Project Blue Ranger

5.0 AWD Ranger

The headers for this motor was a little difficult because the 98-01 Explorer motors have GT40P heads. Notice the "P". These heads have the spark plugs pointing out wards from the motor instead of angled. This means almost every header you find out there does not fit because they block access to the spark plugs.

For example I tried to install a set of 95 Mustang GT headers on my 2000 Explorer motor. Cylinders 4, 5, 6, and 7 were blocked.

Of all the V8 swap companies L&L was the only one that claimed to work with the P heads but it turned out they were mistaken. They did not fit.

Here's a few pictures of the L&L Headers bolted up to my motor.

I know it's hard to see 3d depth in pictures but above and below show cylinders 3 and 4 blocked.

Cylinders 5 and 6 are blocked too.

Another alternative was to try and use a set of 94-95 Mustang headers made by MAC that will work with P heads. This will require notching the frame on the passenger's side. The EGR location on these headers is in the stock position which is over cylinder 3. This is to far back and will interfier with the A/C box. I needed to weld the EGR bung into cylinder 2. However these headers are only available with a coating and not raw steel. This means I'd have to get them stripped, welded, and then recoated. I tried working with MAC to get a raw set of these headers but it didn't go anywhere so I moved on.

Next on my list was the Ford Racing headers made for the 302 Explorer.

Even though these are very strange looking headers they should flow much better than the factory Explorer manifolds that were on the motor.
Here's some comparison pictures.

Passenger's side.

Driver's side.

Notice the air flow difference at the flange. The Ford Racing headers don't have the header tubes pinched right at the flange.

Profile of passenger's side fit. They hug the motor quite nicely except for right at the collector which sticks out a little. I can see a little bit of clearance will have to be made to the A/C box but not much.

Notice the great spark plug access these headers give. Also see how they have the EGR bung in the middle of cylinder's 2 & 3 instead of all the way over on top of 3 like on the Mustangs. This is great because it will give me some clearance with the A/C box.

Driver's side profile. Once again very compact. These give you lots of clearance with the steering shaft.

Just like the passenger's side you have excellent spark plug access.

After researching the Jet-Hot coating product I decided I'm going to try it out. Car Craft did a test and found the Jet-Hot coated headers had a surface temperature of 201 degrees and the uncoated set were at 524 degrees F. Wow that's over 300 degrees cooler. Given how close the headers are to the A/C box and everything in general under the hood I'm going to try out this coating purely for its heat saving ability.