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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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What speakers and head unit did you use?

Kenwood KMM-BT322U head unit (Digital media receiver, half the length so easy to shove cables and stuff behind the unit)
Pioneer TS-A682F 4-Way coaxial speakers

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So Head unit does not have a CD player? With what you are saying about your sound is what I am looking for in my sound system. I like the Bass but not so loud that the car next to me is going def. :) But I like to hear my music over everything else. Drown out the outside noises. :)

So Head unit does not have a CD player? With what you are saying about your sound is what I am looking for in my sound system. I like the Bass but not so loud that the car next to me is going def. :) But I like to hear my music over everything else. Drown out the outside noises. :)

Yup no cd player. Haven't used one in years. My CD collection is buried in a box somewhere in my house, lol.

The sound is really good. Sooo many sound options on that head unit, so I am still futzing around trying to get it just right.

Right now, mine is drowning out my missed shifts and sunroof wind noise. :laugh:

Stripe decided to die on me right before my trip. Crank no start. Wasn't getting a tach signal so I thought it was the CPS, but after swapping it out it still wouldn't start. Took out and tested the resistance on a new and the current coolant temp sensor and they both tested fine. I finally believe it's the ignition control module. It receives the tach signal first and then sends it the ECU and the instrument panel. Since I still was not getting an rpm signal while turning the engine over, this seemed the next logical step. I was also getting power at the coil, but no spark, another lead to the ICS as it controls the firing of the coil pack.

Have to wait for a clear day to grab one from the JY and swap it in to check if I'm right.

Before all this happened, I did get the front end aligned (by a shop that knows how to do TTB's) and got the tires balance and rotated. The ride is a hell of a lot better.

After spending hours last Saturday with a multimeter and a wiring guide (and after replacing the ICM) I finally found the reason for the no-start. I wasn't getting 5v from the PCM to the TPS, CTS, and IATS. I was scratching my head to trying to figure out how I could lose voltage to all three at the same time. :dunno:

I traced the wire from the PCM to the bulkhead connector and found nothing wrong there. In the end I found the connector on the passenger side engine harness that carries the voltage and the sensor data to the PCM wasn't fully seated. Pushed it back together, zip tied it, and Stripe started right up. Big "doh!" moment. :banghead:(In my defense though the connector did not fully come apart so it looked good visually.)

In any case, I learned a lot about the wiring and diagnosing of first gens, so I am calling it a win. :thumbsup:

Saturday I threw in a new belt and 130 amp alternator in Stripe. I also found that the parts database for a 1993 Explorer serpentine belt lists the wrong size. Spent an hour trying to get the damn thing to fit, before I finally gave up and on a hunch checked the part number for a 94.

I also spent way too much time replacing the steering coupler. That thing is a pain in the ass, but it did tighten up the steering considerably.

Sooo... these arrived Monday. :D


Nice looking shoes :)

What sucks is that Discount Tire won't mount them because a 33 x 12.50 x 15 has a minimum rim size of 8" and stockers are only 7". So I am using other means

So I installed the new shoes on Stripe and daammnn does he look good!




I am also making a set of 1" spacers out of 6061T aluminum for a body lift to clear these monsters a bit more.



That looks awesome. How wide did you make the Body lift pucks?

They are 3" in diameter with a 17/32" hole in the middle (a little oversized for an M12 bolt, but all my 1/2" drill bits were broken, haha).

I probably could have gotten away without turning them. Off McMaster they were only 0.055" - 0.060" over the spec'ed thickness, but since I had to put them on a lathe to get the hole drilled on center, I just decided to go ahead and make 'em look good (not like anyone will see them once they are in place :().

I just bought a 3" Body lift pucks that I am gonna cut in half to have a 1.5 inch body lift. Not wanting to go to high for body lift. But they are 2" in diameter. I will go to a hard ware store or something like that to get the Longer grade 8 bolts for the lift. I know what you mean by they will not be seen but I was planning to paint mine the same color (or as close as I can with rattle can) as the Body.
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I forgot to mention that the night before I was supposed to head to austin last week, Stripe blew the return fuel disconnect apart...on the road.

Took me about 2 minutes to find it and shove it back together to get home. It probably didn't seat all the way when it was being reconnected after the swap. :banghead:

Before the rain hit Saturday, I went ahead and threw in the water pump that I had sitting in the back seat. Since the squeal wasn't gone I figured the bearings in the pump were bad, not to mention I was loosing a half a gallon of coolant a week. :crazy:


After getting more coolant on the ground than in the bucket, I got the new water pump in, but I thought it might be a good idea to replace the radiator too. Good thing cause it looks like that's where the leak was. Apparently it was spraying coolant out from a pinhole leak.


Anyways, everything is all buttoned up and working aaaannnddd.... The squeaking is still there :banghead:.

That has GOT to be annoying. Do all that work and it is still there. :-( Hope you are able to find it soon.

Stripe's belt decided to slice through my water pump to heater hose. Had to do a quick fix in a Sam's parking lot with electrical tape and a zip tie. :laugh:



I didn't think the electrical tape would hold, but now I think I need to keep a roll with me at all times. It's not the first repair on this truck I have made with it.

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I was up in Austin over the weekend helping my friends at BC replace a clutch and slave cylinder in a one-off 03 Sport Trac they are building for a customer. In appreciation for my help they gave me a set of near perfect condition Limited seats out of a 2000 Explorer for Stripe. :bounce:

Stripe's original seats had seen better days and were all but flat, so no lumbar support at all and on the long trips I have been making in this thing, that was a must. The fact that the new ones had heated seats was a very nice bonus. :D

Of course first gens had no heated seat option so some re-wiring was in order. The seats also required swapping over the seat belt slides so the seat belts would work. I'll be tapping the fusebox later for the heated seat option, but I ran the wires while the seats were out. I also have to do some re-jiggering to get the memory seat option to work, but that is hardly an issue since I am the only one who drives Stripe.





Looks pretty good! Please excuse the mess, I haven't had time to properly clean him out. I will be replacing the center armrest as well.



I also had to fix up some pretty messed up wiring to get my passenger side blinker working again. On a side note, those LED headlight ballasts get HOT!