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Next project vehicle?

I want a mid-size 4 door SUV to drive when my 2000 Sport is being modified. I was planning to purchase a 2000 4 door Explorer with the SOHC V6 to take advantage of what I've learned, spare parts and my SCT PCM programming software package. However, I realized that at my age my next project vehicle will probably be my last. I've always been partial to DOHC engines since I purchased a 1958 Jaguar XK-150 in 1965. A recent thread: '02 limited 4.0 to 4.6 dohc swap has captured my interest. I didn't know that the Aviator came with a DOHC V8 engine and was based on the 3rd generation Explorer. Since I don't like the looks of the Aviator front or the 500 lb weight disadvantage I've become very interested in swapping an Aviator engine into an Explorer. My long term objective would be a fairly quiet rear wheel drive 3rd Gen with a DOHC 4.6L V8 stroked to 5.0/5.1L and possibly forced induction.

I'm aware that the 2002 Explorer is probably the most complained about Explorer ever. Most of the complaints are associated with transmission failures. I could use some help researching which 3rd generation Explorer would be the best project vehicle.

I think the 5R55W and the 5R55S were possible transmissions. Were both used with the 4.6L? If so, is one more robust than the other?

Which transmission was installed in the Aviator with the DOHC 4.6L?

I've started another thread about the planned engine: DOHC 4.6L V8 build

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It would be informative to see the resistance values of the old solenoid vs the one on the new ESM assembly.
The metal tube you will need from exhaust to egr, would not have any little tubes for a sensor since it is built into the ESM.
The two small ports on the ESM are both vacuum(manifold).
Make sure you use the metal gasket that comes with the ESM assembly, since it is the differential orifice.
That's a good idea. I'll try to do it. I'll also try to determine what the ports are connected to. One may be used as pressure reference for the MAP signal.

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One of the ports is used as the Vacuum(MAP) reference, it is the one that has the little vacuum hose that turns.
The other is the supply vacuum to the solenoid to open the egr.
The fatter one is the exhaust pressure reference.
The sensor reads the difference between the exhaust pressure and Manifold pressure, that is why it is important to have the metal gasket since it is the restriction.
If that makes sense.

I looked thru the entire shop manual. There are three different sections that describe disconnecting/reconnecting the ESM. Only the last section mentions a vacuum harness connection with no description of the source or destination. I do not see any labeling on the part photo. Thanks for taking the time to mark up my photo. The two small ports are my puzzle. Is there any difference for the source of the port with the small red arrow and the port with the large green arrow? The drawing for the Aviator upper intake manifold shows multiple vacuum ports of various diameters in different locations. There is a large dia. one identified for the brake booster and a smaller dia. one for the vacuum harness. There are also two small dia. ports in the vicinity of the ESM that are not identified.

Edit: I found a useful ESM drawing on the internet. The EVR port should be connected to a stable vacuum source (reservoir) and the other port should be connected to the intake manifold.

I also found the connector pinout that does not identify the function of pin 3 (MAP signal for Aviator)

The Navigator doesn't have an ESM so the Navigator engine wiring harness I purchased won't have the connector for that specific purpose but may have a mating connector for some other purpose that I won't be using. I'm not looking forward to creating a new wiring harness using parts of the Explorer and Navigator harnesses but it's better than starting from scratch.

Both little ports go to normal intake manifold vacuum.
You may not want to hook it up to a reservoir(if anything else is on reservoir), the EVR is a controlled vacuum leak. There is a filter covering a small hole under the cap on the end of the EVR.
We have a 2005 Crown Vic and a 2008 Explorer 4.0 SOHC that both have ESM,s and the vacuum for both little ESM ports come from the same manifold port.
It is a rubber connector where two plastic vacuum lines come out of it.

Mach 1 Vacuum Ports

I found a photo of a Mach 1 with the EGR valve port plugged but the vacuum hoses still connected.

There are only 3 vacuum ports on the Mach 1 upper intake manifold. Based on the above photo I think the hose routing is as marked on the photo below.

I searched for a Mach 1 heater control valve but could not find one shown on the internet. I did find one for a Marauder which is electrically controlled. I assume that the hose connected to port 1 supplies the brake booster but there could be a "T" in between. Port 3 is a puzzle to me. It is attached to the cast that the IAC valve mounts to. I guess that I need to remove the IAC valve and the throttle body to determine what Port 3 is connected to. Years ago I purchased a Ford van throttle body that had a built in bypass for the IAC valve.

Just a thought but maybe the second vacuum hose coming off port 2 goes to the fuel rail pressure sensor(if it has one) or the fuel pressure regulator(if it has one).
If this vehicle has a mechanical returnless then the regulator would be in the tank and that would rule both possibilities out.
Maybe 3 goes to the PCV valve? I have seen a few applications where Ford seems to put the PCV and IAC very close together. (one was Ford Lightning)

IAC Flow

The Aviator has a fuel pressure/temperature sensor on the fuel rail and the Mach 1/Cobra Division X billet fuel rails I purchased have a port for the fuel pressure/temperature sensor which I plan to use with an electronic fuel pump controller like I did on the Sport. The Aviator coolant heated PCV valve plugs into the passenger side valve cover. I plan to use a standard PCV valve and avoid the coolant hoses. I was correct about the throttle body having an IAC port. Each of the bores has an opening to a central channel.

