410Fortune - 96 5.0L XLT refurbish (making 1 great Ex from 2) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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410Fortune - 96 5.0L XLT refurbish (making 1 great Ex from 2)

Okay here we go 09/13/05

In march of 05 I rolled my new to me 96 5.0L AWD 86K miles, just after driving it back to CO from OR and putting $1000 into it. You see I bought this truck from my brother with 86K miles on the clock, it would not pass emissions for him and he drove it into the ground. This was the same explorer he bought new when I got the BII from him for $500 12 something years ago.
Well I payed him $500 for the green Explorer and $1000 later (shocks, tune up, 02 sensors, etc) it was in primo condition. Then I rolled it in an ice storm...
RIP 96 EB:


So in April my buddy Brett found this great deal here in town for a 96 XLT 5.0L AWD, $900 is what I paid, it has front end damage and air bags deployed, picked it up from a fellow board member:

After the wreck the owner put in a new radiator and battery so it could be driven.
The truck has sat since April of this year, untouched, until this morning.
I have been preparing my new garage to accept my new project, and well she's ready, so today is the day I am driving this truck home.
To my disbelief this truck had no problem and started right up after sitting since April!

Here are some "before" shots:
Font end damage, sagging T bars, new rad:

No airbags, interior is in great shape! (just needs TLC):


It has some "issues". Like steering extension is rubbing the manifold (3" body lift), no dipstick:

No fan, No ac condensor, and no trans cooler:

This is a 1996 5.0L AWD XLT with 151K miles on the clock.
Truck is loaded with sunroof, leather, tint, etc.
Previous owner installed 3" body lift and 33" tires.
Alot of things have been "rigged" but it runs and drives fine!

I will be completely removing the front clip, everything except the frame and inner fenders will be cut out. The entire drivetrain will be pulled (too many miles), the entire front end will be fixed, new bushings, bearings, new steering rack, torsio bar twist, shocks, brakes, etc.

the body lift will be fixed and or reduced to 1-2". the rear bumper will be re-located.

The drivetrain from my green 96 will be installed into this truck, along with alot of other "donor" parts.

The front clip will then be replaced using factory metal replacements, welding in new rad support, and then prepped for paint.

truck needs new windshield, airbags, and alot of TLC.

My long term plans for this truck include: "long travel" 4x4 IFS suspension lift (dixon bro's Camburg, etc). Stereo, tow package, SOA, low range T case, and custom everything else.
This is my "other" baby, and in keeping with tradition she will have the heart of my brothers old truck, just like the BII was his and run into the ground, so was "part" of this one.

Still no car payment after 12+ years.
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410Fortune said:
This was the same explorer he bought new... 12 something years ago.
How'd he buy a '96 in 1993? :p

Good luck on the project! :thumbsup:

mr picky strikes again...ok so 10 years ago, he got it in late 95.
"My memory is really good, its just really short"
hahaha plus I dont like to think I am that old....I am.

Sounds like a nice project. I can already picture it with Camburg up front and some 35s. :cool: :thumbsup:

uht oh!

im ready to enjoy reading about this.

This will be a sweet project. Can't wait to see that long travel IFS, among other things.

Sweet project. It has the lovely green interior too!

F the IFS! This one needs the SAS! Unless that is your new daily driver... :)
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F the IFS! This one needs the SAS! Unless that is your new daily driver... :)

And if it is your daily driver then SAS the BII looks like a fun project.

nice lift kit choice, never heard of em until i just looked 'em up now. i didnt see that one available when i found mine, that and i got a pretty nice deal. i just picked up a used RCD kit which i will be installing in the near future. check my sig 4 details.

Excuse me that leather is not green it's blue, hahaha just covered in mud and dust!
The seats are actually in better shape then the ones in the BII :p I am impressed with this truck! Everything works perfect, the only damage is slight sheet metal around the truck and a ton of mud packed in underneath.
She will clean up nicely!

This is my DD, it will not be getting a SAS :p
The BII will not get a SAS either but the BII will be getting a D44 hehehe. I have big plans for the BII, take it to the next level so to speak. Bit first things first, I need a reliable explorer DD.

it looks green, i dunno if i would go so far as to say like grass tho...

your wheels are as white as "snow"

I forgot to add the Explorer made the 15 mile trip, no police, no problems. It does heat up on hill climbs of course (no fan) but cools right back down down hill, good thing from here to there is a drop in elevation of about 4000 feet :)
the brakes are weak, likely needs new everything with 151K miles.
The truck drives nice and odd too thanks to the mis aligned front end and 33's

She is now parked in the garage where she will stay until the drivetrain swap is done.

Sounds like a perfect place for the 4R70W Rebuild Diary trannie!

Glacier, hahaha
I currently own 3ea GT-40 5.0L's and 3 ea 4r70w transmissions.
The 97 Mercury drivetrain with 53K miles (P heads) just got installed into my BII. The transmission was not rebuilt, but all so=ft parts and any semi worn hard parts were replaced and the trans was gone through in order to install the AA AOD to 1354 adapter.

The blue truck (new project) has 151K miles, the trans fluid is burnt and it hesitates. Although it runs great, it is showing signs of age. This drivetrain will become my "spare" and the trans willget rebuilt before I use it in anything.

The green truck I rolled, only has 86K miles, and I just spent $1000 tuning it up (new 02, new EGR, new plugs, wires, fluids, filters, etc. Trans flush, shocks and more) before the wreck. this drivetrain is getting removed from the rolled truck, and stabbed into the blue truck in the next couple of weeks.

It works out perfect because I can simple cut the front end off the green truck, remove guts. Cut the radiator support out of the blue truck and remove guts. All plug and play. Then the remaining parts fromt he green truck will get boxed up for spares (interior, glass, wiring, everything but the shell) The shell will then get crushed.
and the 151K mile drivetrain stored in a shed until I need another GT-40 5.0L and or trans (hopefully not for a long long time)

Explorer at home:

Look ma no hood!

Progress 09/15
Removed the front skin, both fenders, front headlight bezel, headlight assembly, grill and hood.
Now we can see what we are dealing with, not too bad at all, light damage.
Frame is in great shape.



I stopped here because I still need to move the truck one more time before I cut the rad support off and pull out the drivetrain.
I want to clean up all the mud and grease first, so the rad and trans still have fluid.
this weekend the rad support comes off and I will tackle the drivetrain, exhaust, etc get it ready to be removed.
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96limitedX said:
awsome project...cant wait to see it done!

Personaly, I'd rather see it step by step and learn from this :thumbsup: And then you can really appreciate the finished product. From his past project he set a standard that no dought will be matched or exceded.