2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4x4 4bt build
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Thread: 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4x4 4bt build

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    Default 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac 4x4 4bt build

    I've been planning this build for about a year now and I'm just about to start the actual swap. The truck has the 4.0l and the m5od-r1hd and is 4wd. It took me 3 months just to find the truck I wanted since there are verry few sport tracs made with a manual trans. I figured it should make the swap a bit simpler since I will be using an m50d-r2 as my trans. The truck has about 90,000 miles and is overall in good shape.

    My motor came out of a step van that had 140,000 miles on it since the repower. It was in running condition when I bought it so I at least knew that it ran. And ran good, with the exception of a good bit of blow-by. Once I got the motor out and on the engine stand I tore it down and discovered the source of the problem, three broken rings. Long story short I did a total rebuild on it. That process took longer than anticipated. I didn't realize how crazy the prices were on genuine cummins parts. I shopped around (ebay) and found good deals on a lot of the stuff including bearings, gasket sets and what not, all cummins stuff. the engine is now done with the exception of mounting the accesories.

    My goals are to achieve 25+ mpg and be able to tow some small trailers for snowmobiles etc. Right now I get 16/17 mpg and the truck is under-powered for even a small trailer. The 4.0 is rated at 205 hp ans 235 ft# torque. I plan on a few mods to bump the 4bt to 150hp and 350ft# shoud do the job pretty good. I'll get some pics up this week.

    John

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    Did you do any mods to the engine while it was out?
    What HP did you start with?
    Sounds like you will have a nice sturdy ride. Jeff
    It will never be really finished 1965 GMC 1/2 TON 4X4- 4BT-M5R2 Divorced Rockwell Transfer Case. Dana 44 Front and Rear. 3200 Gov. Spring. TDC Fuel Pin. P/S -PB. On 33X10.50 X15 M/S. Rancho 9000

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    Q I bought my Sport trac for this very purpose. I shortly there after decided that my ST was too nice to tear into. But with the known issues that the 4.0s had with the timing chains I could find another pretty easily and just use Ranger/Explorer parts to convert to manual trans. The IFS and torsion bars worried me to the point that I decided that if I went this route I'd do a SAS (gain clearance and strength). But living down here in S Fla I decided to build a Jeep instead and keep the ST for the "nice" car. I would still love to have a 4BT powered ST as I think they are just about the most practical non HD vehicle out there. good luck and please shoot some pics as you progress. Also I posted a thread about using a E series van HVAC unit to provide extra clearance for the turbo. If I locate it I'll post a link.

    I searched for nearly 4 months for a manual trans ST as well.
    Taking my toys and heading to another sandbox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twiisted71 View Post
    The IFS and torsion bars worried me to the point that I decided that if I went this route I'd do a SAS (gain clearance and strength).
    I wouldnt worry about the IFS or the torsion bars. Most STs came with either "1" or "A" code bars. They are the stiffest bars on an RBV. (Code is in the door jam or on the front of the bar. They measure 1.09" diameter.) They will hold up fine.

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    Here's a pic of an Econoline van A/C in a Lightning powered Ranger. I did come across that about the torsion bars and that they were used in the V8 Exploders. If you've ever ridden in a ST, their front suspension is soft. To the point that I didn't think that adding another #300+ engine and atleast another #100 of additional trans, plus whatever a NP205 weighs would do it any good esp. since I want a HD bumper and winch. If it were strictly for mileage I'd do a 3.3 Cummins and an NV3550 or M5R2 and keep it 2wd but......

    Taking my toys and heading to another sandbox.

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    Here's some pics of the truck. It's as stipped down as you can get a Sport Trac. It has power windows and ac that's about it.

    Things,
    It is a 105hp motor. The only mod i've done is the 3200 spring. I'm going to drive it stock first just out of curiosity. After it's in and running I'll start tweeking it.

    Twiisted,
    I'm not to worried about the springs as I've seen people run big v8's on them with no problems.I'll probably have to adjust them to bring the front end back up. The m5r2 and a bw 1356 will hardly add any weight at all. Also I am relocating the battery to the back to help with weight distribution.

    That heater box is an interesting idea. Thanks for the info, might come in handy.
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    Thats my plan also, looks like a comfy ride.
    It will never be really finished 1965 GMC 1/2 TON 4X4- 4BT-M5R2 Divorced Rockwell Transfer Case. Dana 44 Front and Rear. 3200 Gov. Spring. TDC Fuel Pin. P/S -PB. On 33X10.50 X15 M/S. Rancho 9000

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    the zf tranny is more dependable behind the 4bt, but that will turn into a nice cruiser... and even in stock form the 105hp could meet your requirements...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    Quote Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
    the zf tranny is more dependable behind the 4bt, but that will turn into a nice cruiser... and even in stock form the 105hp could meet your requirements...
    I looked in to all the tranny options and chose the m5r2 for a couple reasons. 1. It's the easiest swap as far as size and the hydraulic clutch setup, it's pretty much a bolt in. 2. There the most abundant trans in my area, also the cheapest. 3. Since I am more interesed in economy than power I think it should live a happy life in a truck that will weigh less than 5000#.

    You could be right about it power wise. I can't wait to find out!

