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The Black Hole

Discussion in 'Elite Explorer Registry' started by gmanpaint, April 3, 2009.

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    1. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 XLT-95 FX4
      Whats In A Name?

      It was hot humid august night. The winds have all but vanished. I was doing my best to keep the sweat out of my eyes. The A/C was dying in my 94 Explorer, lovingly named "Pugly", and there was no relief in sight. I decided it was time to stop throwing good money into bad. I was gonna do the unthinkable,.......I was going to commit the most heinous crime of them all! I was going to trade Pugly in for a newer model! Oh the heart break! The insanity of it all! I couldn't believe the thoughts were even going through my head.

      I managed to get the old girl back home, to her resting place. She seemed at ease in her familiar surroundings. I had to come up with an explanation to let her know of my evil plan. So i just gave her that old wink and grin that she likes to see from me as we made it back home from another day of adventure in the treacherous Midwestern terrain. I did my best in hiding my cynical thoughts, as I walked around to her rear flank and gave her that little pat on her bumper, as I always have when we part for the night.

      The next morning I gave her a real good bath, cleaned behind her mirrors, and brushed her grill. She still looked pretty good for her age. Oh sure she had the tell tale signs, gravity has got its firm grip on her, and I am not the best cosmetics guy in the world. she didn't seem to mind too much, she still kept her nose up and drove with pride.

      After looking at many vehicles I just could not find anything that had the same feel as my old girl. Then it happened! Was I seeing a mirage? Was I so desperate to find another rig that I was blinded by insanity? I found my replacement! I quickly made a sale with the owner, and brought it home.

      When I pulled in the driveway, my heart sunk as I looked into the yard to see my 94 looking at me in disbelief. She was sunning herself in the grass looking all shiny and then, she just looked away from me. My heart was tearing in two. I parked the new rig, and walked up to her and gave her a soft spoken "Hello". No reply. I tried to tickle her mirrors, no response. The tension was so great, you could have cut it with a 32 count fine tooth hacksaw. I had to explain to her that she gave me great satisfaction for many years, and we made a terrific team together, but the time has come for her to just relax and enjoy her final days. She finally revved up, and understood, her days as my work horse has ended (so we thought).

      I introduced her to her daily driver replacement. The shiny new(er) next generation of her kind. The 95 Explorer XLT. She warmed right up to it. Before you know it they were swapping stories. Now I had to ask her for help. I needed a name for the new ride,
      so I went to find her, and what did I see? Those two were grill to grill in the driveway. rubbing chrome! I had to get the water hose out and break them up! Sheesh, she was acting like a girl at the prom dance! I let the name thing drop for awhile.

      The new(er) Ex needed to get its shots, and a physical. When I got the word on it's health, I about had a coronary. "What do you mean Doc"! I yelled. "Your kidding right"? I asked. The Doc just shook his head and gathered his tools. As he walked away, He said it had a 50/50 chance of survival. My stomach knotted up, my teeth ground, my heart raced, and I could feel the energy build up as I let it all out, "Why! Why! Why did this have to happen"! I screamed.

      The prognostic exam from the doc was as such. It had a blown steering rack, the shocks were gone, the brakes were non existent, front sway bar was cracked in half, the 3rd brake light was out, none of the windows or the moon roof would work, the door locks were broke, the rear end LS clutch pack was burned up, the tires were all in need of replacement, the spare was a Firestone recall and flat, the engine had a nasty tick to it, the TPS was shot, the MAF was corroded, the battery had a dead cell in it, the hood shocks were not working, the rear hatch lock was jammed up and you couldn't open it with out a key in the lock, The carpet was stained to no repair, the rear window wiper didn't want to work, and we could not tell what year its engine swap came from. it was a mess, to say the least.

      I went in the house to get my gun. I was gonna just put it out of its misery right there and then. I suddenly realized I was out of ammo, from shooting at the jeep that was in my field. I went to the computer to find a place to buy some cheap ammo, and I stumbled across this website, explorerforum.com that said it could heal any ford Explorer no matter what the problems were! I jumped for joy, I could not believe the things I was reading! I wore out the search button, asked a bunch of questions. I quickly broke out my pen and paper, feverishly writing down things as I was learning! I had found a cure for everything that was wrong with my new transport. It was a Godsend, an angel from the SUV heavens!

