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PLAN B Build

Some of you may know, and some may have suspected, but I'm starting a new project and it starts with a truck you all will recognize.

I picked up R.J.'s Navajo today. She is a little tired and was facing being parted out, but now will start a new chapter, a very different chapter. I give you Plan B.

(dead links)

So let's start off as to why "Plan B"? Well, it has multiple meanings.

  • It starts off as I really wanted a early Bronco. I first learned to drive on Zukmans '71 Bronco he had years ago. But myself owning a early Bronco was not going to happen. There just way to ridiculous priced these days.:eek: So this is My Plan B.
  • JP is not going anywhere, I really just wanted to to do another build and JP is...well, JP!. It works, but it has a following and presence that really can't be's almost become, dare I say, an Icon of this forum. :jp: So this is My Plan B
  • The Navajo was on it's death bed. R.J. himself had already give it a time of death... :dead: So this is it's Plan B.....or maybe for it C...But for my plan, we'll say B :D
So what does the Plan B build look like? You'll have to watch and find out. But I'll give you some teasers..

  • Starting Base : 1991 Mazda Navajo JX 4x4
  • SOHC - donor: 2000 Explorer Sport 4x2 103k
  • 5R55E - donor: 2008 Ranger FX4 45k
  • 1354 manual - still looking for
  • :sawzall: to smell the fresh air;)
  • Super Duty Axles - '99 F350 4x4 PSD
  • 40's - settling for 37's now
  • Grabber Blue
I think that should be enough to entice you all for now...

This is My Plan B

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Actually worked on this today, with my day off. Got the Transfer case and fuel tank out, Trans was being a pain, so I didn't get it out today.

But I will leave some inspiration of this 40" spare tire:cool2:


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Well this happened this weekend:cool2:


Windshield comes out this week, and then I'll pull the dash, the rest of the wiring and what ever is left.

Then me move on to operating on the donor :sawzall:

Nice blank slate

Do you have wiring pinout for Navajo firewall plug?

What year SOHC computer are you using?
Keep the old 4.0L engine/power distribution harness you are going to need it
Keep the coolant temp and oil pressure sensors from the old OHV also, to talk to the dash.

Must pass CA emissions, should not be a problem there since you are installing a 97+ engine into a Gen I rig, as long as they can hookup to the ECM and see it passes obdII then verify the emissions equipment is in place, 02 sensors, cat converter, charcoal canister, gas tank pressure sensor, EGR and the plumbing is correct, you should pass.
The one thing I can't remember is if in CA are you required to have the Navajos emissions junk or the 97+?
Adding the fuel tank pressure sensor is not too bad, you can even use the top of a ranger fuel pump from 95+ and it includes the hole for that sensor......I cut apart a explorer tank and glued the metal hole into my 88 tank. everything else is just wiring and whether or not the SOHC engine fits...going SAS will help

Brett has SOHC in his 93 sport, The clearances in two spots are really sh&&ty, I forget where...steering shaft and frame or something. I will ask him for details
He is now going 347 and SAS shhhhhhhhhhhh

My biggest fear is fitment. I remember you had to trim the a/c box down or something. I'm not going to use the A/C . Just would like to keep the heater.

My donor is a 2000 Explorer Sport, I got it from another member 8 years ago ( truck was slid into the side of a mountain on wet pavement), and she had been pretty much been sitting ever since at my dads. We we're going to build it into the project I'm doing now but the frame is also bent on it. However the motor runs great, and no check engine lights. We cut the back off just for fun years ago. Dragged it to my house a few months ago and it would not run, but I dropped a new fuel pump in it, and I can drive it around the yard now. Soon it will go into the garage and begin it's dismantling. Everything should transfer right over, for the most part. :rolleyes:


I built a 84 ranger for a friend
Its a 84 cab with a 92 dash with a 98 5.0 drivetrain, except crate 302 and fresh 4r70w with twin sticked np205
So not your average 5.0 conversion
He was dead set on using a column shifter
So during the full OBDII conversion (wiring should pretty much match what you are doing here)
I took the column shifter mechanism from a gen II and welded it to his 92 steering column. The shrouds even fit
I did not get around to installing the gear indicator but it can be done
We had to modify the shifter handle a bit to fit the 92 dash
But the end result is a column shifter for gen I that works the gen II trans with the OD button
Adding pats is super easy too, 7 wires
Biggest deal is converting your navajo to returnless fuel, but thats not too complicated either.
so wiring and fitment, we got wiring covered so
fitment of the SOHC in the frame is the big question

I'm going to use the 2nd gen tank for now to smog, then I'll probably move it later and do a tank behind the axle.

I'd like to go to a floor shifter. Was going to look at a f150 shifter or something, not sure.

Oh yeah I had forgotten about the dang donor also being a sport, just use that tank and lines LOL

Mustang floor shifter works pretty dang good, I have a 98 style in my BII it has a nice stitched leather cover and of course the OD button, plus the gear indicator lights up green same as my interior.
Crown vics and Mustangs have the parts you need. I had to change the shifter arm in the side of the trans because the cable on a mustang approaches the trans from the rear and I used the mustang cable bracket at the trans too. I also filed gates into the shifter so that it locks into 1 and 2 instead of being able to slide from 1-2-d

I was reading through @Brett thread and it seems his two biggest issues with his swap were the A/C box on the firewall fitment, and the A/C pump clearance with the PS box. So sounds like eliminating the A/C will be a big advantage here.

