Get a V8! No, I'm just kidding. The best thing to do is start with the basics. An engine is simply an air pump, so the more efficiently you can get air in and out of the engine the better. Free up the intake with a conical filter/cold air setup and replace your exhaust with a less restrictive aftermarket system. A higher flow mass air meter might be another option but I doubt you would get much gain for the money spent.
Next you could add a chip to modify the ignition timing, fuel curves and shift programs. This will allow your engine to more efficiently utilize the previous mods. Beyond this the next easiest steps would be to reduce sources of parasitic loss. Switch to an electric fan to free up some hp/mileage robbing drag caused by the factory clutch fan. Try to eliminate any unnecessary weight. Weight is horsepower, although you will be hard pressed to make any real difference unless you gut the thing.
If you have the money, superchargers/nitrous are valid options each having advantages/disadvantages that I won't get into here. Cost and or complexity come into play real quick in this category.
Avoid gimmick items like throttle body spacers and those tornado things!
Best advice is be patient. Ask lots of questions and find out what others are using and having success with. More often than not there's a "recipe" of parts that just works for a certain engine. In some cases it may be just whats available (big problem with Explorers) or it may come down to just being the better part. After awhile you will hear the same brands being mentioned over and over and you will learn real quick what the popular choices are when it comes to tweaking an Explorer.
i just recently added a volant air intake and what a difference that makes already.. i am now looking for an exaust system, and i found one i liked.. its a gibson swept side. i just dont wana get somethign to loud. i want soemthign with soem sound but not a rice burner...
I definately think you should get a Gibson swept side. I've heard great things about them and I want one myself. Unfortunately, you just missed out on a Group Buy on Ford Truck World and SUV World. If I would have known you were looking to buy, I would have told you about it. Anyway, IMO the Gibson is a good choice.
I currently have just a Flowmaster 50 series with a 3" exit...would it be my time and money to get a Gibson swept side? I do like the sound my Explorer puts out now a lot, sometimes I wish it would be louder, but I'd rather have performance than sound (plus less sound = low profile)
Gibson. It's designed more for your truck, it's a complete bolt on kit, and from what they say on their site, it is more performance than "sound."
If you want an exhaust that is as loud as mine, then I guess it would make sense to get a Flowmaster. The muffler cost $75 + shipping, and then $100 for installation. If I had to do it all over again I wouldnt have gotten a 3" exit, but instead a 2.5" exit and also I would've had a tip welded on at the end. I don't have a tip and it sucks not having one :|
Yeah thats the kit you IM'd me about before. That's definitely a sweet setup. I think once I get other stuff done to my truck (rims, etc.) I think I'll get one of these to replace my exhaust setup now. Gibson is preferred over Flowmaster amongst a lot of performance oriented Explorer owners for a variety of reasons, mainly because some people think that Flows put out a "ricey" sound, which I dont understand at all...my exhaust is really broken in now of course and it definitely sounds like a V8 at low revs and idling...when it really kicks into high gear it sounds sweet as well.
Today I had a guy on a Harley give me the thumbs up as I hit the accelerator as soon as the light turned green...
It does have a nice deep sound and it made my 91X 4.0 sound almost like a v8 5.0. It was around $400 for the cat back system but this was several years ago. I'll see if I can get a updated price if you want.