      I sprung into action. I worked day and night, Pugly was right by my side the entire time, helping me in any way she could. I never seen this side of her, and was really amazed at how well she handled the pressure. She gently squeegeed the sweat out off my fore head with her soft wiper blades as I worked away. After an entire weekend of work, I collapsed. I needed some rest, and so did the 95. The sun crested over the hills, and awoke me to a new day. I shuffled my feet to the window facing the driveway, peeled the drapes gently back, and peered out at the 95. WOW!
      It had a its color back, and was looking great! Now as the time went on, (and most of my paychecks), and the selling of almost everything I own, for funds to get the 95 to its former glory.

      After some time to reflect on this name thing, I strolled up and whispered into Pugly's passenger side mirror, and she giggled with delight.

      I climbed up onto the front bumper in my pajamas and robe half opened, with a cup of coffee in one hand and the daily newspaper in the other, I raised my arms with out stretched hands and proclaimed the new name of the 95.

      BEHOLD...........THE BLACK HOLE!!!!!!!! (Then the neighbor yelled at me to close my robe)



      The End................(or is it just the beginning?)


      Actually, only some of this really happened. :D
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: November 3, 2017
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    3. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      Messages:
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      City, State:
      STL MO
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 XLT-95 FX4
      BH profile dome cave pic.jpg

      The Evolution of a man made Black Hole

      NOV 2009 Truck of the month.
      April 2012 Most capable IFS truck of the month


      The Rig
      Black 1995 XLT 4WD
      Camel Tan interior & Moonroof
      5.0L/Automatic
      4.3 Atlas II & .120" PEM Racing Thick wall DOM drivelines- F-1310 & R-1350
      3" Body lift--PA 853 & 4" rear leaf spring lift - 2.5" front coil spring lift
      Magnaflow exhaust


      Front IFS suspension
      BTF Uniball DOM Tube UCA's (custom made to spec)
      Manual switched Central Axle Disconnect
      Lockright Automatic Locker 2311-LR
      Shocks: Fox 2.0 Coil Over with Reservoirs
      12" 700 lb Eibach Silver Coils
      12" Quad wrapped limit straps
      Lower control arm Dixon Bros DOM cross member
      4.56 Richmond Ring & Pinion

      Rear suspension
      8.8 sprung under.
      Tubes welded to center section. Track width 3" over stock.
      4" lift leaf packs with 6" boomerang shackles
      5/8" grade 8 U-bolts
      4.56 Yukon Ring & Pinion- Hardened pinion shaft
      Chromoly Yukon axles
      Yukon C-clip eliminator kit. Dana 60 bearings.
      Crush sleeve eliminator
      Lockrite Automatic Locker 1822-LR
      Ruff Stuff Specialties 3/8" diff cover
      Shocks: Fox 2.0 with Reservoir's & Brian1 Upper Pin Bar Eliminator mounts
      Brian1 fab 3" shock lift mounts/skids
      10" S extended brake line
      Extended diff breather hose


      Armor
      Front full skid plate-3/8"steel
      DOM .250"W Cross member Bash Bar (Brian1 custom)
      .250"W Rock sliders w/Nerf bars
      Front Tube Bumper with small stinger
      Rear Tube/plate Bumper w/receiver & HD spare tire swing out.
      T-case skid plate-stock
      Gas tank skid plate-stock
      Rear leaf U-bolt skid plates-1/4"

      Tires & Wheels
      35" x 12.5" Goodyear MTR's Kevlars
      15" x 10" Aluminum American Racing wheels.
      Matching spare tire & wheel.

