Oh, LOOK! Not ANOTHER V8 build thread!!!


Thed

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Yep that's right. For the past year the only thing that I wanted to do was to get some parts for a turbo 2.3 setup. Sadly, that setup has no future with me anymore (got some turbo parts for sale, PM for details).

So this thread begins!!! Today, I took a small, yet extremely important step forward in a 302 swap. :yahoo: I went out to the salvage yard and picked up a computer from a V8 1996 Exploder which was involved in an accident. On Tuesday I plan to pick up a '97 Explorer V8 for $380. It runs, but I don't care because I'm going to do this right the first time and rebuild (and stroke :icon_cheers: ) the engine.

My wish list is as follows:


AFR 185cc heads $1560 +90 HP http://www.airflowresearch.com/product_info.php?cPath=21_22&products_id=314

6250-E303 Cam (great for the street) +??HP $280 http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=1329

Over-sized chain http://www.fordracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=20

Gaskets ~$170

Flywheel $45 http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1134133,parttype,5348

I don't know what fuel injectors I need, so I'm going to put aside about $400 for them.

Any input on performance parts would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :beer:

Also, I'm starting college this fall which means I'm poor... so expect this build to go SLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWLLLLLLYYYYY. Sorry, but it's better than no build thread. :icon_thumby:

Also, call me Thed, that's how I'm known at Motor Trend and Car Fanatics Forums, where I have similar, already-existing, build threads.
 
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Thed

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Yeah buddy.
 

doorgunner

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They're taking over the universe!!!

(but why the monster mods...it'll still scream for half that price/get done faster/ & make it easier on collAge this year.....think about it!!!!)

Keep the pics coming!!!!!!
 

GOODOLEBOY84

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i would put the motor in and run it like that before you start stroking it and
other mods, you will already have enough bugs to work out as it is...and also
are you gonna run the explorer ecm? i would do away with the explorer ecm and get a mustang style ecm.... lot more support for the mustangs than the explorer ecms as far as tunning goes... just sayin not bashing:icon_thumby:
 

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FYI you are going to have one big problem with that stroker kit. Explorer (and many other later production) 5.0Ls are set up for a 50 oz balance. Most of those stroker kits are set up for 28 oz balance. With using the Explorer electronics which it appears you are planning to do you will have to retain the its harmonic balancer for the crank trigger. The Explorer harmonic balancer and the 28 oz balanced internals won't play too well together.

I'm in the very slow process of putting a 98 explorer V8 into an '86 Ranger. For now I'm leaving it all stock but I want to build a 331 for it down the road, so I'm interested in seeing how you overcome the balance problem.

i would put the motor in and run it like that before you start stroking it and
other mods, you will already have enough bugs to work out as it is...and also
are you gonna run the explorer ecm? i would do away with the explorer ecm and get a mustang style ecm.... lot more support for the mustangs than the explorer ecms as far as tunning goes... just sayin not bashing:icon_thumby:
+1 on both counts. My donor is a 180K rollover victim, and I considered rebuilding the motor before getting started. Decided against it because I know it runs and everything works as is. Decided to do the swap, work the bugs out, then build another motor to drop in. Doing it that way I only have one set of problems to chase at a time. I would have gone with the Mustang electronics in a heart beat if I hadn't found a complete working Explorer to use as my donor. The original plan was to get a 5.0L out of an Explorer (for the tight FEAD) and use mustang electronics or MSII, but when I found the donor for $500 decided the Explorer electronics was right for me. The mustang system is a lot easier to install as a stand alone from what I saw when I considered going that route. As for tuning, I disagree. There are a lot more aftermarket pieces out there for the Mustang system, but the Explorer EEC is just as tunable as that of the mustang. It's just a matter of finding someone with the knowledge to do it, where as almost anyone can tune a Mustang.
 
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Thed

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FYI you are going to have one big problem with that stroker kit. Explorer (and many other later production) 5.0Ls are set up for a 50 oz balance. Most of those stroker kits are set up for 28 oz balance. With using the Explorer electronics which it appears you are planning to do you will have to retain the its harmonic balancer for the crank trigger. The Explorer harmonic balancer and the 28 oz balanced internals won't play too well together.

I would have gone with the Mustang electronics in a heart beat if I hadn't found a complete working Explorer to use as my donor. The original plan was to get a 5.0L out of an Explorer (for the tight FEAD) and use mustang electronics or MSII, but when I found the donor for $500 decided the Explorer electronics was right for me. The mustang system is a lot easier to install as a stand alone from what I saw when I considered going that route. As for tuning, I disagree. There are a lot more aftermarket pieces out there for the Mustang system, but the Explorer EEC is just as tunable as that of the mustang. It's just a matter of finding someone with the knowledge to do it, where as almost anyone can tune a Mustang.
The stroker kit I linked to had the option to pick a 28 or 50 ounce balancer, or at least the next kit up did. I didn't know which one to use so thanks for clearing that part up with me.

And I was told that NC laws say that in order for an OBDII vehicle to be street legal after a swap, it needs to retain an OBDII computer from the same model year or newer vehicle. Unless the Modular computer out of a Mustang works for the 302 (which I doubt it does) I have to use the Explorer computer. But like you said, an Exploder computer is just as tunable, you just need to go to the right place to tune it.
 

Thed

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They're taking over the universe!!!

(but why the monster mods...it'll still scream for half that price/get done faster/ & make it easier on collAge this year.....think about it!!!!)

