This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to modifiy an Intake Manifold Cover from a Ford Explorer and install it onto a 4.0 SOHC Ranger. This is aver simple project and it greatly enhances the underhood appearance of any 4.0L Ranger. This could probably be installed on other engines also with some further modifications to the cover and mounting brackets.
1) Intake Manifold Cover from an Explorer-I'm not positive on the years that had these, but I think it was '01-'04.
2) Some flat stock-I used 1/8"x1/2" aluminum, but steel would also work.
3) Miscellaneous machine screws, nuts, and washers. I used 10-24 (3/16) in various lengths. I always use stainless for this kind of stuff, because it looks good and wont rust.
1) Bench Vise, Dremel Rotary Tool with cut-off wheel, misc round files, 4-way rasp, sandpaper, drill and drill bits, hacksaw, masking tape.
HERE WE GO!!
This is what the Expo Intake Cover looks like--I picked mine up at a Junk Yard for $10. You'll probably have to just wander around and open hoods until you find one.
There is some minor trimming that needs to be done on the cover--there are a couple of reinforcing ribs that need to be removed, and there are a few ares that need clearancing. Areas that need to be cut are marked with blue tape. This will be trial and error to get the fit right. This was the second one that I've done, so i used the original as a guide-More to come on the original later.
This picture shows the reinforcement that needs to be trimmed-just whack it off about flush. Also shows minor trimming needed around throttle body opening.
This area needs to be opened-up a little bit for the throttle cable.
These posts need to be trimmed so they are about 1/4" tall.
Basic trimming done. I used a combination of the Dremel, rasp, round file, and sandpaper to get the desired shape and finish.
This next part is completely optional, but I do it for two reasons-it looks a little more interesting, and it also is somewhat functional-it allows some heat to escape from the intake manifold area. When I originally did this last summer, I noticed how hot the intake manifold had gotten, so I figure this would allow the heat to dissipate a little better.
I used the ribbed area a guide for trimming.
Lay out some masking tape as a guide, and trim carefully. Don't trim right to the tape, leave yourself some material to sneak-up to the tape and get a nice finish.
I used a piece of plastic mesh that I had laying around (I think it was "Gutter Guard") to fill-in the opening. I used some silicone to hold it in place. The tape is just to hold it until the silicone sets-up.
I took a piece of leftover flat stock and cut a piece to use as a backer/reinforcement for the mesh. I cut it long enough to use this hole...
...and then drilled another hole just above the 4.0L SOHC emblem. Paint it flat black and it will disappear.
The most time consuming and "fiddly" part of this mod is fabbing the brackets.
For the front two, I bent the into "Z"s with about 1/2" rise between the horizontal legs. Agian--trial and error on these, keep messing with them until you get them right. I mounted mine using the screws that held the original intake cover on.
For the back braces, I used a couple of longer pieces of flat stock, bent as neccessary for clearance and "tied" the together at the rear near the firewall. You can kind of make them out in this pic--as you can tell, once they have a coat of Rustoleum Spray-on Bedliner on them, they disappear.
I mounted them using the front intake manifold bolt on the passenger side and the second bolt on the driver's side.
This is the cover installed--I call this "Daily Driver Mode":
This one goes on once I get to the Car Show:
In case you're wondering: "Reaper" graphic by Atlanta Hydroimaging.
This a great mod that is well worth the effort---I received many positive comments about it a car shows last year, and with the addition of the totally bad-ass graphics from A.H.I., they will surely continue.
I'm done here--Now get out there and get one on your heap!