The Force Awakens... 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 5.0L Swap! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The Force Awakens... 2001 Ford Ranger Edge 5.0L Swap!

Blacksheep Josh

July 31, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Statesboro, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01 Ford Ranger, RIP 93 X
I have finally decided to start a build thread. This first post will be extremely light and pretty much just be all the basics. I've had the motor I'm putting in for about two months now and I've only in the last week or two really started to tear it down. So here it goes!

What am I swapping: 2001 Ford Ranger Edge with a 4.0L SOHC V6.

What am I putting into it: 2001 Ford Explorer 5.0L V8

Why? Because the SOHC is crap and the timing chains went out again on me.

What are my goals? To have a dependable and daily driver in the Ranger but be able to have the power I'd like from it.

A slow rebuild is taking place with the motor, it will be rebuilt with an E-303 camshaft, new lifters, new rocker arms, new valve springs, everything that I've purchased so far for the valve train and timing has been a Ford Racing product. I don't have any horsepower goals but after the build I am having the engine dyno tuned at a local shop that specializes in Mustangs.

I all ready have the Cobra brake swap parts to do the front, I have SVT wheels on the Ranger and with it being lowered I hope to basically have the equivalent of what an SVT Ranger would've been had they sold it.

Wish me luck! I'll try and upload some pictures tomorrow!

Here's a recent pic of the truck (heavily filtered lol):

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So here are a few pictures of the engine that I have so far. From what the previous owner told me, it was for a 2001 Ford Explorer. He bought it with less than 110k miles on it and he actually swapped it into his Ranger that he had. He ended up removing it from the truck he had as he was never able to get it to pass emissions inspections. He did quite a bit of exterior and a few interior engine modifications that I've discovered so far. But nothing really worth noting. On to the pics!

This is the motor the night I picked it up. Had I been 2-3 weeks quicker on finding the ad on Craigslist, I'd've paid $250 more and it would've had a TMH on there as well... Darn!

This was the next morning. Ranger parked at work, trailer parked beside it.

One of the cylinder heads (both look the same)

Couple of shots of the cylinder walls (sorry for bad quality, iphone camera!)


Shot of the lower assembly. Still have to pull out pistons, oil pan, and crankshaft.

Parts that I've collected so far are:

-Bronze Valve Guides
-Valve Springs
-Valve Spring Retainers
-Valve Keeprs
-Valve Stem Seals

All parts are Ford Racing. The only parts that I may source from a different company other than Ford Racing will be the pushrods.

I'll upload pictures tonight of the new parts.

You're going to LOVE it!

Great looking truck BTW!

k, im in. i want to watch this. that and nice truck your doing it to as well. will this be a daily driver when done, or a sunday screamer?

Great looking truck BTW!
Thanks! There's a lot of effort and love put into that thing. Everything I learned to do and what not to do on my old 93 Explorer helped turn it into what it is.

will this be a daily driver when done, or a sunday screamer?
Hoping to be a reliable daily driver. I'm not building it for any crazy power or anything, just a build where what I want to do is done. E303 cam? It's not the best available but I want to be able to say "That motor is built with Ford Racing everything and that SVT badge I added to is well deserved."

Edit: This motor will be built to where a stock computer for a 2001 Explorer should be able to control everything, but I have located someone who can dyno it with a SCT programmer (which I might add was included in the purchase of the motor!)

The only time I have to really work on this thing is when I'm off on Saturday's and the shop is open, during my lunch break, and after work. So I don't get tooooo much done. I did a lot of "removing accesories" and exterior stuff before this thread was started. But I'll try to post as I go if I remember to.

Anyways, today I flipped the motor on the stand, removed the oil pan and oil pump (oil pump removal not pictured).

Engine flipped, oil pan bolts removed!

Bag and tag! Every bolt that has been removed has it's own bag. Even if it's one bolt. I built a Nissan motor and used a bucket and I will NEVER do that again.

A few shots of the crank, oil pump screen, and the bottom side.


Overall from what I've seen there's no sludge, there was a tiny bit of grit it looked like in the oil pan when I removed it, but nothing I could see. I rotated it a few times and didn't notice anything hitting (like rods to block) so I think it's all good.

All the usual machine work will be done by a local machine shop. They're pretty excited about the build as well. I'm trying my best to convince them to give me a discount if I put their sticker on my rear window haha

Thanks and until next time!

Went to the machine shop today and talked with the machinist about the head work. I'm going to keep it pretty basic. We're going to check and see if they need to be resurfaced, 3 angle valve job, and then he'll install the bronze valve guides I have for it. I'll probably go ahead and have him blast the heads so it's nice and clean for paint. All in all I'll have around $350 worth of work into the cylinder heads (I was figuring about $400 actually).

