Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Sedgwick, Kansas
Before you change the engine, you really need to upgrade the rear axle. If your tires hook, and you're running a v8, you will find out why only the 6 cyl engines got 7" rear axles. Better to plan things ahead, and do the axle first. An 8" would be fine even for a pretty hot V8, unless you try running slicks.
Additionally, the slightly increased weight (and far improved power output) of a V8 will overstress your small 6 cyl front wheel bearings if you drive in a spirited fashion. If you change the spindles to fix that problem, then you'll need to change the tie rods, drag link, idler and Pitman arms as well.
The standard radiator for an I6 is inadequate for even a mild V8. You will need a good 3 row brass, or 2 row aluminum radiator.
In the interest of safety and reliabilty, I would really recommend you address these issues before you put in a V8.
Personally, I have not experienced any joy with crate engines. All that I have seen from mass producers have serious problems, despite their typical "line bored" ".030 bore, honed with torque plates" '100k mile' warranties, etc. My last one had trouble right from the start, and was barely past 5k miles - but showing serious bearing trouble, scuffed piston skirts when I was forced to tear it down after an engine fire (that was my fault). I would trust a junkyard '97-01 Explorer/Mountaineer motor far more, especially after a quick inspection and cylinder hone (if it's even needed).
Edit: DOH! Sounds like you nailed most of the important things I mentioned! Well done, Kidd. Carry on, sir! I still think you'd be a lot happier with a $300 junkyard 5.0 of any kind, Weiand Stealth intake, Summit M-series 500 CFM carb (or 600, if you intend to push things past 300 honest horsepower), cam upgrade, and spend the extra money on heads.
"No matter what you are, be the best one you can." -Abraham Lincoln
Last edited by Grimbrand; 06-12-2019 at 10:39 PM.