410Fortune - 96 5.0L XLT refurbish (making 1 great Ex from 2) | Page 28 | 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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no no I am just painting my front clip to match the original light blue on the rest of the truck
There are several dents and area's that would require alot of attention if I was to re-paint the whole truck...

That sparkle purple is just plain nasty

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I know how to aim headlights, but how do you aim these aftermarket ones?

I hate to be a pester on this but I need to know how to aim them when they arrive and i install them. soooooo how do you aim them?

i had a friend that had an old cougar that color, and he had zebra interior (white/black stripe). it was 8-9yrs ago, but it was awesome! lol

the low beam projector has an adjuster, a single screw/star wheel adjuster seen here:

No other adjustments are possible, except for slightly moving the light around on the header panel if needed (on my truck so far so good!)
My guess is it moves the light up and down and also side to side slightly
again there is some engineering in these lights, it apparent when you take them apart... my guess is they did their homework as far as desiging the housing, so dont be surprised to find your high beams and low beams need little to no adjusting, the high beams cannot be adjusted as far as I know

from what I have seen so far they are mostly aimed from the factory believe it or not!
I need to do SLIGHT adjustments to my lights, but other then that they are very very close to being dead on accurate

Aiming the low beam will require removing the lights, adjusting the wheel, re-installing and then test.
Making the lights fit like stock as I did, they slide in and out with just two screws, getting them past the grill is a little tricky, but I have it working well now.

It is to be 60 degrees in Denver this week, We will see about aiming them then...lol yesterday it was 18, right now the truck is on jack stands but I'm finishing all that up tonight :)

Explorer got a bunch of new parts over the holidays!!!

okay so my 96 had another dead spot in the steering, the steering intermediate shaft is still rubbing on my header slightly, my d side Torque Monster header was leaking a bit, the brake master cylinder is worn out, and with 178K miles it was time for a new steering rack and pinion

I did the headlights first, now it was time for new parts:

okay so I needed another intermediate shaft for my steering
with 33" tires, 178K miles, and a 3" body lift the steering needs some help.
I decided to take this opportunity to do the power steering rack and pinion also, due to high miles.

I needed a new gasket on the d side header anyways so I figured two or three birds with one stone

I searched the forum for rack and pinion how to's came up short.
I got the instructions from Alldata.com, but still wanted some more input, the job is done now and I think I can save people ALOT of headaches in the future so here we go.

1996 5.0L V8 rack and pinion replacement, the 410 way LOL
I spent a full day just getting the old SOB out of there, spent alot of time fighting the pinch bolt on the steering shaft and the hydraulic line fittings at the rack itself

but once everything was out I decided I can take pics and this should help others that follow

-I did not have to remove the oil filter or oil filter cooler assembly as the book says to do
-I did have to jack the engine up a bit, no problem
-I did not have to remove the outer tie rods from the knuckle, saving myself an alignment

-I re-installed the rack and pinion with the steering shaft and hydro lines attached to it, this saves so much time its not even funny

-I will show you the installation process, removal is just the opposite


First I got everything out, PITA!! intermediate steering shaft, steering cooler, drivers side header, hydraulic lines, rack and pinion removed:

see the remains of the old Torque Monster header gasket, Robert no longer sends headers with this gasket:

hard to see but everything it out, including sway bar:


Notice the tie rods still on the knuckle, I have new inner and outer tie rods as of last year so I wanted to keep them = no alignment needed!

Now to prepare the new rack and pinion, I got mine from Napa Auto, remanufactured lifetime warranty, $145, $130 core LOL:

new junk yard steering shaft, $35 from a 96, no rips in the boot, no looseness (new copper gasket also pictured):

first I have to remove the inner tie rods from the new rack, uner teh boot you will find your threaded nut:

This is how I got them loose, you need the prybar for leverage, my big ass mexican speed wrench works great for these SOB's:

BONUS! new inner tie rods for next time!

press the new bushings into the new rack (came with it):

next loosen the engine mount bolts and jack the engine up a bit:
(drivers side bolts, real easy to get with no header)

passenger side I un did the engine mount bolt from the underside of the x member

block of wood on oil pan:


No need to go too far! dont let the engine hit the firewall or fan hit the radiator!

attach the hydro lines and intermediate shaft to the new rack:
(top = low pressure out to cooler, bottom = high pressure from pump)


Now to install the beast:
turn the steering shaft all the way to the passenger side and slip the drivers side into place, steering shaft first:


now route the high pressure in hydro line up around the AC compressor, turn the steering shaft all the way to drivers side and slip then pass side of the rack into place:

You can see how I access the rack mount stud bolts, 24mm socket I believe

mount the PS cooler and plumb the lines:

connect the inner tie rods on both sides:

both sides done, rack and pinion installed!:

install the inner tie rod boots, I use a zip tie and put it in place before pressing the boot over the rack, steering the rack all the way to the other side makes this much easier. Please note the notch in the boot goes over the metal side to side tube, not sure of its purpose???:

connect the high pressure line at pump, I use teflon tape and new O rings on all hydro fittings:

re-attach the AC compressor to the block:

install the belt at the tensioner pulley:

Drop the engine back down carefully, tighten the bolts, fill and bleed the steering system and you are DONE!

