Blue's 91 XLT | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Blue's 91 XLT

Hello, this is my new to me 91 xlt. i just got it from a friend who has had it for years and just got a new truck, he needed space in his driveway and i needed a vehicle and it was one of the two vehicles i was thinking about getting, (an explorer or a blazer were on the top of my wish list) and so i bought it for 300$. Of course, with any 22 year old vehicle you buy for 300$, it has lots of little problems, but i still love it anyway.
Almost ran into his new truck trying to turn around in his tiny driveway on the way out after i bought it hehe.

Future plans includetrying to restore it as much as possible, this wont be hard inside, as the interior is almost mint aside from a small tear in the drivers seat leather, but i have to fix the rear shocks eventually, fix the tail lights, and some cosmetic stuff like minor rust and the dissapearing clear coat.
I plan to get larger tires, probably 31's. New or different leafs in back, maybe an f150 leaf pack, and manual hubs for the 4wd, along with some custom cosmetic upgrades like running boards and maybe a brush guard.

This will be a long project for me as money is and will be pretty tight for quite a while. and at first my priority is just getting it to respectable shape mechanically.




that is how it sits right now, i hope to improve it as much as i can, it has about 156k miles right now, my goal is to go to at least 350k.

any changes i make i will post on this thread as well

enjoy. thanks!

EDIT: The image site i originally used to host my earlier pics decided to delete all my photos because they started requiring a paid account to host on their site. My normal computer with all the pics on it currently does not have a charger that will work, so once i get a new charger i will repost all of the missing pictures if i can. you can see the basic progression though, just missing some of the pics on the first 2 pages. all the cool stuff is on the 2nd and 3rd pages anyways, but i'll repost the pics as soon as i can. thanks!

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anyone know where to get a replica or stock bracket for teh front liscence plate? it was just bolted onto the metal part of the bumper and only at the top.. which is why it got bent under like that which looks terrible haha (removed but i dont want to do the same thing when i get it registered)

I know no one reads this but I figured I would post a couple slightly newer pics, pretty much nothign changed but it isnt caked in snow and I have a decent shot of the front end, wearing paint and all..

you can see where the clear coat on the hood is wearing/peeling off, I'm considering waiting until it completely wears off the top and then give it a good thick coat of clear just to keep it from getting worse and looking as awful as having half on, half off does. cant really afford a whole new paint job in near future.


It is also like that on the roof but I didn't take a pic.

Congrats on the new truck if you need any advise your ask I have owe two first gen and one second gen already

Hey thanks haha, yea I'll keep that in mind, I've already found future solutions to a couple of the smaller problems on the forum. Other than nescisary mechanical stuff, the only near future improvements I feel are really needed are to do with body work. I got one little patch where it rusted through on the right side dogleg and one soft spot on the right side rocker. I think the rest is mostly surface rust.

When I get all the lower body rust taken care of I'm going to do a thick coat of herculiner up to the plastic trim pieces. Then maybe do something similar to the undercairrage. I also have to figure out why it idles around 1000rpm and figure out why the back doors don't open from inside. Oh and the ends of the plastic airdam piece on the front bumper has curved in so i am going to try to reattach that better.. (5 mins with a power drill, and 2 thin long bolts or metal pins)

I mostly want to keep it in relatively nice shape and do regular maintenance until I get a better job so I can make it close to new again..

edit: most of this has changed or was found to be wrong, the rocker panels are way worse than i though and i am working on them (11-10-14) and I fixed the airdam, it just needed to be realigned. Also the over all plans for the truck have changed quite a bit, 2" lift, 31s, (or 32s with fender trimming) maybe?

Well, it was pretty warm today so I got a bucket and some old wash cloths and tried to wash some of the dirt and road grime off of the truck, at least to keep it from getting too much worse while sitting in the yard.

I started scooping dirt and sand out of the insides of my bumpers and the one rocker/dogleg with a noticable amount of body rust, found about 2 inches of rust chips, gravel, and wet dirt inside the first foot of the rocker in front of the rear wheel. no wonder it has rust holes. That stuff hasnt dryed out like the rest and it went in through a hole rusted through the wheel well and just sat there burning away at my doglegs! I scooped as much out as I could but again I don't have a water hose or anything to reach farther in.

right side rear wheel well... after I dug out most of the caked mud out and let dry for a day...

As you can see, the dirt flew in from the hole in the wheel well and got crammed pretty far back, sitting there for who knows how long rotting away at my rockers.. Still not sure how I'm going to get all the crap out of the front portion..

Other side was COMPLETELY filled with mud/sand and I didn't notice it because it looked sort of like the actual wheel well.. I tried to scrape some of that out as well. I hope it dries out some more, maybe I can suck it out with a shopvac..

