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Josh's 4 door 1st gen explorer crawler (SGT Ex)

Discussion in 'Modified 1991-1994 Explorers' started by josh40601, October 18, 2011.

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    1. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      When you going to paint it? I say leave the roof red, and khaki for the rest of it. Maybe put a big white cross up there, but the way you wheel, maybe you should put the white cross on the underside??:snicker:
       
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    3. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      You're the first person to actually know the previous owner that has commented on it. do you happen to have pics of what it used to look like? Travis is going to reuse the front frame portion for another project too, so it really got re-purposed!

      thanks! I feel you are slightly biased on the doors though :p

      Thanks sir. Its great taking people who have never wheeled before out in it, as they are hooked after the first trail. Even the mishaps, they had fun with. And the new seats, even though they are beat to piss, they are so much better than factory.

      I have a few ideas brewing around in this grape of mine for paint. It isn't a priority right now as getting it mechanically sound is number 1 for it, but it is most definitely on the list. Stay tuned.
       
    4. mounty71

      mounty71 It's green, not gray. Elite Explorer

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      Looks like most pictures in his thread are gone because Photobucket. Found a couple google searching though.

      IMG_3749.JPG

      IMG_3751.JPG
       
    5. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Wow it looked totally different by the time I got it. The rear frame section was different, and the front bumper was completely different too. and of course it was red. lol
       
    6. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Fantastic history on this Ex and great build thread. Looking forward for more!
       
    7. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      I took the explorer up to Miramar this weekend to finally address the exhaust leaks. I knew it was going to be a major pain in the ass, which is why I waited so long. I couldn't handle the leaks anymore, and I already had the majority of the parts, so I went for it.

      [​IMG]

      I ended up using a used pair of exhaust manifolds from a friend's spare motor that has always been in California. The manifolds and the y pipe were in great shape, but the bolts were not so good. after a significant amount of heat from a "propane" torch, I was able to get all the factory bolts from both engines, without breaking a single one. They were extremely deformed once they were out, so I didn't even hesitate to pick up some new 10.9 strength metric bolts for everything.

      The old cats were in really bad shape. I believe the front one was clogged, based on how heavy they were.I didn't even try to break the y pipe bolts loose from the manifolds, i just hacked the y pipe out and threw them in the scrap pile.
      [​IMG]

      I picked up a factory replacement cat off ebay, and it was complete shit. There was no flange for the ball and socket portion, the flange that bolts to the y-pipe was too small, so I had to cut it all off, and reform it to fit, and it had a bend in it that the factory setup did not. If I hadn't bought it so long ago, I would have sent it back. I do not recommend people buying the ones from Canada off Ebay. Just suck it up and buy the magnaflow ones.
      [​IMG]


      With the free-flowing cats, new y pipe, non-leaky manifolds, new bolts, new gaskets, and new 02 sensor, the truck runs great. It is still really loud due to the less restriction, but its nothing a muffler won't fix. Still hoping to get to Corral Canyon this weekend. If so, I'll post up some pictures and a review on how the day went.
       
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    8. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Trip Report: 12.16.17

      So the plan was 4 rigs to meet up at Corral Canyon around 9-930 AM, and we were planning on running 3-4 trails. The trails we were going to run are what I would say is a medium-low difficulty. The trails can be passed on 33s and open diffs, but you would need a hell of a driver, and/or likely would require a tug or two on some of the obstacles. Ended up being 3 rigs, and we pulled out of 4 corners aired down around 10AM. We ran Sidewinder, Bronco's Peak, Diamond Back, 911, 911A, Winchester, and Gunslinger. Gunslinger, 911, Winchester, and the majority of Sidewinder and 911A are really easy trails that anyone with 4wd, and most with just 2wd could do.


      When we pulled out of the staging area, it had started raining, so when we got to the first obstacle, the rocks were a little slick, causing the jaheeps some trouble
      [​IMG]

      After some spotting, got both of them up, and it was time for the sarge
      [​IMG]
      Walked right up on the first try, but I was also the only one on 37s. Both jeeps were rubicons on 35s. One JK with a short arm kit, the other a TJ with a long arm kit.

