Greg Kosmo's 1997 Explorer EB | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Greg Kosmo's 1997 Explorer EB

Well since I've been here for half a year and haven't said much, I figured I might as well introduce my Explorer. It and I are the same model year, so I think it makes us closer.

We picked it up in March of 2012 for $4000, with 40,000 miles on the motor and 114,000 on everything else. I didn't really drive it regularly until August of 2013, which is when I got my first job. Back then, I didn't really know much about vehicles other than how to change the oil, so that was usually all I ever did to it.

The first real work I did to it was replacing the stereo (and putting in a sub) in March of 2014 after my stock unit started crackling. I was on a high school budget, so the parts and work were... shoddy to say the least. I ended up replacing everything (door speakers, amp, and head unit) in September of 2015 when I started college and got a much better paying job. It sounds great now, by the way.

The next thing I replaced were the upper control arms, lower ball joints, and all 4 shocks, which I did in February. Square Tire quoted me 870 bucks just for ball joints and control arms, I ended up doing it all for 200. I wish I had taken some pictures during the process, but I guess I just got too in to it. That and I was too exhausted to even bother after it was over.

Over the weekend, I replaced both headlights, which as usual became a harder job than it should have been because the plastic clips on them broke. Nothing a little hot glue couldn't fix, though.

Now, just today, I replaced the sway bar bushings to FINALLY get rid of that annoying clunking in the front end. I'll probably post some pics tomorrow.

Okay, now that my wall of text is finally over, I'll throw in some pictures. As it sits, it has around 60k on the motor and 134k on the rest. The only real "defect" on the body is the beautiful peeling clear coat on the hood.



This one was after repainting the grille.

I took this one once I got the new headlights in.


I don't really have huge plans for it right now other than routine maintenance, as college is sucking up most of my spare cash. I figure, however, that I can use this thread as a place to post any of the maintenance I do just because it might help someone in the future. Anyway, thanks for checking it out!

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Alright, I've got good and bad news to report today.

The good news is I went to the local salvage yard and was able to pick up a center console lid, compartment for the rear right of the trunk, and driver's side rear interior door handle. Already got the console lid and handle in, and they both work great.

Now for the bad news:


Turns out I DID destroy the threads in the frame for the sway bar bracket. :banghead::censored::angryfire:

I'm going to try putting a nut on the end of the 7/16ths bolt I have in there now, but if that doesn't work I'm going to have to re-tap it. Either way, I'm pretty pissed I did this to myself, and a little worried I won't be able to fix it on my own. I guess if anyone has any other suggestions I'm all ears, but for now I'm just going to wallow in my own anger.

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Alright, nothing but good news today!

After thinking about things for a bit, I decided to re-tap the threads in the frame instead of putting a nut on the 7/16ths bolt. The reason I decided to do this is because having is a smaller bolt in the hole really does nothing, the upper bolt is still holding all the weight. I might as well have hot glued a toothpick in there and it would have been just as effective.

I went to Menards, yet again, and got a M12 x 1.75 tap and a tap wrench. I brought it and a can of PB Blast outside and went to town. And after an hour of work, here are the results!


Edit: I should have mentioned, but maybe it was obvious. I'm now done screwing with the sway bar. I hope. After I got this done, I wrestled with the brackets for a bit, but got them on. I've been checking it periodically and it's holding up great.

Figured I'd do a small update today, I fixed a few basic things over the weekend which were mostly just pet peeves of mine.
  • I took the 6 CD changer out of the center console, which pretty much doubled my space in there. That thing was HUGE.
  • I finally got the damn thing to stop dinging when the door was open even without the key in, and if I'd have known it was as easy as it was, I'd have done it years ago.
  • I got the storage compartment installed in the right side of the trunk, which involved taking out all the JBL stereo stuff.
  • I also finally replaced the map lights, which is something else that was so easy I wish I'd have done it when we got the thing.
I waxed it for the first time in a while too; I had forgotten how good those rims look all polished up.

