D-Ranged | Page 6 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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This is my Ranger. There are many like it, but this one is mine. I'm updating the beginning of the thread with how it progressed. To follow along, you can see some of it here, the rest is on The Ranger Station and Pirate. Just search D-Ranged. This thread isn't much different than what you would see on those forums, but a couple people asked me to post up about it on here too, so here you go. Also, I'm in the process of fixing all the bad links to pictures.

It started life simple. A 1 owner, ultra clean 94 4.0/5speed/4x4. I immediately removed the dear hoof wheels and installed some cheap aluminum ones.


Then a few months later, I put on a small lift, but not the tires... hey, the 31s still had tread and I was a lance corporal that lived in the barracks... cut me slack


tires finally wore out, bought some used 33s and a stupid roll bar thing

then i got a free drivetrain out of a FSB, and put it in (god this thing was SCARY to drive)

then i went to Loftis Motorsports in El Cajon, CA to get a SAS done

then I put an 06+ front clip on it

then i put a big ass bumper on it, a winch, added some lockers, and met up the Explorer Forum guys in Truckhaven in 2011.

oh yea, and painted it Screamin' Yellow.

I ran the 35s for a while, even took it to Moab,


and when they wore out, I stepped up to a set of 37s

added a doubler,

and took it to the rubicon. Alone. Don't EVER do that, especially on a trail that 600 miles from home and you drove your rig there

Then I moved to Kentucky for school and things went drastically south.

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After getting the axle back under the truck, I gave up on the fab work, and shipped it off to my buddy in Tennasty who does damn good fab work on the side.

1st he rebuilt the 205 and installed the twin stick kit and clocking plate for the NWF Doubler

next he built a bad ass crossmember/belly skid

All mounted up, its about 3" lower than the frame, but with no body lift, this was as high up he could go because of the drivetrain. And he even had to cut out the floor

then he built me some new control arms that are a little simpler (and stronger) design

and since the engine cage that was on it didn't fit, he built me a new one

Decided to go on and throw a cage in it too

After mounting the seat to the brackets and stuff, not much room between the steering wheel. Might have to make it removable or something in the future. Or revise the mounting setup for the seat. My fat ass still fits though!

Remember that hole I was talking about? Here it is

Added an adjustable prop valve, and an entire new brake system


put the springs back in the coilovers, and sat it on her own weight. Slight lean...

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a friend of mine had some factory leaf spring blocks for the rear, and I had an extra set of u bolts, so I put them in it to level it up.


then i put the bumper back on it. HOLY BAJESUS it is huge

then I took it to my dads for paint and body

Coated the entire interior with lizard skin and painted it all black

Really looking like the ol girl now. Still lots of little things to do, and my dad burned through the passenger door in 1 spot so he has to fix that, and get the overspray off the rubber, but its really close now.



This time I made the flare bolt on so when we do go off-roading, I can take them off instead of ripping them off like last time. The rear flares still need to be trimmed, but am waiting until I build the rear bumper so the flare mounts up nicely to that too.

Decided against the headers. Just going to run this engine like it is until it dies, then I'll do a different, more powerful engine at that time.

Biggest thing now is just getting it running well, and able to daily it again. Still a lot of little stuff to do. Hope I will have it DDable before May. House is pretty much dun, Explorer only needs like 2 days work and it will be dun, so the rest can be spent on this.

That should work..:biggthump

house is coming to a close so I decided to spend some time on D.

My dad let me use his truck and trailer to bring it from his shop to my house

strapped down on the trailer, i love the ride height of this thing. Now to just figure out how to get the truck to sit this way will be another task.


after I got it back to the house, I threw out the chunk of wood we were sitting on to move it around and put the new seats in.


I now know why everyone raves about suspension seats.


one thing I was ecstatic about was the placement of the shifters. after getting both seats in, I positioned the shifter as far forward as I could without causing additional bind in the cables, and it really is perfect placement.

Now that it is home, I am really hoping to get this thing figured out. Weather is looking pretty crappy this week, but getting the 02 sensors in is the the focus now.

I just went through this myself on my 97 ford Explorer, V8, 5.0ltr. Here are some things to keep in mind:

The upstream sensors are green. The downstream sensors are blue. (There are two each on my truck)

If you slide under your truck from the passenger side, (your head is toward the drivers side and your feet are hanging out the passenger side), you'll be looking at your exhaust and following it from the front of your truck to the back. Not far from the front you'll come across a six sided shape with exhaust pipe going in and out of.

