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1992 Dora the Explorer

Well I turned 16 this June so this is the first truck I have ever owned. I was originally looking for a Jeep Cherokee but my dad found this one at the school he works at.

Here it is before I bought it
explorer1.jpg



I paid $500 for the truck and got it home.
NewExplorerLeft.jpg


Very first thing I did was install a new Deck because someone stole the faceplate off the old one. At first I couldn't get anything to work, and started to think maybe the speakers were removed and I didn't even bother to check. Finally I tried one more cable and to my surprise, and pain... an insanely loud song started playing :D So I'm a teenager, I like my music loud. Yet I can only listen to my stereo on 20 out of 50 because it's so loud, and it stays crisp too. I'm positive their aftermarket speakers and I couldn't be happier.

At first I needed a new battery, new calipers and rotors, plus new wheel bearings and such for the front end. The guy who had the truck before me wore the brake pads down so much that the pads were actually almost gone, plus the rotors were literally 50% worn down.

After a while of driving everything was working perfectly except for tilt steering, 4x4, and I had a small rad leak.

Well first I read a ton and finally pulled off my shift motor... You know the story, took it apart and the bushing was lying in 2 pieces... Put it back together and 4x4 worked 5 times perfectly then nothing. I got POed and left it for the night. Next morning I went out and 4x4 is working perfectly ever since. HOWEVER I can't get 4-low to engage and I haven't got a clue why.

Well once I got 4x4 working, and my brother got a 1993 Ford 7.3L F250 Desiel I decided it was time to go play. Found a random mud pit in the middle of a dry area so my brother parked and I went to play.
IMG_9639.jpg

That's my friend Cody... Don't ask me how he kept his shoes so white :rolleyes:

A while later I learned that my radiator only leaked when the heater WASN"T on. Plus I found the actual leak, it looked like the rad separated from the plastic pieces running down the sides. My dad found a used rad for $70 so I picked it up and threw it in. No more leaking rad :) Next day I looked and found some PS fluid on the driveway. I looked and looked but couldn't find a leak, and 2 days later it disappeared and hasn't leaked since. So from that moment on I have absolutely no leaks ;)

I always knew I wanted to lift it, but didn't know where to start... Until my neighbor came over and made a call to his friend. A week later 4 very good condition 31" BFG Mud-terrains were donated to "My Cause" :cool: In those few days I mounted the tires, took off the lip under the front bumper, and installed 2 tow hooks from the junkyard.

IMG_9804.jpg


Also as my friend cody sat in the driver's seat he accidently fixed my tilt steering. It consisted of him pulling extremely hard on the lever until it popped :p: So now I have tilt steering lol

And that's how she sits now.
Future plans are 4" rough country lift. Custom tube-bumpers with a roof rack, a full-size spare and then a swing-out tire carrier for the rear bumper. My plans change a lot but I'll keep posting picks of what I do.

Eventually I'd like to have a 4" suspension lift with 2" BL. 33" tires. Bumpers, winch, roof-rack, snorkel, and to finally install the Flowmaster Super 44 that I got for $90 brand new.

Overall I paid $500 for the truck, about $450 in repairs. $117 to install the tires and $7 for the tow hooks. Plus $60 for twice the amount of sandpaper I needed and just enough spray paint for my hood.

lol okay Finally I can finish with a question, Since I got the truck I've been burning blue on start-up. I'm going to replace all the spark plugs and wires, and my neighbor who has always been into trucks and cars said putting exactly an ounce of Dextron ATF tranny fluid in my oil will seal the bushings and help the sticky lifter. Anymore and it will hurt the engine, any less and it won't make a difference. Anyone else heard of this, and what else can I do for burning blue?
 



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97sprt4x4

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if your burning blue that's not a good thing... you may have to pull the heads and re seal them.... if you change your oil is there antifreeze in it? that's a tell tale sign. i would read up on that. besides that, great looking truck, i envy you and your mud terrains and ttb. its 400 to lift yours... 2000 for mine haha. ah well keep up the good work!

Justin
 






Mud4Life

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lol thanks, I love my mud terrains. They work amazing in mud and are actually pretty quite on the road. I have yet to see how they do on ice tho :) Give me a few months and I can tell you. Also I'm gonna do an oil change soon anyway, but I doubt there's anti-freeze in it. I picked up some Seafoam, I'll use that, clean the throttle body, and change all the spark plugs then go from there.
 












Mud4Life

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Well here's the whole story... lol

In the morning because I have crappy spark plugs it takes a while to start. I turn it over a few times then turn the key back. I try again it starts first try and doesn't burn blue. After it's warmed up, if I turn it off and let it sit then start it again, on the first try it will run blue for a few seconds then clear completely up. However after its warm, if it doesn't start right away, I turn the key back, and try again and theres no smoke.

I hope that makes sense, and for that reason I think its the valve seals. I have sticky lifters so I'm GUESSING maybe a valve isn't completely closing causing oil to build up. During start-up if it turns over but doesn't start the oil is cleared away, but if it starts up then it burns the oil?
 






