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How to: So you want to convert to a 5.0? 5L swap for dummies

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Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS!
Elite Explorer
January 22, 2007
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City, State
selkirk, manitoba
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 supercharged 347 sport



so years after doing my 5L swap in my sport (which you could NOT get a v8 in, no matter how hard you cried) i still see this question pop up lots. so lets look at a few things before diving in, and rip everything apart and haft way threw it you wounder why you did this to yourself.
the main reason why i did my swap was a sport was never offered with a v8 in any trim level. for you 4 door guys, it was offered. i did mine because i wanted to be different (and i am a speed junky), and performance parts are harder to come by for a SOHC then a 5L, and almost impossible for the 4L OHV. four door guys before you start doing this, you need to stand back and think for a min.
is the truck worth this much work? if you have to think about this, then no i would say not when you can buy one that has a motor in it already. unless you have some type of attachment to it, you will be better off buying one. some states (as far as i know, but not for sure because i live up in canada) wont let you do this. i will point out as much as i can remember from when i did mine. some others may have done somethings different. thats ok, we are all out for the same goal. to hear and feel a v8.
what should you look for or buy?


to make things go as easy as possible, try and find a donor truck the same year as yours. the reasons for this is that there are some wiring changes from different years, as well as fuel system differences. first one that comes to my mind is 96-98. they had whats called a "return fuel system". meaning that unused fuel was returned to the tank, and therefore has two fuel lines. 99 and up does not have this, and it is not as simple as cutting off one line. and because of that, there are some wiring differences, as well as other places (sensors having different ends, sensors having same plug, but pinned differently). then there is the issue with PATS (passive anti thief system) in which you can not start the truck unless you have the correct electronics "talking" to one and other. the 97 and down pick up the VSS from the transfer case, 98 and up get it from the rear ABS sensor, so that would be another problem you would face. 97 1/2 and down are also a internal egr motors, while 97 1/2 and up are external. one way to spot this is to look on the heads of the motor internal egr have the gt40 heads from factory. external have the gt40p heads.
perfect trucks to find are at salvage auctions (where i picked mine up for, for the total sum of $500, and the week after i got it, sold the tires and rims for $600), or your local classified adds. as well as, if you plan it out correctly, and do things right, you may be able to sell off any leftover parts, and have cash in your pocket.....depending how deep into this you want to go.
now if you cant find a complete donor truck, here is a list of what you will NEED to get.

motor (complete from pan to intake with all brackets, accessories, wire harness, throttle body, starter, flex plate and shim plate)


trans and transfer case


power steering lines, and cooler. the 5L cooler is the bottom one


4L in truck


5L in truck (sits lower then the 4L when it is bolted to the rack)


throttle cable as well as cruise motor with cable. 5L throttle cable is the one on top. you dont necessarily need the cruise motor, but if dont know how to unhook it from the motor, it is easier to get both.



trans shifter (5r55e cable will work, not sure if a 4r55e will, but it is possible, 5r55e is the one on top)




evap lines



metal motor mount between the block and rubber both sides


G.E.M. (located on the right side of radio behind radio bezel)


p.a.t.s. (if equipped)


key ring around ignition cylinder, and ignition cylinder (once again this is only if you have a (p.a.t.s.)


locks including hatch lock (if you want all your locks to work with one key, otherwise not needed)
radio bezel (i only say this because a 5L will not have a 4x4 switch. if your are 2wd, you wont need it. if you are 4x4 you will have a dead switch that does nothing)
drive shafts
rad/condenser (4L SOHC rad/condenser will work, as well as the rad, but if you want the 5L, grab it)
a/c lines from the compressor to the dryer
trans lines
motor harness, and wiring from alt to battery
exhaust from manifolds to muffler, but not muffler (unless you have a 4L OHV, then you will need the muffler as well)(if your a 2 door sport, you may need to cut off the rear cats. reason being is the exhaust will be longer then the 4 door trucks)
fuel pump (4L SOHC pump will work for a 5L, but i dont know if a 4L OHV will or not)

ok, so now that you have all this stuff, you can start with the swap. get your old motor and trans out, as well as drive shafts, transfer case (if you are 4x4) and exhaust up to the muffler. you will never be able to use these again. it will not bolt up. the reason why i say up to the muffler is depending if you have a SOHC motor, you can make the v8 exhaust work up to that point. they both have a dual in. if your are a OHV, sorry, your muffler will not work. it is a single in.

