still using the stock TB, so I'll probably hold off cutting in to a 5.0 MAF replacement. The extra support metal -- if that's what it is -- in the 5.0 MAF air passage probably won't cause a bottle-neck any worse than the existing small diameter of my stock TB in any case. And any way you cut it an unmodified 5.0MAF flows a lot better -- at least 50% -- than the 4.0MAF

May look further in to modification of it if I go to a larger TB and intake tube.

just went outside to put the 5.0L maf housing onto my 4.0L and i got a question.. how do you fit the bigger housing in the stock intake tube? the housing is visually bigger in diameter and it tried everything to get it to slide into the factory intake tube but with no luck. anyone have any pointers?

- Jack

Might have to go to autozone and get a silicone reducer.

well i was explaining my situation to a friend of mine who is an engineering student, so of course i got a speech on how there is no way upgrading to a 5.0 maf could help my explorer, but in fact actually hurt it by running the motor lean. to sum up his explanation, there will be more air passing through the sensor but with the expanded area it has to travel through will slow the air down, and the sensor itself will still be reading the same way it did with the 4.0maf when there is actually more air passing through to the motor so the computer will read the same way it did with the old housing but more air will be getting to the motor running it lean.

what else did you expect from an engineering major, they think they are the smartest people on the planet. sooooo is he right? is there really no benefit from upgrading to the larger housing or is there? any feedback is appreciated, i wanna get to the bottom of this b4 i go out and buy stuff to make an intake bc if im buying a coupler i might as well go all out and make a tube for it.

- Jack

well j was gonna post this earilier but forgot.

He's right AND wrong. He's right in thataltering a maf in any way from stock will do exactly as he says. The sensor will be reading the same amount while more goes into the engine. Causeing a lean condition.

He's wrong in that the 5.0 maf is designed for a dual wire style sensor, the exact same design as the 4.0's, and it is calibrated for 19lb/hr fuel injectors, just like the 4.0.

So swaping the two, as long as you don't modify the housing IN ANY WAY will still work.

Though I suggest swapping the acuall sensor itself from the 5.0 as well, just to cover all the bases.

What so many people don't understand is you can't just gut out your maf or swap in some random one that happens to fit and stick in the 4.0 sensor and call it good.

It has to be designed for the application. The 5.0 has the same style and injector size as the ex. So it just happens to work.

Any way. Still a good idea to get a Wideband airfiel ratio meter anyway. Though they are expensive.

At any rate. The maf is not the best performance mod. Unless your boosted but even then. The 4.0 isn't a very air thirst engine. I had the Vortech MAF on my truck. But took it off cause I don't trust it. I felt no difference when I replaced it with my stock maf.

now i have something to argue back at him with.. thanks seth

i tried to explain to him that to two sensors themselves were the same setup, just with different style plug ins and that i was pretty sure they were calibrated to read the same, now that i know for sure i can confidently tell him hes partly wrong.

i didnt have to sue any reducer, just had to "convince" it to go on. lol. but they do go on.

ive said it before, and i will again, i did the 5.0 housing, with the 4.0 sensor, and a cone filter set up with adapter at the same time.

i dont think i got any real power gain, even though i could claim it. lol. but the sound increase is a major difference. sounds alot faster! lol.

one outcome that is for sure with this, is i keep very close attention to my gas mileage, and it went up right after the swap almost 2mpg!!! that alone at this point in time made it worth every cent to me.

the increase in gas mileage is enough for me to attempt this. gonna look for ways to build an intake tube w/out using bulky pvc that will only prevent me from latching the hood. got a couple ideas, just gotta stop by a couple places for prices

what year stang do u get your maf from or is it from a ex 5.0 and then what year? also i need new injectors any suggestion?

even with the bolt-ons you have i doubt bigger injectors would give you any benefits unless you got a computer tune. which on an eec-iv computer doesnt really do much. but i got the maf from a 97 5.0 explorer.

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ok I found a 89_95 5.0 maf but it doesn't have the bar running down the middle he said the cobras are the only one that have it is this the wrong maf or will it work?