Progress on the 2002 Explorer Sport Trac | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Progress on the 2002 Explorer Sport Trac

The title will tell you what year it is, assuming you have it. My '02 also has an 08/02 Build Date. The ETIS report says it was built on Aug 1. I don't know when they switched from '02s to '03s. '02s had an analog dash while '03s had the digital dash. The Sport Trac emblem on the tailgate in '01 & '02 had a red background with white letters, while the '03-05s had a silver/chrome background with black letters. '01 & 02s had rear drum brakes. 03-05 had rear discs. Those differences might not mean much if they mixed parts during the transition.
‘03 has analog dash as well. ‘04 is when they changed.

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@410Fortune @Josh P @donalds @CDW6212R @429CJ-3X2 My, my. How time flies. It has been a few months since I posted any progress on the 2002 Sport Trac. I ended up having to remove the drivers front inner apron to get enough working room to get two hands in the spot where the fuel line to the engine connects to the line on the frame rail. That is where I ended up connecting to the fuel line to remove the gasoline. FoMoCo could have made it easier making it a single flair threaded line. But the didn't.
I foresee a small, block of time Sunday afternoon to remove the intake. It's pictured in post #14. I got my first and only experience with 4.0 SOHC's on the '97 engine in my Wife's white 4dr and this is different. I'm only able to get in a little time here and there and trying to keep the process as organized as possible. I have 2 coffee cans, 2 dozen Ziplock bags and a new Sharpie in one of the cans. I write the date, general weather with temperature of the day to help remind me of when I undid certain fasteners.
Question: Can anyone can remember. what size that the screw/bolts are that hold the intake to the engine? I have a broken set of tools at home, and I need to know so that I bring the correct size home. I have a guess, but you know how that can go. Thanks guys and gals.

I think that I have figured out what size that the intake fasteners are. The sun was going down on me, but I can see enough that I have several wiring connectors and various hoses to undo to be able to easily access what may be 8 intake fasteners. Tomorrow while I'm doing this will be a good time to get the antifreeze/coolant out of the radiator and what will come out of the engine too. I'm hoping that I can leave the air conditioning system intact because the PO said it was working when one of the two overhead cam chains or guides broke to the point that the engine would no longer run.
I have looked a little on the Internet and have not found a video of the engine removal. I know the fundamentals, but it would be nice to know the specifics of this particular engine, year, make and model. These are a bit more complicated than what I trained to work on.
Info below I've added to this post after I originally posted.
Link to 2007 4.0 SOHC engine removal
1999 4.0 SOHC removal

I think it is T30

I think it is T30

That sounds right, or very close.

I like the Sport Tracs, they should be great for most needs hauling anything around. I've wished to have space or time to build a Ranger Splash with the extended cab. But the Sport Trac is basically a modern version of those, the difference is looks in many ways.

I'd prefer a 302 and AWD for that kind of DD truck, that would be the most reliable and easy to work on for most mechanics. So get hunting, find another 302 Explorer. The big items are the wiring and front dress parts, if you can't find a decent long block. Remember too that a Mark VII is a great donor short block, 1987-1992, as an unmolested engine(auto shifting below 4500 rpm always). Night,

I figure the best way to ensure everything works properly would be to find a 2001 V8 AWD Explorer or Mountaineer and swap *everything* over, wiring harnesses and all. But that would definitely not support that computer controlled rear window. Been thinking on the possibility of just wiring it up like an "old school" power window directly operated by the switch, like Ford should have made it.

That full time AWD in the 90's Explorers and Mountaineers is excellent on snowy roads. If the rear loses traction the front immediately grabs and it just goes.

