V8 swap first gen or ttb swap on second gen factory 5.0? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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V8 swap first gen or ttb swap on second gen factory 5.0?

ryboj

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 20, 2010
Messages
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City, State
Northern NV
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 Dora XLT 4x4 5Spd
Trying to calculate the pros and cons of each, to see what just makes more sense overall.

Currently (well final stages of a body swap after a roll, yes in another thread), have a '92 with a lot of money in the suspension and just overall mechanical condition of truck, yet still running the factory 4.0, around 136k or so, however it's a fully rebuilt manual too, so it has that going for it vs the auto. :)

The downsides, it's still a 4.0 and the support just isn't there for these the last 5-10 years and the cost is intense for upgrades, for what is gained. I plan on running it just about everywhere (minus rock gardens and super crazy trails), so I like the versatility and smoothness of the long travel TTB coilover setup. It just works really well. When running the dunes, this thing will need some extra power, even if I'll have 4.56's gears in there. Goal is realistically no more than 250-285 crank initially.

Over the last year, read a number of 5.0 swap threads for first gens, but have only seen maybe a few second gen a-arm to TTB swap threads. So, not a newbie on the search button here or on google.

Anybody done both of these or one or the other and had second thoughts "or wait, better yet, wish I did this instead type thing?"

Just trying to gain some perspective here.

Pros of grabbing a second gen with a factory 5.0, to me are:

-Factory V8, nothing custom about that fact (yes will do the manual TC swap)
-No emission issues if I ever titled back in CA or sold to someone in CA
-On a newer platform, more support, and easier tuning capabilities
-No smog where I am, but if I got a '00 or '01, only visual and OBD2 check, if ever moved back to some place where smog required
-Truck is 8 to 9 years newer than mine, so other plastics and rubber parts, less prone to issues, etc

Cons of grabbing a second gen factory 5.0:

-Seems like TTB mounting points very custom or graphing on older frame to make it easier
-Steering will be a bit more custom, but hey, was going to go x-over on my old one anyhow to max out the travel to 18", so maybe that's a wash anyhow
-Possibly some driveshaft mods required, since will want to run my TTB D35 upfront and swap out that existing diff (will add the D44 outters eventually)
-That it for major cons?

Also, would assume I'd do some sort of beefier auto behind the v8 swap in the first gen, so will have to add that cost in as well, since don't think I'd prefer a manual v8 off-road so much.

Thanks guys for the inputs and opinions in advance....always good to gain perspective, esp. from others that have gone through the motions on such. :dpchug:
 



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Not sure if mine is one of the builds you came across, but I did the TTB swap on a 2000 Mountaineer. Lots of work but I'm mostly happy with the results. Definitely doesn't drive on the road nearly as nicely as it used to. If I were to do it again I would design a custom crossmember for the beam pivots instead of grafting a 1st gen crossmember onto the 2nd gen frame. But the way I did it wasn't too bad, just time consuming and it looks a little sloppy compared to a nice CAD designed, laser cut structure. With the 4406 t-case swap, from what I remember, the front driveshaft from a 1st gen bolted right in. The stock 4r70w is a pretty solid transmission from what I've read, and at least from my experience with it, I haven't had any issues. Also, good choice sticking with the D35. Most people automatically go for the D44 but the D35 fits in the frame nicely and it weighs a ton less.

I don't think being 8-9 years newer is a reason to go with the 2nd gen because it's still 20 years old. Not much of a difference between 20 years old and 28 years old in my opinion. You'll still be chasing old and brittle hoses and plastic bits. The smog factor is nice though on a 2000 and newer vehicle, and I like the looks of the interior a little more.

Another option for a motor swap is this. Just gotta figure out what transmission you'd want to run with it:
OBDI OHV 4.0 TO SOHC 4.0 SWAP GUIDE
 






Not sure if mine is one of the builds you came across, but I did the TTB swap on a 2000 Mountaineer. Lots of work but I'm mostly happy with the results. Definitely doesn't drive on the road nearly as nicely as it used to. If I were to do it again I would design a custom crossmember for the beam pivots instead of grafting a 1st gen crossmember onto the 2nd gen frame. But the way I did it wasn't too bad, just time consuming and it looks a little sloppy compared to a nice CAD designed, laser cut structure. With the 4406 t-case swap, from what I remember, the front driveshaft from a 1st gen bolted right in. The stock 4r70w is a pretty solid transmission from what I've read, and at least from my experience with it, I haven't had any issues. Also, good choice sticking with the D35. Most people automatically go for the D44 but the D35 fits in the frame nicely and it weighs a ton less.