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    I didn't like how big the coolant return inlet was so I cut it off and welded on a smaller one. I figured this would make it easier to find a hose that fits. In the last picture you can see how big it was compared to the cooland outlet.
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    While I was messing around I drilled and tapped the exhaust manifold in two locations for probes. Tomorrow I am sending it out to get ceramic coated.
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    Last edited by qumanchew; 02-10-2012 at 10:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qumanchew View Post
    You could be right about it power wise. I can't wait to find out!
    since you're considering to use the truck for towing, you might be aware that the torque curve matters more than power... for example, you can see a riced-out honda running on the 300hp range, but can't throw that engine into a truck and expect it to perform reasonably...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    Default Sensors

    I got a chance to get most of the sensors installed today. I want all the factory guages to work as well as an aftermarket oil and temp guage. I put the temp sender for the aftermarket temp guage in the back of the head and the oil pressure sender in the side of the block. The factory oil pressure sender went below the oil filter. One issue I ran into is with the factory temp senor. On the 4.0l it is installed in a plastic housing so it is not grounded. I'm wondering if installing it where it will be grounded will cause a problem. It's a two wire sensor so i'm guessing one of the wires is the ground. Anyway, it's something I have to look into.
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    I got a little bit of time to get some work done. I got the stuff back from the powder coater and the ceramic coating place. I love how everything turned out. Also got all the accesories mounted. I wanted to keep all the stock stuff from the sport trac so when I go to drop this beast in it will be easy to hook up. Since this is my daily driver I want as little down time as possible. Also when I need replacement parts down the road they will be easy to get.
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    I got the next couple weeks off so the transplant has started. I got the bed removed for easy access to the gas tank and exhaust. also I am instaling a 1.5" body lift so it had to come off anyway. The truck is now sitting on jack stands in the garage. If everything goes good I should have the old stuff out in a day or two.

    I changed direction on my choice of transfer case. I was going to go with a BW 1356 but it was just to big, so I decided on a BW 4406. I got one from an 04 F150. Also I was going to retain the factory electronic shift but had to go to a manual one. I dont believe ther will be enough room for the shift motor because of interference with the gas tank.
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    im about ready to do one in my 07 ranger 4x4 with a 4.0 and manual... its probably pretty similar to yours, so im excited to see how yours goes1

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    also very interested to see if the ifs handles the weight of the 4bt well.... cant imagine its that much heavier though

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    I had a great day, I got the old drive train out. It's nice working on something fairly new. There wasn't any rust to fight and everything came apart easy.

    tdd6405: I'm going to see how the IFS hold up. Down the road I might end up going with a strait axle if I think it's necessary.

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    This morning I finished up the trans mount so the trans and transfer case are in there final location. I was going to use the m5r2 I got from an 88 f150 but it didn't work out real good. The shifter was too far foreward. Since I got it from the u-pull-it yard I was only out $85. So the search was on for a later model trans. I located one from an 02 F150 with the 4.2l V6 and picked it up yesterday. The V6 trans has the correct bell housing pattern but the holes for the bolts were just a little bit two small so I had to open them up a bit. Not a big deal, but worth noting incase anyone else wants to use one. One nice thing I found out about this trans is that the 4x4 adapter is shorter than on the earlier ones. The 88-96 trans and adapter are 29.5'' long and this one is about 2" shorter. This helped out alot with the bigger transfer case behind it.

    My next project is to lower the front axle housing down 3/4". I'd like to go more but don't want to mess up the ifs geometry too much. This is by no means necissary, as I have plenty of room to close the hood, I just want to get everything as low as possible.

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    Here's a couple pics of the trans crossmember and the lowered axle brackets. All I did to the crossmember was cut about 2'' off the top of it and put long slotted holes so I had a lot of adjustment front to back. The final placement of the transmission ended up being 1'' farther back then the original one.

    I cut the axle brackets off the frame and lowered them down 3/4'' and welded them back up. The top of the brackets used to be 1/4'' down from the top of the frame.
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    Good looking job on those mounts
    Taking my toys and heading to another sandbox.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twiisted71 View Post
    Good looking job on those mounts
    Thanks you. I got the engine mounts done yesterday. I used the front mount on the passenger side and the rear mount on the drivers side. I couldn't use the front mount because of the steering rack on that side. Now that the engine is mounted I get to start on the oil pan.
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    Engine mounts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudintruckin View Post
    so how much did you get the trans for and the trans adapter for the motor. and what make truck did you go with. and where did you buy you adapter plate from?
    I ended up paying $550 for a guaranteed used trans. I only paid that because I was into the swap when I realized the 88 trans I had wouldn't work. I got the 88 trans from the u-pull-it yard for $85. I was in a time crunch so I had to pay what they wanted. I got my adapter set on ebay which included the flywheel and starter for $650. I think that was a fair price.

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    I got my oil pan modified and ready to go. In the one picture I am testing for leaks. I filled it with gas. That's the best way I could think of. I had 3 small leaks. No drips, but you could see wet spots seeping after a minute or so. I had only welded the outside so I marked those spots and welded them on the inside. Tested again and good to go. I welded on an extension to gain back some of the volume lost. I used an old dana 60 hub cover I had laying around. To make a long story short I only had to lift the motor up and down eight times while test fitting the pan. Atleast it's done so I can move on.
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    That looks strangely familiar.



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    I got the intercooler mounted and the piping done. I'm getting the piping powder coated the same color as the valve covers. I should have it back next week.
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    [QUOTE=snoranger;181534]That looks strangely familiar.


    I must say that has been the worst part of the project , but I think in a RBV its inevitable.

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    What intercooler are you running?

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    Very cool swap! How are you going to get through (or around) emissions? Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

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