If anything else pops up, I'll probably sell these heads off to a Mustang guy and save a bit more and buy a set of aftermarket heads off Summit.

Probably won't be an update for a few weeks as I save money to have the headwork done. Maybe a few disassembly pictures but nothing major will happen for a while.

No new news really. I got the rest of the rotating assembly fully torn down. Just saving some cash up so I can take the block/heads to the machine shop and have those worked on.

Here are some more teardown pictures. So far everything looks like it's in pristine condition. Pretty positive, now more than ever, that I tore down an engine that would've ran perfectly. But onward we go!






never hurts to dig into it. i am horrible for that. i bought a truck from a member here that i drove 15 hours home, and ran like a top only to discover the crank was bad (not blaming the member i bought it from, you couldnt tell there was a problem unless you tore into the motor). $350 for the heads is a good price. can i suggest that you do some mild port work on them. even if you just clean all the cast flash out of the ports makes a difference. that and gasket matching the heads to the exhaust, and intake (believe it or not your mileage will go up). if you have thought of doing that, sorry for posting this. that and they can check the cylinders and see if you can just get away with honing it.
also i think, but cant say for sure if the computer will be happy or not with a E303 cam (been out of mustang stuff for too long to remember if thats the second from the wildest, or second from the tame one). you can if you want also shove a stock fox cam into it and it will run fine without having to tune it.

Sorry I'm just now getting to this.

Hours at work have been cut, which means less money, which means no spending on things other than bills/food. I'm not gonna touch the heads too much though. If I really cared about serious power and flow, I'd sell these heads, save, and buy an aftermarket set. I appreciate the input, but I'm not gonna get wild with it. Just putting in a V8 alone into a Ranger is a power upgrade.

I also talked to the same machine shop, I was going to buy a new piston set while I was at it, and for a few hundred more (if that) I can have them bore the thing out to a 306. So I figure why not?

Hoping next few weeks that I'll either have a new job, an additional part time job, or maybe my hours back!


Sorry it's taken 3 months for an update. I've taken a second job at Autozone to start to pay off debts/bad credit I accumulated in college, so all my money is kinda being dumped onto my credit card. But now that I have room to breathe and am going to get a few things straight, I have officially sent the block off to have machien work performed!

The block will receive a thorough cleaning and the paint the previous owner put onto it will be removed. It will also receive new cam bearings and freeze plugs. I am also having it bored .030" over which I believe will yield me a 306 motor? I'm having to do this in stages, so the heads will probably be done next month. After which I'll begin reassembly and hunt for a transmission.

I'll try to post some pics when I get the block back.

I am now noticing that the pictures in the previous posts are not working. I'll try to figure that out sometime.

Other news, machine shop called today with a bill of $392. This included resurfacing of the block, cleaning of the block (remove all the old paint and rust), boring it .030 over and honing the cylinders again, replacing the freeze plugs and cam bearings. My goal was keeping machine work under $400 for the block work, so that I did achieve.

I think I could've gotten away without resurfacing it, but why take chances? Plus the machinist said "Once you see me do one, you'll do it to the rest you ever have."

$400 for that? wow, IMO you did good! my last visit was $850 to cut the crank, new rod and main bearings, and re assemble. the only one other thing i would have asked them to do was a line bore on it. when ever i can i just tell them to make all the round holes round, and flat surfaces flat.

Since the last update I got the beads redone. I'll try and grab photos tonight. I'm dealing with a new job and having about 20% less income. Had the heads resurfaced, pressure tested, 3 angle valve job, and had them replace the valve springs with the Ford Racing set I had. I'm hoping to order forged rods before the month is out and then I'll officially start assembly.

Quick question, I thought I had oiled the block really well but on the mating surface there was a quarter sized amount to rust on the outside edge. It rubbed off and you can slightly feel it. Any recommendations for removal? Used wd40 and a scotchbrite pad and no go. Wondering if on a newly resurfaced deck if I could use sandpaper or will that mess with the gasket sealing?

I haven't forgotten about this thread. Crankshaft and camshaft both had to be sent back out to be redone as apparently motor oil doesn't prevent rust when wrapped in plastic bags. Who knew?

Anyways, crankshaft, pistons, and rods/rings were all installed without issue. Just been busy with work and lacking motivation to get it button up. Tomorrow night I'll push to install the heads, I'm using the Felpro 9333 head gaskets. Once that's done I'll try to do something small each day for the motor like paint or installing an accessory or something like that. Small progressions will end up being easier than hours and hours on one day.

Hoping for a Summer start and drive, until next time!

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Just curious as to your status and update on this build?

I went a different route myself, but like to see what others do.