Originally Posted by Gearhead61
Which year would be easier to swap a V8 into? That sounds like something he might want to do and something to take into consideration.
From a space point of view, it's easier to swap most small blocks into a 97-back. There's better clearance for headers and the oil pan. Several manufacturers make conversion parts and there is a good knowledge base for the swap.
For 98+, it's still possible but the specially-adapted Explorer 5.0L is the only version that works well with the newer Ranger frame and suspension X-member. The exhaust clearance is really poor in 98+ with a 5.0L and requires the stock Ex manifolds (poor flow) or Explorer-specific headers (expensive).