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Explorer 5.0 engine swap

Defecater

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Member Number
2283
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80
Going to be helping brother in law build a wheeling rig. Using a Bronco II as a base vehicle. He decided he wanted to go with a 302 and an automatic. Currently we are on the hunt for a cheap 96 Explorer for a donor. Plan is to use the engine, computer and minimum amount of the wiring to make engine run. I already have a c5/c4 rebuilt for it. Here is the question- will the engine still function properly without the computer being able to communicate with the explorer 4R70w. Probably just show a fault if I plug in a code reader to OBD2 plug, but engine should function still, I am thinking. Am I right or wrong??
 
It should work. Youll need to make sure you have the correct flexplate for the C4 since theres 2 styles.

Why not just run the 4R? Or run a 700R4?
 
Will be a wheeling only rig, so no need for an overdrive gear. Using an early 80's C5 from a BroncoII with bellhousing, torque converter and valve body from a C4 out of a 75 six cylinder Maverick. Smaller (57 tooth??) Flywheel and bellhousing. Already have the aftermarket 50oz flexplate to make it all work together. I am concerned about the 302 potentially breaking ranger based t cases and the hybrid 35/44 front axle setup I already have in rig. Running 33 inch cut boggers/claws. 8.8 rear shouldnt be a concern. Anybody else run 302 power through the stock ranger based t case??
 
I am concerned about the 302 potentially breaking ranger based t cases and the hybrid 35/44 front axle setup I already have in rig. Running 33 inch cut boggers/claws. 8.8 rear shouldnt be a concern. Anybody else run 302 power through the stock ranger based t case??

Seems like this is more reason to keep the 4r70w and get 31 spline tcase.
 
I figured the really short wheelbase and narrow frame would be a serious obstacle to running the 4r70w and a full size case(other than a 205, and those suck ass for low range) I figured if the transfer case breakage becomes too rampant, an early Bronco C4/ dana 20 combo would make a sizable improvement. It is a beginners rig for him but he days eventually he wants to use tonner axles and ag tires in future. Will pretty much HAVE to do a transfer case improvement then.
 
The 4R70W would be a way better transmission than the C5 gearing wise (lower 1st gear and a high overdrive that will compensate for deep axle gears). I can understand running the C5 though if it won't be driven on the highway and you want to keep the BW1350/1354. The RBV Borg Warner cases are pretty stout for their size and will have no issue holding up to what you describe. The BW 1354 is a bit stronger than the BW 1350 and you don't have to worry about slip yoke versions. Either will hold up to more than your axles will.

As someone with a BW 1356 in a Bronco II, they don't really fit well and require some hacking to get everything to work. For what you are talking about, I'd run a BW 1354.

As for your original question, yes you can use the Explorer motor's EDIS and OBD II computer and harness without the 4R70W pretty easily; the computer will just need to be flashed for it. If you are considering running the 4R70W, the Explorer harness and computer is a pretty slick way to do it. The Explorer 5.0L swap is super popular on ClassicBroncos.com right now. There is a guy who goes by EFI Guy who specializes in the Explorer harness work and PCM flashing if you don't want to do it yourself, but he has posted a bunch of DIY information on Classic Broncos and Youtube if you want to tackle it yourself. I'd give you links, but I am posting from my phone and it is a pain in the ass to do. It should be pretty easy to find, but let me know if you are having trouble finding the information.
 
Good to know. I will root around over at classicbroncos and see what I can find.
 
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