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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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Just keeping it out of OD while towing will do wonders for trans temps. It's what the owner's manual recommends.
Anyway, glad things are going well so far and hope everything goes smoothly from here on out.

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Guess the week of adventure caught up to me.

Decided to stop at a KOA in Kansas for the night.

This place is dead. About 3/4 full, not one campfire, not one person outside of their RV. It's like quiet time started at 8 pm, and they all went to bed.

That, or they know something I dont!


Traveler, your absolutely right about the overdrive. Before, on the way out, I was hitting 70 b4 turning it on. It seemed like it actually helped at that speed, but guess not.

Scan gauge said 3000 rpms at 65 mph. Little different than the dash gauge read. At that speed consistently, it would hover both temps the same, around 197-200. Mpgs was 11, and my fuel gauge is funny. Needle right at Half tank, takes 13 to 14 gals to fill. Been filling up at 1/2 tank since I dont trust that 1/4 mark still has enough left to get me to the next gas getrin place.

So far, about 2000 miles, and 3 quarts of oil. Bought another quart when I was at wally world earlier. It's about due for more.

Earlier I fought and fought one of those small grease guns, that take the mini tubes. Couldn't get that thing to prime for the life of me. The little bleeder on it, was welded on I think. Lol. So I didn't add any more than what was left in it. Got one side done, at least.

Can you guys tell I'm bored? 9pm is a bit early for bedtime, but eh, that's life at the ponderosa. So quiet here, I dont want to make a sound to anger the sleeping masses in their high dollar triple slide out touring busses. Tent set up is bare bones. It's about to rain, so didnt even bother opening the windows on it.


KOA's do that lights out at like 9pm
The one time we tried to stay at one they kicked us out because we too noisy, kept our money, it was total BS! But I was like 25 then and my first and last time at a KOA

At least you are making it!
The dash gauges are never accurate.....silly Ford

This koa is weird. Looks like most everyone there, has taken up permanent residence. Place creeped me out. It was behind a big industrial park. Office was closed when I arrived, and still closed when I left at 9am.

It thunder stormed all night. Packed up the tent in the rain. Same thing happened in Ouray. Going to have to open both tents up to air dry when I get home. If... I ever get home! Lol

I have delivered mail to a lot of campgrounds in Pigeon Forge TN. Most of them had large groups of permanent residents. It's probably the same way in any heavily visited locations.

Most places are not like the one in "Paul" with the father and daughter running it, he's crazy and useless, while she's innocent with just one eye.

Not impressed with the carbon power stop pads at all. They are getting changed with semi metallics or something else. They act like it has brake fade, and will not even come close to locking a wheel in loose gravel. Total waste of $$.

Just washed the rig and trailer. No carnage was found. Kansas bird size bugs was the biggest amount of crud on the rig. Moths the size of your hand!

Yea the carbon ceramic are better for durability and low dust. Stopping power go semi metallic. Softer compounds = better stopping = more dust.

Find the SD Ford pads, on Rock Auto. Those run under $40 there or on Amazon, or eBay. I have liked them a lot, and I've tortured them mercilessly. They are listed there as heavy duty or severe duty, OEM parts.

EBC makes pads specifically for towing. I've considered those.

EBC makes pads specifically for towing. I've considered those.

I used to use the EBC pads most of the time too. I've used the green version a lot, which is basically the 4WD/truck version. I tried the yellow one once that was suppose to be better(higher heat etc), but didn't notice a difference, and they were much higher. I do use the EBD yellow for my custom brake pads, those are very tough and the pad is small for the caliper(application(2000 GT Mitsu)).

But the easier to come by Ford pad impressed me several years ago. So I have often bought them when I buy stuff from Rock Auto. I have spare pads and rotors for both the front and back of my 99 mail truck. The EBC pads are worth the money, for the stock calipers those are a favorite of mine. I have been satisfied with the SD Ford pads too, so I've gone with them lately.

Was looking thru my recent pics, and found one I took of the blown Napa rack that was removed. It's not a good picture, but it kind of looks like the little restrictor valve is inside the lower line passage in this picture.

Inner tre's are from the new rack, and put on this old one for the core charge return.

napa blown rack removed in colby 2020.jpg

The new rack, the restrictor valve is in the top line passage. Hmm...... if i'm seeing this right, that just could be the issue here with the low assist in the system.. Confusing part is, I thought it went in the upper line passage, whatever that is, high/low. I might be wrong. But if this is true, then that might be a difference between the 4.0 & 5.0 racks. They do have different part numbers. Hmm.... I need to remove the lines and see for myself with a mirror.