      We continued on down the trail, heading to the next large obstacle, which is actually off to the side of the trail. This posed to be a very big problem for one of our Jeep friends...
      [​IMG]


      The JK got up the ledge after 3 or 4 attempts and some coaching, and the TJ was on his way until his axle u-joint broke, which caused the ujoint to push the lower BJ out, and then his tire fell off.
      [​IMG]

      After a couple of hours of fighting to get the lower BJ in, we finally got it all back together, and he drove himself the rest of the way out in 3 wheel drive, and drove home (about an hour).
      [​IMG]

      After we said bye to the TJ, we headed to Bronco's Peak, where one of the first "obstacles" is a little V notch area that can allow you to flex out a little bit. This used to be much more of a V in the past, but looks like a driveway now.
      [​IMG]

      there are a couple more off-camber areas, but mainly pretty easy getting up to the peak from this direction
      [​IMG]

      The best part is the scenery. This place is absolutely gorgeous
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
    9. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      At the top of the peak, it was pretty breezy, and temps were in the mid 50s by this point in the day, and we had all the tougher obstacles coming up, so we didn't stay around long. Also, you can see my awesome new Maxxis Tire trasharoo bag that was gift from a close friend.
      [​IMG]

      Julie, the driver of the JK was leading as I completely forgot where all the entrance and exits to all these trails are, so she hit the rock garden first, and got REALLY tipy by trying to get around a rock. She even pulled the back tires off the ground once, so that's when we called it and used my winch to pull her back so she could get a better line, then she drove out the rest of the way.
      [​IMG]

      Then it was my turn, and my camera man decided to ride with, and by the time julie got her camera out, I was already making quick work of the obstacle. Did I mention how awesome the Sarge 2.0 is?
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Julie decided to pull over and let me lead after this spot, where it looks like nothing, but both her and I pulled the passenger rear tire off the ground.
      [​IMG]

      I took the lead and we found this nice ledge to climb over
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Long wheelbase was definitely the winner here, as the shorter wheelbase and short arm kit, along with a not so great line allowed Julie's Jeep to wave at us
      [​IMG]
      I backed her up, she took a slightly different line and made it up and over.


      The last thing we seen on our way back to the staging area was a big ol rock that needed a pitbull pattern on it, so I decided to drive one side over it. The rock was just about the same length as the rock slider, because when the front tire came down, I danced around the rock until i finally slid off it. After this, we followed the ring road back to the staging area, where we loaded up and headed back to the house.

      [​IMG]

      All in all, it was a perfect trip out for the Explorer. Helped build confidence again with everything that has happened over the last year with the truck, and it is definitely more rigid than it used to be. Where the frame would flex before, the cage has stopped that, making the suspension work harder. With the removal of the rear trailing arms, the rear is super flexy, and the front is more effort to tuck the tire.

      Likely going back out for New Years Eve to run the same trails in the opposite direction to see how the truck does. Only damage to report is a lot of rock scrapes on the sliders, links, and diffs. Gonna have to do something for a better front cover on the 44. This is the 3rd one I've gone through. The huge ones from RuffStuff/Barnes/Ballistic won't clear with the tierod in its current orientation, so I'm likely going to have to make something myself.
       
      Last edited: December 19, 2017
    10. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Great pictures, beautiful scenery
       
    11. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Great pics and I also love the Scenery. Need to come out here to Colorado and see some of our Scenery.
       
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    12. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      that would be awesome. Maybe one day.
       
    13. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Got an event set up for September. ;-) Just saying :)
       
    14. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Cool
       
    15. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Do you think those off-set rod ends from Barnes would allow the steering to clear the front differential cover?
      Barnes 4WD Heat Treated Offset Heim Joints

      I have a Solid diff cover and it clears my steering at full-lock. It doesn't stick out very much, except for where it says "SOLID" right where the steering crosses. I have had it for a few years and it seems to be able to take a beating.
       
