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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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Its called the "spacer plate" in the engine section of my 2003 Explorer/Mountaineer Workshop Manual and the "Rear cover plate" in the engine section of my 2004 Aviator Workshop Manual. Based on what I learn, you may be better off not having one with our flexplate and starter configuration.
Would leaving it out move the converter back some towards the tranny,or should say move the tranny closer to the converter ?? Would that make any difference you think??

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Due to restricted access to the flexplate thru the starter hole and working on my back I had reduced confidence in my measurements. So I found a pill bottle with a slightly smaller inside diameter than the outside diameter of the starter gear. I cut out a section about 0.7 inches long and then cut one side.

Then I carefully installed it on the starter gear about 0.2 inches back from the extension stop. Then I placed the starter into position. The ring gear pushed back the pill bottle and the tension of the pill bottle kept it in position while I removed the starter.

The gap between the pill bottle and the stop is about 0.39 inches (thickness of the stock ring gear is 0.375) which represents the amount of starter gear engagement with the ring gear. The retracted position of the starter gear relative to the pill bottle which represents the clearance between the starter gear and the ring gear is 0.08 inches. I don't see how it could be any better. Almost complete engagement of the Hayes ring gear thickness (0.395 inches) and still clearance of the ring gear. Without the dirt plate installed there would be increased engagement but I would not be comfortable with the reduced clearance.I haven't measured the variation of the ring gear relative to the starter gear. The first time I start the engine I'll be ready to immediately shut it off if I detect any sounds of interference. Then I would have to install some shims or fabricate a thin spacer plate.

The plate on my 2004 was missing when I bought it. Who ever worked on it before me put an engine in it and in the process left the plate out.
It kind of all made sense when I found that the engine had a different Vin stamped on the back of the block.
This is what caused my transmission to leak, the torque converter was being shoved into the transmission to far resulting in a ruined pump.

Before I found this all out I put a front transmission seal in it that just started leaking right after installation.
I got a used plate off eBay and installed it, I also rebuilt the transmission and used a reman torque converter and reman pump.
I have not had any leaks from the transmission since.

So for the record I would not remove the plate from between the engine and transmission in any case.

I suspected that it was necessary to install the camshaft position sensor before installing the power steering pump so I did so.

However, I was not aware that it was necessary to install the crankshaft position sensor before installing the A/C compressor.

The length of the sensor exceeds the distance between A/C compressor pulley and the sensor mounting face on the engine front cover. On this vehicle it seems like the removal of one thing is frequently required for the installation of another thing. Hopefully, I can get by with just loosening the compressor mounting bolt and studbolts.

After loosening the A/C compressor mounting bolt and studbolts I was able to gain enough clearance to install the crankshaft position sensor.

I replaced my failed bank 2 pre-cat O2 sensor shortly before starting my engine removal. Since the other bank had the original sensor I purchased another Bosch 15664 sensor and installed it.

A technical bulletin was included with my new starter: "WARNING. Ford has determined that corrosion in the last 4 inches of the vechicle's S-terminal (ignition) lead may have been the cause of/or could result in a "NO CRANK" condition. A new vehicle harness end is already installed on your replacement starter." The photo below shows the stock wire compared to the replacement.

I pulled off and cut the conduit tape to expose the required length of original wire.

Then I removed the insulator from the splice and the large diameter heat shrink. I cut the small diameter end off the large heat shrink so it would fit over the original wire conduit. I cut off the original wire at the appropriate length and removed the small diameter conduit. I installed the large diameter heat shrink, the small diameter conduit and a length of small diameter heat shrink on the new wire. I soldered the splice instead of crimping it, shrank both heat shrinks, installed a length of 1/4 inch conduit and secured the conduits with cable ties.

While I had the wiring harness on the table I secured tape wraps with cable ties and reinforced breakouts with conduit and cable ties at multiple locations.

The Centennial engine control harness is located above the transmission harness. The PCM connector is on the passenger side of the firewall. The harness is routed from there with a few breakouts to the driver side, down and back toward the passenger side with the major breakouts for the COPs and the injectors.

I purchased a used Navigator engine wiring harness and I prefer its configuration with no loop back for the major breakouts. I will use it as a template for the Centennial.

I've started labeling the connectors and removing the wrapping tape and looms. When I disconnected my Centennial injector connectors more than half of the plastic locking tabs broke off because of being brittle from heat exposure. There were no locking tabs on any of the Navigator injector connectors. I really liked the EV1 connectors I installed on my Sport. The lock/release is a metal spring wire that is easy to use and doesn't break.

I'm going to install all new injector connectors but so far haven't found any EV6 connectors with metal retainers.
The Navigator, like my Centennial, uses an EVR and DPFE for EGR so I purchased an ESM (EGR System Module) connector with pigtails from Rock Auto. Its Motorcraft WPT978.

My Centennial battery cable engine harness is installed on the DOHC V8 with no modifications. But I don't know yet if the alternator connections will reach.

If you find those ev6 connectors, please post up a link. Those are way better.

The Explorer power steering pump mounting method is a real kluge of bushings, bolts, spacer and the power steering reservoir bracket.

