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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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      What year engine? California uses the frame VIN, not the cab. When you are ready, I can help with that. I got a guy.
       
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    3. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      I just seen this, sorry for not responding. Last time I titled an out of state, they just needed 2 vin numbers. Didn't matter where the 2 came from, but you had to have 2. The last Ranger I did they used the one on the windshield and the one on the door jamb. Both of those on D are from a 2001. I don't even have the title to the 94 anymore. I sold the cab and title together.


      I've been playing with the explorer every now and then when I just need a break from the house. We used it to do some stump removal and ended up overworking the motor, again. The M8000 is in dire need of a rebuild, so I swapped out that one with the 9.5ti I had on D. This tougher winch should probably be on this truck anyway, so I'll just rebuild the M8000 and put that on D.

      [​IMG]

      That's about it for now!
       
      Last edited: January 31, 2017
    4. BKennedy

      BKennedy Elite Loser Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Oh, boy.
      If you try to register it and they find, or don't find the frame number. The DMV will refer you to the CHP. If you can't prove ownership of the frame, and / or its actively registered to someone else, they will seize your truck as a VIN switched vehicle, a misdemeanor in California. Vehicles frame, body and federal numbers have to match.

      I no longer have a guy, best to go through a registration service and hope nobody notices.
       
    5. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      I'll figure something out. Likely leave it registered in KY until I have all my ducks in a row.
       
    6. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Been a while since I updated this thread, and it looks like all of my pictures are not working anymore, so I will mess with those a little later. In the mean time, thought I would provide an update...

      [​IMG]

      SGT Ex is now out in California with me. Gonna work on getting it smog legal and building some mud flaps. Then figure out a removable flare system so it is street legal. Should be fun...

      Going to Joshua Tree this weekend for a little camping and shakedown run in the desert.

      This truck has wheeled the midwest, the northeast, the southeast, and now is moving to the west coast. And it really hasn't had any significant changes other than hydro assist. Dan sure knows how to build a kick ass rig.
       
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    7. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Ex did well out in the desert. Not so well in the washes where the sharp bumps and woops are, but hill climbs are a cake walk, sand is no problem, and it does really well on the dry rocks, even with the old beaten down swampers.

      We started in Joshua Tree National Forest, and after driving 3 hours to the Yucca Valley entrance, all the campgrounds were full. So we drove through the park to find it doesn't have good trails for rock crawling trail buses. The road from the Yucca Valley entrance to the Desert Center entrance is also 47 miles. at 35 or 45 mph. SO, after almost 5 hours of driving, we get to a cool camping area right outside the Cottonwood entrance to the park, which is also about 3.5-4 miles from the Red Canyon Jeep Trail.

      [​IMG]

      So we unloaded, and headed to the RCJT, which is where I found that SGT Ex is not a fan of woops and washboard style roads...

      [​IMG]

      right off the trail there is a good sized hill that has some climbs on it, so we played on those and took some pics

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      As you can see in the photos, it was getting dark already, and I don't have any aux lighting on the truck right now, so we called it a night after about an hour and a half of driving really slow on the main trail.

      Yesterday I was not satisfied with my wheeling adventures, so I got approval from the boss to head to Truckhaven playground for a little fun time. Took about an hour to get there from Desert Center, but we went through Mecca which was awesome scenery, so it wasn't bad at all.

      At truckhaven I started with this tire climb
      [​IMG]

      which the sarge owned
      [​IMG]

      Then I went to play on the Thousand Dollar hill
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
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    8. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      and i high centered (go figure)
      [​IMG]

      So i kept going from forward to reverse and the left front tire was touching just enough to sort of spin the truck, which after about 10 minutes, slid it far enough to gain some traction we were back in the game!
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Then we went and played on the flex test
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      And made it to the top, but got a little tipy and being as we were out there solo, didn't want to push it, so I stopped
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      Then we drove around the hill climbs and played on those for a little while, and on the way back to the trailer, I ran the tank trap
      [​IMG]

      At the very end I high-centered on another tube but couldn't wiggle my way out, so I pulled cable. The new winch (well, new to the explorer) did AWESOME.

      All in all, about 8 hours of driving for 2.5 hours of wheeling. I was very impressed with my daily driver tow rig as it never missed a beat going up and down all the different grades out here.

      Now time to get some exhaust. Holy cow it has one hell of an exhaust leak.
       
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    9. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      So we planned a christmas eve run up to corral canyon, but I wanted to replace the tierod because it was bent. How bent you ask? this bent

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      i know it isn't pretzeled, but I am impressed by the bent in 2 directions. All of the rod ends are smoked, (RuffStuff, please put your rod ends on sale ASAP!) and the ball joint on the driver side was toast, so I tore it all the way down and going through it. Bearings all look good, just the joints and stuff are ready for some lovin. Also, the brakes look a little rough, so will get the rotors resurfaced on Wednesday, and flush all the fluids.

