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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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off topic completely------Does the oil in your SOHC even get black?

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I did use the mark VIII filter adapter. I had zero clearance issues. I did however have to switch to an fl-500 oil filter instead of a fl-820. They are identical except for outer diameter. I would have used the 2v adapter, but I had to mount the power steering pump low brcause that is where the mark VIII mount the ps pump. The timing cover didn't have bosses in it to mount it up high like the explorer and aviator. Since you have an aviator timing cover, your pump will be up high, so you can't use the mark VIII adapter. I have a spare adapter from a 5.4, and one from the donor 4.6. If you are interested.

engine coolant port?

Luke, does the 2 valve oil filter adapter have an engine coolant port like the MK VIII? I found a photo of one for a 2003-2004 Cobra.


I don't know what mates with the coolant port yet or if it might fit.

It is similar, the explorer adapter tilts the oil filter to the front to clear the steering rack, and the coolant hose is very similar to the cobra piece. The cobra has a separate cooler that bolts to there the oil filter goes and has a hole that the coolant port fits into, that is where the o-ring goes. You would probably have clearance issues using the cobra piece. I will get you a pic of the explorer one.

Here is the cobra oil cooler:

This is very similar to the explorer one:

They also make remote mount adapters:

The good thing is they all bolt to any block the same. 4.6 and 5.4. You can use whatever you want, and whatever will fit your needs.

Also, I got my dongle today!!!


Thanks for the links. After looking at the Mach 1 and Aviator engine photos I see what you mean about the power steering pump location, the filter mount angle and the coolant port. I had already seen the remote oil filter adapter. I guess the coolant port is a return that circulates coolant when the thermostat is open. I've been thinking about removing the freeze plug at the rear of each head (I have no port on the passenger side with these heads), threading the ports for an -12AN? fitting, and then routing coolant return lines to a thermostatically controlled inlet to the water pump. I also want oil ports for an oil pressure gauge and an external oil pump. The remote filter adapter would give me the most flexibility. The description says for a 1996-1998 Cobra but it looks like it will bolt to my block.

Is that the power steering pump next to it? It looks more like an idler pulley. I have the two bosses for whatever it is in my block. I haven't checked the timing cover yet for the other two. My engine is going to be such a kluge if I ever get it all together.

That looks like someone deleted power steering and just put an idler there. All of the blocks have the upper and lower bosses, but the timing covers are different. I would mount it up high, that would most similar to factory. I didn't have a choice. I like your idea of the coolant ports on the heads to the water pump inlet, I assume you mean the inlet in the valley? I would run the head hoses to the heater core, then out of the core to the water pump inlet in the valley. If I ever do that upgrade I will run it that way. That is also the most similar to factory, as far as flow is concerned. You shouldn't need a t-stat there, it sits in the lower hose just in front of the oil filter adapter.

2002 vs 2003 Explorer?

When searching for replacement engines on the internet I noticed that the 2002 long blocks are listed to only fit 2002 vehicles but 2003 long blocks fit 2003 thru 2005 vehicles. I know that Ford switched to electronic throttle control on the 2004 Explorers and also pulse width modulation fuel pump control which are two reasons why I'm avoiding the 2004 - the other reason is cost.

Rock Auto lists:
The Romeo long block fitting 2002 thru 2003
The head gaskets fitting 2002 thru 2005
The harmonic balancer fitting 2002 thru 2004

Maybe Ford switched from the Romeo block to the Windsor block in the late 2003 Explorers.

That has peaked my curiousity. I am trying to find the difference on them. The 03 and up block has a casting number with 2003 in it. That means that they definetly changed something and revised the part in 2003. I also found at least 4 pcms on eBay for less than $50 with the same ID number as mine. "HMJ4"


Man, I missed a lot when I was doing my head studs. Subscribed!!!

Mach 1 intake system

I won the Mach 1 intake system this evening for my initial bid of $325. I'm glad I didn't opt for the buy it now price of $450 when it was first listed. It includes the IAC valve, EGR valve and EVR.

I'm going to further investigate the possibility of replacing the Mach 1 EGR valve and EVR with the integrated one for an Aviator to eliminate the DPFE sensor and the two orifices with tubes. That will clean things up some. I'll fabricate my own EGR tube. I might use some of the flexible tubing that's being used on the Canadian blower kit for the 4.0L SOHC V6.

The throttle body is better than the stock Aviator throttle body.

I will have a set of used 24 lb/hr injectors.

I may try them depending on what I do to the DOHC for the initial installation.

Monday I'll drop by the local salvage yard to pick up the Aviator fuel rail. I was told I could buy it without the injectors for $50. I hope it has the fuel pressure sensor and that's included in the price.

