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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. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Up here are what are referred to as "The Cat Trails". These trails were cut by the San Diego 4 Wheelers and all are associated with cats. I dunno why, they just are. One of the trails is called Black Cat, and the razors decided to stay pretty, so we split up. It was middle of the day, one of the event groups were coming through this trail, so I felt ok going out on my own for a little exploring (get it? :p ) and I ended up playing in some notches that allowed me gorgeous views (none of which I took pictures of.. I gotta get better at this) and some places to see how I could flex the sarge out
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      I got bored out by myself, and a buddy of mine arrived with his group of Jeeps, so I left the Cat trails, went back over the dam and down the terrible highway, and got over to the mud hills where I met up with these guys and gals having a blast. Ended up being apart of a group called "NotaRubicon". When I looked them up on their facespace, I didn't recognize any of the jeeps or people that were out there. Still a fun group, no matter who they were. We rode around for a bit, then made it up to this area that has a bunch of rocks stacked on top of each other. Was cool to look at, so someone came up with an idea of a picture...
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      Not all of the vehicles could put themselves on the top of the other person's tires, but it still made for a fun picture

      After this, we all headed out and played in the hills a little more, before going in for the raffle and dinner. I didn't win anything, and ate dinner back at camp where we had carne asada tacos that were delicious.

      At around 8 pm, the jeep group texts, and we head out on an adventure. We ran all the wishbone trails, which are some of the toughest truck trails, but they have more difficult buggy trails too, but these are definitely fun with a group of vehicles on 35s and not everyone has 2 lockers or a winch. One of the last obstacles (at around 1:30 AM) was a good slick ramp that was pretty steep, and about the length of a cherokee (it was just a bit longer than the gray one in the picture above).
      The jeep in front of me couldn't make it up after plenty of attempts, so we moved him out of the way enough to get Sarge lined up. The extended wheel base and lack of worrying about a scratch allowed me to climb the ledge the first attempt, and secured me as the anchor truck to bring the rest of the group up. Not everyone needed a tug, but pretty much everyone. (Sorry again friends, I don't have an awesome camera, and night pictures with flying dust from an old iphone suck so I don't have pictures.)

      By the time we made it to the end of the trail, it was after 2 am, everyone was exhausted, so we headed back to camp. We had to cross the sand dam and sand hell highway again, and by this time all the spectators that normally form at the bottom of sand dam were very slim. Those on the sand highway were non-existent outside our group. The Jeeps were all camped together, but I was camped a good ways in the opposite direction, and this were shit went from great to shit. I was headed through the sand highway and came over a berm to find it was the top of a very not-fun-looking bowl that I could barely see. I slammed on the brakes, and the explorer sank, like the ****ing titantic. I managed to back up enough to turn the truck around, but everytime I moved, it got the truck closer and closer to the edge of the bowl that dropped off about 10 ft. My buddy Mike was following me, and the rest of the group were further ahead (they all weigh close to half what this big lovely weighs), so I was stuck. Mike was able to back up to the top of the hill thanks to his light ass TJ and I used him as my winch point. We had to pull out the line to about 90 feet 2 times to get the explorer out of the bowl. After getting out of the bowl, I followed mike back to his camp, then turned out in the flats towards camp.

      We pulled into camp around 315, and hit the sack. The next day we rode around in the mud hills for a little bit, hung out around camp, then headed back to San Diego-ish right before dusk.

      All in all, it was a great weekend with new friends, awesome weather, good beer, good food, and a damn good time. The explorer did great, got a couple new scratches, a busted tail light, and my winch is now not working, so a few things to fix. The new diff cover works awesome. Lots of new scratches and marks, but no new dents. I've already emailed Warn for a wiring diagram, and have the rebuild threads saved. The project for this weekend is get the winch torn down so I can order any needed replacement parts and get the truck ready for KOH.
       
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    3. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Preppin for KOH...

