Blizzard my 94 Explorer Build | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Blizzard my 94 Explorer Build


Well-Known Member
April 9, 2014
Reaction score
City, State
Backwoods of AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
94Explorer 96ranger
Ok so I just joined but I love build threads and I have had a hard time finding some on here so figured I would start my build thread for my 94 Explorer. If anybody else has a build thread post a link to it. Also if this is the wrong spot for this I am sorry mods and such if possible can you move it or something like that.

So on wenesday April 9th 2014 I went to my buddies place to check out a 94 Explorer and bring back some of his tools that I had borrowed to work on my brother's 84 Bronco 2 4x4. My brother had told me about the explorer because he knew I needed something to get around while my 88 F150 was down. So upon looking at the explorer he told me the price. First thing he said was $1000 but didn't list the problems.
So I looked at it very well and liked what I saw it had a straight body, great interior, great paint (my favorite color), and great glass. Around here that is considered gold. So I asked him what is wrong with it he automatically said engine is seized. As soon as I heard that I was ready to walk away then he said but it comes with his 92 ranger 4x4 which ran and drove but the body was totaled and their was no tittle. That changed my mind right away.
So talked to him a bit and he knew I couldn't pay the whole $1000 up front so he told me (since I bought my bike from him) that we could do payments of $100 a month. I told him sold. I got our truck (one of my 11 vehicles) to pull the explorer and ranger home that night.

The next day I started cleaning it out since it has sat a little while.
Day after that right after school started tearing down the parts truck to get ready to pull engines. When I did this I had no idea they weren't a direct swap he told me they where and I believed him. By now I already had 10 hours worth of work between Thursday and Friday.

So Saturday I woke up early and finished stripping the parts truck and pulled the engine from the explorer along with parts truck. Got late so I couldn't get the engine in so I just set it down for the night.

Sunday I got the engine in (took a while being my first auto transmission) and started hooking things up only to notice this:

The parts truck only has 1 02sensor.
The explorer as many of you probably know has 2 02 sensors (this was akward for me as my Harleys and other trucks minus 2 have either 1 or none).

The parts truck had a main harness that was round and another that was square.
The explorer had a main harness that was both square.

After all this today I found out that the explorer has a camshaft position sensor where as the parts truck doesn't. Then found out the parts truck has no EGR valve on it where as again explorer does.

so right now I am in the middle of doing this:
I took the intake manifold off the explorer's old engine along with the exhaust manifold (will explain in a second) and the wiring harness.
Currently taking off the intake manifold and same side exhaust manifold and putting them on the explorer's new engine. Before putting on the intake manifold will put in the camshaft position sensor.

So that is the big job currently.

The good is this:
3.73 gear limited slip (lower gears then my F150), clean body, been serviced since new at a ford dealership (the one it was bought from) and probably more I haven't found yet.

So far I know it needs some wheels and tires, the window visors, the tonna cover like thing fixed, and a good washing.

Now I do have plans for the truck. I have 2 phases in which the explorer will go thorough only because of 2 different needs.

Phase 1:
Get running and fix the small problems their is. I have some wheels off a 94 Jeep Wrangler that I was going to put on our 84 Bronco 2 but they didn't fit turns out they fit the explorer. So going to get some 15s (not sure what size yet) and throw them on the wheels.
Paint the plastic/fiberglass rocker covers black (just my style)
add the chrome trim from the parts truck with slight modifying to the explorer
put some lights in the front bumper
paint the side parts of the hatch around the window black
bug deflector possibly from parts truck

I will keep driving the truck until I get my 88 F150 engine swap done.

Phase 2:
I won't need the perfect fuel mileage truck then so.....
Plans are to start modifying:
small lift (enough to fit 31s-33s)
taller gears to accommodate the bigger tires
clear third brake light
clear tail lights (if I can find ones I like)
clear headlights
clear turns
paint the gray part of the grille black (this may be done in phase 1)
over the windshield visor
2nd gen mirrors
2nd gen overhead console
repaint white
tint the entire glass with a browl on windshield (may be done in phase 1)
cold air intake
louder and free flowing exhaust out the back possibly no cats (hoping to do the no cats) will be duals
chip if it is worth it
CB radio
Full LED conversion
bigger alternator
Better stereo system (a must I love my country music)
more lights (a must I love lights)
and probably more I am open to suggestions and my plans may change.