Keep the pics coming!!!!!!
My goal is 350 HP, and I have to keep the OBDII computer and all that jazz. If you know how to get me there without a stroker kit I am all ears. This is still in the planning stage as of right now and like I said, this is going to be a sloooooooowwwwwww build. Like it will be a couple years until I will be able to afford some of these mods. This isn't my daddy paying for these, I'm busting my ass for $7.50 an hour at Bojangles FULL TIME so I can save all the money I can for college and this build.

Also, this is a question for all. I want to know how big the injectors I need have to be. Also, I have not really gotten a thurough look at my 302, I want to know if there is an EGR system and if I got some AA or custom long tube headers if there will be a problem with the pesky EGR system.
 

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Didn't know about the NC laws, here in GA you can get away with almost anything (unfortunatley). Also didn't remember that 96 was OBD-II, they made that change over in 95 didn't they.

I didn't know anyone was selling a 50oz balanced kit, last I checked they were only available for the 28 oz. I'll be bookmarking that site for future use. Yes, 50oz is what you need for the Explorer unless you can manage to find a 28 oz harmonic balancer with crank trigger that will work with its system. As far as I know a 302 won't run off a 4.6L computer, even if it could I'd rather make the Explorer work that try to fight with making it work.

I think what doorgunner is referring to is all of those Ford Racing parts. Pretty sure if you shop around just as good can be had for cheaper.
 

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I didn't think about it previously but you will also need to make sure the flywheel you get is balanced for 50oz. I know that they are available but you might have to contact Rock Auto to find out which ones are balanced for that.

You say you are looking for about 350hp. Is that engine hp or rwhp? If rwhp you will need a little more at the engine, a little under 400hp with a manual and a little under 450hp with a slush box. Given these numbers I think you can save almost 500 bucks by going with the street fighter kit. It's rated for about 600hp vs the 800hp on the Pro Street kit. For NA on a 331 you don't really have a need for a forged crank or super heavy duty rods (those are still stronger than stock). If you are want to make more than about 500hp at the block then you need to be looking for a stouter block (4 bolt main or aftermarket) since that is about the limit for a stock block.
 
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Thed

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Since 50 ounce is stock that should be no problem. I'm more concerned about finding the right transmission to bolt the damn thing to. The infamous T-5 vs. M5OD-R2 debate is coming up again and I'm leaning towards T-5. I just want to know how strong they really are compared to their stock ratings. I know Tremecs are some of the best the world has to offer, but not everything is perfect.

Also, I've really been thinking about doing a custom IRS setup. It's been in my mind for the past week now and i just can't shake the idea of it.
 

rusty shackelford

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FYI you are going to have one big problem with that stroker kit. Explorer (and many other later production) 5.0Ls are set up for a 50 oz balance. Most of those stroker kits are set up for 28 oz balance. With using the Explorer electronics which it appears you are planning to do you will have to retain the its harmonic balancer for the crank trigger. The Explorer harmonic balancer and the 28 oz balanced internals won't play too well together.

I'm in the very slow process of putting a 98 explorer V8 into an '86 Ranger. For now I'm leaving it all stock but I want to build a 331 for it down the road, so I'm interested in seeing how you overcome the balance problem.
Not really understanding what you said here. ford went to the 50 oz imbalance in the early 80's and its not at all hard to find stroker kits in 50.
 

Thed

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Not really understanding what you said here. ford went to the 50 oz imbalance in the early 80's and its not at all hard to find stroker kits in 50.
I was about to say... the first one I found had the option for a 50 ounce counterweight.
 

rusty shackelford

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all those 5.0 mustangs were 50 oz. might not be a bad idea to get the running motor in and running and build up another long block to take its place.
 

JoshT

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Not really understanding what you said here. ford went to the 50 oz imbalance in the early 80's and its not at all hard to find stroker kits in 50.
Yes they did change balance in the early 80 but through 93 the 5.0s still used a distributor. It wasn't until the 5.0L was put into the Explorer that a crank position sensor triggered by a wheel on the harmonic balancer was used. Since all those mustangs built since the early 80s were fired off the camshaft position they could easily be converted to 28oz balance, and most that have been modified were. If you really think it isn't that hard to find 50 oz stroker kits try searching for them some time, or better yet post them up so those of us interested will have other options than CHP. I searched in the past and had only found one company that said they would do a 50oz balance and you had to call up and custom order it. It may have even been CHP can't recall now.

Think about it this way, the 289/302/5.0L have been around since 1963. The balance change happened in 1982. You have 20 years worth of 302s that were 28 oz balance, 10 years of 50 oz balance that could easily be converted to 28oz balance, and 8 years of 50oz balance required. Which do you think a company would be more likely to support? Nearly all 5.0L crate engine builders do their strokers internal balanced or 28oz balanced. Most Mustang owners that do a stroker kit have no problem swapping over to the 28oz balance, especially when the crank manufacturers tell them that crank is stronger than one balanced to 50 oz because of the amount of material than has to be removed.

I was about to say... the first one I found had the option for a 50 ounce counterweight.
Let me guess, CHP was the first result on Google for something along the lines of "331 Stroker Kit"? CHP is a big provider for stroker kits, makes sense that it would show up near the top of the list. That is far from the only place to get them, and most don't have the 50oz option. Heck not even all of CHP's kits have that option.
 


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