Dannyboy's Re-Registry | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Dannyboy's Re-Registry

What better time than now to do this.

Here is my old 94

Just when my transmission crapped out again, I saw my current 91 for sale on this forum. Joe (Lilmule) owned the truck since new and moved to Milwaukee. When I got this truck I had no clue what I was getting myself into. Honestly, I purchased the truck for the glass fenders and C4/C5 transmission setup. I didn't want to deal with TTB, didn't know who "Autofab" was and didn't like that it was spring under and had some 9" axle that I knew nothing about. Here was the plan, combine these 2 trucks, solid axles, updated glass, C4/C5 tranny, 37" swampers, and ditch the blue truck.


Luckily for me and this truck, I didn't have time to start parting it down. I took it out on a few rides, fully rusted out and couldn't believe the "shalackin" I could put into this truck. I spoke with Joe on the phone a few times over the first year and he kept going on about how great this setup is but never really knocked my solid axle idea or told me what to do. I did start to see that some serious money was spent on this rig the first time it was built.

When Joe mentioned his bill was in the 5 digit numbers at various places like Autofab, Currie/Mogi etc, I realized that I needed to do some more digging into what I had gotten myself into.

Disappointed my 94 that had nearly $30,000 into over the years was sitting dead with transmission parts in a box in the backseat, I researched what I had. I realized that the blue 91 was the truck to move forward with, XL over a Limited means less issues, power features to short out and it had some serious potential. I parted down my 94 and laid it to rest.


The for sale ad even said "Needs TLC, after that..."

and this brings me up to speed.

I ran this truck for a while, my avatar photo was taken without spending $1 on this truck, I couldn't belive taking a truck that was sitting could handle this abuse. This little thing was just a machine.


Then I went to Truckhaven and it was pointed out by other members that I had some work to do, a shackle was nearly rusted through, radius arm bushings were toast, etc. I didn't care, I have a trailer and a tow rig...this trip it paid to have them. I was running a wash and snapped the passenger side u bolts, puncturing the tire and leaving the truck not driveable. I don't even think a trail repair would have gotten me to drive this out.


I still got a good weekend of wheeling out of this truck and still had the attitude that I could leave it behind if something happened to it for how cheap I bought it.

Still considering the Dana 44 I have sitting at my house, I decided that I didn't want to give up the speed. I visited Autofab while in San Diego and John was a very cool guy for discussing a truck he built probably over ten years ago. It was at that point I decided to go forward with the original intention.

One trip to Truckhaven with some new updates such as 33x12.50s instead of 33x9.50s, new spring pack to replace the original 11 leaf spring under pack (which raised the rear of the truck nearly 5" from the tired pack), new brakes, auxilay fuse panel, the bumper from my 94 got me excited making it look like a whole new truck.


It was at this point I got bit bad by the bug. I needed new shocks, the rear was just too bouncy, I was going fast and am madly in love with the lady who loves to ride shotgun so now 2 lives needed to be protected and lots of stuff needed to be fixed to keep up with this speed.

Well, 6 months in the fab shop, the truck has just had it's first run with the "new" setup.

So here is the breakdown

Ford 4.0
KKM filter
stainless intake
hypertech chip

C5 3 speed built by Mogi Enterprises with all C4 internals
reverse valve bodied (an auto but you need to manually shift)
Art Carr shifter
B&M tranny pan

Transfer Case
Stock pushbutton transfer case (button in a not-so-stock dash)
spaced back since C5 tranny is much shorter than stock, retaining stock front driveline length

Front End
Dana 35 TTB, AutoFab kit (the $3600 kit before shocks!!!) inlcudes extended radius arms, tranny crossmember, triple shock mount (1 behind, 2 in front) currently running Rancho 5000s but 3 of them keep it in control
16" of wheel travel approx 6" of raised height over stock
4.56 gears-no locker (don't want one)
warn manual hubs
5/8" wheel studs
limiting straps
"Winter" mods on inner axle shaft and passage



Rear End
Ford 9" built by Currie, fully trussed
4.56 gears w/ Detroit quick lock
Disc brakes, Wilwood 4 piston calipers, 2 piece rotors (see writeup)
5/8" wheel studs
Valley Spring Service 11 leaf spring under leaf pack
Total Chaos low profile u-bolt retention plates
King 3.0 16" travel triple bypass piggyback shocks
Aftermarket Shackles
Wilwood brake proportioning valve



I've ran several setups, currently running 35" BFG Krawlers on 15x10 steel wheels.