We name all our trucks and named this one Blizzard because we like storm names and it was white.
(my 88 is white lightin' and the B2 is Blue thunder)

Anyways what everybody likes here are a couple pics that I have uploaded currently but will have more soon.

With my brother and his 84 Bronco 2 4x4 (yes the B2 did help out it's younger sister getting the engine swap)

The wheels I will be putting on:

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Ok small updates. Got the wiring harness from the old engine on and pulled the Cam pos sensor from old engine. Went to go and pull the plug from the current engine and couldn't. I thought maybe if I turn the engine it would try to move but I couldn't turn the engine over by hand. So I went to go and start it nothing. So pulled the starter and tried sure enough it spun. I had used the old explorer starter which turned out was seized not the damn engine. So I did an engine swap to only get a 100K mile less engine in their. LOL

I put the parts truck starter in and sure enough it turns over.
Asap going to get that plug out the cam pos sensor in, drivers side exhaust manifold replaced with old engines one and put the intake on plug the rest in (only have the 2 02 sensors and cam POS sensor left to plug in and finish buttoning some small things up and start her up hopefully.

Here are some pics while doing the engine swap I am not in any of these pics by the way. Waiting to get a pic of me with the explorer:

Right before tearing apart the explorer
I personally don't care for the grille on this thing I am hoping to put a billet or ranger grille on it:

Love this gauge cluster reminds me a bit of my old 09 Fat bob I use to have:

back seats (all interior pics before I cleaned it up which I need to do again because I had to take the front seats out yesterday to access the pan under the carpet:


Those rockers I will be painting black to keep my white and Black scheme:


Engine swap started:

Had to pull the right wheel and inner fender apron to get to the passanger side motor mount bolt I had to also remove it to get to the bell housing bolts:

New engine on my engine hoist:

Engine hoist wouldn't go high enough so had to break out my tri pod and the old pulley set up doing that made me have to back the 84 Bronco 2 up to hook up a tow strap to pull the truck forward since the truck was sitting on a hill and we couldn't push it:

The new engine almost in and that's all I was able to get for pics because of the hassle of the trans:

Well last night after school I finally got a bit of time to get out their and do a little something. Got the plug for the camshaft position sensor in and the camshaft position sensor in. I will tell you right now if you have ever stabbed a distributor for a ford 302 or Ford 2.8L (I have done both plus a 351W) this isn't as hard as it sounds. Hardest part literally is you have to just keep pulling it till it is in the correct spot it took us 8 tries to get it but it finally got their! All I needed to do it was a really small pry bar like tool I had laying around, a mirror, a 10mm socket with long extension, a voltmeter, and alot of patience which was the hardest part.
We bolted it down and I got under the truck to tighten the cross member bolts. Got those tightened up and went to scrape the belt routing sticker off the parts truck rad support. Got it off in good shape so will be taping that on soon.
Ended up getting dark by then so I just grabbed some PB blaster and blasted those exhaust manifold bolts really good and will hopefully get the exhaust manifold off today and correct one on.

So on the list to be done before I can fire her up (no specific order):
Exhaust manifold needs replaced with correct one
upper radiator hose needs put on
upper intake manifold needs put on
exhaust bolts need tightened up
motor mounts need tightened up (I think not sure if my brothers or dad did this while helping will check before doing it though)
02 sensors need plugged back in.
All fluids put in
And probably a couple small things I am not remembering right now.

Things to do after running (mechanically and needed)
passenger seat and middle console needs bolted back down
need to find the battery hold down clamp and screw from parts truck since mine was missing
flush all fluids (oil, radiator, and transmission fluid.)
Get new plugs (the gap was .068 on the plugs on the new engine. Plugs from the old engine have no spark plugs (they are their but nothing good).
New plug wires.
And start driving it.

Hoping to get more done today.

Ok couple questions for y'all.
For the surround around the window on the back hatch and door windows should I paint them black or white?
Should I leave the plastic covers white or go chrome?
Should I paint the inner part of the grille black, white, or leave alone?

Any suggestions on mods I should do?
Any cheap or free mods I can do once it is running so I can enjoy it some more?
I read some of the threads on cheap mods but they are from 2010 most so I figure maybe their is some more out their now. I also read on the front page of the explorer4x4 about it not being a vehicle for a 16 year old. Even though I am 18 I still know this is a more practical vehicle then most (I do live in the backwoods and it does get better fuel mileage then my 88 F150 and since when is practical fun?) LOL.
Just trying to get a rough idea of what to do once it is running.

