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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-14-19, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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confused Question about a 1999 Explorer XLT

Hi New Member here
It has been many years since I owned a Ford. When I was a teenager, I drove a 1949 Ford (hopped up Flathead) and had another as a parts car and a 1957 Merc station wagon (I always wanted to drop that 312 in one of my ’49s. Wish I still had all of them.

Anyway, about a year ago my 2005 Hyundai threw a rod and I desperately needed another car. The mechanic I always take my vehicles to (got to fat and old to work on my own cars) had a 1999 Ford Explorer XLT for sale. The car was in great shape; the only problem was that it had high mileage, about 250K (it now has 270K). I loved all the bells and whistles it has; the first owner must have ordered every option there was. It handles great and still has a smooth ride. We really love the fact that it is huge. From what I can tell the new Explorers are nowhere near as big now and do not come with a 302/5L.

Now this leads me to my conundrum. The rear main seal started leaking. My mechanic informed me that it would cost about $700 to fix the leak. I hate putting the money toward fixing the leak and still having a high mileage motor in the car that will have to be rebuilt or changed in the very near future. I would prefer to put the money toward getting the motor rebuilt OR find a lower mileage Mustang 302 (2012 to 2018) and drop the higher horsepower engine in.

My first question is, would a 302 from a recent Mustang drop in or would I have all sorts of problems. I would like to have a little more horsepower in the old girl although it still has lots of power for its mileage.

I also thought about trading it in, but it is way to expensive to buy a new or newer car that has everything this one has; and as I said previously the new vehicles are smaller and do not come with the 302/5 liter motors.

Anyway I would like some suggestions on what I ought to do.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-14-19, 06:05 PM
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Re: Question about a 1999 Explorer XLT

Drop in as in fit? Maybe, the heads are bigger. Drop in as in plug and play? No. The new "5.0" aren't the same animal as the old Windsor blocks. It'll take some modifying.Depending on where you shop, you should be able to get a drop in 5.0 long block for under 2 grand.


Personally, I'd be looking at a rebuild with a mild cam and maybe a little bit of a stroke to the crank.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-14-19, 10:17 PM
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Re: Question about a 1999 Explorer XLT

Catskinner hit the nail on the head.

I also wanted to add that if you do get a used motor try to find one from another explorer of the same year. Explorers got the gt40 top end so its pretty much like you have a 93 mustang cobra motor. Other 302s from similar years have e7 heads and a lower performing intake manifold. Or you could swap the top end over but it wouldnt be a drop in like you probably would want.


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