05-01-2019, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2016
Depends on your skill set, amount of free time and the acceptable downtime, what "too much trouble" is.
First it would have been nice if you had mentioned which engine you have.
Second why is this in the performance tuning section since it has nothing to do with that?
In 2001 they still had the 4.0L SOHC V6 engine or the pushrod V8 engine. The V8 is less problematic and you can find donors in not just the Explorers but also Mustangs or Impalas.. I am less sure of Impalas, if there is little enough difference.
Anyway let's say you have the V6 SOHC. What is wrong with it? The most common fault is a timing chain problem, where if you swap it out before it outright fails you can just put a new chain and cassettes/guides on, but if you had an unfortunate failure where being an interference engine it bent the valves/etc, you can just swap another V6 SOHC in but put a new timing chain and cassettes on the replacement before installing it.
Anything else is much trouble. The wiring harness and ECM are for the engine in it, and the tranny for a V6 SOHC is different than for the V8 5.0L.
SO, it's not an excessive amount of trouble nor hard to find the V6 SOHC engine so I wonder how much trouble you're trying to make it out to be?
I get that you don't want to spend $$$$ to put an engine in if it won't last long term but with the new timing chain and cassette it should last as long as the original did, given the same miles/maintenance (oil changes) and environment which if it is now 18 years old, would mean another 18 years is not a bad run if it doesn't die from some other issue before then, the same as it could from swapping in any other used engine.
I do feel for you that a rebuilt engine is worth more than the vehicle bluebook. This is the time to decide if you're in it for the long haul, how long you'll keep it if it isn't totaled by some texting teenager who wasn't paying attention.
This is not so different a situation from what classic car owners face where if the difference in bluebook and reality is wide enough, they talk with their insurance agent to insure it for more than the bluebook value.
The real question is if you are happy with it otherwise. You can add up the engine and vehicle value, come up with a number and look at what you could replace it with instead.
Considering you don't get much snow in AL, that might be a fair strategy, to be patient if you can and jump on a listing for a V8 Explorer which doesn't have the timing chain issues and the tranny is a bit more robust too.
Then again, frankly I think this generation of vehicle handles terribly. The newer generations with coil over struts and independent rear suspension handle SO SO much better, but at the same time, are more expensive to repair and then all have an SOHC engine that isn't as long lasting as the good ole pushrod V8 was.
What I would do if I were you is take a good hard look at what is wrong with the vehicle, things that need repaired and your motivation vs cost to do so and especially inspect it for rust. If there is a low amount of rust, I would consider putting as much into it for a rebuilt engine as it's worth, but again if it's the SOHC engine, make sure it has a new timing chain and cassettes and tensioners.
Please post your vehicle year/model/engine/(n)WD in help topics.
'98 Explorer XLT 4L SOHC 4WD
'14 Explorer XLT 3.5L NA AWD