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Paul's '91 Sport

Three ashtrays, two doors, one cup holder, and zero Air Bags”

I am the second owner of this vehicle, purchasing it in April 1993. It has been a daily driver, crisscrossed the States multiple times, sat for a few years in storage, and now is dedicated to four-wheeling trips, camping excursions, and hauling the motorcycle to various “track days”. It is not a hard-core rig, but is set up well for the types of four-wheeling I enjoy, and has certainly seen its fair share of difficult trails. It has a number of modifications, with more planned for the future, but is by no means “Done”.

As it sits today. . .
Front Oblique (P).jpg
Rear End.jpg


Here is the run-down of the modifications and when they were installed (or re-worked). . .
- Borla Headers and Cat-Back Exhaust (1995)
- James Duff Pre-Runner Front Bumper (1998)
- Bush Whacker Extend-A-Fender Flares (1998/2016)
- ARB Air Lockers, front and rear (1999/2008/2015)
- 4.10 Gears (1999)
- “SupeRancho” Hybrid Lift, approximately 4” of lift, with SOA (1999)
- 33”x 12.50 Tires (currently Toyo Mud Terrains)
- Con Ferr Roof Rack (1999)
- SuperLift SuperRunner Steering (2000)
- Ramsey REP 8000 winch in Duff Bumper (2002), Warn Synthetic Line (2016)
- Rock Sliders (2002)
- Atlas II Transfer Case (2005)
- ViAir On-Board Air Compressor (2009/2014)
- Modified ¾ Doors (2009)
- Early Bronco fabbed Rear Bumper, “extra modded” to fit the Explorer (2009)
- Rear License Plate Frenched (2009)
- Outback Solutions (ARB) Drawers with fabbed pull-out shelves (2012)
- Corbeau Heated Seats (2013)
- Internal Roll Cage (2013)
- Shelf/Box/Switches (2013-2015)
- Lights – Raptor/Fog/Roof Rack/Rear/Squatch/Interior Hatch/Hood (2013-2016)
- Dual Battery installation (2014)

I'll document most of the projects in subsequent posts with pictures and links to various threads. . .

Paul
'91 Sport





Edit: End of the road in April 2020. . . Read on for the wreck and renovation/restoration/gear swap to new 'Sport'. . .
Fork (APR 20).jpeg
 
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fordpickupman

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71 F250 Fummins
That Navajo is minty fresh
 
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Stic-o

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'91 Navajo '99 XL '16 XLT
So not keeping it Mazda....😥. Navajos are a dying breed.

Just take the front end and tail lights and set them aside. These parts are getting super scarce.

I just wanted to keep mine Mazda, because it's different, and people will say..."That thing is cool! What is it? 🤷‍♂️". Besides can't argue with Motor Trend Truck of the Year for 1991 😜
 
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Paul

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No Mazda parts will be harmed during this procedure. . . Yep, going FoMoCo - - its a pre-condition in order to work up at Kevin's shop. . .kinda. Will set aside all the Mazda stuff - - know you've got a stash already.
 
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Stic-o

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There's a Navajo collecting dust in a driveway a mile from here. Been tempted to just go knock on the door and ask them. But my wife would kill me if I brought another car home.

Screenshot_20200506-213827_Maps.jpg
 
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410Fortune

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you can store them here so she doesnt know :)
 
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Paul

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Gotta admit, there are some "styling cues" in the Navajo that I like. . . Like the brown and tan interior, instead of all red, blue, or tan; the two-tone seat fabric (plus lumbar), etc. . . Some upgrades may be due to my experience with the '91 and not really being aware of upgrades by model year through '94, but for the Explorer don't think there was much (other than adding a second cupholder. . .)

But in the end, I bleed Ford Blue - - with the exception of this vehicle, every vehicle (less motorcycles) I've purchased since 1990 have been F-O-R-D: '65 Falcon, '91 Explorer, '01 Mustang GT, '11 Ranger FTX4, '17 Escape . . .

As for "more" vehicles and off-site storage - - believe me, I get it. . . But learned the hard way on that score. . .

Paul
 
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Paul

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Working on some other non-vehicle projects, but got a chance to "clean" out the new rig. . . Literally, like going back 20 years - - knew it was clean and well maintained, but you'd swear this thing is only a few years old. . . Not 26. . . I kept my Sport pretty clean, but after 25 years of ownership and 200,000 miles, (not to mention the wheeling), it had plenty of scuffs, cracked interior pieces, etc. No so with this one. . .

