which powerplant? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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which powerplant?

ok so its time to start on the v8 swap.

I need to know which 5.0 is best for droping in my 92.

Should i get one out of an explorer? Mustang? Thunderbird?
ive been told to stay away from crown vics cause of smaller intake runners.
What year should I buy?

Its sounds most logical to get one out of as late an explorer as I can since they would have the newest motors.

Also what years did ford run the speed-density system so I'll know to stay away from em.

Thanks guys I can't wait to get this thing in the garage!

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The 98+ has a returnless fuel system, right?

How about a 97?.....you avoid the PATS, and the Returnless fuel system...

No matter what you get....STAY with an Explorer 5.0L....forget the Foxbody, or SN95 motors...the front dress is different from the Explorer...

Everything is easier when you stay with the Explorer motor.....


Late 1997 models have GT40P heads too....

And Exhaust Manifolds?

When doing this swap, wouldn't YOU use the TM headers?


Late 1997 models have GT40P heads too....

And Exhaust Manifolds?

When doing this swap, wouldn't YOU use the TM headers?


The 97/early 98 manifold were stamped and are more prone to crack than the cast manifolds available in the later models. The cast version is also a lot tighter to the block and gives you a little more room to work with. Using the TM headers would be the best option, but depending on the budget you might not always have the option to use them.

edit: here's a pic of a broken stamped manifold

cast manifold

The onlything stock on this motor when I'm done with it is gonna be the block probly.

New intake manifold/heads/cam/pistons/bearings/rods/ machinework/lifters/rockers/pushrods/ ETC...

And yeah I'll deffinetly be using the conversion headers! Thier dirt cheap!


What kind of drugs were they smoking the day that came up with these?
Some of the stuff they put in there cars make me shake my head and ask why?



No wonder these things can't breathe.

I would hunt a 96-98 Explorer as first choice, by the best price and condition. Unless you bolt it in stock with the trans, you will need a flasher with PCM tuning.

I believe that there are very good headers available for 302's in the 1st gen trucks. They are not over priced compared to the 96+ choices. You need the front dress of the Explorer, the radiator and fan will need some work, ask Jamie about that and his threads.

The costs of special parts can add up very fast. Browse through this link of Fordstrokers.com, where my long block is coming from; http://fordstrokers.com/

Yeah a tuner is definatley on the list. I'm thinking diablo sport.

And yeah the. Conversion headers are like 150$ so its definetley a good deal.

And ill
be using an electric rad fan So hopefully that will get me extra room.

And on a side note: why when I'm searching for a late model explorer with the 5.0 on summits website it refuses to display intake manifolds for efi engines and only displays carburated manifolds until i remove "explorer" from thesearch criteria?

From Stock to just under 400 hp...the intake from the Explorers is about as good as it gets....it was the GT40 intake used in the last Cobra Mustang and F-150 Lightning (same intake upper, but diff. lower for the 351) with a Windsor motor....

If you want something better, look at the TrickFlow intakes....for power levels exceeding 400hp

And if your looking for used parts cheap, including front dress parts, and the like.....check out www.corral.net its one of the oldest, biggest and BEST Mustang website. And those guys are the ones buying the Explorers up and robbing them of their powerplants, and selling off the front dress parts...


yeah I'm deffinetly considering trickflow heads and the lower and upper intake to match.

Its just so overwhelming. You put the engine in on summits website and it throws a million different intakes back at you! Trick flow bbk edelbrock.

I was looking at the BBK intake just cause it looks so different from the others. Has anybody used it on here?

Off topic: woohoo they finally set me the right wheels! Hopefully I will get them on tomorrow!

The BBK intake looks great, but so far on the Corral forum it has poor reviews. The Explorer intake is really really the best intake, unless you truly spend over $4000-$5000 on the long block. They flow more air than 95% of all of those intakes for small block Fords.

I am getting close to having my 347 shipped to me. I will have an untouched Explorer upper, and the lower will be ported to match it. The GT40 lower(stock) flows about 210cfm, while the upper is about 260cfm. Most aftermarket heads will have flow numbers in the 250cfm to 275cfm range, depending on how expensive they are. The lower GT40 intake when ported will flow very very near to the 250-260cfm like the upper. It's costing me $150 for that porting, that's dirt cheap compared to what you will pay for any other intake. Use the intake that you have, it's the best for the truck.

The BBK lower is very nice, I like the trick included fuel rails.


  • BBK SSI-R 302 Lower.jpg
    BBK SSI-R 302 Lower.jpg
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We shouldn't have that problem though....

No Distributor!....LOL

But they have a point.....tape up any holes left open while working on an engine in the car...


yeah don't want to drop a nut down any holes!

And I appreciate the typhoon suggestion but I'll spend the extra to buy American.

Are there any "miracle" heads you guys have checked out?

Ive been looking at trick flow but there's a hundred different listings!

What are the things to look for? Do I want the biggest openings? Particular shape? Longest runners?

Most people (i.e. EVERY internet forum novice engine builder I know of....) tend to go bigger than they need, spending more than they should, and not get the results they thought they paid for....

You have an Explorer. Not a Mustang. You drive on the street. Not the track. You need maximum Torque at the lowest RPM possible. Not Maximum horsepower and the highest RPM possible.

I can't tell you what you SHOULD use, but you would be suprised with what people are doing with the GT40p heads.....unless you want an Aluminum head...


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Ditto, very well said. Pay much more attention to your rpm needs, ignore what Mustang engines need.

A custom camshaft can be much more helpful than a monster set of heads or intake. If you can swing the kind of budget to afford aftermarket heads, then a compression change would be better. Raising the compression would do more than high dollar heads. Of course that also demands the custom PCM tuning and matched cam. My point is that just a basic rebuild plus nice heads would not do as much as the compression change with stock heads.

Start with a budget, a realistic budget, then design the combination. I suggest planning/buying parts from the outside and work your way in. Find out what the trans and upgrade parts will cost, before setting a budget for the actual engine. Those outer parts will amount to much more than you think, so don't leave them out of a budget. Regards,