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Tips On Replacing a Ford Engine

Tips and Guidance for Engine Replacement in the F-150, Explorer, Ranger, Mustang and Expedition

MARCH 12, 2013 by POWERTRAIN PRO

Ford makes some of the most reliable engines in the world (as evidenced by the multiple awards the company has won in recent years), but eventually, engine replacement will be a necessity. Whether the vehicle in question is an F-150, a Ford Ranger, Explorer, Mustang or Expedition, the following tips will help ensure a smooth removal and installation process.

Lift the Vehicle

Whether you’re working on an F-150, Mustang, Ranger, Expedition or Explorer, the first thing to do is put the vehicle on a lift. You can use jack stands and an engine hoist if necessary, but it’s far easier to remove the old engine from the vehicle on a full lift.

Open the Hood

Once you’ve got the vehicle in the air a few inches (just enough to get the wheels off the floor), open the hood, then disconnect and remove the battery. Because the Ford Explorer, F-150, Mustang, Ranger and Expedition are all rear-wheel drive vehicles, you’ll have an easier time of things than if you were working on a front-wheel drive car.

Raise the vehicle and remove the two front wheels. Remove the mounting bolts holding the engine to the transmission. Lower the truck so you can reach under the hood. Take off the engine shroud if your model has one, and unplug all the electronics. Put a support under the engine and transmission, and then remove the engine mounts. You’ll also need to take care of the radiator, hoses and thermostat.

Pulling the Engine

In most instances, it’s necessary to pull the engine from above, although you can pull it from below if you have an engine jack and enough room to do the job. Remove the engine slowly and keep an eye out for any wires that haven’t been unplugged. If you meet resistance, double-check that there wasn’t a mounting bolt left in place as well.

Once you have the engine out of the truck, you’ll need to remove all the components that aren’t included in your replacement engine. In most instances, Ford F-150, Ranger, Mustang, Expedition and Explorer replacement engines come with just the basics (you get the engine itself and nothing much else). Remove the thermostat, alternator, starter and other components from the damaged engine, and install them on the replacement engine. Finally, you’ll need to reinstall the replacement engine in the reverse order of the above. In most instances, pulling the engine from your F-150, Ranger, Expedition, Mustang or Explorer should take about a day’s worth of work, but it might be longer depending on your situation.