I don't think being 8-9 years newer is a reason to go with the 2nd gen because it's still 20 years old. Not much of a difference between 20 years old and 28 years old in my opinion. You'll still be chasing old and brittle hoses and plastic bits. The smog factor is nice though on a 2000 and newer vehicle, and I like the looks of the interior a little more.

Another option for a motor swap is this. Just gotta figure out what transmission you'd want to run with it:
OBDI OHV 4.0 TO SOHC 4.0 SWAP GUIDE

Thanks mounty, and yes, I do believe yours was one of the threads that stuck out when looking through the TTB second gen swap. It was great that thread being out there to reference.

Certainly appreciate the thought of doing a custom and well thought out crossmember, if doing it all over again on the second gen. I will definitely eval that idea, since graphing a frame means cutting and re-welding and still would require some work to massage it all together like you had done. I just like building off the existing, to try and maintain as much of the original integrity from the factory, but that's just me being overly sensitive, haha.

Wow, that's great, that after the 4406 tcase swap, the first gen front driveshaft worked perfectly with the d35, that I did not expect, but will certainly cut down on extra costs and all. Very cool.

Yes, I'm definitely ok with that trans, the 4R70W. Sure, would be nice if a 5 speed if going down highway, but by no means a requirement, and this is the furthest from a DD, it's literally just a fun mobile, like the current one. I've always learned, nearly all autos can be strengthened and their life expectancy dramatically increased, should it be required. All good there.

I love the D35, for what it is. I opted not to extend them either when I did the C&T. I love the factory look, stock width and zero issues with stock fenders and 33/1250's cycling around 15" travel. Sure, the D44 outters would be a nice addition, and will plan on that for sure, along with some truss work too, to help it through the whoops or larger impacts. It will never be as strong as a D44 axle, but strong enough for my needs I believe. I'm also ok with no running a locker up front either (since D35's not the best candidate as all know), this truck has so much traction with all it's travel and a basic posi out back, it's hardly a concern at this time.

My old '92, well now my soon to be finalized second '92 with the original '92's underpinnings are all in fantastic shape compared to most. However, the longer I own this, the more support and other options start to dry up, so just figured I'd be buying a little extra time and support on the second gen on a factory 5.0, but understand a lot of the aftermarket SN95 stang like 5.0 parts don't exactly just carry over, like blowers, headers, etc, so I know I'll have limitations and will have to be very selective and creative when it comes to some additional ponnies being added.

Haven't put too much stock into the 4.0 SOHC conversion since even if a bit more powerful, they've never had the reliability that the OHV has. Not once have I had an issue with my original '92 motor. The bump in power, don't get me wrong, is appreciated, however if going through the trouble, might as well do a v8? However I do understand the more simplistic approach to the smaller engine and being able to utilize my trans, etc. Will definitely continue to keep that in the back of my mind. I do want to continue using AC and I'm sure there is some additional wiring around injectors too, since the '93's used a more advanced injector and CPU control for the injectors. Believe my old school '92 uses a batch file injection with less wiring to injectors and is more simplistic in nature. Most forget that part.

Will keep studying all this. Thanks again for the help!
 






I put a 5.0/4r70w and BW1354 into my 1988 Bronco II TTB truck
5.0 needs dual sump oil pan, custom 5.0 mounts, custom transmission mount, radiator tuck, oil filter re location and some fancy conversion headers, OBD2 wiring (if you so choose) and you are good to go. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY easier then trying to get a 5.0 truck and grapht in a TTB front suspension
 






I put a 5.0/4r70w and BW1354 into my 1988 Bronco II TTB truck
5.0 needs dual sump oil pan, custom 5.0 mounts, custom transmission mount, radiator tuck, oil filter re location and some fancy conversion headers, OBD2 wiring (if you so choose) and you are good to go. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY easier then trying to get a 5.0 truck and grapht in a TTB front suspension

Thanks 410, always honest feedback, appreciate that.

Now, since I'm not a fab guy, nor do I pretend to be, I obviously would be sub'ing this out to the same local fab guy who's currently doing my body swap. For him, it might not be terribly difficult to design and build (the guy can do anything with any metal) a custom crossmember in a second gen to support the TTB and again, yes, the steering would need to be addressed, however, I at some point planned on doing a full Xover steering on my first gen to max out the D35 stock width travel and my only current limit is the stock steering, so money out either way.

So, when I re-read your first sentence.....it does seem easier and cleaner to do something on that front end of the second gen, vs all of that?! I could be wrong and have been many times.
 