I have the dash and HVAC system completely removed now. As well as all the wiring from the entire truck. at this point it's just a empty shell on suspension. But I will say the 4.0 is heavier then I thought. Almost 500lbs fully dressed :eek:

Hi Stic-O. I can give you all sorts of details on this swap. There is a lot involved for you to physically mount it in the chassis.

The SOHC is tighter against the firewall than the OHV. The motor is physically larger b/c of the heads and intake, so most of the challenges are going to be in the firewall, AC box, and steering box. The blocks are same dimensions between a SOHC and OHV.

Since Gen II's have a rack and pinion and the AC boxes are offset these clearance issues are avoided. The AC can be utilized, just be prepared to make some AC lines and cut a bunch out of the AC box to make room for the cylinder head and valve cover. It works, but doesn't have as much air flow as stock. I would not recommend swapping out the AC boxes between the Gen I and Gen II unless you are prepared to section in part of the firewall. I have looked at doing this, but there is a ton of work involved. I have an entire dash / firewall section in my shop from a Gen II. It was from my 02 sport which was totaled.

You will have to use the oil pan and main cap bolts from the OHV motor. Be sure to also get a new oil pan gasket and o rings for the low oil sensor. Your SOHC motor may or may not have the balance shaft in it. 2wd's sometimes did not have them. Every 4wd SOHC that I have worked on has one. The balance shaft will need to be removed in order to fit into the OHV pan. If you are planning on doing the timing chains, you can remove it. If not, the quick and dirty way to remove it is to cut the balance shaft chain, remove the tensioner, and remove the balance shaft. Swap the SOHC main cap bolts from the OHV and re-torque them to factory spec's.

I decided to use my original 1994 electronics / EEC IV (ODB I) to run my 2004 SOHC engine. Yes this is correct! Sounds like you are going to utilize the 2000 wiring and EEC V (ODB II). This will have a lot of wiring involved, but not impossible. If you want to simplify things some, you can source a 1997 SOHC computer, which will eliminate the PATS module issue. You can also source a 1997 - 1998 SOHC fuel rail to utilize the return style fuel system. This will simplify things as well.

In the end, this was an interesting swap which I completed in 2006. I'm going with a V8 now....

Let me know if you have any questions. Good luck.


Which 4.0?
The one out of the Navajo. I bought a scale for the engine hoist.

Manual trans 100 lbs.
1354 electric 74 lbs.

Thanks Brett. I appreciate the feedback. I'm guessing the pan issue is the ttb cross member. worse case scenario, I could just cut that out, as I'm planning to do a SAS, after the motor swap.

Luckily I have two 2nd gens in my driveway. One with the SOHC, and one with the OHV. So I can compare. The good news is if I decide to go V8 later, it will be much easier with the 2nd gen wiring in place already.

The Navajo is pretty much a blank canvas now. The only thing left on the firewall is the steering and petal assembly. Everything else has been removed.

Wiring we can do its not terrible, and like you said once the truck is wired to use the 42 pin C115 plug....then changing drivetrains is as easy as Ford changing the 8th vin letter.....

After a long few days off from work, even in crazy record breaking tempatures (117* Friday) I made great progress.

The Navajo is now a empty shell on suspension, with every inch of wiring removed, and moved to it's staging place.

The 2000 Sport donor is now in my garage, and will now begin the dismantling process.

I'll get the motor out and remove the accessories then do a test fit in the empty engine bay of the Navajo to see what we're dealing with.

Stay tuned


what a great picture!! Nice!!! 117!! I would be dead

Started ripping into the 2nd gen tonight, and I really have to say the 2nd gen is so much simpler and cleaner then the 1st gen it seems. The 1st gen there's wiring everywhere to the engine, Vs 2nd gen it's pretty much a master harness to the engine and that's about it.

Can't wait to get the motor out and do a test fit in the Navajo:bounce:

We spent yesterday pulling a SOHC from a 2006 Ranger, pretty simple! For us we are just after the engine to replace and its a 5 speed. With the SOHC upper intake removed you have lots of access to the bellhousing bolts.
SOHC has alot of plumbing and plastic bits, I prefer the "other" two engines myself but I hear ya! At the end of this job we only have like 18 bolts in a tray.....pretty simple setup. I keep teasing that the SOHC engine was designed to be replaced easily LOL LOL LOL

I keep teasing that the SOHC engine was designed to be replaced easily LOL LOL LOL

Hah that's what I was thinking! Oh course Ford would never make anything easy on purpose

So I have been bouncing around with different parts of the project the last few days ( I really should be pulling a trans so I can sell it on CL:rolleyes:) messing with getting some paint on the roll cage now that it's sitting outside, trying to finalize my final body paint color and started messing with swapping the 2nd gen dash components, into the 1st gen dash....or, to see if it even possible.

2nd gen Cluster fits perfectly into a 1st gen dash:eek: I'll need to do some trimming on the 1st gen dash cover, but it doesn't get any better. I mean it looks like the top two bolts even line right up.


2nd Gen HVAC controls, again with a little trimming will fit where the Stereo use to be in the 1st gen Dash. A Double Din Stereo will fit below where the old HVAC and ash tray use to be. I'll probably turn the old 4wd switch into a winch controller or something later;)

The 2nd Gen headlight switch should fit in the same spot as the 1st gen switch, with a little bit of fab, and the 2nd gen dimmer will go under it where the 1st gen rear defroster switch use to be.

This just leaves stuffing all the wiring in the dash, and getting the vents to line up and work. I think I can make it work, but the left passenger vent may not be doable, the other 3 sort of line up. We'll see once I get the 2nd gen dash all apart.

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sweet!! I like this approach