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Josh's 4 door 1st gen explorer crawler (SGT Ex)

josh40601

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this weekend i decided to make the explorer all one color, and rather than keep it desert tan, I decided to try something new with OD Green.

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I did keep the wheels tan, and I have some decals that will be going on once they come in, but I think I like it. I haven't fully committed to loving it, but I am loving that it is all one color, and the massive surgery that this thing underwent last year goes unnoticed by most.
 



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josh40601

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Looks great. You should add some stencils to make it look like a USMC truck. :salute:

Thanks buddy. I probably will in the future. I'm waiting on the star stickers for the doors and the nose art stickers for the fenders. I doubt they will be here before Wednesday, but I'm sure they will be here by the time I get back

That’s a good looking truck sir.

Thanks bud
 






josh40601

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KOH was great. I left dark and early Wednesday morning and ended up blowing a trailer tire 15 miles from my house. Luckily I was close to the base. My spare tire ended up having a terrible offset, so I had to unload the explorer, put the blown tire back on the trailer, leave the explorer off the freeway, and limped the trailer on base because there is a Firestone right there. I pull up and they say it is company policy to not mess with trailer tires. So I drop the trailer at the auto skills center since they were closed, I couldn't swap the tire from the spare to the good rim. Ended up heading to Discount Tire and got a new tire since the spare was 11 years old. Headed back and picked up the trailer, installed the new tire, loaded the explorer and was back on the road 3 hours later than when I originally left.

25 miles later, another tire on the trailer blows. This time, about 6 miles from Discount Tire. A friend of mine happen to see me on the side of the road, and offered to take the rim to discount for them to mount another new tire while i stayed with the truck and trailer on the freeway.
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He returned, I mounted the new tire and turned around to head back to discount to have them replace the other two. About 2 hours later, they are all done, and I am back on the road. 7.5 hours later than when I originally left, and I was 40 miles from home.

The rest of the trip was all good and I finally made it on the lake bed 3.5 hours later. so 11 hours to drive 170 miles.

Ended up putting my tent up next to 69DieselLover and his Sportractor. That thing is freaking awesome.
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I didn't stay around long as a very close friend from Kentucky was in the pits. I ended up getting pulled over for expired tags. The officer was a great guy, and let me off with a warning, telling me they have OHV permits at the front gate and to pick one up in the morning and to leave my truck in the parking lot for the night.

Thursday I got up and went and got that pass. Then I went to see the trucks staged. I took a couple of pictures of some of my favorites
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Juicy's truck. This this is really awesome. I seen him ripping around friday afternoon, so I assume he finished the EMC. Maybe he will post back up one of these years

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This truck had a freaking stepside bed still on it. I dunno if he finished or how well it turned out after the rocks, but it sure looked awesome on the start line

I then went and hung out with the Sportractor for a while. After we played around around Turkey Claw for a while, I decided to head back into Hammer Town and watch the rest of the EMC on the jumbotron. After the 4800 and 4500 winners crossed the line, I headed back to the pits where my buddy was. We went up to Back Door Thursday night to see a complete shit storm. After an hour and a half, we said screw it and headed back to camp.

Friday I went out to see the trucks staged again, and grabbed a couple more pictures
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I then went and met some other friends and we went to chocolate thunder and back door to see the racers live, then over to hammer town to see the finish.

Saturday was going to be the wheeling day, but when we got up, the wind was really picking up, my chest was full of dirt, and I did not feel like breaking or something and keeping me out there all day. So I called it a day after I took these poser shots
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I loaded everything back up, and headed back home. After 2 hours to get off the lakebed at 8 am, I was home in a total of 4.5. All in all, it was a great trip to see some new and old friends, see some awesome works of automotive engineering, see some great racing, and get away from the city for a while. I wish I would have got some more time in the rocks, but I'll play more at TDS coming up in March.
 






josh40601

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Yesterday my new decals came in, so I got those on. Really like how it turned out. Still think I like the Tan better, but this definitely is not bad at all.
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josh40601

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I see that I never posted pictures from TDS, and since desert season is quickly approaching, and me getting closer to having the Ranger running and driving again, I'm ready to get this thing ready for the 2018-2019 season.

So, here are some pics from TDS
Up at the top of Phone Booth
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And playing on the flex test
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I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was mainly driving. I also twisted a front driveshaft in two and had to use a piece of the rear bumper to weld it back together with a Premier Power Welder one of the guys had on his jaheep. So, that is the first thing to fix for this season. I'm going with San Diego Driveline just to retube it, new boot for the slip yoke, and a new pair of spicer u joints.

