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I bot an explorers suv

Joined
September 27, 2021
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City, State
Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer xxl
Hello, today I (possibly regrettably but we’ll find out) purchased an explorer. 2nd gen 2wd :( v8 :)

I have some questions and some fixing to do.

The po broke the dipstick off in the tube before I purchased but I put a quart in just in case and made it home. I drilled into the plastic a bit and started prying around with a screwdriver and got it out, there was in fact oil in the engine (which ran very well)

1.). I can’t get the center console open, I’m very capable of just breaking the lid off but I don’t want to destroy it
2.). It’s needs ball joints so I’m just gonna get the mevotech front end kit from rock auto, I’m also gonna get shocks for it. Bilstein 4600s unless anyone has a better suggestion
3.) the drivers window moves with the switch but it does not move properly and goes very crooked and needs a lot of help. I assume the metal “regulator” scissor frame is broken and needs replaced??
4.) it has a remote start and possibly alarm installed that will allegedly work if I put a new battery in the fob, but tbh I think I should probably leave it alone if it’s not causing issues. I’d like to remove it but it was installed professionally from the looks of it and I like the interior pieces not broke 5.) is there any way to figure out the code to unlock the door??

And a couple performance based questions
1.) I saw some (allegedly) tig welded headers on EBay, any info on these
2.) does anyone know where I can get flanges to make my own headers? I think maybe I could get some old manifolds for cheap and make a jig to make my own headers
3.) high(er) stall converter worth it? The other idea I had was to install smaller street tires to change the gear ratios

Is there anything specific to 2nd gen explorers or winsors that I should look at?
 


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Joined
September 27, 2021
Messages
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City, State
Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer xxl
Amazing time with stereotypical used shitbox problems today. The bjs aren’t bad (still gonna do the WHOLE front end now), but whoever touched the front hubs last completely destroyed the threads on the driver side spindle nut, which was not tight enough.

Pull the hub off and the sealing surface and base of the spindle is all boogered up. About lost my finger to the guard less angle grinder, lots of blood, knicked my knuckle. Threw a bandage on checked the other side, which also didn’t have enough preload and had a messed up spindle base I had to grind. Packed the rotor hubs full of grease, seated the bearings and torqued the spindle nut properly, went to town got a new nut(s) for the right side and it went on a bit hard but the threads were boogered pretty good I imagine.

So now need new rotor/hubs and new knuckle/spindles, and swaybar bushings.

It runs good though, trans did a weird flare shift/slip going home at part throttle, I assume the 3/4 shift. Just gonna nurse it along for a bit.

There’s a nice whine coming from the speakers so got to pull the dash and find out how many clips were broken when the radio was installed too.

(It has a v8)
 




C420sailor

Explorer Addict
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City, State
Long Island, NY
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98 XLT SOHC, 99 EB 5.0L
Look in the compartment in the cargo area, where the jack is. Up forward is the RAP (?) module which should have the door code on a sticker on it.

The 4R70W will do some weird things when it wants fresh fluid. One of which is torque converter shudder, which I’ve heard described as a weird 3-4 shift. For me it was like driving over a rumble strip. A full fluid change with Mercon V and it went away.
 




Joined
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City, State
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1997 explorer xxl
I’m kind of wary about changing the fluid in a 200k mile tranny, sometimes the clutch matter in the fluid is all that’s holding it together. Speaking of which it’s not a typical metal dipstick like the 48re in my dodge, I’m not sure what the fluid looks like, I can hardly tell if there’s fluid in it.

Pulled the radio out, dash bezel is missing most of the tabs for the clips, wiring is a mess… I got a lot of work ahead of me. I’d like to run the door speakers off an amp again, so I’ll probably just cut most of it out. The dual brand touchscreen double din unit is not ideal but I already have it so it’s gonna stay ig

Gonna jb weld the metal clips back on the bezel so it stays in. I unplugged the weird adaptor harness so I could unsplice the radio harness (all wire nuts as expected). Idk what’s factory, the Ford wiring harness is still intact thankfully.
 




C420sailor

Explorer Addict
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98 XLT SOHC, 99 EB 5.0L
The 4R70W is a durable transmission and tolerant of higher mileage fluid changes—but it is far from maintenance-free.

Any maintenance or minor repair will require you to dump at least 40% of the fluid.

If the plan is to never change the fluid, and it’s starting to give you issues now, I recommend you have a replacement transmission lined up—or minimize your investment in the vehicle and drive it until it fails. These are robust transmissions, but once problems start to pop up, and if they aren’t addressed, the transmission typically won’t last much longer.
 




Joined
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1997 explorer xxl
ok, watching a YouTube video it looks like there’s a multitude of potential causes, including the servo itself, which cannot be removed and reinstalled with the transmission in the vehicle.

It’s looking like I’ll have to call the trans shop and ask them, I’m capable of removing and going into the valve body but not sure I want to get covered in ATF (had enough of that) for a trans that’s possibly on its last legs.

I also found the some more fun stuff today. Driver side control arm was installed by someone who shouldn’t have. The cam bolts for the UCA had the cams spaced 180 degrees OPPOSITE each other, and were not even tight. I gave it an eyeballed camber adjustment. Then on top of that the driver side torsion bar was significantly tighter than the pass side. Loosening it fixed the lean and most of the right pull. It drives much straighter now.

