Dano's 91 Navajo "SLB" Build! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Dano's 91 Navajo "SLB" Build!

Hows it going everyone. :wavey:
I was reading through some of my first posts and some of the old farts :D mentioned i should start a registry. Now being 2012 i figured i should hurry up and get on top of that. Lets start with the back story.

Well at the end of 2009 i was returning from deployment.. :troops:

me and my step son. (i am on the left..)

My wife left home to pick me up the day before my ship arrived in San Diego, driving my much missed 2005 Scion TC that i was dreaming about driving home in. well on her way out of town she had a minor fender bender..

She was going 65 and had the cruise control on. She swerved to avoid hitting an animal on the road, when the passenger tires hit the gravel she lost traction and spun out to the left, through a depressed dirt medium and through two lanes of opposing traffic and finally stopped in a 8 foot ditch on the other side of the highway. luckily she was wearing her seat belt and most of the airbags deployed.
plenty of witnesses to the accident stopped and helped her out of the car and i thank God that she only had a seat belt burn. my mother ended up picking her up and and everyone was there to see me return home.

Always wear your seat belt, always make your family and friends wear seat belt's i don't need to narrate how this story could have been different and the different type of home coming i could have had.

A Few Months Later.. it Happened..

In the beginning..

There was a Navajo..

She was Branded..

But She ran like POOP! :roll:

I am generally a gullible guy, i tend to believe what people tell me. So my supervisor at the time knew i was hurting for a vehicle. he had the Navajo and offered to "let it go" for a grand. The Navajo had just returned from living in Mexico for who knows how long. The power steering box was shot and the speedo didn't work. all sorts of craziness under the hood. it was a mess.. but it ran. i fell for his sales pitch.. "It's... a NAVAJO~.." :eek: made it sound mysterious and awesome.

My First repair was the Steering box and the fluid lines, now although it sounded like poop it could be driven.
Then i went to Fallon NV for three weeks, My brother in law is a self taught mechanic, i had a crazy idea and asked him, "Want to figure out what that ticking noise is?"
And so it began the long harsh, expensive, learning experience of learning how to fix your own damn truck. Thus the Navajo named herself "SLB" or.. as i like to call her "Stubborn Little *******".

since then.. till now because i have a nifty little history book that i made for all my repairs, I..

Rebuilt the top end of the motor,
When i did that everything attached to the motor failed,
When i fixed that my fuel system failed. (i have a thread about that)
Blew up the tranny going back to Fallon NV, Replaced.
When i moved passed that my electrical problems started.. (ECC Relay)
Replaced the exhaust headers back.

Now, finally i have a Navajo that has no noise under the hood, runs like a charm and i still cant tell how fast I'm going but I'm fine with that. i got RPM's.

There will be more to come. i will put everything over time as i build this truck into what i want it to be.

Thanks for reading. more pics coming soon!


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Glad to see new members with Navajo , Look up my pics and see if you like it

...The Navajo is so much cooler..:biggthump

...You know that being an "Elite" member this could be an "Elite Registry"..Just say the word and it could get moved for you...;)

By trade i am an Aviation Ordnanceman, i work on bombs and missiles like these.

so it should never come to a surprise that i have cosmetic modifications like..

I have cut out the fuel sending unit access hole, the one and only fabrication i have done to SLB. i am excited though because i finally got her to the point where she doesn't need any more mechanical work done to her. i can just wake up and hop in and go to work and not worry about anything. so the next time some $$ flows in, its game on.

Here are some up - to - date pics
2012-05-02 17.31.05.jpg

2012-05-02 17.34.59.jpg

Over time there will be more to come.

- Dano

I Like The Roof Rack And The Push Bar , Looks Tougher Than mine Doe's !

When Ageman posted that he had parts for sale, i just so happened to sign on right after he posted and i put claim to most of everything telling him i was going to drive down that weekend.
I picked up his roof rack and he was nice enough to help me put it on the Navajo. i also picked up the 6 lights for the roof rack, but i haven't gotten around to wiring everything up.

I want to get the lights up there semi-permanently, i am currently working with another shop at work to have some brackets made to cover the nut and threads, so i don't need to worry about them disappearing when i go see a movie out in town. i would put some sort or lock on each bracket.

