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Stripe (again)

Bandit #13

This Explorer started out life as a 93 Limited from Oklahoma. He was purchased by Russell ( @NICE59FORDF100 ) through a very arduous process with the owner and brought to Texas. Once there, as the A4LD was beyond redemption, he and Kris decided to do a full manual drivetrain conversion, modify the front fenders, and throw on a set of BFG 31's. Stripe was then sold to a then "friend" who later had Kris put a 2" Superlift on, added the Duff shocks, and the Hella lights. It was during this period of ownership that I believe he had his engine hydrolocked, bending the crank.

Unfortunately, Stripe was later stolen and wound up once again in Oklahoma, abandoned by both the thief and the owner in an impound lot, racking up fees. When the owner could not pay the fees, he offered to give Stripe back to Russell in exchange for paying off the impound lot. Stripe was brought back to Texas again, however he was a shadow of his former self.

He was resold again about 3 years ago to another good friend who treated him well, but during an off road excursion Stripe got caught on a submerged log, damaging the passenger side doors and custom fender. Also, during this time Stripe was apparently going through clutches and starters every few months as the bent crank became an ongoing issue.

Stripe was traded back to Kris and Russell a little over a year ago in exchange for another Explorer for the owner's wife. And thus he was moved into the "field of dreams", the backlot of Bandit Customs, where unfinished projects and parts vehicles are stored; an ironic place to house those Explorer's who have been dreamed of and those who will never dream again. But Stripe was in limbo here, his fate undecided. He was in rough shape, beaten, battered, and broken. It was very unlikely that he would ever have a home again, his needs significantly outweighing his value...

...but this was not the case to me.

Ever since I saw Stripe years ago, I wanted him. He was unique and had the characteristic charm of the first generation Explorer. However, funds never became available at the right time and thus I watched him pass from owner to owner over the years.

Last year Russell and Kris called me one day and asked if I wanted him. (they had previously offered me another Explorer in exchange for some work I had been doing for them). I was flabbergasted and never said "yes" faster in my life. Thus I became the third owner of the lucky #13 Bandit and started a labor of love that will hopefully last for years to come...

When I got him:


2 Months later:



(Updated 4/20/20)

93 Limited
4.0 OHV
Manual Hubs
Sun Roof

33x12.50R15 Hankook Dynapro ATM's

Kenwood KMM-BT322U digital media receiver with Sat Radio and Bluetooth
Pioneer TS-A682F 4-Way coaxial speakers

Hella off road lights
Navajo tail lights
Clear headlights with 35W 6000k LED's

LED conversion
2nd Gen Limited Leather heated seats

2" Skyjacker lift
James Duff 70/30 Shocks

Front fenders trimmed 2"
Passenger side beauty marks
Decorative rust pattern on doglegs
Lovingly weathered Oxford White paint
Reese Roof Rack

Valvoline 10w-30 Synthetic Blend
FL-1A Motorcraft oil filter

Parts Replaced:
130A Alternator
Front Calipers
Front Brake Pads
Tensioner and Idler Pulleys
Rear window motor bushings
Steering Shaft Rag Joint
Crankshaft Position Sensor
Steering Gearbox (Replaced again 9/19)
Water pump
Fuel Pump and sending unit
Heater hose
Upper and lower intake gaskets
Valve cover gaskets
Auto to Manual computer
Heater core
Fuel pump and sender

Future Mods:
8.8 Disc Swap
Super Secret Upgrade
Regear to 4.10's
Throw in my Spartan Locker
1" Body lift
Short throw shifter
New headliner
Winch (don't quite know where to mount it...yet)

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While the engine is at BC getting work done, Russell found something interesting on piston 6. Either it's just tired or I have a bent rod.:rant:

View media item 53755
The guess is that the engine was hydrolocked at one time. Interested to see what happened to the bore when it is at the machine shop.:wtf:

Not a lot of movement on this project as Red developed some new issues of its own. :wtf:

This is the previous owners registry
my 93 limited 4x4 5speed

It has more pictures, but most of them are out of date. Next time I am up in Austin I'll grab some. :D

So, I am headed back up to Bandit Customs this weekend to get the engine replaced in Stripe.
Scrapped the idea of the other engine. Had too much bad juju :dead:.

The "new" engine is from a famous rig and a good friend of mine who is getting a V8 swap in place of it.

I will post pics of the process when I get back.

After two days of intensive motor swapping between two vehicles, Stripe now runs properly again!

