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supercharged 5.0 true fire 98 explorer sport

Post number 3431 has been selected as best answered.

hi everyone, my name is tim . i live in selkirk, manitoba, canada and as if this date that i am posting this, i am 36 years old.

i bought my sport in jan 05 from a local ford dealer. it had 111,000KM's on it. this is the second sport i have owned. it was sitting on the lot for about 8 months before i came along. i am the third owner (i was able to track down the person that traded it in, and they got it from a friend, who bought it new in 98).

i started to do a few things to it after i first got it, then i found this site, and all hell broke lose! i've never been satisfied with something the everyone else has, so i started to tinker with it even more.














mods include


installed factory tilt, cruise, overhead console, auto dimming mirror, full length console, with a message center (it didn't have these from factory).

white face with blue flames indigo gauge covers (they light up blue)
blue l.e.d. everything
white l.e.d. interior lights
Kenwood DDX392 Touch Screen Head Unit
alpine 4 channel amp (all four speakers)
boston acoustic front and rear speakers
alpine mono amp (for sub)
2 12 inch jl audio subs
rockford fosgate cap
passenger side one touch window down mod.
custom transfer case shifter
tripple a pillar gauge pod, housing autometer boost, Innovate LC-1 wideband, and oil pressure gauge
12v power inverter with 120v plug in a 2 usb plugs built into the center console


BMW E46 projectors, mounted into stock housings using clear lens
6000K HID head lights
angel eye "driving" lights, with 8000k h.i.d.'s
clear parking/corner lights
billet grill (powder coated by Turdle)
blacked out ford emblems
custom front steel 95-98 bumper, with 4 inch round tubes welded in for driving lights
shaved radio antenna
shaved roof rack
black euro tall lights
l.e.d. license plate lights
smoked out 3rd break light
lund rear tailgate spoiler/wing (formally from the truck "blackjack" owned by EF member Spas)
hand made roll pan (made from 3 1/2 rear bumpers, with 1/4 inch diamond plate on the top, and it is removable)
aluminum T/A differential griddle/cover (powder coated by Turdle)
Motegi Mr107 20' rims
goodyear wrangler hp p245/50 r20
1 1/4 wheel spacer in the rear, 3/8 in front
and most noticeable, black with blue pearl paint, and blue true fire (ground effects are black with blue pearl as well)


2 inch lowering blocks in the rear, reverse TT in the front (2 inch as well)
Explorer Express rear sway bar
4 door leaf springs
rancho rs9000 adjustable rear shocks
03-05 sport trac spindles with drilled and slotted rotors


5L swap
347 stroker
TFS twisted wedge alum heads
comp gold 1.6 rockers
comp cams CCA-35-556-8 nitro cam
heavily modified edelbrock victor jr air gap intake (which serves as a valley pan now)
eaton m122 supercharger (metco 2.70 pulley, and ASP 8 rib 7 1/4 crank pulley) with custom made mount with bell intercooler core
8 rib serpentine belt conversion using pulleys from a 7.3 powerstroke
custom made 3 1/2 inch throttle body elbow
accufab 75mm throttle body
4 inch intake pipe
PMASS MH90 90mm Universal 3000 KG/HR MAF
amsoil cone filter
F.A.S.T. 60lb injectors
edelbrock fuel rails, trick flow specialties fuel pressure regulator with summit racing fuel pressure gauge
walbro 255lph fuel pump
1/2 inch steel braided fuel pressure line from tank to rail using 8AN fittings
torque monster headers
2 1/2 duel pipes with flowpro duel in and out 2 1/2 single muffler
accel extreme 9000 ceramic 45 degree plug wires with boot protectors
4R70W w/2600 stall with J mod
tuff stuff 200a alternator
tuning made possible with sct pro-racer package, and tuned with major help from member [MENTION=102869]Dono[/MENTION] and [MENTION=81804]4pointslow[/MENTION]
flex a lite duel 12 inch electric fans
big 3 upgrade (4 gauge wires)
meziere innercooler water pump
2 froozenboost innercooler rads

Transfer case

4406 manual shift from a 97 F150
modified stock trans cross member to accept 93 mustang 5L polyurethane tans mount
double cardan rear drive shaft

because of all the "fun" i had doing the bodywork, and some other things to my truck, i have nick named it "evil dora" or if you like, just plane "evil"!
and now the thank yous

my buddy gord leiss, who let this thing sit in his garage for 3 months while i did the body work to it. he also gave me a hand with some of the prep work, and painted it for me

kevin willson for doing the true fire

Joe Bukoski for letting me do the 5L/4406 swap in his garage

now people from this site, weather they knew it or not, they helped

BIG THANKS to tara a.k.a. explorersport77 for pictures of her truck. wouldn't been able to build the roll pan with out them!

