Welp, it's time....I've had this 91 XLT for 4 months now and it's time to upgrade the thing! I have been wanting to build an EX since dad came home with our 93 sport 12 years ago and now the time has come where I have the materials to build, some know how and time... Backstory: I live on the Hopi reservation working at a mission school in Kykotsmovi, AZ...when I first started, I had brought my little 92 Ford Escort 4dr hatchback...it was great on gas and got me from A to B, but looking around at my surroundings and places not too far away, I decided during my Christmas break, I was going to leave the escort at home in Ohio and bring the 93. Finally, a rig to drive on some real trails and not just back-woods muddin'! All was great....had a four day weekend in April and decided to head down to Sedona and hit the trails and do a little camping and hiking while I was at it.........never made it to Flagstaff. Head gaskets finally gave out to the point that in the hour and a half drive home, I had to drop in 7 gallons of water just to keep the thing cool enough to drive....$#!+..... I kept adding antifreeze and water just to get around on the rez...added some Bar's stop-leak headgasket fix, which seemed to help a bit, but it was too far gone...why not just replace the head gaskets you say? The body was so far gone, it had no rocker panels to speak of, holes in the floor, a rear bumper that had almost entirely disintegrated and body mounts that where nowhere to be found...I had even had a radius arm completely buckle while driving....it wasn't worth my time and money to fix. (see illustrations) Well, now what to do? Save my money and hope to find another sport for a reasonable price in Flagstaff, Phoenix, New Mexico.....all out of my price range...keep searching and hoping something out there will come up. And in the meantime, with some materials in the schools scrap pile, I ended up making version 1.0 of a tire swing gate and a roof rack (also version 1.0) AND THEN IT HAPPENED!! A few of us had gone to a friends birthday party in the next village and sitting behind their house was a two-tone tan Explorer...it was a four door, but at his point I thought to myself "ENGINE SWAP!" I asked who the vehicle belonged to, and our friends father said it was his. Hoping for the best, I asked if he would consider selling it. He told me it was not running...great.....but it was because it did not have a transmission. "I can deal with that...I really just need another engine." After a bit, he said he would sell it, so I asked him to think of a price and get back to me. Three weeks went by and I hadn't seen the man or heard from him. Then one night at a country dance (it's a big thing out here) I saw him and inquired about the price....thinking he'd say, $800 or some figure around that mark, I was gearing myself up to negotiate a lower price.... "$200" I couldn't believe my ears! If I would have had it in my pocket I would have paid him on the spot! Still thinking engine swap, I thought of other things I could swap out to improve the almost dead sport...but when I finally got a look inside the XLT, my mind was made up.....tranny swap! It was a 5spd manual, the engine had been rebuilt three years prior (and then it sat), had almost no rust and a good interior...and to add, I had a good 5spd in the sport! Got everything squared away on price and title, loaded it up and brought it to the school! It was a little rough...almost no clearcoat left, sand and dust everywhere, carpet stains, missing pieces, slight rust on the rear portions of the rocker panels, exhaust held up and together with fencing wire and pie tins (no joke.) Time to get to work if I was going to drive this thing home to Ohio for Christmas. Where to start? Gut it...run wire for stereo, amplifier, lights, emergency lighting and siren (volunteer firefighter in Ohio) and battery....for some reason, the 93 liked to have it's battery drained for no good reason, so I decided not to take any chances and add a battery kill switch on the floor. In hindsight, I probably should have started with the transmission and worked on wiring later as I ended up with only two weeks to get everything put together, many projects and things happening at the school, and problems I didn't know were lurking in the shadows....but I got things together and ready to roll! (That is a custom fabricated (not the cleanest though) interior light bar that houses both the controls for the emergency lighting as well as the siren controls I had pulled the transmission out of the sport before pushing the XLT into the shop...it was a mess.... Clean it up and bolt it up....now what to do about the missing exhaust from the manifold to the Y...salvage that from the 93 as well! Bolts in, now attach the clutch hydraulic line....again, try and attach the hydraulic line...not working. Apparently parts were changed between the 91's and 93's....great...well, only way I can think to do this; switch master cylinders...bolts don't match up on the fire wall...so I switched lines... Bleed the lines, works like a charm! Just a few days before I leave for Ohio and; IT'S ALIVE!!! Everything worked great on the drive home and back to AZ!! And this is how he sits now; Edgar (yes, I named it) still has a few issues though...holes in the exhaust, leaking slave and master cylinder, [recently] broken auto hubs, sagging leaf springs, rear passenger door that opens only from the outside and rear driver door that only opens from the inside, spark plugs that need replaced (thank you NAPA), and other misc. things that need attention. Thankfully the gas gauge just started working again, so I won't have to look into that much, but the speedometer still runs a little fast. I'll be cutting the Thrush muffler off of the sport soon, getting some extra exhaust pipe from NAPA and slappin' that puppy up under there to take care of the exhaust issue, and also installing manual hubs I picked up from Maniak. Tire gate 2.0 is being painted and awaiting application. So why am I writing and showing all of this to you fine folks you may ask? Well, with some searching, more asking, and talking to other members here, I have not only fixed a majority of my problems over the years, but am ready to lift! Well, sorta....in my head I'm ready to lift, but still need to get some parts... Thanks to input from my previous thread "[thread=402100]looking to lift...cheaply...options[/thread]" I have a parts list in mind now and will spend the next few weeks acquiring said parts and cleaning/painting/fabricating/building! In about two weeks, I will have drop brackets for the TTB (also from Maniak.) Here is the general idea: TTB and radius arm drop brackets 4" Tuff Country(?) coil springs Dock washer coil spacers F250 shock towers and shocks Pro Comp FD400(?) drop pittman arm MOOG camber bushings F350 brake lines SOA rear Post-'95 Sport leaf pack Altogether: ~5" of lift As it sits, the XLT only has 3.55 gears, so I will scrounge around the junkyards for axles with 3.73 or 4.10 gearing and inquire about a straight-up axle trade (hey, it could happen.) I do have 3.73 axles on the sport, but they are extremely rusted, the rear axle is leaking diff fluid at the end of the driver side axle tube and the knuckles in the front are actually stretched, soooo, I think I'll skip on that....I would just swap the diffs, but I have no experience doing that, nor do I have the necessary tools to do so. I will also be in the market for 31" tires (I may have some lined up from a friend here, but they're currently sitting in NM and I haven't seen them yet.) With all that being said, stay tuned for updates!