I purchased a complete Cobra intake in 2015, paid 450.00 for it. They are getting very expensive and I think collectible. I went to a boneyard in St. LouisBecause life is what it is, here's my update...
Both the seller of the Cobra upper (decided he didn't want to ship) and the Explorer lower (swears he couldn't confirm the sale) backed out. So did another seller with a lower (shipping again).
I went to my local PicknPull when they had a 97 Explorer show up. Pulled the intake (major pain, starting with the a closed hood and broken hood latch. I got the intake. I wanted the heads but was pretty tired of being there. Decided to only pull them if they were 3-bar (only early 97s). Removed enough stuff to find that they were. So, I went back to work, but was stopped by a frozen head bolt. I might go back tomorrow with a longer wrench and renewed spirit.
I know AutoZone has "rebuilt" heads for $240 each (+ $100 core), so, $680 a pair rebuilt. Time and aggravation to pull, $140 to PicknPull, and $??? to a machine shop to clean and recondition the heads, and now I'm wondering about the best path forward, or the cheapest way to get a decent set of aluminum heads.
Oh, I go the throttle body off the Explorer. Do I understand correctly that it is 65mm and a step up? Anything I need to know there?
and found a couple of Explorers and got 2 pair of 4 bar GT-40Ps for 160.00 and yanked the 2 intakes for 60.00 as well.. I cleaned up and painted 1 intake and sold it on the ebay for 225.00. That paid for the parts. I cleaned up 1 set of heads and did a slight DIY port on them. Purchased a .540 spring kit from Alex's in California and had a machine shop that needed the work check them and do a basic valve job and shave off .010? and they installed the kit all for 200.00 out the door. Those went on my 95 GT vert. It has a mild Comp Cams stage 1 .512 lift on 1:6 rockers and I'm happy with it.
If you can find the Explorer heads and intakes in a yard, snap them up. It took me a whole day to pull the parts but was worth it. I still have 1 set of the P heads and Explorer intake in my shed in hopes I can score an old Fox body someday. The TB can be made to work but has to be flipped over and some other fabbing has to be done, I purchased a 70mm TB and called it done.