My 98 XLT 5.0 Finally Goes Under The Knife | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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My 98 XLT 5.0 Finally Goes Under The Knife


Well-Known Member
February 6, 2015
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
79 Bronco , 98 Explorer
Like the title says, my bone stock 98 is finally in the garage for what I'm calling phase

Phase one is mainly just a 4406 swap and some preventative maintenance while I'm under there. Other then the 4406 swap I am installing a new fuel pump and sock in the tank since it will be coming out tomorrow along with a new fuel filter.

I also have a Transgo H2 shift kit to install since I want to do a ATF change anyway that will be the time to do the shift kit.

Of course since the old stock exhaust is falling apart I got a SS Gibson cat back waiting to go in.

Then there's the add a leaf I want to add to level up the rear end. And the new spark plugs, and the radiator flush. and the rust hole inside the rocker I want to weld up.....

My goal is to have all this done this weekend since I have a 4 days off, so we will see how far I get.

Wish me luck!




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You are right but with the tank out and the exhaust out of the way the 4406 just fell into place once the floor was clearanced.

I had it up in place 4 or 5 times, not bad to do but the tank needs to out of the way to make it easy. With the exhaust out of the way even the ******* bolt was as easy as the rest to tighten.

Well after 12 hours of garage time today the 4406 is in for good and the gas tank has a new pump and sock.


Had to bend the heat shield up near the tab.

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My linkage just hits the side of the tranny hump, guess I need the BFH again.



All that work just so I could show these pictures. :D






I'm glad I tucked the shifter boot under the console because that gave me decent leg room. I'm a big boy and my leg just barely touches the rubber boot.

When I bought my EX it didn't have the front driveshaft on so for a fare comparison I left off my new driveshaft for now to see if it drives any different then I'm used to.

My first impression is WOW. No more worn out POS AWD unit clunking and trying to split my available HP to no ware. It drives like a new vehicle and with the new exhaust I can finally hear it and I'm sure the pipes help it feel better then before too.

I'm going to leave the front driveshaft off till I get around to doing the shift kit so I can see if I have a MPG change either way.

Thanks for the great site full of great info!

Thank you sir and so far I love it!

4406 swap

I have a 1998 Explorer I bought new and I'm interested in trying to find the parts to do the swap. Since your Explorer was a 1998 and everything in the pictures looks so good could you give me a list of what vehicle to look for the manual transfer case, front and rear drive shafts and the shifter and boot. Your swap really looks great.

Nice job! Great looking 98 there.

Thanks guys

Now that I drove it awhile I can say without a doubt that my EX is far more fun to drive being 4x4 then AWD.

On average I gained 1.7 MPG, went from 15.5 to 17.2 but I drive mostly back roads and town driving so mileage might vary for others.

But the big thing for me is the fun factor. It went from meh to WOW and it's hard to describe why or what is different now but it is different.

Since I started driving my EX 2 months ago I had a low battery/ charging problem.

After replacing the wrong size battery it had with the correct size it helped. Then 2 weeks ago the gauge started reading under half and it would be hard to start most of the time like the battery was about dead.

Long story short, I added a new engine ground tonight and everything is working great again.

I learned on my 94 stang that a few extra grounds aren't a bad thing to have and that holds true for my EX.

Both vehicles start, run, and idle better with the added ground wire. On my EX you could hear the difference in the exhaust....crazy

It has been a couple months but I finally got a chance to do the add a leaf and I thought I'd show the before and after pics.



This was a Sky Jacker R3135s Add A Leaf long spring and it took my EX from over a inch low to 5/8'' higher in the back.

The ride is perfect and more solid feeling then before, no more bowl of jello feel as you go down the road.

Now all that's left to phase one is that shift kit that I'm getting tired of looking at.....

Phase 2 is getting closer.



nice install on "phase one". I'm jealous.


I need to part out my 79 Bronco and shove the 460/c6/205np combo into my 78 Bronco then I can take the 79's Dana 44 and narrow it.

It might not happen this year but I'd like it to happen before winter.

Even though I have 95% of what I need to do the SAS it will be a year or two till I get around to it. So for now I'm going to see if I can fit some 32x11.5-15 on the stock wheels and not rub.

The front bumper is not a concern since I have one of these Smittybilt SRC Front Bumpers.

I'm going to just do a TT with shackles and started on the shackles today.

Here is a pair of side plates in my drill press. I had to drill them in pairs as opposed to all 4 at once since they were too tall for my vice and table fence.

I have a decent collection of taper shank drill bits (MT2) so holes over 1/2'' are no problem, these things cut great. I went with 9/16'' holes and will have to get some new bolts one of these days since it looks like the new stock bolt will be too short.

This is just the other pair of side plates with one of my new Doorman stock replacement shackles.

I guess I should say that I used 3/8'' x 2'' bar steel with round edges in case anyone wants to know.

Props to Starkman for this thread to get me to make up my mind on several things.

Get this.

As I was cutting the center pieces that get welded in my brother comes running in the garage telling me to stop.

I'm like wtf? He went junk yarding and found some like new aftermarket shackles the same size that I was building. So I guess no finished picture of my shackles

Well, another thing I have to do is install my new valve covers. Mine are very rusty so I grabbed a decent set from a friend and had them powder coated.
upload pics

It's a two tone silver/grey hammer tone type finish.

I just got back from the tire guy with my new 31x10.5-15LT Kumho AT51's. I'm an old school BFG AT guy but I just cant get over what they cost nowadays. I've been hearing a lot of good things about these AT51's so I decided to give them a try.

I might wait till closer till fall to do my TT and shackles but now that I have the tires you never know.....


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The tires on the EX right now are 235's and the new tires are on some junkyard Mazda wheels I got last weekend.

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Here is the correct second pic.