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Old 07/18/18, 10:35 AM   #1
Cooter_76
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Cooter's Explorer 5.0/4R70W Swap

To make a long story short, Iím tired of chasing overheating issues with my current engine, and Iíd really like to have an overdrive. A few months ago I bit the bullet and bought a used Explorer for the popular 5.0/4R70W swap.
Thereís a lot of info on this site about these drivetrain swaps, but it can be difficult to nail-down every little detail with so many different options out there. I thought Iíd start my own thread to keep my thoughts in order and hopefully get some tips/advice from those who have successfully finished one of these projects.

The Donor


I picked-up a running AWD Ď96 Explorer with 163K miles off Craigslist for $600. It had a lot of little body issues and something heinous going on in the front end, but the engine ran well and the transmission seemed to shift fine. I hauled it to a friendís shop so we could pull the drivetrain, wiring harness, etc. Got $200 for the shell at the recycling center. So far Iím in for $400.
Iím on EFI Guyís list for computer and wiring harness work, and will plan to get things in order to swap everything over this fall/winter.

73 - 302 & C4, 2.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2's, Ch*vy disc brakes, Duraspark, twin sticks, Rampage Soft Top, Holley Sniper EFI.
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Old 07/18/18, 10:38 AM   #2
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The Engine

The Explorer had a check-engine light on when I purchased it. I pulled a P0402 code, which is EGR-related, so that may need to be cleaned or replaced.
I sent an oil sample off to Blackstone Labs for piece of mind. The report came back clean, with a little commentary about Broncos vs Explorers:



Question time:
- Since this engine has non-P heads, I should be able to use the existing long-tube headers I have on my 302, correct?

- I plan to re-seal the valve covers, oil pan and a few other areas to take care of some oil leaks. Also planning to replace the timing chain, water pump, thermostat and possibly starter since it looks to be original. The alternator was charging and the PS pump looks to be in good shape. Is there anything else on the engine that I should replace while itís out of the Bronco, like maybe the oil pump?

73 - 302 & C4, 2.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2's, Ch*vy disc brakes, Duraspark, twin sticks, Rampage Soft Top, Holley Sniper EFI.
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Old 07/18/18, 10:40 AM   #3
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Transmission

The transmission has a slight leak at the output shaft, so at a minimum it needs a new seal. Iím thinking about trying my hand at rebuilding the transmission myself, following the videos from transmissionbench.com. Iíve watched all the disassembly videos and it doesnít look too daunting (so far.)
Thereís been some mention of the Ď97.5+ 4R70Wís being stronger. Something about a diode. Is this significant enough to consider upgrading some of the internals to the later version? Iíll likely change from the current 32Ē tires & 3.50 gears to 33ís and 4.56ís after this swap is complete (and my pocket book has had a chance to recover.)

73 - 302 & C4, 2.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2's, Ch*vy disc brakes, Duraspark, twin sticks, Rampage Soft Top, Holley Sniper EFI.
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Old 07/18/18, 11:16 AM   #4
904Bronco
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So many Ford's, so little time...

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Thats a lot of questions...

I am on my 3rd Explorer conversion, this one has a NV3550 in it and will stay.

Motor. Nice to get a report on the oil.... Yes > R/R timing chain, water pump, gaskets, thermostat, and oil pump. I would say spark plugs and wires, depending on condition when removed and inspected...
PCV filter replace below the rubber grommet and valve... Inspect.
I don't have a problem running original Ford parts if they are still functioning (starter). A higher quality than replacements from local auto parts stores.

The later 4R70W have stronger internals than the early ones. They can be upgraded... I have always left tranny work to local shops, more than I wanted to bite off.

If the GT 40 heads, (3 slashes on the heads casting) then standard headers should bolt up without sparkplug interference.

1967 Poppy Red U15 Lubr... soon to be 96 Explorer EDIS and NV3550
1971 Grabber Green U15 Lubr... 2000 Explorer EDIS and 4R70W
2016 Shelby GT350 - Race red
2002 F250 Superduty 7.3 202K and still going!
1996 Saleen Mustang 125K... Project car
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Old 07/18/18, 11:27 AM   #5
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speaking specifically to the quality ford parts. I installed an explorer 5.0 w 68k miles (if I remember correctly). I bought a replacement new timing set from ford. when I compared the new set to the used set it the engine... the used one had less slop and appeared to be of better quality... so I kept the used and returned the new.

I agree w 904Bronco.

I also got rid of oil cooler to gain frame clearance... did an adapter to use standard 302 filter (short one).

if u want more hood clearance.... w.h. sells a p.s. bracket adapter to use Saginaw pump... vs modifying to use explorer pump. (lots of people use explorer pump though). not sure if ac Will fit. others can speak to that. if it doesn't then diff serp belt needed. might need smaller pulley on lower pulley closest to crossmember. lots of little misc stuff.

73; Explorer 5.0 2bbl; D60 front; 10.25 rear; narrowed to 64 wms; 4.56s; lockers; homemade long arms; 3.5" tbp front coils; f250 shock towers; shackle flip; np435; 4x4x2; hydroboost; duraspark, 37s
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Old 07/18/18, 12:04 PM   #6
wsager
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That oil test is a great idea.

