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5.0 LUNG TRANSPLANT:Explorer Intake Installation
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The Explorer lower intake (right) is the same piece as the Cobra and GT40 lower, sharing the staggered round runners. Due to their inline configuration, the stock runners have smaller cross-sections, and move less volume. Only 1995-1996 Explorer intakes have EGR passages, so keep this in mind if you need to pass smog requirements. The throttle body opening on the Explorer upper measures nearly 65mm in diameter, whereas the stock intake is about 60mm.
Another view of the throttle body openings on both the stock and Explorer intakes. Also notice the oval EGR hole below the throttle body opening. Later Explorer intakes do not have this. The stock studs, throttle body and EGR spacer transfer right over. Explorers came with a 65mm throttle body which can be made to work with some modifications to the throttle plate linkage. The vacuum line configuration is slightly different under the Explorer intake. We had to cap a couple extra ports, and lengthen one vacuum hose in the engine compartment. It's all self explanatory when you get the intake on the motor.
Explorer lowers do not come with pre-drilled holes for the ACT sensor or the EGR coolant return hose fitting. The ACT sensor can be drilled with a 37/64" drill, and tapped with a 3/8-18 NPT tap. The arrow shows where we drilled and tapped for the EGR coolant return fitting. We simply took the stock fitting to the hardware store and matched it to the correct tap size. The ACT sensor is transferred over from the stock intake to the Explorer lower.
Before permanently bolting down the lower intake, we wanted to check for port alignment between the intake and heads. This can be done two ways, you can use a coat hanger or stiff wire with a little hook on the end and simple feel for any mismatch between the roof, floor, and walls. The other way is to mark the position of the intake relative to the head, as shown here... ...then measure the distance from the mark to the edge of the port on the head. Also measure the intake in the same way. These distances should be equal. If they are not, you can correct the problem by either milling whichever component is sitting higher, or by slightly porting the component that is sitting lower. The Explorer intake and Holley head mated up perfectly. The Fel Pro 1250 intake gaskets were set in place, using a light bead of RTV sealer between the gasket and water passages. Always use a thick bead of silicone rather than the cork end seals.
Other than drilling for the two holes, the Explorer lower is a direct bolt on. The stock 5.0 injectors and rails bolt right up. The upper intake is set into place. We needed to make a trip to the hardware store to get two longer bolts for each end of the intake. We also had to lengthen the vacuum hose from the charcoal canister, and connect the EGR pressure sensor vacuum line using a "t" connector. The Explorer intake looks like a hybrid between a GT40 upper and Cobra lower. The increased plenum volume should meet the air demands of the better breathing Holley heads.
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