I have some questions on doing an engine swap myself (replacing a blown engine). First, I'll set up the scenario;
I want to thank all that contributed to my previous post asking what year 5.4's will fit my 2000 Expedition.
The head gasket in my 2000 Eddie Bauer Expedition went at 145,000 miles. Because of all the labor involved, my mechanic wanted $3500 to do the repairs. Way above my budget (especially when weighed against the vehicle Blue book value), so I decided to look for a used replacement engine and do the swap myself. Once finished our Expedition will no longer be our daily driver as we now have an economy sedan for daily use. The Expedition will serve as our family tow vehicle to tow our 4500 lb., 25' travel trailer (local within 100 miles) 6-8 times a year and a few stray trips to Home Depot. My Expedition has tow package, air leveling. Expect to drive it only 2,000 miles a year.
I found a guy with a 2000 Expedition with a 5.4 with 85,000 miles. Drove the truck, Engine looks/runs great! Bought the complete engine for $800. He's stripping his Expedition down to a shell/roller, only keeping the chassis and body shell as he's turning it into a pre-runner style race truck.
I have his (complete and running) Expedition sitting next to mine in my driveway. Once the engine is pulled, he'll stop by with his trailer and tow the roller away.
I'm not a pro/contemporary mechanic, so I'm not familiar with computers, fuel injection, etc. I'm an old school enthusiast who's built up my share of 55 Chevy's, Chevelle's, Mustangs, etc. from the ground-up including engine builds.
I have a pretty fair shop, tool wise with air tools, and an A frame/chain hoist for engine pulling. Just looks like I'm in for a lot of labor over a couple of weekends to pull off the switcheroo.
Is there an online download of 2000 Expedition shop manual, (I only need the engine pull section)? If not, can I make the swap w/o buying a shop manual?
What's my chain/strap attachment points for the 5.4 lift, as I don't see any hooks on the engine? Can I use my nylon straps to cradle the engine, so I don't have to pull bolts for chain attachment? I was told to thread them through the exhaust manifolds-under the engine.
Other than running pre-flush through the cooling system and tagging all the connections, is there any other preliminaries prior to pulling donor engine, such as a proper method to unplugging the electrical harness (computer scares me)?
Looks as though top trans-to-engine bolts under firewall/floorboard will be a challenge. 3 foot socket extension with swivel the trick here?
Any way to keep my A/C system charged during the swap? Was looking to pull the A/C compressor away from the engine and leave lines attached to the condenser/system. Otherwise, the engine will get pulled with all it's accessories (fan to flexplate)-unless there's something else that should be pulled free from the engine?
Other than typical fluid and filter change, what types of preventative maintenance should I do to the 85,000 mile donor motor while it's out of the vehicle and easy to work on??? My 145,000 mile engine had a tune up at 140,000 with new plugs and boots. Should I swap them over to the 85,000 mile engine? New belt will go on. Any nickel and dime stuff that is impossible to get at when engine is back in car? What about oil or water temp. sending units? Should I mess with 85,000 mile exhaust manifold gaskets, water pump, etc?
Any minor (cheap) horsepower mods while the engine is out? This is a tow vehicle, so every little bit of power helps as I'm in So. Ca. and tow up to elevations of 4500'. Is an underdrive pulley worth the effort/money?
Should I keep the original radiator (flushed at 135,000 miles) or swap in the 85,000 mile radiator?
The donor vehicle is exact to mine with the exception of being a 4x4. Will the donor flexplate fit my automatic?
Should I keep the donor torque converter, or stick with my torque converter (my trans was fluid serviced at 140,000 miles)?
Guessing the toughest part of install will be mating the engine back to the trans. Any tips here?
Any pre-first start up procedures? Will fuel injection fire after swap or does it need some special attention? What about computer type stuff; should I expect to see service engine light and need to get codes read/cleared after start-up?
Thanks in advance for all your help. I'll report back with news of how it's going!
Pull the intake to remove the upper transmission bolts. With the intake out of the way you can use a chain to pull the motor. You will need to keep the chain as low as possible to clear the upper firewall. The starter bolts will be a PITA to get out. When installing the engine, leave the motor mounts off. Bolt the engine & tranny together, then put the motor mounts on. This will save you several hours of aggrevation. This is hardest changeout I have ever done.
Thanks for the reply. The idea of leaving the engine mounts free is a great tip!
I'd rather not pull the intake if at all possible as it just adds more work to an already labor intensive job. Is there any other attachment point on a 5.4 for chain or straps?
I'm contemplating pulling the engine with the trans attached, bolting up my trans to the replacement engine on the floor, then dropping them both in as a unit. This would be extra work, but doesn't look to be as much work as lining up and bolting the engine to the trans while in the truck (which looks to be a Bear!).
Anyone have any tips? I really need some help here.
Removing the intake is not so bad. You still have to remove the fuel injector wires, possibly coil packs to get everything out. Removing the intake is pretty simple. If you do not remove the intake, it will be hard to keep the motor from hitting the upper firewall when removing. I was talking to a Ford mechanic, & he said on the F150 it was easier to remove the cab to pull the motor. That probably wouldn't help you any. It will be very hard removing the motor either way.