Project WOO finally runs. After aquiring a brand new Ford Explorer 4.0 litre V6 from Bhav back in December 2005, the first thing to do was to work out if the 4x4 sump could be bolted to the 4.0 litre block. Half the bolt holes for the sump lined up but as the block is 10mm wider a strip had to be made and fitted to the right hand side of the sump. First attempt was a disaster as I got the strip welded onto the sump, but with the amount of heat involved in doing this it just distorted the whole sump. After a lot of thought and talking to the engineering company next door to where I work, we worked out a way of bolting the strip on. Some machining was also done to the inside of the sump to clear the crank and oil pump.
With the sump finally bolted on the next thing to sort out was the flywheel. As Explorers are all autos, a flywheel had to be made. This is identical to a 2.9 4x4 one but with a 8 bolt fixing and is also made from aluminium which saved lbs!!
With the flywheel on the engine the box could be placed into the engine bay and the engine mountings made. These are 4x4 mounts which have been cut down and welded to steel plates and bolted to the block. This was one of the hardest and time consuming parts of the conversion to get right.
The engine and box were now finally in and I could start plumbing in the auxilary bits. Most things had to be modified or made from scratch. The fuel rail had to be altered and a fuel pressure regulator fitted, as Explorers have them in the tank. All the water pipes had to be modified as well. One problem I had was with the height of the engine. With the inlet manifold on, the bonnet would not shut and stuck up about 8 inches!!. Luckly the manifold can be turned around and the bolt holes all line up. I still had to have a buldge put into the bonnet which I dont like but it will have to do for now. An alternative solution will be found in the future so I can use a standard bonnet.
After about 6 weeks of work the engine was all plumbed in and it was just the exhaust and the ECU left to sort out. Exhausts by Design did a fantastic job of making up a complete stainless steel system and then it went down to Brooklands House Power where Chris Todd now works from Power Engineering and within 2 days had it running.
I drove the car back and was amazed at the instant throttle responce and the amount of torque from the engine. Initial power figures are 243BHP and 267lb/ft. When the engine is run in I will get it back on the rolling road to see if things have increased. Hope to have some real fun next year in it. Next thing to sort out are the wheel and suspension sometime in the spring.
Report: Simon aka Gengis