Fordkid88's Long Slow build log. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Fordkid88's Long Slow build log.


Well-Known Member
May 31, 2012
Reaction score
City, State
Madison Wisconsin
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Ford Explorer
Well guys, I figure its time to start a build log for my truck, and try and my a better effort to document work and finish something before I go A.D.D. and start something new.

My end goal for this truck is not a daily driver, but something to take out for some fun on the weekends and maybe some lite autocross.

I plan on doing a carb'ed 5.0 backed by a WC T5 with the S10 tailhousing. Notched frame with 4 link in the rear and drop beams up front.

When I got this truck it wasnt running, leaking steering gear box, busted muffler, dead alternator,trashed interior, and almost no brakes.
I got it up and running and down the road a couple of miles and it was now mine for 250. You might ask what the hell would I pick this up for if its a complete lemon. Well its clean, I mean real clean, the only body damage is a trashed front passanger fender from the previous owner try to fit it in a tight parking spot. The first 2/3 of the frame have the factoring undercoating and the rear of the frame has just a little bit of surface rust here and there.

So the first thing I really did some work on was the brake system. Not knowing what I was planning with the system, I just wanted to find the leak or in this case, the leaks. It had a leaking MC and a leaking ABS. I know alot of you will tell me of the huge mistake I made but I pulled the ABS unit. I figured that it wouldnt be used in the rain or snow, and its more for the open road.

So new MC, ABS delete, and the lines are temporarily T'ed. I was going to put a prop valve in and replace the rear drums and shoes, and then I thought for a bit more money summit has an 8.8 drum to disc kit for about 350. So this is on hold until winter as its not going anywhere.

I have a 5.0 torn down and awaiting its first round at the machine shop in october to be cleaned, shot blasted and magnafluxed.

Ive got my 95+ knuckles, one just needs to have the spud swapped out. Ill do that when the block goes in october.

I have new carpet in and about 75 percent done minor adjustments and adhesive spray and its done. I built a custom center console that only needs the compartment finished and hinges put on, but now that I have new seats I want to redo the upholstery in leather to match.

Alright picture time.

Console without cup holders

Cupholders in, but they’re a bit to small to hold a 20oz.

New seat set in just to see what it would look like.

Side by side comparison.

Dusty new carpet.

Old seat mounts.

New mounts.

Im going to take the old brackets off and put them on the new one.

302 mostly torn down.


In the box is a second block that I found and what appears to be in much better condition.
and the block seen on the stand is oil in heavy duty trash bags and wrapped in a tarp.

My workspace, its not much and there is no power but I get by.

Well there is a lot of planning to do and work is hectic lately so I will get done as much as my rare day off alows, and more importantly the wife allows.

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Awesome, one day I will do a 5.0 conversion. Maybe a white 2-door in limited trim. That would be different!

I threw my ABS unit a far as I could from my trail truck. I have no issue with ridding a vehicle of this pest.

Looks good man. I'm always as a fan of anyone resurrecting a first gen!

Awesome, one day I will do a 5.0 conversion. Maybe a white 2-door in limited trim. That would be different!

I threw my ABS unit a far as I could from my trail truck. I have no issue with ridding a vehicle of this pest.

Looks good man. I'm always as a fan of anyone resurrecting a first gen!

Thanks! Its my baby. Slowly but surely it will get done.

Here's and interior update. I used Dupli-Color Fabric and Vinyl. I spent hours on cleaning and prep work and I used an adhesion promoter. Im pleased on how it came out on the padding and Im sure it will look even better once its been hit with an interior polish. But the panel itself, Im not so happy with. It looks more blue gray than charcoal gray and it feels oddly rough. So before I go on to the other panels and dash, Im going do a filler primer and then paint them instead. Better color selection and better product selection.




Delivery 1 of 2. Just waiting for the clock spring and I can figure out the how to incorperate.


Im going to build a custom airbag cover either out of a wire or balsa wood frame with great stuff foam as a filler and bondo then apply a carbon fiber wrap.

