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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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Or if money is no object (HA!) aluminum 1/2 fuel line. Or if you go back to the pvc idea, you could use brake line to make a template of the frame, then somehow bend the pvc to fit it

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How about PEX hose, that's tougher and lasts longer than most others.

If I used a tube to sheath the lines, I would just use the water tight flex tube. It is made for exterior use, and can bend to the body flow easily. if not that, a thick wall clear tube would be plenty. Not really excited about having to heat and bend any of the hard wall products.

Thanks for all the tips, ideas, and thoughts!

So moving along....The other part of this job, is modifying the rear tube bumper. It's coming off the rig for some work.

It is getting holes put in it for the trailer chains, and the 7 pin trailer harness. I don't want the chains to run under the tube, rather through the center face plate. The trailer is built for the trails, and I don't want the chains to get pinched/dragged on rocks. Backside is heavily gusseted for the hitch, no worries here.

Plan is to cut sq holes into the vertical diamond plate, then weld 1/4" angle to box them all around. For the chain hooks, the loops will be welded to the backside, hidden from view.

The tire swing out will get some mounts welded for Jerry can, and Max Tracks. The tire mount plate will be re-positioned, to angle the tire, with top inward.

The bumper will be sand blasted, and repainted. Hoping to start this project in a week or so.

Well now you gone and done it.

Talk about wire tubes and switch covers and you'll have tons of ideas. Move on to real work and........


Been saving this update for my 10,000 post. Since my journey started here with this rig, I found it fitting to share this milestone here.

While back I bought this 8.8 ARB locker, and a bigger pump to use for double duty with tire inflation in mind. I made a custom mount box for that pump, and installed it. I decided to steal this bigger pump for the trailer build, and bought another pump for it. This pump is smaller, and only used for the locker. I have another pump installed for the tire fills, that works just fine. I might update it eventually, but it works for now.

ARB Air locker & pump.jpg

This will be installed at some point over the summer. I am in no rush, as I still have the ongoing trailer build, the rear bumper work, and the troublesome brake/tow circuit to figure out, and more to come.

I have given up all vacation's, all camping & wheeling trips since the Fall of 2017 to build and pay for all this stuff, and have learned to take my time, to do things right, and as I can afford it. Taking a couple of years, but I think I have done fairly well for a poor blue collar man, barely surviving at times in this crazy world of ours. I will at least have something to show for all that sacrifice. Just have to get it all done, before I die of old age! :D

Thank you Explorer Forum for the Journey. It's been a heck of a time so far, with so many memories, & so many new friends. I hope all the sharing I have done, has helped some people along the way, and if not, I hope I supplied some entertainment at the least. :)

:dpchug: To the last 10,000 posts, and to the next 10,000!

Clouds parted this morning, and I had a full day of outside stuffs to do first thing. After I painted 200 LF of 8" Fascia boards for a job tomorrow, I had enough time to ....

A) Mow the lawn or,
B) Mess with the bumper

So I cut a 2" Round hole, and two 3" rectangle holes. Mounted the 7 pin Trailer connector thing a ma Bob, but didn't wire it up. Just zip tied them in place neatly for now.

Bumper holes cut.jpg

Cut up the angle iron with the old chop saw, notched them with the grinder blade, and welded them up.

Hole trim welded.jpg

Mocked them up just to share with all you awesome people.

bumper hole trim mocked uo.jpg

Not sure when I will take the bumper off, to weld them on from the backside yet. I put them in a zip lock bag, and chucked them in the freezer for now.

Time to make some dinner, (Home Run Inn Chi-Town style Frozen Pizza) and chill in front of the boob tube for a few hours.


It’s pretty flexible, and the one hole straps for it work well. Plus, it’s cheap.

Half day at work, sun came back out, and decided to hurt myself........ I mean work on the tire swing out mount.

Cut the top Horizontal tube in half, between gussets. Put the loose end with the mounting plate in a vise. Marked the end of the tube, and made a 15* cut.

Cleaned both tubes of paint, clamped it in place, and welded it back on. Quick shot of black paint to hold it over until it gets sand blasted, and mounted the spare 35" tire.

Tire mount 15 degree angle.jpg

tire mount angle 1.jpg
Tire mount angle 2.jpg

I didn't account for the new angle in depth at the bottom. I can remove another 2.5" from the horizontal top tube to draw it in closer to the rear door. That's going to have to be for another day.

Note to self: Always wear your welding shirt when welding over head. That way when a hot molten ball of slag drops on your shirt sleeve, melts it's way thru, then rolls down your arm, before exiting said shirt sleeve, leaving a track mark burn that would make Kieth Richards proud, won't happen.

Ha, sorry about the unexpected new body art, time for a new tattoo I guess.

Why do you want that angle for the tire though? I'm imagining barely touching something backing up ...?

Well, after it is brought closer to the door, it will be tucked in tighter, and look better to me for one. The distance from the top of the tire to the back glass bugs me, but....The other more practical reason, is while on the trails.

In wooded areas with heavy foliage, the top of the tire won't be as much as a snag point.

While climbing and descending from an angle to flat ground, the lower outside of the tire edge is higher, and less likely to scrape.

I hear that, you get intimate with some foliage at times don't you?

I just had a dumb idea, really hard and probably not practical. Place the tire where the hatch is(cut a hole in the hatch so it's mounted in a pocket), extend the hatch outward. I could see really strong hatch shocks being a problem, and the back end would look way weird with the bulge and glass moved outward. But that would be interesting, and R&Ring the tire would be more interesting. It's worth a chuckle, but never mind, keep going.

That would be cool to see done, but not by this guy! Lol

Why you wanting me to work harder anyways Don???? Lol

Trying to keep that tire centered between roof and top of the bumper, while getting the desired angle, and as close to the swing out tubes as possible, is hard enough.

Done did, what I said, I was gone done did.

For the last 6 days, the rear bumper has been worked on. It had to come off, to weld the tow chain loops and the pass thru boxes on.

While it was off, and the paint needing stripped to weld, I kept going, and stripped it all with wire wheels.

New chain loops on the main bumper tube.

Tow chain loop on.jpg

Pass thru holes boxed.

Tow chain pass thru boxes done.jpg

And since it was stripped, I added kick out tubes to the sides. These will help protect the body corners if an off camber situation slams it into a rock/tree. Getting the tubes notched was the hardest part due to the extreme angle on the fronts. Took me forever a removing a little at a time.

Right kickout loose bumper.jpg

BH bumper fresh paint.jpg

Cleaned and painted the rear cross member while it was exposed.

BH rear cross member painted.jpg

Installed the beast today. Painted the tubes, & 3 sided brackets all purdy, then bolted the side support tubes together with stainless hardware.

BH bumpre supports refab.jpg

Dr side

BH DR bumper kickout.jpg

Pass side

BH Pass bumper kickout.jpg

Full Monty

BH 2.0 full rear view.jpg

Now I can start stripping the spare tire swing out, and repaint it.

I don't even know what to say. That fabrication is art.

I don't even know what to say. That fabrication is art.

Well, thank you very much for saying that. Truly appreciated. :) Was feeling a little put off, about taking the time to share here. I know that sounds bad, but it's the little things that keep me going.

Couldn't even say how many hours went into this bumper. Today makes 8 days in a row, on this go around. lol

Got the tire swing out stripped bare yesterday. Today I Welded up a bunch of pin holes found. Just got done cleaning it, and ready for primer coats.

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I enjoy watching your creations even though there for the wrong year lol. :) Keep these posts coming. :)