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My 2000 Explorer 4 door XLT

4pointslow

Explorer Torture Tester
Elite Explorer
Joined
April 3, 2008
Messages
3,282
Reaction score
896
City, State
Gloucester City, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 2Dr,2,000 & 04 4dr xlt
I have been looking for a replacement for my stock 1998 4 door explorer that has rusted away pretty badly, and then had the timing jump out of time at 316,000 miles.
Last Sunday 8-16-2020 I found it's replacement. My new to me 2000 Explorer 4 door XLT. I paid 1,400.00 for it and found it on Facebook Marketplace.
Its a basket case but the body is not rotted on the wheel wells and rockers like all the other Explorers I have been looking at for the last two years.
Now there are two things I don't like about it already, it has a "moonroof" and it's only got the 4.0 OHV which is about 50 HP less than the 4.0 SOHC that I am used to.
I settled for this truck because of how good the body seems to be. Maybe I will end up liking the 4.0 OHV engine. Of course the moonroof leaks which is why I dont like them. More on that later. Anyway I am starting this thread so I can keep track of all the work I put into it.

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The first thing I fixed was the hood latch. The hood would not close all the way because the latch had been closed with the hood still open if that makes sense. It was binding pretty badly and needed some lube. After lubing it with PB blaster and oil it started working the way it should. The picture below shows how it was stuck when I first got it.

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I got under the truck to check things out and found the dipstick tube was rotted in half and the dipstick itself was melted to the exhaust manifold.
I had a new dipstick tube in stock that was the same as the one that came out. I shoved it in place but there was no where to bolt it to.
After some more investigating I found that they were wrong for the vehicle since they were for the SOHC engine and this truck has the OHV engine.
I did order the correct tube and dipstick, hope they don't take to long to show up.
LOL, cant wait to see what else I find with this vehicle!

Update: I got the correct parts and installed them. I added a picture at the bottom.

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Of course the step bars are rotted away. Most people just take them off but I am hoping to find some replacements as they help me get in and out of the vehicle. The drivers side is not as bad as the passenger side but they both need replacing. I will be searching for replacements in the mean time.

Edit: Still looking for replacements. These are about a 4 inch oval tube that is about 72-74 inches long.
I can't just remove them because I use them to get into the truck and when I pick my older sister up she needs a step to get in and out of the vehicle. The passenger side is so bad I can not pick her up until I replace it for fear that she might get hurt. Now my Ranger is broke down and my 2004 Explorer doesn't have steps so I am looking harder for some kind of 4 inch oval steps to put on there. Maybe I will go looking at a junkyard for something compatible?

Edit #2: I found some from a junkyard in Arkansas that had an EBay listing. They are installed. Pictures are in a later post...

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I wanted to show how good the rocker panels were on this vehicle. Even the frame is still mostly black.
Anybody selling a second gen Explorer should post pictures like this one, then our time would not be wasted going to look at them just to find they are rust buckets.

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Another thing I noticed right away is that the hood struts are bad. The hood wont stay up by itself.
I have a hood prop rod for working on vehicles with bad hood struts. It saves your head from getting large bumps on it.
An order was placed for new hood struts, I will be happy when they show up!

Update: They showed up and I got them installed!

Before
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After

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While under the front end, I found some damaged parts that needed to be replaced.
The upper control arm bushings on the passenger side and both lower ball joints are in need of replacement.
Also the anti sway bar links on both sides are bad.

Update: I replaced both lower ball joints, both anti sway bar link pins, the control arm bushings on the passenger side upper control arm, and I swapped the drivers side upper control arm from my old 1998 Explorer with this 2000 Explorer since it was a newer Moog part.

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Out with the old!

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In with the new!

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Before

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After

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I just had to add a video of how much play there was in the old ball joints!

 






Someone apparently decided to break into the vehicle, maybe they were trying to steal it or they accidently locked the keys in the vehicle and didn't have a spare. Speaking of which, I ordered two keys and am waiting for them to show up. In the mean time I bent the door back into shape, looks better now for sure, but the pictures below are from before I bent things back into shape. I will need to pick up some touch up paint to keep it from rusting and hide it a little better. I plan on removing the door seals from my 98 before junking it.
Update: I added the "after" pictures.

Before
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After

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Before
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After

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The parking brake didn't work.
I replaced the parking brake cables, parking brake shoes with spring kit, axle seals, pinion seal, differential cover, rear rotors, Rear Brake Pads, and the passenger side rear caliper bracket because one of the caliper bolt holes was stripped out.

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Parking Brake Cables:
The old

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The new

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Rear Brake Shoes, spring kit, and axle seal done

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Rear rotors and pads done.

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New rear differential cover installed.

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The moonroof is leaking so water is getting into the headliner and carpet. The windshield is also cracked pretty bad.
The driver seat is torn up and so is the center console arm rest. I will probably have Safelight Auto glass come out to my house to replace the windshield. I installed the seats, carpet, door panels, and center console arm rest from my 98 4 door, into this truck.

