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Obie's 98 XLT 5.0 AWD - Nickname Undecided

Obie's 98 XLT 5.0 AWD

Update 30 March 2013: Added a few paint pictures, updated current, in progress, and future mods.

I've been lurking here for a few years, became a member A little while ago, and decided I'd help out this great forum by becoming elite. Also, I never did a normal registry so now I get to make a brand new on here.

My name's Lucas, I'm living in Crown Point, Indiana and I have two Explorers. One is a 98 Eddie Bauer 4.0 4WD that was my brother's and I was going to use for parts, but didn't really need anything from it. The other one, the big show, is my 1998 XLT 5.0 AWD. I also have a 97 F150 XLT 4.6 4WD.

Here's both my girls together:

IMG_20120624_171459.jpg


Right now the 98 is down for a frame off restoration, more of which is available here.

As of the day she went down, the odo was just shy of 150k, with zero engine, transmission, or transfer case problems from day one. I've taken very, very, very good care of her since I bought her from my uncle back in 2010. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania road salt while I was going to the WyoTech out there started rotting away the body, including the cab mount brackets. I love this truck, and there was no way I was going to lose her. So, I bit the bullet and have been spending damn near all my money to get the body and frame rust treated and proofed.

Anyways, besides tune ups and normal maintenance, here's the list of stuff I've done so far and stuff in progress:

-Complete IFS rebuild with Moog Suspension parts for increased durability
-Hunter Grille Guard
-1.5" Torsion Twist and War 153 Shackles - Outdated
-31x10.5R15 Goodyear DuratracWrangler Tires - Outdated
-33x12.5R15 Goodyear Duratrac Wrangler Tires
-Black Rock Defender Series 905 15x8 Wheels
-Complete Frame Off Restoration - In Progress
-Go Rhino Tail Light Guards - In Progress
-RCI Front Skidplate - In Progress
-Dixon Bros Heavy Duty Clevis Steering Kit - In Progress
-4" Superlift - In Progress
-3" Bodylift - In Progress
-Coilover Conversion with Fox 2.0x6.5 Emulsion Shocks and 750lb Eibach Coil Springs - In Progress
-U-Bolt Skid Plates made by Brian1 - In Progress
-Eddie Bauer Fender Flares and Running Boards - In Progress
-Torque Monster Headers - Part of Group Buy
-Repaint to Marine Digital Desert Camoflage - In Progress
-Hawaiian Lei haging from rearview mirror


Future Plans:
-Cobra 29 LX CB Setup
-KC Foglights (Replacing stockers due to modified front bumper)
-Custom Cat-back Exhaust
-Custom Front Offroad Bumper with enclosed winch plate, grille guard, light guards, and built in offroad and fog lights
-Custom Rear Offroad Bumper with Swingout Tire Carrier, Jerry Can Holders, and CB Antenna
-Superlift Double Cardan Front Driveshaft
-Re-gear front and rear to US Gear 4.56
-Auburn Ected Max Selectable Locker/Limited Slip
-Superior Axle Evolution 8.8 C-Clip Eliminator 4340 Chromoly Axle Kit
-Riddler 8.8 Diff Cover
-Light Bars
-Roof basket
-4406 Manual Transfer Case Conversion
-Whatever else floats my boat

Current Problems:
-None!

I guess I could show a few more pictures...

Stock - After being detailed by my buddy's shop (another buddy thought the dual spoiler look was funny):
IMG_20110320_185817.jpg


Butt shot:
ButtShot.jpg


IMG_20120614_195146.jpg


Frame before:
IMG_20120914_163026.jpg


Frame coated with POR15:
Untitled_zps4cfb8bd4.jpg


Pictures from March 2013:
2013-02-26154726_zpsec280469.jpg


2013-03-07170742_zps79c5fe19.jpg


If anyone wants to know more, feel free to ask! I've got lots of experience as a mechanic and I've torn damn near the whole thing apart so I have a lot of knowledge on how to remove and replace stuff. You can even feel free to ask more about me :)
 


