Seth's 1999 5.0 AWD Limited registry... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Seth's 1999 5.0 AWD Limited registry...

Hello Gentlemen!

Pull up a chair and grab a beer. I understand the registry is where we give the who/where/what/when/why of our Explorers. So, here I go...

I recently bought my Explorer:

5.0 V-8
White Pearl with Light Prairie Tan pinstripes
Light Prairie Tan Leather interior
MACH audio system

A little history. My Explorer was ordered new near my hometown in midwestern Ohio by an older gentleman. He drove it for a couple of years, then parked it in the garage due to failing health. After he passed away, his family sold it to the Ford dealership in my hometown.

Typical midwestern small town. My mother taught with the wife of the Service Manager, and went to high school with most of the rest of the staff at White's Ford. She had an excellent relationship with them, having bought 4 cars there. When my Explorer came to the dealership, the service manager called Mom to come look at it immediately. She bought it.

Mom used this Explorer as her daily driver. It was loaded and she loved it. Mom took good care of the Explorer, and it only went to the dealership for repairs and maintenance.

2 years ago, Mom bought a 2009 Explorer, so the 1999 became her back up vehicle. Then, she let my little brother use it... :eek:

He didn't abuse the Explorer as much as neglect it. He just drove it. No maintenance, no upkeep. Nothing.

A few months ago, I decided I wanted an Explorer like Mom's. I searched all around my area. Nothing. So, why not just buy Mom's? It took me a little while to convince her, but the Explorer is now mine. :D

Here are some photos to start:





Seth K. Pyle

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. what?

I have a slightly run down Explorer that needs work so I can drive it 500 miles to my home in Blacksburg, SC.

No biggie...

Here is where my Explorer stands now. It was allowed to sit until the battery went dead at Mom's. She let my little brother 'borrow' it when his Saturn died. He has had the Explorer since. The battery is weak because one of the rear door latch switches is bad. This would be the common 'door ajar leaves the interior lights on so the battery dies' problem. As my brother has driven the Explorer, it has turned into a rolling landfill. The inside is filthy"! :mad:

He has worn the brakes off of it. I talked to him 2 weeks ago, this is what I learned: "The brake warning light has been on for awhile, but it still stops OK."

"All the tires are good, though one of the backs don't match. And the fronts are wearing bad on the inside. And they're tilting in at the top."

Since he and his wife bought a Honda, the Explorer sits, rarely driven.

As of right now, he is going to 'clean it up and get the oil changed" the first week of June. Then he will deliver my Explorer back to Mom.

Don't get me wrong, I love my brother. I am just very displeased how he has taken care of the Explorer. I am not bashing him, just illustrating the condition my Explorer is in as I start.

More photos:












Oh, and major good point. Only 115,x.. on the clock. :D

Seth K. Pyle

I apologize for the crappy quality of the photos. My brother took them with his cell phone. They're all I have for now. :dunno:

Seth K. Pyle

Quick ruminations...

My Explorer is a little shabby.

The interior is filthy. However, I just finished a long thread about 'Duece' by member Joe Dirt, and learned ALL KINDS OF GOOD STUFF!!! for cleaning the interior. I plan on doing all of it.

The exterior has some issues, too. Missing a hub cap, driver's side lower door weather strip has a broken mounting pin, the lovely wrinkle by the fuel filler, and the almost universal rusty rear bumper cover. Mom bumped a pole years ago... Hubcap is easily sourced from ebay, weather stripping adhesive for the door, rear bumper cover can be taken care of at the body shop. Don't know about the wrinkle...

I have also read up on Joe Dirt's exterior detailing of 'Duece'. Man, that guy is an artist! I am no bodyman by any stretch, and can't even dream of results like his. However, his thread has given me the gumption and courage to try.

More to come...

Seth K. Pyle

For those of you still here...

Here is a list of what I know is wrong with my Explorer:
(In no particular order...)

-brake system is shot
Brake warning lamp is always on
Brake fluid is black
All rotors look rough
Master cylinder was leaking last year, still there this year
Parking brake does not work

-front suspension issues
Front tires lean in at top
Front tires are badly worn on inside edges
Ball joints?

-engine doesn't want to idle after first start, must keep foot on accelerator pedal

-rear wiper does not work

-one of the rear door ajar switches is damaged

-head unit display goes intermittently dark

-looks like rear suspension is sagging a little

-driver's side quarter panel has a wrinkle in it from kissing a pole

-driver's side front door lower weather stripping has a broken mounting pin

Seth K. Pyle

Oh yeah, interior is FILTHY and will need to be disassembled and scrubbed.

The engine compartment is intact and complete, though also filthy.

More photos:








Seth K. Pyle

Once Mom gets the Explorer back from my little brother, it immediately goes to the dealer. I want the Explorer to be thoroughly inspected and evaluated, so I know what I am getting into.

