1992 xlt Center Console hack/restoration | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1992 xlt Center Console hack/restoration

trozei123

Well-Known Member
Joined
March 1, 2015
Messages
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 Explorer XLT 4x4
I have a 92 xlt that came with the 60/40 split front bench seat. i wanted to get rid of the center seat and put in a console so i would have some more storage space. first thing was a trip to wal mart to see what they had. i found a small one for about 20$. i first tried attatching it to the armrest, but i did not like the way it hung off the edge. so i made the decision that was the hardest one of all. That pesky center seat and armrest had to go.

after several hours of beating at the frame with a chisel, (if i had my dremel, it would have gone so much faster) i got the metal frame of the seat removed. i saved some foam from the armrest to stuff into the drivers seat after i hand sewed the fabric back together to make the seat look solid.

i felt puzzled about the idea of using that small wal mart console now that i had so much room. i looked in my local junkyard for some consoles. while i did like the idea of using a real explorer console, i did not like how small the storage compartment was. plus they all had a single small cup holder. i did not have much money to take the console from the junk yard, so i went home to think some more.

i noticed that walmart had a full sized van console for 30$, so i wrote the measurements down. after looking around my 19 month old son's room, i finally found the perfect hack to use my original console!

i went out to the junk yard and found an ex with the same color interior as mine (blue) and i cut out the fabric from the armrest. after i got home, i used some matching blue painters tape to wrap the fabric around a regular sized level 4 box of pampers diapers. then i got a small book to put on the floor to hold the back end up since there is a small dip in the floor.

SUCCESS!!!!

i still am working on finding a small piece of wood and some small hinges to make a lid to use as an armrest. but i am very happy with the result.

other than the console, i am trying to fix it up so that the ex is as original as i can get. i don't have a big budget, so thankfully, i am finding most of the parts i need for free. i still have some issues that came with the car when i bought it from a car lot. thanks to this website, i have fixed two of them. still have a couple to go.

Issues solved:
drivers window and rear drivers side window now operate smoothly.
brake booster needed to be replaced.

Issues remaining:
want to get 4x4 working (i found the post about fixing the shift motor, will start there)

transmission leaks slowly from front (tranny shop says it the front pump seal, but i only have enough money to just keep putting fluid in)

rear passenger window is broken (the motor cable is broken from either the top or bottom of the door)

Parts found and replaced:
Rear Window Washer Nozzle
Rear door ashtray and mounting bracket
Seatbelt extensions
4x4 control module for rear compartment
4x4 button module for dash

I am very thankful to have found this website. So much more knowledge on here than i got out of my haynes manual.
 



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Post some pics of how it came out?
i wish i could. sadly, i am not a member and i really can't afford it right now. maybe when i get some extra cash, i will definitely sign up. this site is so worth it. :)
 






You can use a number of free online hosts. Imgur is a good one (that won't resize photos like Photobucket). You can also sign up for Dropbox where you can share files (more than just pictures).
 






You can use a number of free online hosts. Imgur is a good one (that won't resize photos like Photobucket). You can also sign up for Dropbox where you can share files (more than just pictures).
ok. i will look into it. thanks. :)
 






Thanks to natenkiki2004, I can now upload some pics of my work in progress.

http://imgur.com/EswIum8
http://imgur.com/jf1BtJl
I really have grown to like this car. It fits me right, and I have enjoyed getting my hands into it fixing it up. I came across this site when i was looking for a way to disable the alarm. since then, this site has become my major source of knowledge, besting out my haynes manual.

Here's what I did for the center console that I made.
http://imgur.com/0iCX567
Its not completely glamorous, but it does work great. I am still trying to come up with an idea to make a lid that will have some more fabric on top so it will feel smoother. and I need to redo the bottom to get over this hump in the floor.
http://imgur.com/tWxB3S0
right now, i just have my haynes manual sitting on the low end, and the "console" sits right on it.

I know it probably would be better in a different thread, but since I mentioned the restoration of my ex as the title, I thought I would throw out this little puzzle.

http://imgur.com/wTdJOFh
I know its a little blurry, but this is the location of my transmission leak. it drips super slowly, but its enough to where I have to put in a whole quart or two every other day I drive. I have put in more quarts than I can count. I tried half a large bottle of lucas leak repair, no luck. its been this way since i bought the car in october last year from a lot. guy was a jerk, saying he drove it for 40 miles without a slip. he refused to fix it. so here I am, months later, and at least 80 bucks down the drain in fluid. What can I do to stop this leak?
 






well, it has been a while since i posted an update. i have been doing more work slowly on my ex. went to the junkyard recently and got four more parts to fix some small issues.

vanity mirror on drivers flap is now in.
tachometer no longer shoots up to over 3k and sticks there.

sadly, the other two parts have not quite gone as expected.

voltmeter/temp gauge still swings below cold even when engine is warm (this is annoying)
rear view mirror is broken (i got a clean mirror to replace mine that seemed to have dirt on the backside of the glass. my son was playing with the new one and threw it on the ground and cracked it)

transmission doesnt leak much anymore. i used some silicone sealant to seal the bottom edge where the trans and engine meet. it seems to be working so far. just a few light drops now. maybe one more pass with the sealant will do.

any ideas on what i should do for the temp gauge issue? i have tried doing the "burp" procedure that i have found on other posts, but it doesnt seem to help. is there another part that needs replacing? will a full flush help?
 






transmission doesnt leak much anymore. i used some silicone sealant to seal the bottom edge where the trans and engine meet. it seems to be working so far. just a few light drops now. maybe one more pass with the sealant will do.


