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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

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Alignment is done. It tracks straight, and no squirrels to contend with. I'm actually impressed they got it done, the 1st time.

So on the trip there, I tried the O/D switch. It's not the bulb, the switch doesn't turn it off.

Years ago, this rig had a broken wire inside the shifter, and the control button didn't work. With that circuit interrupted, the O/D light stayed on, and it would not go into O/D at all. Swapped in a new shifter with a good switch, and it worked again.

Knowing that, and the fact the light did come on a few days ago when I turned it off, there is something else going on with it. For now, I can live with the O/D working, and not turning off, but if I ever need to turn it off, and can't, that will be a problem. Just another issue, to add to the list to deal with.

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Is there a way to add a vss sensor to your atlas? Just wondering for future wiring purposes.

Yes. I actually have one I had custom made for the Ford VSS in the case. I used it for one trip to CO last summer. AA sells the adapter and gears for it, and a company out of Nevada does the vss conversion. There is some pics of it in this thread, back a few pages. I don't need it anymore, and was going to list it for sale, but if you need/want it, I won't.

VSS convert for Atlass.jpg
Dana speedo installed.jpg

Ok, so the trip to the alignment shop and back was 12.5 miles. Left on a full tank, and the needle is sitting at below 7/8. Scan gauge says 8.8 mpg. I can't use this rig for it's intended use, on long trips across country with these MPG's. There is no CEL presently.

What can be causing this? Open loop, bad HO2, the exhaust size difference restriction, TPS, MAF, etc...?

Hard to believe that this engine with less than 120k on it, used that type of fuel with the previous owner. I haven't even opened the new XCT programmer yet, but I need to learn how to use it, before I can begin to put it to use. If you guys bear with me, I will no doubt have questions for you that already know what your doing with this stuff. I will be forever grateful!!

The v8 likes drink fuel. My ranger only gets 12-13 and it's much lighter. I do have a heavy foot though. I'd say it just needs to be driven and a whole tank of fuel with milage calculated will be more accurate than the scan gauge. Of course tire size / speedo off will make odometer off which will throw your calculations off.

So... remember back when I posted a picture of a stack of white boxes? Well, while I was at the shop getting the alignment done today, I also had the tires road forced and balanced on what was inside them white boxes. :D



Spring cleaning also began today. I got ALL the rear stuff cleaned up and painted, and also the frame rails got some love.




So I also got 2 new tires to match the 2 new replacements. So all 4 are new again. I have a couple of killer spares now. :D

The speedo is off by 2 MPH under at 50-55ish.

So thinking here about them mixed HO2 sensors. One is the old one from the 4.0, and I assume the newer one is for a 5.0. What I don't know, is if they both use the same sensor or not? Thinking if they don't, and if they are not placed correctly, this could be the reason for the bad MPG's, or at least part of it.


The O2 sensors don't swap among the connectors of the same vehicle, so they shouldn't be the same unless they modified the wiring connectors. It's a good time to buy at least the one new O2 for it. Used O2's don't respond as well as a new one.

Ok, so I will remove the old one and compare connectors, too the new one made for the 98 5.0.

Now since they decided it was easier to just cut my old pipe with the O2 in it, and weld that section to the new pipe, rather than weld in a new bung, what are the chances that sensor is not placed where it should be? The new one they installed in a new bung, is right at the bell housing on the y pipe. The old one is way back next to the trans in front of the cat. Is that right? To me, that's too far back, but in not sure. Can anybody take a look, where the O2's should be located for me?

On another note, the sct tuner doesn't have a pre-programmed tune for the 5.0. It has explorer listed, but only the 4.0 & 4.6. Not sure what tune to choose from, with the others available.

Sct doesn't list 5.0 explorer online but I promise you once you hook it up it has tuning options as long as your device is up to date. It's free to update.