Rear cargo area:
Cargo Area (MAY 20).jpg

WIth cargo area net - - sun roof cover and FAK beneath.

Plan was to just swap in the Corbeau seats I had in the Sport,
Seats (MAR 20).jpg

. . . but may just have the OEM seats "refreshed" with some additional support foam (and maybe heat) . . . Then the Corbeaus to the Ranger (already match that interior color).

Here's the passenger side - - note the leg extension, plus electric lumbar and bolster.
Passenger Seat (MAY 20).jpg


. . . and yes, that's the cassette caddy from the center armrest, talk about "time travel" - - Yeesh. Enjoying the project so far.

Paul
 
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gmanpaint

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Clean Machine Mang!

Those seats are pretty much the same as the stockers in my 95. I had no idea they was available in a 1st gen! Bad Arse set of stock seats.

The lumber & bolster are actually bladder bags, and use one small air pump mounted underneath the seat. I rebuilt my drivers a couple times. It's the spring clips, and wire ends that give out, and the wires cut into the seat foam over time. Foam is an easy fix, but clips and wires aren't. These seats are not easy to take apart at all! If you take them in, get a set price, not a Time & Material charge. Hourly rate will eat your lunch! LOL!

Protected them with a set of Cabella's Molle back waterproof covers. They work pretty dang good on the trails, and are comfortable on long trips too.
 
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410Fortune

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I love that interior, way better fabric on the seats then the Ford versions...very pretty truck
I still have my cassette holder too LOL
The suroof bag is nice to have, not many of those around anymore
This Navajo was worth the price!!!
 
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Paul

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Those seats are pretty much the same as the stockers in my 95. I had no idea they was available in a 1st gen! These seats are not easy to take apart at all! If you take them in, get a set price, not a Time & Material charge. Hourly rate will eat your lunch! LOL!

Thanks for the tip Gregg, fixed quote is the way to go. . . To my knowledge, first gens with the "leg extension" thingee only included the "Limited" and 'some' of the Eddie Bauer versions. The Navajo options were "LX" and "DX", this one is the "LX", but I don't know if that is the lesser or greater of the option packages - - seems to have all the usual goodies, though. . ..

Paul
 
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Stic-o

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My Navajo had these seats as well, but they were destroyed, So I swapped out for some other 1st gen for now. I will add suspension seat at a later time. I could steal a set from JP's back seat but they don't recline, are red, and I don't know if I would buy them again for my height.
 
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gmanpaint

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The front extension is a Knee bolster. It's for people with longer legs. I love mine, and use them. My seats have the same material as yours do, and are great in the colder months.

If you have ever sat in a Toyota anything, you know that those seats are made for short people. They end mid thigh for taller people, and can cause blood clots after extended periods of sitting. I can't stand a Toyota seat. Taking the FJ all the way to Moab, about wrecked me with them short people seats. lol
 
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Paul

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The front extension is a Knee bolster. It's for people with longer legs. If you have ever sat in a Toyota anything, you know that those seats are made for short people. lol

I resemble that comment. . . , and would have thought these seats would be wasted on me (built low to the ground), but I spent a few hours in the rig today going back and forth to Kevin's shop, and these things are GREAT! ! ! Even for me!

Wow that Navajo is clean, nice find! Looking forward to the (re)build!

Thanks Brian, working on a 'BrianBuilt' parts list for this project, and if you're toying with the idea of a swapping the Twin's TTB for SAS, I'm your guy to "adopt" that D44 reinforced axle. . .

So, the first phase for the project was Drivability. Rig steers straight, doesn't leak, etc. but the gas gauge was inop, so went up to Kevin's (DiffWhack) to drop the tank and install a new fuel sender assembly. Took the opportunity to install a new fuel filter as well. Strangely, no pictures taken, but pretty simple job.

Next was swapping out the side vent windows. Full history for the vehicle is unknown, but for as clean a rig as this one is, the driver side vent window had rust on the hinge piece and the paint on the inside was peeling and looked like crap. Luckily, we pulled all the windows off my Sport before it went to the yard. We swapped the one, and then remembered that I had them tinted about a dozen years ago - - so then swapped the passenger as well.