Other Exterior
Perry's 2000 conversion front end, 6" pull fiberglass
4 pin removable fiberglass hood
autofab prerunner front bumper
Dannyboy's designed rear bumper/2" receiver
Rock sliders
2-8" 130 watt driving lights
4 rocklights mounted 2' behind each wheel




HUNTER OFFROAD custom built roll cage-www.hunteroffroad.com
*all interior gutted for tight fit
*in-cargo shock mount for King shocks
*4 bucket seats incorporated and tied into cage
*ties into frame in 6 positions
*ties into body in 16 positions
*spreader bars
*A-pillar support (required windshield removal)
*1.75" steel and 1.5" (approx 130 feet total)
*Hi-lift Jack mounts, spare front/rear driveshafts, shovel, fire extinguisher mounts




Other work by Hunter Offroad
* removable Aluminum dash assembly
* custom built door skins (required with cage side support tubework
* hood pins for 4 pin removable hood





4 Corbeau bucket seats
4 Crow 5 point wrap-around harnesses
Auto Meter instrumentation gauges (Tach, Speedo, Oil pressure, Water, Fuel, Voltage, Transmission Temp) see writeup
12 Position Auxiliary fuse panel (see writeup)
Kenwood Receiver
Sirius Stiletto dash mount
Garmin Extrex Legend dash mount
CB radio
Full Recovery & Safety Gear + tools, parts









Here is my 3 step process to access all tools/cargo until I get a tire carrier of some sort built
tools/camping chairs/spare parts safely secured

Spare fluids in tote that securely fits under shock mount.

Tire just barely fits with 10PSI

Not sure where to list this, but I installed my Willwood proportioning valve to get the rear braking under control, can adjust front/rear brake distribution from the drivers seat

ROCK ON! Thanks for looking.

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2wd or 4wd in those?

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yeah Jamie, I run it 4x4 in the loose sand most of the time. In that area it has some agressive climbs through that trail. You really get a bit of everything.

Sorry FourOSport, I plan on keeping that rear bumper for a while, but thanks for the compliment, it was a custom built job (I can't take credit for the work).

So Funny story, thought this would be a good place to put it, last night I went out with Jason ExplorinNJ for his first run since he moved to town. Same old spot that I always go, but we get plenty of rain that totally changed the trail. First I dropped a tire into a deep run on a downhill and got hung up so bad on my rear diff that my passenger rear wheel was hanging 6".

Then after a little bit of fast and a little bit of hill climbing I was going down a cutout downhill. It was a tight squeeze, and while coming off of one rock with my rear driver tire my truck slipped down in the sand and the rollover instict set it, I felt it going. Can't figure out why, but I was kinda pitched on a hill and the momentum tossed my truck to the drivers side. I was leaning up against the hill and I swear I heard the rear quarter panel window shatter as well as the side mirror folded completely in. I called Jason on the CB and asked him to spot me through but didn't tell him I was in a a little predicament. He walked around the corner and got pretty excited. Here's my truck with both passenger wheels in the air, about 2 1/2 feet on the rear, less than a foot on the front. Resting on the wall(which was nicely made up of wet loosley packed sand) as well as almost all on my drivers side tirewalls not even able to open my door whatsoever, he spotted me out, dragging my truckalong the wall probably less than a foot.