ExplorerSport77's X "Hotness"

jon a.k.a. Turdle for selling me some real swanky rear shackles, as well as powder coating the diff cover and sending them up to canada. as well as much needed info on v8, and 4406 swaps as well as doing the grill and showing me how its done.

don aka dono for the help with the tuning, and wideband, as well as the supercharger

andy aka ahodges for some parts, and any help i needed for all the go faster goodies

5.0 swap - w/ 4406

jad2411 for finding me a link for my hidden antenna

ryan a.k.a. MustangP51 for doing his write up on making l.e.d.'s for interior lights, and how to make projectors

P51's HID Headlight (Projector) and Fog Conversion (PICS)

and N3ELZ cardomain page for L.E.D. switch and cruise pod mods

bob a.k.a. rwenzing for showing me speedhut's sit for the gauges

Gauges, Custom Gauges, Tachometers, Speedometers, Shift Light, Pod

Buzz4x4 for his write up on blacking out ford emblems

How to Make Your Own Custom Ford Emblems

the late aldive for his write up on one touch down passengers window mod

BIG COUNTRY, for his write up on how to install a auto dimming mirror

BIG COUNTRY, 98formulaLS1, and Ryon40 for there write ups on how to install a message center

MountaineerGreen for his 4406 swap write up and "Custom" Driveshaft for a 4406 and 4" Superlift on the Cheap " (even tho its lowered

Simon, aka blueka for his "pickle" thread, and help anytime i picked the phone up the phone on the 5L swap

Jon, aka 4pointslow for any MAJOR technical advice i have needed

i wish i could find who did the write up on the overhead console install, but here is the link

Russ aka NICE59FORDF100 for his help on the wiring, and what to watch out for electronically.

hopefully one day, i will be able to help people on here just as much as the people that i have mentioned above!


plus you know you have done something right when.....

your truck (as well as corkey) wins truck of the month

is the feature truck on the fun hump day radio show (starts roughly around the 30 min mark)

and you drive 26 hours ONE WAY to the carlisle all ford nationals in june 2010 and 2011, and grab second place in the s.u.v. all category!


then in 2014 you go back to the same show you have been to 5 years in a row (nothing by most, but its one hell of a long drive) and take first!


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Think the torque twisting the rear axle did that? Holy ****.

i really dont know! i would have to think no because there are people with way more power then i have not doing that. as well as if the torque did that i would think the diff would have kicked out as well, but who knows! i wanted to check something on the rear brakes. took the drives side tire off. while i was looking at it, i saw the bushing still hanging on for dear life on the bar. it didnt hit me at first, then i though, wait a min.....something isnt right. oh that pic is also after me trying to smash it strait again when i remember i had another pair of energy suspension bushing that i ordered wrong. thats where the new bracket came in. i also just about tossed them out a few weeks back as well!

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Im pretty sure that white pos in the field has them also.....

