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Old 09-18-2016, 02:33 PM   #21
Jbrown1238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conor Knoxx View Post
well, it would be mighty foolish to ask for advice, then not take it! So, 98 to 00 it is. I'm in no hurry anyway, should probably find the motor first in fact. Initially was concerned about using such an old donor truck, but they can be had so cheap, its not a bad idea to freshen things up with the money I save on the purchase anyway. Brakes, bearings, hoses, seals, shocks, etc - I'll end up with "all new" instead of 10 year old parts, plus the drive train is getting replaced. Sounds like a reasonable plan

I'm about halfway reading through your build log Jbrown, its like reading a novel, I can't wait to see how it ends lol!
I got the impression that you were a little more concerned with the added age of the 98-00 Ranger and not so much with the appearance changes of the later models. Keep in mind you are going to be changing out a lot of the normal wear items like the driveline, ECM, etc. The only other thing to be concerned about is the front suspension, specifically the upper and lower control arms and maybe the brakes. The upper and lower control arms almost always need to be replaced on all these trucks (and Explorers) no matter what the model year.

Keep asking questions, that is what I did when I first got started. There are some very knowledgable people here (rwenzing, Win, etc.) that will get you pointed in the right direction.

Last edited by Jbrown1238; 09-18-2016 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:13 PM   #22
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as I'm researching this project - I'm finding that there may be some "issues" using the 97 - 01 Explorer V8, if I want to "build" the engine, eg: upgraded camshafts, etc - because of the computer control. Am I misunderstanding? Or do I need to look at older engines in order to do performance upgrades?
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:45 PM   #23
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You could do like what I'm planning to do. I picked up a explorer fuel injection setup talked to mega squirt about what I want to do. ( I'm looking at a turbo setup in my ranger ) they quoted me $500ish for bank to bank fuel injection or you can do sequential fueling for almost $1400 I've also looking at fast ECM setup. There's a ton of ways to go about using the explorer engine and making it so you can do performance upgrades to the engine.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:04 AM   #24
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Conor:

The absolute easiest is a '99-00 Ranger 4.0/auto/4x4 with '99-01 Explorer. That is basically plug n play, same PATS, same VSS pickup, same fuel system. '99-00 also get away from the vacuum front hubs, which is never a bad thing when adding more power. But that gets you V-8/auto/AWD. You can swap the Explorer BW4404 for a BW1356 from an F-150, if you want full time/low range, but that does have some issues (see below).

Everything else is more work.

If you are doing a 4x2, swapping a Mustang 4R70W for the Explorer is the simple solution, but you need custom engine mounts as noted in Jbrown's build and you may need to alter driveshaft lengths (I haven't done this swap).

None of the newer automatics bolt to the 5.0, so that is dead end. I haven't done the older C4/5/6, so can't comment.

M5ODR-2 transmission is probably the easiest manual as noted above as it basically bolts in (the 4.2 from '97-03 F-150 after reaming the bolt holes), shifter is in correct spot and length is same as original for 4x2. It just needs reprogramming of ECU to remove the auto transmission bits.

For 4x4 manual, the BW1356 that would be bolted to the M5ODR-2 transmission is wider than the BW1354, so is a very tight fit (transfer case will be in frame rail and there will be angularity issues on front driveshaft - you will go through u-joints every 20k miles or you will switch to a double cardan driveshaft). But it does allow for electronic shifting of transfer case. It is also longer, so rear drive shaft needs to be shortened.

If you want/are prepared to manually shift the transfer case, there are more options - you can use NP203/5 which will bolt up assuming you get the correct Ford model. Or NorthWest Fab makes an adapter which will allow NP231 or 242 to be install; and those cases are same width as BW1354.

No offense to JBrown's build, but if I were doing the BW (still don't think of it as Tremec) T5, I would have used an S-10 tail shaft which would have left the shifter in the OEM location, but that is personal preference. T-5 is MUCH better transmission for a street truck than the M5ODR-2 (which is a "truck" transmission, as expects to be shifted as such).

