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what Explorer makes the best donor?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by IRONBUTTJOHN, Dec 18, 2013.

    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 16

    from wagram, nc

    I know Explorers come 2 wheel drive, 302, auto, posi rear. but some years are better than others for part swaps. Building a '56 f100 and need to do it cheap.
  2. charlieb66
    Joined: Apr 18, 2011
    Posts: 549


    Explorer 5.0 are roller cam FI engines and AODE trans. If you are going to use the FI/AODE combo in the swap, it may be best to find a complete vehicle to get all the parts. I am using a '96 Explorer 5.0 with an older AOD, (for the tradionalist, arthritis prevents shifting), also using a carb and electric fuel pump. These engines have no provision for a mechanical pump. The Exp 5.0 have the short front housing and water pump which make the overall length somewhat shorter. If you do the changeover, you will want to upgrade the brakes on the truck for better stopping power.
  3. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620


    There are door tags that show the rear end ratio and posi/not, so look those up. 95 and newer should be disc brake.

    Many Explorers came with a v6 so broaden your engine search to other lines - Lincoln, cop car etc tend to have the 5.0.

    I think you want to look for a 89-91 AOD which is considered best. Before 89 there were some weak points, 92 started the AODE which needs a powertrain control module (computer) to shift.
  4. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 5,782

    from Oregon

    Best for what? Best engine, or best axle? I'd be more inclined to try to find the engine that was in the best condition, if the plan is to use it as is. The rear axles come in all sorts of ratios, plus open or posi. But axles are only $200 at the pick n pull, so if you find an Explorer with a great engine, I wouldn't pass it up if the axle was the wrong ratio. Brakes were drum rear up to 1994, then disc after that. D2 is 4.10 ratio LS, and D4 is 3.73 ratio LS. Later axles used the L codes, and not sure the numbers there.
    If you can find one with the perfect engine, right ratio, posi, and brake combo; then that's the perfect Explorer.

  5. Juke Joint Johnny
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 141

    Juke Joint Johnny
    from Fresno, CA

  6. Have a friend who mounted his 55 Ford P/U on a 2002 Exploder chassis. Used all of the running gear, 4WD. Used all of the front interior including dash. A work of art to me. Expressions on the faces of techs when he took it in for a 4 wheel alignment were priceless.

    Attached Files:

  7. pbr40
    Joined: Aug 10, 2008
    Posts: 790

    from NW Indiana

    You want an early 90's explorer motors later years have real tight numbers so if you had to rebuild keep that in mind. What does the late 80's early 90's aod need to shift? Vacuum or electrical? Thanks
  8. luckystiff
    Joined: Mar 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,465


    the '87-'91 i beleive are the aod to have. i think '92 started aode which is electronic...ken....
  9. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    re; numbers; Ford was good enough to install a data tag on their rear ends, the first difits give the ratio. Door data plates may be obscured, or missing.

    Sounds like a great project, keep us posted, pls .

  10. derbydad276
    Joined: May 29, 2011
    Posts: 1,311


    the 93 I raided gave up a 3.73 posi and a 302 roller engine with gt40p heads

    both of which are now for sale now im using a Cleveland engine and t bird IRS

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