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Willcall

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98 XLT 4x2 | 20 XLT 4x4
I like the dedication you put into that frame! She'll be a fine rig once you get her back together again!
 








obie

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Ooooh, a new mod today :D

So I dropped off the driveshafts to get checked for balance today at Indiana Driveline in Schererville, Indiana. I asked the guy working there if there was any way to convert from the CV joint at the T-Case front output to a u-joint. He says hold on, walks back into the shop for about a minute, comes back out with the exact parts for it. Never mind that I hadn't even brought my driveshafts in yet. These guys know their stuff. It's about $200 just for the driveshaft modification and the output yoke kit, but well worth it. The first time I need to fix the front driveshaft on a trail it will pay for itself.
 




obie

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Well, a little snag with the driveshaft modification. I got a call from the shop and they said they that the u-joint conversion is only rated to 45-55mph. Anything over that starts causing severe vibration. So, I might just have a second shaft made up to throw on whenever I want to go out on the trails. Thee only thing that would suck is swapping shafts before, and then after. Unless I were to trailer it everywhere, which I'm not doing.
 




2TimingTom

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Why in the POR15 pic is the rest of the shop all cut out?

Pretty awesome build though.
 




Turdle

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If you do the 3" body lift you "could"swap in a CAD front diff, along with a 4406 transfer case swap, which should allow the front axle to free wheel. Then you could keep the conversion joint in for higher speeds.
 




obie

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Why in the POR15 pic is the rest of the shop all cut out?

Pretty awesome build though.

I cut out all the pictures of the shop. There were toolboxes and lots of other stuff that I didn't want the whole internet to see. Last thing I wanna do is tick off the guys who physically have my truck, haha

If you do the 3" body lift you "could"swap in a CAD front diff, along with a 4406 transfer case swap, which should allow the front axle to free wheel. Then you could keep the conversion joint in for higher speeds.

That's very good idea, and might be something I'll do in the future if I don't throw a Dana in the front. For now though, I still want to keep it AWD. I got too used to the way it handled, I chirp the tires in my F150 whenever it's wet and I'm making a turn. No LS diff either :(
 




obie

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So, I just got a massive raise at work. Now I'll have an extra ten grand over the next year to dump right back into this thing, haha. I edited my first post with the (for now) finalized plan on the body, axle, and suspension build. I'm gonna be beefing up the 8.8 with an Auburn Ected Max selectable locker/LS and Superior 4340 chromoly c-clip eliminator axle kit, with some 4.56 gears to run the 33x12 Duratracs. The front will get a little love too with some new gearing, beefed up steering linkage, and maybe some BTF uniball uppers. Then I'm gonna throw the 4" superlift on, a bit more trail armor, and she should be good for nearly anything I could drive to.

I've thought long and hard about swapping a Dana 44 under the front, and decided against it. I want to maintain the basic factory setup, just with stronger components. That's why I want a locker that's limited slip when off, and I don't want to jump through hoops to get a working AWD with the front axle. Yes, I will probably break some CVs on the trail. But that's why I'll carry spares and get really good at swapping them out :D But I don't need a rock crawler, and I don't need something that will go through 2 feet of mud either. I just want to be able to crawl over the speedbumps at the mall ;)

Edit: Oh, and my brother picked up a Cobra 29 LX CB radio for me for Christmas, so I'll be getting a CB all set up for that too
 




obie

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Just bought the Dixon Bros. Racing Heavy Duty Clevis Steering Kit from Fat Cat on here. :D

Anyone know a good source for a heim kit to replace the outer tie rods?
 








obie

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Well, I might be a bit crazy to be spending so much money on the suspension right now before the bodywork and paint and reassembly is done, but I've seen so much Explorer stuff get discontinued. So I just ordered the 4" Superlift kit :D Just two cents under two grand, with shipping. I'll still need the replacement front drive shaft and skid plate, but I can order those next paycheck. Working sixty hour weeks does have its advantages. I'll also be ditching the torsion bars and going to coilovers, hopefully I'm able to get the brackets made. Otherwise I'll have to resort to having a fab shop custom make something.