Edit: has anyone tried modifying stock headers? They look like they’re extremely restrictive on the back 2 cylinders on one side, the way they’re squished. I’m skilled with a welder and metal working…. I almost think I could cut out the squished part and make it slightly less squished. They’re not cast iron they’re welded and almost look like a 2 stroke expansion chamber. I bet they’d build a lot of velocity for a turbo setup.. but this is my daily for the moment so buying a set of used stock manifolds to modify is more realistic than trying to build a turbo setup.
 




Joined
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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer xxl
TIL the power window regulator in this explorer is almost the exact same design as my 2006 ram, except Ford in their infinite wisdom decided to use RIVETS to mount the regulator to the window and door frame…

Not a fun job, got it replaced and it goes up kind of weak (new motor). The power door locks also extremely weak (drivers door doesn’t even lock, someone must’ve tried to steal this at one point or got locked out judging by how the regulator was ****ed.)

Is there a ground for the windows and door locks I can check? It’s got a new battery, if I try to cycle the locks they get progressively weaker, it’s losing power somewhere.

Also found the door speaker missing, most of the clips pretty beat up, not a huge fan of the door panel design either. I’ll replace the clips and glue the insulation back on when I get some speakers for it.
 




C420sailor

Explorer Addict
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98 XLT SOHC, 99 EB 5.0L
These trucks are notorious for corrosion in those circuits. Factory uses butt splices in the harness that suck and they corrode like hell over the years. I had to do a wire trace on my ‘99 to find the corroded splices.
 




Joined
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City, State
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1997 explorer xxl
I got the whole front end and all 5 bilsteins installed. Need to correct the ride height tomorrow and get it aligned, fix the axle bearings and seals and reinstall the radio
 




Joined
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City, State
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1997 explorer xxl
$98 dollars for the alignment today. Drives a little better now.

Wired the radio back in and couldn’t get sound, pins in the Walmart brand adapter harness all bent. I don’t want to cut up the Ford harness so no radio atm, I jb welded the plastic clips back in, radio and bezel stay in there good, ac blows a lot better with the vents on.

Haven’t serviced the trans yet, need to read up on jmod before I do so I can give trans a chance to limp along a little longer.
 




EB4X

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95 Explorer 4X 4.0 ohv
" The power door locks also extremely weak (drivers door doesn’t even lock,"
Drivers door not locking is probably a bad actuator....
 




Joined
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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer xxl
" The power door locks also extremely weak (drivers door doesn’t even lock,"
Drivers door not locking is probably a bad actuator....
I got it to lock a total of 2 times. Almost didn’t get it open the 2nd time, then the door would barely shut. The window regulator was also pretty bent up. The actuator was totally stripped out.

Someone either got locked out or someone tried to break into it or steal it at some point. I’m not sure what’s wrong with the passenger side it locks like 1% of the time and the power lock actuator works on that side.

The drivers door has no actuator now the door frame was all cracking out where it was mounted, I just ripped the thing out of there. Door frame around the latch was starting to crack out too since the door had to be shut kind of hard to stay shut, and still a little stubborn with the new latch, adjusting the striker position didn’t seem to help much.

I’m getting an intermittent rough idle/surge now. Plug wires have been done recently I don’t see any problems there but I haven’t dug in to deeply. I’m guessing possibly the fuel pump or a vacuum leak (I have a high pitched whine at ~3k+ rpm I assume it’s an intake leak). Truck is a late 97 5.0 (I think, egr tube on the mani)

I noticed my k&n filter had fallen off this morning. Not too worried I don’t recall driving through any large dust clouds in the past 24 hours I’m not terribly happy with the k&n setup but i got
The truck without an airbox.
 




Joined
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City, State
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1997 explorer xxl

This was 14,5xx across the scale. Kinda hard to get moving with 2wd, bullhauler came over the hill right as I started pulling out but the old street tires still hook up ok. I like how planted the factory suspension is.
 




Mbrooks420

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If the window can get totally crooked it’s probably broken the glue from one of its tabs(the window is glued on in two places). Use window urethane on these abs it’ll last forever. Silicon products won’t last at all.

Do a regular pan drop in the transmission, it’ll be fine. The 4r70w isn’t a piece of garbage like the 4r55e/5r55e family. I ran one so dry of fluid twice that it wouldn’t move, and all it needed was refilled both times. This transmission was over 150k both times.

I’d slap a set of factory cast manifolds on it and call it a day unless you are planning on keeping this a long time.

The cheaper headers can be quite a bit of trouble getting sealed, and it’s hard to keep the wires from getting burned up.

I wouldn’t bother with a higher stall converter. Before I ran silly car size tires on it, I’d find a factory 4.10 rear end and slap it in. Usually under $150 at the scrap yard.
 




donalds

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1999 ford explorer sohc
a piece of garbage like the 4r55e/5r55e family
1637262137546.png


No really the 5r55 transmissions can be somewhat reliable with great maintenance
 




Mbrooks420

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Joined
September 27, 2021
Messages
22
Reaction score
10
City, State
Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 explorer xxl
If I’m dropping the pan I would like to do jmod. I’ve “successfully” installed a transgo shift kit in a 48re before.. I have the tools.

From what I’ve read it’s just a couple of springs in the 1-2 accumulator and some holes to drill in the separator plate..
 








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