@1998rollover It snows 2 to 3 hours a year here on average, so AWD is really unnecessary for me.
I have looked around and occasionally a 2001 Explorer pops up. I'm not sure if 2001 5.0 has the "P" straight plug heads on it but I don't want them. For those following this thread, 2001 is the last time a conventional 5.0 was available from FoMoCo. It was based off the 221 V-8 Ford engine first introduced in 1962. Any 5.0 based swaps into these Explorer and Ranger type vehicles would require the short Explorer style pulleys and brackets. I hear that Fox body 5.0 b&p are almost as short too. Someone could even do a stripped down 5.0 with a carb and electronic ignition. Or use the Holley Sniper system. Holley Sniper options.
I have a 1994 5.0 out of a Mustang and mid year 2022, I was able to strip a '98 Explorer of all of it brackets and pulleys. I had thoughts of using it in the 2002 ST however I really need to save that for my 1997 Mountaineer to replace its drivetrain that will end up in the Ranger.
The 2002 Sport trac is my wife's future vehicle, and I don't think that she needs a 5.0 or much less appreciates the fact of what it means to have one. When she says to me "why are you telling me all of this?", then my brain says to me, "Well don't put your last 5.0 in the 2002".
At this point, and I have been round and round about it, I'm going to remove the 4.0 SOHC that has barely 200k miles on it and purchase of the timing chain components of the highest quality that many of you have recommended and I have been recommending to many of you to use the Polaris type of fixed, manually adjustable tensioners which my 2 1997 4.0 SOHCs are proof of that. I put one in the blue '97 for the back chain assembly and a pair in the white '97 that now has 33,000 miles on the manual tensioners. I hear you naysayers about the "crappy" 4.0 SOHCs. FoMoCo built a good engine with the exception of their crappy design of the timing chain components. If it had been designed like the 4.6 where all of the chains could be accessed from the front, I wouldn't have to remove the engine to properly repair it and use it until there is not enough compression to keep going. At that time it can be sold to someone that wants to put a 5.0 in it.

@1998rollover I hear you naysayers about the "crappy" 4.0 SOHCs. FoMoCo built a good engine with the exception of their crappy design of the timing chain components.
Which by definition makes it crappy. I'd run one till it left me walking, then I'd be looking at a 5.0L where the 4.0L sohc used to be.

@Josh P I was "@"ting at @1998rollover about the All Wheel Drive aspect of it all.
Like I said, I've been back and forth about this particular vehicle. Also the lack of adequate work space. The fact that it would require a 1997 to 2001 Explorer to make it through the conversion and as you know better than anyone here that I have quite a few (dozen) irons in the fire.
This 2002 Sport Trac being a solid, southern, salt free vehicle would be great for a conversion it all of the conditions were "just right" to do this.
I would like to get another 100,000 miles out of the 4.0 SOHC that it has in it. In the future, when it gets to that point, other options could be considered. Maybe even selling the vehicle to someone who wants to take it and put a V-8 in it, which there are many options within that statement. 4.6, 5.0 5.8 would be cool.
I'm not 24 years old anymore, so I'm having to carefully pick what I want to.
Speaking of which, I need to get up from the laptop here and get going on what I need to do today.

My bad for not editing the user name out of the quote. Maybe in 100k miles I'll be putting a V8 in it... :thumbsup:

I see what you are saying. :dpchug:
I've got no shame. I'd return to Alabama with a truckload of cash and leave with a truckload of cars. I need to clear some space here first.

Bronco ii got 5.0 in 2005
Now 2023 still kicking butt
I beat it daily, every spring summer fall winter she’s wheeling through the weather.
Starts purrs every single time. Trans fluid still bright red, 5.0 bombproof in these rigs.

I have converted several 02 tracs to v8 it’s a better fit then the sohc and the 4r70w is a better transmission
Use the 4406 t case forget the mileage sucking awd you can even use e shift t case keep the dash knob. The conversion is a natural in those trucks
You know this was coming from me, I am heavily biast towards the v8 and big trans the interference sohc timing chain fisaco engine with the weak sauce 5 speed no thanks not for me. As you said you are carefully planning your next moves… 5.0 get it in there and then drive will outlast us all

Go with sohc and chances are good you will need to pull the engine or trans again soon enough

My 99 SOHC I need to get the trans rebuilt, and refresh the timing system again. I was going to swap a 302 into it before seeing retirement coming soon. So I just need to fix it and sell it, the SOHC and 5R will last another 100k+ miles I'd bet.

The cost to rebuild and engine has skyrocketed over the costs from 20+ years ago. So now a $3k V8 build is high to me, and a decent mileage used V6 can be under $1k, depending on which V6 and model etc. I may(hope to) try a 3.7 in my 98 Mountaineer much later on, so that total swap may be $4k or so, similar to rebuilding the 302 and 4R trans.

The AWD is a big convenience, on wet roads and any ground surfaces, it's best for me at work where I have to drive into yards a couple of feet almost every day. The manual 4WD would be great for stronger traction on very non level road surfaces, anywhere you have a little time to plan the 4WD shifting.

