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Cam Suggestions


Bigmatthew86

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I’ve got a few more miles on. I like it. I would say it feels very similar to the factory explorer cam at the bottom, maybe slightly softer. From 3000 up it pulls better. I need to adjust my shift points as it shifts around 5k & is still pulling. Just guessing 5400-5500 would probably be the ticket.
 


JoshT

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V8 Engine Swap
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I was trying to avoid the temptation of this thread, but I seem to be faling short on that goal. It's got me questioning the engine I was going to use in my initial V8 swap.

I've got two Explorer GT40P 5.0L engine. One to use for the swap and the other to build and swap in somewhere down the road. Unfortunately, I've got enough projects ongoing that it could be a few years before I get around to the engine build.

So the engine I'm going to use is actually a '98 Explorer that is in arguably better condition than the one in the '00 Explorer donor. Honestly they both have about the same mileage (~180k) and I didn't get to drive the '98 100 miles like I did the '00. I knew the owners of the '98 and how that family maintained their vehicles compared to the worn out rust bucket that the rest of the '00 is.

Anyway when I got the '98 years ago for a first gen swap that fell apart, I recall reading a lot of information online about how the Explorer 5.0 was a decent engine, but even in stock form suffered from a weak cam and weaker valve springs. That a good place to start with them if not looking to go deep is good valve springs and a cam upgrade. Quicker and easier alternative to the cam upgrade being 1.7 rocker arms that would make the Explorer can perform "about like a stock HO cam." Since my long term goals were to build an engine I took cheap and easy. I upgraded valve springs, installed new valve stem seals, and a set of cheap 1.7 roller rockers. Also the Mustang valve covers and intake spacer to clear them. Project fell through and engine has never been run.

Now I'm wondering. Should tear everything back apart, go back to stock ratio rockers, and upgrade cam? Or should I carry on with what I have and save that money for a better cam and rockers with the engine build (when it'll also get tuned)?

I need to pop the upper intake and valve covers anyway to inspect swap over some parts. Also want to redo the lash adjustment on the rockers bacause I'm not sure I did it right the first time around, don't remember if I studied the procedure enough back then. They ain't the greatest rockers, but I don't plan to abuse this engine or use them on the next one, but I want to give them the best chance I can by making sure they are installed right.
 

Bigmatthew86

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I’m not trying to spend your money but if it was me I would swap it. After driving it around a good bit my truck definitely pulls better from mid on up. If I had the engine out I would have replaced the heads altogether. I’m actually looking for a set of used heads at a decent price. I think you said you wouldn’t sell your heads but I would & will when I swap them to recoup a little of what I spend. If you haven’t I would replace the springs with a new cam.
 

19Walt93

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Engine Size
351
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2WD
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3"
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My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
My Ranger runs a 95 F150 351, for the first time in my life I left the stock truck cam in place, since I had some 1.7 roller rockers, I used them, too. I rebuilt the stock truck heads and did minimal porting. It has the same specs as your Explorer cam, something like 182 degrees at .050 duration and a wide lobe seperation angle. A stock Mustang GT cam has about 210 degrees and a slightly tighter lobe sep. If mine was still apart- after driving it for 4 summers- I'd get something with 205-215 intake and 112-114 seperation. It would have close to a stock idle and lots more torque.
Or you could do like Car Craft magazine a few years ago- they sent Comp a recording of the drum riff at the start of Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" as an example of the idle they wanted. <This is a joke, by the way.
 

JoshT

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I’m not trying to spend your money but if it was me I would swap it. After driving it around a good bit my truck definitely pulls better from mid on up. If I had the engine out I would have replaced the heads altogether. I’m actually looking for a set of used heads at a decent price. I think you said you wouldn’t sell your heads but I would & will when I swap them to recoup a little of what I spend. If you haven’t I would replace the springs with a new cam.
I'm not sure if I was clear enough when I first posted. I have a tendency to make confusing posts when I'm feeling good, and I've been fighting the flu most of the week. Getting over it, but head still ain't right.

So I have 2 engines.

1998 Explorer 5.0L
  • Knew previous owners and it was well maintained prior to rollover. Ran good after rollover, but wasn't able to drive much more than onto trailer.
  • Valve springs upgraded with kit from Alex's Parts. Don't recall the kit but it was supposed to be good for stock Explorer, stock mustang, and maybe something like the smaller FR letter cams. Been too long and I nolonger have the order information.
  • Replaced valve stem seals when doing springs. Really more like the opposite, doing seals so replaced the springs.
  • Installed 1.7 Ratio Roller rockers to get more from stock camshaft.
  • Installed appropriate length pushrods
  • Installed mustang valve covers and an intake spacer to clear the rocker arms.
2000 Explorer 5.0L
  • Purchased 3 weeks ago, no history available
  • Had oil and coolant, first drive was the roughly 100 miles home.
  • No issues other than rust falling off with every bump, but can tell it's been used hard and not as well maintained.
  • All stock and similar mileage IIRC.

I'm figuring on having a few stages to this build since I don't have a good place or time to do everything I want at once.

Phase 1: Get the swap done and truck running, usable, and hopefully reliable
Phase 2: Get suspension work done. Might happen first or concurrently due to parts needed with the AWD t-case.
Phase 3(?): Build & install spare engine, stout transmission, and tuning.
Phase 4(?): Paint and Body.

I'm not discounting your do the heads while it's out idea, but I want to get it running first. The engine will be coming back out for replacement anyway.

As for the heads. Even when "built" I'd like to pop the hood and have it look like Ford did it. If Ford did it in 1999 they would have used the same GT40P headed 5.0L used in the Explorer. I know that I'd be leaving power on the table, but this ain't a race truck. It also ain't a show truck, under the hood will probably never be very clean. I'm after a quick fun truck that I've built the way I want to and I can enjoy driving. That's not to say that plans won't change and evolve into something more, but for now I don't think that is what I want.

Also if I'm picking a place to sink big money into an engine, the F-100 has got to be the target. Either the FE has to be built or it's getting a swap (7.3?). Since that will eventually be a restomod project, it's getting done right.
 

19Walt93

Well-Known Member
Ford Technician
V8 Engine Swap
Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
4,508
Reaction score
4,462
Points
113
Location
Canaan,NH
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
351
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Drop
3"
Tire Size
235/55R16
My credo
If you don't have time to do it right will you have time to do it over?
If you're going to drop an engine in without rebuilding it first I'd probably pick the one you just drove home after looking it over. Look into the oil fill hole in the valve cover-or pull a valve cover- to make sure it isn't sludged. Maybe replace the front and rear seals- or at least the rear seal. I always motor wash the engine compartment before pulling an engine. I use a product called Pink Stuff that we used to buy in 55 gallon drums for recon, parts stores sell it in gallons under 2 brands around here, Awsome Pink and Incredible Pink. I think it's intended for cleaning whitewalls but it works good on engines, too. Use it outside because of the fumes, spray it on, wait a few minutes, and hose it off.
 

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