I'm also going to be ordering a set of Torque Monster Headers on Monday, and they said the lead time is out to about the second or third week of January.

This means I'll probably have to extend the restoration another four or five months, but at least I don't have to worry about them being discontinued.
 




obie

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Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss, coil over conversion brackets are now on order! Oh man oh man oh man I can't wait to get all this suspension done :D :D :D

Now I just need to spend another six hundred or so on the fox shocks and eibach coil springs. I can hold off on that for a bit, no danger of those being discontinued soon.

Though if I keep spending money on axle and suspension stuff, I'm not gonna have enough left over for paint, haha. I do think I'll wait til after Christmas before I order the headers and new driveshaft though. Between these, the Superlift, and the heavy duty steering kit I should probably slow down a bit.
 




Birdy

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With that bare frame like that, it would have made a sas a piece of cake! Surprised you didn't go for that dana now. Throw in some progress picks when ya get there, wana see what this things gonna turn into!
 




Sams01XplrSprt

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nice x and f150
 




obie

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Just scored a good deal on the shocks and springs from Off Road Warehouse. $490.58 to my door :D First re-valving is free too, but I probably won't ever take them up on that. I'd have to ship them to Cali, and it would be a lot easier just to find someone local to re-valve them.

Without discounts, most other places I've seen are between 600-620, so I'm pretty happy.

For future reference, part numbers are:

980-02-001-A - Fox Racing 2.0x6.5 Coilover Emulsion Shocks
1200-250-0750 - Eibach 2.5"ID 12"Long 750lb Coil Springs
 




obie

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Hot diggity! Shocks and springs came in today, thanks FedEx man! Off Road Warehouse left them at the stock 40/60 valving. After telling their shock guy about the modifications for coilovers and the spring rates and what I plan on doing, he said stock or slightly tweaked should be dang near perfect for me.

I'm not sure where the shocks are made, so I sent the company an e-mail to ask them. The Eibach springs are USA made :usa:

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with either painting or powdercoating coil springs and shocks. I want to get them painted the same brown that the rest of the axles and suspension and undercarriage will be, so that way the silver doesn't stand out. Supposedly, the internet says it's ok. Just worried that the baking process of powdercoat might damage things.
 




Turdle

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Powdercoat 'em.

When I use a powder which calls for a cure schedule of 10 minutes@ 400 degrees F on springs, I cure em at 365 degrees F for 25 minutes instead, just to keep it safe. I think the "annealing" temp is way up there, but just to leave the question out, that is what I would do. Also, there are lower temperature powders out there, depending on the color you want.

Now, on our 93 I did things a bit different. I actually "burned off" the front coils at 650 degrees for 4 hours.However I did leave them in thw warmed oven to cool slowly--overnight.

Then, I blasted them and coated them white. 400 degrees for powder cure. I do not "think" I changed any of the properties, they seemed fine but I am not a metallurgist.

Go for it--;)
 




obie

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Sounds good to me. I'm probably just gonna leave them as is for a bit so I'm not waiting even longer to actually drive the truck again. Once I have a few weeks of driving it and getting the suspension dialed in and making sure everything works, I'll send you a PM and see if you're up for doing them. Are you able to color match your powdercoats?
 


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Turdle

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Sounds good to me. I'm probably just gonna leave them as is for a bit so I'm not waiting even longer to actually drive the truck again. Once I have a few weeks of driving it and getting the suspension dialed in and making sure everything works, I'll send you a PM and see if you're up for doing them. Are you able to color match your powdercoats?

I can match colors to some degree. It would be much less $$ to use the new factory coat as a base. When heated the new powder will melt into the factory coat.

Once they are dirty this will not happen as well, and, it will more than double the cost, as they will have to be stripped clean. In my shop that means baking off in a self clean cycle in my oven which is 650 degrees. I have no chemical stripping capability. :( Will this damage the springs? I am not sure. Like I said I did it before but that was on my own parts. You will have to be the judge of this.
I also think it would be best to find a local shop. I would more than love to do them for you, however shipping back and forth will double the cost. Consider this. You should be able to find a good powder coating shop in your are through google.
 




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