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Old 07/27/11, 12:01 PM   #1
DanWheeler
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Mustang HO Cam in Explorer Motor

I started a thread over at sbftech.com asking what I could do for a few more HP out of my Explorer motor. It came down to the following in order of biggest gains with least amount of effort:

- Install a stock Mustang HO cam (+20HP over stock Explorer)
- Install a Comp cams XE264HR-12 (+30HP over stock Explorer)
- Change exhaust to 3.5" single out (currently 2.5" in / 2.5" single out)
- Long tube headers with 1-5/8ths collectors
- New heads
- New intake

Anyone here with an Explorer motor have first-hand experience putting in a Mustang HO cam or other cam?

thanks,
Dan

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 07/27/11, 01:03 PM   #2
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The HO and XE264 cams are fairly similar but it really depends on where you want the power the explorer cam will have better lowend than the others. I'd probably go with the HO you can pick them up cheap. Also keep in mind that the stock cam HO can make close to 400hp with the right components. Also seen the xe264 cam do the same thing no real overall power differance just a different power curve. Heads will be your biggest power gainer get some good heads and that will bump your power numbers up with any of the cams. Doubt I'd go any bigger than 3in exhuast with a 302 you'll loose more than you gain with anything bigger. As for headers good luck finding 1 5/8" long tubes the only ones I've ever seen were Hooker super comp fenderwell headers(they dont make them anymore) every now and then you can find a set though. I know if I ever find another set I'll grab them up as I really like them.
Overall camshaft swap will take the most effort, heads next, then probably exhuast.
As for manifold well that if you have the explorer manifold they are said to be good up to 5200 rpm or so and have way better midrange power than any of the others. So I doubt a manifold swap would net you any gain.
Really though it appears you need lowend with your rigs specs I'd probably just step up to a 351W

73 Ranger 2 1/2 lift 302 TFS heads NP435,PS,PDB, tierod over, 33x10.50x15 BFG M/T
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Old 07/27/11, 01:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
I started a thread over at sbftech.com asking what I could do for a few more HP out of my Explorer motor. It came down to the following in order of biggest gains with least amount of effort:

- Install a stock Mustang HO cam (+20HP over stock Explorer)
- Install a Comp cams XE264HR-12 (+30HP over stock Explorer)
- Change exhaust to 3.5" single out (currently 2.5" in / 2.5" single out)
- Long tube headers with 1-5/8ths collectors
- New heads
- New intake

Anyone here with an Explorer motor have first-hand experience putting in a Mustang HO cam or other cam?

thanks,
Dan
As far as install, you have to remove the intake to begin the cam R&R, so you might as well spend $100 on an intake & get two things done at once.

'68
Aint nuthin' easy, & few things are cheap
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Old 07/27/11, 04:49 PM   #4
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unless you plan to run 6000rpm all day long, stick with the 2.5 inch vs 3.5 inch exhaust. Use your bucks elsewhere as mentioned above.

73 Explorer , 347stroker, NV4500 D20 Holley TA650, 4.1 ARB, Moser CTM Currie, 78 FSB disks, 76 Tbird calipers. 3.5 WH suspension lift, 2" Body lift for NV clearance.

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Old 07/27/11, 07:23 PM   #5
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The Explorer intake is about the best you can get. It is a cast version of the GT40. Few of the aftermarket intakes can outflow it and the ones that do only do it by a little bit. I was running an Explorer intake on the stroker 5.0 in the old Ranger project and it made good power past the 6k mark. Intake is fine.

Exhaust, where did you find a recomendation for a 3˝" for a basicly stock 302? That is what I had sized for the stroker and it had heads, cam, etc that only ran good above 4,000 RPM.

Why are you chasing HP? Most everything you are listing can be good for HP gains, but those numbers are all at higher RPMs. And most all of that kills any low RPM power and drivability. Now if you are driving where you need HP (which is sand dunes, mud bogs, and drigstrips mostly) then you are going the right direction. If you are doing any trails, street driving, fuel economy, normal day to day type of use you are going the wrong way.

"She's built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro"-Zapp Brannigan
“How hard can it be?”-Clarksonius 4th century BC.
Full throttle, it either solves the problem or ends the suspense.
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Old 07/28/11, 05:47 PM   #6
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the guys over at sbftech recommended larger exhaust only after the Y for the 2.5 into 1 muffler I have. Not 3.5" true dual exhaust all the way back.

I'm not necessarily chasing HP, just trying to get back what I lost from going to 41s. I am a little concerned I wont be able to keep the wheels spinning in the dunes this summer. I'm not worried about trails because I have 4:1 low with the Atlas.

I asked specifically about the Mustang HO cam because the guys at sbftech said it would ad 20HP and there would be no disadvantage.

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 07/28/11, 06:24 PM   #7
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Might be true, and they certainly are more likely to have more first-hand experience with that detail than me, but I've found the Mustangs to be a bit "soft" on the bottom end in my opinion.
Granted, the gearing is typically taller in a car than in a truck, but still, they're a lot lighter and, given basically the same motor in most other aspects, I was never very impressed with their off-the-line feel.

Just a personal impression though. I've also driven custom built, custom tuned, stroker EFI engines with Mustang cams that had been advanced 6° and they were wickedly powerful down low.
TON of custom work though (as in, big bucks), so that's not apples to apples comparing, and every other component was optimized as well.