There will be an O2 sensor on the left of the six sided part. (that is bank 1, sensor 1 upstream) On the right side you'll find another one, (bank 1 sensor 2 downstream). A little further right is another O2 sensor, (bank 2 sensor 2 downstream).

You'll need a 7/8 wrench. The O2 sensor at the furthest right will require a flared wrench, since its in such a tight spot.

To get to the clips, the easiest way is to remove the center console between the drivers seat and passengers seat. Its relatively easy. (I just did this yesterday) Pull out the little shelves (I don't have an ashtray). They yank out fairly easy. Look at the base and you'll see four little bolts. Remove those. Hopefully you are stronger than me for this next part. Get into the backseat and pull back on the console. And I mean give a good grunt pull. Keep trying, it'll come off. You may have to trim your carpet to get to the next part. I used a box cutter and trimmed a little bit to the top of the hump, that way when you put the console back on, you won't be able to see the cut in the carpet. Under the carpet you'll find a metal plate with four bolts. Remove the bolts, pick up the plate and 'viola' there are the clips for the O2 sensor. (If you have very skinny arms, you might be able to get to the clips from underneath the truck, but its doubtful.)

You now have access to 3 of the 4 O2 sensors.

For the 4th O2 sensor (bank 2, sensor 1 upstream), go under your truck from the drivers side. Follow the exhaust from the front to the back. Its not far from the front. Its pretty easy to see. Near the fuel filter, but the O2 sensor hangs pretty low. You'll see the wire ballast. This one is the easiest one to replace. Just need a 7/8 wrench.

Hope this helps.

Btw: I'm a 50 yr old woman, 5'2, 150lbs with a disability. If I can do it; Anyone can do it! ;)

All of the information above can be found on this site. This site is where I found all of it.

I was so excited yesterday when I got the center console off and found the O2 sensor clips! I was like, "I'm the man!" "I'm so awesome!!" "I did it!!" I was so pumped. But the real credit goes to the people on this site.

Thanks everyone!! And feel free to correct or clarify my post.

Pasting this on my thread so it is easy to find. I thought there were only 3 on these trucks...

I'm not too good at the loading of videos, but hopefully these work. Got D running on Saturday a whole lot better than it used to. I added all the bungs for the 02 sensors, and gave it a tune up. I still need to add 1 more, and I had to hack off the muffler to get the pipes out, but it is full of **** anyway, so I'll order a new one to put back in.



I still have a pretty large list of things to get finished up, but it is steadily being chipped away. I'm hoping it will at least be drivable by the time we move, but that's going to be close. Down to 36 days...

So, the current project now is sealing off the cabin from the outside.

The biggest task is the hole that had to be cut for the doubler.

This is the hole with no covering. I want to keep this side as an access to the shifter linkage for the doubler


This is a birds eye shot of the other side of the seat frame

I really would like to be able to remove the cables in the future if need be, so trying to figure out a way to seal the cabin while allowing the cables to be removed has been tough for me. I was thinking get metal skin close to the cable, then use expanding foam like good stuff or whatever it is called to complete the seal. Then if i ever do have to remove it, just have to dig out the foam and slide the cables back out

Here is where I am at so far with my plates on the inside of the rail. These are the two panels I want to be removable. A buddy of mine is using sami hold downs for his access panels on his toyota, so I am thinking something along those lines as well. Just gotta find something that will work for me needs


Here is where the cage had to be cut for the rail to go through. I tried strengthening up the joint by fully welding the mounting plate for the shifters to both the cage and the seat rail. This truck probably never needed a cage in the first place with the type of wheeling I plan to do with it, but its in there now, so I think this joint will be good enough. If not, and I'm still alive after it fails, I can always rego it then. And I know my welds are not great. But way better than when I first started playing with a welder.

I think i can do a little plate work to finish off under the cage where the cover plate will go and with some type of rubber/foam sealant, it will be ok.

What do you all think?

I got the overflow tank mounted and the hole in the floor mostly finished.

One thing, I changed the oil today and it was pretty much black water. i have never seen oil lacking the viscosity like this. There wasn't water in it, because the oil was black, not milky. I changed it out and the 2 filter remote setup for a single filter setup. I haven't decided on the mounting location, so it's just ziptied to the engine cage for now. Do any of you have experience with oil that is in the state of what mine was?

