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bats's 94 XLT

The story of my Ex is a tale of love and hate. When I first got my Ex it seemed too good to be true. A 1994 Explorer XLT in good condition with working 4wd, or so I thought. See my WHOOPS! thread for deets. At this point I was pretty pissed, no 4wd, gas gauge didn't work,weird noises,drips. I got so much grief from the Jeepers, getting my butt towed back down the beach was like the walk of shame from hell. Once I stopped groaning about it I did some searching and found these forums which renewed my faith. Bit by bit I weeded out the problems (auto hubs swapped for Warn manuals, fuel pump replaced) I began to grow to once love my big dopey truck. Spending the remainder of last summer and parts of this year beach driving was what really rekindled my love and snuffed the Jeep envy I had. The rest as they say, is history. And now for the part you've all been waiting for, pics and specs:

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On the beach, note the lights held on by string. I was in the process of redoing the brackets.

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Beach cruisin'.

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Rausch Creek. Courtesy of Ben.

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Again. Courtesy of Ben.

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Engine and transmission are stock 4.0L A4LD tranny.

Warn Manual Hubs

Radio:
iPod compatible head unit
Stock sound system, in need of replacement

Communications:
Radioshack CB radio with custom tail light antenna bracket
3 ' fiberglass antenna, also from Radioshack

Lights:
2x50 Watt Baja offroad lights

Recovery Points:
Front and Rear hitches w/ tow hook receiver

Oh, almost forgot about the name. The weekend after I got her, I was at a Hot Topic or similar outlet and there was a pinup girl handing out ads for clothes in which she was the model. Her name was Eleanor and since then I've had the card in my car and the name just kinda stuck. Eleanor, Ellie, whichever.
 


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Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
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nice x u got there bat
 




bats

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Yeah, it was pretty nice until I took it off road.... ^^
 




bats

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Wow, the last post on here is almost a year ago! It's about time I update this. Most of you know I rolled the red truck in November. I was heartbroken, all that time and work I put into that ####er and it has to go do a barrel roll down the highway. Anyways, I was at a crossroads of what to do. I have a dead truck with 85% of it's parts usable and a truck with a broken u-joint. (This one.) After crunching the numbers I figure it'd just be cheaper to take what I can off the red one and transfer it to the green once since I now had everything I need to fix and lift it. I made a deal with my mechanic that he could have the engine and tranny in exchange for some work.Bit by bit I've been taking pieces off it.

Back to the green truck. For the past few months it was just shuffled around between the driveway and the backyard and driven to work once or twice. Every time it started right up and ran strong, minus the yet untraced coolant leak. I finally buckle down and started work on the green truck. In the middle of last weeks snow storm we dragged one of the Buicks out of the car ports to make a spot for the green truck. And so it began.

My plans for her varied but I think I've settled on the following options. I do have a bit more money to play with than I did last year but I don't want to get too crazy. (If such a thing is possible.)

Lift:
2 inch coil spacers and shackles from Christine

Tires:
32 inch whatever I find on Craigslist

Gears:
4.56 with Rear locker (Brand unknown for now)
Possible front selectable ARB locker

Misc:
More aux lights
c-clip eliminator
front/rear hitches
Onboard air?
CB Radio- DONE

For now that's all I can think of and I'm sure I'll add more as I go along.
 




bats

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Splitting this into 2 posts since it's a lot to swallow.

Started the process of removing the diff. Jacked up the passenger side. Took the tire off. Went to remove the shock and Surprise! Shock mount shears off. I'll deal with that later.
I got a couple of cans of PB Blaster yesterday. Man that stuff is awesome! Drenched all the bolts in the axle as well as the drive shafts.

Tonight I successfully loosened the radius arm bolts. For any one interested the top bolt is actually a stud. Once you remove the top nut that holds the coil spacers on you have to use a 1 1/8" box wrench to remove the stud. Slip the end of the wrench into a big pipe for extra leverage. The bolt on the bottom is also 1 1/8". Use said box wrench here too. I'm waiting to fully remove the bolts until I have the torx needed to remove the flanges on the front drive shaft. I got as far as removing the ABS sensor. I failed to realize there's two bolts that hold it on, maybe three. I'll check tomorrow it's now 23 degrees here. I ended up cracking the piece the bolts screw into. The spindle was rusted to the knuckle so I'm letting it soak in PB for a while. The inner bearings seem to be stuck on it. They move freely but won't come off the spindle. Worst case I score them and beat em off tomorrow.

So far no major breaks, injuries, losses but I haven't even gotten an axle shaft out yet. XD
Off hand, does any one remember the size of the torx needed?
 




bats

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Despite really only doing work on weekends, this is moving along quite nicely. Aside from ~20 degree weather and 2 feet of snow... Anyways.