Grill / Badging Upgrade:

Then we did this:
Ford Grill.1 (MAY 20).jpg

"Purists be damned"

Couple more:
Grill Light (MAY 20).jpg


Backside:
Rear Hatch.2 (MAY 20).jpg


And hey, I just didn't have a "NavajoForum.com" window sticker . . .
Forum (MAY 20).jpg


Wheel dreams . . .
Wheel Wish (MAY 20).jpg

Wheelset off my Sport, as well as the tinted vent windows. . .

Good day wrenching,

Paul
 
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Paul

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Bumper Upgrade:

Ordered some parts for repairing the OEM driver and passenger seats - - thigh bolster foam from Corbeau, a close match in fabric from eBay, and heat inserts from Amazon, so while waiting on that stuff to get in, did a bit of refresh on bumpers.

Work in progress:
Bumpers.1 (MAY 20).jpg


Probably not worth the effort, but sprayed some adhesion promoter and then hit the plastics with a coat of spray paint,
Bumper Valences (MAY 20).jpg


Since I went to Ford headlight buckets combined with turn signals, I removed the lower turn signals. Concerned that the lower bumper valance may be lacking support without the turn signals, fabbed up a couple of pieces of expanded steel I had to help bear the load.
Bumper Support (MAY 20).jpg


Lastly, mounted the CB (no antenna yet, not powered yet either) . . .
CB (MAY 20).jpg


Paul
 
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410Fortune

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this thing is gonna be so sharp!!
 
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Paul

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Seat Upgrade:

Thanks - - Got some parts today for the seat refresh. . .
Seat Fabric (MAY 20).jpg


Figured that'd be close enough to the darker fabric on the side bolsters - - a bit of Moab dust will help even it out. . .


Then foam arrived. . .
Seat Foam-Fabric (MAY 20) (2).jpg


Got four pieces of foam for the driver and passenger seat thigh bolsters - - now just waiting on the heat.

Paul
 
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410Fortune

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omg I totally missed the ford emblems and explorer badging in the earlier pics...........You are a sick and twisted individual! Its a Mazda!! Isn't it? LOL
 
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Paul

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I totally missed the ford emblems and explorer badging...........You are a sick and twisted individual!

Ya think?
Steering Wheel (MAY 20).jpg

(interim "fix" - - might swap the steering wheel to FoMoCo in the future). . .

Paul
 
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Paul

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Wiring Upgrade:

One on the "benefits" of rebuilding this rig is to incorporate all the 'best practices' learned during 25 years of ownership of the '91 Sport. The wiring of that rig was incremental, adding stuff little by little, which ended up being a lot of wire. . . I was able to clean up the wiring on the '91, but knowing what I know now, the goal is to do it right, once, the first time. . .

With the seats out and by adding heat to them, I had to wire power to the heating elements for the seats once back from the upholsterer. I recently mounted the CB, but hadn't run power to it, because I wanted to do standardize the wiring.

So - - here's a view of the work in progress:
Wiring Mess (MAY 20).jpg

Trust me, this makes sense. . .

Had to drill a fresh hole in the firewall to run power from the engine compartment. Form fitted a piece of clear plastic tubing for chafe protection for the wire and then added it to a bus bar near the kick panel.
Wiring Power Bus (MAY 20).jpg

Not certain if I really like this location, but didn't want to run wires for "everything" through the firewall. Clear plastic tube, anchored with a rubber grommet visible behind coil of red power wire. The three smaller gauge wires are for the heating elements for the two seats and the CB.

Now, where to place the fuse block ? - - If you followed my Ranger thread on this forum, I've stated that I don't want to cut up the dash for switches, fuses, etc. I have plans for an overhead shelf on this rig, but don't want fuses up there once it's up. Considered putting it behind the glove box, but thought better of it. So, here's my solution:
Wiring Fuse  Block (MAY 20).jpg

In the void under the cup holder in the center console. Out of the way, and only four screws to remove the cupholder for access for the fuses. Before I bolt everything back together, I will run three more power wires for the fuse block and leave unattached. As stated, only want to do this level of effort once. . .

Seems like not much work for the day, but it took up all my time . . .

Here's the seats in progress (from the upholsterer):
Seat.2 (MAY 20) (3).jpeg

Out with the old. . .


In with the new - - with heat(!)
Seat.1 (MAY 20) (2).jpeg


Paul
 
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