Supercharger or Stroker for Towing? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Supercharger or Stroker for Towing?

Jet Ski Puller

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City, State
Clinton, UT
Year, Model & Trim Level
'08 Sport Trac 4.6
Been researching the forum and I think I know the answer, but want to confirm . . .

The only thing I want is more torque in the 2000-4000rpm range for towing.

Supercharger then?

Looks like they're both going to be about the same cost: supercharger is not as easy to find, but with the stroker you have to work out the balancer.

Could a stroker get what i'm looking for?

Thanks!
 



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Put some 4.10 gears in there, that would help a good bit and might be all you need.
 






Put some 4.10 gears in there, that would help a good bit and might be all you need.

Thanks for the response, but already have those. (just updated it in my signature)
 






why not some light head porting and a cam swap?. Forced induction, or a stroker motor on a DD, or something your going to pull often with will probably be more hassle than its worth. for that kind of money you can buy a beater diesel f250 that will pull awesome stock all day long and avg 17-18mpg doing it. just a thought.
 






A stroker motor will gain nowhere even remotely close to the amount of hp and tq as you will with a roots supercharger. Also light head porting and cam swap aren't going to gain that much either, when all 3 are compared.

Just make sure your transmission and AWD t-case are up to the task.
 






why not some light head porting and a cam swap?. Forced induction, or a stroker motor on a DD, or something your going to pull often with will probably be more hassle than its worth. for that kind of money you can buy a beater diesel f250 that will pull awesome stock all day long and avg 17-18mpg doing it. just a thought.

There is nothing wrong with running a stroker motor or forced induction on your daily driver as long as you take the time to get things right. My summer DD is the Pontiac G8 seen in my sig line with a 402 cubic inch stroker and twin turbos. It drives just fine and gets pretty decent MPG too. Perhaps 10-15 years ago with the old technology I would have agreed with you, but times and technology have changed.
 






What are you towing that the 5.0 can't handle? You have to remember that tow ratings are generally what the suspension can handle, not the engine. You should be able to drive 70 mph with a trailer in cross winds and maintain your lane. Otherwise the tow vehicle is towing to much, my 97 4.0 seems to handle 3,000lbs pretty good suspension wise and the engine is no where near needing more power.
 






i've towed 5,000lb with my '91 and my '93. requires full throttle up hills to maintain 55mph, but thats not a big deal.. thats a huge load!!

are you one of those people that doesn't like pressing the pedal all the way down and/or downshifting a gear or two? 2'nd gear at redline full throttle doesn't bother me.

if you want more power the supercharger is the way to go.
i too am curious what you are pulling.. if the 5.0 is under powered, you are probably pulling something way too heavy for an explorer (by this i mean, the explorer isn't heavy enough in relation to the load)

here's my '93 (145hp v6) with the 10,000lb of sand and gravel it just towed here for some cement i was pouring a while back. i'll admit it took a while to get up to speed though (i only went 40mph, i wanted to be able to stop still haha!)
0602001319.jpg
 






The explorer isn't my daily driver. I only put about 3k miles a year on it . . . only for towing. I tow all kinds of stuff. I have 2-2 place watercraft trailers, a pop-up camp trailer with a yakima box on top. I have a utility trailer with a side-x-side atv on it. Where I really struggle is double pulling (yeah, I know what a lot of people think about this, but I've done it for years . . . if you have the right set-up with balanced weights and proper tongue weights, it works out well. I put a ton of thought, engineering, and work into each set-up). Both the watercraft trailers are Triton aluminum, as is the utility trailer. So, it's not so much about weight. The heaviest I tow is the pop-up camp trailer with the atv/utility trailer behind (again, brakes on both, anti-sway on the front camp trailer . . . no issues). This is just over 5000lb loaded. The big thing is wind resistance . . . with the storage box on the top of the camp trailer and the overall height of the side-x-side. Also keep in mind that my base elevation is 5000ft. I tow over many steep inclines and mountain passes. We get some bad headwinds as well. Our speed limit is 75mph (I never tow faster than 70 with this set-up). Last year I hit a bad headwind and struggled to hold 60mph full throttle. A lot of hills I"m down to 50mph full throttle. Although this was before the 4.10 gears. But, although I can feel a difference with the gearing, it's not substantial.

Thanks for the input! I have been considering a custom ground cam (more of an RV grind) with mild port work and the .039" head gasket for more compression.

I don't want to have something that's unreliable, but at only 3k miles per year, if I wear the motor out a little faster, so I get 5-10 more years out of it ;) The truck has 130k on it and is in immaculate condition. I run Amsoil everywhere.

Here it is before I added the cargo box to the top of the camp trailer.
 

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Sounds like an expedition or excursion would be better if you want a suv. Otherwise get a full size pickup. Seems silly to have a small suv only for towing
 






There is nothing wrong with running a stroker motor or forced induction on your daily driver as long as you take the time to get things right. My summer DD is the Pontiac G8 seen in my sig line with a 402 cubic inch stroker and twin turbos. It drives just fine and gets pretty decent MPG too. Perhaps 10-15 years ago with the old technology I would have agreed with you, but times and technology have changed.

my point was not reliability being an issue. it was more about spending 3-5 grand on an explorer that is not meant to be a big time hauler in the first place. power isnt the problem. wheel base, suspension, and big brakes is the main factor. ive never had a truck that had more than 300ft/lbs of torque. I have never had a problem pulling anything, and ive pulled quiet a bit. Im all for built engines, and big power, but to me, in this situation it doesnt seem to be worth it. Its just my opinion.
 






my point was not reliability being an issue. it was more about spending 3-5 grand on an explorer that is not meant to be a big time hauler in the first place. power isnt the problem. wheel base, suspension, and big brakes is the main factor. ive never had a truck that had more than 300ft/lbs of torque. I have never had a problem pulling anything, and ive pulled quiet a bit. Im all for built engines, and big power, but to me, in this situation it doesnt seem to be worth it. Its just my opinion.