    16. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Those tie rod ends would likely work, but i would have to redo my axle side ram mount. I think if I can add some material to the bottom of a stamped steel cover, it'd help things significantly. I think the solid one might work, as we have a very similar tierod setup, but I would be worried about the size of the tierod (0.25" difference in diameter between ours). How much distance do you have when it is at full lock to the passenger side?
       
    17. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Not much
      20171221_093742.jpg

      Edit: You have full-width axles, which will bring the tie rod even closer to the diff. With my axle being cut-down to early Bronco width, the diff is more towards the center. I can see where you would have a problem.
       
      Last edited: December 22, 2017
    18. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Sorry Josh that picture was at full lock driver side. Passenger side has more clearance on my rig.
       
    19. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      THanks for getting those Brian. I think everything you said is 100% true, and will likely result in me doing something with the stamped steel ones.

      I have about that much space now with the factory stamped cover
       
    20. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Happy New Year everyone. I've been sick for a couple of weeks, and my dog just had surgery, so I haven't touched the explorer until this weekend. I'm headed back out next weekend, so I wanted to fix a few things.

      1st was the transmission shift linkage issue. It would bind up and lock the truck in park. I could get it to work again by manually resetting it under the truck, but that's a pain in the ass. So i got under there, removed the skid, and found the bracket the cable mounts to was bent pretty bad. I bent it back straight, and all is good. Checked all the bolts and fluids of the cases while i was under there, everything is ready to rock.

      Next was the diff cover. Due to the size of my tierod, and the fact I'm not running it on top of the knuckle, I couldn't run one of the bad ass aftermarket covers, also my ram assist mount is directly in front of it too. I decided to take a stock steel cover, and plate it with an addition 3/16" of steel on the bottom side, to prevent the cover from hitting the ring gear.

      Here is the one that was on the truck. This is the 2nd factory cover, and they are 3/16" thick steel. Not the whimpiest of things, but as you can see from the pics, already damaged. This one was put on right before KOH last year, so 5 runs on it (yes, i only went wheeling 5 times last year, it was rough. Hoping to get out more in 2018)

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      The pics are not the greatest, but the flat part in the 2nd picture should be rounded, not flat.

      So I started with the cover I took off the truck after a few years of beating on it in KY, and it was in the same shape
      [​IMG]
      lots of scratches and 3 really good sized dents. I beat the dents back out to where it was rounded again, then started plating.

      I started with multiple pieces of flat plate, and using my torch, i heated and formed the plate to fit to the factory diff cover. I couldn't go all the way up because it gets too close to the steering. i also used a c clamp to move the metal as close to the original cover as possible.
      [​IMG]

      I kept adding pieces until finally the whole right side of the cover was complete. As you can see, it is multiple pieces all individually welded. I dunno if this will help or hurt me, but it sure made it easier to make the pieces
      [​IMG]

      Then I filled any additional holes, and ground all the boogers smooth(ish)
      [​IMG]

      The other side has a few more bends in it, but I used the same process of heat, relief cuting, beating, welding, repeat.
      [​IMG]
      Looks like I only took one picture of this side coming together. It ended up being 3 separate pieces as well.

      All cleaned up and ready for some paint
      [​IMG]

      I used a lubelocker gasket and some left over oil rubbed bronze spray paint to get it all tidied up.
      [​IMG]

      I dunno how long this will last, but hopefully longer than the factory ones. While in the front diff, I also noticed a small piece of a gear in the bottom of the diff. I don't have the extra money now to replace the R&P right now, so fingers crossed it makes it past KOH and doesn't put a chunk of gear through the housing.

      I have a few more things I want to knock out this week, and I'll be sure to get my camera lens cleaned up for any new pics.
       
    21. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      If you blow out your housing let me know. I have a couple 44 housings laying around.
       