I got to the base of the hill and got out to look at my new bodywork. Wow, no broken window, I was actually hearing the wall brushing against the glass and gravel pulling off the wall. There was a nice flat smooth spot on the wall and a few scratches on my glass after I brushed a bunch of dirt that was packed into the seam, and no noticable damge on the body(not that I care). It was one of those amazing moments, if that wall hadn't been like it was, I would have gone over on something that didn't look agressive at all, I can't believe I didn't take out the window (it's happened twice before on that same window but I still have a spare, this instant was much worse than the two times I kissed rocks and trees) and I wasn't on anything too agressive, but I run this trail alone quite a bit, and I was lucky on 2 occassions that I had a Jason and his truck with me.

Moral of the story, I will still run these trails solo, but you gotta respect off camber, loose sand, and weather changing the trail. Also, I didn't get to use my shovel, but I'm glad I packed it in my truck, cause if I was alone, I would have been diggin out my rear axle and it would have been a pretty long process.

Kind of a wakeup call, but also makes me realize how prepared I am, I have over 30 16 oz. bottles of water stashed in my truck (under the seats, in storage etc) that are there just in case I get to hike out, I recently clamped a shovel to my cage(never used one in 10 years, but thought why not, it will be there when I need it), and also have my stock jack still in factory location, a sweet hydraulic bottle jack that fits in my tool cases, and a hi lift. What would have stopped me dead in my tracks unprepared now would just be a little additional challenge on a short run. I have high centered on my radius arm while out alone, and I jacked up the truck, drove off the jack and was on my way within 10 minutes before.

wooohoooo, after puling this thing apart and disconnecting a ton of wires from the dash I still walked through emissions no problem. I needed a new gas cap seal and I passed with flying colors.

Okay well a small update, I finished up an adjustable proportioning valve install. I learned how to flare brake lines and brought this into the cab as it was designed. Probably not necessary but the cool factor is there plus I had the time to do it. We'll see if I gain any functionality being able to adjust pressure from front and rear brakes on hills, rocks, etc plus I was locking up my rear brakes before my front on the old setup.

Also I secured my rear bumper that was shifting for some odd reason. This gives me final approval to design the tire carrier on the rear. Still thinking about bringing that through the rear door.


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Help with the skid plate please... Where does the skid plate begin? Is it like you choose where or are there specific plates? The one I saw I backed out on, but I know nothing about these... How much approx do they cost? Any info very appreciated... thanks!

Before doing a hill climb make sure you have enough rear brake pressure to hold you on a steep hill... When stopped on a steep hill, your rear brakes "become your fronts" in that they do most of the stopping and holding.

I installed that electric power brake booster pump to ensure I have full braking power, when stuck on a steep climb with the engine off.

If your engine quits on a climb like this:


It's all you can do to keep enough brake pressure while your friends are scrambling for a strap:D

Good point Rick, I have an auto so I haven't killed it on hills but the tranny has jumped out at crucial times.

That is one reason why I liked the proportioning valve at a hands reach. I had too much pressure at the rear but I realized that backing down hills worked really good. It's total on the fly adjustment!

Donner--- Are you referring to the front skid plate? There are just tabs built onto my front bumper from autofab.com that hold an aluminum plate 1/8 or 3/16. It is completely surrounded by bumper tube. I saw your bumper and was thinking a similar skid plate would look good. If you had tabs welded onto that you could always weld the nut to the back of the tab since it looks like you might not be able to get to the back side of the plate. See my "hidden winch" thread if you want to see pics of the bumper apart.

Alright! :) Thank you!

couple friends had never been in the Explorer so I took a quick spin this morning. I grabbed a couple clips and put them together.

So, I found a dirtbiker who was crashed into a tree and I gave a bit of medical attention on the trail. Dude was all by himself, don't really know how he would have gotten his bike out of the situation since it took all 3 guys in my truck to get it out of this palo verde tree. I came around a corner and he was laying on the trail...good thing I wasn't hauling ass.

Unfortunately my front fiberglass got WORKED this morning, passenger side took a hit by a wall, drivers side got a tire stuffed into it. My bumpstops I picked up look too big so I think I need like a 3" one.

