• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

My build log: project PIA

94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
So I decided to start a build thread for my rig, mainly for my own benefit/reference/enjoyment... or a painful reminder for how bad things can go and maybe inspiration for newbs, as I still consider myself a newbie. I should have started this a long time ago, as I have already modified the Ex substantially from stock, though not even close to a lot of the incredible machines this forum has to offer. Someday I hope to join the ranks of virtually unstoppable doomsday rigs that I drool over every time I browse the threads and build logs of others, but for now, one step at a time!

A little history about the 94 Ex whose name has been chosen but still needs to be earned...

I bought my rig for three reasons: The price was perfect, my Thunderchicken was done for, and it really pissed off my inlaws... mainly because of the later. They are bowtie peddlers. I will always bleed Blue Oval. My in-laws neighbors had this Ex that would only go in reverse, they wanted 600 bucks for it, but they took 250.:D I quickly found out that if I revved the motor to about 3 grand, it would catch 1st and drive normally until it was put back into park or reverse. I drove it this way for about 6 months until she finally rolled over and played dead. The first trans replacement was now in order. I found a great deal on a 94 ex with a blown motor, but practically new trans. I harvested every part that could unbolt from that Ex and swapped the trans. That trans lasted about 1 year or so, then started overheating on longer drives. The time had come again. The next swap took place and I was up and running once more. About a year later, I was driving my buddies home from a great night of tasty adult beverages and harmless mischief, when the temp guage went through the roof... blown head gaskets. Awesome. Luckily I have friends in the auto repair industry and they happen to have another Ex that they had just acquired after a 90 day lien. Apparently the previous owner thought that 85 bucks was too much to pay for a tune up and ditched it with my friends... lucky me. They said I could have the motor if I pulled it. Thank you! Up and running again! Fast forward about a year and a half, more trans issues. I had a 50 or so mile commute to work, but the last few miles are a winding, uphill battle. My trans started boiling all the fluid out, so I got a Bugpack external oil cooler with an electric fan, pretty bitchin' setup if you ask me. Before I could install it, the A4LD crapped out on me again. This time I wasn't surprised. After whining about it for a few months, I started a "help me" thread and was contacted by an awesome forum member that has turned out to be a tremendous help and a good friend... enter Jon (Turdle). He lets me know that he has a complete manual setup that he would sell me and at last, I see light at the end of a long, dark tunnel! A few PM's later, a short wait, and I have a manual trans setup with my name on it sitting on my front porch! Yeehaw! Now the fun starts...

I am currently in the process of the manual swap, which I will be doing a write up on after it is finished and I have all the bugs worked out. I am also doing a custom, sort of, dash that I will fill you all in on as soon as I figure out exactly what I am going to do. In between the previous trans and the last, I installed a Superlift 5.5 with superrunner extended radius arms. It has served me well, but after extensive thread reading, I think I would be happier with the James Duff kit. Hindsight, oh well. A Dana 60 SAS is a definite in the future. I have done the Throttle body mod and I found Spdrcer34's write up on it EXTREMELY helpful. It's currently running 33's and stock gears, which I don't recommend as thats probably one of the reasons (I'm sure there were others) that my last trans crapped out. If any Newbs are reading this long-winded post, let me give you a bit of advise (that you will undoubtedly hear from many others if you post a frequently covered topic): SEARCH THE FORUMS BEFORE ASKING QUESTIONS! As much as we all like to think that we are somehow special, and that our problem is probably the only Ex to ever have a certain problem, I assure you that you are going to be wrong 99% of the time. I can tell you that if I had done more thread searching, I could have saved myself quite a few headaches as well. The knowledge that this forum holds is second to none. All that being said... on to some pics.

These are unfortunately, the only pics I have of the Ex before I started to really do anything to it, are of me getting stuck!
picture.php

picture.php

picture.php


These are during the lift process, camera phone quality...
picture.php

picture.php


And these are, for the most part, pics in its current stage...
picture.php

picture.php

picture.php

picture.php


This is the dash in progress. All the factory padding and the gray vinyl has been scraped off and sanded for the modifications to come.
picture.php


That's pretty much the extent of things for now... I will be working on it steadily the next few days and updating this thread as I go. Thanks for checking out my progress, and if you feel up to it, a few words of encouragement are ALWAYS appreciated!:D:thumbsup:
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Gadget X

Elite Explorer
Joined
March 13, 2007
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
68
City, State
Gibsonville, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 XLT 5-speed
Good luck! You can do it! Uhhh.....sorry, that's all I got in the way of encouragement at the moment! Looks great, though! you've done or are doing most of what I want to do with mine! Keep it up, and keep the pics coming!
 




Slowlyvverot

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 27, 2009
Messages
790
Reaction score
3
City, State
Greensboro, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 ExElTee
Lookin good! I can't wait to see how that dash turns out
 




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
Me too! LOL! Working on the trans at the moment... just taking a break! Thank you guys for the kind words!:salute:
 




Gadget X

Elite Explorer
Joined
March 13, 2007
Messages
1,253
Reaction score
68
City, State
Gibsonville, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 XLT 5-speed
Make sure you take plenty o' pics! I want to do the manual conversion, and if you document all the hard stuff, then I won't have to worry so much! :p
 




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
I have been taking a ton of pics... but I haven't decided whether or not I will document the removal of the original trans, just because it is super basic. I'm for sure going to document all of the steps for the swap, though, as that is the part that is a little more intense.
 




Foxracin

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 29, 2008
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1
City, State
Mount Holly, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991
Make sure you take plenty o' pics! I want to do the manual conversion, and if you document all the hard stuff, then I won't have to worry so much! :p

The swap is real simple. The hardest part of the whole swap is the pedals and its not real bad at all. Just aggravating working under the dash.
 








