The Black Hole | Page 120 | 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!

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!

I started looking around for simple obvious issues to track down that 1309 code, before replacing parts. Thinking the cam sensor might be the issue, or the little spinning flag, on the cam synchronizer itself, is bent/broke. Still need to tear into that. My hands a bit big to reach it without removing the coil packs first.

I found a few more things to fix while looking closely at the engine compartment. Will get to those later. Lots of posts coming soon on past, present & future work to get this thread up to speed.

I found a dr side plug wire boot rubbing against the steering shaft collar. It moves when the wheel is turned. So.... Is this a common issue with a 3" body lift and the 5.0's? OR.. is this just the aftermarket wires used, and the boots are just too long with the Orielly brand they installed?
If I can't find a shorter boot, I really do not want to dish out $300 on a Flaming River steering shaft, just to move the collar away from the boot. Surely, somebody else has ran into this before?

plug wire boot rubs steering shaft.jpg

I will try to spray water on the wires tonight, and look for an arc.

Found they used Autolite plugs, not Motorcraft as asked. Not sure if these are as good/reliable or not.

The 3rd plug back has the longest wire. It swoops back around to a bracket that connects to the rear head bolt. I run regular autolite copper plugs with Motorcraft wires.



Ditto, Autolite plugs are a good brand also. The plug wire holders are often broken from age and handling, they are super brittle. It's usually no trouble to use a wire tie to hold the wires to something, and away from the exhaust etc.

Thanks for the pics @boominXplorer !

The boot that hits the steering shaft is the 2nd plug (#6 I believe) to the front.

It looks like the Motorcraft boots are shorter than these cheapo Omnispark wires are. The wire hold downs/clips are all missing pretty much. I found one on the valve cover tho. lol

I looked up the plugs, and they are the Autolite platinum's. I think I will go buy a set of Motorcraft wires, and compare boots on them.

Different subject.... I disconnected the battery while I was working under the hood. Modules are all drained now. A few hours later, I buttoned it all back up, ran the engine for 15 mins, and the cel never came back on. Revved it to 2000 rpm's, and held it for a minute, and still nothing. Hmm....Crazy rig.

That's good, the more you drive it, and the more you work on it, makes it happier. I hate working on a car that doesn't run(needs a lot of stuff done).

I found my brand new set of 4.0 plug wire trail spares. Compared the boots, and the 4.0 is way shorter in length than the 5.0. Probably because of the manifolds, but the space between them looks the same to me. The end of the 5.0 boot is bulkier, and extends further past the internal plug tip. So I swapped them out, and there is now about an inch gap between the boot and the steering column. Fired right up, and no miss, no codes.

Gray is 5.0
Black is 4.0

plug boot comparison.jpg

I did find a metal bracket hanging loose off this wire behind the A/C compressor. It is fairly big and U shaped with a hooked end. I can tell it is supposed to bolt onto something to hold the wires, but no idea where. I wish I had another 2nd gen 5.0 to look at to compare for all this crap I'm finding.

Good find, the 4.0 wires will work if the ends and length match, good info. I think there is a plug wire hold down behind the AC compressor, I don't recall what it looks like.

Good Used parts go neglected everyday in this world, and it can be avoided. (sad violins playing)
They get tossed aside, left out in the cold, put on a shelf, walked upon, strangled by vegetation, peed on by stray animals, and simply forgotten about.

For less than a cup of gourmet coffee/day, ( for 1.2 years) you could make a significant improvement to their way of life. (Insert Images of crying babies and sad old people here)

Free them from isolated captivity, bring them back together as one happily united family, and being productive once again.

m5od & slave & engine spacer.jpg
1354m & pedals.jpg
clutch starter & boot.jpg

LMFAO! I now feel the need to buy them and I don't even need them lol

Me too, I'm not a manual trans guy, but those look good in the big tubs. I bought one of those big ones to ship my intake and some parts to Jon, to shine up many years ago. I use it now since he shipped it all back, for a paper recycling tub. Those are heavy when you get them full.

Between work getting crazy, my aching body, and a few different projects going on at the same time, I managed to find a couple hours tonight for this rig.