      1st thing on the list was get the back hatch fixed. Ever since I did the roof swap, I've had to use a spare piece of tube to hold the hatch up because when i did the chop, i cut the old rod supports off thinking the ones off the 96 body would work... I was wrong. They didn't work, so I grafted one in, but screwed the other one up so bad I couldn't save it, so i couldn't run the hatch struts
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      Good thing I know a pretty awesome dude who had some extra mounts he cut out of a donor body for me...
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      The extra material on the donor mount was more than I needed, so I slimmed it down
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      Next i opened up a hole on the driver side that I could make the new strut mount work
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      I don't have a rotary file or a body saw, so i made multiple cuts with a angle grinder and cut off wheel then filed down the ridges with a regular file

      Then i put the new strut mount in and due to the awkwardness of the location, no grinding off the yuck to save me. Adds to the character of the truck though. Rough stitched everywhere
      [​IMG]
       
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    4. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Next up was the problem I really noticed this past weekend... The winch acting up.

      I pulled the winch off the front and read this thread about a 100 times: Warn xd9000i Winch Rebuild

      Then I pulled off the planetary system first because it wouldn't free spool....
      [​IMG]

      I should have torn this thing down a long time ago. As you can see from the picture, the grease has completely broken down, it has water damage, and rust has settled in for a significant amount of time.

      I've had this winch since 2009 when I bought it off craigslist. I never cracked it open then, no idea how old it was at that time, pulled the ranger through multiple places, then it sat for a couple of years not being used, then put it on the explorer, where it has pulled the truck and other vehicles through multiple obstacles, including last weekend's almost 200 ft pull of the sarge out of sand. I've always called a terrible product out, and given praise to the products that are fantastic. Warn winches are most definitely the latter. For a winch in the condition above to perform at the level it has for me, shows just the level of quality these winches provide. What makes it better is I emailed them asking for a wiring diagram and had one the next day. I'll never run another winch brand as long as replacement parts are made for these.

      When I was reading online, the hex shaft usually pulls out with the planetary, but that wasn't the case with me. The hex shaft was stuck inside the brake assembly, which meant this thing was coming all the way apart.

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      I tried tapping it out with a hammer, using my vice as the edge of a slide hammer, significant amounts of penetrating oil, and wire wheels and this thing was not coming apart. I decided to throw it in my deep freeze to see if I got the metal really cold, if the rust that I knew was holding it would break with tapping on the brake end.

      So i let the shaft and end of the brake assembly sit in the freezer for about 4 hours, then pulled it out and performed the slide hammer thing where i opened my vice up just enough so the hex shaft slid but the brake assembly would hit the end of the vice. I also squirted some penetrating oil in there and went to work. After 5 good slides, they were apart and I could focus on cleaning all the gears up.


      I let all the gears soak overnight in mineral spirits and went through 3 cans of brake cleaner to clean all the yuck off. I also used a pick and wire wheel to clean all the rot off. After all the cleaning, the gears were looking great, so I used a minimal amount of high pressure waterproof wheel bearing grease (Lucus) and reassembled the planetary side, with the hex shaft as recommended by the original thread.
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      After getting the gear side clean, i focused on the electrical side. I knocked the brake side out previous to remove the hex shaft.

      There was all kinds of greasy brake dust all over the brakes, so i did what was recommended and cleaned and sanded the shoes with 200+ sand paper. The motor is super easy to come part, the thread above explains all of that. The brushes were in awesome shape, but the rotor and stator are coated in a red oil, the end of the coiling are chalky white, and there are rust stains on both the rotor and stator.
      [​IMG][​IMG]

      I think it is savable, but need to get some more info... TBC
       
      Last edited: January 21, 2018
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    5. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I'm glad those strut mounts worked out for you. I wish I would have cut the quarter panels out of that donor, they were perfect and I smacked mine pretty good at Truckhaven. I did work most of the dent out today, so now its a bunch of small dents.

      I took the Explorer out to Glamis several years ago, and have hated sand ever since. It tried to bury itself every time I stopped. We were parked at one of the hill climbs there and a guy asked me if I could pull his lifted F-250 out of a nearby bowl. I drove over to look and he was buried to the bumpers in a deep bowl. I told him there was nothing I could do and was not going to pull my Explorer down on top of his truck.
       
    6. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      cleaned up the commutator with a green scotchbrite pad to where it was nice and shiny again, and cleaned out all the relief channels to get any of the brush residue off. my new gaskets for the planetary side came in today so I went to put the winch back together.

