Section525's '97 V8 AWD v4.0? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Section525's '97 V8 AWD v4.0?

I forget how many v8s I'm up to. The green one, the black one, the blue one, and now the grey one. I think that's all so far.

I've been keeping my eyes peeled for the last year or so for an Explorer as a donor for my Bronco. I recently came across this one fairly locally. It was a 1-owner, garage-kept '97 with about 200k on the clock. Picked it up for $1300 (not bad.. not great).

Problem is, now I'm having second thoughts on tearing it apart. I haven't had a 2nd gen for about 5 years and we recently got rid of my wife's '13 Explorer for an Audi Q7 (good swap really). Driving an Explorer again got me feelin' the old times and now I'm thinking about saving it as a driver.

So far I've given it a good cleaning on the inside and replaced the pass. side front wheel hub (it was pretty bad). Now I'm at the crossroad. Do I throw a bunch of time and parts into this and make it a good little runner.. or rip the motor and tranny out for the EFI conversion on the EB? Let's vote!


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Looks too clean to part, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do:burnout:

Looks clean. 97 trucks can be equipped very differently on the V8 wiring side. Check the PCM code, if it's XDT2 or XDT3 it's the best harness to use for a swap. If it's SLL3 or SLL4 it's still gt40p heads but internal EGR and old style range sensor for trans.

i faced this dilemma a few years back. ever worse, i bought it from a fellow forum member. i bought it for the powertrain. once i saw how nice it was, i had second thoughts (hell, it drove me back home 14-15 hours non stop, and for a few weeks afterwords as well). it was a 96 limited. white. one of my most wanted trim levels, color and motor. after thinking of it long and hard for a month, i went ahead with the plan i had, and parted it. hated every moment of it, and 5 years later i still have the shell and cant bring myself to sending it to the shredder.
so what i am saying is, stick to your guns, and do what you interned to do. you cant save em all

This thing needs some parts while I wait to decide it’s fate. :D


It's easier to buy one that is already headed to the car gods in the sky and then cut it up for parts....or in my case take 2 and make into 1 awesome 1 :thumbsup:

If you were closer I’d give you my old Mounty.

Box man strikes again.


Dude, I'd keep that as is and fix it up as you go. Every 2nd gen fanatic needs a cheap clean trusty stocker on standby they can hop in and do whatever with while their other four (or more) are torn apart..:D

There has got to be a wrecked one you can find for harnesses and such.

I think soon, people will start rushing en mass to scoop up these old trusty rigs, and their value will start going up and will become harder and harder to find, like the old Made is USA parts. As long as the frame and body is good, everything else can be rebuilt or replaced.

It all starts with a good foundation, and that rig looks like one to me.


Honestly I would keep it. At least where I am at, you can find a trashed Explorer with a good v8 drivetrain for cheap. Something that nice without a lot of issues is pretty rare.

No one buys Bilstiens for a truck they are going to steal the drive train out of and scrap..............

I’d go with the minority, and part it. If it’s been kept that nice it’s probably been maintained. If you get some rusted out junker chances are it’s had major maintenance skipped.

I didn’t buy Bilsteins for my keeper!

They are already getting harder to find, about 4-5 years ago you could pick up a Gen II 5.0 all day for $500-1500 now they are fetching more then that for clean ones with lower miles
The 5.0 trucks have a nice following, the gen I trucks have a little bit of a following and the Ranger...well the old Rangers will see their day

If I need a drivertrain for a project I will crush a clean Gen II without hesitation, but only to save something worth a Ranger or somebodies project/baby

The low mile trucks are getting so hard to get your hands on ( like under 120K miles) that we are doing crate engines and fresh transmissions now, so a rusty drivetrain donor is okay with me...the 5.0 engine cores themselves are even getting harder to come by...not extinct yet, but few and far between