Got the drivers side of the front axle pretty much gutted. Shaft out. Radius arm off. Front drive shaft marked and off. Coil spring out. Haven't decided if I"m going to do ball joints yet but I'm definately doing axle bearings as this one makes a similar noise to the red truck. For the newer members, the Radius arm requires a 1 1/8" deep socket and box wrench. The drive shaft requires a Torx 25.
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Breathe deep and repeat after me... I love my TTB. I love my TTB...

I finally got to view the elusive pinch bolt in person. You really do have to take the radius arms off so you can remove it. (What disgruntled engineer thought of this sh!t?!) By the time I got it off, the diff finished draining. Old diff fluid is yummy.
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The pinch bolt.

After a little coercion from the floor jack, the pumpkin finally came off!!!:party: Time to start on the rear.

Rear was simple enough. Drain the diff. (Yay, more smelly shit.) Remove the brake stuff/backing plates. Pop the c-clips off and pull the axle shafts. Today I took the u-bolts off to free the axle. Kinda forgot about the ABS? sensor on top of the housing and the axle rolled forward and pulled it out. I'll deal with that later. Also removed the rear sway bar.
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The little sensor thingy that sits on top of the housing (pre-crack).

So now I just need to settle on gear ratio, locker and tires. I'm leaning towards 4.56, an Aussie and 32's so trimming would be at a minimum if at all.

I also picked up the springs for the c-clip eliminaor mod. The ones from lawnmowersupply ( or something like that) work wonders...once you get them on. I had a bitch of a time. I was doing it in my room and all you heard was *tap tap tap* FCKU! *tap tap tap* FCUK! My mom comes in and asks what the heck I"m doing and sees me straddling the axle shaft with bloody hands. She tells me to make sure I don't stab uh MY axle shaft and walks out.
 




bats

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Snow day.

The first snow of the year and guess what I decide to do, tow cars. Finally got around to making room so I have a 'workshop.' Had to drag out one of our oldies. Got a few nice pics:

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2 wheel drive Explorer vs 64 Buick in the snow=fail.

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She does look pretty in the snow.
 




bats

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Just a few updates, pics to follow. Progress on the truck has been limited since last I posted. The temps continue to hover around freezing and the Car Port thing I had had the canvas shredded in the storms. Replacement is on backorder. heh. Thus far I've succesfully setup the c-clip eliminator springs and had the clamps welded. Welded the axle tubes to prevent spin. Took every part I could off the red truck. And tonight's crowning achievement was installing the passenger side coil spacer. Now I'm just waiting for the gears to be installed. Meanwhile I'm painting miscellaneous things.
 




Glen4X4

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Sounds like some good progress. Gettin all ready for Carlise? :D
 




bats

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Yessir. Can't wait to have it drivable again!
 




bats

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Still waiting on my axles... For now I pulled off my side plastic rocker trim. Passenger side had a chunk missing. Smeared a bunch of bondo in there and sanded it down. Nothing like the smell of fiberglass in the morning. Also replaced the lower shock mount with a HELP kit. Simple enough. Grind down, drill it out, shove the new one in and use some thread lock and BAM new shock mount:

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Just like new.
 




lynchy wa

Down Under Beer Explorer
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Great work, coming along sweet:thumbsup:
 




bats

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So I'm hella pissed. The guy who was regearing my axles kept telling me a few more days, a few more days. This turned into 3 weeks. I asked if he at least did the Ujoints. Nope. I asked what was holding him up. The convo went like this, verbatim:
Me:"So what seems to be the problem?"
Guy:"That locking device is pretty cool. Lots of little springs."
Me:"Yes. Did you install it."
Guy:"It's also kinda big."
Me:"Yeah, you may have to grind some of the teeth down to fit the pin in."
Guy:"Yeah, I think I'm done here."

When I picked everything up I was pissed/in a rush and didn't take the time to inventory everything:
1.Didn't give me the rear diff cover/bolts back.
2.Lost half the paperwork.
3.Lost my effing stickers.

I wasn't too concerned about the diff cover since I had a Solid one on order. A week after placing the order I called the company since I didn't receive tracking info. Turns out they're back ordered til the end of the month. Instead they offered to upgrade me to the Riddler diff cover (for a slight price increase.) Still waiting for tracking info...

