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coming back after 3 1/2 year abscence thread

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by coppe, June 25, 2013.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^
  1. coppe

    coppe Active Member

    December 10, 2008
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    01 xls v6 SOHC
    well.... i´ve had my x since quite a while now, i´ve always had maintenance and repairs done promptly, but..... some stuff has been piling up for a while.

    Even though i´ve been lurking the site every now and then with my phone and tablet, spare time hasn´t been what it was before, since i´m doing my medical residence in orthopedic surgery, and i work from 70 to 90 hrs a week.

    but..... since i´m a 4th year resident, and i can have a bit more of spare time... i´ve been tackling several issues with my x.

    issues that were pending until last month:

    1. key fob wouldn´t work to unlock unless press really hard, and some times it wouldn´t lock.
    2. front bumper cover scratched twice in the last 3 years by cab drivers, i´ve repaired this kind of thing before, but the for the forst time took it to a shop, and they only did truckloads of bondoing and painting. looked pretty nasty, but thankfully it was nicked a second time, and i got the perfect excuse.
    3. one fog went out.
    4. drivers seat recliner bolt broke.
    5. windshield leak
    6. window motors short
    7. wipers short (the gem module shut down speedo and inside lights and other stuff to protect itself, thank god it didn´t went bad)
    8. wiper pump went out
    9. bad rear wiper motor
    10. transmission loud click going into gear
    11. roof rack black paint peeling
    12. paint overspray from being parked near the hospital maintenance grounds on every effing window
    13. rear hatch window hinges stripped their threads and loosen the whole glass
    14. dashboard speedo one bulb out, o/d bulb out
    15. bodymounts and leafs squeaking
    16. gear shift indicator broken adjusting wheel
    17. rattling and choking on start ups in cold morning due to iac valve being dirty
    18. yellowed and faded headlights
    19. right reverse bulb went out
    20. big a$$ leak in exhaust from flexible coupling in the middle of the truck, kindda liked the sound, but never the less it was loud
    21. tupperware went a bit white from sun exposure
    22. cassette cd radio headunit with a lot of noise from cassette reading heads (since i use an adapter for an aux input for the ipod)
    23. nasty moldy smell from the ac ducts

    other important mechanical stuff that was addressed immediately as it happened:
    1. trans oil in radiator from oil cooler in rad tank
    2. o2 sensor code
    3. always mobil one synth every 8000 km
    4. weared break pads
    5. wheel alignment as needed
    6. bushings, susp lube and balljoints as needed

    i still have some bf goodrich long trail touring stock size, and i hope to get another year and a half out of them, but after that, i might get some a/t´s for the looks.

    well, this is what i´ve done so far, since i just don´t feel right letting the x go like that, even though its on a quite fair mechanical condition, knowing all of it´s little quirks made me feel kindda bad:

    1. thought about ordering new keyfob, but since i´m in Mexico, amazon tends to overcharge in shipping, soooooo..... irecovered my old one with some caring cleaning therapy with isopropilic alcohol, scalpel blades, qtips, magnifying glass, and lost of time and patience. Result: keyfob works better than when i got the truck, it actually clicks while pushing the buttons, and just with light pressure applied, also fully functional from afar.

    2 and 3. just found a parts warehouse with a front bumper cover (gray with fogs and texturized) for sale, for like 110 usd, since they were trying to get rid of a couple of those they´ve had since forever, bought the cover, removed the bumper, disassembled the bumper core, changed both fog bulbs with new h1 phillips oem temp color ones. opened the fog assembly, cleaned the inside, resealed it, mounted the bumber, aligned it, got new licence plate mount (since the dealer one got effed up in the last fender bender), i would´ve loved to get an oem one, but the dealer wanted like 70 usd, soooo... i had to go the universal mount way with autozone for 8 bucks, with security torx bolts. front end never looked this good, fogs light up like new units.

    4. removed the broken bolt, it was the upper one, thankfully the reclining mechanism was in pristine condition, so only about 20 min of drilling, wd40 and extractors borrowed from a shop in my block was more than enough, couldn´t get the exact same bolt with the wide core after the thread, but, got automotive grade bolt with washers and a barrel, and if fits perfectly, it was a 10 m bolt if someone needs to know.

    5. got some el cheapo back silicone sealer, taped around the top of the windshield, and with plastic blade lifted the rubber seal and got some silicone in there... it doesn´t look perfect, but... its all right, after that, i´ve seen a couple of dried out water drop tracks inside the windshield in the morning, so, i will be adding more silicone to the rivets in the black rubber stripes on the roof, since the roof rack screws were sealed just a couple of years ago.