The Steel Uniballs have some rust on the BTF UCA's I installed a little less than 2 years ago. Rig has only put on a couple thousand miles in that time, and these arms have never been used in the last 2 winters, so no road salt/chemicals. Must be the high humidity here.

So I called Brandon (BTF), and asked him if he had any Stainless versions. He hooked me up, and had them to me in a few days. I managed to get one side installed tonight. The 95, (or this rig) has tight arm mount tabs, and getting the arms on, took a big dead blow, and many, many whacks to force them on. Knowing that, I left the arms on, and removed the uniball, using my big ball joint C clamp. After removing the C clip, I had to use a socket to push the ball out of the arm, and the impact on the clamp.

I cleaned everything up with some emery cloth, wiped it all down, and blew it out, with the air gun. I quickly learned that the clamp wasn't going to push it back in there. Think frozen Lower ball joint. After putting a thin layer of red synthetic grease, in the socket, and the new uniball, I hammered it in with the spacers from the ball joint clamp kit, and Thor's Hammer. I had to get after it. lol It seemed like it wasn't going to go in, then it did. Phew!!

I will be working on it some more over the weekend, to finish up the other side, and lot's more. EF member @TheBlackPearl (Kurt) and his buddy Jacob, are coming over to help me get a bunch knocked out, so we can all hit the trails next weekend. By Monday, there should be a few more progress posts here.

The 2 yr old old crusty Uniball.


Center Post before clean up. (Forgot to take a pic after)


New 1" Stainless Uniball. PN is stamped on it for anybody searching.


The ring on top that needs to be removed for swap.


Can't believe it got that bad, that fast. Might be from sitting so much, humidity, or a combo? At least the sleeve and post clean up real nice & easy.

While I had the arm apart, I pulled the shock, and added a heavier coil, to make up for the added weight of the 5.0L. Went up another 50 lbs.

Ok, so this isn't just any coil, it was gussied up by none other than Turdle powder. Thanks Jon, it came out sick AF! Pics really don't do it justice. Screens and the camera lens do not catch how cool these Dark shadow Cherry translucent metallic coils actually look. They go from dark cherry to dark blood red in the sunlight.

I also installed some pretty neat washers made by QA1. A set of 3 washers, and the middle washer has a bunch of tiny roller pin bearings in it. When you turn the coil nuts, they spin instead of the coil, and make adjusting super simple. Once adjusted, the 2nd nut locks it all into place. If anybody has used coil overs for lift, they understand what I'm talking about. You get to a certain point tightening them, and the coils start to turn, making it harder to keep going. Wish I had these from the start!

I will post a pic of them installed after this weekend. For now, here is a teaser.


Beautiful. Take care of those coil springs, they'll look good on my truck. I like the finish on the UCA's too, is that chrome or a SS polished maybe?

Ah, I thought they came as black. That's a nice slick finish. Upgrading the uniball is a good idea too.

The arms came in a rattle can gun metal tan. I stripped them clean, and used POR15 gloss black, and silver /red on the name tags. They need some touch up. I am going to paint the knuckles, and will do it then.

So we got the new hood on. It makes the rest of the rig look like a turd. Hasn't had a bath in 6 months, and needs some love. After the hood is fully cured, I can do the final buff & polish on all of it.

95 new hood installed.jpg

My buddy who painted it, didn't see the picture I sent him, for the Black Hole graphic to work off of, and did it, to what he thought I explained. It's not what I expected, but it's done, and done. It's different, and unique, that's for sure.

The stripes are a dark cherry, with silver pin stripes, and a satin clear over them. The rear hatch will be getting the matching stripes some time in the near future.

That looks good, distinctive and unique.

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!

Went back at this afternoon, and got the new dr side coil, and new SS Uniball installed. Re-set the limit strap to stop the arm, before hits the frame.

Took it for a ride to settle the coils, and I need to adjust them to get the ride height back. I just used the measure from the previous coils to give me a starting point. Unfortunately, the rains started, and I had to call it a day. I will get them dialed in one day after work this week.

New 750 cherry coils on.jpg

limit strap set to frame.jpg