Hope that helps! The key here is you can save alot of time by removing and installing the steering rack with the hydraulic lines and steering shaft in place

I am finishing up the rest of my project tonight, 8 new plugs, complete my steering column drop, new intermediate shaft, header installed with gasket, and finally a new brake master cylinder and bleed all 4 calipers.
header in with new copper gasket, you can see where my steering shaft was rubbing:

my custom steering/firewall drop boot, I had to cut the firewall down quite a bit and re-locate the booty down about 2":

JT I have tan and black ones, the tan ones are my "shop shoes" you can find them at the door from garage to house at all times LOL

my black ones are my I am too lazy to lace up my doc martins shoes, they stink! LOL I wore them all summer no socks when working in the garage :)
Gotta love slip on's with good tread!


How do you avoid an alignment though, since you changed the inner tie rods?

If the inners are not seperated from the outers, no alignment needed. The inner "ball joint" will spin continuously as you detach/reattach it to the rack.

bingo, I changed the inner tie rods last year, so I just left them on the truck this time around.

Now if I was to remove them I would have measured toe myself
I would have measured the inner and outer tie rod assembly before removing it (length) then I would have done my best to match it. I also would have measured toe before and after installation, I can adjust tow myself pretty damn well with just a tape measure.
This time it was not required, but I do have two brand new inner tie rods that came with the new rack! more pics coming tonight.... steering column drop 101, part 2


welp I drove her today, first time in a month or so

steering is AWESOME, no more header hitting my steering shaft for the first time since I bought the damn thing! No dead spots, its awesome, like a different truck

I drove it a bit last night after finishing everything up, the lights DEFINATLEY need to be aimed, my driveway did not do them justice, although the light spread is way better then before, the Sylvania extra visions have a nice blueish light too... looks so damn cool at night!

I had to smash up one tube on my $600 header, it killed me to do it, but I had no other way to completely clear the steering shaft, short of reducing my body lift.
I flattened one of the tubes just a bit, not too bad, but I still didnt want to.

tha damn auto parts place sold me the wrong spark plugs also... have to go back to get the correct Autolite double plats

I drove it to work this AM with no front sway bar, WOW
the 4 door v8 explorer needs a front sway bar, I can tell you that! The suspension is QUIET and smooth, but the body sways like a SOB on the highway bumps!
Picking up new bushings for that tonight.

pics coming, SO HAPPY to have no exhaust leaks, no dead spots in steering, no engine hitting steering, what a difference! its like a new 96, LOL it should be the whole thing has been rebuilt now, except the diffs and rear leafs (those are next!)!

Very well done Jamie, and great pictures also.

thanks! I need to get some more of the steering mods, it FINALLY clears 100% and is smooth as silk! 96 has come to life! Just in time its to be our family cruiser :)
taking it shooting and light 4x4ing this weekend

:popcorn: Just killed an hour looking through this thread....Good work! When are you getting her painted?

99ex22 I am painting the front clip myself, actually a hood and fenders that are new, not the ones pictured on my truck

I have been collecting tools for this, the sprayers the adapters for my compressor (water/debris filter) finally I have everything I need except the paint :)

Currently there is a 98 V8 in my garage getting a new engine, once this is done and the weather permits I will be painting body parts :)

My plan is to do EVERYTHING in house
Windshields, alignment, Tire mount & balance, and exhaust work will still be done elsewhere, but EVRYTHING else I want to be able to do in house

ionce I get a front clip the same color I will be happy as a clam, its been 10+ years since I had a truck all one color.....good practice for painting my BII and then someday the entire exploder including body work (some big dents and scratches in this truck, I use the hell out of it)

thanks for reading! I love this truck, drove her this am, she needs new tires soon
very impressed with the Dick Cepek FCII's I have on there, they have worn so very very well compared to other aggressive AT's I have had (yes even BFG O's)
I will likely get another set, also one of the best tires I have ever run in the sand and snow

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Good writeup on the rack install. I'm a master at replacing them, I did three racks and three pumps in three months with my 35s tearing them to pieces. Only my install was a little more difficult, I had to drop the LCAs and RCD front drop bracket. Exactly why I went to a gear box, I hate racks with a passion. I just finished getting clearance and full lock-to-lock on my gear box install Wednesday. Its gonna be awesome and VERY easy to replace. Best part is it has beefy tie rods. Anyways I hope you have good luck with that rack.

I'm sure your rack will run well with 33s for a while longer then mine did. 35s are just too much for our stock rack if you drive it much on the road at all.