    6, 7, 9. took my truck to an auto electrician, who was some oldschool clean jumpsuit and well combed hair technician... he solved the shorts, he found one int he drivers door, another one in the plastic yubes that go from the body to the door, and another one in the rubber tube from the body to the back hatch. he actually repaired the motor electric tracks that seem to fail in every rear wiper, i thought i would need a new motor, but that was some money i saved, since he did all the electric work for like 80 usd, materials and work.

    i also thought that i would need a gem module for sure, but the electrician said that it had an autoprotect function, and it was shutting itself down, and that made me loose wipers, windows, interior light, speedo and other stuff. so for everyone thinking about replacing the gem, please first hunt any short in the electric lines, and do it quick, since the gem can only protect itself for some time. Now my electronics work like a charm.

    8. got the pump that has the reverse function for front and back for like 14 usd in autozone, took 3 days to arrive, and 20 min to replace, since y cleaned the tank and added plastic zip ties to avoid the rubber hoses to get loos (it´s happened to me before)

    10. did a service to the trans, it turns out the oil and filter were in ok condition, since i´ve only driven like 50 or 70 km a week the last 3 years, since i live quite close to the hospital where i work, and the last service was less than 10,000 km before this. It seems i have an small leak between the trans and the engine, and that conditioned low oil levels, and that itself conditioned the loud click when changing gears, it´s not that bad, so ill wait until i need some more work done or the leak gets worse to fix that. I had the habit of checking my levels constantly, but since i never had that issue with the trans and the clicking increased slowly, i sortta didn´t realized it was happening until now. (also driveway is grass, so i never saw an oil puddle)

    11. got some adhesion promoter, sandpaper, painters tape, and i went rattle can crazy with the roof tracks (didn´t took them off, since the screws are a little damaged in the head, and didn´t feel like replacing them, cause the bolts and automotive screw shop is quite far away. The crossbars i did took off, and also painted them, i used the autozone duplicolor trim paint. Turned out pretty good, i will also be doing later the b pillars and the glass hatch metal hinges and the circles where the shocks mount from the inside, since they look like they´ll start the dreaded rust dripping in the glass in no time.

    12. used some rubbing wax from meguiars in the windows to remove overspray, still there was a lot of overspray left, since it was there for like 6 months, it got cooked pretty well by the sun, and it adhere quite well. So i got some razorblades, and carefully scrapped all my windows, and afterwards used some vynegar, alcohol and rainx. They are all like new. (when you touch the body paint, you can feel some overspray, but since it was the same color than my truck, it doesn´t show, so i´ll wait until the periodical waxing takes all of it off. (also did the meguiars cleaners wax tratment to the whole truck)

    13. i got the shop near my home to rethread the aluminum hinges in the glass hatch, and used a slightly bigger bolt to attathc them, i got great results, it works like oem, i didn´t wanted to get some used ones that would strip in no time, and also i don´t have junkyards pick a part around here. it feels like a very sturdy fix, and it was 3 usd for each hinge. The guys from this car shop in my block are quite nice.

    14. disassembled the dash, changed all the bulbs, got my dash lighting even and brighter, since the bulbs were changed the last time like 5 years ago. They were quite darkened and dirty. I took like 1 hr and 10 min, but i didn´t had my socket wrenches lever with me, and i was doing it alone, and didn´t disconnected all of the harnesses, since i felt confident doing everything carefully, as i had done this a couple of times before. i cleaned the dash behind the transparent cover, cause it had lots of dust. Also retightened everything, cause the knee metal shield rattled a bit. (found a harness without any connector, just stuck into the dash plastic cover around the right knee, to the right of the shifting lever, what´s that for?? parking assist, electric antennas, 4x4???). it was a success, everything worked flawlessly afterwards.

    15. powerwashed the undercarriage, and sprayed lots of silicone lube in all the bushings, mounts and rubber under the truck, oiled the leafs with engine graphite oil. it´s really quiet now. Only lots of flexing when going up oblique ramps get a little noise out of it. (i dont get snow or salt or anything, so the underside of the truck is like of a 2 year old vehicle. it looks great.

    16. repaired the adjusting wheel from the shifting indicator with plastic zip ties as some of you might have done before, i adjusted it, and the gears show perfectly in the indicator. (i did this when i changed the bulbs, to avoid taking the dash apart two times)

    17. cleaned iac, used throttle body cleaner, plugs, oil and filters have less than 3000 km, so they are ok. i still get a bit of rough iddling for a few seconds in cold mornings first start, and a one or two seconds rattle, with the two lean bank codes, but maf is ok, i sprayed carb cleaner, and didn´t caugh any vacuum leaks. (i know there´s some problem, since my mileage has gone down a bit) but well... the truck behaves great, got lots of power, great response, so i´ll wait until my next tune up to have the truck rechecked by my mechanic, to see if i can get that codes fixed.

    18. used the 20 usd turtle wax kit to recover my headlights, they weren´t that bad, but you could tell they were yellowing. the kit is supposed to work only for one headlight. I actually did the two assemblies on my x, and the two of my vw pointer (some sort of smaller, not equipped gti) which were pretty bad, and all of them turned out great. Great product, i would recommend it every time, it takes some elbow grease, bot the results can´t be argued with.

