Project what was I thinking??? | Page 5 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Project what was I thinking???

Ok, so I feel obliged to give a little backstory as to how I arrived here...Here goes.

My most recent vehicle before the X was a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer. To be frank, I wasn't an X or Mounty freak then but I'm a Ford guy and it was a nice SUV.

Fast forward to November 2010 and my dad buys an old 92 Explorer, 4 door 5 speed to pick up semi parts....Rusted to hell, 170k miles, but loads of new parts on it. He jokingly one day said that he'd trade his for mine and I went for it.

Before you think I'm a complete fool, he had gifted me $2000 to pay off my Mounty (as a gift when my wife got pregnant) and offered the Explorer and $1000 for my Mounty. I had got a good deal on the Mounty so I'm not really losing out....

I finally decided to pull the trigger because after 3 years of marriage & with a 9 month old baby my wife decided to leave me (I'm still a great guy & there's no better husband or dad, apparently, she just didn't want to be "tied down"). So that's my sob story. Single daddy every other week and in need of a distraction. So anyway this is my mid-life crisis early. I've always wanted to build a mud/rock crawler and I figured what do I have to lose at this point? Unfortunately funds are a little tight but hey, they are for most people.

That's my story. I'm going to throw some more posts on what I've done thusfar and I've got some pics to put up once I get a little time. If you take the time to read this, enjoy.

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My God!

that crosses the state line an hour before you get there! :p:

actually it might not be out far enough to accommodate a winch.

anybody have numbers the average width of a winch body??

Hahaha ya it's a touch wide. Dang thing weighs about 80# too so I feel bad for Bambi if he ever decides to get in front of me.
My buddy weights about 130# and he was standing up on it lol. It's pretty freaking beefy. It's so thick that I had to get 1/2 longer bolts to mount it to the frame and they still barely worked...
Evidently the winch I plan on getting is 94# (just found out today that it weighs that much) so I really need to finish my rear tire carrier so I can get a little weight on the back to balance it out.
I just think of it as a non-traditional way to extend my brake lines :D.

It was fabbed specifically to mount a winch and has 4 holes in the top for a winch as well as the holes for the fairlead mount. It's supposed to be exactly the size I need to run a winch.

And thanks Shooey & 4rd4! :)

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Uodate....slight carnage

Got some action this weekend....even went wheeling too ;).

Well anyway my zeal came with a cost. Managed to screw up both front and rear axles.

Got home to find a healthy strawberry milkshake puddle coming front my front diff. I have known that my front driver side axle seal isn't good (so I prob should have avoided putting it underwater) but it appears as though all my diff fluid just decided to leak out from the hub and right down the diff. Sooo, not gonna run 4x4 for a little while.

I thought I was mostly in the clear beyond that until my dad pointed out the drip of rear diff fluid I was leaving on his concrete when I went over to visit. Kinda busted the axle tube on the rear...ooops again.

From what I can tell I either rubbed through where the u-bolt contacts the tube or I actually just slammed down hard enough to crack the tube on the u bolt.
I had decided when I went spring over to flip the u-bolts over so that the curved part of the bolt was on the bottom of the axle tube. My reasoning? Keep the threaded ends of the bolts up so they can't catch on anything.
What I failed to realize is this means if the axle manages to slide up inside the u bolt it will crack down on it too and exert a large amount of force on a small area the size of one u bolt.
And because of the axle wrap I get from spring over I'm also rotating the axle frequently inside the bolt which is going to wear through the axle tube by rubbing it against the u bolt.

So I'm currently deciding whether I'm going to try to weld a patch of tube on the rear and just not run 4x4 for now or just suck it up & buy my new rear axle and do my swap (since I already have the new front purchased).
Personally I think it makes more sense to just do the swap now but since I have to borrow dad's car while mine is down I'm getting less say in my decision. He's throwing a fit and wants to just weld a patch on (thinking that the axle swap is going to take way too long).

I don't know....I have about 7 hours to decide lol.

Pics to follow.

Still waiting to upload pics but I did manage to find my problem!

The rear axle tube was cracked on top on the weld for the new spring perches. Since I got so much water in the axle the extra fluid was just coming up out of this crack on top. I don't know if dad burned through when welding or if I just managed to crack the tube by applying too much lateral force to the raised weld with my u-bolts but either way I drained, changed, and am rolling again.

I took a lot of watery diff fluid out lol. Cleaned everything out really well with kerosene and filled her back up with a Lucas and plain diff oil mix.

Should buy me some time til I can get my new axle put in :).

Geez it's been a long time since I've done any updates.

Well I tried to put my extended sway bar links on and they rubbed like crazy at full lock. I don't know what I don't understand but it looks like there is absolutely no way to get those to work. So I shelved them and put the stock ones back on. There was a good waste of $30.

Beyond that I purchased a 4.10 axle from a guy here on the forum parting his 97 Ex Sport out. So I'm going to finally get discs and 4.10! Now that I have the new front diff and rear axle I just need to be less lazy.

Thinking I'm going to try my moonroof install this Saturday. I'm doing the bodywork this month and so I need to get the moonroof in before I go to repaint the truck.
Yes, I'm terrified.

cutting a hole in a perfectly good roof is like jumping out of a perfectly good airplane! LOL

Well things have ground to a halt but I got working on it again last night. Not so much out of choice but you'll have that. I thought it had been getting progressively louder lately but I wasn't sure why. After work when I started it I found out. Alternator totally went.

Straight home to get the old one off and then straight into the parts store. New personal best, 55 minutes start to finish (including time waiting in Autozone)! I know that's not earth-shattering but for me that's incredible. I'm pretty pumped about that :).

so why was it getting louder?

Alternator. Bearing was going out. I'm not quick enough on identifying bearings getting worse and worse. I always seem to get used to the noise and then after I change the bad part I realize how bad it really was.

that makes sense!

Way overdo for an update. Basically haven't been doing much of anything with the truck lately. Since I got my new DD ('02 F-150 Supercrew) I haven't had a lot of time for the Ex.

This weekend though my buddy and I went to get a wood stove for his shop. We're getting it ready to have some heat this winter.
We also moved my new axles into place (bought a 4.10 w/discs rear and front third member). Now that the Ex can be down for a little while I should be able to really get her tore down.

Hoping to get it together and in good running order before the snow really flies. Now that it's just a 2nd vehicle I can go out and have a little fun with it :).

I thought you said you were broke! LOL

well at least you will get things done now!

Lol trust me Lounge I'm still broke. Getting the new truck just has me broke-er now hahaha.

No, I needed something just a little more reliable to haul mini-me around in. Nothing against the Ex but it's not the best baby kid mobile.

I already had the axles bought a long time ago (way before I picked up a car payment thankfully).
I'll have to throw a pic of the new truck on here though. It's dark green....I've wanted a truck like this for a long, long time.

My dream is to eventually get those body panels put on and paint the Explorer a close match. Then my life shall be complete ;).

well that's cool!

and now that you really don't have to pay out the money you might as well finish it!

I have a guy looking for a 9" axle for my conversion now too. and I hope he finds one.

Xmas present.

That's my thought. Just from sitting I will need all new brake parts most likely. I added it up and that will run me $170 but I hope to get something out of the old axles when I get them out.

Even if I can get $100 for both (idk if that's too hopeful) it would ease the sting a little.

Just read your whole registry. I love the build. Any updated on this?

Just read your whole registry. I love the build. Any updated on this?

Thanks for the compliment. Unfortunately, she's on the way out. Trying to save up money doesn't work well with having a toy like this so I'm selling her to another forum member. She'll be in good hands though although it will be sad to see her go.

oh dam!

sad to hear! but good to know it will still be around.

now what is next on the agenda???????

Now what's on the agenda just in general, or for the truck lol?

For the truck, I'm getting her prepped to make the journey to good ole Kentucky.

In general, truck money is going to the house in the country fund.

I guess the ultimate goal is to get a place with a garage so the cycle can start over with a new (to me) 4x4 toy :)