Took the rig for a shake down run at an off road park. Would have been great if the CAD switch that was re-wired by that shop, actually fricking worked. We wasted most of Saturday trying to find the screw up in the system. Unfortunately, the wires going to the dash switch are hidden in a crazy harness, and we couldn't find where the wires came out under the hood.
The solonids that actuate the shift fork in the CAD housing, just wouldn't work. We bypassed them and went directly to the vac ball to get it to connect the axles. It worked for a bit, and then it didn't. I guess they was fighting each other and the fork was going back n forth.

One more leak to plug. What really irks me (besides all the work, and $$ just spent), is I did the JDraper mod back in 2010, and it worked perfectly ever since. There was no reason to mess with anything under the hood. I am just going to run all new wires, and start again with that mod.

CAD wiring issue at Smorr.jpg

Dirty hole. lol Need to replace the rear flares for some longer ones to go back to the bumper sides.

BH dirty after wheeling.jpg

Installed a latch to the rear bumper. I had to make a bracket for the catch, as the U-bolt was to short to use the one it came with. It clamps the swingout down tight, and with the locking pin in place, it isn't going anywhere. Between that, and the new side supports, it is rattle free now. :)

If it ever gets ripped off by a rock ledge, it will be a simple repair, as I made an extra catch bracket.

BH bumper latch added.jpg

I like it, but the Phillips headed bolts, yuck.

I used them bolts because of the shape. Close as I could get to a carriage bolt. Works for me! :)
I do like the shape, I know what you were going for. It's hard to find a smooth bolt like that with a Torx head or similar.

I didn't take any pictures last wkend, as I had 2 passengers that I "Thought" would be taking them. Nope, they dropped the ball on me. lol

When the temporary CAD fix did work, we hit a couple trails, enough for me to get a test hit and shake down of the rigs new mods. I learned a lot about it, and found new things to fix. More on that later.

Another who was following me, was able to pull a couple stills off his GoPro, and sent these to me.


bh3 lrg.jpg

At one spot on this trail, the front Drivers was an easy 4 ft off the ground, with the rig pointed to the sky. I always wanted a picture of it doing that, but alas, nobody got it. (sigh)

At the very top there was a right hand side hole, that becomes a straight up 3' wall for the pass tire to climb up and out of. I didn't hug and climb the outer wall enough, and the tire slid down, and face planted against the wall. With the rig leaning to the wall (Pass side), and the weak ass R&P steering, I couldn't turn into the wall as I climbed out, (wheels turned driver) and about rolled it over to the pass side. I took a few tries at it, and each time, stopping the rig right at the cusp of rolling over. Nope. Hooked the winch to a friends rig, and pulled it enough to get the front wheel over, and I turned as it moved.

Normally, my fix for a situation as this, is to disconnect the CAD, to remove locker tension, to turn the wheels, and get myself out. I couldn't do this, as the Vac lines was physically swapped, due to the faulty switch install.

I hate it when people mess up the job they were supposed to do... Definitely frustrating.

I hate it when people mess up the job they were supposed to do... Definitely frustrating.

Agreed. I used to know this rig like the back of my hand, now I am learning all over again on some of it.

So I have long term goals set for this rig, and is the reason for the latest batch of mods. After all the bugs are worked out, and it is back to where I can use & trust it as intended, I have a few more things to do to it. One of them being an ARB rear air locker. I already have the locker & the mid sized compressor for it. I have to install the compressor and run the air line to the axle before I bring the rig to the axle shop for the locker install.

I am undecided where to install the compressor. There really is no room under the hood with the recent add on's, and wiring routing installed by that shop.
That leaves inside the cargo area on top of the side panels, or underneath the rig itself. I'm not so sure about either, as it will get hot during use inside, and will get wet, and depending on the time of year, wet & frozen under the rig.


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Look up a few posts ago, and see the pic of the sides of the frame rails. There is no room for anything else added there.

If I went under the truck, it would be in the area where the stock spare tire was held.