Well I was not happy with the fabric and vinyl dye. I tried paint and I was equally unimpressed with the outcome. So I put some thought into it, and decided that what I really wanted was a suede wrap in the doors. So I order 5'x12' onyx black with 1/8in foam backing.Hopefully I can get this done in the next month and it comes out ok.

When things go right, things go right, when the go wrong, everything goes wrong.
I got my dash removed, I rested it on the car for 2 second, it fell and chipped off a bunch of the shell. I found out my wiring harness has all kinds of splices in it for an old after market stereo and apparently a Clifford Lo-Jack system. And to top everything off, the clutch pedal assembly I spent an hour laying in a puddle of water and shattered windshield I pulled from a 95 ranger is completely different from whats in there currently. If anyone has any thoughts on this Im completely open to them.

Cant wait to see the door panels done im still deciding if im going to do the gen 2 door panels. have you test fitted them and how do they fit also if you could do fiberglass on the steering wheel i think it would look better and be less hurtful incase you got in a crash and happened to smack your face on it jusst my thoughts

Well I got the headliner suede in yesterday, I just got the closed cell foam for the arm wrest in. Now Im waiting for the charcoal suede for the arm wrests. Ill pick up the contact cement today before work. I work tonight and then tomorrow morning so I wont have time to do it until tomorrow evening. So right now im making slight changes to the dash.

Well as soon as my camera is done charging, Ill throw up some pics of some of the progress I made to doing a slight mod of my dash. The fiberglass section is curing, and once thats done the aluminum foil with be removed, the fiberglass sanded and it will be epoxied in place and the dash will wrapped in suede.

sweet project, ill deffinitly keep my eye on this one, also why the dashboard fiberglass? i find that little shelf to be extremely useful and whenever i rid in a car without some sort of shelf there it bugs me to not have it..

I was on the fence about it, Ive owned a 93 ranger with the same dash, and the only use it got was just recently when I was using it as a tool rest to remove the dash. The reason Im really getting rid of it is to make the dash wrap a whole lot easier because with it, it was causing creases and wrinkles.

Bondo'ed, not finished sanding though.


Well that black suede headliner is garbage. The charcoal suede I got was pretty decent so Ill at lease try to get what I have planned for that done. Hopefully I can salvage the headliner and recover the console with it and do some other stuff with it, but as far as contact cement and that go, its garbage.

, and not yet on the door panels, I can do a mock up for you on my day off. I switching gears on what Im getting done before winter sets in, so over the next few days Im going to make the brackets to install the seats and then Im going to fabricate a custom clutch pedal setup

Small update. Passenger seat frame cut and welded up. I just have the pick up the mounting hardware today. Workout any fitting issues that may come up. If all goes well the legs will be welded to the frame and then it will all be cleaned up and painted. Now I have to figure out the drivers seat.

And I finally got my aluminum mustang valve covers for a reasonable price.


Well the first seat is mostly done. Just have to grind the welds and paint. By this time next year, I planning on buying a mig welder because that flux core welder is almost impossible to lay a bead. And the splatter is crazy, maybe a smaller gauge quality wire would greatly help.

But anyways the passenger seat is installed.



And the clutch pedal assembly, not entirely finished and I forgot my camera to take before and after pics, but heres what I did for the actual clutch pedal itself.

The first gen explorers pedal assembly are also the steering column support, and harder than a ***** to find it seems. On the 1995 assembly the clutch pedal is welded to pedal pivot bar. Its shorter that the first gen explorers and a narrower diameter. The pedal pivot bar on the 93 ex isnt welded on the automatic, its held in with 2 e clips. So I cut the bar off on the 95 clutch pedal, drilled it out to the right diameter and welded the bar from my explorer to the clutch pedal.

The results.


Now I have to spend some time taking measurements between the two brake pedals so I can fab the pedal up and install that and check that off the list.

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Clutch and brake pedals all fab'ed up-just need to install them.

Here's the brake after it was ground down, drilled out, and the right sized tubing welded in and painted to hide my ****ty weld.