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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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Whats In A Name?

It was hot humid august night. The winds have all but vanished. I was doing my best to keep the sweat out of my eyes. The A/C was dying in my 94 Explorer, lovingly named "Pugly", and there was no relief in sight. I decided it was time to stop throwing good money into bad. I was gonna do the unthinkable,.......I was going to commit the most heinous crime of them all! I was going to trade Pugly in for a newer model! Oh the heart break! The insanity of it all! I couldn't believe the thoughts were even going through my head.

I managed to get the old girl back home, to her resting place. She seemed at ease in her familiar surroundings. I had to come up with an explanation to let her know of my evil plan. So i just gave her that old wink and grin that she likes to see from me as we made it back home from another day of adventure in the treacherous Midwestern terrain. I did my best in hiding my cynical thoughts, as I walked around to her rear flank and gave her that little pat on her bumper, as I always have when we part for the night.

The next morning I gave her a real good bath, cleaned behind her mirrors, and brushed her grill. She still looked pretty good for her age. Oh sure she had the tell tale signs, gravity has got its firm grip on her, and I am not the best cosmetics guy in the world. she didn't seem to mind too much, she still kept her nose up and drove with pride.

After looking at many vehicles I just could not find anything that had the same feel as my old girl. Then it happened! Was I seeing a mirage? Was I so desperate to find another rig that I was blinded by insanity? I found my replacement! I quickly made a sale with the owner, and brought it home.

When I pulled in the driveway, my heart sunk as I looked into the yard to see my 94 looking at me in disbelief. She was sunning herself in the grass looking all shiny and then, she just looked away from me. My heart was tearing in two. I parked the new rig, and walked up to her and gave her a soft spoken "Hello". No reply. I tried to tickle her mirrors, no response. The tension was so great, you could have cut it with a 32 count fine tooth hacksaw. I had to explain to her that she gave me great satisfaction for many years, and we made a terrific team together, but the time has come for her to just relax and enjoy her final days. She finally revved up, and understood, her days as my work horse has ended (so we thought).

I introduced her to her daily driver replacement. The shiny new(er) next generation of her kind. The 95 Explorer XLT. She warmed right up to it. Before you know it they were swapping stories. Now I had to ask her for help. I needed a name for the new ride,
so I went to find her, and what did I see? Those two were grill to grill in the driveway. rubbing chrome! I had to get the water hose out and break them up! Sheesh, she was acting like a girl at the prom dance! I let the name thing drop for awhile.

The new(er) Ex needed to get its shots, and a physical. When I got the word on it's health, I about had a coronary. "What do you mean Doc"! I yelled. "Your kidding right"? I asked. The Doc just shook his head and gathered his tools. As he walked away, He said it had a 50/50 chance of survival. My stomach knotted up, my teeth ground, my heart raced, and I could feel the energy build up as I let it all out, "Why! Why! Why did this have to happen"! I screamed.

The prognostic exam from the doc was as such. It had a blown steering rack, the shocks were gone, the brakes were non existent, front sway bar was cracked in half, the 3rd brake light was out, none of the windows or the moon roof would work, the door locks were broke, the rear end LS clutch pack was burned up, the tires were all in need of replacement, the spare was a Firestone recall and flat, the engine had a nasty tick to it, the TPS was shot, the MAF was corroded, the battery had a dead cell in it, the hood shocks were not working, the rear hatch lock was jammed up and you couldn't open it with out a key in the lock, The carpet was stained to no repair, the rear window wiper didn't want to work, and we could not tell what year its engine swap came from. it was a mess, to say the least.

I went in the house to get my gun. I was gonna just put it out of its misery right there and then. I suddenly realized I was out of ammo, from shooting at the jeep that was in my field. I went to the computer to find a place to buy some cheap ammo, and I stumbled across this website, explorerforum.com that said it could heal any ford Explorer no matter what the problems were! I jumped for joy, I could not believe the things I was reading! I wore out the search button, asked a bunch of questions. I quickly broke out my pen and paper, feverishly writing down things as I was learning! I had found a cure for everything that was wrong with my new transport. It was a Godsend, an angel from the SUV heavens!