Update: added "after" pictures.

Before
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After

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Before
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After

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Before
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After

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This is where things get interesting.
Under the hood sits a 4.0 OHV engine, extremely different from the SOHC 4.0.
One good clue is the thin metal valve covers on the OHV engine vs the aluminum ones on the SOHC.
Today I stumbled across a situation that I didn't expect.
I had to look twice at all the information in front of me.
The vin, the door sticker, and the title all have the eighth digit as a letter E.
E is the vin letter for a 4.0 SOHC engine, not a 4.0 OHV engine.

I attached the factory Ford scan tool called the IDS and it identifies the engine as a SOHC engine as well.
So the engine was swapped, but the PCM was not.
The vehicle runs lean at idle and 2,000 rpms(LTFT and STFT are jacked up adding a total of about 40%) but no lean codes yet, it does have one code for a knock sensor circuit.

I have some thinking to do now. I have to decide whether to swap a SOHC back in or try tuning this PCM to make the OHV engine run better with the SOHC PCM in it. I'm leaning towards the engine swap already because I like the extra 50 HP it has.

Update:
I ordered a PCM for the OHC 4.0 and will install it and see if it will start and see if there are any issues with programming or incompatibilities with other modules in the truck.
I also noticed that the Check engine light doesn't come on when the key is on, someone must have removed the bulb. LOL
Update 2: I installed the 4.0 OHV PCM and it runs much better now (see post 29 for the details).
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All that oil on the engine could be rotted out, leaking valve covers. I had to change mine. Only one side can be had new.
 






All that oil on the engine could be rotted out, leaking valve covers. I had to change mine. Only one side can be had new.
You are exactly correct! I already purchased the passenger side valve cover to replace the rusted one on this engine.
The drivers side doesn't seem to be available at the moment but that one looks to be in better shape anyway. LOL
 






whoa already swapped from SOHC to ohv? COOL!
OHV did not have knock sensor so that code makes sense

Those valve covers are leaky leaky, maybe why there is less rust :)
 






Wouldn't the OHV version be a better "long term" engine compared to the SOHC and the constant guide/tensioner issues?

I have a 96 OHV and I have driven a 98 SOHC version and I must say I prefer the midrange torque of the OHV in almost every way except for on-ramp runs (in those situations the higher-freer revving of the SOHC is more "carlike"). Honestly, in highway passing and everything else I find the OHV version to be plenty. On the highway the part throttle acceleration of the OHV is even better than the SOHC until it downshifts. Once you get higher in the revs the SOHC has more power. But in the midrange the OHV has a LOT more torque.
 






I had a 2000 Ranger with the 4.0 OHV engine and kept it running at it's peak performance (because I am an engine performance enthusiast and actually taught Ford driveability for 14 years at Universal Technical Institute in their "FACT" program). I found it to be under powered all the time in every condition compared to the SOHC in my stock Explorer. Now I will say this, I had 31 inch tires on the Ranger and 235 75 15's on the Explorer so that may have been the reason I felt a lack of power in all ranges. Also there may be differences in the torque output on the OHV engine depending on year and model. I have seen some specs say OHV was 225 Torque and 160 HP, and the SOHC was 240 Torque and 210 HP. But this experience was just mine and others may differ.

Anyway I now have a 2001 Ranger Edge with the SOHC and it accelerates way better than my 2000 Ranger did. The 2001 also has 31 inch tires on it.
The gearing on the 2000 was 3:73 and the 2001 is 4:10 so that may help it feel like it has better acceleration too.

With all that aside, I have to agree with the better "long term" engine statement, as the cam in block design had a much simpler timing chain setup and way less failures. The OHV is a non interference engine so if the chain brakes there should be no piston to valve contact. Now even though some places on the internet says the SOHC engine is a non interference engine, they are wrong and I have the bent valves in my old 98 four door to prove it. I was off the gas coasting when it shut off by itself too, so I was not at a high rpm as some have contributed as a reason why there was valve to piston contact. The SOHC engine is an interference engine. Now I got 316,000 miles on the original timing chain guides for both camshaft chains, so the engine can be reliable if taken care of.

The worst thing about the SOHC timing chains is the fact that you have to separate the engine and transmission to replace the passenger side camshaft timing chain guide/chain. That is ridiculous because you have to pull the engine or the transmission to fix it and that is way more time consuming than it should be. And plastic being a large part of that one guide that shatters on that side is just a bad design. Then there is the tools used to time the engine, the tool kit when it first came out was 400.00 and didn't even come with the valve spring compressor needed to remove all the followers (rocker arms) that have to be removed before taking any other timing component off because the engine is an interference design.
That tool is another 80.00 used. LOL.

