Creepingnet's 93' Sport | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Creepingnet's 93' Sport


Hi, I've been lurking since 1997, posting since 2002, and figure with all my incessant, and probably minor work postings in the "What Did You do to your (1st Gen) Explorer Today" thread, it was probably about time I just bit the bullet and make my own addition to the registry. After all, I don't think she's going anywhere soon.

So above, there she is, 93' Ford Explorer Sport "X" as me and the wife call it or "The X". My mom bought it new in 1993 for 19K with 15 miles on it that was not her test drive, in order to pull horse trailers for trail rides. I got it in 2002 as my first car and never got rid of, replaced, or upgraded because when you spend less than the cost to replace every 100K in maintenance, with a few hundred at most here and there for parts that would wear out on any vehicle, why bother?

The X's primary role is daily driver, though it goes out exploring trails in the woods and desert once in a blue moon despite being 2wd (what I'd call super-light off-roading). Also, I've grown to really love this thing and have built my whole driving style around it over the last 20 years. I may someday get something newer, but I'm still keeping it when that day comes, might just end up doing more extreme modifications and upgrades. But don't hold me to that. It was through me taking over maintenance, repairs, and doing some minor upgrades here and there that the car-bug has bit me hard, but I try to be frugal and reasonable with it as much as I can.

For the most part though, this is just me keeping a daily driver alive, likely to 1/2 a million miles or more. The most recent stuff was replacing the 2nd stereo with a new Bluetooth unit (still using original Premium speakers/amp), upgrading to a stiffer shock setup (KYB Gas-A-Justs + Neoprene Radius Arm Bushings), and so far I'm loving the improvement in handling. A lot of this stuff save for the stereo I've been doing is because of the research I do on this forum.

I took over repairs in 2015 due to my high mechanical aptitude and experience (I've worked on machinery before, particularly Outdoor Power Equipment and Go Karts since I was 9), and because I've grown to very much distrust mechanic shops with the vehicle due to some horrifically bad experiences as a result, or some unpleasant surprises when working on the vehicle myself. Since taking that over, everything gets done to spec or better and the vehicle either stays where it should be or improves as a result. I'm also an avid researcher and very meticulous and detail oriented with the things I work on (I have a lot of hobbies besides cars), so little surprise there. As a result, the truck benefits, my pocket book benefits, and I benefit being able to sanity check my own work as I go.

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I like your style
Can’t wait to see the x!

Changed the host to my neocities site. Hopefully that worked.

Thanks. Hopefully the host change is fixed
yep its fixed!!! looks great!!!

Well, after a crazy long winter with the X doing overtime, including helping a neighbor & local police recover a stolen pickup truck in a snowstorm (crazy story), car season has now begun.

Had to do the Rear Brakes last weekend because, one icy morning, I had to make an emergency stop/slowdown after some doofus pulled out in front of me, the X broke hard left. I knew this was likely the rear brakes since I'd had this a long time ago when one of the wheel cylinders seized up. I think I watched about 12 YouTube videos on the subject before digging in - that's my usual method, read a bunch of threads here, watch a bunch of YT videos, and then get the real education actually doing it. The rears had been untouched for about 15 years and over 200K at this I think I know why, lol.

Basically, the self adjuster cable on the passenger side broke. That's it. Of all the stuff to buy that was the hardest part to find too, had to go to three stores and the one I found it at was not coming up online for some reason (it was an O'Reileys). The drum came right off, no struggle, no force, on the passenger side. The driver's side was just right. Pads were at about 50% as well, so I just did everything except the drums (contact surface had a mirror shine to it and no grooves or wear), new hardware, new pads, new cable on the passenger side (I'd finished the driver's side already). I'd rate it about as hard as the clutch, maybe a little harder and slightly more harrowing TBH. Only mistakes were removing the E-brake pawl on the drivers side (total b*** to get back on), and not adjusting the self-adjusters tight enough before putting the wheels back on, but I got around the second one last night when I had to make a late night run to the store, since it was quiet, I just kept backing up till the pedal felt right, drove the truck this morning, we're all good, pulls straight as an arrow on a hard stop now.

Next is the tune-up. My other items are all just "as I feel like" things which are more QoL, interior restoration, and creature comforts (ie gas gauge, driver's side window glass reglued into regulator, and my already slow rolling LED upgrade in the cab), new speakers (my front original Premium Audio JBL 4x10s are pretty flappy when turned up).

Finally moved into a better place with a garage now, been working on the truck more as a result.

- Passed smog again, I always get a kick of the "Oh crap, what a piece of **** we have garage-aug-2023.jpgto deal with here, I'm sure it'll fail" and then the confused look when they go "whaddaya know, it passes" when I pass every year.

battery-terminal-replace.jpg- Replaced the battery cable ends before moving. Went out one afternoon and the truck refused to start....we'd been at this for awhile, but considering I'm still running the original 1993 Battery cables (how in the hell this thing continues to remain rust and corrosion free at nearly 1/2 a million is anyone's guess). $25 at AutoZone and up and done.' Took advantage of that to also start work on restoring the "towing" capabilities. I have a Tekonsha Commander brake controller from about 4 months after the truck was bought brand new in 1993 (mom used it to tow her horse to trail rides at the time, midlife thing) and I'm planning to rewire all that in, even if I never use it, it'll be nice to have it up and running correctly again, and people can stop commenting on the disabled wires for the eight wire horse trailer hitch that keep falling out of the back periodically. The Tekonsha probably needs a serious recap.

