Swapping an SOHC into a 5spd OHV 2nd gen? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Swapping an SOHC into a 5spd OHV 2nd gen?


Explorer addict
Elite Explorer
August 27, 2001
Reaction score
Down by da river, hon
City, State
North East, MD
Year, Model & Trim Level
'95 Sport
Mods, move this to the proper area if it's not already in it, pleez :)

Just like the heading says. Matt (Das Frem) and I have been avidly discussing how to save our ailing Sports. We both want to keep our M5oD's, but make our trucks more powerful and faster without doing a v8 swap. Matt spun the bearings in his OHV and my Morgan is ready to spit his lifters through the hood. YES, I did use the search button, but I've only found a few helpful threads. Matt's Sport is a 1997 with the OBDII system, mine is a 1995 with the OBDI. Also, it's my understanding that Ranger and 2wd Explorer SOHC's use only 2 tensioners since Ford had the genius idea to add a balancer shaft to the 4wd Explorer SOHC's.

Issues for both of us:
*Is the m5oD going to bolt up to a SOHC with no modifications???
*Flywheel stays the same, right?
*Linkage stays the same?
*Engine mounts are the same?
*Have to change the manifolds over to the SOHC ones too?
*Doesn't an SOHC have more catalytics than a OHV? And more 02 sensors, too?

Matt's issues: (1997 OBDII 5spd 2wd)
* Will the factory engine harness need to be modified or replaced if he finds a 2wd SOHC motor to put in? (Obviously he'd have to use the SOHC ECM, but they bolt in the same as an OHV's does)
*Will swapping a SOHC in change the overall length of the drivetrain? (need shorter driveshaft?)

Spas's issues: (1995 OBDI 5 spd 4wd)
*Apparently I need to put the SOHC ECM in and swap the engine harnesses?
*Do I need to be using a 4wd SOHC with the balancer shaft, since my truck is 4wd (unlike Matt's)?
*I can have the ECm reflashed to be manual, right? Don't have to buy one out of an actual 2wd 2002+ Explorer Sport?

I actually have both 2wd and 4wd spare 1998 SOHC motors at work (return fuel style so they'll work with our old sports) - one of which I'm very familiar with. Trust me, Blackjack's not gonna need that SOHC when I'm done with him ;) I will replace the tensioners, oil pan gaskets and crank pulley seals in both of them before any swappage.

Would love to hear from our trans experts and manual Explorer owners! Thanks, guys :bounce:

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The salvage yard is telling me that if I swap in anything newer than a '99 that I'll need an whole new computer and wiring harness....I think they're full of $#it, but can anyone prove them wrong?

There was a thread on this like a week ago and there was discussion of using the OHV computer with the SOHC and there was only one wire that did not hook up. There was someone who has done it already and it worked but I don't know that much about the 4.0 so I'm not going to be much help.

From what I know putting a SOHC on a 92 Frame....

The SOHC will mount right in to place no mods needed. The flywheel might not work from your 95 Motor (more bolts holes on the crank). You can use a 2wd motor on your sport I and vice versa.. I removed a balance shaft from my 98 4wd motor.

From what I also understand from reading things in the past SOHC ECM and OHV ECM are the same... and your OHV Computer and wiring can run a SOHC motor. Talk to Brett about this. He has a 1994 Explorer with a SOHC and 5-speed.