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1997 Ford Explorer - V8 - 5.0 - AWD

Discussion in 'Elite Explorer Registry' started by Spudhut, November 21, 2017.

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    Should I pick this up?

    Poll closed January 4, 2018.
    1. Yes

      6 vote(s)
      100.0%
    2. No - Its junk

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    1. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
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      KG5SPB
      Alright! I went to the JY on my lunch break and picked up 2 senders - Ill keep you posted on what I find out.
       
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    3. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Location:
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      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
      Callsign:
      KG5SPB
      I installed the 'new' units and ....NOTHING! I cant imagine both were bad. I did a resistance check on them after it warmed up. I was seeing 2.85k ohms on the meter (set at 20k ohms). The gauge still registers to hot when grounded.... Either the sending unit is not grounding properly or .... hmmm. My next check to to verify the wire from the sender has continuity back to the gauge cluster....I'm betting its good.

      Does anyone know if the gauge is 'swappable' like the older style or is it integrated in the cluster as one piece on the circuit board?

      Anyone else want to chime in? @CDW6212R ??? I have read multiple threads and they swing from replacing the thermostat (not sure how this would do anything) to replacing both sensors. I'm not sure or clear on the fact that the PCM sensor has any affect on the gauge operation itself.

      I'm not opposed to putting in an aftermarket gauge - I planned on fabricating a pillar gauge/switch holder in the future anyways.

      Thanks!
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I'd suspect the gauge itself too. It seems that you've checked just about everything else.

      The gauges are pressed into place in three pieces in these clusters. The middle section is the speedo/tach, and the two side parts are for those pairs of gauges. The faces differ in various models, but I think any 2nd gen temp gauge will swap directly into your cluster.

      You just remove the cluster, then the several screws around the edges, take the cover off, and gently pull the gauge sections out. They all have steel pins, sharp and pointed, which engage into small holes in the cluster housing. The three sets overlap slightly, I forget which has to come out first. It's very easy to figure out and do. The only thing to watch for is to not touch the fragile gauge needles.
       
    5. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Just a stupid question, but, have you checked all fuses? there are at least 3 protecting the cluster IIRC.
       
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    6. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Callsign:
      KG5SPB
      Not a stupid question - I was not aware of this. Thanks!
       
    7. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      This should be close
      Interior fuse panel (mini fuses)

      1=7.5A Power mirror switch
      2=7.5A Blower motor relay,PAD module,Air Bag diagnostic monitor
      3=7.5A Trailer tow connector
      4=10A Left headlamp
      5=10A Data link connector (DLC)
      6=7.5A Air bag diagnostic monitor, Blower motor relay, Passive deactivation Module (PAD)
      7=7.5A Trailer Tow connector
      8=10A Right headlamp, Daytime running lamps (DRL) module, Foglight relay
      9=7.5A Stop Lamp switch
      10= 7.5A Speed control-amplifier assembly,Brake pressure switch, Generic electronoc Module (GEM)
      Shift lock actuator, Blend door actuator, Main light switch, RABS resistor, A/C heater assembly
      Flasher
      11= 7.5A Instrument cluster, Main light switch, RABS resistor
      12= 10A Power window relay, Washer pump relay
      13= 20A Stop lamp switch, Brake pressure switch
      14= 20A Rear Anti Lock Brake system (RABS) module
      **10A 4WABS module**

      15=7.5A Instrument cluster
      16= 30A Windshield wiper Motor, Wiper Hi-lo relay, wiper run/park relay
      17=7.5A Cig lighter
      18=15A Drivers unlock relay-All unlock relay
      19=25A PCM power diode
      20=7.5A RAP module GEM module, Radio
      21=15A Flasher (hazard)
      22=20A Aux power socket
      23=15A Turn signals
      24===not used
      25= 7.5A GEM module, Instrument cluster
      26= 10A Battery saver relay, Electronic Shift relay, Interior lamp relay
      Power window relay,Electronic shift control module, transmission control
      27=15A Switch,DRL, Backup lamp switch, DTR sensor,Instrument illumination dimming control module
      Dome/map lamp, GEM,electronic shift,Interior lights,Glove box lamp and switch
      28=7.5A GEM module-Radio
      29= 15A Radio
      30=15A Park lamps, trailer Tow relay
      31===not used
      32=10A rear blower
      33=15A Headlamps, DRL module, Instrument cluster
      34=7.5A Rear integrated control panel, CD
      35=10A RABS test connector
      36=7.5A CD, rear integrated control panel, memory seat, Message center
       
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    8. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Location:
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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
      Callsign:
      KG5SPB
      So I thought I would swap out the temp gauge to see if that might be the culprit. I checked my fuses and they were all in good order.

      I went to the local JY to pick a couple gauges from a few of the Ex's available and it would give me an idea what to expect when I remove and disassembly my own for the swap.

      Removing the cluster was very simple; I don't think I need to get into that. The only one thing that I would mention is to be careful of the shift indicator cable. Carefully remove the indicator by releasing the 2 plastic spring tabs holding it in and slide it out.

