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How to: Rebuild of a flipped 98 sport

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So while I am working on this truck I did end up going ahead and ordering new parts. I ordered
Brake Rotors
Brake Pads
Brake Bleed kit
Upper control arms and lower bearings
Lower bearing replacement tool kit
Inner and outer tie rods
Tie rod ends
Rack and Pinion
Sway bar linkages
Front wheel bearings

and shortly I will be ordering new Bilstein shocks front and rear. Not only will this thing be alive again, but it should be damn near factory when it comes down to ride quality. Ever since I got it this thing had a terribly loose steering wheel, partly from the old steering system, but also from the DIY steering wheel extension that I will be pulling out and replacing by lengthening the steering column.

I also still need to bolt the body to the frame. Hopefully i'll get some time in the next few weekends to work on everything.
 



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So I now ordered those Bilstein shocks. Im hoping to start throwing these parts on next weekend.

Im now thinking back to the loosest part of the steering column, the extension. This truck has a 3" lift and like with all 3" BL explorers the steering column extension is the hardest part to figure out. It had one on it when I bought it, but it was a little DIY for my taste as it had a TON of slop in it. I have a few other vehicles lying around so I have plenty of spare steering columns to play with and I am kinda thinking I might just chop off the end of one steering column and fit it over the end of another. Then I would drill a hole and run a bolt through it as a kind of failsafe, then weld the two columns together to form one, longer column.

Has anybody tried this? Any reason why this wouldn't work? On the steering column of the explorer i'm working on the nut actually fell off so I wouldn't even need to deal with that.

stearing coloum.png


Apologies for the crudity of the model, I did not have time to build it to scale or to paint it.
 






my old 96 explorer had a 3" body lift, I removed the steering shaft spacer right away, I drilled a new hole in the steering shaft UP AT THE COLUMN SIDE and it worked perfectly for many years...that truck is still going now.
No need to weld or sleeve anything, just drill a new hole higher up on the shaft.
Edit:
The hole is drilled on the shaft coming OUT OF THE TRUCK
not on the collapsible intermediate shaft, just FYI
Looking through my old 96 build to see if I can find you a picture
 






Hard to see BUT there is a hole drilled in the shaft like 1" below the factory hole

171_241018_040000000.jpg
 






Hard to see BUT there is a hole drilled in the shaft like 1" below the factory hole

View attachment 321568
That actually sounds like a much better plan. I was wondering if there would be a problem with a loose connection or something as there is less space to connect, but if its worked for you, then yeah. I'll try that out. It would definitely be easier. I'll try to pull that out in the next few days and throw it in a drill press and see what happens.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 






You are welcome
I put MANY miles on that Explorer with the steering shaft that way....and she was on 33" tires and often towing something....
Worked out WAY BETTER then the death trap steering extension......yikes!
 






So I have managed to tear apart just about the whole front end. I still need to pull out the steering rack, but it's coming along nicely. Should get it back together by the end of the weekend.
IMG_20200930_034949.jpg
 






did you mark the upper control arm location so you can put the alignment back?
Looks good so far!
 






did you mark the upper control arm location so you can put the alignment back?
Looks good so far!
I realised that I did not mark it as much as I should have. I got the passenger side back in (not hard as it is the 2 piece) But the driver side is definitely a bit off. I will be taking it to get aligned before I do any driving on it though.

Tonight I did manage to finish tearing out the rack and pinion and then I got the new rack and pinion in. I also got the new sway bar linkages in, new lower bearings and control arms in, and got the new front shocks in.
IMG_20201001_053311.jpg

I need to get a few seals before I go much farther. I need to replace the passenger CV axle seal, and I also need to get a new steering gear seal (bushing?) as I damaged the old one pulling it out. (center item)
IMG_20201001_032033.jpg
 






dang!! That stinks, did your new rack come with new bushings??

Over the years I learned to take a scribe (pick , flathead, whatever) and mark the round part of the UCA where it meets the bracket front and rear....this way you can always put the new UCA right in the exact spot
"They" have been going away from the two piece pass side....I'm like, "why?" I love that thing!! When I say "they" I mean chassis shops and alignment places...like to install 1 piece...long live the two piece design!!!!!!!!
 






dang!! That stinks, did your new rack come with new bushings??

Over the years I learned to take a scribe (pick , flathead, whatever) and mark the round part of the UCA where it meets the bracket front and rear....this way you can always put the new UCA right in the exact spot
"They" have been going away from the two piece pass side....I'm like, "why?" I love that thing!! When I say "they" I mean chassis shops and alignment places...like to install 1 piece...long live the two piece design!!!!!!!!

Nope. It did not come with the new rack, and I don't really know where I could get one. I might try to pull it off another truck, but it's kinda hard to get to the top of the rack when its installed.

Definitely a good idea to mark it and whenever I happen to do this again i'll definitely mark it.
 






I can send you those bushings if needed, I have a few trucks outside for parts including steering racks and bushings
Like $10 plus shipping if you need them....heck Missoula is only 3 hours from me
 






I can send you those bushings if needed, I have a few trucks outside for parts including steering racks and bushings
Like $10 plus shipping if you need them....heck Missoula is only 3 hours from me
If it's not too much of a bother that would be great I can't seem to find them online. I'll send you a PM
 






Good job!
 






I see the parts now..............sending you PM
 






here is the dust seal in question in case anyone else needs to buy one, the part number is visible
171_051613_450000001.jpg


171_051613_450000000.jpg
 






Well yesterday I about finished up rebuilding the front.

I need to replace the passenger CV axle. That part was the very first part I fixed and when I put a dent in the nut to keep it from coming out I hit it too hard. When I pulled it off it tore up the threads and I can't even get it back on now. I have a few spares around so I just need to get them swapped.

Otherwise I need to complete:
1) Steering Alignment (taking it in for this)
2) Find and put in one last body bolt, then torque them all down
3) Rebuild the trim and such
4) See about fixing the oil sensor and stuff


That's more or less it. Not all that much left to do.
 






autozone and Oreillys give lifetime warranty on their CV axles, they last 3-5 years under normal use and can be a very good deal considering it takes about 20 minutes to swap one out.

What's wrong with the oil sensor?
 






...What's wrong with the oil sensor?

Guess I never actually posted it here. After the body swap the oil sensor, speedo, HVAC blower and possibly a few other things stopped working. I am thinking it may have something to do with the body wiring harness as that is the only difference in the electrical system.

My blinkers are also being a bit intermittent. Not sure what is up there.
 



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yes there are some changes between 1998 and 2000 in the wiring for sure!!
This could be quite tricky to sort out
You should have the wiring books for the 98 and the 2000 and start tracing circuits for the items that are not working properly. Try to identify where the wiring changes took place
OR you could swap in the 98 wiring harness?
 






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