Completed Project - Kirby's Navajo Next Level | Page 15 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Completed Project Kirby's Navajo Next Level

Use this prefix for completed projects that are not "How to" articles or threads asking for help.
So I haven't been posting much or working on the Navajo. I have been wheeling some and dirtbiking alot and just not doing much new stuff to the truck. Anyway, I have been gathering parts and need to do some wrenching and take it to the next level. I did add a new door last night! The old one wouldn't roll up due to the new dents. Partly from Independance trail, partly from an encounter with a tree snow wheeling!

Here's the new parts going in:

1) 8.8 New Axle- The old one has some ghetto brackets and the pinion bearing is toast. I paid a guy to setup the gears and he must have set the pinion preload with an impact or something. I need to do something about this soon!

2) 8.8 Detroit EZ Locker Got it cheap

3) Dana 44 Detroit Electrac Its a gear driven posi until you push the button, then it is a spool. Got it Cheap

4) New Front Bumper. Got a Warn X8000I mounted up, now it needs some tube to keep the grill off the rocks!

5) Wristed Arm- Picked one up a guy built and didn't use for cheap. I need to redo the welds because I don't trust him.


Winch Mount ( I think I need to make a thread For this)


Side View


Top View


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I guess I will add installing a higher vent tube to my list...

My back is sore from laying on the floor/ creeper all weekend. Almost like a rash. Am I the only one who gets that??


The doubler came out, was checked over and upgraded. The Tranny fluid looked good. Some small specs of shaving in it, but not much. Still really red except a small amount on the bottom. I would say I probably had it 1/4 of a quart over filled. Which is alot.

Here is how she looked inside:

The spud shaft and the 6 gear planetaries looked good.

I found some tubing that was clear and help up to some abuse. Tranny fluid was not listed in it's list of chemicals it will tolerate, but it said it holds up to gasoline well, so I thought it would be OK. So I added a sight tube and a new vent. The old vent was plugged and it works great as a fill hole.




New Vent:

I also ground off the rear boss on rear tcase so it would clear my gas tank better:


Here is a pic of the exploder with the new tires. Love them! They are so quiet and they made it look so much more beefy since they have tread!


I also got my F250 divorced Tcase Speedo Cable in. It is a great length overall, but the inner cable is about 1/4" too long. I pushed it together but it makes some noise due to the pressure so I need to pull it out and trim it.

I also wired my VSS for the tcase to the Axle VSS. I thought it didn't work in the test drive because my cruise didn't work. Then I was in the shower and realized I didn't plug it in, so I will check that another night.

I also extended the wires on my 4x4 and 4x4 Low indicator lights so they are hooked to the rear case. I had them in the front case because they were too short, but that left my 4x4 light on all the time and the low when I was in double low which was just annoying.

I have just a few more things to do before Moab. I didn't get a pic of the bronco bumper, but I did get one of his half done rock sliders. Those will need to be finished in the next few weeks. He wants to use heavy wall tubing for the legs, I want to use rectangle though. HEre is a pic:

Also, here is my buddy phils new fancy tools in thier natural habitat (my garage):
The JD32 bender is cool, but I love the notcher. It saves so much time.


I am exhausted. Time for bed!

So the Axle VSS sensor did not work. Any ideas why? I am somewhat lost on this and it was a shot in the dark. Jaime? Anyone?

So the Axle VSS sensor did not work. Any ideas why? I am somewhat lost on this and it was a shot in the dark. Jaime? Anyone?
I'm not 100% sure but I think the axle's sensor is different from the T-case's sensor.

First, the t-case's sensor, for a 1st gen, is I think gear driven and, although I have not seen the signal, I'm pretty sure its totally different than the signal being produced by the axle's sensor. The axle's sensor (if its like the 2nd gen's) is a solid state design which produces a sine wave due to the rotating tone ring passing in front of it - and this tone ring has something like 110 or so teeth. So you'll get a sine wave that goes up and down 110 or so times per rotation of the tire - a signal which I dont think the t-case's sensor can reproduce.

Secondly, the ring and pinion gears offset the tone rate so if the axle's sensor is producing (for example) 100 sine waves per revolution and you're running (for example) 4.56 gears, the transfer case's sensor will need to mimic about 22 sine waves per revolution of the output flange since it rotates at 4.56 times the rear axle (100 / 4.56 = 21.9-ish).

So how can we get around all this mismatch? Well the two biggest "known unknown" variables here are:
1) How many times the t-case sensor rotates per 1 revolution of the t-case's output flange.
2) What type of signal the t-case's sensor produces.