      I got the planetary side setup, and the brake assembly aligned on the hex shaft (its easiest if you align the hex shaft into the brake, then insert into the planetary and slightly turn until it fully engages in.)
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      Then when I was getting ready to put the motor side together, I took a peak at the wiring setup, and notices a bubble on one of the smaller wires... I took a razor blade and peeled the rubber back to find one of the socket assembly's wires were fried...
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      (if you didn't know, that wire should be white.)

      This was a huge bummer as the socket assembly is 50 bucks. The good news was after I peeled part of the coating back on the controller, the wiring was all good on this one, so I don't need to buy a new controller. Bad news is I already bought one :( The winch on the ranger doesn't have a controller because this winch fried it the last time I went out, so now I have one for each truck again. If i ever get that truck finished.

      So after ordering new parts, I put the motor back on and tested the drum free spin...
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      Worked like a charm. i can turn the drum with my hand in free spin, and the engagement lever is smooth as silk. The brake is working as it should. So now I am waiting for my electrical parts to come in, then I can finish this up, put it back on the truck, and spool the cable back on it. There are a couple small things I would like to do to the truck prior to KOH. We will see if they get done.
       
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    7. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      well i missed this weekend's update, but i got the new remote and harness in, so i swapped that out. Only problem with that was one of the solenoids decided to call it a day

      So i waited for a new one to come in which arrived today
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      you can see in the picture where the stud ripped out and cracked the housing of the old solenoid. The new one is a warn part number 72631, which is what called for in the parts list for a 9000i. After trying to fit the new one in the tray, i knew there was something off. After comparing the two bottom to bottom, this is what I found
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      The old one's bracket was not as thick as the new one. The red is the new material that all had to be ground down. I also wanted to check side by side
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      The studs and housing are a little taller, but overall they are pretty damn close. After grinding off the red, I was able to get the new solenoid in the tray and got everything wired back up. This time i zipped the socket harness wires together to hopefully prevent internal combustion again
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      I finished wiring up the motor, and although I am still waiting on the grommet from 4 Wheel Parts (only place I could find that had it), I finished putting it all together

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      While this would have been a great opportunity to clean it up and paint it, something about the patina made me leave it alone. Its used, its a bad ass, and its an American made Warn.

      Tomorrow I'll mount it back up and spool the cable back on. All in, I'm about $80 bucks in the rebuild excluding the new remote, and I originally bought this thing dirt cheap for 400 bucks 9 years ago. I've never maintained it until this, so I am definitely pleased with this setup.

      Really need to build a fluid bottle container, so I think this weekend I'll head out and pick up a stick of 1.5" angle iron and build me something that won't spill gear oil all over the cargo area again...
       
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    8. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I cut out the inside of that worthless storage area at the right-rear quarter panel. It now has room for 2 quarts 5w-30, 2 quarts Mobile 1 ATF, 1 quart diff fluid, 1 quart Type F ATF (for power steering), 1 quart Valvoline synthetic brake fluid, some tubing that fits over the spout of diff fluid bottle, the spout for my gas can, and a bunch of shop rags. I also have a tube of RTF in there, but should not need it on the trail after I went with LubeLocker gaskets. The stuff is a snug fit and doesn't move around or come loose.
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    9. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      My bottle jack/jack stand resides in that area now. I'm planning on the fluid container to be mounted beside the tool box and ammo cans that are right behind the back seat. My tow strap and E-Tool (shovel) are on the left side of the cargo area behind the tail light. They are strapped to the edge of the cage right there.
       
    10. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      My 4-ton HF bottle jack and home made accessories are where the stock jack used to go, along with a bunch of spares (starter solenoid, wheel bearings, U-joints, your spark plugs, etc). In front of those I have a spare air hose, 75' of winch rope, spare serpentine belt, giant zip-ties, etc. Tow strap is under the back of the driver's seat where I can grab it to hand out the window if I am needed to keep my feet on the pedals. Winch controller is in the pocket of driver's seat. E-tool, old air compressor, star wrench, and recovery tools are strapped down under the back seat. EMR bag, portable charger, cheap HF spot light, few blankets, and a tool bag full of ratchet straps, bungee cords and rope under the original cargo net.