      Here is a picture of the original cluster on my welding bench:
      [​IMG]

      To access the inside of the clear cover, you have to remove the gold screws. The clear plastic cover will remove easily. Note the shift indicator has been removed and is still in the Explorer attached to shift indicator cable.

      I did find a 2001-2003 Sport at the JY, and it had a grey silver insert that I liked. Since my interior was grey and 'custom' is what I like - It was cheap...what the heck right?
      [​IMG]

      Here is a quick shot of the back side of the gauge cluster. I noted a few important things about it. The black bulb holders are for the overall illumination. The small Tan bulb holders are for system indicators like your check engine light or turn signal devices. Interestingly, the back side is completely labeled 'for dummies'. I like it.

      I will also note the metal tabs that 'grip' the gauge prongs to keep it in place. Note the Temp and Fuel gauge locations.
      [​IMG]

      The front of gauge cluster with clear cover removed. To remove gauge clusters, you can see the 3 parts. Temp/Fuel - Speedometer - Oil/Voltage. Pull up on the corner of each cluster and they pop right out.
      [​IMG]

      Here is a shot of the inside of the cluster with the Temp/Fuel removed. Note the pin holes for each gauge. I'm using small LED bulbs for my cluster illumination. Night and bright and works well with dimmer. I picked these up cheap from Geek.com...I paid $1 i believe.
      [​IMG]

      With the Temp/Fuel removed, here is the backside - Note pins again. These hold the complete unit in place.
      [​IMG]

      I removed the needle and temp gauge from the panel -
      [​IMG]

      Here is a picture of the 'new' panel and original from my Explorer. I dated each one. You can see the indicator differences. I did not know this until I put a flashlight behind to look at the indicators...Lesson learned. Also, note the part numbers from Ford for the gauges required. They are different. I hope they are not year specific.
      [​IMG]

      I liked the orange needles - so I grabbed a few to swap them in. My 1997 had white indicators.
      [​IMG]
       
    9. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Callsign:
      KG5SPB
      Here is the finished product - 'New' temp gauge installed and I swapped a few of the needles in.
      [​IMG]

      On a scale from 1-10 for removal and installation difficulty - Id give it a 2-3.

      Just take your time and be careful. Watch out for the shift indicator cable...very fragile.

      The needles were on tight, I just lightly tugged straight up from each gauge. The needle is very small, don't want to bend them.

      Lastly - I was going to swap this white faced shift indicator in, but it illuminated GREEN. If anyone needs one - Ill be happy to send it to them. Note the 2 small plastic spring tabs on the bottom.
      [​IMG]
       
    10. WhiteLX

      WhiteLX New Member

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      I didn't see it, but I take it the gauge now works after swapping the internals?
       
    11. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Location:
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      I dont know yet. I pulled the intake plenum off to clean out the acorns that were packed around the fuel injectors. As soon as I get the new PCV hose kit and plenum installed, Ill be able to fire it up and check it.

      I did turn on the system and all the gauges seem to function in the 'on' position. The temp gauge did power up...that's all I know at this point. I will keep everyone posted.
       
    12. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Good work, the internal differences make swapping some parts interesting, like the movement of indicator labeling. I swapped around some 96/96 parts into my 98, to fix my speedometer, and change to blue. It didn't light up quite as I wanted, so it needs another try.
       
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    13. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      @CDW6212R - mine was dim as well. As soon as I put the LED’s in...a world of difference. A nice bright blue
       
    14. FijiBill

      FijiBill New Member

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      I noticed the 20 ohm resistor is missing from the circuit board and integrated into your 97 oil pressure gauge.

      Has anyone swapped a pre-97 oil gauge to a 97+ panel (along with the analog sender) to get a real pressure reading?
       
    15. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I have read that here someone has done it. They didn't specify what all they changed, besides the older large pressure sensor.

      Please post exactly how that works if you do it. That's also something I plan to do for my trucks.

      I like the later sensor to trigger my headlights. I did that with my 99 work truck in 2006, ran that same oil pressure wire to my automatic headlight circuit. My lights come on when the engine is running, in any light. I want to alter that some, I want to separate the interior lights dimming from that trigger circuit, use the light sensor for that, plus use a real oil pressure sensor too.
       
    16. Ford_Racing_Guy

      Ford_Racing_Guy Well-Known Member

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      nice ride, I'm a big fan of the 5.0 Explorers, I have a 98 myself and i just picked up a 97 for 900 bucks and i'm going through it as we speak.


      My 98 has a been a pretty reliable rig but as more of the body is getting rusty and falling off I'd like to have another one thats decent to drive around.


      Sounds like you've got a laundry list as do I, but when you get done you should have a pretty sweet running ride.
       
    17. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      @Ford_Racing_Guy - Thanks.

      Having owned a Hot Rod Shop for 15 yrs, It's in my blood to ensure everything is in top working order. I enjoy troubleshooting - even though it can be frustrating at times.

      If I can add a personal 'custom' twist and help/show others in the process; makes me happy. I hope the things I'm doing encourages others to dig in and do things to enjoy their vehicles even more...and save a few bucks.

      I'd say overall, this rig is pretty solid. I will be doing a spring over the axle and straight axle swap as well (this will be a long thread eventually).