So we can eliminate unknown #2 off the bat by using the stock t-case sensor. As for #1, well we can do some digging (take apart the t-case) and figure out how many times the stock t-case sensor rotates per 1 revolution of the t-case's output flange. From here, we can use this stock t-case sensor, mount it externally, and put on some diameter wheel mounted on it rubbing against the output flange of the t-case. The diameter of course would be such that the sensor rotates at the same rate as if it was still mounted against the gear inside the t-case. There are obviously other solutions of how to drive the stock t-case sensor but this is just one quick (crude) method.

Good thoughts dude. Thanks for your wisdom on this. I have been looking for another solution. A guy on RRORC says that he found an extension for the speedo on an early 80s bronco that he used. If I could use that, then I could plug in the extension with out the VSS into the case, and where the extension hooks up to the stock speedo I could use the sensor there. The problem is annyoing. Also, atlas uses and adapter from pheonix speedometer (or some company like that) which basically looks like an extension for the TJ cases. I have thought of calling them, but haven't yet due to the cost. I was hoping the rear VSS would work, but it sounds like from the info you posted it won't work. One thing that I thought would help, is that I don't think it matters if the rear vss pulses the same rate as the other, as long as it varies with speed. Thats what I was hoping for anyway....

my BII has VSS issues as well.. I am running a 94 style VSS with a 98 computer
I was looking at the 96 VSS sensor thinking it might work, it is cable less but I can easily convert to a newer (obd-II) speedometer and ditch the cable

your gen I wants to see a gen I VSS signal, if you can mount something external on teh output flange of the doubler = best bet or perhaps contact henson and see if your computer can be tweaked to use the rear 8.8 VSS and tone ring?

Funny I removed the tone ring from my 8.8 ;long becfore I went V8, now I wish it was there, I have a 98 8.8 and a 98 computer in the 1988 BII LOL and no way to hook them up

So I haven't really updated this for a while so I thought it was time.

I haven't gotten the time to fix the front bumper and I have hit the headlight on numerous things so it is really time. I might try to do that before the Moab trip.

I haven't added the spare tire carrier yet and it really needs to be done too.

Did some car trading for an explorer. Traded this:


For This:


Then that, for this:


I started school and life is going to get more expensive, so we are trying to be deliberate about what we do. A $900 sploder will get the wife around until we can figure it out.

I think my wife is going to kill me, but she is willing to drive the ol X until I find her another rubi (and the $$$$ to purchase it!)... so if I am still alive the plan is:

It is a 1991 with a manual tranny, Manual tcase and manual hubs. It has a fairly straight body and I am kinda thinking of putting the axles and tranny and tcase in my ranger, and then putting the drivetrain out of my exploder in this thing. I would like to make it my drive and loose the ranger, but I really need a pickup for my dirtbikes, so the ranger stays.

Moab pics to follow...

Oh, and the speedo worked for .2 miles as we headed for EJS. I am really getting tired of jacking with it!!! The VSS is lame too!

My wife has the other pics on her puter, but here are some from Top of the World. We did Kane Creek Saturday when I get the other pics I will add them too. My wife and I ended up on this trip solo. I have a couple of buddies who live in town there, so we trail rode with them, but we tried to keep it tame since I was driving home solo. Pretty mellow trip with the fam. IT was nice! I am looking forward to hittig moab with the explorer group.

Top of The World





So from what I have found a pitman arm off a 02 f250 superduty 2x4 will have a pitman arm that is 1.25 loner and 1.5" less drop. I need to get take some measurements compared to the track bar and see if that will work. I would really like a longer one with more drop so I can rework my trac bar and get it more level, though.


I loaded the ol explorer on someone's trailer last week. Sold it for way less than I had in it.... but got some money for it none the less.

Looks like it is going to spend some good time on the trails now. I am going to miss it. I had it 10 years and I put a ton of time and money in it. When it comes down to it, I kinda wish I had the time and money back!!!

I feel ya, I'd like to sell mine but the only reason I cant bring myself to it is because of all the time and money I have into it. I'm sure you'll still find a way on the trails though.

thanks man! it was a pretty sad week with out it!! I think I should go emo for a while!!

Oh wow, so you leave me to carry the 1st gen sport torch by myself? :p:

Sorry to hear it man.

Yeah. Here is the latest rubicon. It is too nice to wheel and it too must go! I have it listed for $29,900 if anyone is interested! I can't afford the payments anymore and I really have to do some re prioritizing in my life.


Yep. It has a hemi


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I thought I would update on the VSS. I figured out that I didn't install a tone ring on the rear diff the last time I geared it (4.56 yukons) so, the cruise might in fact work with the tone ring added to the carrier again. Guess Ill never know. The speedo is nearly dialed. I bought a new cable. I think I trimmed the other inner cable a tad too much.