now that all that yucky 4L stuff is gone, we can begin with the "fun stuff".

now once again, if you want to you can use the 4L ac condenser and rad. or if you want, the 4L condenser and 5L rad (because i broke one tank on my really nice low mileage rad). the nice thing about doing this is you dont have to unclip the rad from the condenser if you ever need a new rad. ask any guy that has had to change a 5L rad. while they describe it to you note the eyes turning bloodshot, and veins popping from their forehead.

next what you will also want to change while the motor is out are your power steering lines. just note when you pull the 4L out which one in pressure, and which one is return. i am pretty sure they will only go on one way, but better safe then sorry. these will screw into your 4L rack. once in, lay them to the side. at this point changing out the power steering cooler is also a good idea, as well as laying your trans lines in the engine bay.

next change is only preference. the rubber mounts for both motor bolt into the same spots. the only difference is that the 5L one is a little bigger. you can use either or if you like.



once you have figured out which rubber mount you want to use, you can bolt the metal mounts onto them. or if you like, bolt both the metal and rubber mount to the motor. either way, you will end up dropping the front diff down unless you have a super lift, or something that has relocated the front diff further away from the motor cross member.

there are 2 wires that bolt onto the side of the power distribution box under the hood from the motor. if you still have those there, remove those wires as they will not work for the 5L motor, but those spots will be used for the 5L


you should also take note if you have 2 vacuum lines left over from pulling the 4L out. one near the power distribution box, and the other near your wisher/rad overflow tank. you will not need to change the length of them. they should plug into your 5L as the both plug into the same spots.


now for the moment you have been waiting for. stabbing the 5L into your truck. provided you have prepped everything correctly, this should go fairly easy. you can put everything in, in one shot minus the fan, and flexplate for better clearance. yes it will go in with the upper intake bolted on, as well as the manifolds, or headers if you have (you will want to unbolt the steering shaft from the firewall however, and lean it towards the front of the truck as much as you can. the way i put mine in was i unbolted the the brackets for the alt and used one of the bolt holes in the head for a chain, then used another hole on the back side of the drivers head. didnt break anything even with the upper intake on.
wiggle the motor into the truck, and watch how close you are getting to the mounts. lower it to the mounts. once it touches them, raise it just a small amount, then you will have to get the bolts on either side of the plates to line up from underneath. when that is done, move the motor crane because you are finish with it. you can let the motor rest on the mounts. you can now start hooking all your lines, and wires up. the 5L motor harness will work with the 4L body harness provided you have the same year harnesses.
with one exception. your a/c system, and oil pressure gauge.
you can now fight with the transmission to get it in. i found that if you can get the bolts in at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock and tightened down, and leave the back of the trans tilted at a angle and supported by a jack you can get all the bolts with using a extension. you might however scream and curse at the trans dipstick bolt that is located in the passengers side head.


so here are some findings that i have. after bugging russ (NICE59FORDF100) he was kind enough to email me some wiring info. take note, this is for a 98 SOHC motor, and a 98 5L motor. these are the pics, and the directions on what he gave me

"ok, so ill try and run through this from memory...
\the following is the pinout for the 5.0 connector. Depending on the sport, it may be identical (going off of memory of the sport trac, which was different) Basically, you want to repin the 5.0 connector to match the 4.0 EBH (Engine Bay Harness) so the circuits are lined up. Alldata tells me your sport should be identical, however, i included an 01 connecter view (C139) for reference if it isnt.

