Saturday, January 21, 2012

Explorer Engine Swap - Getting Started - Disassembling the Explorer Engine

So far we have researched what you need to do this conversion, how much it should cost for the parts, and what tools you need.  Now it is time to get your hands dirty.

In the next series of articles I am going to break down the stripping of the Explorer engine.

I am going to break each of these articles down into approximately 2 hours worth of work each. 
At this point I am assuming that at minimum you have your engine and a garage space to work in. 

The first thing that you are going to want to do is to mount your engine on the engine stand. 

If you have never used an engine stand before, you will need to adjust the pieces in the back to be in alignment with where the bolts for the transmission go on the back of the engine block.  You need to use your engine hoist to get this lined up. 

Some initial preperation for this would be to take the flywheel off of the engine, as well as the metal plate that sits behind the flywheel.  Although this is not required, it will save you some headache in the future when you are trying to mount your new oil pan.

The bolts you use to mount the engine to the stand should have a 5/8" head on them.  This is a good task for a ratchet and socket or a ratcheting wrench.

Once you have the engine mounted to the stand, you will want to release it from the engine hoist.  This will allow for all access to the engine.  Anything and everything you will want to take off will be accessable and as easy as possible to get at.

Now that the engine is mounted, we are ready to get started.

Prior to taking any parts off though, we want to open the drain plug on the oil pan and ensure that any oil that is in the engine is drained out of the pan.  No matter what you do, there will be some engine oil in the engine, but we want to prevent as much spillage as possible. The bolt that allows the oil to drain out should also have a 5/8" head on it.  Make sure your oil drain pan is under this engine to catch the oil that comes out.

The first thing you are going to want to start dismantling the front and sides of the engine.  Depending on the Junk yard that you purchased your motor from, a lot of these parts may already be taken off the engine.  These are parts we really don't care about.  You will most likely not reuse any of them once the engine goes into the car.

The first thing I would do is take off the exhaust manifold/headers.  This is a pretty easy task and should finish pretty quickly.  The bolts should be a 9/16" and you will want to use a deep well socket and extension with it to remove them.  There are 2 bolts per cylinder.  Don't forget to save your bolts.  Put them in a bag and mark them Explorer exhaust manifold.  The reason I say this is that you never know the condition of the bolts that are coming out of your engine.  There are times when you may want to use one of these because they are in better condition than the ones from your engine.  I used some of the Explorer bolts in my Mustang.   There were a couple of bolts with the stud sticking out that I used the non stud bolts for.

These manifolds have no real value to you other than weight in the junk pile.  You are welcome to try to sell them on craigs list, but these items are not very high in demand.

While you are working on the sides, you need to take off the motor mounts.  Since the exhaust manifolds have been removed, they are really easy to get at.  Depending on how the junk yard pulled the engine, and if they are like any junk yard I have been to, they cut the bolt on the bottom of the motor mount.  At first you may think that these are junk, but think again.  This is the item that the people who put the 5.0L engines in the Ford Rangers want to put the engine in.  Typically they have to make them.  Take these off and put them on craigs list or ebay.  You will get something for them.  The rubber part will unbolt from them and can be replaced.  There are 2 bolts holding them on each side.  This is a bolt with a stud sticking out so that you can secure wires and transmission lines and items like that to the motor mounts so they are not rattling and whatnot.

This is where you will probably start using the garbage can I had mentioned in the previous article.  There are a ton of wires that will be coming off this engine.  Typically you won't be able to use any because the junk yard will have cut them all.  They are just garbage.  Although these wires do have copper in them and copper is considered valuable, it will take a lot of work to get these wires cleaned up.  Someone may buy them, but I don't think it is worth the hassle.

Next move to the top front of the engine.  You will want to remove the coil pack and any spark plug wires to get them out of the way.  The coil pack is mounted to the upper intake bolt and there are also some that are around the throttle body area of the upper intake. I suggest taking the throttle body off if it exists so that it is out of the way of the other areas that you are trying to remove parts.

Once the coil pack is out of the way you can then remove the distributor/crank position sensor.  This is an unused part in the mustang since we will be dropping an actual distributor down in there again.  Although this could be construed as risky because something could be dropped down there, I don't agree.  When all is said and done, you will have the entire front of the engine tore apart and you will also have the oil pan off.  If something happens to get dropped down that hole, it will come out the bottom.  You can remove this part with the 1/2" distributor wrench.

Now on to the front of the engine where you will need to remove the Alternator and power steering brackets.  These are usually held on with 9/16 and 5/8" bolts.  In some cases you will want to use a breaker bar just to make life easier when busting these loose.  It isn't required, but does make life easier.

Once these brackets have been removed there is one more part that you need to take off in preperation for our conversion.  There is an 90 degree angle oil filter adapter piece bolted on the area where you would typically have the oil filter on your Mustang.  This is heald on with one bolt.  Make sure you have your oil pan under this area just in case some oil comes out when you remove it.  This is another spot where the breaker bar comes in handy to break the bolt loose. 

Once you have that 90 degree adapter off, you will see that there is a big bolt looking thing that has a hole in the middle.  This has to be removed so you can get your oil filter bung installed.  I believe you need an 1 1/4" wrench to take this off.  It screws out pretty easily once you break it loose.

Once this is all done, you should be left with a pretty normal looking engine that is ready to get stripped of it's parts that you will most likely use again.  Although there are a few that will be replaced, it is pretty much in the state you want it to be in. 

In my next article we will discuss taking the top of the engine apart in preperation of replacing the camshaft.

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