Originally Posted by Coleosis85
What year explorer should I do?
The 'best' Explorer V8 match for a 95 Ranger would be a 96~97 because those years have the combination of a compatible fuel system and no PATS. Not plug and play but very good.
A 98 Ex engine/PCM in a 95 Ranger would need extra work for the PATS.
A 99~2001 Ex engine/PCM could be used but would need mods for the returnless fuel system and PATS.
It is possible to use a 2WD 4R70W Explorer transmission with the engine from an AWD 5.0 but be sure to look for a matching trans year to maintain compatibilty with the engine/PCM year. The 4R70W was going through an evoluton during this period and the computer controls vary somewhat.
97 and earlier Rangers like yours have decent aftermarket support for bolt-in V8 headers and motor mounts
Keep shopping around. It took a while but I found a good Ex 5.0 for $314 and an automatic for $99, both on eBay. Also, remember that the rest of the stuff needed for the swap will usually add up to more (maybe a lot more) than the cost of the major assemblies. Plan a generous budget for time and money ... then double both.