Also, I will have the dealership change the engine oil and filter, install a new master cylinder, and thoroughly flush the brake system. I'll let them deal with bleeding the ABS module if necessary. :D

I have asked Mom to go to the dealer and try to get the service history. I want the history and inspection done on it. I need to know what condition my Explorer is in, and whether it will make it 500 miles to my home in SC. Once I get it home, the real work can begin. I just have to get it home.

My big concern is the front suspension and the brake pads. If it needs ball joints(and it probably does), that is not going to be cheap from the dealer. I would rather do it myself, but I am not driving 500 miles on suspect ball joints. Same thing for the pads.

If and when my Explorer gets a clean bill of health, I'll fly to Ohio to pick it up. Mid-June, I will register and insure it here in SC. I am flying to Ohio on the 30th of June, and intend to drive back on the 6th of July. In between, I will be driving my Explorer every chance I get to get used to it and shake any bugs out. I will probably start a thread chronicling my road trip home.

We shall see...

Seth K. Pyle

The Future For My Explorer:

I have grand plans for my Explorer. I am not a 'wheeler, so this will be my comfortable street cruiser.

I am very big into preventive maintenance, so...

-fluid change out across the board, using Mobil 1 synthetic lubricants

-change every filter I can find, using all NAPA Gold series

-Overhaul brake system
Power Stop front and rear rotor & pad kit with zinc plated cross drilled and slotted rotors, with ceramic pads
All new brake hoses
Reman calipers with caliper brackets
New parking brake shoes, hardware, and cables
Aforementioned new master cylinder and system flush

-full tune up of engine:
SeaFoam treatment
Clean MAF
Clean throttle body
New Autolite double platinum APP104 plugs
New Motorcraft plug wires
Have fuel injectors sent out to be ultrasonically cleaned
New O2 sensors, Bosch
New fuel pressure regulator

-overhaul cooling system
Clean and flush system
New radiator, just to start with new
All new hoses, including oil cooler to water pump
New water pump
New HD thermostat
Replace plastic cooling fan with earlier metal fan
New HD fan clutch

-Overhaul driveline, just to start with fresh
Reman CV shafts
New U-joints
Front drive shaft CV joint repair kit
Have shafts balanced
Figure a way to check the chain in the transfer case
New Timken rear axle bearings & seals
New Timken front axle hubs & seals

-new battery, DieHard Platinum

-new tires, stock size, good street tread, not sure what brand

-new shocks, probably Monroe, not sure what grade yet

-rebuild front suspension to start fresh, will probably use all Moog
Upper control arm assemblies, probably 1-pc for both sides
Upper control arm camber shims and new bolts
Lower ball joints
Inner and outer tie rod ends
Steering rack bushings
Swaybar end links

-repaint rear bumper cover


-Redo audio system
Fix display in head unit
USA Spec PA11-Ford1 iPod interface for head unit
Rockford Fosgate Punch series component 5.25" speakers and 1" tweeters in all doors
Rockford Fosgate Punch series 8" sub in factory sub enclosure

-remote start, with iPhone app

-engine performance
Cold air intake
Torque Monster Headers
SCT tuner, and tune from Mr. Henson

-improve shifting of the 4R70W transmission
Replace all solenoids, and EPC
Remote transmission fluid filter
Additional stock plate transmission cooler plumbed in parallel
Weld nut in transmission pan for magnetic drain plug
TransGo shift kit?
Baumann kit?

-better headlights and fog lights

-exterior paint buffed and waxed

This list is constantly evolving, and will cost me a fortune. However it will be worth it. I have spent countless hours absorbed into reading posts on this forum. I have learned a great deal, and there is a great deal to be learned.


Seth K. Pyle

I went shopping today! :biggthump


Trans filter kit
Air filter
2 oil filters
Fuel filter
2 cans motor flush
Can of MAF cleaner
Can of throttle body & intake cleaner
2 qts Mobil 1 75W-90 synthetic gear oil for the front axle
3 qts Mobil 1 75W-140 synthetic gear oil for the rear axle
5 qts Mobil 1 5W-30 synthetic engine oil
18 qts Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF for the transmission, transfer case, and power steering system



Good thing I am already used to the philosophy of "if you want to play, you have to pay..."

More to come...

Seth K. Pyle

I have a couple of questions:

-looking at the engine compartment photos, can anyone tell if the cruise control switch recall has been done? I think it has, but can't tell by looking.

-How often do you change your transmission fluid? I am used to changing it yearly in the TH700R4 in my daily driver S-10. However, it gets filled with NAPA Dexron III mineral oil, and only takes 5 quarts.

At $130 for 14 qts of Mobil 1, I don't think I want to do that every year. I will be installing an external spin-on transmission filter. I am thinking drain and refill every 2 years. However, I wanted to see what you guys did.


