The Black Hole | Page 170 | 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!

My google foo isn't working on the forum. :(

Anybody have a picture/knowledge of the rear cargo latch, showing the spring/clip that holds the self push/pull vertical locking rod in place?

Mine won't stay in the up position when unlocked. It free falls under it's own weight, locking the door. The actuator works no problem, but I have to open the glass, grab the lock rod end, and pull up, and hold, as I turn the door latch to open the cargo door, then close the glass to continue opening the door. Complete PITA.

If I lost a clip or spring, it's long gone, as there is nothing loose inside the door. I don't know if a spring came off, or it's one of those rod clips that holds it upright when unlocked.

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!

that's an odd one!
I do not think there is a clip, just the plastic cover that the lock rod goes through.
IN 98 they got rid of the lock rod back there all together....
You may just need a new actuator? Gravity is able to overcome the one that is in there now?
I have two 96-97 5.0 explorer donors outside right now if you need any tailgate parts

Yep, gravity alone drops the vertical manual push/pull rod. Wont stay unlocked.

Was thinking that the 91-94 stuff is the same as the 95. I'm going to look at my 94, and compare them.

If I am missing a spring or clip, I will find them at a salvage.

If I'm not, and just need a new actuator, will grab one of those from salvage. Kind of trust a used one over cheap aftermarket. Lol

If I can't find one, I will hit you up 410. Appreciate the offer!

In the case of the actuator a jy unit is the best way to go imo
The cheep ones suck
I learned this in my early days of being a explorer owner
Be sure to have a good rubber boot on it like the factory

I have my old 93 hatch on my 99, I only changed the key cylinder to a 96/97 part. I had an issue with the latch sensor not turning off the interior lights. But I also think they are the same overall as the 91-94's. My 91 had an outside handle with different lettering, or it was engraved, I forgot how it was.

Thanks for bringing that up Don. I totally forgot that this lock, has been messed with in the past.

2 years ago when the rig was swapped to the Pat's system, all the keyed locks, got changed alike for the new keys.

This hatch lock has been giving me fits ever since, but has worked if I hit the unlock button a few times rapidly. Now, it just allows me to open the glass, and even that takes a few attempts to get it to open. I think that the lock rod has a faint "click" when pulled up for unlock. It doesn't do that now at all. Zero resistance in it, and just falls when let go of.

Hopefully the working 94 lock, will tell me what I need to know, after inspection.

Very good. I had to file on both of my 93 doors and the hatch, to allow the key cylinders to go in(they are larger at the opening). I wonder how "your guys" got the keys to work with what parts?

Any extra resistance in the lock mechanism will affect the function, often stopping that latch from unlocking etc. My front left has just begun doing that, it now takes more than one press of the remote to unlock it(about half the time). The lock actuator is the likely culprit, but you might check the set of linkages also. The latch getting old and gummy is a big deal now, so lubricate them when you have an issue.

Just inspected the 94's actuator, and all linkage rods. Exactly the same as the 95.

95 isn't missing anything. Looks like I need to replace the actuator itself. The boot is shredded on it, and the rod on it is very loose, compared to the 94.

To remove it, it looks like I have to drill out a rivet and replace it with a bolt/nut. I have tons of those, but no rivets of that size.

This actuator looks just like the ones in the doors, need to research that a bit.

In other news...

I was on Rock Auto ordering all 3 of the power steering lines. I had all 3 in the cart, and paid. The receipt given only showed 2 of them listed. I was like wtf! So I had to go back, and try to add the one that didn't go on the order. Nope, won't let me do it. So since that damn place is ran by robots, and there is no humans to talk to, I had to place a 2nd order for that 3rd line.

So the shipping charge was higher than the actual part cost. then when I got the receipt for it, it screwed up again, and listed one of the other lines on the 1st order. So I just ordered 2 of the same line, and paid 3 times as much with the additional shipping charge. Frustrated with that damn robot site, I just gave up, and went to a local parts store and bought that 3rd line.... for twice as much as Rock Auto had it listed. If I try to return it, the robot will charge me the same shipping fees. Screw that. Looks like I have a spare line I will never need.

Internet shopping is convenient they say...... Uh huh, Right!

Rough shopping there, price shopping etc, is a fine line from easier but more expensive choices. I've only had a couple of Rock Auto troubles, but they were small enough to forget and go on.

The lock actuators use the same 1/4" sized rivets as the outer door handles, and most things in the door itself. I have one of those monster rivet guns, but the lock actuators are not that bad to just replace by leaving the mounting bracket in place. I don't know about the rear one, I haven't done one of those yet. Try to get an OEM one, they are usually better and quieter. These Explorer actuators are all very loud, I might try to use an old Fox Mustang type on my front doors much later. I swapped the other way on my Lincoln years ago when I couldn't find those old Fox type, then I found a bunch from one eBay seller.

I never removed the actuator bracket drilled etc
The bracket is spring steel I just used a flat screwdriver popped it out and the new one back in
It's a pain but better than drilling imo

"we don't need to cut no rivets" my neighbor would say, Im still getting used to North Idaho speak

None of the actuators at the 1st salvage yard was in decent shape . Will try another yard, another day.

These arrived today. Time to get dirty, and fill the swear jar up.


Got the old lines off earlier. Opened up the bag with the short rack to cooler line, and it had instructions. I don't always read them for simple things, but decided what the heck.

Well, it actually made me go "Hmmm".

