2000 Eddie Bauer restoration, only to become a donor... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2000 Eddie Bauer restoration, only to become a donor...


Elite Explorer
June 2, 2000
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
'05 Sport Trac Adrenalin
2000 Explorer Eddie Bauer

This is the central hub for links, and the "Origin Story".


April 2021 CoPart auction winner, $600 (+Fees/taxes) scores me this "Running/Driving" (IYKYK) donor.

[Family member] was returning to the East Coast, so I hitched a ride halfway across the Country to Macon, GA with nothing but my tuning laptop, an SCT X4 (Troubleshooting and incase PATS needs to be defeated), assorted cables for tuning/mobile hotspot, flashlight, notebook, pen.

The "plan" was to drive it home, or arrange for shipping and schlep home. The only option I planned for was driving it home.

Arriving at CoPart, we went through the paperwork and they asked me to wait out front for delivery [mind you, this was still "peak CoViD"].

Here it comes!




Initial inspection was AMAZINGLY clean, with no obvious issues until I got the key (singular):

Sticky, gooey mess on everything up front, masks everywhere, hand sanitizer, 3-4 mirror trees, and a rear hatch warning.



Went outback to check, the hatch was closed, but then I noticed the rear damage BETWEEN the bumper and right rear lights - pushing the body in and rolling the right latch/closed switch in.

Test drive around the parking lot revealed the right front tire was constantly rubbing on the bumper. I pulled the bumpercover up, and over the front fender - done.

[Family member] thought I was nuts, so I asked them to follow me to the parts store to get the codes read (I already did, but [Family member], am I right?).


Tech agreed, nothing critical for a salvaged parts car, [Family member] appeased, and they went on their way.

I talked with the employees and they said I could hang out for a bit. Purchased 1 roll of shop towels, window cleaner, heavy-duty interior scrubber pop-up tub, electrical contact cleaner, and a tasty beverage, then spent the next couple hours getting the interior "habitable".

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Sweet looking car, even with the issues it has.

Within a couple miles (AFTER cleaning), I was hooked. Were it not for the fatal hatch damage - the reason I felt it was totaled - I would have restored this as a daily!


Fatal hatch damage isn’t always fatal. I was able to repair this…only indication is one of the tail lights is ****ed out slightly

I keep the receiver hitch with a 3 way ball in so I get them worse than they get me.

My postmortem suggested was the EB was hit from behind and tossed into the vehicle ahead of them. Someone up front had a 44oz "Super Tanker" of diet cola which exploded up the dash to the windshield and was dripping off the sunroof. There were dried drops on the glass... ugh.

Once cleaned, destickied, and demasked, the plan was to take back roads to head towards the highway. If I could detect all 4 gears and a lockup, I'd call it good and hit the highway - gradually increasing speed.

Made a side quest based on some road signs:


18mpg at an average of 75mph, better than the 4.0L, 5sp Sport Trac:


910 miles before the idler pulley let loose in Dallas @ Rush Hour.


Police called a wrecker, driver was at the end of his shift, AND lived in the same town (40 miles away), gave me a heck of a deal - it was $25 more than just getting it off the freeway! If you are familiar with DFW, this is like the WORST possible spot...


Was able to find MANY of the parts in and around the engine compartment. I had a spare pulley that I installed, just to get it back together:


Home safe.

Shortly after, life happened.
Opportunity arose, house is short-sold, and we were living in a 17' camp trailer for 6 months with all our stuff in storage.

But, we're on a half acre homestead on the kids farm, off-grid, Solar, cistern, rain collection and all.

NOW I need a shop.

Since the Sport Trac's 5R55E TCC failed (220,000+ Miles, 130k since the Ford rebuild), we need a way to tow that trailer, so the project is moved to the front burner.

We used the kids tractor to tow the EB from the side lot to our plot so I can assess the damage.

Field mice took over the engine compartment, but through some miracle, the interior was spared!

Plug wires are partially chewed, and the air cleaner became their condo...


Yes, those are crayfish claws. These mice were livin' large!

Thank goodness for the wire mesh on our air filters

Dallas Fort Worth highways and traffic what a nightmare to break down there!! Lucky you survived

Homestead is where it’s at! Anything else is just boring lol lol

[rain, rain, cloudy eclipse, waiting on parts, rain, rain]

Parts arrived yesterday, but UPS declared an "Emergency Condition/Severe Weather Event" - Nah Bruh, it's just Wednesday on the homestead.
Rescheduled for Friday - updates then.

VB scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
DPFE arrived today.
As did the fuel filter.

And so it begins:
[You don't HAVE do this, seriously, I'm damaged from DECADES of trust issues on used vehicle. But I have found issues on new vehicles too.]

Every fuse comes out, and gets inspected. You are looking for corrosion, burn marks, arcing (fuse blows as inserted), wrong value, replacement fuses:


Then cleaned with a stainless steel bush (clean bristles with electrical contact cleaner for good measure):


Location/rating is checked against the manual.
If correct, the socket gets spritzed with electrical contact cleaner, and the fuse gets dielectric grease:


Then it's put in the right spot according to the chart, no wiggling, jiggling, scraping, just stab it in and move on:






(You did nylon brush/clean the yellow plastic with the fuses out, right?)

[+25 Internet points if the fuses are properly indexed.]

OEM 2000 Top, Aftermarket Bottom - similar markings, but obviously different:


Without stopping for pix/issues, this box (all fuses/relays) is about 2 hours.

The 30A marked "LOST" fell inside the plastic fender well, 20 minutes of screw removal/shaking, I gave up.

When I got disgusted at the OEM vs. Aftermarket differences I decide to try again. I grabbed the inside liner from inside the wheelwell pulled it out and let it "pop" back into place, it came flying out and landed in the grass.


You do the inside fuse box as well?
I have fixed a few dead circuits this way

Yes, but I start under the hood and work towards the load(s).

Plugs 1-4:


Plugs 5-8:


Plugs are numbered, but I need a feeler gauge to check the gaps.

All plugs were APP104 Double Platinums 1-4 had their platinum electrodes on the center, but not the ground. 5-8 were bad, 7 was the only one with a Platinum button, and the gaps were crazy.

The DS coil pack was getting overheated, cracked, and chipped. PS looked great, but had no Ford sticker (replaced?). Gonna do a post mortem on the plugs vs. the condition of the coil packs.

Compression test was tough, cylinders 3 and 6 were really tough to get a good seal based on the locations, they got 'asterisks'.





1 - 166
2 - 160
3 - 145*
4 - 165

5 - 160
6 - 140*
7 - 160
8 - 162

You need the 14mm long adapter on the hose, and When it gets stuck in the plug hole it takes a 17mm deepwell NOT the 5/8" plug socket.


Autolite APP104 DPs - damn, are these OEM plugs??
They sure look like they've got 139,000 miles on them!
Wires were changed, but it PROBABLY needed plugs too...

Snapped 2 of the 8 coil pack bolts (M5x.08, 27mm), the OEM bolts are garbage; finessing them I still broke 2. I used a 1/2" impact with adapters and pulled them STRAIGHT OUT.
Sometimes you need to let your "Intrusive Thoughts" win...


No more plates available, and Ford switched to Stainless bolts #FordKnew

Found another fault code, mice also chewed the ECT sensor wires. Gah.
Gonna look for a replacement harness for reasons.

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Here is the bumper I pulled out and "hooked" over the trim:


And this is the "fatal" damage to the back (reason it was totalled):


I'm sure the fact that the transmission was in "Limp Home Mode" factored in somewhere.

The corner is pushed in and behind the hatch. Hatch doesn't seal, latch, and the "hatch open" light stays on.