Pugly | Page 40 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The Good, The Bad, & the Pugly :D

1994 Purple Explorer XLT 4wd

I decided to have a registry for my "Other" rig so I can post things done and have a reference for it.

Pretty much stock drive train.

4.0 OHV-A4ld-1354e.
D35 front 4:56 Yukon gears, Aussie Locker.
2nd gen disc 8.8 rear 4:56 gears, Spartan Locker.

Front C-Clip eliminator Mod.

Slight lift with 2" Skyjacker coils & rear F-150 hybrid leaf packs.

3" PA body lift
Helpful thread with pics for the front body mounts
Pics of front body lift mounts

Swapped to manual hubs.
Double U-joint XJ steering shaft.

33" x 12.5" x 15" Cooper Discoverer ATX3, mounted on 15"x10" AR Outlaw1 alum wheels - full size matching spare.

Front Rancho 9000xl
Rear Rancho 9000xl
Duff Stabilizer shock.

Sway bar quick disconnects front & rear.
Custom tube sliders w/kickouts

22" LED light bar.
18w amber fog Led pods.
55w rock lights--2 front--1 rear over diff.
8 LED pods for rocker lights.

Full brush guard.
2.5" Fender Flares.

TTB Diff guard & Skid plate.

Custom roof rack with 48" Extreme Hi-Lift jack.

Flipped Tow hitch & front hooks for tow points.

Cobra19 CB & rear hatch mounted firestick antenna.
Rear view HD camera.
JVC DVD/CD/MP3 Head unit with 7" HD Monitor.
Sony 6.5" front speakers.
Rockford Fosgate 5.25" component rear speakers.
8" JL Audio sub in 2001 enclosure with 500w amp mounted on enclosure.

Custom made center console with CB/Rear view color monitor/2-12v outlets/ in-out temp display. D cell Maglite mounted on cargo panel. Truck bed liner on cargo floor.
Custom Cargo storage box with topside spare tire mount.

'99 Eddie Bauer Front Leather buckets.
'94 Limited Rear leather split bench.










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You have better patients then I do Gman. WOW! And to think I was raised that the Customer is right. I would find another place to get it done if possible.

I do have to say that I love watching both of your builds. I may not reply a lot but I read all what you are doing.

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It is getting harder and harder to find a good alignment shop. 99% are trained to run the dammned alignment machine without really knowing what an alignment is, or how to make it right. I have a theory They're all robots-

Ow, bad news there. Sorry you had a fool doing that job. It's a lot of work to do the suspension, the alignment is the white collar stuff. They get paid well for that important task, they should do it well.

I didn't get a printout last week, and usually they don't talk specs, but I trust my shop enough(35 years of history there). My tech man said mine aligned easily this time, I had it lowered a lot last time and the same man had to raise it to align it. This time I added the full bolt camber kit to the left side, I think the lesser washer only kit wasn't enough two years ago. I know yours is a 1st gen, Pugly, mine the 98 has different front suspension parts. The alignment shops we rely on for the final checks to be able to drive/trust our vehicles. Make them do better.

I paid a premium for a lifetime alignment on the rig, and have to use the same shop. They have a few different techs that do it, and I got the one guy that turned out to be a DB. lol
When I call for another appointment, I will make sure they know the adjustable bushings are there, and are simple to use. They take all the effort out of this on the 1st gens, and takes a mere minute to adjust each side with them.

I do need to get the worn Jeeper intermediate shaft replaced asap tho. Now I know about it, it is bothering me.

Oh, the CEL came on, but went off, then came back on, then went off, then came back on. lol Damn truck, just won't give me a break!!

Edit: The codes are EGR, and 332 & 335. I guess that newer plastic style DPFE is only good for so many miles. Man they want a lot for them POS too!

Cheaper to keep her??

Once again, I am at the cross roads of deciding on what to do about this old rig. The issues keep coming at me, and maintaining this thing is more & more frequent. Last weekend was the new steering gearbox R&R, this weekend it is the rear leaf packs, and shackles. the right pack decided it no longer wants to live, and flat lined. I have been meaning to replace them, and get rid of the hated War153 shackles, for some time, but have always had other things to do. Now, I am forced into doing the swap.