Also I found a bunch of surface rust, I am lucky that other than a couple spots the truck is very solid. anyway thanks for reading and I will update if anything I find worth mentioning comes up.

Not much progress at all but i figured i might as well update in case anyone was interested. I found out the tail light issue wasn't bulbs or a fuse, there goes the easy fixes, next i need to test the brake light switch, after that I suppose it will be rewiring time, fun fun.

One of my tires developed a slow leak so I had to throw the spare on until I can get it fixed (hopefully soon) but the spare wheel looked bad and was rusted so I decided to sand it down and repaint it with "aluminum" colored enamel.. that stuff is soft and extremely bright..

Anyhow I need to go clearcoat it this weekend, and test the brake switch. I also did the "throttle cable mod", took 2 small zip ties. I got center console fixed for now, I didn't use enough epoxy and was too impatient to put screws in so its a bit squishy when you tilt it up.

Also got shiny new license plates.
I'm thinking about doing a small suspension lift, spacers for front coils, maybe new rear shocks and shackles for ~2 inch rear lift. I want the back an inch or so higher than front for a more, truck-ey look.

Small update.

Got radio from junkyard to use, turned out after hours of wiring it up, it didnt work anyways, took it back today, got my money back and then bought a new cupholder insert from a 93 mazda m4000 (i think) so i got home, painted it up, and popped it in, ban my cupholder was even nastier than the junkyard one..
I started with teh regular 1991 single hole cupholder, very old fasioned looking, now i got the newer design with one hole behind the other and a shallow (oh well, win some lose some) cubby hole thing that isnt really good for much, so im not sure if teh larger rear cupholder is worth the trade off yet. (i had a 1-to-2 cupholder insert in teh single hole before, but it wasnt sized right for bottles or cans)



Finally got around to ripping out all that old alarm system wiring, worked out well, much neater, less crap underneath to deal with and worry about, i guess either cherry bombs for the exhaust or an aftermarket radio is next..

brakes are wonkey and pop sometimes, passenger front caliper sticks a tiny bit, need/have new pads so i will buy new calipers when i swap pads

This is what sometimes when i get bored and have been reading forum builds lol..
i think it would be sweet, liek a explorer/ranger/ranchero. It would have to use the doors/doorjams/windows from a sport model, tailgate would be hatch, and maybe cut the back off of a range and use that as the back wall. what u guys think? course this wouldnt happen until i had a different vehicle for a DD (few years at LEAST lol) but still, fun for me to plan and think about. BTW, this was all done in windows Paint so yea obviously not photoshop quality, i think they came out okay though.




updates, center console repair didn't last long and I tried to fix it but didn't mix the epoxy properly so its been a month and it hasn't and probably won't harden. Oh well I'll fix it eventually. fixed the weird noise after shutoff, turns out it was a loose and dirty fuel pump relay fuse, wiggled it around some and pushed it in, no more noises, and got a new head unit, new (kinda) wheels, almost brand new snow tires, only 100 miles on em, with the rims for 260, if I got the tires alone new it would cost me 350 or so.

Wheels/tires, I plan to sand them down soon and paint them gloss black, not gunna run around all winter with rusty ugly old heep rims haha, will however run around with shiny black heep rims. :D

And the radio, crappy pics, sorry, it looks much better in person, was a total PITA to install and i wouldnt have been able to without the help from DjDom. thanks buddy.

Next with the radio I'm plannign to gut the factory amp and sub, run door speakers (which sound great) off the head unit, get a couple decent subs (stock one kind of just sounds like a wet fart after sitting so long)


This is what the rest of the rims should look like, althoguh something went wrong with this one so its not perfectly smooth, and i did a crapton of prep, probably should have sanded in between paint coats but finest grit sandpaper i have is 400 grit and that probably wouldnt be a good idea to use on fresh enamel.

Jeep´s wheel looks perfect..

Hey Eli! Just found this, truck looks great! Any updates?

wow, sweet, people commenting, i havent checked this for a while since i no longer have internet at home. i have made progress though. i finally got my manual hubs and installed them, (my uncle helped me but it ended up being more him doing it and me watching annoyedly) but anyway so i have the hubs on and the wheels on, which look badass in my oppinion, i hadnt seen them actually all installed before. I dont have the front hub caps though since i still need to drill holes in them for the hubs to stick out.
pics coming soon since i have to go find my camera and go outside haha.

alright i got a couple.



btw, not my house, im at a friends house atm. I havent seen the truck durring the day since yesterday when i got back from my 2 day boston trip so i still havent taken pics at home or even tested the 4wd yet. (that will be soon and if i find a place i can get stuck, chances are, ill get stuck and take pics haha)

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OOPS sorry for the gigantic pics, apparently I need to set the resize setting on image shack again.... gotta go I'll do it later maybe. lol and again thanks for reading guys!

edit: fixed