I also was out playing in the hills when I went up a climb too fast and ended up nose diving the truck when i popped over the top. This bent the front of the frame and pushed the winch into the grille and the grille into the trans cooler. Nothing broke, so I was able to pull it back out. The winch is really loud and the brake isn't working like it should, so that is something else I want to dig into, along with some storage solutions for the rear that keeps things from flailing around when I cruising around.
 












josh40601

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I'm not digging the color. I'm going back to tan in the near future
 












josh40601

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I won't have the american flag hood on anymore because I couldn't bring myself to cut it open to put the heat extractor vents in it. The tribute rear hatch is still on there, but it is fading to where you can't hardly see what it is anymore. I can't bring myself to have it redone yet. This season it will stay green (at least for the beginning of the season), as I want to focus on other aspects of the truck like the terrible interior it has now, but likely next spring it will get a redo. The shocks are pretty beat too, it could definitely use some better bump stops, the power steering belt alignment is still jacked up, the AC still needs to be recharged, wouldn't hurt to go through the axles again, the rear struts to the top are shot, I need to install a muffler, the fuel pump is getting weak, and lord only knows what else this poor truck needs. Gotta get the Ranger running first though.
 






josh40601

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took some pics of the cage today. chatted with the guys who originally built the red explorer (which was originally green as seen from Matt's pictures) and man did they have a ton of work, time, and money into this thing. While it sucks I wasn't able to use the front end setup, I am glad I was able to save 80% or more of the cage work, and a lot of the pieces I did cut out, I saved and have been reusing on other areas and a lot on the Ranger build.

The entire top of the truck is just how Carlover (sean) and BTF (Brandon) built the cage. all I did was add my CB wiring and a dome light that i never hooked up.
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the most significant changes were in the rear. I could use any of the lower tubing because built a bad ass mezanine arm setup that required a lot of frame mods and the position of the lower parts of the cage would not work with keeping a relatively stock cargo area
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What I was able to do was keep the entire upper portion of the c pillar area
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One of the other things I wanted to do was keep be able to store my tools in my little storage area behind the rear seat, which the setup currently allows me to do.
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Is it as strong as when Sean had it? Hell no. Is it sad the truck was parted out and left for scrap after so much work was invested in it? absolutely. I am just stoked I got to give a new life to a truck that someone put A LOT of equity into.

I was planning on incorporating some more of the touches to pay homage back to the original truck, and I am thinking something with the center console
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The dash is way too wild for me, and definitely not my style, so that isn't happening. The console though, I really like that bump out, and I think a HAM radio would fit perfect in there. I still have all the framing for the console, I would just need to get some sheet aluminum to skin it. I'd also like to keep the factory console and arm rest too, so the cup holder portion would not stay the same. I dunno, something I am going to play with. Also going to clean up my doors. Maybe just some vinyl wrapped polycarbonate that uses nutserts that covers the doors, i dunno, just want to clean it up inside a bit. I know its a beater, but still plan on keeping this thing around a while.
 






WormsExplorer

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That Dash looks very interesting. Looks like they did A LOT of work in to that. Can't wait to see how you incorporate the console into yours.
 






josh40601

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yea i am not a fan of the dash. He lost the heater, A/C, everything. Not to mention i really don't like the bump up section where the gauges go, but yea the work was damn nice. I ended up using all the tabs from the dash to make all the tabs for frame cap on my ranger, and various other things inside both trucks. They are extremely useful. I tried to Keep as much of the usable stuff as i could, and it has been great to just reuse material for a different purpose than go buy more
 






josh40601

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used the sarge to drag the dead truck out of the way while i am still waiting on Holley to send me the damn mounting kit. 4 little pieces of plastic and some fuel safe epoxy holding up the entire fuel system rebuild on that thing.. ugh

Anyway, played musical trucks with the winch and got D out of the way so i can start prepping this thing for this season.
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First thing I knew I wanted to do was something about all my fluids and the smaller recovery items I keep in the back for when this thing (or others) break down. I wanted to be able to keep the seats flipable forward, keep my tool box, and if I were able to still carry my ammo cans, that would be an added bonus.
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A friend of mine bought a dewalt power tool set and all their new sets come with this giant boxes that no one I know ever uses for storing their power tools, him included. He was going to post it on craigslist for free, but I decided to give it a different life...
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After removing the wheels and the extendable arm that made it like a piece of luggage, I was able to fit all of my fluids, snatch block, shovel, spill kit, funnels, rags, and other small odds and ends in there. The cool thing about this box is it is also weather tight, so if something breaks open inside the box, it doesn't spew all over the place.
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after moving the 1x1 square tube i use to keep the ammo cans from sliding all over the place over towards the driver side more, I was able to tuck the new storage box on the right side under my jack. I added a piece of angle iron to just keep it in place, and I'll use my ratchet straps to hold it down.
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Best thing is... I was able to keep my ammo cans and tool box and open and close the back seat.
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Now I'm working on installing some LED light strips for interior lighting, and finishing my center console. I'll post more pictures when I get further along on that project
 






