Next project vehicle? | Page 17 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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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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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.
Nothing wrong with that and i know 100% you will figure it out and when you do it will help others also. im along for the knowledge and any way i can help

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What about making one out of 2 piece or 2 egr tubes..cut both up to make it the length or angles you need and braze or tig them back together to make one that works? I dont know if you have the tools or know anyone that could after got them all to the shape and size..

Would look stock..but sure would have to be last option unless you have the equipment to do it..your welcome to my tube if you want it

The Explorer EGR tube to valve fitting is about 2 inches shorter than the Aviator EGR tube to ESM fitting but the distance to the firewall is longer. I was able to separate the fitting from the ESM and test fit the Explorer tube.

Using my pipe cutter I cut the fitting with tube to a length of about 3 inches and then fit a 45 degree copper fitting to the segment.

When the 45 degree fitting is fully seated there will be about 3/4 inch clearance from the A/C tube. Hopefully, if I use the correct combination of EGR tube sections I'll only need another 45 degree fitting.

On my 4.0 ohv build I used those solder type fittings, and the solder would just burn off. Solder melting point was just too low.

When I was putting the supercharger on my 2004, I took that evaporator line assembly and bent it up with a pry bar, 1 to 1.5 inches.
It did not break, kink, or anything bad like that. My AC works great and I have a boat load of clearance too.
I just wanted to share my experience with that area that your EGR tube was hitting.


On my 4.0 ohv build I used those solder type fittings, and the solder would just burn off. Solder melting point was just too low.
I used copper fittings on my Sport custom EGR tube but had them brazed to the pipes instead of soldered. I haven't had any problems. The guy that did the brazing makes custom tubular frames for dirt bike racing. He also modified my EGR valve.

I've completed the initial fabrication of the engine wiring harness.

I decided to test all of the connections with an ohmmeter since I changed so many of the wires. That will take several hours but it is easier to correct mistakes on the table then after the harness is mounted on the engine.

Wow, that's quite nice! That takes a lot of time and patience. Which I still had the patience to do something like that and plus the skills! :)

I was able to use a section out of each of the three EGR tubes to fabricate one that fits.

There is adequate clearance for the fuel hose that will connect the two fuel rails. I'll install a heat sleeve on the EGR tube after the fittings are brazed. I've ordered a heat sleeve for the rail to rail fuel hose. Due to the EGR bends and restricted space the upper intake plenum must be removed in order to remove or install the EGR tube.

I installed a hose clamp on each joint to hold the copper fittings in place and delivered the assembly to my machine shop buddy yesterday morning. He marked the joint alignments with a scribe, cleaned the sections to be brazed with glass beads and then silver brazed (1700 degrees melting point) the joints. I picked up the assembly late yesterday afternoon.

I test fit the EGR tube with the upper plenum and the old gasket and the ESM to make sure it would work. Then I installed heat sheathing from the old EGR tubes and held it in place with hose clamps.

The heat sheathing will make it more difficult to install the EGR tube but protect the electrical wiring, coolant hoses and fuel tube and hose from excess heat.

Looks good, definitely getting it done!

The EGR tube with the heat sleeve was a tight fit but I was able to install it.

Fortunately, it doesn't press against the firewall.
I was unable to find a heater hose fitting with a 45 degree angle for the heater return.

So I installed a straight fitting and purchased a hose with a 45 degree bend.

Then I installed it.

I decided to use an EGR tube section of heat sleeve for the rail to rail fuel hose.

I'm saving the 3 foot length of sleeve I purchased for the oil pan to pre-oiler hose. I finished replacing the fuel rail Mach 1 higher flow injectors with my known good Explorer injectors.

I also fabricated the fuel rail to fuel supply fitting hose and installed it. Later I'll replace the end cap with a Schrader valve if there is room.

I'm ready to energize the fuel pump and check for fuel leaks.

I removed the fuel pump relay and used my battery charger to energize the fuel pump by connecting the positive terminal to the relay socket via a small flat blade screwdriver and the negative terminal to chassis ground. I tightened AN fittings until there were no leaks.
The engine wiring harnesses on the driver side are all connected.

I had to modify the alternator cable bracket that mounts to the power steering pump in order for the cable terminals to reach the alternator. The most difficult connection to make was the knock sensor connector that was close to the driver side head cooling mod. I haven't installed the wiring for the fuel rail pressure sensor and won't unless I decide to install a high flow fuel pump.

The supply hose to the front heater control valve also goes to the rear heater control valve and has a sleeve to protect it from the exhaust manifold heat.

The upper section will have to be modified to accommodate the 4 valve head with the modified cooling system.

The driver side engine wiring harness is installed.

I was able to reuse the heater valve to firewall hose.

An Apex 3/4 inch 90 degree elbow fits a 5/8 inch inside diameter hose and solved the firewall to heater return connection.

The 1 inch diameter coolant reservoir to radiator hose with heat shield (red arrow above) still fits between the engine and the body.

The installation of the replacement power steering fluid cooler is complete. With the new configuration there should be adequate room for the F350 coolant cooled ATF cooler.

I was able to use the stock hoses. I shortened the hose from the steering rack and attached it with a 135 degree 6AN fitting. I used a 90 degree 6AN fitting for the reservoir hose.

The Lightning intake tube I purchased is designed for the air filter on the driver side while the Explorer air filter is on the passenger side.

Unfortunately, I can't just flip it over because the three ports interfere with the valve cover. I plugged the port that would go to the IAC valve because that path is cast in the Mach 1 upper intake manifold. I capped the MAP port but may end up connecting it to the ESM MAP port even though the Explorer PCM tune does not support MAP sensor values. I cut the intake tube at the edge of the wedge.

I cut off the screw end on a 4.5 inch hose clamp to make a snug fit inside one section of the tube. Then I used black Shoe Goo to hold the band in place with half of the width exposed. The band aligns the two sections and adds strength to the joint.

After the glue had dried for 24 hours I glued the second tube section to the band and the first section.

After the glue had set I removed the clamps and trimmed off the excess with a diagonal cutter.

I'll touch up the inside and outside using a popsicle stick to apply the glue. Shoe Goo is rated from -40 to +180 degrees F when fully cured. It retains its flexibility that is comparable to the intake tube. I hope that it holds up in the engine compartment.

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dude such nice work! I am encouraged by the egr tube using copper bits. I have had to fabricate EGR plumbing a time or two and now a new world is opened to me being able to plumb with copper. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to following along on this conversion