Well got her all back together with the correct parts. Cleaned her up really good (but didn't get to wax her yet) and brought the battery out to fire her up. Put a gallon or two of gas into the truck and turned her over and nothing. So I took some gas and sprayed it into the intake and she fired up then shortly after died. I knew what that meant not getting gas!

So here is my plan for today:
check the inertia switch
check the relay
if those 2 are good pull the fuel line off before the fuel filter and turn it to run position. If I get gas I know it is the filter (I will be replacing it soon just not for another 3 days or so till I can get it) if I don't get gas I know it is the pump or not enough gas.

Unfortunately the whole sending unit shows up that the ranger is different (fuel line hook up and wiring is all different) so I can't use the parts truck sending unit. Although the fuel pump is the same exact thing but I figure as long as I am in their I mine as well put a new sending unit and fuel pump all in at once if that is what is wrong.

This may or may not help but the owners guide says to add at least 2 gallons on perfectly level ground and upwards of 5 gallons if the vehicle isn't level. I'd put a good 6-8 gallons in just for good measure. Definitely don't want to burn out the pump by running it dry.

thanks will try and put more gas into it also today.

SHES alive!!

Well first thing I did yesterday since she was on jack stands was pull the rear brakes. I checked them out and was surprised to see this once again. Almost brand new Bosch brakes. Everything cylinders, shoes, the components and the drums (drums are a little older). The front are bosch stuff to but front brakes are a little worn. Not bad and will do for now I say another 15K-20K miles left as long as I am nice to them.

Next thing I did was pulled the AC relay and plugged it into the Fuel pump relay. Tried to start but no go so I swapped the relays back. So I took the inertia switch which I knew was good from the parts truck. Threw it in and no go. Put my code reader on and it said fuel pump (couple other things because it wasn't warmed up) so I did the old ford trick and had my dad try and start it while I banged on the tank. Nothing. Cleared the codes and pulled them again. Again fuel pump. So I gave up and jumped under the truck with a hour left of light and pulled the tank. Dropped it on my legs turns out it had a 1/4 tank of gas from before that was still good (I would say it was fairly fresh). Took the fuel pump only not the sending unit since the pump was the same but not the sending unit from the parts truck and put it on the explorers sending unit. Put it back together (only the tank and filler hose) and turned the key to run position and back twice to prime the system. Turned the key and fired her up. She roared to lift no problems and ran great (first couple of mins she ran a bit rough the smoothed right out. Being dark by now I pulled out a lamp and put the skid plate back on wheels back on (still using the vic wheels) and put her down on all 4s. Had my dad pull her out front. Checked the ATF fluid and power steering fluid and topped them off. Since I dropped the tank on my legs I didn't feel like driving so I had my dad drive. Went down the road a bit and tried 4x4 and low range both worked great. Came home and parked her. We only got her to like 15MPH (bad roads) so not sure if the trans is shifting properly or not I hope it is and believe it is.
As of right now I have no CELs, but I do have a hissing noise coming from the brake booster from the line to it. I have to find out why. Gas gauge works great too!

When you put it into any gear the truck kind of shifts hard but not to bad I think it is just the joints need greasing. It really slowed down once I topped off the fluids.

Today plan is to grease all the joints, check all the fluids, put her on a code reader, and if everything tests out good I am going to take her for a little longer drive hopefully.
Brother said he was going to wax the truck (us 3 boys are sharing it but I do most of the mechanical work on it) and we might for now take the wheels off his Bronco 2 and put it on the explorer till I source some 15in tires for the explorer. Another reason is the bronco 2 has a few small mechanical issues we need to address first.

All gauges are working dead on but I am going to check the oil pressure probably only because I don't want something like my 88 to happen same with water temp but I am sure she will pass.

:bounce: It's Alive!!!!! Muhahahah!

Just a helpful life saver tip as you are new to the a4ld transmission.

You didn't put Type F fluid in there did you?

Only Mercon V in the a4ld.

Type F or anything else will kill it!

If you did, get it out of there ASAP. Type F will literally dissolve the friction material on the clutches!

Dextron or Dex/Merc will kill in a different way, but just as fast.

Will have to look thanks for that info.