All in all I live in NJ and have to have the vehicle inspected for emissions, so I have to make sure all my emissions equipment is there and working.
So for now I am going to try installing a 2000 OHV PCM (with stock OHV calibration) and see if the rest of the modules play nicely with it.
I have the Factory IDS scan tool that runs on a laptop and should be able to program the PATS or any other module that may act up, but we will see.
There are also some exhaust leaks, and I noticed some broken manifold bolts so that may be a nightmare to fix.

Cant leave the SOHC PCM in there because it runs the engine lean due to different size injectors in the OHV (14lb hr) vs the SOHC (19lb hr), the OHV only had three O2 sensors vs SOHC had 4, and OHV did not have a knock sensor that the SOHC PCM is now looking for and setting codes because it is missing. LOL

All this and it is just going to be a daily driver, my 98 2 door is the one I make go fast. And I really want to be back working on that truck instead. LOL. All in time I guess.
 






Wouldn't the OHV version be a better "long term" engine compared to the SOHC and the constant guide/tensioner issues?

I have a 96 OHV and I have driven a 98 SOHC version and I must say I prefer the midrange torque of the OHV in almost every way except for on-ramp runs (in those situations the higher-freer revving of the SOHC is more "carlike"). Honestly, in highway passing and everything else I find the OHV version to be plenty. On the highway the part throttle acceleration of the OHV is even better than the SOHC until it downshifts. Once you get higher in the revs the SOHC has more power. But in the midrange the OHV has a LOT more torque.
This analysis is straight on. There is a torque curve comparing the two. The OHV peaks a bit higher in torque at 2400 RPM. The curve looks more like a diesel. The HP at higher RPM :lol:.Lets not go there.
 






I had a 2000 Ranger with the 4.0 OHV engine and kept it running at it's peak performance (because I am an engine performance enthusiast and actually taught Ford driveability for 14 years at Universal Technical Institute in their "FACT" program). I found it to be under powered all the time in every condition compared to the SOHC in my stock Explorer. Now I will say this, I had 31 inch tires on the Ranger and 235 75 15's on the Explorer so that may have been the reason I felt a lack of power in all ranges. Also there may be differences in the torque output on the OHV engine depending on year and model. I have seen some specs say OHV was 225 Torque and 160 HP, and the SOHC was 240 Torque and 210 HP. But this experience was just mine and others may differ.

Anyway I now have a 2001 Ranger Edge with the SOHC and it accelerates way better than my 2000 Ranger did. The 2001 also has 31 inch tires on it.
The gearing on the 2000 was 3:73 and the 2001 is 4:10 so that may help it feel like it has better acceleration too.

With all that aside, I have to agree with the better "long term" engine statement, as the cam in block design had a much simpler timing chain setup and way less failures. The OHV is a non interference engine so if the chain brakes there should be no piston to valve contact. Now even though some places on the internet says the SOHC engine is a non interference engine, they are wrong and I have the bent valves in my old 98 four door to prove it. I was off the gas coasting when it shut off by itself too, so I was not at a high rpm as some have contributed as a reason why there was valve to piston contact. The SOHC engine is an interference engine. Now I got 316,000 miles on the original timing chain guides for both camshaft chains, so the engine can be reliable if taken care of.

The worst thing about the SOHC timing chains is the fact that you have to separate the engine and transmission to replace the passenger side camshaft timing chain guide/chain. That is ridiculous because you have to pull the engine or the transmission to fix it and that is way more time consuming than it should be. And plastic being a large part of that one guide that shatters on that side is just a bad design. Then there is the tools used to time the engine, the tool kit when it first came out was 400.00 and didn't even come with the valve spring compressor needed to remove all the followers (rocker arms) that have to be removed before taking any other timing component off because the engine is an interference design.
That tool is another 80.00 used. LOL.

All in all I live in NJ and have to have the vehicle inspected for emissions, so I have to make sure all my emissions equipment is there and working.
So for now I am going to try installing a 2000 OHV PCM (with stock OHV calibration) and see if the rest of the modules play nicely with it.
I have the Factory IDS scan tool that runs on a laptop and should be able to program the PATS or any other module that may act up, but we will see.
There are also some exhaust leaks, and I noticed some broken manifold bolts so that may be a nightmare to fix.

Cant leave the SOHC PCM in there because it runs the engine lean due to different size injectors in the OHV (14lb hr) vs the SOHC (19lb hr), the OHV only had three O2 sensors vs SOHC had 4, and OHV did not have a knock sensor that the SOHC PCM is now looking for and setting codes because it is missing. LOL

All this and it is just going to be a daily driver, my 98 2 door is the one I make go fast. And I really want to be back working on that truck instead. LOL. All in time I guess.
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This website was down for a couple days, just became able to get back on.
I can not view the picture posted above by 96eb96 but I am guessing it is a graph on how the two 4.0's look together.

I am just going to post this from my 98 Supercharged truck with 4.0 SOHC.
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While I was doing the interior swap and had the carpet out, I installed the sound system.
Ran the wires, mounted the amp and sub, and installed the head unit.

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Also ran the wires and installed the rear back up camera.

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