Cheap improvements are the best improvements. :D

I just had to say the word "cheap" in my last update... :mad:

Here's a list of the issues that have sprung up in the past month:
  • My neutral safety switch either needs to be re calibrated or replaced, but I'm intermittently unable to start in park and I've had to start using the park brake so it doesn't roll away.
  • My brakes are nearing the end of their life. I've known this for a couple months, but they're getting to the point where it's dangerous not to replace them.
  • Thanks to Firestone, I have a broken wheel stud. It was supposed to be replaced 4 days ago, but I haven't gotten a single call about it.
  • My 4wd now has a mind of its own. It kicks in whenever it wants to, and the 4wd hi and lo lights blink on the dash.
The only thing I've tried to fix the 4wd is disconnecting the battery for a couple minutes, but I'm still searching for possible fixes. It started last Wednesday (after I took it to Firestone...), was fine over the weekend, and started acting up again today. I hope this isn't the nail in the coffin for me and my Explorer, but we'll see what it's going to take to fix it, either monetarily or laboriously. Admittedly, I have started to look at other vehicles. :(

Good news, the relationship is going to continue! :D Here's what I've done to her over the past month or so:
  • I got my 4wd situation temporarily fixed with a simple fuse pull, so now I'm in 2wd and not damaging my transfer case. I'm just glad I didn't figure this out in high school or there might not be much tread left on those tires...
  • I replaced all 4 rotors and pads last weekend with a little assistance from my good friend PB Blast and a rubber mallet. Also got the new stud in, although a slight modification had to be done to it.
Here are some pictures:


All this just in time for college to start, too. Crossing my fingers nothing else pops up along the way. Maybe I should just keep my mouth shut...

Another month, and a more work done.
Here's a list:
  • New caliper
  • Brakes flushed
  • Fixed neutral safety switch issue
  • Minor paint touch ups
Yet there's still more work to do...
Here's another list:
  • Fix 4wd issue
  • Figure out why the damn thing is pulling to the right
  • Figure out why my coolant is running out and turning brown...
My neutral safety switch issue ended up not being a neutral safety switch issue after all. After reading a thread on GUESS WHICH FORUM ;), I tightened the shift linkage bolts under the dash and it lines up correctly, starts in park, and holds position in park too. I replaced the front right caliper after it started pulling to the right all of a sudden, and my right brake being noticeably hotter than the left. Didn't make a whole lot of difference other than the temperature, though. That old caliper's guide pins were nearly seized. While I was at it, I flushed the brakes too.

As for work to do, I'm going to do some testing on the 4wd switch this weekend to see if it's bad. I have a feeling it's one of the hall sensors, though. As I mentioned above, it started pulling to the right a couple weeks ago. Not sure if alignment or wheel bearing or something else, but I haven't had a whole lot of time to look into it. And then the coolant... I've been running out in my reservoir here and there, usually one or two months between shortages. I've been keeping my eye on it ever since, and this week I noticed it turned brown. I automatically assumed head gasket, but I'm not blowing any smoke and there's no pulsing from the radiator with the cap off. Just another thing to try and fix, I guess...

Picture time!



Here's some of that paint work I was talking about :D

And as a finale, a sweet shot I got of her in the moonlight the other night

Just a small update, I jumped the gun and got a 4wd switch from the salvage yard today instead of waiting until the weekend. Swapped 'er out, and no difference. Good news is it only cost me 10 bucks instead of 40. Oh well, the search continues. Pretty sure it's a hall sensor at this point.

Another month, another update. GREAT news - 4wd is fixed! I have interior lights, power windows, and best of all a fully functioning vehicle!

I decided to try the rear hall sensor first since it:
a) Was cheaper than the front hall sensor
b) Was easier to replace than the front hall sensor
c) Seemed to be the sensor that was most commonly being replaced on this forum.

I had to do quite a bit of searching to finally get some part numbers, and since there's no guide to replacing the sensor on here, I might finally contribute and make one. It's so satisfying to have that thing fixed.

Other than that I did some trim touch up and small rust repair, but I'm just glad it's in working condition again.