But wait my friends, it gets worse. Just last night I went to look at the front ham because right now, that's the only thing between me and getting this f**cker rolling. I did test fits with the OLD diff since I didn't want to get the new one dirty. Time comes when I'm confident enough I can get it in without smearing the RTV and I go to pull out the new diff.
I forgot that I had the one from the RED truck regeared since the green ones' had cracked. When we took if off the red demon we hack sawed the bolts on the yoke leaving 4 tiny little stubs that weren't going anywhere. No I'm fuming because while I'm no master mechanic, any idiot could look at it and say "derp that's not gonna work." Way to check your work dude.

So I had the yoke swapped with a good one today. This sh!t's getting expensive. Maybe by the weekend it'll be in.
 




bats

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Just so your eyes don't go batty from the type kill, here's a quick list of what's been done so far just so I remember. Pics will be up when my laptop decides to cooperate.:shoot:

Rear:Complete.
Regeared to 4.56 Yukon gears
Powertrax No-Slip Locker
2" extended ProComp Stainless Braided Brakeline
New Seals
Filled up the rear pumpkin

To Do:
Mount front pumkin
Front Axle Seals
Front Brakes (Bleed System)
Reassemble front(New Abs sensors, clean hubs, new brake pads)
Reattache front drive shaft at some point
Put tires on maybe?

I'm getting there but it's been a long night. Time to relax with a Guinness and rethink my battle plan.
 




lynchy wa

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Faarrk, never rain's ay? Good luck mate, that bloke that did the work sound's like a right dickhead.
 




bats

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Red Letter Weekend Part One

Pardon any lack of continuity as it's been a long weekend...

When we last left our hero the rearend was near complete, save for bleeding the brakes. This was but a bunny hill in the upwards battle. With a full night's sleep and a few days prep time, he felt ready to conquer the feared and loathed front end.

So for a while, everything was half completed. Half the front end installed, half the rear stuff done. Half the body work done. etc

I would like to give a special shout out to Jim (I think that's what the guy's name was) from Suffolk Drive Shaft. I still needed some one to install the locker. I gave him a call and dropped the rear off at his house that very night. He called me by 3pm the next day and everything was DONE. Thanks a million! Really wish I had just gone to him first.

So where was I? Ah, the front pumpkin. Did some more test fitting with the old one, than a few tests with the new one. Yesterday morning I finally sealed that sucker up. I replaced the pinch bolt with a new (ie not bent) one.

Installed the axle shafts only to find out that one set was slightly shorter than the other. They also had slightly different seals. This caused some alarm and confusion since I was 95% sure we were using the axles/shafts from the green truck NOT the red one. We found a combination that gave me enough length to put the c-clip and thrust washer for the manual hubs on.

Speaking of c-clips...It was really awesome putting the c-clip eliminator setup in. I saw/felt it in action. Whoever came up with that deserves a cake.

From there it was pretty cut and dry. Ziptied the brakelines (Pro Comp Extended) since they gave me more length than I thought.
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Kinda floppy, nothing a few zipties can't fix.

And buttoned it all up. For the first time in 7 months, my baby had some shoes!:party:
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In need of a rinse off due to the dust from body work. The important thing is she's running and rolling under her own power!!

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Time for a test run!

At this point I'd like to thank every one helped me with this, mainly my dad. He put up with me through this whole project and there's no way in hell I could have managed without him so here's to you dad! :chug:

It goes without saying that I also owe a great deal of thanks to every one on this forum, especially the people who posted the stupid questions so I didn't have too. Collectively, this forum is an endless pool of knowledge, helpfulness and great people.

Ok, enough soap box, let's go for a spin! :burnout:
 




bats

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Red Letter Weekend Part Duex

So test drive went ok. Had a whole bunch of pops and clicks to figure out. Had an oh shit moment when the brakes went to the floor but returned. (Probably just a bubble.)

I should note here that I don't have my front ABS sensors hooked up. While tearing down the front end, I cracked the blocks that the ABS sensors mount too. There are the little blocks that go on top of the spindle on either side. As long as my brakes work normally, I can live without ABS.

Drove through some parking lots and made some tight turns to get used to the locker (PowerTrax No-Slip). I have to say it's damned near invisible. Unless I'm making a REALLY sharp turn, it feels like I'm driving a normal truck.

As for the gears(4.56), it feels a little bit peppier than the stock 3.73's. I'm rolling on 31's so it almost evens out. Spedo is off by <10 MPH.

To test the hill clibming ability, I climbed a dune at my boat yard. Powered up it like it was on flat land. Tastey.

As satisfying as it was to finally drive her, it was not without problems though they're minor.

First, the 31's are louder than I remember and also out of round from sitting for 7 months. They'll be rebalanced soon and will do until I find something better. 33's perhaps?