      Exterior Mods
      Roof Basket W/custom tool, lights, & spare tire mounts.
      Tucked Rugged Ridge 8500 lb winch with A.R.E. 30k Spidersilk rope.
      Tilt up front tag winch mount.
      Extreme Hi-Lift jack, rack mounted
      Full size spade shovel and full size Maul Axe
      1"Steel tube roof rack & light bars
      Black grill w/billet insert, and winch control box
      Window vent/rain guards
      2" Flexy Fender flares
      Limb riser cables
      Front & Rear view HD cameras

      Interior Mods
      Corbeau Baja RS front seats
      Rear cargo storage box's / spare drive lines
      E-Track strap system
      Secondary removable full size adjustable spare tire mount
      Cargo panel mounted D-cell Mag Lite / Hatchet & Fire Extinguisher
      Acrylic Console Switch panel- Winch control / CAD / Lights
      850W Inverter under dash
      Mounted & hardwired, 30amp M90 air pump with 25' soft hose.
      Rear cargo 12v and 5v power ports.
      1000 Lumen tactical on A-pillar




      Lighting
      2-36w LED spots on rooftop mounted to steel tube light bar
      1- 144w LED combo light bar on front tube bumper
      2-80 w PIAA Fogs
      2-18w Cree LED rear facing Spots
      2-18w Cree LED Side facing floods
      2-5w Cree LED bubble Driving lights
      4-10w Cree LED rock light pods (all corners)
      2-5w Led rock lights in rocker cavities

      Tunes
      7" Kenwood touchscreen DVD/HDR (2 din)
      Amps: Clarion Sub -Rockford Fosgate Doors
      Sound: Pioneer doors, & 8" JL audio subwoofer in stock enclosure

      Communications
      Cobra 75 cb
      External noise reducing speaker mounted shoulder level on Dr side C pillar
      Multiple size firestick's / HD spring mounted on roof light bar
      Hand gestures/loud vocals

      Four Wheeler mag  at Smorr.jpg

      BH profile at potato salad hill.jpg

      BH top of Mt P Ant in back 2017.jpg SUNP0012.JPG

      20151107_154007.jpg

      Up Hamburger hill 1.jpg

      BH on Kane Creek hamburger hill climb.jpg

      BH  rock lights at Smorr.jpg

      20170803_142429.jpg
       
      Last edited: February 13, 2018
    4. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 XLT-95 FX4
      First thing was to get the 3rd brake light working. Fixed that by cleaning the trailer plug behind the dr side tail lights.

      Next was the windows did not work. Fixed that by replacing the relays and fuses. The drivers side glass came off the track. Fixed that with some silicone adhesive.

      Then the power steering rack was blown. Got a new one installed.

      The shocks and front swaybar links were broken. Installed a set of cheap Monroe's, and a new set of links.

      The tires were all but bald and had broken belts. Got a used set on 235 Mis-chillins to get by.

      Off it went to the state inspectors so I could get it legal.

      Next up was a plethora of fixer mods, and hopped up mods.

      Had a poll going to see who liked what on tire walls.
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=222742

      Turns out a little more than half liked white letters out, the rest, black wall out. I got my war 153 shackles, did a TT, and mounted a set of BFG 31"x10.5 white letters out on a set of stock tear drops.

      [​IMG]

      I got a smoked chrome billet grill from JTsmith, and installed some 100 watt lights behind it.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]


      Next up was a set of nerf bars off a 2000 EX. I painted them black and hung them up.

      [​IMG]




      Then it was a trip to Kansas to see the wizard. JTsmith helped me install new rear axle seals, new pass CV/axle, new E brakes and new brakes complete w/new rotors all the way around. That is when the cross shaft bolt head in the rear diff carrier snapped off.
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=235962

      We changed the lower ball joints, got my cruise control working again, and swapped my bad leaf springs, with another set I got off of 2 diff rigs, both passenger sides.



      We also installed a Rock crusher rear diff cover with 2 tone powder coat.
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      After a little time went by, I decided to keep doing things to it.

      Next mod was a rear hitch with a tow hook.

      Then new tunes, JVC HU, ported sub box, door speakers and an amp.

      Next was a PA 853-3" body lift, and some heavy duty tow points in the front.
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
       
      Last edited: June 15, 2011
    5. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 XLT-95 FX4
      I wanted some new black crawler wheels, so I decided on the American racing 15"x8" steelie's. 31" mounted black wall out.
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      Once the body lift was done, I needed bigger tires! Go figure right?
      So I saved up for yet another set of tires. I went with the BFG 33"x12.5"x15" KM2.