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    22. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That diff cover should work well. Only thing I could think of you could have done different was fab about a 1" wide half-ring around the bottom edge that the bolts go through. It would involve a lot of work to get it flat. Maybe RockRanger could cut out a weld on kit with his plasma table. I didn't realize some OEM covers were that thick. The cover that my HP 44 came with was 1/8" thick at best.

      When I plated my frame for the shock hoops and track bar mounts, I had to cut out several 3/16" thick pieces on the driver side to keep the plate flat against the frame. Mostly where the frame bumps out for the steering gear box. Its tedious work, but the end result is much stronger than leaving gaps between the surfaces.

      Does the fill plug contact the steering? You can get flush fit, hex head plugs, but sometimes they can be difficult to remove. The Solid cover I have has the fill plug directly behind the tie-rod. They say its mounted higher so you can add more gear oil, but adding more oil causes the seals to leak.

      I am a big fan of the Lube-Locker gaskets. I use them whenever I pull a diff cover or transmission pan. They cut out 75% of the time it takes to change diff fluid.
       
    23. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      The fill plug does not hit. I think this will be fine for a while. If not, I have another one I can beef up more in the future. The biggest pain in the ass is the bolts getting smashed and grinding one side of them down. Maybe in the future I'll swap over to an allen head cap screw like I did on the side windows. That won't happen anytime soon though (I hope)
       
    24. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Only problem with the hex or allen head bolts is they get filled up with little pieces of rocks and dirt and/or the hex deforms so you can't get them off. Has happened to me with my rounded hex bolt heads on the skid plates, and the flat heads on the diff cover bolts. A small pick will clear the debris, but when they deform, I have had to hammer in a hex socket.
       
    25. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      yea, I have dealt with that before. The deforming would really be my only concern, same with the bolts I have now. The 4 on the bottom already have one side basically shaved off them.
       
    26. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Trip Report: Jan. 13-14 2018

      So as i mentioned above, a big group of us were planning on attending the San Diego 4Wheelers annual Superstition run.


      I loaded everything Thursday night, headed to work, and after work I hooked the trailer, grabbed the cooler, and hit the road. Those of you that know me personally and have seen my daily driver, the tires are... lets just say, "in need of replacement".
      [​IMG]

      For those that don't know me personally, now you can see that I definitely need new tires. but i ain't got the money for that yet, so on the road I went.

      Superstition is about 2.5 hours from my area, so by the time i got there, it was dark. We were staying off just off the main road, and all my razor buddies were already out there, so I was trying to find them. I pulled off the side of the main road for just a second and....
      [​IMG]

      Buried the diff and the rear hitch was touching the ground. Pulled the Sarge off the trailer, had my razor buddies all make fun of me as they rocked the back of the truck side to side and i drove out. Got to camp, setup, and sat around the fire having a good time.


      Saturday morning was the event, so we headed to the main booth for tickets, but the time we got there, everything was closed up (around 10 AM. Hey, we made breakfast and had some morning cocktails that slowed us down).

      [​IMG]
      Since the event runs were already out on the trails, the razors and I headed to the place I hate most out here... Sand Highway. This is about a mile or two long stretch of stupid soft sand and bowls and berms and shit I hate especially since it was extra super soft this weekend (This will come into play later in my story...) I didn't get a picture of this terror because I was too busy trying to keep my pig from burying itself.

      To get to the rock trails, you have to go around the sand, which is a number of miles I don't know, but know it takes for freaking ever and is very easy to get lost. The fastest way is to go down the sand highway, then go over what is called the Sand Dam. This is where i shredded two belts trying to get the hefty lefty over the dam. We made it this time with no issues, but as much throttle as the ol girl would put out to get over the hill.
      On the opposite side of the dam, all the awesome rock trails appear, and I decided to go to the top of one and take a picture of the dam
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      All the little specks, those are other vehicles, ones on the left are on top of the dam, the ones on the right are at the bottom.


      After about 3 minutes at the dam I was bored, so we took off down one of the rockier trails, to go on top of another mesa that overlooked the flats that lead out to Truckhaven and Ocotillo Wells.
      [​IMG]
       
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