1973 Explorer - in pieces
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Old 07/18/18, 01:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for the tips so far. The oil analysis is pretty reasonable. $28 and they send you a test tube, form and container to drop in the mail.
https://www.blackstone-labs.com/

73 - 302 & C4, 2.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2's, Ch*vy disc brakes, Duraspark, twin sticks, Rampage Soft Top, Holley Sniper EFI.
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Old 07/18/18, 03:09 PM   #8
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With the oil test, do they explain what are appropriate thresholds for levels of what is bad, good, acceptable etc.? Just curious. Someone could send me a sample that reports 4 parts Vibranium and I wouldn't know if that's good or bad.

73; Explorer 5.0 2bbl; D60 front; 10.25 rear; narrowed to 64 wms; 4.56s; lockers; homemade long arms; 3.5" tbp front coils; f250 shock towers; shackle flip; np435; 4x4x2; hydroboost; duraspark, 37s
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Old 07/18/18, 03:20 PM   #9
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Change the oil pump drive shaft to an arp (like in the bolts) shaft the tend to twist off change it, it is good insurance.
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Old 07/18/18, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavageBurro View Post
With the oil test, do they explain what are appropriate thresholds for levels of what is bad, good, acceptable etc.? Just curious. Someone could send me a sample that reports 4 parts Vibranium and I wouldn't know if that's good or bad.
I would think that if your oil had ANY Vibranium, that would be pretty valuable.

The column on the right shows "Universal Averages" which is what they would expect to see. I don't know if that's based on similar engines with similar mileage? The comments section of the report is where they boil it down for you. My F150 showed slightly elevated silicon levels. In that case they recommended changing the air filter and cleaning the intake tube.

73 - 302 & C4, 2.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2's, Ch*vy disc brakes, Duraspark, twin sticks, Rampage Soft Top, Holley Sniper EFI.
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Old 07/18/18, 03:40 PM   #11
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Rear seal, if you pull the tranny.

77 5.0 4R70W 3.5 sl 1bl PS pb 35 mt
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Old 07/18/18, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooter_76 View Post
I would think that if your oil had ANY Vibranium, that would be pretty valuable.

The column on the right shows "Universal Averages" which is what they would expect to see. I don't know if that's based on similar engines with similar mileage? The comments section of the report is where they boil it down for you. My F150 showed slightly elevated silicon levels. In that case they recommended changing the air filter and cleaning the intake tube.
Yeah, I saw the averages column. And sorry to get this somewhat off topic....and this is simply for the sake of curiosity. I just didn't know if they tell you that being below or above certain levels is better or worse etc. (I saw the narrative as well). For example in drinking water tests, they state that above 10 parts arsenic is bad, below is ok (or something along those lines). Couldn't help myself with the quip on vibranium

73; Explorer 5.0 2bbl; D60 front; 10.25 rear; narrowed to 64 wms; 4.56s; lockers; homemade long arms; 3.5" tbp front coils; f250 shock towers; shackle flip; np435; 4x4x2; hydroboost; duraspark, 37s
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Old 09/18/18, 01:32 PM   #13
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It's been a busy summer, but I've finally found some Bronco time lately. I have the wiring harness un-taped and ready to send to EFI Guy. Also started pulling things apart on the engine. Nothing's ever simple.
First I broke the head off one bolt that holds the water pump/timing cover on.



Apparently it's common to have a few bolts that corrode and get stuck to the timing cover. It took a while to persuade the timing cover off. Fortunately the bolt was easy to unscrew from the block once the cover was out of the way.

Then I decided to pull the lower intake so it could be cleaned to match the other aluminum parts. In the process I managed to break the front passenger side bolt off in the head.



I tried heat & PB Blaster, then I attempted to weld a nut on the end, and lastly I tried an extractor.




Perfect:


Two days and $100 later, I picked up the head from a local machine shop who pulled the bolt and the extractor for me. Time for new head bolts and gaskets. This is deeper into the engine than I'd planned to go, and friends are telling me I should go ahead and replace the cam at this point.

Is it foolish to get this far in and not replace the cam?

73 - 302 & C4, 2.5" lift, 32" BFG KM2's, Ch*vy disc brakes, Duraspark, twin sticks, Rampage Soft Top, Holley Sniper EFI.
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Old 09/19/18, 08:02 AM   #14
74fiberglass
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I also broke a bolt off in the head . Had friend at machine shop get it out. Motor is still sitting on a stand . Someday i will get to it ..
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Old 09/19/18, 09:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooter_76 View Post
This is deeper into the engine than I'd planned to go, and friends are telling me I should go ahead and replace the cam at this point.

Is it foolish to get this far in and not replace the cam?
About to drop a Mountaineer motor in too so I'm curious what comments you get about the cam.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Mine: 68 289 NP435 2.5" SL 1" BL PB PS Axle back 1" locker 33's
Hers: 68 5.0 C4 PS PB 30/9.5/15's
And a 77 and 95
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