Betty's "I want to be a mule" progress log thread | Page 20 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Betty's "I want to be a mule" progress log thread

The new turd mobile. 2000 Mountaineer v8 awd.

The bad:

Was living it's prior life on a dusty road. Must tear out interior and deep clean.
Driver window off track "or something" and will not roll down. It tries but the rear part wants to stay up.

3 out of 4 door handles have issues. I have 4 new outer handles on order.
Cracked passenger side tail light housing. ( Ebay for some cool tail lights)

Compass-Thermometer thingy lit up and went out--idunno bout that yet

Door locks seem sticky, probably has to do with the handles.
It has a funky purple color trim with red metallic ( you'll have that every now and then) :(

The good
Gas tank was full
109k miles
I am the 2nd owner!!
Is from the local area, which means no salt!
The undercarriage is fairly clean
No dents to underside panels
Good rubber
Camber shims already installed
Looks like good service records, all recalls were completed.
Clean carfax believe it or not.

The "maybe" bad

The original owner, told the dealership it had a bad "heater core" however I have run it for several cycles, over an hour each idling in the driveay and see no leaks.
However, there was evidence of a windshield leak or the like,I saw condensation on the inside of the windows this AM. The moisture smell is that of water only-no anti freeze smell. I am thinking it could also be a cowl drain which is clogged???? but she did say the passenger carpet got wet.

I tried to get heat, however it is an auto climate control. Being 90 degrees outside, I doubt it would have given me heat.The heater core hoses were hot, and the coolant bypass valve does operate. AC blows Ice cold.

Maybe she meant to say "heater door"???

Anyway--here are the pics.

My intent is to drive this and use it as a tow rig for a light weight off road toy. Mods will be minimal. Edit: This plan did not work out so on to plan "b"

Current visual status


Progress pictures










Now, let's clean it up a little

Herculine'rd rocker panels. Rock sliders installed



BW 4406 True 4x4 Manual transfer case ( AKA Mouse entry point) installed 8-27-2012
Installed newer Tcase from a 2003 11-14-15


Saw a rainbow in Colorado so yeah, time for a picture

And here she is, on top of the highest pass road in North America. Careful tire placement a must!!!


Changed "color scheme" of the Dick Cepek DC1 wheels. New Falken Wildpeak AT 31x1050x15


Then I decided Maroon washer on the wheels would look better



Update 6-6-2013

New bumpers, winch and Pro LED light . Front Bumper from RLC, Skid plate from RCI, rear bumper from Kert307



Rear anti sway disconnects


Update 9-2-2014
A cracked radiator at 70mph led to engine failure. Replaced with a freshened up a bit 80k mile engine starting on page 23


Found another rainbow in Kansas.


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I don't even recognize those without the layer of mud on them :D

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Here is set of what I am sure are factory front sway bar endlinks, with about 130k miles on them.
I'm 99% sure the previous owner would not have changed them, as she drove all Kansas flat miles.
They were not disconnected while we were in Colorado last summer, We drove on some pretty rugged stuff.
IMO they look good. The bolt is a bit rusty, they aint purty but they were functioning well.


However in previous trips out there, using energy suspension bushings, one day and they would be chewed up and fall off leaving only the steel parts rattling around.
So, I am going to try this set of MOOG with the softer blue rubber bushings.
My grandson was here, and wanted to work on the truck, so we got them swapped out pretty easy.


I asked him which set we should go with and of course he said "the blue ones." That's ok, he's still at a young impressionable age, if it is prettier it is better.

I have my doubts. We'll see. I still feel the factory links are the best all around option, and have never seen an aftermarket set last over 100k miles.

I think now we'll hook up these rear sway bar quick disconnect thingys


All of the sudden I am not feeling (the need for) the rear sway bar.
I am going to try to drive around here for a week and see how much it is actully missed. I think the coilover assist shocks should help . They don't seem to hurt stuff-:D





The slightly longer shackles seem to help, looky, 5th shock is still attached.
MLB suggested (for about the 576th time) that puff was a stupid name for a truck. So it has been changed.

Sokoto= Red Goat ( Nigeria)


That's a purty red headed goat.

You need to change your signature too.

I'm curious to see how those rear sway bar discos work. I can't quite picture them.

I haven't installed them yet because I am getting new link bushings first, however, you basically "flip" the endlink over, Remove the top frame lock nut, install the threaded stud and nut removed from sway bar end to the frame, and then use this clevis dealio to lock the now open hole end of the endlink to the sway bar. Let me dig for a picture of an installed set-

here's a how to link.

I like the new name. :)

Looking good Jon!!:thumbsup: Also like the unique name change. Hopefully at some point before years end I can get some free time so we can meet up again and see her in person! :thumbsup:

Two heads are better than one, and 2 wheels are better than one, so 2 transfer case skid plates welded together ought to be better than one.




Nice, will look even better powdercoated. Red Betty is looking great Jon! The front bumper with the light bar is a thing of beauty. And since the new name change I cant stop thinking Bam A Lam!! Whoa Red Betty

There I was driving along minding my own business when I encountered a very slow moving car going my way. I started to pass but did not like the hill crest I saw so I punched it to 75, maybe 80 mph to get around right quick.