Paul

'71 Wagon, 3.5" lift, F150 disc brakes and steering, 4.11 33x11.50 Thornbirds, Kayline soft top, Hanson bumpers.
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Old 07/28/11, 06:30 PM   #8
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i run a stock 5.0 cam in a 351w. i think it is a little soft. sounds like you need a gear change more then anything

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Old 07/28/11, 09:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
the guys over at sbftech recommended larger exhaust only after the Y for the 2.5 into 1 muffler I have. Not 3.5" true dual exhaust all the way back.

I'm not necessarily chasing HP, just trying to get back what I lost from going to 41s. I am a little concerned I wont be able to keep the wheels spinning in the dunes this summer. I'm not worried about trails because I have 4:1 low with the Atlas.

I asked specifically about the Mustang HO cam because the guys at sbftech said it would ad 20HP and there would be no disadvantage.
You need torque, not HP for that. Gears woiuld be a better investment then speed parts. You need to make up the difference in the height of the tires, plus you also have the added loss of trying to get rotating mass up to speed. Torque (which can be cheated a bit with gear) is your friend here.

"She's built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro"-Zapp Brannigan
“How hard can it be?”-Clarksonius 4th century BC.
Full throttle, it either solves the problem or ends the suspense.
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Old 07/29/11, 01:12 PM   #10
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well I just put my 5.38s in and I dont really want to go any lower than that

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 07/29/11, 02:16 PM   #11
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I looked up the numbers on my chart and the gears/tire diameter are not the problem. Compared to stock 28" tires and 3.50 gears you are actually now 5% underdriven in 3rd (direct drive). I think the problem may be due to the increased rotating mass and rolling resistance. The little 302 just doesn't have the guts to drive all that so well. It's probably particularly bad in 4th gear where the engine is only turning 2,000 rpm at 65mph. It may maintain speed ok but not enough HP to accellerate that rotating mass.

In this case I don't think the mustang cam is going to help. It doesn't make enough torque (and thus HP) in that rpm range. Above 2500 rpm it pulls great. Below that the explorer cam would be better.
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74 Sport U151, 5.0 must-plorer EFI, C4, PS, front discs, twin sticks, 3.5" susp/1" body, 33's, 4.11's, ARBs, Hickey Sidewinder, cobra hydroboost
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Old 07/29/11, 02:34 PM   #12
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I dont mean to make it sound like a dog - it's actually pretty snappy. Going up a grade in 3rd with the TC locked I have plenty of power and can accelerate. On the flats in overdrive, TC locked is no problem at all.

basically just wanted to see if there was some free get-up-n-go hidden somewhere that I could unlock with a part. but I guess not.

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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Old 07/29/11, 02:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
basically just wanted to see if there was some free get-up-n-go hidden somewhere that I could unlock with a part. but I guess not.
Sure there is, just install a 393 Stroker. Seriously, you have alot of rotating mass, a 351W based powerplant is the next step. One of my buddies put a 393 in his Bronco this past spring. I havent been for a ride yet, but he claims that he can break the tires lose in any gear. Even a base 351 with the BCB intake adaptor (to keep your EFI setup) will get you quite a bit more torque than what you will do with the 5.0L--without spending a bunch of cash.

Frame-up...Explorer 5.0 EFI, NV4500 and D20 (TLG and HD OS), Yukon alloys (w/ SJ) F & R (31 spl), ARBs and 4.88s. F250 h-boost w/Lincoln MC and 4W discs riding on 5.5" Deavers, Cage arms, hoops and shocks. Full Line-X inside, underneath and upside down, custom cage, 35" MTZ on black Eagle alloys.
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Old 07/29/11, 03:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanWheeler View Post
I dont mean to make it sound like a dog - it's actually pretty snappy. Going up a grade in 3rd with the TC locked I have plenty of power and can accelerate. On the flats in overdrive, TC locked is no problem at all.

basically just wanted to see if there was some free get-up-n-go hidden somewhere that I could unlock with a part. but I guess not.
5.38 gears in OD are like 3.50 gears (actually 3.58 gears, 5.38x.70). A 302 will not push a 41" tire with a 3.50 gear.

But as you mention, it runs fine in 1:1 (non-overdrive). that is because the 5.38 and 41" combo are about the same as a stock Bronco. If you want to run OD with 41's you will need some 7.70 gears or so. I think about 7.17 is about as low as they go without going into portals.

"She's built like a steakhouse but she handles like a bistro"-Zapp Brannigan
“How hard can it be?”-Clarksonius 4th century BC.
Full throttle, it either solves the problem or ends the suspense.
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Old 07/29/11, 04:01 PM   #15
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like i said, I have 5.38s and 41s and it drives great in overdrive on the freeway even around town going 40mph.

69 Bronco / Explorer 5.0 EFI / 4R70W / Atlas 4:1 / 5.38 Gears / 3-Link D60 Front / Reid Knuckles / Yukon 4340 Shafts / Yukon lockouts / 16" Ballistic Hybrid Coilovers / Sterling 10.25 Rear on Leafs / 4-Wheel Discs / 1350 Rear Shaft / F&R ARBs / 41" Irok Radials / 100" WB

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