Talked to Pro Tech about the rack. He assured me that that valve was in the upper line, on the new rack when it was installed.

Looks like I have to pull it out.

He did it on the lift, and with the skid still on. He didn't have to raise the engine to do it either. It will be harder to do on stands, but he did take the inner and outer tre off as one unit to do it.

The camburg inners make it a little easier to remove them, and not mess with the alignment. Hopefully when I get around to doing it, it wont be a fight between heaven and hell for me.

Now.... do I replace it with the 4.0 or the 5.0 rack? I know the napa 4.0 rack worked, but only lasted a couple thousand miles. Too bad it was used as a core replacement as I might have been able to turn it in for a new unit. I can return the 5.0 rack in it now, but if I go 4.0, that's a new charge. Hmmm.... what to do, what to do.

a rack is a rack. ive used the ones that come with a sport because the lock to lock is different.


i am going to warn you. a rack in a 5L is a REAL ***** to change. i cant stress it enough.

I thought they were all the same . The only difference I can think of could be the wheels used. Bigger wheels or tires often make the steering racks have less turning range built in, or come with limiters to stop them before they make something rub. Mustang racks have done that many times by the model year and what wheels they changed to over the years. Explorers all had 235/75/15's generally from 91 to about 98. Then there were two new 16" wheels available and the tires went to 255/70/16's.

So if you have any full lock kind of possible rubbing, I would opt for an older 2nd gen application. You can also as needed find those limiters that are common on Mustang racks, they are literally just a round chunk of rubber that slips on the inner TRE at the rack, about a 1/2" thick or so. The racks should be the same internally I think. I wish they were different, I like a quicker ratio steering.

I was told the difference from the 4.0 to the 5.0 rack is in width of the rack itself. The 5.0 is a little wider. Only talking fractions of an inch tho.

I have replaced the 4.0 rack a couple times, and I completely hated the job. Took a couple days the first time. 2nd time went much faster, after learning the trick to manipulate it in/out. After watching Pro Tech remove / install this rack, I think I can do it even faster than the last time I did it, even if it is the 5.0 this time. Still going to be the big PITA job regardless tho, and one I'm not looking forward to.

I have put 5.0 into 4.0 trucks for years never had to mess with steering rack?
It's really not that bad to change one out, even in the 5.0 truck?
Takes just a few hours to do the job..........working slowly. Maybe I just like working on these things too much, something about a desk job that does that to you I guess
I have a post from what 12 years ago when I replaced the rack in my old 96 shows the "how to"
Sure it took me 3 days to do it the first time LOL But now with the write up and pictures you guys can do it much faster. I have done quite a few of them now... funny how time flies reading back at this stuff is awesome


If the pressures are regulated differently between the 4.0 and 5.0, that could be causing a problem with mine, if there is nothing wrong with the current rack.

Could be I got a bad rack out of the box.

I have heard there is a difference in years, with different turning ratios.

This new info of different widths isn't a concern to me, as it is minimal.

I know the lines from the pumps are different shaped, but don't know if they are different in volume.

I want to exchange this 5.0 rack with the same, just to save $$ on purchasing the 4.0. This is a gamble, if the same issue happens doing this.

On a scale of 1-10 for the assist, it is a 5 right now. No return to center, and you need full grip on the wheel to turn it. When I went from Colby ks to Ouray co, it was a 0. That took both hands, and full strength to turn the wheels, and impossible to turn unless the rig was moving. That wore me out!!

When on a trail, and put into low range, 4wd, something gave, and freed it up somewhat, and was about a 6. After we flushed the system, it got a little worse. Took it 1200 miles home like that, with a trailer. Talk about a rough time. Lol

The reason why mine is going to be a pita, is if I have to remove the big front skid plate, it isn't easy. They bash bar connected to the cross member blocks the lower bolts. To remove the bar, I have to remove the coil overs. The bar is bolted using the front bolts on the lca. That means an alignment is needed after. My fault for not turning the lca bolts 180, with the nuts facing forward.

Always something!!

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that does add a bit to the job
I do remember them having slightly different ratios

Not returning to center is DEFINITELY a rack issue

I have used 4.0 pumps on 5.0 racks, I have used 5.0 pumps with v6 racks, heck even 5.0 pumps turning ttb gear boxes, never had one issue with power assist, returning to center, etc.
Something is fishy fishy