MY point is you already have a 92 TTB truck all fixed up and getting to be right where you want it????
aside from the anemic 4.0 pushrod trying to motivate a 3800# beast (sport)
Installing the 5.0 into the 92 is the way to go, forget starting over with a Gen II 5.0 truck and installing steering gear box, ttb pivot points, clearance the engine cradle, creating radius arm brackets, hacking out all of the control arm mounts, shock buckets, etc etc etc.....better to just drop the 5.0 into what you have!!!

the 5.0 placed into a Gen I truck actually fits better then the stock engine! The stock 4.0 is hard to work on in there, the 5.0 is like right at home like it was meant to go in. My Bronco II has a dana 35 ttb custom front suspension, 3/8" body DROP, and I still run the 5.0/4r70w with a 1" INTAKE SPACER, I also have AC and cruise control...............have even done all this and still made room for two batteries under the hood of a 84......
Your 92 has even more room in the engine bay then my 88 does. 5.0 into 92 explorer = like it was meant to be there from factory!
 






Thank you 410..... I'm listening loud and clear!

I like factory fit, haha.

Yes, that's a true statement, the truck will be nearly how I want it. The 4.56's will either go in now, or a bit later, depending on when he can do it, since the swap took him longer than he anticipated. I'll likely need to repaint since the last paint job was done poorly before I owned it. Xover steering on wish list and a 2 link coilover conversion in rear a possibility, but I prefer being in a v8 engine before that all happens.

Being manual now, and going to something like a 4R70W or another compatible unit and sturdy, there will be some fab work there too, I'm sure. Guess it might be good to just grab a crashed or cosmetically challenged v8 explorer that has solid drivetrain or something to pull from, if I go this route.

Thankfully, I run a remote Optima battery in a tray just between the rear seats and rear suspension cage, fits beautifully and creates more room in engine bay, for the front suspension bracing, etc. Two batteries up front for you, WOW!

Yeah, sucks, lost my original AC on this swap job obviously, what a bummer. May have to hold off before I redo that AC, since might lose the AC again, if this went through an engine swap.

What radiator\fan combo are you using, I always had issues keeping a perfect cool factor to my old '89 5.0, in any trim it ever went through. This '92 4.0 runs cool crawling trails or hitting the whoops with AC on, even when 90 degrees, always impressed with that, and heck, the manual has a smaller radiator than the autos do!
 






You can run a mazda M5od-R2 behind the 302 and keep your clutch hydraulics/pedal steering column, etc

In my 88 BII I also have my battery in the cargo area.
In my friends 84 Ranger "Darth Ranger" we built he has dual batteries, ac and cruise control all under the hood of an 84 with a 370hp ATK crank HP) crate engine

My 88 and Darth ranger both use a 4.0 all aluminum tig welded EBay radiator tucked under the radiator support, dual transmission coolers, and ac condenser all installed in the cooling stack. I use a 96 5.0 metal fan and 4.0 fan shroud

84 ranger "Darth" engine bay:
171_201730_170000003.jpg


171_201730_170000002.jpg


my BII, sans batteries
171_201717_150000002.jpg


Both trucks running 1" intake spacer also. My BII has James Duff urethane body mounts that were shaved 3/8"
 






Thanks for sharing the details and pics 410. I'm not sure I'd want to run a manual on a v8 offroader. Think I might actually prefer an auto coupled to a V8 to be honest. I love the manual on the 4.0, since it allows me to leverage more of that weak power, haha, and a bit better, crawling wise, more control and all. Plus, rebuilding another Mazda (but the R2) version, another chunk of money. Might as well sell the nice new fully rebuilt one I have, put that towards beefing up an auto, whether the 4R70W or buying another unit I can make compatible, albeit, I know the explorer 5.0 computers control the trans too, not just the engine from what I read, which is fine, as long as I use that entire harness.
370 crate engine sounds tasty! haha :burnout:

Either of you have any cooling issues, running the AC in the heat on the trails?
 


