The channel mates with an identical one in the upper intake manifold. The channel continues to the IAC valve inlet.

Port 3 may be the IAC valve outlet. If so, then it would have to be connected to either port 2 or port 1.

I'm hoping that the IAC valve has an internal outlet channel to the intake manifold and that port 3 is an additional vacuum port. I won't know until I remove the IAC valve.

What year explorer are you putting this into? If it's an 02 or 03 are you going to convert to electronic returnless fuel system? If it's an 04 or 05, you won't have to change anything.

What year explorer are you putting this into? If it's an 02 or 03 are you going to convert to electronic returnless fuel system? If it's an 04 or 05, you won't have to change anything.
My Explorer is a 2003 Centennial. Unfortunately, the inexpensive CD "shop manual" I purchased is for years 2000 to 2002 Explorer and has almost nothing on the fuel system. As I recall, around 2001 Ford went from the returnless system that came on my 2000 Sport to a "return" system that returns fuel from the fuel filter instead of the fuel rail as in the 1998 and earlier models. I suppose that since I now have a vehicle I should invest in a complete set of 2003 shop manuals. I want to minimize plumbing in the engine compartment as much as possible so I plan for no return fuel hose from the fuel rail to the fuel tank. If my 2003 has a return from the fuel filter I'll eliminate it if I replace the stock fuel pump with a higher flow unit. The stock pump will probably be adequate for the 4V NA but not if I add boost. If I upgrade the fuel pump I'll have a Ford fuel pressure/temperature sensor on the fuel rail and an electronic fuel pump controller like I did on my Sport when I installed the Aeromotive Stealth 340.

Yea, the 2002-03 have a return line from the filter to the tank, and the regulator is in the pump assy. They run @ 65 psi. You could run a return line from the fuel rail and put a fuel filter from a 2004-05 on it. My stock pump was more than enough for the NA 4.6 I just removed. I don't think the v6 and v8 factory pumps are any different, but don't quote me on that.

I just came in from looking under the vehicle for the first time in an attempt to find the fuel filter. Up until today I just stuck my camera under the vehicle and took photos. I was really surprised about the length of the fuel tank compared to the one in my Sport. I gave up before finding the filter but I assume that it is forward of the tank. I then took my first good look into the engine compartment and if it wasn't for you already having accomplished the swap I wouldn't think it was possible. I have the rear heating/air conditioning unit and there are two pairs of refrigerant lines in the vicinity of the future 4 valve passenger side head. The first thing I did when coming inside was to order a used 2003 Explorer/Mountaineer workshop manual and wiring diagram book. I'm not planning to disable any of my three vehicles until the broken fuel pipeline in Alabama is bypassed. Yesterday I filled up all three vehicle fuel tanks before the shortage impacts South Carolina. We returned from a short vacation in Chattanooga Thursday and now Georgia and Tennessee are experiencing shortages.

The fuel filter is kind of a pain. Have to remove two of the three 13mm bolts from the heat shield. Then remove the 2 11mm nuts that hold the plastic heat shield and filter bracket on. Then you can access the fuel lines, which can be tricky. You should be fine with the a/c lines. The aviator has a TON of room for them, but they are slightly bent different.

I filled up yesterday, and my closest station carries real gas. They price it differently then the alcohol versions, so it doesn't change at the same time. Right now the pure regular is still $2.04 a gallon, even though the bad regular is near $2.15 everywhere else. I need to go fill my two five gallon yard tanks, thanks for reminding me.

Upper intake ports

I hooked a 3/8 inch internal dia. hose to Port 3 and blew into the other end of the hose. The air came out at the lower cutout that spans the two inlet bores.


That means I can use Port 3 for the PCV valve, the heater control valve and any other vacuum actuated device in that area of the engine compartment. According to my 2002 shop manual CD there are vacuum control motors associated with the heating/air conditioning system. I then moved the hose to Port 2 and blew into it.

I think I could hear air flowing into the upper and lower intake manifold but could not sense any flow with the back of my hand at any of the inlets or outlets (head ports). I suspect that vacuum at Port 2 will be more stable than at Port 3 and would be suitable for the ESM and HVAC functions. I don't know where the fuel vapor management devices are. I'll probably just use the closest port or the one with the least connections. Port 1 with the largest diameter is the obvious choice for the brake booster.

Replacement Bypass Assembly

Coast 2 Coast Auto Parts came thru today with the arrival of a replacement, undamaged coolant bypass assembly and a postage paid shipping label to return the old one that was damaged.

