Foxracin's 1991 Exploder | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Foxracin's 1991 Exploder

Real Name: Trevor
Year : 1991
Model: Explorer
State: North Carolina
City: Mount Holly

Just picked up this Exploder last week. Its not in the best of shape but overall its decent. The motor runs great and the body has very few dents and dings.

When I got it the trans was out like every other a4ld. I am a 5 speed guy myself and was planning to convert to 5 speed anyway.

First thing and did is check the fluid in the trans. Nice and red, full, and doesnt smell burnt. Pulled one of the lines at the radiator and fired it up and no fliud. Nothing at all. Pulled the pressure plug in the side of the trans and fired it up to make sure the lines were not stopped up somewhere and still nothing so I knew something wasnt right with the pump.

Got it home and put it on some jack stands and started tearing out the trans.


Got the trans out and pulled the torque converter out and found some scaring on the snout. Thats not supposed to be like that. lol

Pulled the bellhousing off then the pump from the bellhousing and theres the problem. One of the pump gears cracked and spread the teeth apart and locked up and spun on the torque converter.


Oh well time to throw it in the scrap pile. Dont want to spend the money on it again not even know if the rest of the trans is good and for it to just break again. I figured I could swap in a 5 speed for not much more then fixing the a4ld.

Figured I would mess with the inside a little while I try to find a trans.

Put in a Sony headunit. Ran new speaker wires and used the internal amp after 2 stock amps were not right. Soldered all the connections and ran new speaker wire and its good as new.

Put it in a Midland CB I had laying around.

Overall shot of the interior.

Then I figured I would ride over the the Pull-A-Part to see if I could run across anything. Sure enough ran across a 1992 5 speed Exploder. But somebody already robbed the trans and starter. Figured I would go ahead and get what I could off it. Got the computer, Manual trans wiring harness, pedals, and Master cylinder(when they got the trans they cut the line so it wasnt useable). Still had the flywheel, clutch/pressure plate still on it too but I didnt have the money for it right then.

So I came home and started swapping out some stuff.

Manual trans wiring harness.

Swapped computers and moved it to behind the glove compartment to get it a little higher.

Swapped the pedals. I left the pedal assembly in and just changed out the brake pedal and put the clutch pedal on. It was aggravating but definitely beats pulling the dash out to change the entire assembly.

Went back the next day to Pull-A-Part to get the clutch and flywheel and all that good stuff crawled under it and somebody done took the clutch and pressure plate. So I missed out on that. Went ahead and pulled the flywheel off though. It looked fairly new.

Pile of junk parts I have pulled off so far. lol It keeps getting bigger.

Thats where I am at so far. Need to scrounge up some money to get me a trans and a few other pieces and I should be set.

For now I will probably just do a body lift and coil spacers and shackles for now with some 33's or 34's after I get it on the road.

Then save up for the d44 SAS down the road.

Ill keep this thread updated as I get some more work done.

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pick those up from chase? how long is the tube that runs from the slider to the frame? ive been thinking about getting those too since he is 5 mins from my house.

Yep, he's got a sell going on right now for $125. I'll measure the legs when I get home from work today for you but I think there 12" I got some more dom from him to make a extra leg for easy side.

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Got the sliders on today. Got some extra DOM to do 4 legs per side instead of the 3 that it comes with.

Ill clean them up and sand them down a little bit and paint them tomorrow. Ran out of time today. Going to test them out this coming weekend at URE.



Side profile shot. I spaced them out enough to help keep trees off the sides if it gets tight.


Mounts how it mounted to the frame. There are 4 of these per side.


nice, the sliders look great. you going to go flat black? maybe hurculine them?

Dont have enough Herculiner left over to cover both of them. I will probably just spray paint them. Something easy to touch up cause nothing will last on them.

That was a freaking awesome read. Congrats on the build. Lots of good info here.

Glad you put in the Manual Trans and answered questions about it as that's the one thing I would really like to do to mine when the time comes. Today it is my daily driver, but when it becomes the "crawler" that will be the first swap so I can put in a ultra low range Atlas II xfer case. Gonna start collecting parts now e.g. manual wiring harness, CPU, trans, pedals etc.

Question, how much height did the lift add and did you remove the BL?

Also scored a set of f150 coil spring spacers. Just need some plate to make some shackles with now.

Sorry, total buildup noob. A few quick questions if you don't mind.

Do these have to be a specific year or is there a range of years that will work?

Also, did you have to drop the radius arms to adjust the front end?

And finally I keep seeing mentions of people using F250 (or is it F150) shock towers and F150 springs. is this what you did?


The coil spacers come on 92-96 2wd f-150s. You dont have to drop the radius arms to align it with them.

The f-250 shock towers people run is so they can use a lot longer shock to get more wheel travel.

Well figured it was time for a update.

Went to Uwharrie last weekend with the group off here and it was doing great. Did everything I tried. Never failed. Then it broke. Broke pretty good at that. Broke the bearing cap in the front diff, broke the axle off in the front diff, and a u-joint. So that ended the day. Pulled the front diff and this is what I found.







Here are some vids LBarr got when it broke. It broke in the first video when it come down on the left front and the front wheels stop spinning. It bound up and didnt want to move. Then it broke free at the start of the second video. Turn the volume up and you can here it at the very start of the video. Sounds pretty rough. Still made it up it in 3wheel drive though.

Anywho did about $125 in damage to the ARB so I called them up and they dont have them in stock and will be like a month until they can get them. I cant wait that long and he said the bearing cap failure was a common thing with that locker and big tires. They have updated it since with a new design thats supposed to be better. I was looking on a local 4x4 forum and found a Powertrax lock right that will work in the front for $100 that looks pretty much new. Now wear on the teeth or anything Score. Picked it up and it will work for now.

Here are some pics from last weekend courtesy of Burns, Lbarr, and Josh Adams













Got the old d35 housing I had laying around and cleaned it up and got the seals changed today. Got to get a new crush sleeve and take it to my buddys shop and setup the gears again.

Powertrax locker

Going to run it like this for a while and get parts for the ARB and fix it and sell it. And start collecting parts for a d44 solid axle.

Foxracin, your truck is awesome. The stuff of budget build junkyard treasure legend. If you ever find yourself up in NJ, you give me a call and we'll go hit some trails.

Not again!!!

Don't tell me; 60 bucks at the Pull-a-Part. Gime a break.....:censored:

I have to say, I am truly impressed with your ability to get premium used parts for your rig. :notworthy

love your finds, is this going on asap?

Well got the front end put back together today so its a true 4x4 again.

Also hand to change out a freeze plug in the block. Got to my buddy shop and it was dripping water like crazy. Almost a steady stream. Realized it was coming from the freeze plug. Got it pulled out and it had a little pinhole in it. At least it was on of the front ones and easy to get to with the body lift on.

Going to go to a benefit show/trail ride next weekend so the new front end will get a test then.

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Well more carnage.

Guess 8.8's arnt as strong as they say.


Where it broke the axle.

Also took out another front shaft. It got the stub shaft this time.


Almost split it in half. Cracked almost to the end on both sides.


I see a d44 and a 9 inch in my very near future. Hopefully they will be strong enough.