From there, you are only limited by your fabrication skills (and money).

Issues with the Explorer 5.0 aren't just 'computer control'; the engine is a product of its times and is significantly lighter than historic. Exceeding 400hp by any significant amount is asking for the block to break in half (and 400hp can be achieved without 'computer control' issues). If you are looking for a better block, you're wanting to get one from late '60s/early '70s or FPP.

Note: You get an 8.8 with the donor Explorer (and it is the better 31 spline with the 'bling' of disc brakes), so I found Ranger with options/colour/price I liked and worked from there.

And to give credit where it is due; I owe a lot to rwenzing.
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:08 PM   #25
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I'm definitely looking at 2 wheel drive, manual transmission. I also am not targeting even 400hp (at the crank). Was hoping / planning on a few basic performance upgrades to the Explorer 5.0 to get to a minimum 300hp and with a little luck and smart work, 350hp would be great. What got worrisome is browsing performance parts for the 302, seemed to all be for 1995 or earlier (camshafts, etc).
For a moment there, I was almost back to shopping for newer Ranger with a good 4.0L V6!
However I think (hope?) I just need a bit more research and learning to understand what works best with this particular engine, to squeeze a few more ponies out of what is already quite a good platform.
One thing that comes up about this explorer engine, being "computer controlled" is whether its "speed density" or "mass air flow" controlled, and as yet, I have been unable to figure that out.

As to transmission - guess I am quite a ways from having to make that decision yet, though I can see where I might lean towards the T5 as opposed the "truck" transmission
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:58 PM   #26
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Explorer is mass air. Set of 165 AFR heads and mild cam will get you around 350 or more, depending on exact parts. Explorer was the only 302/5.0 after 95 so it tends to get ignored but parts fit and work.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:09 PM   #27
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I have a 2000 2wd ranger with an Explorer 5.0 engine swap and manual trans.

I used the following which is a bolt on solution.

1999-2003 F150 I300 M5OD-R2 5-Speed Manual Transmission
1999-2003 F150 I300 "Short Nose" Manual Starter (for 164 Tooth Flywheel)
1999-2003 F150 I300 Engine/Starter Plate (for 164 Tooth Flywheel)
1994-1996 F150 302 5.0L Flywheel 164 Tooth 50oz
1994-1996 F150 302 5.0L Clutch Disc and Pressure Plate
1998-2000 Ranger 4.0L M5OD-R1 Transmission Rubber Isolator Mount
1998-2000 Ranger 4.0L M5OD-R1 Slave Cylinder
1998-2000 Ranger 4.0L M5OD-R1 Drive Shaft
1998-2000 Illusive Fabrications Raised Transmission Crossmember

Last edited by 2Krngr; 09-27-2016 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:37 PM   #28
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A few notes of what I learned along the way in doing the swap.

The Mustang T5 puts the shifter far back between the seats.
The 94-96 F150 5.0L M5OD-R2 puts the Shift further up under the radio.
The TKO500/TKO600 *with* the Mid-Shift kit put the shifter essentially in the stock location and would be a great performance trans, but are pretty expensive.
A T-56 with a Mid-shift kit and a ford bellhousing is also an option that puts the shifter close to stock, but also gets expensive once you've acquired everything to install it.

The 99-03 F150 I300 Inline Six Cylinder M5OD-R2 installation notes are as follows.

It puts the shifter right through the Rangers stock location in the floor, as this later revision of the R2 has it further back for the differences in the bodies of the newer F150. (this still allows the use of the popular explorer full length console swap, as would the TKO500/600)

The F150 i300 Six shares the same bellhousing pattern as the small block 302, but it has slightly smaller diameter bolts, so you need to drill out the aluminum bellhousing bolt holes one size up to slide the 5.0 mounting bolts through them. (the two locator dowels are the same size on both engines however and these fit just fine.

