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Thread: Explorer/GT40 parts vs HO conversion

  1. #1
    Auburn Hills Fire Fighter Mr. Land Yacht's Avatar
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    Cool Explorer/GT40 parts vs HO conversion

    So I've been doing some research and I have some questions to put to you mangs.

    Let's talk about some of the benefits, differences and downsides of an HO conversion vs a GT40/Explorer conversion.

    On the one hand, a person can find all the parts to convert their lopo 5.0 to an H0 5.0 and have approximately 215 to 220 horsepower, depending on the condition of their motor, Ignition and exhaust set up, correct?

    Is moving over to the GT40/Explorer set up a step further? From what I've been seeing, the differences are that the heads of the GT40 style are much better flowing and from what I researched, just swapping the heads alone can change and ho horsepower rating of 220 up to anywhere between 240 to 260. A difference of 20 to 40 horsepower By just swapping GT40 cylinder heads onto an HO motor.

    The big questions for me are can you put the Explorer throttle body, EGR plate, upper and lower intake and the GT40 heads on and keep your engine speed density with 19 pound injectors, HO ECM and and ho Cam?
    Would the engine run smoothly with a set up like that?

    Can you put on the Explorer throttle body, EGR plate, upper and lower intake on to E7 heads and also keep your engine speed density with an HO Cam, HO ECM and 19 pound injectors?

    I appreciate any and all input on this, mangs.

    1989 Ford Crown Victoria
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  2. #2
    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    So the GT40 stuff does flow better than traditional HO stuff. The Explorer cam profile is a bit different than the HO cam profile, leaving the Explorer cam to better low and mid RPM power, as where the HO cam comes on above 1800 RPM.

    Moving onto the mix-n'-match setup, and from what I've seen around here, information has varied as to speed density playing nice with the the GT40 stuff, regardless of which components are being utilized. Some people have had their stuff run fine with SD, while others required the conversion to a MAF based system to get the GT40 stuff to work. The GT40 stuff does flow better than HO stuff, and with SD, everything is based on pre-determined air flow mapping, so more air moving through the system can screw with how SD responds. MAF systems are more accommodating to changes in airflow since they actually measure flow and can work more accordingly.


    I've been helping TecNickal slowly get a GT40 full engine from a '96 Explorer set in a '89 Colony Park, and we're going to see how it responds with a Mark VII speed density PCM, but with an expectation of having to convert the car to MAF setup. I'll use that as a baseline if this isn't thoroughly answered by the gurus around here.

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  3. #3
    Auburn Hills Fire Fighter Mr. Land Yacht's Avatar
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    Is it difficult or complicated to convert to MAF?

    1989 Ford Crown Victoria
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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    IIRC, its something like 6 pins that change. You've got to do a little re-pinning at the ECU to get the job done, but there's plenty of documentation that exists, especially from Mustang forums. Heck, several folks here are running MAF swapped cars.

    I think the biggest thing that would need to be adapted for '88+ cars going MAF is retaining cruise control, since the Mustangs did not utilize integrated ECU cruise. Mark VII ECUs after '88 used the integrated cruise like Panthers, but they were all speed density.

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  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Not a big deal, getting the ECM is the more difficult part. Prices are getting stupid. I converted mine. I think its actually 3 pins, but whatever. Still not many. The MAF has power, ground, signal, and return. Signal and return go to ECM pins. Power and ground splice into one of the other ECM feeds. There is a something on one of the ECM pins that has to move to another place so the MAF wire can go there. Forget specifics off the top of my head but guides exist for this.

    The possible gotcha here is that 88-91 cars use the ECM for cruise control. Officially, Mustang ECMs do not have cruise. If you don't care about cruise control, no problem. Its possible that the cruise function is there and will function if you have it connected up. 86VickyLX has a theory on that, but it hasn't been tested so far. Both of us have MAF converted cars, but all of them are 86 models which don't use ECM cruise.

    Explorer heads and intakes flow better. GT40P flow slightly better than GT40, but need specific headers that are getting hard to find now. Ford Racing used to make nice ones, but don't anymore. Explorer cam is like the stock cam, just more. Done by about 4600 rpm though. Its a good match for stock rear gear and converter, but if you change the gearing or the governor in the trans so the engine can wind out more, its just going to run out of steam. I ran one for years in my car.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    The possible gotcha here is that 88-91 cars use the ECM for cruise control. Officially, Mustang ECMs do not have cruise. If you don't care about cruise control, no problem. Its possible that the cruise function is there and will function if you have it connected up. 86VickyLX has a theory on that, but it hasn't been tested so far. Both of us have MAF converted cars, but all of them are 86 models which don't use ECM cruise.
    .
    Just as a sidebar, if one assumes that the Mustang ECM doesn't have the logic to operate the cruise control on an integrated car, couldn't one just get the servo and cruise module from an '86-'87 car make the whole thing go that way?

    Given it's standalone, I figure a few hours worth of work could bring it back looking over the wiring diagrams. Most of the labor is getting stuff from under the dash.