I sprung into action. I worked day and night, Pugly was right by my side the entire time, helping me in any way she could. I never seen this side of her, and was really amazed at how well she handled the pressure. She gently squeegeed the sweat out off my fore head with her soft wiper blades as I worked away. After an entire weekend of work, I collapsed. I needed some rest, and so did the 95. The sun crested over the hills, and awoke me to a new day. I shuffled my feet to the window facing the driveway, peeled the drapes gently back, and peered out at the 95. WOW!
It had a its color back, and was looking great! Now as the time went on, (and most of my paychecks), and the selling of almost everything I own, for funds to get the 95 to its former glory.

After some time to reflect on this name thing, I strolled up and whispered into Pugly's passenger side mirror, and she giggled with delight.

I climbed up onto the front bumper in my pajamas and robe half opened, with a cup of coffee in one hand and the daily newspaper in the other, I raised my arms with out stretched hands and proclaimed the new name of the 95.

BEHOLD...........THE BLACK HOLE!!!!!!!! (Then the neighbor yelled at me to close my robe)



The End................(or is it just the beginning?)


Actually, only some of this really happened. :D
 
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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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MO MO
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 & 95 XLT's
BH profile dome cave pic.jpg


The Evolution of a man made Black Hole

NOV 2009 Truck of the month.
April 2012 Most capable IFS truck of the month
Seen in Petersons Four Wheeler magazine with Explorer forum's Ford Invasion meet

The Rig

Black 1995 XLT 4WD
1998 5.0L OBDII conversion
Camel Tan interior / Moonroof
Automatic 4R70W- Transgo shift kit
4.3 Atlas II & PEM Racing Thick wall DOM drivelines- F-1310 & R-1350
3" Body lift--PA 853 & 4" rear leaf spring lift - 2.5" front coil spring lift
Magnaflow exhaust


Front IFS suspension
BTF Stainless Uniball DOM Tube UCA's
Camburg Inner Tre's
Manual switched Central Axle Disconnect
PowerTrax Lockright Locker 2311-LR
Shocks: Fox 2.0 Coil Over w/ custom mounted Reservoirs
12"x 2.5"x 750 lb Eibach custom coated Coils
12" Quad wrapped limit straps
Lower control arm Dixon Bros DOM stabilizer bar
4.56 Richmond Ring & Pinion-Hardened cross pin

Rear suspension
8.8 sprung under- Tubes welded to Housing, and extended vent tube
HD 4" lift packs (2" longer in length than stock) w/ 6"x3/8" Rock Tactic boomerang shackles
5/8" G-8 U-bolts
4.56 Yukon Ring & Pinion- Hardened cross pin
Chromoly Yukon 7/8"x 31 spline flange bolt axles
Yukon C-clip eliminator kit. Dana 60 bearings.
Pinion Crush sleeve eliminator
ARB Air Locker
Ruff Stuff Specialties 3/8" diff cover
Shocks: Fox 2.0 with Reservoir's & Brian1 Upper Pin Bar Eliminator mounts
Brian1 fab 3" shock lift mounts/U bolt skids
Extended frame to axle brake line
POR 15 coating

Armor
Front full skid plate-3/8"steel
DOM .250"W Cross member Bash Bar (Brian1 custom)
.250"Wall Rock sliders w/Nerf bars
Front Tube Bumper with small stinger
Rear Tube/plate Bumper w/receiver & HD spare tire swing out.
T-case skid plate-2 stock plates, welded together
Gas tank skid plate-stock
Rear leaf U-bolt skid plates-1/4"

Tires & Wheels
35" x 12.5" Goodyear MTR's Kevlars
15" x 10" Micky Thompson Satin black wheels.
Matching spare tire & wheel.

Exterior Mods
Full size custom Expedition Rack, with Light bar, dual Aux ports.
ARQ4WD Dr side 6.5' 270* awning.
Tucked Rugged Ridge 8500 lb winch with A.R.E. 30k Spider silk Syn rope.
Tilt up front tag winch mount.
Extreme Hi-Lift jack, rack mounted
Full size spade shovel and full size Maul Axe.
Black grill w/billet insert, and winch control box.
Window vent/rain guards.
2" Flexy Fender flares.
Front & Rear HD cameras.
Removable Mud flaps.
Turdle powder V8 badges.

Interior Mods
Rear cargo storage box's / spare drive lines.
E-Track strap system.
Cargo panel mounted D-cell Mag Lite / Hatchet & Fire Extinguisher
Custom Console Switch panel- Winch control / CAD / Lights/Scan Gauge 2.
850W Inverter under dash.
Hardwired 30amp M90 air pump with 25' soft hose.
Rear cargo 12v power port.


