'99 Explorer 5.0 - '99 Ranger


fastpakr

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I'm starting a swap this weekend, following the great writeups put together by Bob Wenzing:
http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/5_0_swap_in_newer_ranger.html
Mudslanger:
http://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/Fall2009/explorer_v8_swap.shtml
and a similar one over at Explorer Forum:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/so-you-want-to-convert-to-a-5-0-5l-swap-for-dummies.422796/

There's a donor 2wd 1999 5.0 Explorer in my driveway, a manual shift 4406 with linkage in the garage, and a 4wd 4R70W should be in my hands on Friday.

Right now I'm making a list of parts to have on hand. The V8 has high mileage (248k) so I'm going to do some basic work on it before it goes in. That list includes:
Intake manifold gasket set
Valve stem seals
Exhaust manifold gaskets
Oil pan gasket along with new oil pump
Main bearings (as well as a visual inspection on rod and cam bearings)
Timing chain
Thermostat, water pump, and new hoses
Serpentine belt, new belt tensioner and idler pulleys
Oxygen sensors
PCV Valve
Plugs and plug wires
Transmission filter
While everything's apart, I'll replace the seals in the a/c system as well as the orifice tube and receiver/dryer.

What else? I hate skipping something that's easily accessible.
 


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win

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While in the 4R70W, be sure to check the accumulator springs -- very common issue of broken springs causing harsh shifts.
 

fastpakr

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Thanks for that suggestion. I'll definitely check on that and look at the JMOD, etc while in there. Still need to do some reading on it.
 

JoshT

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LONG ASS POST WARNING!!!! You've been warned...


I see things that you should add and probably some that you should remove, or atleast change. I'll start with the Adds:

Camshaft: Now would be the time. That said the Explorer cam isn't a bad option for a 4wd truck. Being a roller motor stock cam and lifters should still be in great condition.

Valve springs: Stock valve springs weren't good enough for the stock cam when new, with almost 250K they are worn out. You are already pulling them to do valve stem seals, so now is the time to replace them. Check out Alex's Parts, good prices on good drop-in valve spring kits. Pick one for the GT40P and what ever lift cam you decide to use. I was recommended P/N: Vsk7D49-M for stock Explorer cam with 1.6 (stock) or 1.7 rocker arms.

Valve Train: As I said previously it's a roller motor so cam and lifters should be fine. That said the pushrods and rockers are known to wear. Check them out and replace if necessary. If replacement needed look into the benefits of roller rockers, but they probably aren't worth it if you don't need them.



Now for the removals:

All those gaskets: As far as you are going into the engine, just get an engine rebuild set and replace them all. It'll include all those gaskets you list, valve stem seals, both main seals, and more gaskets you don't realize you need yet. Probably be about the same price too.

Tensioner, idler pulleys, oxygen sensors: If it ain't broke don't fix it, that said you may now something about these that I don't. I'd even include the water pump in that if it looks to be in good shape when you pull it off.

Main bearings: You need to open and inspect the crank before even thinking about ordering bearings. More on this below the following lists


So based on your list my lists would be...

Refresh:
  • Engine Gasket Set
  • New Oil Pump
  • Timing Set
  • Thermostat, water pump, and new hoses
  • Serpentine belt
  • PCV Valve
  • Plugs and plug wires
  • New Valve Springs
Rebuild:
  • Engine Rebuild Kit $279.79 (usually includes * items below)
    • Main bearings
    • Rod Bearings
    • Piston Rings
    • Gasket Set
    • Freeze Plugs
    • Camshaft Bearings
    • Timing Set
    • Pistons w/Pins
    • Oil Pump
---OR---

  • Rering kit $120.79 (Better option if don't need pistons)
    • Main bearings
    • Rod Bearings
    • Piston Rings
    • Gasket Set
    • and (not included)
      • Freeze Plug Set $4.31 (if needed)
      • Timing Set $17.10
      • Cam Bearings $13.70 (if needed)
      • Pistons w/pins $175.12 (if needed)
      • Oil Pump $28.79
Prices grabbed from Rock Auto.


Plus the following with either kit:

  • Thermostat, water pump, and new hoses
  • Serpentine belt
  • PCV Valve
  • Plugs and plug wires
  • New Valve Springs


Explanation on main bearings:

Let me start this by saying that I don't know your background working on engines, or the history of this engine. As such I mean no insult by any of what follows. It's time to make a decision. Are you willing to do a full on rebuild of the bottom end, machine work and all. If not willing to do a full rebuild, just refresh the bottom end and carry on, but know that it's a 250K mile engine with new seals. If you are willing, read on...

Personally I wouldn't install main and rod bearings on this engine without also doing new piston rings. With that many miles worn rings are likely to be a bigger problem than any bearings, so that's where I'd start. None of this stuff can really be ordered until you get the engine apart and see what it needs.

First thing I would do is a compression check followed by pulling the heads and visually inspecting the cylinders. Not only will the compression test tell you a lot about condition of the engine it'll let you know if your heads need some attention as well. If you get good results you may not want to touch the bottom end. More on compression testing here.

Upon pulling the heads, you may even be surprised and find that there is still factory crosshatching visible in the cylinder, I've personally seen it on 180K and 200K mile Ford engines that got regular maintenance. If cylinder walls look good and you don't have a ring ridge, you may be able to hone and install new standard size rings. If they are rough, no cross hatching is visible, deep scratching, scoring or a ring ridge the block probably needs machined for overbore to smooth out the walls because the new rings won't be able to seat properly. At that point if you are carrying it to the machinist, might as well have him check you the crank and rods as well.