1) RD/Y is your high ac pressure switch. This has to be cut off the sohc engine BAY harness (the connector with pigtail) and grafted into the engine harness of the 5.0 and ran through the connector

2) BK ground

3) not used

4) not used

5) BK/WH

6) GY/WH a/c compressor circuit

7) not used

[8)] DG/WH Oil Pressure gauge Circuit

9) Y/LB Starter, this wire goes from the starter relay to the starter itself

10) Not used

11) DG/WH Oil temp input, this would go to a message center if installed, the sport will not have this wire

12) WH/PK this is the low oil level circuit, same as above

now, if you encounter a Y/WH wire, this is basically a wire from the alternator regulator to the power supply that supplies a reference voltage. Without it hooked up, the engine will idle higher and the battery light will be on. to make it correct, run the Y/WH wire from the 4.0 EBH c125 connector to the power distribution box where the big battery cables attach. Hooking that up will solve the issue. Hopefully this all helps bud"


4L SOHC c125 connector


5L c125 connector


and what they look like


4L connector


5L connector.

and the a/c stuff. reason why is the connector is on the 4L harness, and goes to the switch on the compressor, vs the 5L is in the a/c line and closer to the rad support.




as for the oil pressure sensor, all i did was ground the switch so i wouldnt have a dead gauge in the dash and have left it like that ever since. you can always get a aftermarket one. i never did look into it further on how to make the factory one work.
another thing you may come across is this.


if your like me and didnt want to pull the entire engine bay harness, here is how i did it because your harness is now to short. i went to the wreckers and got a as much of a wire length and both sides of connectors from another truck (dont think this will matter year or motor)


turned them 180 from each other and soldered them together to make a jumper harness



for some of us, we will need to run pats. if you want to however, you can purchase a tuner and ask the programer to program pats out of the system. however, if you dont want to go that route, and would rather have it, its as simple as replacing a few parts provided they all came from the same truck.

the pats module is found behind the pass. air bag. it is simple to remove. drop your glove box down, and look up.


remove the two screws in red, slide it out, and unhook the connector.

this is the little box you are after.


which is right here. it sits behind the air bag


undo the two bolts, pull it out. there is a little white part in the connector that has to come out first before you can unclip it.

next, the ignition and ignition ring.

this is what you are after.


and is here


undo the cover over the steering column. the way you get the ignition tumbler out is look for the little button on the bottom (red circle), with a small circle, push the button up, and turn the key at the same time. it should almost slide out.


there is also a small screw on the bottom of the ring (look at the lower left part of the white sticker) unscrew that, and the ring will slide out. you will have to take off the knee panel to unclip the harness.

i did this because i have the key from the donor truck, and i am also too cheap to get the truck reprogrammed to the the factory key! :D

i also swapped the G.E.M. out as well. figured i have it, and might as well keep it all 5L

take the vent tube out (two screws) and pull. there it is a tab at the top also so push up on the tube and it should come out.


one thing i also found out was the tac was reading way to high when i started it up. you can leave it like it is, or if you are like me this will drive you nuts. so this was what i had to do.
On the back of the cluster are 3 connectors, 10-, 12- and 16-pin. Look at the short 10-pin and you will see a black/yellow ground wire in pin position #8 . Now look at the 16-pin and you will see an empty slot in position #16 . Release the black/yellow ground wire from the 10-pin and move it to the #16 slot of the 16-pin. That's all it takes to convert your V6 truck to read V8 RPM.

so i pulled that wire out of the connector


but when i went to put it into the 16 pin connector it was like this


going from a thread from TRS, it should look like this



so i figured it out, and a little embarrassed by it to. all you have to do is take the black/yellow wire from pin 8 out of the 10 pin connector, pull the black/white wire from pin 16 in the 16 pin connector, and replace it with the black and yellow wire. i just put some tape around the black/white wire in case it did for what ever reason hit something that was live.

now remember, this was done to a 98 truck. there might be some slight wire differences for different years, but should get you in the ball park.

this is pretty much what you will need to do, and the parts to do a v8 swap in your truck be it a sport or 4 door. with this all done, you can also do a 4406 swap if you want to be able to have low range. i would suggest it. even if your not a hard core 4x4'er (mine is a street truck, and lowered at that). other simple things you can do is change the throttle body to a mustang one (do a search for that), turbo, supercharger, upper and lower intakes, or the big one, which is a stroker motor when your changing everything over.


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