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    -1989 Sable LS Wagon (88,710 Miles) - Sold
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  7. #7
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    certainly, and thats the usual fix. The cruise control system is not very complicated.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    92-95? (non-OBD-II aeros) cruise control is standalone too and very similar (re: simple).

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    its the same system. My spare cruise module is out of a 92. I've tested it in the 86 and it works as expected.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  10. #10
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    Mass Air ECUs can be had cheap. $150 from Autozone with a warranty. I’m not paying $300 for a questionable 30yr old electronic item. I would definitely look into a fuel pump upgrade too. Years ago I had exploder heads, intake and 1.7 rockers and the stock fuel pump nosed over pretty hard just before 4000rpm.
    '85 CV coupe- 351W, T5-Z, FAST Ez-Efi, shorty headers, 2.5" duals with knock off flowmasters, 2.5" Impala tails, seriously worked GT-40 irons, Comp 265DEH cam, 1.7rr's, Mallory HyFire 6A, Taylor ThunderVolt 50 10.4mm wires, 75mm t/b, 3G alt swap, 140mph PI speedo, PI rear sway bar, '00 PI booster/MC, 95-97 front spindles, '99 front hub bearings/brakes, '92-'94 front upper control arms/ball-joints, 3.73's with rebuilt traction-lok, '09 PI rear disc swap, '96 Mustang GT wheels with 235/55R17's.

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    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodachrome Wolf View Post
    Just as a sidebar, if one assumes that the Mustang ECM doesn't have the logic to operate the cruise control on an integrated car, couldn't one just get the servo and cruise module from an '86-'87 car make the whole thing go that way?

    Given it's standalone, I figure a few hours worth of work could bring it back looking over the wiring diagrams. Most of the labor is getting stuff from under the dash.
    Yes, it's been done. I have information that may allow the Mustang ECU control cruise control. The hardware is there. It's basically a 90/91 California Mass air car. All you need to do is move the cruise wiring to the associated pins to see if it will work on it's own. If not, it's definitely enabled through tune.

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    That's good to know. I also have a spare Quarterhorse if someone needs one. Never used.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

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    GMN Regular clutch47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    I also have a spare Quarterhorse if someone needs one. Never used.
    I'd be interested in at least discussing this.
    With what I'm planning, I'm not sure I can get the D9S Mark VII ECU I have to get me where I need to be. My big problem is I can't do the fine work needed for soldering and re-pinning anymore. I shake a little and My eyes are jacked up from a stroke...but hey man we're still goin'!!!
    All FORD All The Time

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    Fastest Box In South Jersey 86VickyLX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutch47 View Post
    I'd be interested in at least discussing this.
    With what I'm planning, I'm not sure I can get the D9S Mark VII ECU I have to get me where I need to be. My big problem is I can't do the fine work needed for soldering and re-pinning anymore. I shake a little and My eyes are jacked up from a stroke...but hey man we're still goin'!!!
    Maybe we can work something out?

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    GMN Regular clutch47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 86VickyLX View Post
    Maybe we can work something out?
    I'd like that. I'm going to put it together with a wideband and see what happens. If I can't get it to a happy place with fuel pressure adjustments, I'll be in the market for sure.
    All FORD All The Time

  16. #16
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Just noted that D9S is supported by Quarterhorse with EEC Editor. Edit only, no datalogging. So a separate wideband on a gauge would be required.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

  17. #17
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    kinda have to do that anyway. The EEC-IV has no real ability to do wideband input, at least not on the early versions like 5.0 engines ran. Closest you can get is to sub the wideband for the EGR position sensor and look at it that way. The EEC can't actually use that data for anything, the only thing you can do is get it all spit out on one datastream. It uses that input because its the only analog sensor that isn't actually critical to engine operation.

    When John has done stuff on my car, the wideband just plugs into the computer and the tuning software just reads input from both the wideband and the Quarterhorse and puts it together on the screen. Drawing a blank on the software. Maybe Binary Editor?

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  18. #18
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    I located a 5.0 HO engine and it bolted up to the Transmission but I had to change the fireing order and the wireing harness, now I have no problems if you decide to go this route try and find a computer from a Lincolin Mark VII and install duel exaust good luck.

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    Soooo. would a holley terminator be better? Mustang bro's want $300-500 for harnesses and A9P/A9L set ups, Then you have a $600 tuner (quarterhorse, tweecer, etc) or dyno tune time.... so $1300, seems like a wash and you can control a 4r70w with it... https://www.summitracing.com/parts/hly-550-943

  20. #20
    bigger is better over2tonsofFun's Avatar
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    OR the FiTech is about a grand for the up to 400hp version. On any 5.0 from 84+ already has the fuel injection pump. About $200 for a new 4bbl intake. you are set.

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    89 Lincoln town car: RIP
    89 Crown Victoria LX 2002 USACi sound quality world champion RIP
    1990 Mercury Grand Marquis LS
    1994 Mercury Grand Marquis (sold)
    2004 Mercury Marauder. owned for a week then got screwed by the dealer

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