Here's the location of the rear hall sensor, you have to take off the skid plate to have decent access to it. It's a little greasy so I might have to clean things up and take new pictures if I make a guide.:D

EDIT: The part number for the rear sensor is SW5645.
Here's a link to it on Rockauto:

Wow, it's really been a year already? Time files when you're having fun I suppose... Figured it was high time for an update on the Eddie and myself, more has changed in my life that its honestly. Since May I've graduated college, visited Europe, started a full-time job, and moved down to Lincoln, NE. It was one of the most hectic and stressful ~2 months of my life but I'm glad it's over and I'm finally getting settled back into a rhythm. Just in time for the student loans to start accruing interest, too :thumbsup:.

As for the old girl, not much has changed. I got a CEL for an o2 sensor back in early April that... kinda went away, and I feel like she's been running rich ever since. Nothing major other than that though, she's seen significantly more interstate driving than I ever imagined and has held up surprisingly well. It'll probably be a while before I ever get rid of her (if I ever get rid of her) since having a fully paid off vehicle has been a blessing, both for me and my wallet. My Wrangler RT/Ss have certainly seen better days though, and I'm hoping to have some new meat by the end of next week. Highly considering Hankook Dynapro ATMs, I like the white lettering and tread pattern, plus Graham Tire has a buy 3 get one free deal right now. Not much else to be honest, hopefully now that I have more free time (and money) I'll be a little more involved on the site. I'm toying with the idea of modifications of course but it's going to come down to how long I plan on keeping the thing. Anyay, I'll end with an awesome picture I took back in August.


Man it's been a long time since I was in here, since you were on here my 4.0 Eddie Bauer bit the dust and is presently getting ready for a 5.0 swap, I bought a 2000 with the V8 I'm driving, and bought and sold a 2000 4.0, welcome back though. Those Goodyears suck, I have two on my V8 now and I despise them, they are loud and obnoxious and just typical Goodyears, I was looking at a set of Wrangler Radials until I got these and I'm really not too anxious about more Goodyears, I had the 2000 4.0 with the Hankooks on the back, it pulled with one wheel and I went through big mud holes with that truck before I really dedicated it to being fixed and sold. I doubt in all honesty I'll ever sell my 2000 or my 2001, I love them both.

Dang man, sorry to hear about your EB but thanks for the welcome back. 5.0 swap will be sick, I'll have to keep tabs on your progress. Why couldn't they have just made them a factory option :D? Agreed about the Goodyears, though. Straight junk in my experience.

The Eddie Bauer did have a 5.0 option, mine just came out a SOHC, I had to plug one of my RT/S tires earlier, that's the softest tire I've ever worked with, they're flat out atrocious.

Yeah I don't know what the hell I was trying to say man. You pulling the 5.0 from something or starting fresh? I just got rid of the RT/Ss today by the way:



Pretty happy with the look of em, we'll see how they last. They're only a little louder than the RT/Ss and the alignment is finally fixed

I have a 99 donor with 154K I'm going to use, it was a perfect running and driving truck up until I wrecked it. I like those so far, I sold a dark green 01 recently that had one on the RR wheel, it was a 2WD Open Diff, that truck always made it through the mud, no problems, was very satisfied with it.

I am registering to see how things go with your Explorer. I like her Color. I even liked your Temp color you had on her. LOL

I have a 99 donor with 154K I'm going to use, it was a perfect running and driving truck up until I wrecked it. I like those so far, I sold a dark green 01 recently that had one on the RR wheel, it was a 2WD Open Diff, that truck always made it through the mud, no problems, was very satisfied with it.

Sweet, hopefully you get some good life out of the 5.0. I'll have to follow the process on that, I'd probably end up doing the same if/when my 4.0 goes. Good to hear that about the tires too, I need to put them to the test one of these days. Not too much in terms of trails here in NE

I am registering to see how things go with your Explorer. I like her Color. I even liked your Temp color you had on her. LOL
Awesome, thanks man! Yeah you don't see too many of the desert violets around, I don't think I've ever seen another in person. Really makes me wish the clear coat wasn't in such rough shape on the hood. And I was a big fan of the brown too, that is until I had to remove it haha.

Removing that brown is easier when you have wax on there first, and have a pressure washer, I have a 2800 PSI gas one and a wide tip for the body, and a tight one for the undercarriage, it cleans them right up, can't ever tell mud then.

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