Second, I noticed the d/f didn't feel right. Had some vibration and clicking. Figured it was the brake pads settling in but we checked anyways.

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That's normal right?
Looks like the clip sheared and the pad slipped down. The edge was already partially worn down. Easy fix.

Third, this one has both myself AND my dad scratching out heads. It's sort of a rattle from the front drivers side. The rattle only happens when the hub is FREE. We swapped out the hub, same thing. For now, that one will stay locked till I have a mechanic check it.

Fourth, this is really only the important thing. I have an antifreeze leak from somewhere. Possibly another freeze out plug. I will have my mechanic (NOT the guy who did the gears) check it out when I bring her in for an alignment this week.

That's all for now. I'll update this as things pop into my head but I think I got the major stuff!
 




bats

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Time for some updates.
It's been about two months since I last updated this. Eleanor has seen a decent amount of action since than.

Somehow she was ready by AFN, I was literally painting my rocker trim til 1 AM the night before leaving. That turned out to be a waste since all the bondo I shoved in the passenger side rear rocker came out when I hit a rock. It might be time for some rub rails...

Elanor made the 726 mile round trip to Carlisle and than to Chris and Lindys's new dig just fine...for the most part. While going uphill, I noticed a slight lack of power. I'm aware that the new gear ratio+tires might account for this but it didn't seem normal. By the time I made it to the hotel I was down a Quart and a half of transmission juice. I checked it every time I stopped for the rest of the trip.

Oddly enough, it hasn't burned any transmission juice since than. Either way, some sort of additional cooling will be added soon.

Sadly, I didn't get to try out the locker as much as I had hoped when went wheeling after the show. I got plenty muddy (inside and out) but didn't really tackle anything too big. By the time we got to wheeling, every one was pretty shot.

Since the AFN I have been driving her on a daily basis in place of my Bronco II. The Bronco II is fine mechanically but I'm doing some body work.

After driving with the new gears and Powertrax No-Slip for two months I am more than happy. Unless I really goose it in a turn, it's as if the locker isn't there. Of course I have to show off once in a while and purposely make the tires squeel. What little trail time it was, I was again delighted. I ran most of the trails in 2 wheel drive. I love it.

As of now, I have very few complaints about the setup aside from a few nitpicky things. First, due to various reasons, I have three different kinds of tires on the truck. Two Trailmaster T/A's on the back from the original set, a Bridgestone Desert Dueler on the f/r and some other brand on the f/l that has a recommended PSI of 50. Due to the mismatch of tires, I get some slight vibration in my steering wheel at highway speeds. It was scary at first until I realized the 50 PSI tire ran better with a pressure closer to 45 than 35. That greatly decreases the shakes.

Second, I still feel like I'm not getting enough power when accelerating. Around 30+ mph it feels a little sluggish. Bad gas maybe or time to do wires and plugs. Other than that, the tranny still shifts solid.

Thirdly there's a few miscellaneous thunks from the front that might just be RAB or a loose brake pad. The truck drives and stops normal, save for the suspension swaying one way or another when braking/accelerating. Old saggy springs ftw!

I think that's everything, if not it probably wasn't important enough to remember.
 




bats

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I'm tired of talking, how about some pictures? If I find my other mem card I'll get some from AFN up in this thread.

Wired up new switches for the aux lights and tucked all the wires away quite neatly beneath the trim panels:
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Mounted on the front of the armrest console. I know they're not perfect but I didn't feel like taking the whole thing out.
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The only 'off roading' by me is beach driving. It's been over a year since Eleanor's seen the beach due to the broken d/s axle shaft at Rausch last year that started this whole bug. 4LO + normal road = breakage.

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Dat ass.
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^I couldn't have asked for a more perfect afternoon.
 


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bats

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I'm trying not to let my excitement get the better of me. A few weeks ago I picked up a superlift 4" kit, never used with the hardware still in the bag, from a dude off craigslist. He had planned to use it on his Explorer but the A4LD went and now he's working on building up an f150 instead. I met up before work and just threw everything in the car. Later that night when I'm looking at everything, I notice that the coils are for a 5.5" lift. Woo-hoo! (Or at least I think. Either way, Eleanor's getting a serious growth spurt.)

Tonight I laid everything out and took inventory of what I need. Since all the hardware is still there, hopefully I shouldn't need any extra bolts. I just need a pitman arm puller and a decent drill and I should be good to go.

The plan is to pull her into the hut in the next few days and prep her for surgery (jack her up, PB blaster everything). Next week I have a 5 day weekend and if I'm not passed out from sheer exhaustion, I hope to at least get the front end done. I'll most likely be going at it alone since the family is away (party!). Wish me luck.
 




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