    19. changed the reverse bulb, cleaned some green build up in the socket, apparently there´s a water leak in the assembly, so i cleaned it, and resealed it.

    20. i had the coupling in the exhaust replaced with a different kind of system. It like a wire weaved cylinder that allows the exhaust to flex in the middle of the truck when needed, and it causes no noise while doing it. works great, just 55 usd and 30 min with my muffler guy. i take pics later. kindda miss the sound when i accelerate, but i gives the x a new truck feel.

    21. got lots of plastic conditioner on the tupperware (i actually like the sort of rugged look of the cladding, i don´t like the idea of taking them off and having to fill in the holes and notice the paint contrast from underneath) thought about doing some quality rattle can job with silver glossy paint, clear and lots of prepping, or to use the peanut butter treatment. i hate that after a week or with a couple of heavy rains, it looks whitened again. (would you recommend the peanut butter??? does it work long term? does it wash off easily and need to apply constantly??

    22. used the cleaner cassette, and the adapter works like new again. i´m sortta playing with the double din multimedia unit thing... but i don´t want to worry everytime i get off the car, and also i haven´t found the double din kit with the back brace, so that the unit will mount flush and firmly. Maybe i´ll try and order de harness, double din kit and unit in a few months. i love my music, but i like fidelity, not volume or lots of bass, so maybe ill also get 4 two way speakers also in a few months.

    23. i lysoled the whole ac system, i had done it before, and it lasted like 4 years with out any sort of smell. i cycled through every setting, from the cowl and the feet ducts, used like one fifth of a can, new baby smell lysol, smells clean and the air feels fresher. (i remember seeing this as a normal dealer treatment in some old post, and they said that when they ran out of the special sanitizing spray, they used lysol). Works wonders.

    Man....... it took lots of hours, elbow grease, care, effort and a bit of money, but also...... i love doing this, it feels like a relaxing therapy when i´m doing this things, just like i feel when i´m in the operating room doing surgery.I don´t do all of my car work that i used to do anymore, since i need to take car of my hands, since i´m going to be a surgeon, and i can´t risk any sort of injury, but i still enjoy doing all this jobs that are, well, lets say, safer.

    so what´s in the to do list:
    tune up in about 3 months
    lean mix codes
    cladding recovery
    sealing roof rubber stripes
    get a big ass bullbar, to avoid another cab driver to screw my new bumper cover (maybe even fabricate one, my muffler guy has a pipe bending machine, and he said we could work something out, this might be my next vacation project) and add some driving lights to the bullbar, just for fun.
    rethink the double din headunit thing
    black out the rest of the black trim
    use clay bar, rubbing compund or something to give the paint job some needed care time
    recheck the open glass hatch sensor, since it seems to have some door ajar and wiper blocking issues, i lubbed the hell out of it, but maybe there´s a loose connector or something.
    i will recover the second keyfob, since it has the same problem that the other one had.
    make a suction mount for a phone holder
    wash the center console fabric bag
    wash the upholstery, it´s quite dirty from a couple of roadtrips
    clean and plastidip the radio bezel, the rubber is starting to peel off.

    i´ll do some write ups in the seat bolt, keyfob, short console suction mount, radio bezel, and i´ll get some pics of the undercarriage and from the truck in general, just to try and produce some material that will help people out.

    if i fabricate the bullbar or push guard or something, ill also do a write up.

    well..... it´s late, and i´ve wanted to start this thread for a couple of weeks now, i will update stuff as is comes, and hope to be of some help to someone with any of my same issues.

    thanks for reading the really, really long post, it´s good to be back, and ill try to become a regular poster. hope you all are all right. lots of luck to all.
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  3. coppe

    coppe Active Member

    December 10, 2008
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    01 xls v6 SOHC
    damn..... it´s a long post now that i see it published hahaha... sorry for some finger mistakes here and there, using touch screen keyboards isn´t that fun.
  4. pbnj22

    pbnj22 Active Member

    June 30, 2011
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    City, State:
    duluth minnesnowta
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    00 xlt 5. v8 awd
    longest post of the year award...
  5. BobWiersema

    BobWiersema Well-Known Member

    November 5, 2008
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    City, State:
    Chicago Burbs, Illinois
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 xlt 4.0L SOHC 4x4
    Wow, and I thought Red Bull was safe.
  6. Runnin'OnEmpty

    Runnin'OnEmpty Well-Known Member

    July 20, 2002
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    City, State:
    Southeast USA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Sport
    Dr. Coppe, where were you when I needed a
    Welcome back!
  7. 1996BLKBauer

    1996BLKBauer Well-Known Member

    June 24, 2011
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    City, State:
    McHenry, IL
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1996 Eddie Bauer AWD V8
    give me an hour to read it, then I will give my input... lol

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