Well so far here is the updates.
Yesterday I waxed her but being the paint is so old it didn't do the best. I waxed the faded mirrors and that really brought them out.
Then I had my dad paint the surrounds of the windows and back hatch black they look much better. He also painted the wheels even though they won't be staying I am going to run on those for a while.
Then pulled some codes got only a few EGR ones so we drove her to the guy we bought her from and back then pulled them again.
Right now we are getting a EGR sensor voltage high??
Anybody know of something to fix this?
The CEL comes on every once and a while for a couple seconds then goes away for about 10 mins then comes on again for a couple seconds then away again.
I want to get this figured out before I start driving her daily.
She is dirty once again because of these backroads but I did find out that she is running great and shifts great.
I think I may have a slight Power steering leak somewhere I can't tell just yet.
My dad also pulled the driver's side door panel and barely hit something and the drivers side power window works great now. So that fixed that.

It's the DPFE: le'me guess. code 335, 336, 337, and maybe a 327?

Part number is EGR 151.

Make sure the hoses are good.

It's the dude right here:


Yep just found out that info. Going to look into it soon. Already tested the lines all good.
I checked the fluid and I will have to flush the trans asap because I put the wrong kind in. Thanks for that info luckily I haven't driven her more then 5 miles.


I thank you much as I would have toasted this trans and the trans for the ranger I just picked up a couple hours ago. LOL I am crazy. Now we have 12 vehicles.
I am going to see if the parts truck had it maybe if not then going to the local autozone to get that part.

Dextron or Dex/Merc will kill in a different way, but just as fast.

Can you post a link with some info to support this?

Can you post a link with some info to support this?

I'm interested in this as well. I'll be dropping my pan & changing fluid in my A4LD in the next couple months and would like to use the 'right' stuff. Manual calls for Mercon III which is the Dex/Merc you find these days.

It's just "Mercon". ;)
The "III" comes from "Dextron III", GM's version of the same fluid. Since both names are now no longer licensed (supposedly replaced by "Mercon V" and "Dextron IV" I think it is), the old fluid is simply called "Dex/Merc" now.

In a A4LD I'm not sure it matters much (Mercon V is probably fine to use in it), however I have found Mercon V to degrade the shift quality somewhat on some earlier M5OD manual transmissions, so the V fluid is not completely backward-compatible like Ford's (and I s'pose GM's) service bulletins would have you believe. This is probably why the entire aftermarket continues to manufacture the old fluid as Dex/Merc.

Redneck... The first post you had you said you were going to put on these wheels:


Watch out for the backspacing on these wheels, they will be fine on the rearend but are most likely too deep for the front. I bought the same rims for my explorer, they were actually wrangler rims and they actually rubbed on my Control Arms/Frame.... Just be weary!!! Thought I'd give you a heads up before you found this out the hard way ;)


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Thanks for that info Priz.
When I bought those they were originally for our 84 bronco 2 but the lug studs weren't long enough. So when I got the explorer I remember they are the same bolt pattern and ran those.
I currently have 5 sets of wheels that are 5 on 4.5.
One are black spoke wheels actually for a trailer mounted with 235 75 R15 tires on our B2.
one are the 16"s I am running (I have actually 2 sets of these) on this explorer mounted with mis-match tires.
one are 14" wheels mounted on them are flat tires I like them but not the 14" tire size they currently are on my 96 ranger.
the jeep wheels posted above which are 15"s.
And a set of stock ranger wheels 15" that will be going on my 96 once converted to 4.0L and 4x4.

If I have to I will pick up another set of wheels (preferably stock explorer wheels) since I will be selling the 14" wheels as I don't want 14"s on my trucks. I keep the 16"s for spares and such like that to get rangers, b2s, and explorers home. If they rub I will yank them off. I don't want any rubbing on this truck already the B2 rubs full lock on the fender with 235 75 15s but that is because of springs sagging like crazy and we can't get the fender to line up correctly.

So my to do list right away:
check the EGR Pressure sensor (DPFE)
flush transmission and put correct fluid in. I have the explorer parked till I can do this.
Sea foam the tank. I had a problem with my dad's 89 F250 for a while when I did this the problem went away the truck now runs like a top.
Spark plugs and wires
fuel filter
and drive her.

I will be starting a build thread on here for my new to us 96 ranger so everybody keep an eye out. It will be going through a frame swap and a little bit of modifying using the parts truck that came with the explorer.