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Old 01-09-2012, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default Volvo's That Run Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Selecting a drive train

The mainstream choices in my research seemed to be the small block Chevy with support from the JTR documentation or the small block Ford and purchase of the Converse Engineering’s kits. Also, during my 15 year planning period GM had reduced their use of V8’s to only their trucks and I quickly found that truck engines are available but at a significant premium to the 302 cubic inch SBF engines found across the Ford product line. The addition of the V8 to the Camero in the past few years may modify that situation going forward as this class of car tends to reach wreaking yards in higher volumes quicker than other vehicles.

On the Ford fork in the road I had to choose between the older 302 Mustangs or other FOX body car’s engines in the up to ’95 cars or a newer, ’96 up to ’01 Explorer setup. The Ford FOX reference is to the platform that Ford used, generally, from ’86 through ’93 and included the Mustang, Cougar, Thunderbird and Lincoln Continental Mark VII. While there is a world of after market parts very reasonably priced for the old Mustangs I really didn’t want to get into engine / transmission rebuilding.

After all the analysis and discussions in the end my decision came down to finding the best overall deal on the engine and transmission. If you find yourself in the 2nd series Explorer area, as I did, you need to understand the differences within that series. I suspect that such changes occurred within any series, of any make. After a great deal of research here is the map of this series of Explorers.

First, the ’96 – ’97 model years that did not have the Passive Anti Theft System (PATS). This is the simplest of the series to swap and software tune changes are not required.

The ’98 model year added PATS and changed the wiring harness to the transmission while retaining the standard fuel system.

The ’99 – ’01 model years retained PATS and the changed the transmission electrical operation and harness and also changed the fuel system from a fuel rail mounted regulator with a return line to the tank to a tank mounted regulator without a return line. Other fuel system changes were to the injectors both in terms of higher fuel pressure, 65 psi, and different electrical connectors on the injectors.

Keeping the engine/transmission/harness and PCM matched by model year or at least within the three configurations will greatly simplify your efforts.

Since my objective was a long term daily driver, I felt very fortunate to find a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer 2WD 302 V8 with its original transmission and the entire compliment of bolt-on accessories and Powertrain Control Module (PCM) in dry storage. Better yet, it was located only 50 miles from my home and was delivered for $2400 including future free pick-a-part privileges. The wreaking yard documentation said the engine/transmission came from one of the Explorer/ Firestone rollovers and had 11k miles on the odometer.

Most wreaking yard engines and transmissions do not normally include all the parts you need without asking and paying for. If you acquire all the parts individually be very, very, very certain that you get all the bolts and brackets that attach everything. Otherwise you will have many entertaining trips back to your local wreaking yard, NAPA and/or Ace Hardware ahead of you. Some, like the torque converter to flex plate nuts, are very unique and are made out of unobtainium.

Things to leave the yard with:

Engine 1996 to 2001 Explorer 302 V8

Powertrain Control Module (PCM) Model year specific to match engine
Accessory mounts (left and right)
PS pump and hoses
AC Compressor with connector block/hoses
Cruise Control actuator and cable
Throttle cable
Engine wiring harness (includes transmission harness) '96-'97 is different from '98. '99 to '01 further differences.
Engine wiring harness (C115M) connector to firewall
Battery Junction Box (including 175A fuse and copper bolts)
Data Port connector (OBD II) and wiring
MAFS and associated duct work and filter box
Throttle Body
O2 sensors and Catalytic Converters (optional depending on your plans and emission testing requirements)
Double slump oil pan and internal oil pick up tube from an '86 - '93 FOX body vehicle
Bolts, brackets and connectors for all the above (very important)

Transmission 4R70W
'96-'97 harness is different from '98-'01.
Transmission matching model year of engine is the best choice.

Torque converter
Transmission Switch (mounted on the side of the transmission)
Transmission oil cooler and lines (to radiator)
Flex plate lower dirt cover and bolts
Nuts for torque converter to flex plate
Bolts for transmission to engine
Fill tube and dipstick
AOD Extension housing from an ’86-’93 FOX body (the same length as the 4R70W housing, 10" . . . OR . . . 11")
Drive shaft from AOD transmission w/1310 u-joints

The parent document for this thread can be found here:

Last edited by TestPoint; 04-29-2013 at 07:09 AM.. Reason: Additional comment
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Sorry, wrong button.

Last edited by TestPoint; 01-10-2012 at 09:48 AM..
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