My Morosa oil check valve arrived yesterday. I've been thinking about the engine color scheme. Things that generate heat but should be cooled radiate heat best if black. Therefore I may make my entire cooling system black which will go well with the black engine compartment and exterior. Since the engine block is aluminum I don't plan to paint it or the intake manifold. I probably won't paint the heads either. The oil pan and the valve covers are black and will stay that color. The exhaust manifolds should retain heat for better flow and right now they are rust color. I think I'll clean them up and paint them aluminum to match the other unpainted parts. I may try to brighten the exhaust manifold shields if aluminum or paint them aluminum if they are steel. So with minor exceptions (brass fittings) the engine will colors will be black or aluminum. Since this is my last project vehicle, I'm going to spend some extra time trying to make the engine exterior look as new as the internals.

Pre-luber arrival

The pre-luber arrived today and if it works I think it will be very satisfactory. There is no sandwich adapter for the oil filter but I knew that from the eBay photo and I don't need one because I'll be using a remote mount adapter which I ordered today. There is no documentation but I found a hookup wiring diagram and plumbing diagram posted with the new kit that was offered on eBay $750. Also, the furnished wiring (with connectors) are color coded to match what is labeled on the electronic controller. I don't know what the controller does but I hope it controls motor start time and reduces current flow at start up. The black hose is 0.5 in. internal dia. and rated at 250 psi. The gray hose is 5/8 in. internal dia. and rated at 250 psi. The ports on the pump appear to be 3/8 in. NPT. There is an assortment of fittings. I suspect I'll use the pair of 1/2 in. NPT to flare and the pair of flare to 1/2 hose barb fittings.

The pump assembly weighs 7 pounds is about 8 inches from the bottom of the motor to the top of the pump. The assembly has two different three bolt mounting brackets. One bracket results in the ports facing 90 degrees relative to the mounting surface.

The hex head shown allows cleaning and replacement of the screen filter. The other bracket results in the ports facing 180 degrees relative to the mounting surface and allows easier access to the screen filter.

The limited documentation I found states:
There is a recessed check valve in the outlet port;
The top subassembly is the bypass valve and variable clearance compensator housing (what ever that means).
I have a box of brass fittings in the garage that may include some 3/8 in. to hose barb fittings. If it does then during the next week I'll set up some way to test the pump. I need to know if it self primes, if it will pressurize a system, and if so if there is an internal pressure relief valve. If I mount it inverted or horizontally where John mounted his intercooler pump (except on the driver side inner wheel well instead of the passenger side) there would only be a few inches of lift relative to the oil pan drain plug required to prime the pump.

Mounting the pump horizontal with the motor aft would allow cleaning the screen without making a mess.

Intake manifold cleanup

I experimented for about an hour this morning at cleaning up the intake manifold since it is very dingy and unappealing. I started with a soft wire hand brush but quickly changed to drill driven brushes. I have a decent selection of brushes and found that the steel brushes quickly removed metal but significantly scratched the surface. I ended up using brass wire brushes. I don't plan to "clean" the lower intake manifold because I doubt it is visible after the engine is assembled. It will probably take several hours to complete the upper intake manifold.

I measured the EVR resistance to be 7.5 ohms using my analog VOM. That surprised me because that means the PCM is drawing 1.8 amps when the alternator voltage is 13.6 volts.

Edit: The analog VOM battery is almost dead so I didn't trust the ohm reading. I measured the EVR solenoid resistance later with my digital VOM and it is 33 ohms which seems much more reasonable. The ESM arrived this afternoon and the resistance between the EVR pin and the VPWR pin is also 33 ohms.

The ESM fits fine on the intake manifold.


If I can remove the mangled, recessed hex head screws in the fuel rail there is probably enough room to mount a fuel pressure gauge.

It's only 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 1 inch deep. It comes with either a red or blue inner face.

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I found a wiring diagram on the internet that matches the connections and wire colors of the pre-luber for adding an LED that illuminates when the pump is running.

So I set up a test using my battery charger to simulate the battery and my trickle charger to simulate the ignition and my digital voltmeter at the motor connections.

Based on the wiring diagram I decided that the probable function of the ECM is to activate the motor for a specified time when the ignition is turned on. With the ignition off (trickle charger not plugged in) when I plugged in the large battery charger (simulating battery connected) I heard a relay click in the ECM and there was battery charger voltage at the motor connector pins. When I plugged in the trickle charger I heard a hum from the ECM and there was no change in the voltage at the motor connector pins. I left the power on for 5 minutes to see if something timed out. There were no changes.

Next I plan to determine if the motor runs and if the pump works. If so, then I'll probably turn the motor on/off with a 30 amp relay controlled by a user programmable delay timer activated by the ignition switch turn on and another manual switch that energizes the relay until the manual switch is turned off. Its the same way the heat exchanger blower is controlled on my Sport and I think I purchased a second delay timer for a future application.