94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
I tend to agree with Forxracin... the swap is simple, assuming you do all the necessary studying and thread searching. I probably wouldn't be doing anything to my dash had I read the thread write up that dansnyder22 posted on how to remove your 1st gen dash.
I am just a big fan of doing as much research as possible before diving in to something that you have any doubt about. Just wondering Fox, I got my 33 Mickey T's from a local shop called Rent & Roll... They are a rim and tire rental company, but they also sell tires outright. They told me they would beat any tire price in town and they did, all with a 90 same as cash program. I only had to give up 100 bucks the day I took home my tires, mounted and balanced. I don't know if you have anyplace like that where you are, or if they are as cool as the guys at my store... as I checked out a couple of places here in town before going to see them, and not one of the other guys were helpful, plus they wanted A LOT more money. Just letting you know how I got mine, in case it was an option for you. :thumbsup:
 




Foxracin

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 29, 2008
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1
City, State
Mount Holly, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991
Haha actually there is a rent and roll where im at. Went to it one time with a buddy looking for some wheels. Didnt think of checking there for offroad stuff. I may have to look into that.

When I swapped me pedals is I dindnt change the entrie pedal assembly. I just pulled the e-clip off one end of the rod going through the brake pedal and slid it out and pulled the brake pedal out. The stuck the manual brake pedal in place and slide the clutch pedal with the rod through and put the e-clip back on. Its a lot easier doing it that way then changing the entire assembly.
 




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
Did you remove the bolt on the wiring harness that goes through the firewall and move the harness out of the way? I had absolutely NO room to put the clutch pedal with the long rod through the mounting holes in the steering colum bracket, not to mention moving the E-brake out of the way... I think you are still thinking that I put that 2nd gen assembly on, but there is no way, short of extensive modification (Spdrcer34):D, to do so.
 




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
About Rent & Roll, I became such good buddies with the staff and the owner, he now lets me buy other stuff from anywhere and put it on my tab! (i.e. If I want to get a locker from A.R.B., or off-road lights from K.C., He buys it, I get it, and pay him every two weeks! For a small fee that is....) Works out pretty nicely... but I would rather pay cash and not have to owe for things that I don't absolutely need.
 




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
Nothing cool to say, been ill the last couple of days and haven't felt up to working on the rig... hope tomorrow is a better day!
 




Foxracin

Explorer Addict
Joined
August 29, 2008
Messages
1,080
Reaction score
1
City, State
Mount Holly, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991
Did you remove the bolt on the wiring harness that goes through the firewall and move the harness out of the way? I had absolutely NO room to put the clutch pedal with the long rod through the mounting holes in the steering colum bracket, not to mention moving the E-brake out of the way... I think you are still thinking that I put that 2nd gen assembly on, but there is no way, short of extensive modification (Spdrcer34):D, to do so.

Yea, I unbolted the e brake bracket and pulled that harness loose to get it out of the way. Easier then removing the dash in my book though.
 




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
The coolest thing happened just now! I've been piddling around on this totally bitchin' A4LD, takin' a wire off here, unplugging a vac line there, what not. I decide since I'm feeling a bit better, to take the fluid pan off the bottom of the trans and drain the fluid... done it a thousand times... no sweat, right? Yeah... I can now tell you what flavor burnt trans fluid taste like and looks like up close and personal........ shit.
 




Freshmeat

Well-Known Member
Joined
July 26, 2008
Messages
482
Reaction score
1
City, State
Denham Springs, LA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 Ranger STX SC
I did the manual swap and I'm running 34s on stock 3.73s. It's honestly not that bad. The manual helps it feel like a whole new monster. I'm about to build a HP-D44 and will go to 4.88s but really, the stock gears aren't that bad unless you do rock crawling and need the precision of lower gears.
 




4x4junkie

Explorer Addict
Joined
March 28, 2002
Messages
1,344
Reaction score
7
City, State
So.Calif.(San Fernando Valley)
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Ranger, '90 Bronco II




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
LMAO! I designate 4X4junkie the "Captain of pitman arm inspection". I was seriously waiting for you or someone else to say something about it! I was reading in a couple other threads about tie-rod alignment and the fa600, just haven't purchased it yet. One thing at a time, you know?
 




4x4junkie

Explorer Addict
Joined
March 28, 2002
Messages
1,344
Reaction score
7
City, State
So.Calif.(San Fernando Valley)
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Ranger, '90 Bronco II
lol Ok, cool deal, you know then :thumbsup:

It's commonly overlooked (many probably assume it's supposed to be like that only because that's the arm that came with their kit and they don't think any further of it when problems start appearing).
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




94fourdoor

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 16, 2009
Messages
315
Reaction score
1
City, State
Bakersfield, California
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT Four Door
Yeah, I found out about the pitman arm problem right after I installed the lift. The weird thing is, I have never had any problems with bump steer, not saying that it doesn't happen, as I had a '82 FS Bronc that would damn near rip your arm off if you weren't death gripping the wheel. I still don't want to chance it and it is not very good for the parts or any decent wheeling to leave it like that. I will probably end up getting it shortly after I finish the tranny swap, as I am still not sure how much more cash I am going to spend on everything else that I want/need to do this the correct way, no corner cutting. Right now, I still have a bitter taste in my mouth (pun intended) about the super-cool new way I found to drop the fluid pan on the automatic.:thumbdwn: I'll probably get most of it finished tomorrow, assuming my buddy isn't hung over and up to lending a set of hands!
 




Top