Incredibly, in spite of near freezing wet weather, @Kris Guilbeaux , @NICE59FORDF100 , @96AWD5.LOL and myself, pulled an OHV valve train from the donor in 2 hours (including removing the tranny, t-case, and driveshafts), pulled Stripe's engine and transmission in 3, and put the donor's engine in Stripe by the time it got dark Saturday.


Sunday was not as quick due to some issues with getting Stripe to run. He would start for a second, then die, and after that he wouldn't do anything but crank.

Fuel pressure looked bad, so I pulled my signature move and dropped the tank to replace the fuel pump. That didn't help.

Found fuel in the vac lines and sure enough the FPR was bad, but again that didn't fix the problem.

After sitting there going over and over the issue, Russell remembered that the donor was a '92 and we were dropping it in a '93! The '92-93 years were crossovers with subtle changes to engine harnesses and...wait for it...injectors!

Yup, you can't use 92 injectors with a 93 pcm; the pulse width modulation is different. So, I tore apart the upper intake and fuel rail and swapped in Stripe's original injectors.

Boom! He cranked over and purred like a kitten.

The guys at BC were also kind enough to do a full LED conversion on the interior lights and replace my steering shaft with a rare 91 u-joint version 'cause the rag joint on Stripe's was down to the nylon. :wtf:

As a side note, Russell and Kris confirmed that the old engine did have a bent crank, thank you previous-previous owner hydrolock. :rolleyes:

In any case I am now doing this in Stripe! :burnout::bounce:

Gratuitous photo shot of Stripe. Pardon the dirt...

Decided to fix some interior stuff on Stripe. The overhead console wasn't working so I tore it apart to do the standard 510 resistor re-solder, but I don't think that will work here...


I also took apart the cruise control amplifier that was not working and re-soldered all the joints. Hopefully that gets it back up and running as I could really use it on my upcoming trip.

So I took Stripe out for a little test run in 4x4 and got in a little too deep.


I wasn't expecting this much mud and while trying to ride the middle of these massive ruts, Stripe slid off into one and high centered on the pumpkin. My brother and I tried everything to break him out, but he was stuck good and the clutch was getting a little smokey:fart:.

Wound up hitting up the local offroad recovery group here in Houston and got somebody out there to yank me out.

All in all it was a bunch of fun and up till that point Stripe was really handling everything well, but I found his limits. If I had 33's and a locker I might have made it out, but not with 31's. And on the upside nothing broke (so far, lol). Forgot how "tanky" these 1st gens are.

I was having an issue with the engine dying during idle. I narrowed it down to when the A/C compressor was working (don't ask why I was using A/C in November, its Houston, :rolleyes: ). Wound up replacing the IAC, problem fixed!

Also I had a really bad rattle from the muffler. The heat shield had broken, so anytime I was changing gears the thing sounded like I was dragging tin cans around. I finally cut the shield off and now its soooo quiet.:sawzall:

I threw in a new head unit with bluetooth and sat radio capability, I'm gonna need it on these longer trips. And thanks to Kris and Russell I also found a way to bypass the main speaker amp and tie directly into the sub amp to get the bass working. Plus I am also replacing all the door speakers next week (The OEM speakers have no range at all, blegh). So basically Stripe is getting a new sound system. :thumbsup:

I am having similar issues with my 97 4.0 OHV sport. Have to have foot on gas peddle a little when I first start her. But once she is warm she does ok.

Stripe still had a little trouble keeping up with the compressor, so I tweaked the idle up by about 250rpm. This seems to have fixed it.

I finally switched out the steering gearbox as well. What a difference! Cruise control is also finally fixed. The dump valve was missing on the brake pedal so I just capped off the vacuum hose on the servo and I am golden.

Next up some new Pioneer 4-way door speakers!

So I finally got the speakers in and Coupled with the new head unit, I'm not sure I even need the sub. :eek:


At the same time I also replaced the bushings in the rear windows and now I have working windows again!

And I am still cleaning mud out of the undercarriage after my last foray. This stuff was jammed between the passenger rear shock and the leaf spring, took $2 dollars in quarters and 5 minutes of constant blasting to get it out! One thing you can say about Houston's clingy. :laugh:


That's a lot of mud coming out of Stripe. I am glad you are enjoying the truck. Funny part is I realized I had not drove stripe in over two years. It sure is a fun truck. Its a shame what happened to that motor. After work last night I tore down his original block and it was super clean inside. too bad the crank was trashed due to the hyrdrolock.

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