crashhard

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I put (1) set of these down the center of roof and it lights the entire interior. You have alot more in your ex at the moment but (2) rows of these down sides will be daylight inside. These are bright.

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josh40601

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Thanks dude! I have 4 small LED strips in there right now with 2 sided tape to the roll cage. One on the windshield bar, one on the main hoop at the B pillar, and 2 in the hatch area on each side. I was waiting on my new switch panel to come in before I finished the wiring, but should have them all good by this weekend.

Also went to work on the center console. All last year I just had the stock console sat between the seats. The lap belt mount was under the console, so it would flop around and crap, I hated it, but I use the console storage and cup holder, so i made due. Not this season...

I also wanted to pay tribute to Carlover's build since the body and cage of the truck is what saved this build. If I wouldn't have gotten that body, this truck would have never come back to life. So I decided i wanted to bring back his center console, with some of my take on it since I am retaining the stock dash, and he had the custom fabricated one.

I started by just setting in the frame of the console to see how I could make it work...
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As you can see, my range box shifter prevents me from using the area where Sean had his shifter setup that I planned to repurpose for a small HAM radio. It doesn't prevent me from using the top of the console for a switch panel location.

So I fit the original structure back to the seat pan of the cage
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Got rid of the ashtray area as the switch panel has a new 12V power source in it and added some solid rod down to the trans tunnel
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Next I trimmed up the factory console to fit with the new framing. The factory console will be attached to the frame using button head screws and the nut sert fittings like the ones on the front portion of the console
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That's as far as i got last night. I will be adding the arm rest back to this too.

I also need to relocate the gauge cluster that has my mechancal oil pressure and temp gauge. I never really liked it down that low anyway, so it is likely going on the storage tray area on the top of the passenger side of the dash. I don't want an A pillar or on top of the dash, as visability in this thing is shit to begin with. That leaves a large area for something to reside behing the range box shifter. I'm not sure what I am going to put there yet, maybe that is where the HAM goes? I dunno yet. I'll figure it out once I get the switch panel in

Also, here is a pic of how the console and dash looked in the donor truck
ruX0DTz.jpg
 






josh40601

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back to work on the interior a little more.
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I used the nutsert tabs and button head screws to mount the old console, and I opened up the sides so the harnesses could still be used. When I first started this, I had the storage area still in and the passenger side harness tab was in a position that wouldn't allow me to install the bolt for the harness on that side, so I moved the tab back to where it was essentially in line with the driver side.

Next I had to figure out how in the hell I was going to mount the armrest since the mount for it is aluminum. I could have built some sort of bracket to hold the armrest, but I decided to just cut the aluminum bracket down, and use more nutsert tabs and button heads to hold it.
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I thought I was all done, so I put the console back together and realized that little cross bar right in front of the mount interfered with the storage area of the console. So out it came
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Now everything fit, and console is installed!
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So I thought... When I got the seats installed, the driver side was perfect. Passenger side... not so much (man i really need to have my seats recovered. haha)
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The passenger seat was too close to the console, and wouldn't allow it to open or me to bolt all 4 corners of the seat down. So, I cut all the mounts off and moved the seat over so now it works perfect and the seat is positioned a little better.

Also added a grab handle to the driver door
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and replaced my beat to shit makeshift front driveshaft with a rebuilt one from Driveshaft Pros in San Diego. Took them about 4 days, but they rebuilt the Double Cardon joint, retubed it with 2 1/2" .120 wall, added a grease cap to the slip yoke, and balanced it out for around 300 bucks. Not too bad considering they had to replace half of the DC joint due to breakage. Should be good for another 10 years.

The other thing I worked on this weekend was patching the yuuuge hole in the roof on the passenger side. I have no idea why there was a hole there, but I just used some flat strap material and copious amounts of booger welds to patch it up.
 



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KurtECV

Surrender The Booty
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Josh do you have any pictures of your dash? I found one and have been skipping around on your thread attempting to find a build section on it but am not having any luck.

Outstanding rig by the way.
 






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