The spacer interlocks with the bracket. There are only three mounting bolts because there is no fourth hole thru the pump.
The Explorer bracket is incompatible with the DOHC V8 front cover bracket mounts.

The Aviator pump outlet is close to the inlet and the pulley preventing access to the fitting with either a flare wrench or an open end wrench without removing the pulley.

The Explorer pump outlet is accessible with a flare wrench and an open end wrench without removing the pulley.

However, the mounting bolt near the fitting can't be removed or installed with the outlet tube in place.
The pulleys are not the same diameter but the outputs of both pumps are comparable.

The Aviator bracket lower mounting point is thinner on the Aviator pump than the Explorer pump.

I will determine if the Explorer pump will mount on the block without the spacer. If so, then I'll attempt to bend the lower portion of the Aviator bracket to accommodate the thicker mount.

The Centennial kluge engine wiring harness is starting to take shape. I've finished replacing the Explorer COP wires with the Navigator wires. I noticed that Navigator COP wires are a slightly larger diameter than the Explorer COP wires.

I've positioned the Navigator injector wiring and will do that next.

When I rewired my Sport for the supercharger I missed a splice for the power to the driver side bank of injectors. The engine started and ran fine but had less power than a moped with two riders. The PCM did not generate any DTCs and the datalog of the fuel trims were identical for both banks. However, my Bank 2 AFR meter showed max lean. I listened to the injectors with a mechanic's stethoscope and found that the Bank 2 injectors were not pulsing. Apparently on my 2000 Sport PCM strategy, if the PCM determines that the Bank 2 pre-cat O2 sensor is unreliable it uses the Bank 1 pre-cat O2 sensor to calculate fuel trims for both banks. That is a good backup strategy for the malfunction but an associated DTC should be set.

The power steering high pressure hose assembly fitting uses a Teflon seal. I purchased them from Rock Auto for $1 per package. The large one (14 mm) is the appropriate size.

Ford has a special tapered tool that fits over the fitting threads. The seal is slowing expanded on the tool and then slipped over the fitting threads. I tried using my thumb nail to work the seal over the threads but cracked the seal at one place. So on the second try I used a funnel and slowly over a period of about 20 minutes expanded the seal to a diameter of 16 mm.

Then I quickly slipped the seal off the funnel and installed it on the fitting past the threads. After 10 or 15 minutes the seal shrunk back to 14 mm diameter.
The Explorer pump mounts to the DOHC block OK without the spacer but I had to bend the pressure hose tubing some to make it fit.

Some of the fittings for the remote oil filter are shown.

Good source for the Teflon seals, Dorman 82540, thanks.

I've installed 2-3 of those seals, using a 10mm deep well socket to make it larger. The funnel is a great idea.

The power steering system is evolving. I used a full size sledge hammer as an anvil and with my 4 lb hand sledge flattened the Aviator power steering reservoir bracket bends slightly at the points indicated by the red arrows in the photo below.

The reservoir bracket is made of soft steel that is easily bent. I mounted the power steering pump with two M8x1.25x65mm cap hex bolts and one M8x1.25x70mm cap hex bolt to accommodate the thickness of the reservoir bracket and a ground strap lug. The photo below shows the bracket mounted to the engine.

The photo below shows the reservoir mounted to the bracket.

I probably won't use the stock power steering cooler to reservoir hose because the bends route it too close to the remote oil filter hoses.

Thanks to the generosity of boominXplorer I have a second Aviator EGR tube with a removable EGR tube to exhaust manifold adapter. The upper end of the EGR tube mates fine with the Aviator ESM installed on the Mach 1 upper intake manifold.

Unfortunately, when the lower end of the tube is connected to the exhaust manifold, the upper end is too short and at the wrong angle to mate with the ESM.

I haven't yet determined if when the upper end is installed it clears the A/C manifold at the firewall. If it does, then I should be able to cut the EGR tube in the lower straight section and lengthen and rotate as required to fit. I had to build a custom EGR tube for my Sport when I installed the M90 supercharger.

Not that this will directly help but this is an egr valve adapter on a 4v navigator. It takes it 90* and another 20*.



Are you keeping egr for inspection or you a believer in it?? Seems easier to get ride of it but alot of people want it,for one reason or another. .

Are you keeping egr for inspection or you a believer in it?? Seems easier to get ride of it but alot of people want it,for one reason or another. .

Unlike us, he will not use the skinny pedal at WOT all the time. Thus benefiting from having EGR to keep combustion temps down and driveablity efficiency.

Unlike us, he will not use the skinny pedal at WOT all the time. Thus benefiting from having EGR to keep combustion temps down and driveablity efficiency.
O yea nothing wrong with wanting to keep it,not here to change anyone's mind..was just wondering the reasoning behind it

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We have no auto inspections where I live in South Carolina. I believe that EGR increases the life of valves and pistons. It is disabled at idle allowing the engine to run smooth. It is disabled during aggressive acceleration and when functioning as designed does not degrade maximum performance. There is also the benefit of decreasing noxious emissions to the atmosphere. I suspect that the next vehicle I purchase to replace our 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee when it is around 10 years old will be a plug-in electric SUV. I am a patient person and am confident I will be able to kluge together a suitable EGR tube.