Yes my BII runs too hot with AC on and on hot days crawling in low range.
I am working on a solution
If anyone here follows my 5.0 conversion you would see I used a $650 custom Nascar radiator from Ron Davis. That unit lasted 3 months before it developed internal leaks. Instead of buying another $600+ radiator I tabled that for another day and just ran a 4.0 OHV unit from Ebay for $130
It cools fine, UNTIL its 90-100 degrees out and I switch on the AC....in traffic or crawling in low I have seen 230 degrees on the water temp = pull over and shut down.
I am ABOUT to re visit this, its really simple, I need a much larger radiator. I have already opened up the 1988 radiator support to accommodate the large Ron Davis unit but I was so pissed off at that guy I never will go back. He did not handle my custom radiator warranty very well. Now days the information is available online to where I can go to summit and get a nascar sized Ford rad for like $200.......plus I have a tig welder so I can add my own mounting points.
So next summer I will be going back to the much larger radiator.......with the Ron davis unit in the BII I had to really push the 5.o in order to get 205 degrees so the computer would be happy....I was running a 180 degree thermo then too....the truck would run at 185 all day long with that radiator no matter what I did to it. I am looking forward to that again, but this time I will run a 195 thermo so the computer is happy with each drive cycle.....
Both my 1988 BII and the 84 ranger we built "Darth Ranger" will be getting the same treatment.
SCREW RON DAVIS RADIATOR!!!!!!!! lol lol I still hold a grudge, $600 was alot of money for a radiator for me back in 2005 when I went v8........ he refused to warranty the unit and instead tried to sell me another one for $650 and then said send the first one in so he could decide if he would warranty it or not....Im like $1300 for two POS radiators? I don't think so........ swore off ron davis and have been speaking badly of him since
All he did was take one of his Ford small block outlet nascar sized tanks and add some tabs to it..........worked great for 3 months...
 






Man, 410, I hate when a small little fortune for what should be a sweet upgrade, fails miserably, let alone the near nothingness of the after sale support. Weak. Sorry to hear of that experience. That would have soured me too, for sure. The one thing I have learned over the years, like you it seems, are the OBD1 especially, Ford ECU's, love seeing a proper temp, so running low 160-180's just don't really work and the warm up mode, etc just gets in the way of proper A/F mixtures and temp modulation. 190-195 is often the ticket, but like you said, the radiators just aren't good enough, even if the shrouds are in place and functional. High flow water pumps, also never good either.

Let me know what comes of it, your next radiator buy and fitment, along with function after the fact. It's nice now, being in NV, I live only 40 mins or so from Summit, so be nice to finally have that in my backyard.

Yeah, if you do this kind of work on the side and it's the direction I'm potentially headed, hit me up on PM. Just be good to draft out some ideas and pricing for such. I have a very talented fab guy that's been doing the current body swap for me now and has done many different engine swaps and all, but I'm all about having options too. :dpchug: I have a feeling, if I do end up doing something (v8 swap or TTB Gen2 5.0 swap), should be in the Jan-March time frame if I had to guess. Or I just go a totally different direction and build up another platform, but doesn't seem as wise. Still get these ideas of using a Magnum 318 or 360 swap, and use a beefed up 46RH trans. Well, anything is possible. I really need to plot out all the possible and best value options to have a solid 4wheeler with more power than what I have now and still remain extremely reliable, since this 4.0 OHV has left me stranded, not ONCE!
 






I've never had cooling issues, even when I blew a head gasket, but I also only have the stock temp gauge to go by so who knows how accurate that is. I also have been more or less without AC for the last 6 years, but I just got it up and running again a few weeks ago, and had no issues on my last off-road trip in 95 degree weather. The transmission on the other hand does get hot fairly easily, and I do have a gauge added for that. Normally try to take it easy when it gets around 210-220 and let it cool back down.
 






I've never had cooling issues, even when I blew a head gasket, but I also only have the stock temp gauge to go by so who knows how accurate that is. I also have been more or less without AC for the last 6 years, but I just got it up and running again a few weeks ago, and had no issues on my last off-road trip in 95 degree weather. The transmission on the other hand does get hot fairly easily, and I do have a gauge added for that. Normally try to take it easy when it gets around 210-220 and let it cool back down.

Hey, that's good. You have an XL or (2) tranny coolers mounty? Or just running stock like?
 






I think it's the Tru-Cool 4739-1, pretty much as big as you can fit without cutting into the core support. I had heard that it's a good cooler so I'm wondering if maybe I have an air pocket stuck in it. I'll address it one of these days.
 






I think it's the Tru-Cool 4739-1, pretty much as big as you can fit without cutting into the core support. I had heard that it's a good cooler so I'm wondering if maybe I have an air pocket stuck in it. I'll address it one of these days.

Yeah, hope you get that sorted, so you won't have to sweat it any going forward. I hate having to stare at gauges all the time, but do because I can't help myself and want to know things are where they need to be and if not, adjust accordingly. Reminds me of the factory toyota gauges, doesn't matter what's happening or what temp it is, it's always down the middle. I always wonder, is it really down the middle and perfect?! haha.....
 






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