I felt quite a bit of wheel hop from the rear, so I took her in today to get the tires balanced. They were all dead on -so after scratching heads the shop owner decided to rise the rear and run the drive train under power.

Doing this revealed the center cap of the driver side rear wheel wobbling a bit. Checked passenger rear and it was true. Soon as I looked at the driver rear caliper it was clear we have us a bent driver side rear axle shaft. The caliper was walking side to side about 1/8" or so. Not only would this explain the weird vibration, but it explains the premature rear brake wear ( a few months--posts back) which was down to the pad backers on the driver side. The eccentric to the rotor is pushing the caliper side to side by the pads. Nice huh?

OK, parts wise I am good to go. I have a spare axle shaft over here, and a complete disc to disc rear axle over there.
I cannot swap a rear axle on my own though, so, it is best to swap the shaft. This I think I can handle.
I got some fresh Amsoil diffy lube, towels, gasket maker, a funnel and a candy bar ( Payday because I wasn't in a chocolate mood). I ate the candy bar while I located my new cross pin bolt. ( you should always have one of these handy)

Then I tried to make excuses for not working on the thing.I started some laundry-my dog came to me carrying his ball so that took a while, -took out the trash.

OK, enough of that. Time to dive in.
I got the pan off , drained the lube out and positioned the diffy so I could see the cross pin bolt. Stuck my socket and 1/4" drive ratchet on it, tapped it lightly with a hammer and zipped the bolt head round just like that. Aw fudge. Now what? Hmmm
None of my 8mm wrenches will bite now. I need to quit working on stuff I guess. It's getting harder for me to do this crap and it ends up with either me or parts getting messed up. I probably rounded of the bolt head because slacked and messed up my wrench angle or something.

OK, I need another candy bar--there that's better.

I'm going to have to try to weld a socket onto the bolt head I think. That is the best idea I have at this point. Not only do I not have 3-4 days to wait for the extraction kit-but I also have a bolt head in the way of using the kit.

I may try to get a 9/32" socket very warm, like cherry red warm, and drive it onto the bolt head with an extension and hammer--


How rounded is it? You can pick up twist socket sets at Sears for a decent price, and since an 8mm is 5/16" it should (unless completely rounded off) get a good bite and loosen it.

How rounded is it? You can pick up twist socket sets at Sears for a decent price, and since an 8mm is 5/16" it should (unless completely rounded off) get a good bite and loosen it.

My wife uses our other car to commute her carpool to work, and doesn't get back home until about 4:00 tomorrow,


You just gave me an excuse not to mess with this until well after 4:00 tomorrow when I can drive to sears. :thumbsup:

Best of luck with that. Bolts that are stuck for any reason are always frustrating:banghead:

Jon I'm off Friday if you need any help. I owe you some time for all your assistance with the manifold.. hmmm seems to me that involved difficult bolts as well.

Jon I'm off Friday if you need any help. I owe you some time for all your assistance with the manifold.. hmmm seems to me that involved difficult bolts as well.

Wow, :thumbsup:
Michael that is great. I may take you up on this-I might just swap the whole mess if I can get a hand with it.

Thanks --:D

I will call you and let you know what's up.

OK, so I found a 7.5mm socket to pound down onto the bolt. Happy Jack gave me some coaching, I am going to try his suggestion of lot's of heat. It makes sense that once the loc tite is melted the bolt should release.

I tried once with about 20 minute of heat and pushed on the socket too hard. It slipped off, so, I have stuck it back on now, and will try a longer heat period before applying the force on the tool.


Well,I drove to sears for the bolt out things. Also I gave i a go with MAPP gas and time. Lots of time, and still no bolt out joy.:(:(
That's too bad because I already rehearsed the dance I was going to perform when that bolt came out. Alas, now we have a very rounded off bolt head. I can't get any grab with the awesome bolt grabber thingy anymore. More fudges were spoken for at this time. And all kinds of beetches.

My Friend is going to come by tomorrow to help with this, Mike and Jack, if you want to come over to help, or, even just hang out you are more than welcome. Its quite a ways for you both to drive, and I appreciate the offer of help, but I think we have it covered if you have better things to do. I'd hate to pull you of something, but as I said you guys are welcome. Tomorrow is Friday. hmmm
oh where was I?
I have to get a Cb radio installed somehow-The cheese broccoli soup was good. OH look, a squirrell!

Time to quit wasting time. We're going to replace the whole rear axle-diff and all, since I have a complete assembly taking up space.
I've already had all that stuff loose, so it shouldn't involve any hangups other than the rear brake line connection and bleeding the brakes. I'd really like to retain the rear brake system without cracking it open, but it sure does seem like that might be a goofy chore. We'll see if it is possible tomorrow.

Anyway, once this axle is out, I will have better conditions to work on it. Considering replacing the carrier so I can learn how to set gears up with a locker installed. If I do this it will get 410 gears.
But there we go again, first things first I have to get out of this mess.

Are we having fun yet?

You're always trying to break something Jon. By the 2nd time I replaced my axle I had a system down, and could do most of it alone until I had to move the axle out from under the truck and move the new one into place. Have fun!

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"I feel your pain" LOL

Oh man, I really do... I have found myself in so many similar predicaments:banghead: