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Paul's '91 Sport

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

As it sits today. . . (December 2023)
Rig Large (DEC 23).jpg

As it sat last year. . . (2022)
Snow Sport.5 (DEC 21).jpg

Edit: From here on down was the write-up I did for my first Explorer before it was totaled in a commuting accident in March 2017. The write-up for the new (to me) Explorer that was acquired in May 2020 starts on page 2, post #31.

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 used to sit: (2016)
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. . .

'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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And speaking of progress. . .

Up at Diff Whack's (Kevin) Shop today doing rear axle work. The OEM rear axle on the new-to-me rig is pretty lame - - 3.27 gears and obviously no traction aid. The set up I had on my '91 Sport were ARB locker and 4.10's, but am slinging Albino's (Phil) axle underneath that was already set up with a more compatible 4.56 gearing and updating it with an ARB (sold my old axle to a buddy with a Ranger).

Here's the axle:
Rear Axle Backing (OCT 20).jpg

Although the axle was already set up with SOA leaf spring mounts and shock mounting points, decided since it was apart, might as well upgrade the drums to disc brakes. Pulled a set of backing plates, calipers, brake lines and accessories off a '95 Explorer from the local Pick-n-Pull a few weekends ago and got to work. . .

Rear Axle Pads-Seals-Bearing (OCT 20).jpg

Set up with new pads, parking brake, bearing and seals. Purchased some new rotors as well, but those will have to wait for the guy who's going to install the ARB so we can re-install the axle shafts.

New innards:
Rear Axle Innards (OCT 20).jpg

New ARB, Yukon 8.8 overhaul kit, B&M 8.8 rear diff cover.

And since its going to be "fresh" when we sling it under the rig, needed a quick coat of paint. . .
Rear Axle Paint (OCT 20).jpg


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Latest performance mod:
Pickle Rick! (OCT 20).jpg

Well, the rig is green, so there's that. . .

"Monsta" Prep Day. . . busy laying out, prepping stuff, and taping. Luckily able to work in the shop at my office.
Monsta-Ready (OCT 20).jpg

Rocker lowers, and some pillar work.

3-4 Door Sliders (OCT 20).jpg

3/4 doors with rock slider, F-250 coil buckets ready for the Monsta-Liner.

Radius Arms Plus (OCT 20).jpg

Radius arms and other stuff. . .

Flares and Stuff (OCT 20).jpg

Rest of the small bits, and the Bushwhacker Extend-a-Fender flares that have been resurrected once again after the Sport was totaled. . . Repaired these flares several times over the years, so much so I think they half-way held together out of habit. . .

More to follow,


I spy auto hubs :) put those suckers on ebay when your done

I spy auto hubs :) put those suckers on ebay when your done

Fear not, the whole axle may end up there. . . Already have Phil's (Albino) front axle ready to go in - - 4.56 gears, ARB, and yes, manual hubs. . . with spares.

Lots of work today, not many photos, but here's a few:

License.2 (OCT 20).jpg

Frenched license plate holder finished up, offset to passenger side to accommodate swing-away tire carrier, once I get it mounted up again.

Matched the Monsta-Liner "Read My Lips" red to the Ranger's OEM "Colorado Red", and used standard black Monsta-Liner on the '91 Sport (as well as Herculiner, from way back); decided to find something that complimented the "Medium Seafoam Metallic" on the rig and settled on Monsta-Liner's "Get Hammered" green.

Here you go:
Profile (OCT 20).jpg

So many small parts and intricate pieces of pieces for the rest: radius arms, shock towers, front diff armor, rock sliders, rear leaf "ramps", fender flares, etc., etc., made for another long effort. . . Some day I would really like to use this product as intended, for a truck bed - - that would be super easy compared to what I've been doing with this product so far this year. . .


nobody uses monstaliner as a bed coating! HA! Hang in there I like the choice good color

Mounted sliders and flares (rear set), ties in the Monsta-Liner with the rockers, but looking kinda goofy with the undersize wheelset. . .
Flares Rear (OCT 20).JPG

With luck, should be "right-sized" by the end of the weekend. . .

Finished up the frenched license plate holder - - lights tapped into the wiring of the OEM harness.
License (OCT 20).JPG

OEM Bumper to remain until the suspension / lift / axles are in and I get a chance to refresh the swing-away version from the old Sport. . .


cleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!! Just the way I like fab work
well done

More good stuff going on today up at Kevin's shop. . .

Phil's (Albino94LTD) rear axle set up for SOA with his 4.56 gearing, but upgraded with the ARB air locker (same as the front) and a new diff cover. OEM low mileage rear axle on the ground with drum brakes, no traction, and 3.27 gearing.
Axle-Rear (OCT 20) .JPG

Also added a leaf to the spring pack and new bushings all around. . .

Shiny disc brake freshness:
Brakes-Rotors (OCT 20).JPG

A Brian1 leaf spring "ramp" at the front of the leaf spring, plan is to run a weld along the front edge. . .
Ramp-Brian (OCT 20).JPG

Tomorrow is transfer case swap, drive shafts, and strip out the front suspension. . . . Could not be getting this done without Kevin's assistance.

More to follow,


More work. . . and BEEF! ! !
Atlas (OCT 20).JPG

and in. . .
Atlas In (OCT 20).JPG

Ripped out the OEM suspension, radius arms, brackets, steering, etc. . .
Suspension Ready (OCT 20).JPG

Stuff waiting to go in on the floor . . .

Lots more to do tomorrow, stay tuned,


Fought us a bit yesterday. . issues with front pumpkin, I hacked into a wire loom while cutting the fender well liner, and a bunch of other "gotchas" that limited productivity. . .

Passenger side work:
Coil (OCT 20).JPG

F-250 coil buckets allows longer travel shocks (two per side) to increase articulation (droop)

Front axle in with Brian1 differential protection. . .
Front Axle (OCT 20).JPG

The plan was to have it on wheels and "drivable", but didn't get there yet.

Still got a lot done: rear axle, rear shocks, rear drive shaft, transfer case, radius arms, coil buckets, front suspension pieces mounted, (repaired wire loom!), new axle seals, re-habed the SuperRunner Steering system, etc., etc.

Probably another day required to finish up the front end and steering parts. . .


Man I sure wish you guys were closer. I would love to help out.

Man I sure wish you guys were closer. I would love to help out.

I Know right!! Im way closer then you are but still too far away. I wish I was hosting a huge Explorerforum all is welcome shop and Kevin and I could combine forces!!!

Had to pull out the driver's seat in preparation for cutting the floor for the transfer case sticks, so "stole" the idea from Travisfab (and others) and added some the Kilzmat sound deadener to reduce road noise. . . Pulled the passenger seat too for the install.

Driver's side:
Kilmat.1 (OCT 20).jpg

Kilmat.3 (OCT 20).jpg

If I were smarter, would have done this when I pulled out the seats for the upholstery upgrade back in June. . . Will do the door panels and rear cargo area after the suspension work and other priorities get finished up.

Back at it tomorrow with the goal of getting it under its own power and "alignment ready". . .


Two words. . . .

"Hell, Yeah. . . ! ! !"
Front-Passenger (NOV 20).jpg

Did a test-drive this evening on under its own power - - couple of small items to address, but it drives, steers, and stops. . .

Front suspension with virtually "unobtanium" SuperLift SuperRunner steering, Duff radius arms and cross-member, Brian1 front diff guard and double front shock and F-250 coil buckets fabbed by Kevin (DiffWhack).
Suspension-Steering (NOV 20).jpg

As mentioned previously, 4.56 gears and ARB airlocker. Still needs an alignment, have to run airlines, add switches, etc., etc., plenty of small crap left to do . . .

'Nother look:
Suspension-Coil (NOV 20).jpg

And double front shock and Duff Radius Arm:
Shocks (NOV 20).jpg

Shoulda painted the shocks, dammit!

And some twin-stick sweetness:
Atlas Shifters (NOV 20).jpg

Been three-and-a-half long years since I was wrecked by a fuctard on a rare commute with the old '91 Sport in March 2017. . . . Lost a good man since that time (Phil - Albino94LTD), and other friends who have faded away - - been entirely "out" of the four wheeling scene until buying this '94 2-door and working with Kevin to get it trail worthy. . . Thankful this website exists with the great people that frequent it.

Parting shot:
Rear-Lifted (NOV 20).jpg

Happy Trails,


Looks really good Paul. Congrats on the accomplishments, in the time frame you guys did it.

Moab 2020 ??

Thanks. As mentioned, would not have been possible without Kevin and one of the guys from his job, Jonathan (mechanic and Ranger owner). Certainly no local shop would have taken on the project with a "mixed bag" of used suspension components and refreshed running gear to bolt onto a 26 year old vehicle. . . most shops want new vehicles with new lift packages and components, or at least that is my opinion. . .

Driver's side profile:
Lifted Front-Driver P.I.(NOV 20).jpg

Gotta admit, after finishing up Sunday evening, walked around the rig a few times and had a "deja vu all over again" kind of moment - - it's not a clone of the '91 Sport, not going to fit it out exactly the same way as that rig, but something about having a lifted two-door just felt right.

Moab 2021 a definite, in fact trying to get a few things buttoned up in the next few weeks for an inaugural Memorial Snow Run in honor of Phil. A lot to do still, but not a hard-core event, just positive traction and airing down enough to "float" on the snow. . .


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Yeah, meant Moab 2021. Stupid auto correct, or stupid me. lol

Most shops haven't a clue how to work on these rigs anyways. If they have to think, it's going to cost you. You guys did it the way it needed done.

Have fun playing in the snow. See you in Moab!