Anybody know what hits when using a basic mustang shorty? Frame, steering shaft, heater box?
On a stock 98+ Ranger, Mustang shorties would hit the frame rail and upper A-arm on the right side. Not even close to fitting. On the left side, there is almost certainly an interference with the steering shaft. If you chopped off the A-arm mounts for the SAS, that will open up some room but the frame rail and steering shaft are probably still in the way.
The spark plug angle is an issue with most headers if you use the GT40P heads from the 97 1/4 thru 2001 Explorer 5.0. Torque Monsters will clear the unique angle of the GT40P plugs/boots. TM's also work with other production Ford 5.0 heads and most accessory heads meant for 5.0 apps.
Torque Monsters really are the best solution and you can get a discount of around $100 if you join Explorer Forum. That still makes them fairly expensive but they are very well made, ceramic coated and they fit the 98+ engine compartment perfectly.
yeah in your situation I would would say the spark plugs would be the only thing. Besides that issue I'm sure you could buy some standard 5.0 headers and cut and re-weld for some special angles to get around a few things etc. But like Bob said they are spendy for a reason, but mainly for stock guys like us. I'm probably going to fork out the dollars for some TM's myself, just for ease of install and they perform very well for our special fit.
compare them to a custom header made by a shop, and they are about half as expensive, trust me. I got some crazy quotes