After cylinders I'd flip the block over and inspect the crank. No signs of wear on the crank journals then you can probably use standard size main and rod bearings. Any signs of wear and you need to have it checked/machined to determine what oversize you need, or slap it back together exactly like it was and hope you didn't mess anything up. Like I said I'd start with the cylinders because if they are bad you know you will need machine work. If they cylinders are good and crank is bad you can either have crank machined or order a crank kit, which is a reman crank including crank and rod bearings. Looking at Rockauto a crank kit is about $170.

Honestly if you are willing to go that far, your best option would be to pull the engine apart and just have the machinist inspect the block and rotating assembly regardless. Costs a little more, but you'll know what your installing is going to have the best chance of lasting. I'd still do the compression check before tearing it apart to see if the valves need some attention as well. You could also have the block (heads too?) hot tanked while it's there to remove any build up in water jackets and have a nice clean engine to reassemble.

Now I said all that, but I'm installing a 180K mile engine into my 86 without doing more than swapping the oil pan and removing the valve covers. It ran good, had good oil pressure and didn't smoke when pulled from the Explorer. I'm swapping springs and installing 1.7 Rockers (street truck and want a little more from cam) so I'm installing new stem seals while removed. Otherwise the long block is being installed as is. I do know that I will be building a performance motor in a few years to replace it, so I don't much mind if it does die on me.
 
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85_Ranger4x4

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If it runs quiet and has good oil pressure (check with real gauge) I wouldn't worry about the cam/main bearings.

If it has good compression I wouldn't worry about rings either.

If it has low oil pressure and/or a knock and low compression throwing rings and bearings at it is only fixing half the problem.

Might not be bad to pull the heads and have the valves/seats and guides checked out though. Seals only do so much to prevent oil from going into the engine.
 

fastpakr

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Josh - thanks for the tip on the springs. I'll definitely look into that. Also, I did end up buying an engine gasket set rather than the individual sets.

85_Ranger4x4 - I'll run a leak down test as soon as the engine is on a stand for a better idea on rings, valves, etc. Also, there -may- be an oil pressure issue. The gauge on the donor was FUBAR'd, but I did notice the 'check gauge' light occasionally coming on at idle during the drive home when I was at stoplights. That said, it ran smooth and quiet the whole way. The potential oil pressure issue was the reason for considering replacing the bearings. I need to check it with a real gauge for sure - just ordered one and it should be here tomorrow before I start pulling the engine out.

I'd love to avoid pulling the heads if possible just to keep things simple and get the engine turned back around quickly. I'd like to grab a second motor over the next year or two to prep with a proper rebuild (and ideally install a cam and set of headers at that point).
 
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85_Ranger4x4

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When I swapped to E7's on mine I cheaped out and just slapped them on with new valve seals. Now when it sits and idles awhile it starts smoking blue out of one pipe... I am pretty sure I have a guide issue since it never smoked a puff with the E6's.
 
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Excellent thread! Hope you continue with it. I'm very interested in your project because I just started a 96 Exp 2WD V8/auto to a 96 reg cab Splash/auto 2WD swap myself. I'm current disassembling everything that won't be staying with the truck, as well as anything that's in the way of the swap. Both vehicles were purchased specifically for the project. The Splash is in really nice shape and was always oiled. It has an excellent frame and body. Things are also coming apart much easier because of the oil coating.

I also have 93 reg cab 5 speed stepside Splash and a 2001 reg cab 5 speed stepside Edge that I'm gonna keep till the 96 is done. I don't see many parts being useful on the 01 but maybe. I might switch the 96 over to stick so the 93 may come in handy for that. Haven't decided yet. The truck has a really good frame and body too, aside from a rust issue with the right cab corner. It's odd because there's no significant corrosion anywhere else.

And, I also have a 5.0 roller motor and a 5 speed out of a 90 Mustang LX. I bought the car new so I know the entire history of everything. The Mustang came to an untimely end but I saved the engine, trans, harness/computer etc for a future project. Neither of them needs any work done. The only mod on either is I put a set of fresh GT40 heads on the 5.0 after I broke 4 bolts on the stock heads getting the headers off. The Cobra heads popped up at the right time and price. My plan is to use my 90 long block with the 96 intake/accessories/computer and whatever else I need from it. I have an Advanced Adapters swap kit on the shelf in unopened packages too.

I had two previously, a carb'd 90 with a 5.0 and a carb'd 96 with a 347. I'm going EFI this time around. I'm retired now with lots of time and I have a heated well equipped 1700 sq ft shop, and I've wanted another V8 Ranger for quite a while, so tally ho..
 

fastpakr

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Things got delayed a bit with winter weather, holidays, etc... Machine shop is anticipating completing their work next week (to the tune of $1600 - yikes). Better weather this weekend as well, so I'm hoping to get as much as possible prepped to start installation next week/weekend.
 

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Looking forward to your updates
 
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Jim Oaks

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Any updates on the Ranger??
 

fastpakr

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I just need a Saturday to finish up the top end stuff (pushrod measurements, upper intake, etc). Everything else is minor - check body mount fasteners since I replaced everything, run the amp wiring since I've got all that stuff torn apart. It's a lot of simple stuff that I haven't been able to get to. Two different people locally have asked if they could come by to give me a hand on it in the last couple of weeks. As soon as I can work an open day into the schedule it'll happen. So close...
 

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I'm looking forward to seeing it done!
 

fastpakr

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You and me both.
 

fastpakr

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Just a quick follow up - the swap is complete. It's been a saga, but the engine is running and I've been driving it the last few days. Will post more later to bring the thread towards a conclusion.
 


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