      I'm all set to get you back to camp whenever we ever go wheelin'. :p
       
    11. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Even more of a reason to not carry all that shit in mine. hahaha
       
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    12. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      this weekend i decided to make the explorer all one color, and rather than keep it desert tan, I decided to try something new with OD Green.

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      I did keep the wheels tan, and I have some decals that will be going on once they come in, but I think I like it. I haven't fully committed to loving it, but I am loving that it is all one color, and the massive surgery that this thing underwent last year goes unnoticed by most.
       
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    13. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Looks great. You should add some stencils to make it look like a USMC truck. :salute:
       
    14. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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      That’s a good looking truck sir.
       
    15. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Thanks buddy. I probably will in the future. I'm waiting on the star stickers for the doors and the nose art stickers for the fenders. I doubt they will be here before Wednesday, but I'm sure they will be here by the time I get back

      Thanks bud
       
    16. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      KOH was great. I left dark and early Wednesday morning and ended up blowing a trailer tire 15 miles from my house. Luckily I was close to the base. My spare tire ended up having a terrible offset, so I had to unload the explorer, put the blown tire back on the trailer, leave the explorer off the freeway, and limped the trailer on base because there is a Firestone right there. I pull up and they say it is company policy to not mess with trailer tires. So I drop the trailer at the auto skills center since they were closed, I couldn't swap the tire from the spare to the good rim. Ended up heading to Discount Tire and got a new tire since the spare was 11 years old. Headed back and picked up the trailer, installed the new tire, loaded the explorer and was back on the road 3 hours later than when I originally left.

      25 miles later, another tire on the trailer blows. This time, about 6 miles from Discount Tire. A friend of mine happen to see me on the side of the road, and offered to take the rim to discount for them to mount another new tire while i stayed with the truck and trailer on the freeway.
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      He returned, I mounted the new tire and turned around to head back to discount to have them replace the other two. About 2 hours later, they are all done, and I am back on the road. 7.5 hours later than when I originally left, and I was 40 miles from home.

      The rest of the trip was all good and I finally made it on the lake bed 3.5 hours later. so 11 hours to drive 170 miles.

      Ended up putting my tent up next to 69DieselLover and his Sportractor. That thing is freaking awesome.
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      I didn't stay around long as a very close friend from Kentucky was in the pits. I ended up getting pulled over for expired tags. The officer was a great guy, and let me off with a warning, telling me they have OHV permits at the front gate and to pick one up in the morning and to leave my truck in the parking lot for the night.

      Thursday I got up and went and got that pass. Then I went to see the trucks staged. I took a couple of pictures of some of my favorites
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      Juicy's truck. This this is really awesome. I seen him ripping around friday afternoon, so I assume he finished the EMC. Maybe he will post back up one of these years

      [​IMG]
      This truck had a freaking stepside bed still on it. I dunno if he finished or how well it turned out after the rocks, but it sure looked awesome on the start line

      I then went and hung out with the Sportractor for a while. After we played around around Turkey Claw for a while, I decided to head back into Hammer Town and watch the rest of the EMC on the jumbotron. After the 4800 and 4500 winners crossed the line, I headed back to the pits where my buddy was. We went up to Back Door Thursday night to see a complete shit storm. After an hour and a half, we said screw it and headed back to camp.

      Friday I went out to see the trucks staged again, and grabbed a couple more pictures
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      I then went and met some other friends and we went to chocolate thunder and back door to see the racers live, then over to hammer town to see the finish.

      Saturday was going to be the wheeling day, but when we got up, the wind was really picking up, my chest was full of dirt, and I did not feel like breaking or something and keeping me out there all day. So I called it a day after I took these poser shots
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      I loaded everything back up, and headed back home. After 2 hours to get off the lakebed at 8 am, I was home in a total of 4.5. All in all, it was a great trip to see some new and old friends, see some awesome works of automotive engineering, see some great racing, and get away from the city for a while. I wish I would have got some more time in the rocks, but I'll play more at TDS coming up in March.
       
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    17. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Yesterday my new decals came in, so I got those on. Really like how it turned out. Still think I like the Tan better, but this definitely is not bad at all.
      [​IMG]
       
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    18. DUDER 1

      DUDER 1 Elite Explorer

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