Friday, February 10, 2012

Explorer Engine Swap - Installing the Oil Pan and Flywheel

Now that you have your old engine out of your Mustang, you will be able to remove the parts that you will need to make the Explorer Engine work. 

Let's Start with the removal of the old parts.

The first part you should remove will be the Flywheel.  You will need something that will prevent the engine from turning over while you break the bolts loose.  They should break loose pretty easily since they really aren't exposed to the elements.  As with all the items, you will want to save your bolts.

Once you take your flywheel off, you will also want to grab the protective plate/shield that is behind it.  I am not 100% sure on this, but I don't think the Explorer plate is the same.  In any case, it is better to be safe than sorry, so use the one from your Mustang.

Next you will want to remove the oil pan.  Just as we had encountered with the Explorer engine, there will be oil dripping from this engine as well.  make sure you have cardboard or something under it to help keep your area clean. 

This oil pan will have 2 mounting brackets that hold the pan on.  The bolts go through these brackets and secure the pan on the engine.  You will need both the pan and the brackets to put back on your engine. 

One thing to remember at this point is that these oil pan bolts are different than the ones from the Explorer.  Be careful not to mix them up. 

Once you get the oil pan off, you will want to remove the oil pickup tube from your old engine.  This is also needed on the new one since the Explorer one was different. 

You will need to remove the timing marker from the front of this engine as well.  My harmonic balancer did not come with one, I doubt most of them do.  You will need to reuse the one from the Mustang because the Explorer has a crank position sensor that it uses.  This is held on by 2 bolts on the front of the timing cover.

Next you will need to remove the dip stick tube.  I had to change mine because the junk yard had bent it, not to mention I think it is a different shape anyway.  The dipstick tube should just wiggle out.  It was held in by one of the exhause manifold/header bolts.

If you haven't done so already, I would recommend that you remove your valve covers.  I used the covers off of my Mustang although I think they are both the same.

The last piece I believe you will need would be the fuel rail and injectors.  The fuel rail is held on by 4 bolts.  once you get these removed, you will be able to remove the fuel rail and injectors at the same time.  The injectors are held in pretty tightly.  You may need to get something to help you pry them out. The seals for the injectors tend to keep them in pretty tight.

At this point you are ready to clean your gasket surfaces of your pickup tube and oil pan as we did in an earlier post about cleaning the gasket surfaces

Once your surfaces are clean, you will want to rotate your engine so the bottom is facing up.  This is going to be the most convenient position to put your oil pan and pickup tube on. 

The pickup tube should be the first thing to be installed.  There is a gasket that goes between the oil pump and the pickup tube.  Make sure that is installed.  Torque the bolts to the specifications. 

Next you will want to put the oil pan on.  Although I recommend using a one piece oil pan gasket, it is not required. a 4 piece one comes with your gasket kit.  You need to be very careful if using that gasket.  It will work real well, but you will have to remember that if you over torque your bolts even the slightest, the cork will rip and you will be replacing this again. (Trust me it happened to me)  Remember to use the black gasket sealer if you are using the cork gasket.  Put an extra dab at each of the joints where the cork to rubber are for the   It should not be used with the rubber ones.  Make sure you read the installation instructions on the one piece gasket if you go that route.

Next hand tighten each of the oil pan bolts and start the torque sequence.  For the torque you should start in the middle of the engine and do one bolt on each side rotating around the engine. 

Now that the oil pan is on, you should install the timing marker for the harmonic balancer.  While you are in that area, you should mark your timing marks with a paint pen so they are easier to see when timing your engine.

At this point you are ready to remove the engine from the engine stand.  This is required to get the flywheel and plate intalled on it. 

Make sure you torque the bolts for the flywheel appropriately.  It will be rather difficult to do so, but you will have to prevent the engine from turning over during this process.

Once the flywheel is installed, you are ready to start putting the engine back in the Mustang.  We will be putting the valve covers and fuel rail on while it is in the car.  There is a very important reason for it, but I will cover that in the next article.


  1. Did you change your rear main seal? I didn't. I based that decision on the advice I got from the forums. They said If I changed it, there's a decent chance it could still leak due to improper installation (which sounds common.I also didn't have the tool to properly set the depth of the rear main seal.

    I didn't change the seal and now the rear main seal is slowly leaking. What's your experience been with the rear main seal?

  2. I had a seal to replace it with and seriously considered it. Although when I examined it, I saw no signs of leaking. In this case I figured it was best that if it is not broke don't fix it.

    Everything I have read is that the rear seal isn't real hard to change, you just have to make sure your very careful putting it in. It was enough for me to not take the chance.