Thanks for all of the input.

Actually, power is the problem. I have very little back spacing on my wheels so they fill the EB flares and the truck is very stable. Lift rear springs and a light amount of TT make the suspension perfect . . . actually rides really nice when I get a little tongue weight on the back. Drilled/slotted rotors w/ hawk pads . . . then brakes on all my trailers . . . no stopping problem at all.

Believe me I"ve thought of the truck option. The thing is, I really like the Explorer . . . I've met very few people who care for vehicles the way I do. This truck is a known to me. I know the condition of the motor and all the drive train and all the amenities. I've already put a bit of money in that I'll never get back out in terms of upgrades. So it's worth it to me to put a little more in. I'm not talking gobs more power. It pulls everything I need it to. I'd just like to make it a little more driveable in those heavy towing situations. If I had had all this stuff already and was looking for something to pull it with I probably would have made a different decision. I only had the jet skis when I bought the Explorer and the other stuff has come along since then. If I got an older used truck, you never know what you're buying. I was also looking at newer V8 Sport Tracs . . . not really ALOT more power than this Ex with the mods, and hard to think about putting that kind of $$$ into something I drive 3k miles a year . . .
 






A stroker motor will gain nowhere even remotely close to the amount of hp and tq as you will with a roots supercharger. Also light head porting and cam swap aren't going to gain that much either, when all 3 are compared.

Just make sure your transmission and AWD t-case are up to the task.

I already knew the SC was the best option for what I"m looking for . . . would be a fun build as well. They're not so easy to come by though . . .

Certainly not relative to a SC, but is there something to be had with light porting, cam swap, and a little bump in compression?
 






I already knew the SC was the best option for what I"m looking for . . . would be a fun build as well. They're not so easy to come by though . . .

Certainly not relative to a SC, but is there something to be had with light porting, cam swap, and a little bump in compression?

There aren't allot of them around anymore but keep your eyes peeled and they will turn up eventually.

There is certainly something to be gained with porting, proper cam, and compression. The only problem is that most people don't go big enough and end up putting allot of effort into things and only get a meager gain in power and torque. If you are going to bump compression then bump it by at least a full point to make it worth your while. If you are going to do heads then get some aftermarket castings or have your GT40P heads heavily ported if you cannot afford the aftermarket. Between all of that, if done right, you can net some decent hp/tq gains. But you will be extremely hard pressed to get as good of gains per dollar spent as you will from the Eaton supercharger.
 






I added a Ford Racing (Powerdyne) Supercharger, Torque Monster Headers, and a Gibson cat back exhaust to my 5L Mountaineer just for towing my camper and it made a big difference towing. Less struggle up hills and easier passing...plus it is my dailey driver so it does add a fun factor.
 






I added a Ford Racing (Powerdyne) Supercharger, Torque Monster Headers, and a Gibson cat back exhaust to my 5L Mountaineer just for towing my camper and it made a big difference towing. Less struggle up hills and easier passing...plus it is my dailey driver so it does add a fun factor.

Awesome! Thanks for the info!

How long ago did you install it? Where did you find it?

You experience much lag? About what RPM do you feel it kicking in?
 






Awesome! Thanks for the info!

How long ago did you install it? Where did you find it?

You experience much lag? About what RPM do you feel it kicking in?


I installed it about 6 years ago...bought it right from Ford.

A little lag, but from 2500 and up it pulls quite hard.
 






First I think I would have went with( and I will be going with) 4.56 gears These aod's love to shift early, and build heat. In your situation, IF you had the coin, I would do gears ...again..ugh! sorry but I would, then build the trans (only because I dont see it in your sig of whats been done?) then of course..searching throghout the USA for a bolt on s/c..lol. I have no idea of what parts of mustangs kits, f150 lightning kits, etc would be of pieces/parts help, although if I was in the position, I would be researching that as well. I dont think I would discount a turbo, or even a STS style turbo either. Im currently slowly build our 5.0 to also haul expedition style back roads, along with a nice size AC TRV or Outtie Max.
 






I have another suggestion...

cam and heads.

swap to aluminum heads and not only will you get heads that can breathe way better than the stock heads, but you could get smaller chamber heads and bump up your compression quite a bit. just going aluminum on the heads will allow you to bump up your compression a lot.

i'd aim for 10:1 compression with a medium cam grind (something in the 210/220 @050 range) be careful not to get a cam too big for your torque converter.

also add a gigantic trans cooler since your doing heavy towing. you can't have too much trans cooler.
 



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I dont think I would discount a turbo, or even a STS style turbo either.

X2 STS style turbo would be the way to go especially since you are talking about 2000-4000 rpm. It would be a lot easier to piece together than a supercharger also.

In my opinion, turbo is better for towing, supercharger is better for DD/track.
(flame on...)
 






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