@Josh P I think I sent you a link to the flush mount, fold-up tie down things. Is that a 53 ft trailer and do you own the trailer in addition to your "tractors"? Thanks for the T-30 tip. Fixin' to go out and use it after the baby DiGiorno finishes its 22 minute cook time. 22 to cook and 3 minutes to eat it.
@410Fortune In all reality, I'm still not sure which course I will take. Wrecked '97s aren't really popping up much around here. Maybe being 25 years old has something to do with it.
@CDW6212R I may have to do what Don is proposing. Good small block Ford engines in general are getting hard to find around here.
For now, today, After lunch, I will be taking off the 4.0 SOHC intake and EGR tube.

I own 3 refrigerated trailers, that van is a lease. I'm looking for a van to buy.

At the Ice plant that I worked at in the eighty's they would lease from a company name Fricke, I think. That was quite a while ago.
Added: Back to work. I'm going out to work on this 2002 until sundown.

I got in a couple of hours. The EGR tube was absolutely without a doubt, the easiest one that I have ever undone. A few weeks ago, I must have undone the upper part of the tube with a Cresent wrench. Today I brought home a 1 1/16" combo wrench and all I had to do was bump it to break it a loose. 27mm probably is what the size really is. The apron being out is helping in all kinds of ways. I noticed that new upper control arm adjusters are in there. This truck has been well maintained. It recently had a brake job, new tires, a new fuel pump assembly and is in really good shape under the hood. The connectors are not brittle and all of the rubber lines are in good shape too.
Somebody has serviced the upper intake gaskets and didn't use an inch pound torque wrench. They need to be tightened to 89 inch pounds, 7.4 foot pounds. The breaking torque was quite high to break them a loose. I would say at least 25 foot pounds. I am still undoing things around the intake, and I have loosened the PCM connector and harness to move out of the way when I get ready to unfasten the back two bolts of the intake.
The way an AC line goes across the top of the engine may prevent me from keeping the AC intact. I need an old 134A 30# I think they call it cylinder and a portable vacuum pump. Also some 134A gauges. I think I could pull a vacuum on an empty cylinder then hook to the gauges hooked up to the truck and move the refrigerant from the truck AC to the vacuumed cylinder. I have an evac machine at work and the truck may end up there to lift the engine out. If so, all in the same day, evac the system, take it apart enough to get the engine out, lift out the engine and put the AC back together to pull a vacuum on it in order to save the receiver/dryer.
I will be ordering a new wrench this Tuesday. I need it to be able to take out the upper bell housing bolts from up top.
DURATECH 12*13mm Extra Long Flex-Head Ratcheting Wrench
I guess that is what you call it.
The air filter box bottom served as a temporary tool caddy.
I'm going to put some notes here below mostly for my benefit. If it helps someone else that is good too.
Notes: Tools so far, 7mm, 8mm 1/4 drive sockets, ratchet and extensions. 3/8" ratchet, extensions,10mm, 11mm sockets. Channel lock pliers, screwdriver. 1 1/16" combo wrench 14mm, 15mm combination wrenches
Links that might help me fix this 4.0 SOHC
1997 4.0 SOHC drivers side secondary chain guide repair
2000StreetRod timing chain repair
for Polaris-manual chain tensioner
What is going on with my wheel? A clear type coating is peeling off. Is this a factory coating?

The AC may come out but likely the firewall box(with evaporator inside) may have to also. I did that with my 93 4.0 truck, and sold the system intact for $100 in 2007.

That wheel coating is toast, the clear coat usually begins to let go after fading etc, in 10-15 years. Try to keep good wax on keeper wheels, think of them as normal painted parts that need UV protection.

A 302 is still not too hard to find, but they almost all have high mileage now. That's why a rare less mileage Mark VII should be a target. I have seen tons of them over the last ten years, and less now, but my recent 92 cost me $4k three years back(due to the 53k miles). Now I have a need for the 302 HO when I swap the 347 in, to renew my project Explorer.

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@CDW6212R Maybe you have a need to sell the 5.0 HO to me?
Here is a picture of me and bro's AC refrigerant recovery/charge machine.

White Industries 6R System. Nice to have the proper equipment for the job when we're working on our Mustangs. Does old school R12 and R134a systems. Has 4 built in compressors and 2 30# recovery tanks, as well as the space for 2 30# cylinders of new refrigerant. We don't use
R-12. The R-12 side is used for recovery only. I have never encountered an old R-12 system with any refrigerant still in it.