I have just started with this forum and am I wrong or did I pick up on the Explorer engine heads as a performance upgrade, and or the intake manifold. I am just trying to set up my doner parts and budget THANKS! Steve
More specificaly, earlier Exploders had GT40 iron heads with 64cc chambers. These were the same heads used on the 93 Cobra Mustang and the Lightning truck. After 1996 ( I think ) the GT40P heads were used, which feature improved 60cc combustion chambers, a unique sparkplug angle which requires specific, compatible headers, 1.85 x 1.46 valves, a more efficient exhaust port, and very similar flow figures to the older GT40 iron head.
The Exploder intake is very similar to the 1993 Cobra intake and is typically a very good deal for the money. The #5 intake runner does not have a tapped hole for the air charge temp sensor like most Mustang 302 intakes however. You can modify it rather easily or locate the sensor elsewhere in the intake air stream, like the MAF tube or near the air filter if desired.
A bunch of us run explorer 302's for a number of reasons: Up to mid 96, the heads are GT-40. These use the same exhaust headers as the Mustang. Later 96 and on use GT40-P which are said to flow better but they use a different exhaust.
Explorer engines (I found this 4 years ago, anyways) used are cheaper than Mustang. I also figure that there's far less chance that the soccer mom who went off the road with her summer tires during a snow storm would have beat the engine.
The easiest way to convert the engine to work with a FFR cobra is to also have a donor to pull parts from. That's what I did.
The explorer intake has the large round runners, like a GT-40 or Cobra intake. It has average flow of 178cfm vs the stock mustang of 136. (GT40 and the cobra intakes are all around 197-200). The differential from one runner to the other is closer than any intake other than an edelbrock. See the results from edelbrock testing here:
If you buy a complete explorer motor, swap out the cam for one of your choice. I used an e303 but am told that there are better ones out there.
One potential downside is that these engines use hypereutectic pistons, which are said to not like much boost, so you'd need to be cafeful with supercharging....although I know several owners who have supercharged theirs.
do a search for "velocity's world" on the net. There's a pretty complete rundown of what's needed to convert an explorer to run in a FFR Cobra. Hey....If I can do it, anyone can
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