Today I received my shop manual CD in the mail. I haven't had a chance to install it on my computer but the cover says for 2002 to 2005 Explorer even though I ordered for only a 2002. As soon as I receive the Aviator shop manuals (paper form) I can start investigating the condition of the DOHC.

I've determined that the 2V intake manifold and probably the throttle body and plenum that the mechanic gave me when I purchased the DOHC fits a 1996 to 1998 Mustang GT. If the Mach 1 TPS, EVR and IAC valve test good then I'll sell the Mustang stuff to get it out of the way.

I still need a new oil pump and a used windage tray, oil pickup tube with screen, oil dipstick and tube and an oil pan. I may transfer the water pump and alternator from the 2V in whatever 3rd generation I end up buying.

Fuel Charging/Engine Control wiring harness

Luke, below is a drawing of the 2002 fuel charging/engine control wiring harness. I can see that the injector connectors are close to the COP connectors and assume that is why you spliced in the Navigator wiring harness.

Did you use all of the main conduit and just replace the sections where it splits out on the driver side? Or did you shorter the main conduit and drop down from the passenger side? I don't understand why Ford ran all the way across and then came back. Maybe it was to avoid the EGR tube and hoses. I wish that I had a vehicle to refer to.

I left the harness intact from pcm to the end of the large conduit. From there on I opened and changed the harness. I removed the factory cop connectors and the egr/eve stuff. Which I am now regretting since I was hoping to use that system to control the imrc. I played around with the pro racer software a little last night before bed. There is so much info in it. The value files had aviator, mark viii and explorer listed. So I should have plenty of info to build a proper base tune. Now I just need to figure it all out.

self tuning

John (4pointslow) who just joined us helped me get started. He tuned his M90 V6 that now has an M122. He knows much more than me and has been very helpful. The Help, Contents, Tuning Basics, and Ford Tuning is pretty useful. Since you're using the MAF sensor for the 2002 you probably don't need to change the MTF table at this point. Focus on the fuel injectors calibration constants to accommodate your larger injectors.

oil pump

It turns out I have an oil pump after all. I just didn't know where it was located until reading thru the shop manual.

I haven't decided what to do with the DOHC. It was swapped out because of a "lower end knock". The timing chain guides are in excellent condition with very little wear. None of the valve springs are broken. I guess the next thing to do is to invert the engine on the stand and check for bent rods and then check the rod bearings. After that would be the main bearings. I think I read that some or all of the main bearing bolts are not reusable.

I assume that the 2V block in the Explorer will be cast iron which is heavier than the 4V aluminum block but may be stronger. However, the aluminum block has more clearance for crankshaft counterweights which may be a factor if I use a forged or stroked crank. I've read that the maximum overbore for the aluminum block is 0.030 and that aluminum is more susceptible to hot spots than cast iron.

No, actually the explorer block is also aluminum. Until 2006 anyway, the 3v went back to iron.

bore the worst one

Well in that case if I decide to bore one out it probably should be the one with the most cylinder wear and then configure it to a 4V. Hopefully out of the two sets of blocks, heads and rotating assemblies I could assemble a complete 2V long block to sell and a complete 4V to keep. I may have to buy another engine stand and move my little stand on end trailer out of the garage.

knock sensors?

On the 2002 Explorer wiring diagrams the knock sensor is illustrated as a four wire unit mounted on top rear of engine.

Two wires go to adjacent PCM pins and the other two wires go to another pair of adjacent PCM wires. However, both PCM pin pairs are labeled KS1. It is my experience that most knock sensors only have two wires.

On the DOHC there are two knock sensor bosses on the block valley between the heads. It should be the same on the SOHC.

The Aviator wiring diagrams show two individual knock sensors with pairs of wires to PCM pins labeled KS1 and KS2.

The Explorer PCM pin numbers are the same as the Aviator pin numbers but are paired differently. I suspect the Aviator labels are correct.

The 2004 Explorer wiring diagrams show different PCM pin numbers but clarify the wire colors associated with each sensor.

Since cylinder 1 is on the passenger side I'm going to assume KS1 is on the passenger side and KS2 is on the driver side.

Edit: I found a drawing illustrating the 2002 Explorer knock sensor location.

It only shows one. I can't tell if it's mounted to the head or the block.

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knock sensor

That will probably be two knock sensors going to one connector. Having a few of these engines laying around at work I have seen the connector where the 2 sensors go into it. 2004 was a bad year for wiring diagrams. If I recall correctly we were looking at a wiring diagram on electronic returnless fuel systems from 2004 and it had the sense symbol in the sensor instead of the PCM. lol.
Here it is check second picture in post number 4, the sense symbol looks like a Martini Glass and is supposed to be in the PCM but in the picture it is in the Fuel rail pressure sensor. lol. 2004 bad year for diagrams.