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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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Decided to take advantage of the above normal temps today, and work on this rig a little.

When this returned from "That" shop, and the 3rd brake light no longer worked, I figured I would figure it out someday. We already know the light works from the previous post, of me jumping the ballast, showing it works fine, it just has no power going to it any more.

A thought occurred to me to test the trailer plug. Turn signals work, but... No Tail or Brakes coming out of it. Hmm..... I know the 3rd brake light gets it's power from that harness, as it is what made me join the Elite status here way back, and we figured the problem was from a dirty contact in that connector.

So I cleaned out the tow harness connector again, with contact cleaner. Nothing. Dammit.

So just thinking here, as I am now thinking the power to the tow harness is severed. Anybody have (or can get) a pin out diagram of the 95's tow harness on both sides?

I am wondering if the wire was cut when the PAT's was installed. Is there any PAT's wiring/components back in the cargo dr side wheel well? I know the 4wd modules are back there, as well as the alarm/door modules, and thinking they are tied into each other back there?

I would like to fix it the way it supposed to be, over just hacking in a splice, for the 3rd light, and now the tow plug.

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1995 explorer

That's what I've got for now. I'll keep looking for the pinout

95 tow 1.jpg
95 tow 2.jpg

1998 anti-theft system

98 pats.jpg

1998 pats pinout


I rotated those diagrams Kurt. Was getting a crick in my neck. lol

I will disconnect the gray round connector under the tail light, and take a couple pics to share here tomorrow. I might be calling that connector wrong. to me, it is the tow harness plug in, but it might be called something different technically. Once I find which wire is the power wire for both the 3rd light, and the trailer harness brake, I can trace it back into the rig, and look for a break/ burnt/ who knows what. At this point, not much can surprise me in what I might find.

Going to go over this again here so it is all in one post.

Rig returns with non working 3rd neon brake light, and brake lights stuck on.
Replaced the BOO, and they went off. a week later, the brake lights was stuck on again. Wiggled the BOO, disconnected, and re attached it, and they went off.

Tested the ballast with a 12v power source, and the light came on. Ballast & bulb are good.

Tested the 4 pin flat with a tester plug, and no power to the brake/running lights.

Cleaned the round tow harness connector, and no change.

So.. The 95 came with a steel bumper, with the tag lights on it. These lights are powered from the same round connector found under the Drivers side tail light. The 4 pin flat trailer harness also uses this connector.

There are slots for 8 wire pins in this connector, this rig has 6 wires ran in it. I imagine 4 are the trailer plug, and 2 are the tag lights.

Going by the diagram Kurt shared, and another Ford diagram for a 98 pigtail I found, they both show that the tail lights use a relay (3). The 98 has a hatch mounted tag light, so I imagine it gets it's power elsewhere. It only shows 4 wires for the trailer plug. See picture below.

How the 3rd brake light is tied into the connector is unknown by me currently. I am now guessing that it might be wired into a relay.

I need to find these relays, and swap them out, just to eliminate them as a cause.

Anybody know where these relays are? Behind the Dr side cargo side panel?

98 trailer 4 pin flat harness pig tail diagram

98 trailer harness wire diagram cropped 1.png

The actual connector main harness side disconnected. Not mine, borrowed from another post. For reference only.

trailer tow connector.jpg

Good luck with that one. I wonder if that new fuse box in the engine bay, on the drivers side has something to do with it not working


98 under hood harness.jpg

This is still the 98 vehicle 3 of 3. Id imagine it's the same. If you get some discrepancies let me know and I will check the 95
light diagram 1.jpg

Edit: Added 1 of 3 for the diagram If you need to trace "D" to the dash area

light diagram 2.jpg

Thanks Kurt.

Says all 3 relays are in the PDB. That's good news. I am not familiar with the innards of this box yet. Lol. Makes it a lot easier to swap them being there. I need an owners manual for a 98, so I can have it handy to change fuses & relays. Right now, I don't what's what, as they didn't give me the manual from the donor rig.

Looks like DB/W & BR/Y are the two main wires going to the trailer connector on the 98. It's missing the Green & White wires tho.

If you come across the 95 pin out for this connector, that will help figure this out. The 98 isn't going to help back there, but does help up front.

As for the S212 3rd light circuit....

I see where it ties into the dash cluster and the multi switch. What I think here is I do not have the bulb out warning light circuit C292 in my cluster, as they only swapped the pods. 95 doesn't have that I don't think, as that is an OBD2 dealio.

They said ("That shop") left the 95 cluster, with the original OD, changed the bulbs to blue, and removed the ABS bulb. I need to remove that cluster and have a real good look at the backside of this thing to see what they actually did. Wonder if because I am missing that circuit, it is causing the issues here?