not a great day to be a explorer with a 347 in it (here comes another one of my long winded stories).
a few weeks back i was showing a guy that i know that did a v8 in his ranger what evil can do.
first mistake
i wanted to try something and that was to keep it over fueling during a cold warm up. started it up, let it run for about 30 seconds, then started getting on it.
fatal mistake.
within 2 or 3 blocks, it started missing, and bad. i figured it would either clear up, or it just fowled another set of plugs. turned around and parked it for a week or two. this last week i wanted (more like NEEDED) to get her running right again so i can move it around when another truck i bought that needs a motor gets here (i have, evil, don's truck, and 007 my 07 level 2 ranger sitting here with a driveway that can only park 2 trucks and one in my back yard).
i started by pulling the plugs. 2 of them soaked still after sitting for 2 weeks. change them, still misses. ok, i must have a couple of dead wires which have only been on since sept, but have been sitting for 2 years. change wires, still misses.
frustration starts.
figure i have a bad coil pack. rob both off dons truck and put them on evil. still misses.
ok, what that actual hell is going on here.
pull the cam sensor and see if it broke, still looks new. look at the trigger wheel on the balancer to see if it still moves. nope.
ok start phoning a few friends that are mechanics to see what they can throw out at me. one suggest to make for 100 present sure i am getting spark because it is running very rich and is missing. call my son to give me a hand. while having number 4 wire out with a plug in it and grounding it, he turns the motor over for me. have spark, but out of the corner of my eye i see fuel gushing out of the 4th cylinder. i think to myself, that isnt right with the fuel pump relay pulled. i unhook the injector and try it again. still gushing fuel, as well as number 3.
i think FINALLY i found the problem. i have 2 injectors that are hanging open and drowning it with fuel. better yet, the parts don gave me with his truck have 60lb injectors in there. also changing injectors isnt fun just because of the way i have everything mounted but can be done.
it starts to cool off a bit, so my son goes home to get a sweater. while i am sitting around because i still need his help i decide to do a compression test just for giggles (and i just bought a tester and want to play with my new toy.
number 1, 180.
number 2, 180.
number 3, 0.....wait, what? zero? that cant be right?
ok, i will do number 4 this thing is broken. great. go back to number 1, 180..... uh oh.
back to 3, zero.
not good. pull the valve cover off (which i find out is very easy to do with the new blower, only bonus i will get for today as well), spin the motor to watch and see if the valves open or not. they do.
now i really start to panic. did i bend a valve? melt a hole in the piston? gaskets should be ok, because its not blowing white smoke, oil doesnt look like a milkshake and level hasnt dropped.
make a call to don. he comes saves or ruins the day depending on how you look at it with his compressor and leak down tester. as we unload his (snicker snicker) honda, he walks by his explorer (more on that), then evil and says something like "i do not miss my truck one bit. these things are such a PITA to work on."
me being me, "ack, they arent that bad".
shortly after that, evil decides to lock me out, oh with the ignition turned to on of coarse! grab the spare out of my house unlock smart ass's door, then go to turn the key to roll the motor......."click"......
by this time don is in tears "nothing is coming easy for you today is it tim"
cant remember what i said, but it was something smart ass'd and not directed at him either. so i roll the motor by hand to close the valve and hook up his tester. we did number 3 first.
can hear a little hiss come out of number four. even don said he could hear it, wasnt to loud, but could hear it. now we roll it so number 4 is closed.
enough wind comes out of number 3 to blow my hair back.
i'm damn near bald, and the tester is still hooked up to number 4
as i try to put my finger over the hole (and cant keep it on it) i turn to don and say, "yea, i think i may have a tiny leak, just a small one however....." so i blew out the gasket between the 3rd and 4th cylinders. what caused it, not sure but i hope it isnt boost related. guess im goint to find that one out the hard way and in time as well. so i now going to be pulling the motor out of evil. not a big deal because i was going to use dons converter because its a 2800, and mine is a 2600 so the trans had to be dropped.
now dons truck. he has a really neat oil filter that comes apart and can reuse. i wanted to use it on evil so i took it off, and cleaned it. don had thought the crank was gone because of the oil leak he has, i thought it blew out the rear main. looks like don knows his truck the same way i know evil. when i cleaned the filter, it looked like there was metal in the oil. by chance, i had the container that i used to clean it out laying on its side afterwards, low and behold, there was some glitter left over. oh well, he gave me one hell of a deal on it, so i am nowhere near upset about it. that just means his motor will sit off to the side for a while before i send if off to get the crank repaired on it. i am also kicking around the idea of using his heads because they are ported where mine are out of the box stock.
so evil will be having yet another couple of months vacation before i can drive it again.
and summer is about to begin to........ :(

I am very sorry to hear that Evil is sick again, that sounds like the injectors caused the issue with the head gasket. Too much fuel and the boost can do that, no cylinder fire one time but next it blows too powerfully etc.

BTW, how did Don have his TW 170's ported, and cost of course? They flow in the 250cfm range OTB, and most now expensive 190s etc, are near 300cfm(but $1800 to buy). Maybe later you might think about having those stock heads CNC'd. I don't know how much the TEA program is, but it makes them a 205cc size, and over 300cfm @.500" lift. That extra flow is good power for boosted engines.