Mud4Life

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UPDATE: I now have an indicator when I hit a bump....its called my horn :( My horn stopped working last night and all of a sudden I hit a small bump and my horn went off for a split second like I tapped the steering wheel. Also my burning blue seems to get worse as it gets cold outside, that or I can just see it way better?
 






Sams01XplrSprt

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nice x
 






Mud4Life

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Little update:
Well everything is fixed, and has been for a while lol. Just been so busy. I also went through a stage of wanting to sell my explorer for something with a solid front axle. I paid 1000 for it total and I have guys interested to sell it for 2500. Very tempting... But I've decided to keep my truck and just rebuild the engine and do SAS when the time comes.

Winter plans are for the 1.5" seat and shackle lift, and some offroad lights on the bumper. Maybe some pics of my winter maintenance tomorrow?
 






rhauf

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Little update:
Well everything is fixed, and has been for a while lol. Just been so busy. I also went through a stage of wanting to sell my explorer for something with a solid front axle. I paid 1000 for it total and I have guys interested to sell it for 2500. Very tempting... But I've decided to keep my truck and just rebuild the engine and do SAS when the time comes.

Winter plans are for the 1.5" seat and shackle lift, and some offroad lights on the bumper. Maybe some pics of my winter maintenance tomorrow?

Jumping on the solid axle bandwagon? Why do you think a solid axle is better? I actually prefer the TTB, it is not weak like CV jointed typical independent front suspension. it's actually very tough. considerably stronger than a solid axle in many applications. The only thing a solid axle does better is rock crawl articulation (with a lot of lift).

full size broncos, rangers, and first gen explorers are my favorite off road vehicles, and the reason for that is the TTB. am i a weirdo?
I've got an explorer project i'm working on right now, it's a 91 which i'm installing a supercharged mustang v6 in, with a 4r70w transmission, divorced T case etc. I am definitely keeping it TTB, i might modify it some and fit bronco axles into it though (9" rear and D44 TTB front) we'll see how money and work goes on it.. it may keep its stock axles.

i've been pounding the TTB front end in my explorer, ranger, and especially my bronco for a couple years now and it's proven a very good arrangement. it is immune to axle wrap, it has a great feel (coil sprung and independent) the axles tubes can't come out of the diff as they can with a solid axle, it rides nice on the road, and it handles high-speed (semi rockey) river bottom driving better than anything else i've driven. (especially anything with leaf springs)

ohh, and with leaf springs, you have to worry about sheering centering pins, where the TTB is very strong for front to back force (with the radius arm going back to the frame)

manual locking hubs might be a nice upgrade when the auto's brake though.

should i post some videos? (ttb abusing videos that is)
 






Mud4Life

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Hmmmm lol thats very convincing. As I said in my first post, I'm 16. My plans tend to change A LOT :)

I have been looking at some threads with people with a 4" lift on front with SOA and shackles in the rear on 33's. I'm pretty happy with the height and looks so thats my goal for now.

I also read that just adding shackles like I plan to do for the winter may just cause my already sagging leafs to flatten out... I'm gonna get the F150 coil seats for the front, but what should I do to level out the rear, keep in mind its already sagging. I wanna keep it cheap cuz I really only need it for 8 months till spring. Stupid Albertan winters.

Edit: And about those manual hubs. I looked in some Pick-n-pulls and found manual hubs but they looked beat to shi*... I was then quoted 400 bucks for everything from calgary to my door for new ones. Is that average for new Warn Manual hubs? CDN prices as well lol
 






rhauf

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The manual hubs are pretty expensive, i thought around $250 though... look online, summit, ebay, etc you'll find some. warn's are good, keep in mind you need the lock nut conversion kit or whatever to install them too (some internals in the spindle get changed, its not a big deal though)

as for the lift, i'll just point out i run 31" BFG's on my first gen, with no lift. they do not rub, and the truck isn't so tall it's tip-happy (explorers are already narrow and tall, no need to make them more prone to rolling) here's a pic so you can see how that looks..
PICT0072.jpg


My friend has a '91 with a 4 inch lift and 33's, and it needed quite a bit of fender trimming to keep the 33's from rubbing, so i don't really recommend that unless you really want to hack up you're truck. some meaty 31's will do just fine.

what do you mean you only need it for 8 months.. are you only planning on keeping it that long? if so, why are you planning all these upgrades, by the time you're done upgrading it it'll be 8 months from now, i'm confused...

by the way, when i lifted my bronco, i just moved the rear spring purch down on the frame, and flipped it over, giving me 3.5" of lift in the back, im sure you could have a welder do something like that for you're explorer too to get a little more lift (how ever much lift you wanted. say 2" to make it sit level etc) that would be a nice cheap way of lifting the rear. be sure to observe driveline angles and shim if necessary.

for the front, if you lift it more than 2" (which i dont recommend due to rolling) you'll have to get drop axle pivot mounts,drop pitman arm, radius arm drop brackets (or extend you're radius arms, which is the preferred method) etc.

btw extending the radius arm is always a good idea, makes it ride better in rough terrain, handle better in it as well.. and makes things a little stronger.. only slightly. and only a benefit if lifted.
 






