The Black Hole | Page 106 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Post number 3327 has been selected as best answered.

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, 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

View attachment 324381

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

So Nevada Speedo says AA sent me a faulty speedo gear, and it won't allow their square cable to seat inside correctly. Sheesh, he said, she said crap to deal with now.

On a brighter note... I have the custom Drive shafts!

These are the BADDEST drive shafts I have ever owned! :cool2:

.120" wall DOM tubes. Solid Spicer cold forged joints, and bootless slips.These are 100% new from end to end.

Front is Dble C- 1310- 2" tube. Rear is 4.25" Dble Flange 1350 - 3" tube. Both have a zerk at the female slip.

PEM shafts.jpg
PEM shafts slips.jpg

I asked if they could shorten my stock front for a spare, and he said it would be cheaper & easier to just replace a broken U-joint, as that is all that would break on that shaft. I will carry my stock rear shaft as a spare, as it will work to get me off a trail or home on HWY even. It is only 2" shorter, and the slip will hold.

Woooooot! :burnout:

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Wow, those look real beefy. The decals are the best part. How many people have decals on their drive shafts?

And how in the heck are you supposed to read it when its going around and round?

I'll bet you don't have to worry about a u joint breaking though. Those are big.

New Drive lines are in. Man they are nice.

So it took all week to figure out the VSS. I got a hold of the company that made it & AA on Wednesday. I asked if I could cut the cable shorter to make it work with the AA gear. VSS guy says no, it needs to be that long. He then says he has ran into this a few times with AA, and to call them, as it is their part that's bad. AA says they have no idea what I'm talking about, and blames the VSS guy. I tell AA to call him, and work it out. By Friday they came to a conclusion.

I looked online about this, and didn't have any luck really. So here it is for those scratching heads, like I was.

The gear that AA sells with the Atlas, is an aftermarket unit. Apparently, they decided to make it with a shallow end that only allows 1/2" of cable insertion, instead of the 1" that OEM has. The VSS guy, makes his cable ends for a OEM application. AA said nobody has caught this until I did, (Hmm, not according to the VSS guy).

So the VSS guy said if I use this gear, I have no choice but to have it shortened. He said he would do it for free, if I send it back, but it would take 3 weeks before I had it back. I asked him how he does it. He explained that the cable is a square shaped copper coiled strand, with many tiny strands. Cutting it to length, then melting the end to keep it from unraveling, then shape a point on it with a grinding wheel. I said I could handle it, but don't want to void the warranty. He said do it, if it doesn't work, send it back, and he will fix it free of charge, and honor the warranty.

So AA emails me and said that the VSS guy was on top of this, and he would help me out. I replied back saying that, he gave me instructions on how to shorten the cable, but if it spins inside the aftermarket gear, I will have no choice but to use an OEM gear, and that would be on them. No reply yet. So they charge $34 for the cheaper aftermarket gear. I was told by the VSS guy, that OEM is $120/ea. They did tell me that getting the manufacturer to change how they make thousands of units, based on a few complaint's, wouldn't change how they make them. I say, go back to OEM, or find another manufacturer. Not my deal!!!

FF until today.... I shortened it, and installed it. This was the last thing to do to put the rig back together since I started on the clutch way way back. So, this also meant the first time I could attempt to move it. Gotta tell ya, I was a bit nervous. This rig has a history of messing with me, and making me do things over & over. Clutch pedal works way to easy, and that had me on edge.

1st & 2nd pic is the correct cable length for use with OEM speedo gears. The 2nd pic just has the collar nut at the flange stop.

3rd & 4th pics are showing what happens when the cable bottoms out in AA's aftermarket gear. It leaves that 1/4" gap, and stops the cable flange from mating to the speedo assembly, and can barely get the collar nut threaded on.

Correct cable length.jpg
Correct cable exposed length.jpg
Long cable in gear.jpg
Atlas cable gap.jpg

So you can see why I came to the conclusion, it had to be cut or replaced, using this same VSS gear.

Guess what? Everything works, and works great!! Well, at least around the neighborhood on a test run it does. I need to take it out for a shake down next weekend at an off road park. In a few weeks, Another member from here & I, am heading out to the Rocky Mtn's in Bear country, for a full week of camping in the wilderness, and getting lost in nature. It has to work right, or it might never make it back home. lol

I just modified a new tow cargo carrier for the bumper. It will hold all the camping gear. The rear cargo is loaded with tools & parts. The roof rack will hold all personal gear/clothing. The rear seat folded down will have to hold the 2 large, and 1 small cooler, food and cooking supplies. I acquired a neat 4.25 lb mini propane tank, and it took $3 to fill it. It hold a gallon, which is way more then those little 16 oz bottles. Also got a new Trasharoo to attach to the rear cargo door. A new Cobra 75 CB. A cool electric shower pump/hose/wand for the shower/restroom tent. A new full size Split axe, & D handle shovel. Some battery operated LED motion sensor lights with remote. A few other camping goodies, to make the stay a bit more civilized then total primitive. Oh... and a big ass can of Bear spray. lol

Very glad to hear it turned out well.:chug: I hate those mismatch kind of problems. I run into them all the time.