Lighting
1- 180w LED Combo light bar on front of roof rack.
1- 144w LED combo light bar on front tube bumper.
2-80 w PIAA Fogs.
2-40w Cree LED rear facing Spots.
2-18w Cree LED Side facing floods.
2-5w Cree LED Driving lights.
4-10w Cree LED rock light pods (all corners).
2-5w Led rock lights in rocker cavities.

Tunes
7" Kenwood touchscreen DVD/HDR (2 din).
Amps: Clarion Sub -Rockford Fosgate Doors.
Sound: Pioneer doors, & 8" JL audio subwoofer in stock enclosure

Communications
Cobra 75 cb with power box mounted behind dash
External noise reducing speaker mounted shoulder level on Dr side C pillar.
Multiple size firestick's / HD spring mounted on roof light bar.

Four Wheeler mag  at Smorr.jpg


BH profile at potato salad hill.jpg


BH top of Mt P Ant in back 2017.jpg
SUNP0012.JPG


20151107_154007.jpg


Up Hamburger hill 1.jpg


BH on Kane Creek hamburger hill climb.jpg


BH  rock lights at Smorr.jpg


20170803_142429.jpg

BH rear angle view.jpg

BH profile with MT wheels.jpg

Awning open at home.jpg
 
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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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94 & 95 XLT's
First thing was to get the 3rd brake light working. Fixed that by cleaning the trailer plug behind the dr side tail lights.

Next was the windows did not work. Fixed that by replacing the relays and fuses. The drivers side glass came off the track. Fixed that with some silicone adhesive.

Then the power steering rack was blown. Got a new one installed.

The shocks and front swaybar links were broken. Installed a set of cheap Monroe's, and a new set of links.

The tires were all but bald and had broken belts. Got a used set on 235 Mis-chillins to get by.

Off it went to the state inspectors so I could get it legal.

Once legal, other mods could be done to it.

Had a poll going to see who liked what on tire walls.
Lets hear it! Vote on raised letters in or out?

Turns out a little more than half liked white letters out, the rest, black wall out. I got my war 153 shackles, did a TT, and mounted a set of BFG 31"x10.5 white letters out on a set of stock tear drops.

95Xnewtires4-1.JPG


Magnaflowstainlesstip.jpg


I got a smoked chrome billet grill from Turdle, and installed some 100 watt lights behind it.
95billetgrillpaint1.jpg

95billetgrillpaintinstalledcropped.jpg

newKClightsbehindbilletgrill.jpg



Next up was a set of nerf bars off a 2000 EX. I painted them black and hung them up.

nerfbars5-1.jpg





Then it was a trip to Kansas to see the wizard.Turdle helped me install new rear axle seals, new pass CV/axle, new E brakes and new brakes complete w/new rotors all the way around. That is when the cross shaft bolt head in the rear diff carrier snapped off.

We changed the lower ball joints, got my cruise control working again, and swapped my bad leaf springs, with another set I got off of 2 diff rigs, both passenger sides.



We also installed a Rock crusher rear diff cover with 2 tone powder coat.

rockcrushercover.JPG



After a little time went by, I decided to keep doing things to it.

Next mod was a rear hitch with a tow hook.

Then new tunes, JVC HU, ported sub box, door speakers and an amp.

Next was a PA 853-3" body lift, and some heavy duty tow points in the front.
 
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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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94 & 95 XLT's
I wanted some new black crawler wheels, so I decided on the American racing 15"x8" steelie's.

Once the body lift was done, I needed bigger tires! Go figure right?
So I saved up for yet another set of tires. I went with the BFG 33"x12.5"x15" KM2.

Mounted them black wall out.



95exwith33pic2.JPG


With those tires on, more mods needed to be done..lol!

Sway bar quick disconnects were needed! Made a set & had them powder coated red along with the end links.

The 4405-CA Transfercase blew a clutch pack while I was wheeling. Went through a couple before I got a good one with a warranty. Major PITA!
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241006

Ran all drive line vent tubes up as high as I could with new tubes. Rear diff ran up behind the dr side tail lights, T-case, trans, & front diff ran up into the engine bay to the top of the firewall.

My shocks were fine for the street, but not so much for off road, so I got a new set of Rancho 5000 in the front. Slapped those on in an hour.

I got new stainless steel exhaust. 2.5" pipes ran, new Magnaflow muffler, and a Magnaflow stainless tip. Major difference in sound & performance. I changed the location of the tailpipe for protection from wheeling.