      [​IMG]

      State of Kentucky is being a pain in the ass with the registration, so the Sarge may become a resident of CA much faster than anticipated. To pass smog, it will need an exhaust and a new gas cap. After that, I think it will pass as everything under the hood is stock except the brakes. It is an X code, so it does not have the california emission junk from the beginning, and I live in east county, so I'm hoping the smog part will go easily.

      Passing the inspection may be a little tougher. I'm hoping I can go through AAA and with a set of mud flaps they will let it on through since all the signals and everything work. The E-Brake is broke, and it needs a new windshield, so I have that to fix too.
       
    10. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Went and picked up 2 new 5' sticks of 1.5" 0.25 wall DOM (holy shit that stuff is high) from Competitive Metals yesterday to replace the tierod and have a spare.

      Also got the ball joints out and will exchange them out today. They still had some life left, but might as well get it done now. I've been running this set for almost 3 years, and I'm running 2" wheel spacers, so that's pretty damn good in my opinion.

      Also got the super joints all greased up. I'm not too impressed with the little grease gun that Yukon sells for their joints. The tip was bent when i took it out of the sealed package and it kept pushing the grease out the bottom, rather than into the zerk fittings. The joint have a little resistance in them, but not as much as I would like. We will see how they hold up.
       
    11. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      got the ball joints and the threaded inserts in yesterday. The driverside upper went in too easy in my opinon, so I think the knuckle is on its way out. I will keep an eye on it, and will pick up a new knuckle for that side in the coming months just in case. The passenger side upper was much tighter.

      Also checked the calipers to see if they were moving freely, and of course they are not. Completely seized on the passenger side, and the rotors were looking ROUGH. I went on and bit the bullet to replace the rotors and calipers and one of the spindle bearings was seized, so swapped that out too.


      As for the rod ends, Ruff Stuff came through like a boss. One of the guys that works in the back follows me on Instagram, and seen that I was needing new rod ends, he sends me a message to call the shop, and they would help me out and get the order to me ASAP. I ordered all the rod ends for the front end (holy shit that hurt) and they gave me the discount before it went live, and helped me out on the shipping. They are arriving today. I've always liked Ruff Stuff, and this just solidified why I choose to go with them first. Doesn't mean Barnes or any of the others are bad, just the "want to help" attitude of the employees (and the owner) of Ruff Stuff really sets them apart in my book.
       
    12. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      well the rain and hail finally let up, so I was able to work on the truck between honey-dos and Christmas festivities.

      I replaced the rotors and calipers, and put the axle assemblies back together, then went to work with some pvc.
      [​IMG]

      this is my first time really building any steering components so I wanted to practice on a $2.50 piece of PVC rather than a $40.00 piece of tube. After getting the measurements of the tierod swing, I compared that to the stroke of the ram. It looks like the ram stroke is about a 1/2" longer than the swing of the tierod, which is likely part of the reason the old tierod got bent on that direction. Any input on this from you more experienced fabricators?

      Then I made the cut and mocked up the steel
      [​IMG]

      borrowed a buddy's welder since my new house doesn't have a 220 plug, and burnt everything in, added some paint, and put it all back together.
      [​IMG]

      After welding up the bungs, the side where I made the cut was really tight. I don't really see this as a problem since I always carry an adjustable wrench with me anyway, and the ram mount is fixed (this may change in the future depending on what I do about the difference in tierod swing vs ram stroke)

      The bolt on the ram mount was being rude and really tough to thread into the nut, so i decided to take it out and go get a new one today. I'll install that and bleed the brakes tonight, then work through replacing the rod ends on all the rest of the front suspension. I didn't want to do anything like that with it still sitting on jack stands with my driveway being slightly sloped.
       
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    13. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Looks good sir. How strong is it with your Steering that way versus it being bolted to the Tie rod?
       
    14. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Updates from last night:

      Truck is back on the ground, brakes are working well, steering is good but it is hitting the axle stops like IDILover up there mentioned. I also noticed something else...

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      As you can see, the drag link rod end is maxing out, and this is at ride height. I also checked on Ruff Stuff's site, and they do not offer a 7/8 rod end with a 3/4 shaft, its the other way around. I'm going to check and see if anyone else does, because I think this would be the easiest fix.

      What's your all's thoughts on this?
       
    15. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      not sure what you mean friend. Do you mean having the drag link on top of the tierod at the knuckle vs mounted directly to the tierod like the jaheeps do?
       
    16. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Got the front end all back together and now moving on to the rear. One of the axle seals is leaking and I want to check the condition of the rear axle shafts since I knew the splines were twisting.

