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rjcooperss396 V6 to V8 Swap

rjcooperss396

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 XLT
I decided that instead of rebuilding my V6 that I wanted a V8 instead. Since the Explorer came with a V8 in 1996 converting to the V8 should be easy. Especially since I have a complete running (well it was) 1997 Explorer for the swap. The bad part is since Ford didn't offer a V8 in the 1995 Explorer I have to have the swap BAR certified to be legal here in CA.

So a little background on my truck. It's a 1995 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 that started off as my wifes daily driver shortly after my first daughter was born. It came with a 4.0 V6 that was rated at 160hp and 225tq. After my second daughter was born we bought a suburban and the Explorer became my offroad vehicle. My first mod was a torsion bar twist, home made rear springs with Warrior shackles and 31x10.5x15 tires. I wheeled it like that for many years before I decided that I wanted to do a solid axle swap on it which I believe I've already posted on here.

On to the donor truck was my nephews 1997 Eddie Bauer edition 5.0 V8 AWD. He had previously tried to sell it on here but was not able to. He recently moved to FL and I now have the truck for my conversion. The v8 was rated at 210hp and 280tq. Quite a bit more than my V6. He bought the truck back when he lived in NY so that should give you an idea of what I'm in store for.

So here are the trucks and the start of the engine/transmission/t-case removal. What should have only taken a couple hours took about 16 because everything was so rusted. I have a lot of respect for you east coaster that work on your own vehicles.

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rjcooperss396

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'95 XLT
I pulled the engine tonight and I'll start disassembling it tomorrow. Hopefully the cylinders are in good shape and it will just need a hone. I'm going to wait until I finish rebuilding the engine and have ready to drop in before I pull the engine out of mine. Then I'll switch the wiring harnesses and computers and install the 5.0.

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rjcooperss396

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'95 XLT
Here are a couple more of the engine. Externally there is a lot of rust but internally it looks good. There's little wear on the cylinder walls and the valves look good.

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I also disassembled the heads today to do some mild porting on them. I finished one and started the other. I'll finish it up tomorrow and post some better pictures.

This is a stock exhaust.
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I concentrated on the roof and pocket and didn't make the port much bigger. To my surprise the short side radius on both the exhaust and the intake didn't need to be touched.

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Intake after blending.

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Intake after shaping the valve guide. This is all that was done to the intake.
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rjcooperss396

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I still didn't finish the second head but here are some more pictures of the finished one. I also ordered new springs and valve stem seals today.

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rjcooperss396

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Just a small update. The block and heads are at the machine shop for a bore/hone and a valve job/resurface. I'm also getting new pistons and rings from them.
 






rjcooperss396

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I picked up my block, pistons, rings, main/rod bearings and heads from the machinist yesterday. I had to work on my Cobra today so I didn't get much done on this engine but I did manage to clean it along with the crank and then installed the main bearings and crank. Tomorrow I'll get all the pistons installed and check to see how far down in the hole they are so that I can order my head gaskets.
 






rjcooperss396

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I got the short block assembled today. I'll post up pictures tomorrow because I'm too tired to do it tonight. I cc'd the combustion chambers and checked to see how far down the new pistons are so that I could order my head gaskets. The new pistons are .030 down, have +3cc valve reliefs and the heads have a 60cc combustion chamber after some unshrouding of the intake valve and being milled .020. So I ordered .039 (stock is .050) gaskets which should give me 9.11:1 compression.

Here are some pictures.

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rjcooperss396

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My head gasket arrived today so I went this afternoon also picked up some ARP head bolts from GTR High Performance. Tonight I installed the heads, pushrods and rockers and set the preload on the lifters. I also installed the lower intake which I painted black and the camshaft position sensor. Pictures from tonight. Sorry that they are so dark. I'll get some better ones tomorrow.

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vroomzoomboom

Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS!
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was also going to add, just cause we aren't posting, doesn't mean we aren't watching! :D
 






TestPoint

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Have you explored the electrical issues with the swap? There were significant changes with the '96 MY from your '95.

Machine shops sure do make engines look pretty!
 






rjcooperss396

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I'm pulling the entire harness from the '97 and installing it in my '95 but I haven't gotten there yet. Once I'm done building the engine I'll pull the 4.0 from mine and then start moving the harness.

The machine shop did't clean it all up, I did. Here are more pictures.

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TestPoint

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Very nice work! I have been wondering what to do with that honking big aluminum manifold on my swap. Original plans was to sand/soda blast it and put a clear coat on. The black looks nice!
 






rjcooperss396

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My buddy has a hot tank so I started by hot tanking it. Then I scraped/sanded all the old silver paint off it and then painted it with high temp engine enamel. I originally painted it with a silver that I picked up at Autozone but it had a blue tint to it and I just didn't like it. Since I had the black that I painted the heads with I decided to paint the intake black to see if I liked it and I think it looks really good. Especially after I cleaned up and repainted the plate.
 






rjcooperss396

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I haven't worked on this for a while but I got back to it today. It went a little slow today but only because I was training some new hired helpers. We picked up some new valve cover and exhaust bolts along with gaskets. What took the most time was getting the rusted exhaust flange bolts out. Worst part is I can't find anyone who carries replacements.

Here are some pictures from today.

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Tomorrow I'll start pulling the engine/trans/transfer case out on my truck.
 






rjcooperss396

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I worked on it all day today and got everything pulled. I only took a couple pictures which I'll post up later. If I have time tomorrow night I'll start swapping everything over form the '97 to the '95.
 












vroomzoomboom

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was also going to ask, if you are doing the ports, how come your not going to gasket match. i am doing the same types of things to the motor i have right now for my swap.
 



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rjcooperss396

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'95 XLT
I assume you mean gasket matching the intake ports? There's no reason to with mine. I didn't port the lower intake or the intake ports on the heads they are both stock size. The ports on the lower intake are just a hair smaller than the ports on the heads which is how I like them. Also, since I'm running the stock cam I don't feel there would be any power improvement by opening them up. If anything I'd lose a little low end torque.

Here are the only pictures I took yesterday.

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