      Mounted them black wall out.
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      With those tires on, more mods needed to be done..lol!

      Sway bar quick disconnects were needed! Made a set & had them powder coated red along with the end links.

      The 4405-CA Transfercase blew a clutch pack while I was wheeling. Went through a couple before I got a good one with a warranty. Major PITA!
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241006

      Ran all drive line vent tubes up as high as I could with new tubes. Rear diff ran up behind the dr side tail lights, T-case, trans, & front diff ran up into the engine bay to the top of the firewall.

      My shocks were fine for the street, but not so much for off road, so I got a new set of Rancho 5000 in the front.
      Slapped those on in an hour.

      I got new stainless steel exhaust. 2.5" pipes ran, new Magnaflow muffler, and a Magnaflow stainless tip. Major difference in sound & performance. I changed the location of the tailpipe for protection from wheeling.

      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      A roof basket was added. got my full size spare and a couple of lights on it, along with a 1 pc steel shovel

      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
       
      Last edited: August 8, 2010
    6. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 XLT-95 FX4
      Now my leaf springs were getting flat again, so I decided to replace them with a set of lift springs, and get rid of my shackles.
      Before
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      After
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      My rear shocks had to be replaced, so I got a set of Rancho 9000Xl adjustable.

      [​IMG][/IMG]

      Once they were installed by yours truly, I decided on painting the rear axle.
      I got a D-ring powdercoated by JTsmith to go with the Black and red theme that was taking place.
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      Cb installed under the arm rest. New cargo carpet with a plastic liner for protection.

      Installed a set of PIAA 510 fogs behind the grill.
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      I replaced the stock foggy head lights with a cleaner set of stockers.
      The dash cluster bulbs were burned out, so new ones were installed.
      Optima Red Top installed.
      Winter wiper blades installed for protection from mud.
      Third roof rack crossbar added so basket could be in the rear.
      Front CAD Vac lines extended for body lift.

      I have a ton of rock lights to install still. Custom made roof rack and light bars made, just waiting till I get them to finish up the light install.
       
      Last edited: August 8, 2010
    7. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2000 Mounty
    8. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      94 XLT-95 FX4
      I got a 42" high lift jack. I didnt like the red bar, so JTsmith powder coated it black for me.
      [​IMG][/IMG]

      I will get some good pics of the EX soon, and post them up.
       
      Last edited: October 10, 2009
    9. Sams01XplrSprt

      Sams01XplrSprt Southern Cali Explorer

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      Newport Beach California & Bay Area California
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2001 Sport (sold)
      looks nice
       
    10. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      94 XLT-95 FX4
      Here is how the Black Hole looks with these mods.


      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      [​IMG][/IMG]
      Notice that the way this is lifted, I don't have the front "Plow", or the huge drop brackets from the Torsion bars with a suspension lift kit. I have as much clearance as most do with a $2500 suspension lift. The 4" drop bracket lift does give more rocker height, but with the drop brackets, I feel it is a wash.
      Still more to do in the next 2 weeks!

      Next major mod:........Rock Sliders! :thumbsup:

      Stay tuned! This rig changes about every 2 weeks..LOL!!:D
      :salute:
       
      Last edited: November 22, 2009
    11. 97sprt4x4

      97sprt4x4 Active Member

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      Jerz
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      06 Mazda3 GT
      I've gotta say your rig looks amazing. Must be nice to live within driving distance of JT :D I remember way back when your truck was still stock. Congrats on the great rig and keep it up!

      Justin
       
    12. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Thanks!!

      I get some nice comments on it since it has been modified. A door to door roofing salesman goes, " I like your monster truck". LOL!!

      It has been a chore, a pita, but also very fun to do!
       
    13. 99ex22

      99ex22 Well-Known Member

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      2000 5.0L 4x4 Eddie Bauer
      I like it! great work!:thumbsup: I do think you should hit your grey plastics with some krylon fusion though. It would clean it up a little more.:thumbsup:
       
    14. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      I am on the hunt for new bumpers. The front is all twisted from hitting something, notice how the tag is crooked. The rear I am looking for new plastics. It has some deep gouge's from some blind person backing into a trailer tongue repeatedly. Once I find these, they will be painted black. The pillars are getting a shot of black and clear very soon.
       