Tim, I've pulled the heads on my truck without pulling the whole engine before. I know it can be done but yeah, it is a wrestling match.

Tim, I've pulled the heads on my truck without pulling the whole engine before. I know it can be done but yeah, it is a wrestling match.
i remember that post lol. as mentioned i will be changing converters anyway regardless, so i might as well yank it out. that and i will be going MLS gaskets so both sides will need changing. the ones that are in it, don gave me a long time ago and all i can remember is they were svo gaskets. i looked to find a part number and there were way to many different thicknesses to them. while its out im going to look over the headers and replace gaskets as well (thought i could hear a tick) and might even pull a cap or 2 just to have a look. havent had the motor out in 5 or something years, and when that truck comes out, it gets driven....HARD.
so thats the plan right now, and im sure those can change as well. the ranger that i am also going to be selling was just towed here this morning and will have to pull the motor out of it. right my shed is PACKED. have 3 SOHC's 2 trans, my mock up block and heads, all the stuff to convert dons truck to a v6, 3 sets of tires, 4 front diffs, and god knows how many other parts and stuff. its also a little smaller then a single car garage....

latest update.
evil is still sitting with blown head gaskets. not much of a update on that, but i have had other things going on.
finally finished and sold a ranger i had here, so i can check that off the list. i had also checked over a motor i was able to get from work (4L SOHC) and it turned out to be junk. wasnt going to dive into it, so back to the scrap yard it went.
the next thing on the list was don's truck. i really did or do hate doing what i am doing with it, but i cant have two hotrods so



the motor from his truck has finally left the frame rails....for good. now one of the reasons why don sold it to me was it had a pretty good oil leak going on. he was right. i had it idling in my driveway for less then 5 mins, and it was smoking pretty good from under the truck. i also noticed when i brought it back to my place a while back, when you got on it, you could see blue smoke behind you. don also had a oil filter that you can take apart and reuse. when i took it apart, it looked like there was some bearing material inside it. i figured motor was done, ill use the heads from it, and figure out what i was going to do with the rest of it later. well, those plains may have now changed as well.
when i was talking everything apart to pull the motor, first thing i saw was his intake tube was full of oil (it had a puddle of it near the throttle body).
the second thing i saw was oil on the back side of the block.


also notice that the front of the flex plate is dry. i thought it had a bad rear main, don thought the crank walked.

after i pulled it, i saw the entire front of the motor soaked in oil as well.



i was talking to don, and thought the rear main had a bad leak, and he pointed out the main is dry looking. it might be seeping a little but not that bad.


i am starting to think his motor had leaks in other places, and it may also be possible the crank is good. i tried to move it, and its solid.
so what i am trying to say is this. once i have converted his truck to a v6 (barf) i am going to wash down his motor, get a dial gauge and put it on the crank. if it doesnt move more then .010, the crank is ok. i am then going to see if i can get another 8 rib, 7 1/4 balancer made, and see about getting balanced to his rotating assembly. if all that works out, his motor just might make it into evil. after all, it was dyno'd shy of 500 hp and torque. it was also built by a builder who is incredibly fussy about the motors he builds.
see you at the next update more then likely a month from now.

This is great news!
I'm sure you can come up with an 8 rib zero balance balancer
I dont know for sure, but i'd think if the motor was balance to true zero, you should just be able to swap balancers without having the assembly rebalanced.

Also, pop the oil pan and check a few bearings just to be sure. I'd sure love to see that motor go in to Evil as a complete unit.

also just noticed another "smoking gun" for a oil leak


header is oil stained

What valve cover gaskets are on it? And are the valve cover bolts tight?

What valve cover gaskets are on it? And are the valve cover bolts tight?
i believe don has FEL-PRO VS13264T gaskets on it. one bolt wasnt tight at all and it is also in the area where the oil leak is.
was talking with don on the weekend, what i am going to do is this. he has a oil pressure gauge that is sitting at the moment, and his motor has a oil pressure bell on it. when he has this motor built, he had a hi volume pump put in that kicks out a whopping 70psi at idle. i think i am going to hook up a drill to the oil pump driveshaft, and let it sit on there for 5 mins (probably kill the drill but im willing to sacrifice it) and see if there are any other leaks. i know its a little different without the motor running, but its worth a shot.
i also just got off the phone with damper dudes. i told them what kind of damper evil has (can bolt on any pulley i want, and is a mustang damper with a explorer reluctor pinned to the back of it). if i use dons motor i cant change pulleys. he said he can make another damper like evils, so that is good news. i now have to see if i can find out either by dons old invoice for his motor, if don can remember, or the engine builder can remember if dons motor is zero balance, 28, or 50.

when this is done, the bad, i am going to have more grey hair. the worse, i am going to have less hair.