The more I dig into this, the more it is becoming a nightmare to figure out. This is why I requested them to take note of all the work they did, so if I have a future problem, I wouldn't have to go thru all this farking bull crap. Grr.....(past anger triggered)

Yes, notes are critical to future diagnostics. I've got a few from doing my 99, but most of it was OEM routing as it should be. My other projects will need a decent folder to record the alterations.

I hope you don't find any new rat nests etc, and it makes sense soon.

Agreed. Super important to keep a record, and pass it along if need be.

I hate removing the cargo panels on this rig. All the add on's back there have to be removed first. Temps just nose dived, and getting down to the teens. Yay.

Here too, I finally got my rear LS clutches changed, and new bearings/seals, before our temps drop tomorrow. We got to 60 today, a last Fall to enjoy. It looks like the 30's all week, maybe low 40's a couple of times. I'm not ready.

Going to be a wild winter I think. It's 25* at 4pm, and falling to 10* tonight. Normal temps are 50*H/38*L. We already had a snow fall with 6" snow last week. Had a wall cloud come thru last night and a funnel went right over my home. Cleaned up tree limbs and debris this morning before work in the frigid temps. Sirens went off "After" the onslaught. How comforting that the city, is on top of things here. lol Blizzard white outs with over 12" snow just north of me. Dodged that one at least. I'm with you Don, I'm not ready yet either. :(

Hoping it warms up on a weekend, so I can gut the cargo area, and investigate this wiring issue back there. Pretty sure the Pats module installed there, is the cause. Direct or indirectly, it was fine went it left here, and returned not working. smh

I had a few mins to mess with this tow harness and no brake light power thing today.

I wanted to test the 4 pin pigtail, to see if it was bad first. Meter & test light resulted in no tail or brake power present.

I picked up a 4 pin plug with factory connector to the stock harness. Also have a new 4 pin tester.

Unplugged the pigtail side, and plugged in the new 4 pin harness w/tester. Still no tail or brake power.

4 pin tester.jpg

I removed the tail light assembly, and stripped the tow harness to see all the wires. Then used a meter and test light to the pins on the connector.
There are 5 wires fed to the stock connector. Green, Yellow, Purple/w, Black/w, & Black.

stock tow harness.jpg

As suspected, I was able to find power for the turn signals here.R-turn is green, L-turn is yellow.

Brake & tail power is whats missing.

I think the purple/w is for the tails, as the diagram a few posts back says so.

This leaves the Black & Black/w. Assuming the Black is a ground, the Black/w is the stock tag light, as it is connected to the pigtail side.

If it doesn't rain all weekend, like the overpaid weatherman is saying, I will get the back gutted, and start tracing the harness inside the cab. I could simply tap the tow harness into the brake/tail lights, but this still doesn't help track down the no power issue to the neon 3rd light.

I took a pic of the power distribution box to share here. It is has some open slots for a relay and fuses. W/O a 98 manual, I have no way to tell if this is how it should be, or if somethings are missing. Was the open slots done on purpose with the swap, or was somethings just forgotten to be installed? Can't say, as I have nothing to reference it too.

Anybody have a 98 5.0 manual with the fuse box and PDB diagram they can share here? I need to know what relays are in there for the turn signals, brake lights, and well heck, be nice to know what all of it is supposed to be. lol

98 power dist box.jpg

I am guessing the 3 smaller relays in the center are the rear lights, since they could be bundled together, but who knows. Not this guy!



The small box under the hood (the one you took a picture of and posted) should be the power distribution box.... somewhere close to the master cylinder (think i see the M/C in your pic lol)

AUX box 2 is (supposed to be) above the drivers rear fender.
we know how much you love getting in there

Thanks Kurt.

I am guessing that relay Aux Box #2 is under the dash, not the small relay box under the hood?

I just remembered this if you want. I sent John a ford CD a couple of years ago. You could ask him to burn it for you and mail it, or if I can figure out a way to burn it, I can send one to you if you want

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Well hang on a cotton picking minute here....

Fuse # 13 works the BPP, the 3rd light, & tow brake lights!

Let me back track to last Feb for a moment.

When the rig returned, the brake lights was stuck on. I informed them that same day, within an hour of it coming off the trailer. They said the pedal switch is bad, and they sent me a used one to swap it out with a while later. I swapped it, and the brake lights went off as should. They stuck back on a couple times again, but with a wiggle of the pedal switch, they went off.

So..... Maybe the BPP is to blame here for all this. It didn't seem right with the wires on it, as they was spliced into on the dash side of the harness. Hmmm...... The issue might be up front, not in the back as I have been concentrating on.

Thanks for posting those Kurt, it just helped me think of another possibility here, knowing what fuse does what.