3.5 weeks until it is loaded up to move back to Cali

well, I finished up the floor patch, and now we are back in san diego. We are living with friends right now, so I don't have access to my tools, or a place to work on it, so I dropped it off at my buddy's shop in San Marcos.

1st thing is getting it running and driving reliably. He seems to think it is all the little issues adding up to the truck running ****ty.

He is also going to get the steering straightened out so that it doesn't feel like you're going to die when you drive it. This is mainly due to missing nuts, worn out heims, and a janky pitman arm.

Then we move to the rear where he is putting in new shocks and shock mounts because the shocks are wasted and the mounts are broken. Just going back with stock replacements as I plan on using the truck as a truck along with wheeling.

Then we move into fixing the front axle and the axle angle so that a driveshaft will fit in the front without contacting anything. Currently the pitch of the axle is rotated forward too much, which is putting the pinion yoke and the front output yokes at the incorrect angle, AND putting the driveshaft right into the the front brace on the skidplate... at ride height. So that will have to be reworked.

After all of that, then we will work on getting the coilovers rebuilt, springs changed out, and get the suspension fully dialed in.

Lord only knows how long this is all going to take, but Jordan is good at what he does, so I know that when he is finished, I will be able to drive this truck everyday again without the fear of it killing me.

Then I have to try and figure out a way to get it registered in california... Going to keep it registered in Kentucky as long as I can, and not drive like an asshole to hopefully keep CHP from being too interested in it.

That is a good list of items to address. You have till October when desert season starts.

Good thing is he doesn't have any other customer projects right now, so I'm hoping he can really start knocking out the list. He said he doesn't think it will take him too long.

But the big girl is ready and waiting to play in the desert. I can't wait for that thing to get here.

Haven't posted much on updates for this thing on here, but I have been busy.

1st I sold the 1st gen cummins and bought a newer 2500 Gas truck. Really similar setup to my dad's old truck that used to use to tow the explorer around until I got my old dodge.


had to do some maintenance and added a couple of cheap mods, and then focused back on D.

Rebuilt both cases thanks to Border Parts down in Spring Valley. The price for the rebuild kit was cheap and they had it in stock. I forgot about these guys when I first moved back, but I will definitely be using them again.




Then all back together

And here's a video of it running. I don't know how to embed it, but here is the url link to it.

Now I have to figure out why I don't have dash lights, turn signals, or windshield wipers. After that, time to go for 60 mph :D

Drove it for my first time up to highway speed. Also drove around the base for about 30 mins looks for leaks or noises. Ran and drove very well. Once I get the steering and suspension dialed in this thing will be fun again. Here's some pics





Ex finally made it here, so I thought I would post up a pic of both trucks at the new house.


As far as D goes, I drove it around a couple of times and it is doing really well running wise and driving wise at the lower speeds. Still haven't hit the freeway yet, but I want to get the rear driveshaft, radiator hose, and pitman arm situated before I venture out there.

The house has been taking up most of the time since we are doing another reno, but I am still making time to tinker back with my babies now that they are both out here now.

so as i was mentioning above, the caster angle is still too far forward, meaning the pinion is still sitting too high, the ball joints are not in line as they should be, and the steering is aiming slightly downward. I already have the 7* C bushings, so it is maxed out in that aspect. The only real way to fix it is 1 of 4 options:

1.) cut the welds at the pressed on C's on the axle tube, rotate the axle down, reweld the C's
2.) lower the rear frame brackets to reduce the slope of the radius arms
3.) say **** it and cut all the **** out and redo it for a 4th time
4.) locate the near-impossible to find full width Ford dana 44 with weld on wedges, cut them off, clean up the axle, move all the guts from the axle that is currently installed, set the pinion angle to where I want it without the huge degree bushings, and weld on a set of wedges from James Duff.

Well, a friend of mine was cleaning out his storage unit and asked me to help him sell some stuff because he is stationed in HI, so I agreed. Just so happens he has a bare weld on wedgie HP Dana 44 :smokin: So option 4 is what I will go with.

I still need to fix the driveshaft issue with the rear end first, and replace pitman arm, and the lower radiator hose, but at least now I have options with the front end. I could 3 link it, 4 link it, go back to radius arms, etc. I haven't decided if I will keep radius arms, but I already have the weld on wedges in the garage, so it will be radius arm for a while still. I won't be able to dive into this until likely after the hammers, but man it was awesome snagging that axle.

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plan is to leave san diego wednesday morning (2/8/17) around rush hour, which should put me at the lakebed by noonish. This truck wont be coming, the explorer will.