Cool. Not a bad on idea on looking for the oil leaks. Easest way to figure out what the balance is, is to remove the balancer from Don's engine and see what the weight is on it.

Cool. Not a bad on idea on looking for the oil leaks. Easest way to figure out what the balance is, is to remove the balancer from Don's engine and see what the weight is on it.

just talked to don. its is a zero balance motor. also wanted to put that here because knowing me lately and mind having to go in 53 directions all at once, i will forget lol

FYI, for the balancer, I saved a link in one of my junk PC tabs for an aftermarket brand, which is available in components, the hub, ring, and weights. I did not contact them, but it looked like a decent possibility that they might have one without the common backside weight like other brands. The OEM old replacement type(28oz), have no weight(metal) near the center hub on the backside, which is where the trigger wheel mounted on the two I had made. I have been slowly looking at aftermarket versions to use, but every one I've seen has something on the backside where the trigger wheel needs to go.

Is there a plate that goes between the engine and transmission like there is on the 4.0SOHC?
If so you can bolt the plate to the engine and bolt the starter to the plate and just crank the engine over to make oil pressure(with spark plugs removed).
I did it in one of my junkyard engine build videos to make sure oil was lubricating each camshaft lobe of the engine.

That picture of the valve cover looks like it doesnt line up with the cylinder head, might just be an optical illusion though.

Is there a plate that goes between the engine and transmission like there is on the 4.0SOHC?
If so you can bolt the plate to the engine and bolt the starter to the plate and just crank the engine over to make oil pressure(with spark plugs removed).
I did it in one of my junkyard engine build videos to make sure oil was lubricating each camshaft lobe of the engine.

That picture of the valve cover looks like it doesnt line up with the cylinder head, might just be an optical illusion though.

yes, there is a shim plate for these motors as well, and i did see that video when you did it (hell of a idea), however i cant fit the flex plate between the motor and the stand. trust me, i thought of it
trickflow valve covers are pretty meaty where the bolt to the head. they do line up.
buddy is going to lend me his dial indicator. going there when i get up, then going to see how much end play there is, then go from there.

end play results are in.

this was how i had the dial indicator mounted to the block


so after tugging with all my might on the bolts at the back of the crank with a 2 foot prybar, dial zeroed


then prying forward and letting the crank rest in place


i couldnt believe my eyes. i did it 3 times with the same reading!

i also messaged the guy that built the motor for don asking if he was able to make a balancer for me. he figured he was booked till next summer with builds which i can believe (he even mentioned he doesnt even have time to set up his new cnc at the moment). i also messaged him those pictures as well. he messaged me back with this.

"Didn’t think it would of been bad.

It left the shop at .0045”

I just remember the thrust and clearance as it’s only a 30w motor!"

this is very good news......we for me. it sucks don sold me the truck with a still heathy motor. still feel bad about that.

it still puzzels me because this is what came out of the oil filter


then again, maybe the filter was doing its job. its hard to see in this picture, but this is what it looked like as well.


either way, im looking at it like this. all of the motors i as well as don has had over the last few years, you could measure endplay with a tape measure. once the thrust bearing was gone, so was everything else. with all that said, looks like evil is getting a new to her mill.
im also going to take the balancer off evil to send to damper dudes to get another one made for this motor. with luck i will have all of it back when i am ready to put dons motor into evil.

Whew! On the up side, at least Tim will keep looking for an aluminum 4.6 block for my mustang, and.....Tim doesn't hate me. LOL

I'm excited to see what this motor does with a blower on top of it.

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oh, another note. if you look in the background of the first pic, thats don's old block that was beyond repair which became my mock up motor. the heads that are on it came from member celly's truck when i owned it. don's block that was in his truck? celly's old block from his truck.
recycling at its finest lol