Items that need attention:
The A/C compressor is starting to give the bearing noise, and the system is once again leaking slowly.
With all I have done to the front end, it is still a bear to steer, and makes me feel uneasy. Steering shaft needs replaced (again).
The doors are getting harder & harder to open/close.
There is a bad ground somewhere that I can't find, and causes the gauges to act up, and the stereo needs to be rest each and every day when the temps get below 50*. Weird!!
The front wheel bearings keep breaking. Needs new spindles still.
It leaks coolant and needs the lower intake gasket replaced (again).
It leaks oil from the rear main seal. Needs replaced (again).
The rebuilt trans also leaks at the pan. Needs a new gasket or a new pan, or both.
The DPFE is throwing codes, and needs replaced (again).

Thing is, it still runs great at 265k on the clock, and the trans works perfectly. There are so many new/good parts on this, it is hard to imagine the loss I will take, once it is time to retire it. I enjoy not having a monthly payment, and like the low Insurance costs. Every time I think this rig is done for, it surprises me, and keeps on going for years to come. I know it won't last forever, and it is getting super close to it's end of life, I just don't know when to say when, and retire it permanently. I would strip it of all the mods when the time comes, but that in itself is a daunting amount of work, and I have other things I need to spend my time & energy on, and that is a driving force, not to retire it just yet.

One day at a time, and today, it means more back breaking work on it.

So I was in the middle of doing the leaf pack swap, and Mother nature decided to throw a T-storm at me. Quickly dropped the axle on some stands, and tossed all the tools in the garage, right before all hell broke loose. Damn weatherman said no rains until tomorrow. Thanks buddy!!

So I have a few mins until it passes, I might as well share this with Y'all.

Rusty pack is what just came off the Drivers side, and the pair of black packs are the BH's old set I replaced for a brand new set.
Pugly's set was a Franken hybrid pack with the stock main, and F-150 leafs for a 2" lift. I needed more lift for the 35's, and the War153's was added. Your going to see why I hate them extended shackles here in these pictures.

People argue this with me all the time, and I just don't care what they think, after seeing what they do first hand, more than once.

The extended shackles ruin leaf packs. They shift all the weight to the rear of the packs, instead of evenly distributed in the center, and invert them at the rear shackle. Once they start going, they can break, bend here, or they can flatten out the entire pack, then bend/break. Extended shackles are a cheap lift at the time, but in the long run, they are more costly, after they ruin your packs. The proper way, and the cheapest in the long run, is to use lift springs. Period.

Notice how much longer Pugly's old pack are? That's because they flattened out, and inverted at the rear eyelet. Now granted, the BH old set are a 4" lift pack, and Pugly's was a 2" lift, but there is a huge difference in height between them. Way more than a 2" difference.

Anybody want an old set of War153's? Just pay for shipping and you can have them. Otherwise, in the trash they go!! lol

Hopefully this storm passes soon, and I can get the job finished today. I am using new stock shackles for now, and the plan is to get some aftermarket 3/8' shackles installed soon.

94 & 95 spring diff lengths.jpg

View attachment 159060
leaf height diff.jpg

Rain stopped, and got back to it late afternoon. Last bolt to remove was the front hanger on the pass side. Seized up of course. Sawzall wouldn't fit, as it was too low to the ground on the stands. Out came the grinder, but I only had 4" cutting wheels. They would reach about 1/4 of the way thru the bolt. I had to turn it with the breaker bar, cut, turn, cut, turn, cut, until it was thin enough to break it off with the breaker bar. What a pain. I had anti-seize on the rest of them, but I must have skipped this one. I made sure they all got it this time tho. lol

Pugly also got the BH hand me down U-bolt skids installed with 5/8" grade 8 U-bolts. The ears on the stock ones was all kinds of bent up. Shock tabs was so bent, I had to hammer one side out, just to get the shock off. Glad I won't have to worry about that stuff anymore.