That's not fixing it. Your just keeping the leaking oil from hitting the ground. There is a seal on the back of the tranny where the torque converter slides through that seal is probably leaking. You need to drop the transmission to change it. Sealing the seam where the engine meets the tranny leaking oil is just building up inside the bell housing.
 






i wish i had the money to be able to fix the trans properly. i took it to a local shop and they said it would be between 700-1k just to put in a 10$ part. its not a glamorous fix, but i am hoping the silicone will keep me from having to keep dumping more fluid into the trans.
 






Well you'll still have to keep putting oil in. Oil in the Bell housing is not in the transmission. Your transmission will begin to slip may not go into gear at all. The Bell housing is just a space where your torque converters is. If you do manage to seal the bottom seam it will just keep filling higher and leak at a higher point along the seam. Dropping the tranny is a pain in the butt but its doable over a weekend dropped mine last year to change that seal.
 






^^ What vq5speed said.

The space between the engine & trans holds the torque converter and is supposed to be dry. There's even a gap at the bottom for temperature expansion of the air. If you manage to seal it all around and it fills with ATF, at the very least it will hurt your gas mileage.

There's one thing we're forgetting about though; the starter. It will leak too since there's no gaskets but more importantly, you're putting ATF into the starter. That will cause issues like short circuits. It will probably fry the starter one way or another. Since the starter draws so many amps, it's not fused except for the solenoid which drops out at a certain voltage. Frying the starter may fry battery cables and maybe even damage the battery.

You may be 'saving' money by not fixing the leak but you're not doing anything to fix the problem, in fact just making more problems. I know it's not what you want to hear. Believe me, I know seeing leaks almost gut-wrenching. It's just the way it is. If you want to keep the vehicle running, it has to be fixed.
 






As much as I despise snake oils, there is ONE I have had. luck with. It's called AT 205 Re-Seal. It MIGHT, if the seal isn't too far gone, help fix your issue. Follow the instructions exactly. It doesn't clog anything or have any metals in it, it just conditions seals without making them so soft they rot. Same concept as "high mileage" fluids.

It worked on a vehicle for me, so it is the only thing of its sort I endorse if you're in a financial pinch. Much better than a bellhousing filling with fluid, if it works (even if it doesn't, it's cheap and won't cause a problem like a fried starter). AT-205 Re-Seal is available at Summit Racing (online) and Amazon. Also works on engine seals (not gaskets, just seals).

Good luck! And this won't fix it forever. But if it works, it'll get you by til you can have it fixed properly.
 






you all are right. i really should invest time into getting this done properly. i really do love this car, even though my fiance thinks i am wasting my time and money on keeping a 23 year old car running. i can maybe scrounge up the money for the seal. as far as tools go, will i need a lot of special ones? should i follow the procedure in my haynes manual? or is there an easier way to drop the tranny? i have almost 240k miles one this. how long will this car last if i fix the leak?
 






It's hard to say. All that depends on usage and maintenance. I would do a lot of research before I dug into that. It's a big job.

I love my Ex as well, so I get it. But what you do with it is just something you have to weigh up. Owning an older vehicle is lots of care and maintenance.
 






Some metric tools sockets extensions wrenches a floor jack some jack stands and a 2nd person would help a lot. And not be afraid to get your hands greasy you can do it.

There's a few youtube videos you can go watch to get an idea what to expect..
 






what would the hardest part of the job be? taking the trans out?
 






The two things that took some time for me was getting the 2 bolts on the very top of the bell housing out. You can't really see them you feel your hand on them. You need a swivel and some long extensions. The other is putting the tranny back in getting it lined to the back of the motor. You just got to have patience a 2nd person helps a lot to work the jack while you line it up.
 






If you're gonna do this, it may also be prudent to replace the rear main seal on the engine, too. And the oil pan gasket...since to do those, the tranny has to be out of the way to do either.

The hardest part depends. I would say putting it back together, since with any big job, that's the part I dislike most. :p
 






If you're gonna do this, it may also be prudent to replace the rear main seal on the engine, too. And the oil pan gasket

Tranny is not in the way of dropping the oil pan. You can't drop the oil pan motor has to be pulled out to do that job.
 



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Ahh. Forgot about that. Been a while since I looked! I thought about replacing mine a year back, actually. I only remember seeing how horrid it would be and saying, "yeah, not for a while".
 






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