Your jumps are ridiculous. My truck would explode upon landing.

man, oh man! and just to think that the first time we met you were driving your almost stock Limited...

and still remember our first trip to the Badlands... :rolleyes:

love your truck - and to be honest - I'm jealous! I have not progressed much lately... too much on my mind. Hope to meet you and your creation somewhere once again.

good luck! :thumbsup:

Danny you so crazy. I think I want to have yo baby.

Something needs to change to keep the tires out of my fenders and I'm hoping a set of bumpstops I picked up do the trick. They are 4.5" tall but compress down to less than 3". I pulled a coil and cycled the wheel and it looks like a winner. You can see I've damaged my fenders and if you look close there are marks where my tires have hit the top of the fenderwell. Air bumps would be sweet, but there really isn't room for an air bump on my setup. I'm still loving the performance of the old school so I'm probably not going to change away from the coils to a coilover yet. I can't believe that my coils are able to compress enough to get my tires into my fenderwell, with the bumpstops the coil can still compress to 10" tall, and the pic with the wheel on shows that I should be saved by 1"

I'm looking at adding some F150 spring seats as well as I think the springs have settled or something.

Also, here's a pretty impressive ouch on the skid plate. As I stated before, I slammed the truck pretty hard on the hit I took that sent me airborn off the trail and the truck still drove home with no issues. I did however pop the fuel filter off the framerail and started spraying gas about 1 block from my house after it wore on the driveshaft. That probably could have been a lot uglier than it was.


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no news except a damage report, I took the truck out on several trails lately including Crown King with Tbars4, Truckhaven & Glamis

Here's what's on the list
Crunched both front fenders getting a little agressive with speed, hills walls and rocks. Going to pick up some fenders and paint them to match

transmission has developed a pretty steady leak, it's always been there but getting worse. Going to drop the pan and look for a better gasket, in the meanitme I'm going to doublecheck I have the deepest pickup possible since I have the tranny jumping out of gear

brakes seem to be the new issue, proportioning valve helps but I'm still heavy in the rear on braking, also losing fluid somewhere, I imagine it's going past the rear pistons on the caliper since I'm wearing through yet another set of expensive pads.
(thinking about putting my 5.13 8.8 back under this thing and selling the 9" but will probably keep working on the 9" since it's a better axle)

front bumper/skid plate have been built to host a winch, now winch motor is seized and bumper/skid plate have gotten crunched up in a few different adventures so that's far from done. I'm going to keep reinforcing and adding steel until the job is satisfactory.

I got beat by 2 other 4.0 Explorers in the glamis sand drags and also noticed R.J.'s truck has a noticable amount of pep over mine. First things first, new plug wires, seafoam, fuel pump and change out my fan clutch for the flex-a-lite setup that I have.

Front differential has a really bad leak, I can't determine where gear oil is leaking out, but I have just sealed this up about 800 miles (or 6 months) ago. It's a total pain in the @ss to pull the diff but it's got to be done. I'm thinking the axle beam just might be tweaked. wonder how that could have happened???

I guess you play hard you get to work hard.

very nice setup.. those jumps are amazing. if i wasnt 32523523 miles away id drive over and let you take a friend of mine for a ride like that, he cant stand how my explorer handles turns.. id like to see his reaction riding shotgun during a jump like that.

i 'missplaced' the bracket that holds the fuel filter agaisnt the fame rail when i was replacing the rad arm bushings and i just realized i never did crawl under there and secure it. ill put that on the things to do list, it must have been hitting the driveshaft or something bc its dented. thanks for reminding me

so it take it your you found your explorer unharmened on the way back to gamis?

full size cars are starting to feel like r/c cars to me... a couple good runs and then they're broken and you spend three times as long fixing them then you do driving them :rolleyes:

my front diff leaks too. i think the housing warped from welding so much on it.

i say you get rid of that 9" and put the good old 8.8 back in. oh by the way, if your getting rid of your geared and locked 9", i'd be more than happy to buy it off of you :D

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come on I KNOW there is another 18" in front of that drivers wheel!! LOL thats not the edge...yet