8pm, by the time I got done wrestling this pig, I was a mess, and looked like the tin man. I think I can paint the rig with a dime size portion of that stuff.

She is sitting fairly high again, and sitting at 42" to the fender lip. I'm hoping it settles down a couple inches after a good run around town.

eye bolt cut out.jpg

pugly new springs on 1.jpg

She is a filthy girl right now. When the rains stop, she will get her annual bath. lol

I'm wiped out, sore as heck, but showered at least. Tomorrow the pass side spindle gets replaced. (couch time!!)

Rains came, and the front spindle didn't get installed. This weeks forecast looks pretty gloomy, so maybe next weekend?

The leafs settled 1/2" after some road time. Handles and feels so much better now.

You've been busy-busy...Still looks good, great to see both of your rigs still on the trail!! I've decided to sell mine, my son is getting it, as he needed another vehicle, and it has been just sitting anyway.

Replaced the DPFE with a BWD unit from Advanced Auto. Same price as Rockauto using their online discount code, and had it in 30 mins. Hopefully the CEL stays off now.

I got a used set of spindles yesterday off a 91 w/o ABS, but they are not in great condition. I will clean them up, and see how they look, but I'm not getting the fuzzy feels with them. I think I will just install the one good spindle given to me from @TheBlackPearl. It cleaned up well, and the bearings/seal looks good.

If the 91 set doesn't clean up, and the replacement doesn't seem to be any better, I guess I will have to break down, and spend the $400 on a new set. Really trying to avoid that expense, but sometimes, you have to bite the bullet, and take the hit.

agreed. Going cheap has typically not worked out so good for me.

I threw a ton of money at the Pumpkin just keeping things in order, not upgrading anything. I have thought about putting all my stuff in another body, but decided to continue and work with what I've got. It definitely gets to be a hard decison.

Thanks Ghosttrain2! Pugly is kinda like a nightclub cougar on the prowl. She just doesn't know her age yet.

Dono, while she does see her fair share of hand me down parts, they are normally in great shape. The list of new parts is a mile long. I do try to keep in mind she is getting closer to retirement age, and the amount of $$ I'm willing to put into her, is a drawn out thought process. But yeah, somethings you just can't mess around with, and have to play it safe. Just the simple facts if you want to be safe, and keep others safe.

Agreed Rick. Just like you, I have had these thoughts in my head, for years now. The amount of work& time, it would take to swap parts/mods over all at once, gives me nightmares. One of those things that would only be done, if absolutely necessary. Upkeep is an expense all it's own, but it goes back to the Cheaper to keep her dealio.

EGR headaches continue.

I cleared the codes to the ECU with the scanner, and then to make sure, unplugged the battery for a spell. Then this $70 plastic POS was installed. Checked the silicone lines, and still as good as when I installed them a few years back.


Checked the codes and the 336 went away, but the 332 remained. Hmm... Now what? So @Turdle suggested the EGR Vac solenoid could be faulty. I checked all the hard vac lines from it to the tree and the EGR valve. All good, so I hunted down the vac switch, and found one a few towns over today.

Put this $40 booger on,

EGR vac solenoid.jpg

And fired it up. No CEL! I let it run for about 10 mins, and it never came back on. After a run around town tomorrow, I will see if it comes back on after it cycles a bunch. Fingers crossed, as the inspection for tag renewal is up, and they won't pass it, if the CEL is on.

Always something with these rigs!

Good, that's another minor issue you got figured out. The DPFE is more sensitive, those are more expensive and I think heat affected. The vacuum switch/solenoid is apparently very reliable, but I anything can go bad at some point.

332 code is still popping up. I ran it and got my head as close to the dr side of the engine. I think I hear a faint hiss like a vac leak, but I can't be sure, as I can't pinpoint it. Another check to the lines & tree, and think all are fine. I sprayed Ether around every vac port in hopes to hear the idle raise, but nothing.
I cleared the codes again, and will see what happens today. Taking it in for inspection this week, and time is about up.

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