- While moving the starter motor fell out, and that's when I discovered once again where a shop pulled a fast one as it seems this was the ORIGINAL starter from 1993, not the circa 2007 replacement. I base it on the signal wire. I managed to make it through the entire move with a loosening starter, then the bottom lug broke off, and it STILL managed to start and drive to my new garage before falling out from under the truck. It was DIRTY as heck - dirtier than the rest of the underside of the truck TBH, even the engine. The look on the guys at AutoZone's faces when I returned the core in the new one's box was priceless, They looked like they just saw a ghost drive in. LOL. It still had the single-blade signal wire on the solenoid, the new one has the bolt-on type and says to remove the blade signal wire as a "design improvement". So of course I got together a nice "under the truck" soldering station and soldered it to the original wiring harness which also looks nice and clean other than the oil that got flung around when the rear main was leaking before the clutch replacement 4 years ago. Either way, it sure was the time to do it, the new starter is a lot quieter than the old one, whether it's 200,000 or 417,000 miles old. Also, someone before I figured out it was loose, forgot to bolt the harness back in place - so I did.


- I started working on the cosmetics a bit again. This time I polished up and removed all the engine dirt from that cross-brace in front and the stickers - everything looks darn-near brand new now, and am going to replace the hood-leveling pins while I'm at it.


tire-wear.jpg- I did find I'm getting inner tread wear on the front driver's side (right). When I jacked it up I found 1/8" play in the axle, and the nut was not as tight as it could be. So I put it darn,near almost full up, now there's no play, wheel spins freely, and my hub is still darned cool to the touch even when driving had fast speeds for a period. an alignment is in order, and possibly 2 new Firestone Destination AT2s for the front. When Tire's Plus looked at it - twice, they said it did not need an alignment, and everything seemed I have to question them more now...maybe not so much on the handling which has only been improving with all the work put in. This thing feels very planted on the ground and corners like my wife's Corolla does.

After the alignment/tire thing is addressed the next two plans are: much needed tune-up. Time for new plugs and wires. It's been about 150K. And then fixing the driver's side power window. Glass is out of track, the plastic bits keep popping out of the bar that pushes the window I'm going to find a donor at Pick N' Pull and just replace the Window AND the assembly the motor moves around. Already reglued it three different times three different ways. My new place is gated so being able to reach the access code will be a lot easier that way. Might get some of the petty cosmetic bits I'm working on while I'm there as well. Just depends on what I find.

As for plans? Well, a lift is out of the question, the garage door is only 1.5-2" away from hitting the roof rack, lol. Plus it's high enough already considering a mildly overweight 40 year old 6'4" tall man can climb around under there and replace a starter and change the oil without jacking it up. Mostly I'm just doing mild restoration work while still daily driving it and taking it (lightly) off-road once in awhile. Just need to get the maintenance and some issues out of the way before I can look at the less important things like possibly new carpet or upgrading a lot of interior lighting to LEDs.

Just did a tune-up. Looks like I made the right choices.....

First off, analysis. I got about 10K out of Mobile 1 Full Synthetic since last year - so I ran it as on the package. No glitter, no debris, and the oil, while dark, was still transparent.

Next are the plugs I had, seems the shop lied and did me one better surprisingly - I had Autolite XP 105s in there, so I already (at least technically per some post I read) had Iridium plugs, and I got about 150,000 miles out of them before the gas mileage started to really drop (14 city, 18 hwy). I think the wires were either motorcraft, Autolite, or Denso...not sure. Looking at the old plugs, only very little oil on cylinders 2 and 6 (6 always had this), and no fowling or anything too unusual, so I have a 417K engine that's surprisingly very healthy. The electrodes were burned off a couple though....wild. They really did their job but it was really past due. So good on the Autolites.

What I put in were NGK Laser Iridium ITR5H13s gapped perfectly to .054. The reason I bought these was because I'm a tad curious about them and willing to put in the money to see what they're like, plus they were cheap enough at just a little under $10 per plug at rock-auto. I do feel a little bit of a difference (very minor) in performance, seems the truck is VERY eager to run, has a hint more power, and also my idle is very steady, I sat at a red and looked at the tach - it was sticking right where 700rpm would be and not moving at all. Also, that notoriously hard to reach plug (#3) was not that hard to get to for me....I just stood on my toolbox and held the socket in from the front of the Evaporator core box, and the wrench from behind, Took me about 30 minutes to do all the plugs and wires - not counting the I.T. call I had to take care of in between (for some reason all my maintenance and repairs happen when I'm on Call).

Other checks, the throttle body has stayed very clean, MAF clean, air filter was surprisingly not too dirty despite being a little overdue. Next tune-up will be at around 517,000 miles (yep, less than 100K to go to 1/2 million). I'm looking forward to my next refuel....but that's going to be at least a month or two out. I just moved a few months ago, and my drive to work is like....3 minutes long.

That is good miles!

I run the factory plug not iridium no gimmicks just the factory plug motorcraft or Autolite

Keep your filters clean and oil changed look at what is possible!