Mud4Life

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I plan on doing a sort of 2" budget boost lift for over winter, then doing a 4" lift with SOA next spring. Also most trucks I've seen with an SOA can run 33's no problem. Also I may even keep my 1 1/2 - 2" BB in while I do my SOA and 4" lift. That way it will be around 5.5" in the rear and 5.5" in the front... I'm guessing.

Search 2" lift in the search bar and find the write-up on using the coil seats and shackles. That's what I will be doing, I'm just making sure shackles are the best route.

And I just saw a picture of an explorer with shackles, it looks to me like they would hit the ground SO often, they sit way lower than my rear hitch. I'm thinking AAL or some other mojo to get it lifted 2".....
 






Currency

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add a leaf's are about $40. New leaf spring packs are about $200. My leaf's are worn also. I plan to do a SOA, warrior shackles and purchase new leaf packs for my explorer next year. I still need to do some more research but I've read countless times add a leafs over time damage your stock leafs. Something to think about for sure.

summit has new axle perches for under $20 also. Don't know how much you've shopped around for the goodies to do the lift. I'll be running James Duff extended radius arms, maybe a dual shock setup and maybe JD's 5.5" lift. I've been told they are built better then other lifts. 3/4" steel plate Vs. say 1/2".

I should get some measurements because my last job was in a steel fabrication plant and my old foreman would be willing to do it I'd say. They could even make the shackles hum... I should call him :)
 






Mud4Life

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Ya I would probably buy new leafs as well, so I'm wondering if AALs will work for the winter even though their harder on my stock leafs? Are there any other easy ways to lift the rear, other than AAL or shackle? I'm assuming new leaf packs but well I don't wanna spend that much.

Also, I've read that ppl doing SOA will buy 2.5" shocks for the rear. Also people sometimes need new shocks while doing AALs or Shackles. Would it be smart to buy some shocks at the same time, that way I don't have to when I go SOA? Or are they too long for just a 2" lift?
 






eXcali

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For your 4-lo problem, do you know you have to put it in neutral and hold the brake pedal down before trying to switch it to 4-lo? I test drove a 93 a couple months ago and the original owner had no idea how to get it into 4-lo, he never tried it till the warranty was out and figured he didn't want to pay to get it fixed.

Whoever charged you $117 to mount the tires I would never go back to. I get mine mounted and balanced for $12 each. Even 4x4 allignment I can get for $30 +15 thrust allignment.
 






97sprt4x4

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Spring over axle you will more then definitally need new shocks, as that lifts the rear about 4-5". If your just going to do a 2" lift you shouldn't need new shox however depending on how long it will be until you were planning on going SOA will depend on when you purchase the shocks like if it will be a year or two go ahead and buy shocks if you need them if it's going to me a month. I'd wait it out for less parts to need to purchase

Justin
 






Mud4Life

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For your 4-lo problem, do you know you have to put it in neutral and hold the brake pedal down before trying to switch it to 4-lo? I test drove a 93 a couple months ago and the original owner had no idea how to get it into 4-lo, he never tried it till the warranty was out and figured he didn't want to pay to get it fixed.

Whoever charged you $117 to mount the tires I would never go back to. I get mine mounted and balanced for $12 each. Even 4x4 allignment I can get for $30 +15 thrust allignment.

Ya I've tried in neutral, and with the brake pedal down. I'm gonna just have to check the wiring one day. And I went to Midas, it was probably a mistake not to shop around for a cheaper rate but oh well. The tires were free so $177 after everything isn't to bad :p:

And 97sprt, I will have shackles or AAL in the rear for 8 months. Then I plan on doing my SOA. I think I'll just do it in steps; lift the rear, wait to see if I need shocks. If so I'll buy some 2 or 2.5" shocks then from reading I believe those will also work for my SOA.
 






Currency

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Old man Joe recently retired and sold everything from his shop in an auction but use to mount and balance tires for $5 per tire/rim. My other option is a longer drive and I have to think which account to charge them to, Shelby trucking or Kern family farm account. Then I can repay a more distant family member with payments to cover the cost if need be. But right now I can get mine rotated, balanced and mounted for free.

as for rear leafs I've been told to use F-150 leafs. stronger I guess and get'em from a junk yard cheaper. I won't be doing an AAL because I would rather just do the SOA, new shackles and new or different leaf packs if I need more lift.

The SOA will give you between 4" and 5.5"'s depending on how bad and sagging your leaf packs are. Another 2" from shackles so 6" to 7.5". Most likely enough for me. I wouldn't want 6" plus on my DD then you get into larger tires and regearing and another $1,000 depending on where you get your gears, if you regear everything. Front 5" lift is over a grand so that's around $2,500 plus cost of tires another $150 plus per tire.
 



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Mud4Life

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I was planning on getting new leafs and shocks for my SOA, which would give me 5.5" of lift. Then buying the 4" Bronco II lift from roughcountry cause its only $770 USD. Then using the coil seats in front for that extra 1 1/2" lift.
 






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