My new clutch has a very light clutch pedal also. I like it... It hooks up really well, and it's easier on my knee.

Congrats on another fine project, I'm glad it worked out. Now have some fun with it.

Getting lost in nature for a week sounds pretty darn good to me.
Sounds like you nailed the details o this install. congratulations!

I was going through some paperwork yesterday and found the warranty sheet and installation instructions for my Atlas. At 17 years old my "new" transfer case is now older than some of our members:eek:

Took the rig for a shake down run at an off road park in the woods. Had 7 rigs total, and we spent the day on various levels of terrain. Learned a few things out there with the new setup.

Being able to shift t-case drive ranges on the fly is awesome.
I can leave the CAD locked in place like a Live axle, and go in & out of front gear as needed.
4.3 low range is nice. I can pretty much dump the clutch in 1st or 2nd, and it won't kill the engine at idle. 1st gear low, tops out at about 2 mph.
I used 2wd rear low only, for most of the trails, and only used 4wd on steeper climbs, or navigating over rough obstacles. Having the steering free up was so nice on the trails.
Navigating the woods, means a lot of tight 3-4 point turns. I only smacked the pass side mirror once! It folded itself closed, didn't break. I do have a bunch of new pinstripes tho.

There are some new to me noises. I need to get under and find out what they are. I managed to power wash, but between work, and temps over 100* all this week, I haven't felt like getting under there yet. lol
I need to remove all the driveshaft bolts, and get some blue thread locker on them. I meant to do it before hitting the park, but forgot. I also forgot to install the t-case skid plate. Whoops!!

Ordered up a bunch of parts for a swing out spare tire carrier, and went and got a 24' stick of 2"x2"x1/8" wall, some 1/4" plate, and some 1/8" diamond plate. If all goes right, and everything arrives by Friday, I can get it built over the weekend. My list of items to do is long, and the Big trip out is only a week away. Ack!!

Freeing up the space on top of the cargo box, will allow me to add additional storage, and possibly a 12v fridge/freezer. I still need to research the fridge mod. I'm not sure how much drain they have, and if it will kill my battery, or if I need a 2nd battery for it. dunno yet. I have room under (spare tire area) for a 2nd battery if needed. This is a lot of work & money, and might have to wait another year. I can only do so much at a time to this thing, or I will end up homeless. I would not want to know the $ per mile cost on this thing. lol

Do you have any pictures of the trip? Can't wait to see the build of your Tire Carrier.

I actually don't have any of this rig hitting the trails, but others in my group might. I only have a group shot I took with the cell phone. As you can see, I was with some big bad rigs out there. I was the only Ford in the group....again!! lol

Moonlight group shot.jpg

That's AWESOME! That is usually how it is when I go out to wheel. Oh Well we keep up with the best of them. They do have some nice looking rigs there.

I'm happy your truck is easier and more fun to drive. Working on the niceties(fridge) sounds like you're on the downhill side. I have dreams of a cooled driver's seat, actually a seat cover made with a medical water cooled "blanket." I'd have to mount a water box inside, with pump, and another AC evaporator plumbed with long freon AC lines. I can do it, but is the cost worth it? I run my AC all the time when it gets over about 80-85.

Truck ****.

A to Z Fabs Mega 1.5" chromo spindle. 2.25" Sleeve tube to weld the 2"x2" sq tube onto. Also got their kit that has the mount plate, and the T-handle threaded lock set up. I have a latch and locking pull pin form Ruff Stuff, but not sure which locking kit, I am going to use yet.

Spindle & 2 inch sw tube.jpg

Good stuff there.
I was told stick welding that huge tube in was best when I did mine. I forgot why, but you might ask. I think it was because of the hardened steel in the tube, and the right stick would actually add some carbon in making the weld more flexible and less likely to crack. I might be all wrong, but the welding supply guy was so adamant about it back then he came by to make sure I did it right.

It will not wear out though. What are you locking the swing out in place with?

What are you locking the swing out in place with?

Also got their kit that has the mount plate, and the T-handle threaded lock set up. I have a latch and locking pull pin form Ruff Stuff, but not sure which locking kit, I am going to use yet.

Haven't made up my mind yet. I will pick the one that will work best, when I see it coming together.

Life happened, and this build has to wait a couple of more days. Looks like I am playing hookie one day next week. :D

Hey if you don't have any plans for that old CB and Loudspeaker, bring em along with you. I am always looking to upgrade. :)

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Hey if you don't have any plans for that old CB and Loudspeaker, bring em along with you. I am always looking to upgrade. :)

PA speaker is going under the hood of the 94, but your welcome to the CB itself. It's nothing special, just a Cobra 19 unit. Had to get the small one to fit under the console lid.