I got the Guard and a tow hitch from a scrap yard in NV, i asked him how much for the two of them and the guy promptly told me they were going to crush the truck the next day. if i could get them off before they closed, i could have them for 20 bucks a piece.

Ever think about putting The Navajo Grill back on? i made sure i had back ups for everything that said Mazda.


I need to know how you mounted your blinkers behind the grill, when you had them. i think that would look awesome on mine.

- Dano

Well the blinker idea came to me when i was 16 , i got tired of bending the brackets for the turn signals when i was off road , so i cut them to fit behind the grille , no real special tools just a pair of pliers and a pair of metal tin snips to cut the plastic , Never really liked the navajo grille so when i busted mine i just put all the ford stuff up front , Nice collection of parts i must say !!

Wow I am glad you saved all those Navajo parts from being crushed. That driver side headlamp in the lower right corner of the picture looks in great shape.

nice navajo

My first big project, :thumbsup:

Since i am on a budget, i have buying parts to install my off road lights over the past few months. i still need some parts but for the most part i have everything to wire all the electrical stuff. i am just missing some stuff for under the hood. i plan on everything looking as clean as possible and hidden away. ;) here is the plan.

In the cab:
cut headliner in preparation to install 2nd gen overhead console. Remove all interior panels and remove headliner. I will be wiring all my switches, 5 or 6 inside the garage door opener compartment in the overhead console. all wires moving up the passenger side A pillar and under the headliner.

My Center consol will house all my relays and secondary fuse block. When i recieved my 40mm ammo can it came with foam inserts that are very sturdy. so i will use this foam to act as a false bottom to hide everything away.

:sawzall: I will be cutting a hole in my roof behind the driver seat and running a cannon plug set up to have a permanent quick disconnect when it comes to wiring my roof rack lights.

On the roof:
Paint the roof rack black and run the wires through it quick disconnects for all the lights.

going to get my sun roof glass tinted while i have everything off.

Should be a pain in the butt, but i look forward to it. :confused:

Any Updates on SLB

Delayed update

I have no excuses,

Turns out I'm lazy.

Well i tore everything out of the Navajo, i have purchased most of everything i need to wire everything up. i have been working on my overhead console and putting my switches in there, i finally got that done today. I have not made much progress because i was scared of cutting and messing up. i still need to cut a hole in the roof for the roof rack wiring. but in order to do that i have to put the roof rack back on so i know where i am going to cut the hole. i want the hole to be behind one of the brackets so its somewhat hidden.

I cut the holes out where the console will hook up.
roof cut.jpg

After cutting the holes for the switches i cut a insert to black out the bottom of the overhead console. i know the holes are not necessarily strait, but who cares.
closed (2).jpg

Here is a picture with the switches installed into the overhead console.
switches (2).jpg

Here is all the switches open.
switches (1).jpg

I have all the wiring for the temp sensors and i will be putting in the auto dim rear view mirror. tomorrow i plan on cutting the roof and installing the cannon plug to bridge the wiring from inside to outside.

Here is the console closed hiding everything inside. my goal is to try and keep the dash looking stock, i have some other projects for my center console ammo can that i cant afford to cut into right now.
closed (1).jpg

I cut the back plate
back panel cut.jpg

Here is the test fit
test fit.jpg

and to give you an idea of the kind of clearance i will have between the back plate and the roof.

I should be able to get everything to fit. its still going to be a pain to wire up.

I love that bullet shifter, I want one now even though I don't have a floor shifter, haha.


Today i bought some more wires for my switches, i managed to solder one end of the cannon plug going through my roof. Tommorow i plan on cutting the hole going through my roof and installing that end of the cannon plug.

Afterwards i will start painting the roof rack flat black and wording all that up and hopefully have the other end of the cannon plug wired and installed. Depending on how fast i work, i should be able to test everything and have some lights shining by the end of the weekend.

Wow! Great idea with that hidden switch panel! I have one of these overhead consoles on the parts shelf - you've definitely got my attention.

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Thanks man, ill tell you this much, its a pain in the but to make those holes line up straight. I used the aircraft style switches just because i like them and i want a top gun like feel. I am currently wiring all them up right now.
Hopefully i will have all my wiring tested by the end of the night.