    15. loaderopp

      loaderopp Active Member

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      truck is looking pretty snazzy, you have done some nice clean mods.
       
    16. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Slider's

      The sliders are on!!
      Tig welded and powder coated by Turdle & CO. with Wrinkle Black satin finish.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Next up is the light bar and roof bars for a stronger mount. The basket will get the front lights removed, and some 55 watt lights in the rear. 100 watts are being moved to the light bar. All rock lights are on and working. Post all pics when finished:D
       
      Last edited: November 22, 2009
    17. Charlie

      Charlie Well-Known Member

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      Man, that looks awesome!

      How long till you hit some rocks to test out the sliders?:p:
       
    18. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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    19. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      This weekend the Black Hole is getting some more things done to it. The new light bar and roof basket bars are in. The roof lights will be mounted and wired.

      The weak off brand led rock lights, just don't disperse the light well. So.....off they go, and a set of 55 watt mini halogens are going in their place. Not only do I want to see the terrain as I wheel, I want to have enough light to work on it if I have to.

      The sliders came in handy last weekend. I was able to take more aggressive lines while wheeling.

      Got a few new scratches, but nothing that cant be buffed out. First real wheeling trip with it, and it went great. I pushed it, and it just took it like a champ.
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: August 28, 2017
    20. ThePhoenix

      ThePhoenix Guest

      you new ride looks amazing. someday...until then...what did you do with your old tires and rims? I like that style....
       
    21. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      I put them on my 94 XLT :)

      It is a work rig, and it got T-boned in the driver side, but it runs like a champ, and did very well wheeling with just a 2" lift and the 31's on it.

      [​IMG][/IMG]
       
      Last edited: June 20, 2009
    22. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      The Hole did very well from what I saw. Now I need to do some catching up just to be able to stick behind ya. We'll see about that--:p::D
       
    23. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      HAha! You have one issue to deal with, and I know you will take care of it soon. When you do, it is going to be hard for anyone to keep up with you!

      Once The Black Hole has the front Sway bar disconnects, it will be even more capable. I could just remove them when wheeling, but I dont really feel like having to install them back on after a long day or weekend of wheeling, yup, I am lazy..lol!
       
    24. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Lights are finished finally!

      16 lights in total. Seems a bit much, but each have some type of function to them.
      All lights are switched in the ashtray now.

      Roof:
      2-- 100 watt 6" round off roads on custom steel light barwith custom EF covers supplied Zukmam

      2--55 watt rear swivel mini's on the roof basket.
      I can rotate these in a number of directions. working on something, turn them down to my work area. Driving on a night run in BFE, turn them sideways lighting up my side vision. Need light backing up, turn them straight back. Need light working in the rear? Turn them down.

      Front:
      2--PIAA 85 watt yellow fogs mounted behind the billet grill.

      2--55 watt driving lights.


      I replaced all headlight bulbs and runners with Sylvainia Silverstars. I replaced my old foggy stock head lights with a new set. Big diff!

      Rock Lights:

      4--55 watt mini's mounted under all 4 corners. These point straight down, lighting up the ground around my wheels.

      2--12" fluorescent tubes sealed with black RTV for water. These are mounted under the cab in the middle of the truck. They light up the entire sides of the rig. These are nice,I am able to look out my windows and see the ground obstacles/water/mud.

      2--rear led bars under rig where spare tire used to be pointing down.
      Pictures will be posted later tonight after it gets dark out. :)
       
      Last edited: June 27, 2010
    25. cybergasm

      cybergasm B

      Joined:
      January 8, 2006
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      City, State:
      Humboldt Ks
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1997 Mountaineer 5.0
      ok it's dark where's the pics??
      :ttiwwp:
       
    26. techieman33

      techieman33 Explorer Addict

      Joined:
      January 29, 2005
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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      00 V8 Mountaineer
      x2 we demand pictures NOW:D
       

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