      This Forum has been very good in the information it has in its 'memory banks' and I hope my efforts give back the same.

      You don't see custom Ex's on the road...I cant wait to take it out and show up a Jeep or two. :)
       
    18. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Location:
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      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
      Callsign:
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      A quick update on progress:

      I pulled the plenum because there was a huge squirrels nest on top of all the injectors. Acorns and dirt. I could not get a vacuum in to clean it up.

      I decided to also replace the PCV hoses and valve since it was the best time to do this. I could not find a factory kit local so I opt'ed to replace the hoses the best way I could .

      Cleaned up around the injectors, checked wires....wow...lots of room to do things.

      Got it all together, Fired it up.

      One minor issue. (its been doing this since I got it) It takes a little bit to get it started/running. it 'sucks & stumbles' a little until it 'catches on'. Once its running, it idles just fine. After its running a bit, it starts up good. I have been guessing that I need to change the ICV valve. I did clean it, but no changes since. (I'll post a YT of it starting)

      I did get a CEL on the dash - P1049 code flashed. EGR Vacuum regulator failure. It was very odd considering all I did was unplug it from the harness. I checked the forums and found some fixes, but nothing worked. Fuses were good, vacuum lines were good and there was adequate vacuum. Later in the day, I disconnected the battery for a few min, fired it up...CEL went away.

      Update on Temp Gauge issue: This is still not working. UGH! I may just put a mechanical gauge in, but Im not giving up the fight. However, when I was checking my CEL - I did get a P0118 - Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit High Input code, only when doing a 'continuous test' from my OBD2 reader, but it was not logged with the one mentioned above when checking CEL codes. Odd. I'm looking into this. Anyone have any feedback on this code/fix?
       
    19. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That new code is probably related to the gauge issue. It sounds like time to start tracing wires, check continuity etc, with the PCM disconnected(don't test probe the PCM pins at all).
       
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    20. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      As always - Thanks @CDW6212R !!

      Anyone use the OBDLinks MX Bluetooth Device for OBD2 readings?

      I have an Innova hand held - but its been with me many years and is a great tool...but having something a little updated would be nice to have.
       
    21. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      There's another active thread talking about the Forscan software and device to read and do more than simple scanners. I'm watching it, but I don't know anything about the new devices available.
       
    22. WhiteLX

      WhiteLX New Member

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      I am using the wired OBDlink SX with Forscan and it works just fine.
       
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    23. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Location:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
      Callsign:
      KG5SPB
      Quick update - still working on this beast!

      I went to local JY and picked up power window regulator for the passenger front side. I'm happy to report, all original issues have now been fixed :cool: - (except the temp guage...)

      I picked up a BAFX Bluetooth OBDII adapter and downloaded ForeScan. Great App. No major DTC's. Looks like the reader is picking up good engine temp numbers in the PCM, but not registering on gauge. Showing P0118 - Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit High Input code as well. Its great to see all the PIP's in action, including everything associated with the trans. No misfires and no reoccurring DTC's.

      Placed an order for all the parts needed for SAS [springs, brackets and heims - Big thanks to @Bigred89 for the help] and SOA today. 33x12.5x15 tires and wheels to be ordered in weeks to come...

      May start on 4406 swap to get that out of the way till the suspension parts get to my house.

      Stay Tuned!
       
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    24. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Sounds like fun, good progress. Spring will be coming truly in a few weeks. BTW, most of us gain an hour of daylight starting this Sunday. I love daylight savings time, and hate the Winter "let's make it get dark early" time schedule.
       
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    25. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Got to keep it lively! :)
       
    26. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Location:
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      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
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      I'm very happy with the Ex's current 'running' state so I decided its time to start upgrading the suspension. Everything I ordered for the modifications shipped to my place - time to get busy!

      First thing first - Spring above the axle. After laying under it to get a plan together, I noticed some of the components on it could use attention. Being that I can be so **** about things, it figured it would be better to pull it and I can work all I need to much easier. I was very surprised, considering all the rust, clay and dirt stuck to the undercarriage, all the nuts & bolts came off very easily. There are no leaks. The hard brake line is pretty roachy, so I'm going to pull it off and bend a new one.

      :bounce:Speaking of brake line - since the Ex will be lifted, are there any suggestions on replacing or modifying the flex line to a longer one from the frame to axle assembly?

      I will be keeping the sway bar so new custom links will be in order. All the unused brackets will be cut off clean and Ill probably put a clean coat of paint on it before I re-install.

      Oddly for me, I never noticed the small track bars that connected to the frame. They will be removed unless someone tells me otherwise of their importance.

      The leaf springs looked great. I am thinking of pulling the packs apart and cleaning and painting them. Has anyone had any issues cutting the strap off and pulling theirs apart. I'm hoping the centering bolt will come off "cleanly" when I do this.

      :bounce:I'm debating on throwing on a set of Warrior Shackles - any thought to these?



      [​IMG]

      :bounce:This rear also had the '5th shock' in place. I pulled it out and noticed this large 'balancer' mounted to the front of the axle as well. Can this be completely removed? What is it used for? Harmonics or balancing?

      [​IMG]
       

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