Stainless25exhaustpipe.JPG



A roof basket was added. Acquired a full size spare and installed couple of cheapo lights on it, along with a 1 pc steel shovel.
 
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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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Now my leaf springs were getting flat again, so I decided to replace them with a set of lift springs, and get rid of my lift shackles.

My rear shocks had to be replaced, so I got a set of Rancho 9000Xl.
Once they were installed by yours truly, I decided on painting the rear axle.
I got a D-ring powdercoated by Turdle to go with the Black and red theme that was taking place.


newshocksandsprings1.JPG


Cb installed under the arm rest.
New cargo carpet with a plastic liner for protection.
Installed a set of PIAA 510 fogs behind the grill.

Swapped the stock foggy head lights with a cleaner set.
Replaced the dash cluster bulbs that were burned out.
Optima Red Top installed.
Winter wiper blades installed.
Third roof rack crossbar added so basket could be in the rear.
Front CAD Vac lines extended for body lift.

I have rock lights to install still. Custom made roof rack and light bars made, just waiting till I get them to finish up the light install.
 
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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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I got a 42" high lift jack. I didnt like the red bar, so Turdle powder coated it black for me.
[/IMG]

I will get some good pics of the EX soon, and post them up.
 
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Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
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looks nice
 




gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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Here is how the Black Hole looks with these mods.

95 in CO 09 profile.jpg


Notice that the way this is lifted, I don't have the front "Plow", or the huge drop brackets from the Torsion bars with a suspension lift kit. I have as much clearance as most do with a $2500 suspension lift. The 4" drop bracket lift does give more rocker height, but with the drop brackets, I feel it is a wash.
Still more to do in the next 2 weeks!

Next major mod:........Rock Sliders! :thumbsup:

Stay tuned! This rig changes about every 2 weeks..LOL!!:D
:salute:
 
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97sprt4x4

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I've gotta say your rig looks amazing. Must be nice to live within driving distance of JT :D I remember way back when your truck was still stock. Congrats on the great rig and keep it up!

Justin
 




gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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I've gotta say your rig looks amazing. Must be nice to live within driving distance of JT :D I remember way back when your truck was still stock. Congrats on the great rig and keep it up!

Justin
Thanks!!

I get some nice comments on it since it has been modified. A door to door roofing salesman goes, " I like your monster truck". LOL!!

It has been a chore, a pita, but also very fun to do!
 




99ex22

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I like it! great work!:thumbsup: I do think you should hit your grey plastics with some krylon fusion though. It would clean it up a little more.:thumbsup:
 




gmanpaint

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I am on the hunt for new bumpers. The front is all twisted from hitting something, notice how the tag is crooked. The rear I am looking for new plastics. It has some deep gouge's from some blind person backing into a trailer tongue repeatedly. Once I find these, they will be painted black. The pillars are getting a shot of black and clear very soon.
 








gmanpaint

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Slider's

The sliders are on!!
Tig welded and powder coated by Turdle & CO. with Wrinkle Black satin finish.

Had to borrow these pictures from Turdle's slider thread, since Photobucket debacle happened. Hope you don't mind Jon!

BH finished slider.jpg
BH slider triangulation bracket.jpg
BH slider front low angle.jpg
BH Slider tire line.jpg
BH slider side view.jpg



Next up is the light bar and roof bars for a stronger mount. The basket will get the front lights removed, and some 55 watt lights in the rear. 100 watts are being moved to the light bar. All rock lights are on and working. Post all pics when finished:D
 
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Charlie

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Man, that looks awesome!

How long till you hit some rocks to test out the sliders?:p:
 




gmanpaint

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gmanpaint

It's Always Something!
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This weekend the Black Hole is getting some more things done to it. The new light bar and roof basket bars are in. The roof lights will be mounted and wired.

The weak off brand led rock lights, just don't disperse the light well. So.....off they go, and a set of 55 watt mini halogens are going in their place. Not only do I want to see the terrain as I wheel, I want to have enough light to work on it if I have to.

The sliders came in handy last weekend. I was able to take more aggressive lines while wheeling.

Got a few new scratches, but nothing that cant be buffed out. First real wheeling trip with it, and it went great. I pushed it, and it just took it like a champ.
 
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T

ThePhoenix

you new ride looks amazing. someday...until then...what did you do with your old tires and rims? I like that style....
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.








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