      [​IMG]


      Axle seal was definitely bad. so looks like I'll be replacing these bastards. Going to see if there is a faster or easier way to remove the bearing and keeper without having to cut them off.
      [​IMG]


      Axle shafts looked fine, so onto the 3rd member
      [​IMG]


      The locker is working fine, but in reverse, it is making a loud clicking noise. It only does it in reverse, and it only does it when I am turning. The ranger has the exact same locker and it does not click, but it will make the tires chirp. Have any of you all experienced this?
       
    17. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      got my welder plug all wired up, and decided to finally add some tow hooks to the front bumper, along with a light bar. I only had 1 trick tab, and they are too cheap to not use them, so I tacked the middle one on, and added the tow hooks. They are factory ford units off a ranger that I cut the extratab off and tucked up on the bottom of the winch plate

      [​IMG] (I know it isn't centered. I frickin tried! This is why I'm an accountant not a fabricator)

      I added the screen back on under. I dunno if it does any good because the grates are so large, but whatever. I think it looks better than a big ol gaping hole.
      [​IMG]



      While i was looking at the front end, I notices something about my ram mount. It doesn't push at the same angle as the tierod travels. Not sure if this matters, and I have seen a lot of other setups have the ram at an angle with a straight tierod, but putting it here will remind me to do some more digging on it.

      Good this way
      [​IMG]

      slightly off this way

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: January 31, 2017
    18. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Pitbulls came in yesterday. Still bummed I didn't order the 39.5 bias, but these should save the axle for a little longer. Here they are without air or wheels sitting next to the 39.5 TSLs.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      These are the 37x12.5x16.5 radials as well, so hopefully I will be able to drive it around town once I get the steering situated (and build a set of mud flaps)

      As you can see above, they are not much smaller than the tires on the truck now, but as they wear, they will definitely lower the belly height.

      Tires themselves look bitchin though. 511 bucks a piece though? that's a little steep. They measure the same size as my new 37x12.5x17 MTRs on the Ranger
       
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    19. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      tires on and aired up. holy bajesus I forgot how much torquing these things down suck.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      I got my new rocker switches installed, wired up the pusher fan and the light bar. Won't have rock lights for this trip.

      My biggest problem right now is the brakes/steering. Turn the wheel all the way to the left, fluid pours out of the top of the pump. Turn the wheels all the way to the right and it starves the hydroboost return line, therefore bringing air in the system, and causing cavitation at the pump.

      I think my temp fix will be lowering the return line to the bottom of the unit, and capping off the hole I originally made at the top of the reservoir. My neighbor can help tig weld the hole, but I would like to weld the return fitting to the bottom of the reservoir, but I need to find a weldable steel hose barb fitting first, as the one in there now is brass.

      This pump will be replaced in the future, I just can't afford to swing it right now, so I'm just trying to get a bandaid on before next week.
       
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    20. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Those look awesome!
       
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    21. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      thanks sir
       
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    22. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      last night i got home and was getting ready to go hunt down the female npt fitting, but I wanted to make sure I got the right size, and I knew I had a spare on my fittings shelf, so I opened up the door and WAHLAH! A rear axle vent tube I bought for the bumblebee that didn't fit was staring right in the face with a light coating of surface rust to prove it was steel.

      I cut the threads off, drilled the hole out to a full 1/4" took the pump off, pulled the brass fittings out (getting that brass nut from out of the reservoir sucked), found some sheet metal and made a patch, then took the pump over to my neighbor so he could tig everything together.

      [​IMG]

      Randy (neighbor) was not too happy with the prettiness of his tig welding, so I didn't get a pic, but will take one tonight after the paint has dried.

      Also got my new temporary front shocks. the measurements were ~16.5" collapsed, and ~27 5/8" extended. I went searching for something that had these same measurements with an eyelet top and bottom, and found out that a 99-06 2500 silverado rear shocks are the same measurements...

      [​IMG]

      I say these are temps because I want to go to coilovers soon, and these shocks will be perfect for my daily, and they were the cheapest of the performance brands, so I got them. These are also why I couldn't afford to do anything else with the pump. lol

      and because I like looking at it, I took another picture in basically the same spot as the last picture
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: January 31, 2017
    23. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Don't See pictures :-( Am I not worthy LOL :)
       
    24. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      not sure why they are not showing unless your network has photobucket images blocked.

      Just went through and fixed all the broken image paths, and tried to update everything to current.

      @BKennedy if you want to swing by and check out the trucks, feel free to holler at me. I live in La Mesa. I am leaving for KOH a week from tomorrow.
       
      Last edited: January 31, 2017
    25. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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    26. josh40601

      josh40601 Elite Explorer

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      Shouldn't have anything to do with being an elite member. They are image paths directly to my photobucket

      edit: The links were broken... lol. Should work now.
       

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