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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks, I'm looking for some ideas about my '97 Explorer engine. First, a little background - it is a '97 XLT with a little over 369,000 miles. The vehicle is in excellent shape physically and mechanically. The only major repairs have been a trans rebuid at 286,000 miles and a reman transfer case around 200,000. The engine is a 4.0 pushrod engine and has had only routime maintenance. I use a K&N air filter and Amsoil synthetic oil and Amsoil oil filters.

The ideas I'm looking for are whatever anyone else has done in my current situation. That is, this is a great Explorer and I drive it every day and still like driving it. However, with these miles, it uses about a quart of oil every 2600 - 2700 miles, and has lost some power, yet there is no smoke, other than the occasional puff after starting the engine after being parked a couple of hours. I know the level of oil consumption isn't bad, but I use the truck to pull an 1800 lb. boat, and that is where I'm noticing the power loss. Has anyone had or done any sort of performance upgrades to this engine to get a noticeable power boost? Has anyone had a V8 put in place of one of these, and did it work, or was it a nightmare?

I sure would appreciate any info from anyone. I have a pretty good idea what many responses may be. My career has been selling heavy diesel trucks, so I've been around this situation before with some of my customers. I like to compare my situation with those truck users I worked with who have taken their trucks to as high as 2 million miles, when most trade or dump theirs at 1 million. I really like this Explorer and would really like to keep it going a while longer, so I am really interested in whatever ideas any of you might have. Thanks!

Bryan Glenn
 

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Contact Ford.. It sounds like it would be a good commercial for them & some extra money for you. You definitely got your monies worth out of that truck.. 369,000 miles on 1 engine is fantastic. If you're that fond of it. You can do a re ring job, new bearings & valve seats.. Inspect cam & lifters to see if they need to be replaced.. Your total cost wouldn't be more than $500.00 + your time. Bottom line. If you like the truck that much. Fix it. If not sell it & get a different one.. I doubt anyone here will tell you it's time to get rid of it. There's some pretty old ford trucks on this forum...
 

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You should look into a factory replacement engine from Ford, I think the Mustang version has more hp? That's a long good life for an Explorer, if you love it, keep it!
 

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The factory replacement from Ford is probably a few Thousand more than any rebuilt engine with the same warranty.

The Mustang didnt use a 4.0.

You should look into a factory replacement engine from Ford, I think the Mustang version has more hp? That's a long good life for an Explorer, if you love it, keep it!
 

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The factory replacement from Ford is probably a few Thousand more than any rebuilt engine with the same warranty.

The Mustang didnt use a 4.0.

I'm pretty sure it's the base engine from 05-up
 

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I'm pretty sure it's the base engine from 05-up

The base engine for the Mustang was and is a 4.1. Pretty much the same as the 4.0 but it does have lots more power.
 

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You should look into a factory replacement engine from Ford, I think the Mustang version has more hp? That's a long good life for an Explorer, if you love it, keep it!
ditto! the explorer has the same engine as the 95 mustang cobra, but the heads are better
 

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The base engine for the Mustang was and is a 4.1. Pretty much the same as the 4.0 but it does have lots more power.
OK, so this engine is just a slightly over-bored 4.0 then? You could then theoretically drop it into an older explorer and have it bolt right in then, right?
 

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Sure as long as the wiring harness, transmission mount, computer and engine mounts all comply it will fit.... I believe it will not be compatible unless you do lots and lots of mods.
 

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A V8 is do-able but doesn't leave you much clearance.If it were me,I'd look around for a 4.0L from a wreck with low mileage and start the journey all over again.:smilewinkgrin:3

p/s if your pullin weight you need torque not horespower so stay away from the mustang engine.
 

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If you et a 5.0L from a later mld explorer with the ECM and engine harness,not many mods at all.
 

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The question i have in this is when did you start using the amsoil i have been looking into that for a while, use it in my boat but not my car ... have been thinking about using it in my car could you let me know how you like it?
 

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So your saying the 4.0 and 5.0 share the same transmission?

If you et a 5.0L from a later mld explorer with the ECM and engine harness,not many mods at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've been using the Amsoil for about 3 years. I had a repair done 2 years ago for a leak behind the front timing cover and exposed the oil pan. The inside was spotless. No gum, no carbon deposits, nothing. You could clean the oil film off and use the pan for a plate or cook something in it. My only complaint is the cost of the oil, but, for me, it is actually cheaper than petroleum based oil, which I would change every 3,000 miles. I change the oil and use their EA oil filters around 20,000 - 22,000 miles. I doubt I will ever go away from Amsoil.
 

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If you want an automatic there are many options. the aod series and c series will all work with ~$200-400 adapters from advance adapters. then you keep your tcase and just need new driveshaft(s)

If you want a manual which is my dilema these are the options I have found.
mazda m5r2 from a v8 4x4 f150 <96 with a top plate (shifter cover) from a 97 and up unit. Then you can easily adapt your transfer case or use the f150 unit. it will be a tight fit between the frame rails but not impossible. driveshaft length is very close and you may be able to use your stock driveshafts if you wish.
The f150 tranny is rated to 300 ft lbs. and has about the same gearing as a ranger manual.

There is always the t5 route. A t5 out of a mustang will work with adapters from advance adapters but the shifter location is not good, and the adapters are pretty expensive. The t5 is mechanical and not hydraulic so some modifications and adapters are required. The t5 has very high gears not condusive to 4x4 and is rated at 300 ft lbs.

The best option I have found is a new venture 3550 out of a 200+ jeep wrangler. this unit has nice low truck gears and is very conservatively rated at 300 ft lbs. is almost the same size as the ranger manual and will accept all the hydraulic lines ect.. A bellhousing adapter is needed to mate it to the 5.0 and a tcase adapter is needed to go to the tcase. these parts are cheaper than the t5 adapter. only probem here is finding a cheap tranny.

I have tried to fit a zf out of a 351 powered 95 f250 and I can see how it would work with the f150 tcase but a body lift is needed and very creative shifter relocation. This unit is more or less bulletproof and has great gearing. They are hard to find though as f150 guys like to swap them for their mazda units. (why f150 mazda units are dirt cheap!) I got one at a self service wrecking yard, with warranty for $50
 
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