Seth K. Pyle

I just got some good info. Mom got the service records for my Explorer from the dealership. Unfortunately, due to a computer changeover years ago, all I've got is back to 2008. Hey, better than nothing! :D

03/2010 89,x.. miles: transmission flushed and refilled with 13qts MerconV

11/2009 87,x.. miles: battery replaced, recall for cruise control wiring at master cylinder performed

04/2009 83,x.. miles: RF hub/bearing assembly replaced

03/2009 82,x.. miles: spark plugs and wires replaced

10/2008 79,x.. miles: both front stabilizer bar end links replaced

08/2008 78,x.. miles: RR wheel ABS speed sensor replaced

All of this is good to know. However, it has been awhile since my Explorer has seen any TLC.

Its time for a transmission fluid change, and time for new plugs and wires.

All I have to do is get it home to Blacksburg, SC. I am already laying in parts and supplies.:smoke:

More to come...

Seth K. Pyle

P.S. Big THANK YOU!!! to Turdle for moving this thread to the right place for me.

The cruise control recall adds a short wire harness between the pressure switch on your master cylinder and the harness that normally connects there with a fuseable link in it. If you don't have a 6 inch harness there connected to another, you haven't had it done.

24-36k miles is usually a good interval for tranny fluid changes, but the 4R70W is a very tough tranny, and can go longer if you aren't abusing it. An external filter will help a lot. Every 2 years is the interval I follow for tranny fluid on explorers.

Thanks, FIND, I appreciate it!

What you are saying is what I have been seeing in my research. 2 years/30,000 miles is a good change point for the trans fluid. I am going to have a nut welded in the trans pan to fit a drain plug. I intend to fit the remote filter when I install the second stock trans cooler.

Good to know about the cruise harness. I thought I read that the druise switch can leak brake fluid, which can cause a fire. Correct!


Seth K. Pyle

Hey man! Great lookin Ex! Take a look at my registry, i recently took out my interior and scrubbed it real good. If you ever need any "tips" on detailing im your guy, my dad used to work at a detailing shop a few years back and hes givin me all sorts of tips on how to make your truck look perfect (even though i rarely wash mine anymore). Good luck and i hope you enjoy yours as much as everybody else on here enjoys theirs!

Nice thread and good pic's, Ryan. Thanks for suggesting it.

I will take any and all tip&tricks for detailing that you have to offer! My Explorer has dealt with...small children. :eek:

Seth K. Pyle

Nice thread and good pic's, Ryan. Thanks for suggesting it.

I will take any and all tip&tricks for detailing that you have to offer! My Explorer has dealt with...small children. :eek:

Seth K. Pyle

Thanks. Pressure washer, shop vac, a brush, and warm soapy water will do the best. Just take your time and it will do a lot of good

Ryan, that's pretty much what I had in mind. I am going to gut the interior for cleaning.

I bought another toy for my Explorer. I had been considering an UltraGauge, but stumbled across discussions about the app 'Torque' for Android devices. After a couple of nights of research, I bought the app, as well as the app 'Torque Widget', and downloaded the free app 'Torque Scan'. All of these went on my Nook HD+. I have no idea how or where I am going to mount that large of a tablet in my Explorer, but I will figure that out as I go. I have set up the vehicle profile in Torque, but am now stuck until I actually get into my Explorer. :rolleyes:

Next step is to purchase the relatively expensive ($99) KIWI Bluetooth OBDII dongle.

The clincher for me for Torque over Ultragauge was the ability to read transmission temp. I have seen posts about beta testing for transmission temp for the Ultragauge, but nothing concrete.

Because the dealer could only give Mom service records back to 2008, I think I am going to go ahead and cough up the $40 for a carfax report. I entered the VIN into the carfax website, and it said there were 25 history entries for my Explorer. This could very well be a load of **** and a waste of my money, or not... we shall see.

More to come...

Seth K. Pyle

Well, I went ahead and bought the carfax report. Not as detailed as I expected, but useful nonetheless.

I did learn that the Mach head unit had been replaced in late 2002.

I also learned that my little brother has had the oil changed a few times, so that is good to know.

I received the Kiwi Bluetooth dongle. So far so good!


I also ordered a pair of keys, a pair of key fob remotes, and a pair of headlight/parking light clusters.
Photos when they arrive.

Seth K. Pyle

New keys and remote fobs arrived.


I will have the keys cut in Ohio and program everything before I drive home.

More to come...

Seth K. Pyle

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New headlights and parking light clusters arrived. I am excited!


I paid $73, including shipping for these off eBay. I was a little concerned that they might be too good to be true. The headlights even included new bulbs! However, the photos looked good, so I bought them.

I am very pleased at what I have received. Well built units, with all the mounting and adjusting hardware installed.

Now I can't wait to install them!

Note: many of you probably find this mundane or boring. True, this is common stuff, not very spectacular. But, to me, it is wonderful. New parts are good parts! I am taking something neglected and bringing it back to life. This is my kind of fun.

Seth K. Pyle