The F150's Rubber trans isolator mount does not fit the Ranger crossmember, however the Ranger's 4.0l rubber isolator mount does fit the M5OD-R2.

The M5OD-R2's transmission rubber isolator mounting point is 3/4" more rearward than the Ranger M5OD-R1, so you you need to either slot the ranger's trans-member holes, or move the crossmember back 3/4". (I already have Illusive Fabrications Raised trans mount, which fits between the framerails, so I only needed to slide it back 3/4" and drill two new holes.

You must use a manual SHORT NOSE starter, and a 164 Tooth Flywheel with this transmission.. You must, so make sure you have the right parts... If you are using a 96-2001 Explorer/Mountaineer 5.0L you MUST make sure you are using a 50oz flywheel (the 94-96 F150 5.0 is a 50oz).. Any other 302 setup you are using make sure weather you need 0oz, 28oz, or 50oz balanced flywheels.

My truck was already a OHV 4.0l Manual Trans 2wd, and found that the slave cylinder, and rubber isolator fit the M5OD-R2 and the driveshaft length and splines matched right up (even though I do have a custom two-piece longtravel slip shaft on my bagged/4linked setup, it was made to the stock overall length and was previously on the 4.0's M5OD-R1, so the stock shaft should work as well), the 2.3L, 2.5L, 3.0L, and SOHC 4.0L or 4x4/Torsion variations may or may not fit, I do not know the details on the interchange there unfortunately. As well as any differences in the 01-11 Rangers, I can personally only vouch for the 98-00's for this particular swap.

The 99-03 F150 i300 M5OD-R2 is very plentiful and very cheap. I had no problem finding dozens of them in my local wrecking yards or on car-part.com.. The vary from $80-$300 consistently, and I bought mine for $130 with 45,000 miles on and they included the engine plate, shifter, and starter for me.. You can't get a cheaper more bolt in solution for a manual 5.0 swap in a ranger.

The earlier gen 94-96 F150 5.0L M5OD-R2 is an option, and should work just the same other than the shifter locations being further forward into the dash, but I wouldn't bother with them as the newer 99-03 version fits better, is 10 years newer, is likely to have much lower mileage on it, will be cleaner, and only cost $100-$200, it's really a no brainer to go with it.

There are all the rebuild parts available for the M5OD-R2 for affordable prices, it can be had with a 4wd transfer case if wanting a manual 4x4 (see the Bronco forums for info on the 4x4 versions guys are using for thier 5.0 builds)..

The Automatic Explorer ECU works, it does however give CEL's due to the missing solenoids. Something like an SCT x4 or other tuning solutions will eliminate the issues..

There is a cnc'd billet short shift kit with hurst shifter available from a company on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Core-Hurst-s...9WT4wX&vxp=mtr


Last edited by 2Krngr; 09-28-2016 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:03 PM   #29
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Yes it is a Truck transmission, and doesn't shift like a T5/TKO/T56 would, but your talking about being able to purchase a sub-100k mile M5OD-R2/Starter/plate, and New Clutch/PP/FW all for under $500 easily...

Here are a couple pics of the trans in place.






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Old 09-27-2016, 10:41 PM   #30
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2kRngr:

Mine doesn't lay frame like that, but very nice.

Conor:

300hp can most likely be met with:
GT40 heads (clean up porting, new valve spring, and may a light decking)
A cam - Ford's M-6250-B303, would probably get you there (with your basic short block and Ford's aluminum heads, it makes 345hp) but there are better grinds on market (B303 was good in '85 when I was hopping my wife's '82 Mustang, but a little dated now).
24lb injectors for up to 350hp (a 4.0 SOHC would provide 6, then you just need 2 more; stock Explorer 5.0 or 4.0 OHV 19lbs ones are only good to about 275hp).
And you need the 'Mustang' double sump oil pan.
Your biggest challenge is headers. Torque Monster headers are tough to come by...

So, find a '99-00 Ranger that is worth upgrading and you're all set.
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