It describes 3 types of fittings that Ford used on these lines. These instructions just don't jive with what I'm seeing, or used to. These seals shown are made to stay at the end of the fitting, and remind me of rubber O ring's. The lines come with pre-fitted teflon seals, at the end of the threads, under the nut. That's all I ever used on these lines for this rig over the years.

power steering line install instructions.jpg

power steering line fitting seals.jpg

So it got me wondering, if there was at one time a small rubber O ring in the rack on one of those lines, maybe it got shot into the cooler or a return line? Got jammed in there?

What backs this theory up is having 0 assist after the rack replacement in KS. Then 2 days later, on a trail, in 4WD, fighting the wheel, something gave, and 50% of the assist suddenly happened. Maybe the O ring got moved, and allowed some fluid to bypass? I am grabbing at straws here, because all these new parts hasn't fixed it, and everything else has checked out to be fine. LOL I don't know.

I hooked up a rubber hose, to the end of a fresh can of Kooler Clean, and blasted the cooler out. I collected all of it using a 2nd hose, drained into a plastic bottle. I didn't see any debris in the fluids.

kooler kleen.jpg

The idea of using 2 ft long pipe cleaners to brush/force anything out of the cooler tube, proved to be fruitless. A trip to a couple hardware stores, resulted in empty hands.

I then tried a 1/8" steel cable to push thru the U shaped cooler line, but it would only go in each tube about 3". Weird I thought. Maybe that tube has a smaller ID to act like a constrictor to build pressure back into the pump? Dunno #2.

I am going to hook up an air line to the cooler, using fittings for a good seal, and blow it out with 150 psi, just for grins in the morning. Skeeters ran me inside.

So if there is something jammed inside that cooler tube, I really don't even want to use it anymore. Ford doesn't make them any longer, and these have built in brackets that fit the rack mounting bolt studs for placement. Figures.

So if I bought a new cooler, I am thinking of installing it, right behind the grill, in front of the middle core pillar. Reason being, is the big skid plate blocks air flow to the stock location for one, and the aftermarkets have no way to mount it in the stock location. If I got a small trans cooler, with tubes pointing down, I could run longer hose to them, from the rack & reservoir. I mean if a line blew, whats the difference if a trans cooler line blew? It's right there as well, just up against the radiator.

For now, all lines are off, holes plugged, and going to wait and see if I can find a new cooler, that will fit where I have room behind the grill.

Shipping always takes a few days, so I have another project on this I can start in the meantime.

Always something!!

Looked at the bottle of collected kooler kleen this morning and there was black sediment on the bottom.

Ran it thru a coffee filter. There is definitely something in that cooler tube. It's either bits of hose liner, or that rubber o ring. What ever it is, it made up my mind 100% not to reuse that cooler.


interesting, kleaner should get all the debris/gunk out, but I am like you, would just install a different cooler.........

I am doing v8 into 2000 ranger and I noticed something
It would be really easy to reverse the lines going into the rack

High pressure line goes into BOTTOM port and the return from the cooler goes into the top......... which way are your lines hooked up? just spit balling here


Going to the rack the lines are right. When reversed the wheel would violently go back n forth. Enough to break an arm if caught in it. Thanks for the mention as all ideas are appreciated!

I did have a thought the return hoses was put back onto the cooler backwards, forcing whatever was loose, into the cooler, and wedged it inside. The complete loss of assist happened directly after the rack was replaced. It drove itself into his shop with 100% assist. Something happened at the time of the install.

So, with a new cooler, every single componant of this system will be brand new. If it still has an assist issue, it will be time to take it to a shop, for inspection to make sure it's all installed correctly, and not something being overlooked by 2 pro mechanics, and a shade tree wrench turner (me).

Edit: After removing the stock cooler, and having a look straight down the tubes, I found out why the cable wouldn't fit inside to clean it out. There is a fin that goes across the tube, on both ends. So this really has me believing my theory of something inside of it.
100% assist to the shop.
0% assist after rack and pump swap
50% assist after fighting the wheel on a trail, in low range, and something gave suddenly.
Something was on the end of the inlet tube, stuck on the cross fin after rack install, blocking fluid flow. That something was forced past the cross fin, and into the cooler tube. It was blocked by the exit cross fin, but only partially blocked the orifice, allowing some return fluid to flow.
That's what I think of all this, and it's a shame something so simple can cause so much pain.

power steering cooler divider in tube.jpg

my fingers are crossed and that ALWAYS fixes things
Sonofabitchinass rack and pinion pita
I feel for ya!
Battle on

Anybody see a problem with using a small trans cooler, in place of a power steering cooler?

Really the only main difference I see is, the fluids in a power steering unit, is a one turn, dual row pass thru. A Trans cooler has more rows to pass thru. Would that really matter for the low pressure return side of the system? Are they made for different pressures?

I found a 10 row plate & tube trans cooler. It's not much bigger overall than the stock steering cooler is. Finger is hovering over the buy now button. lol

Buy that new cooler. It sounds like you found the problem, that was a bunch of material to recover from the cooler.

I was planning to add a cooler for the PS of my work truck, and an external FL1A filter for extra capacity. You can benefit from that also, any large tires and big forces in the steering system can be helped with cooler, more, and cleaner fluid. I hadn't decided on a cooler, but any will work especially if you run it in parallel. Try not to run them in series, that adds restriction to the pump. Anything of any size with minimal restriction is great, can't do any harm.

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!

The factory cooler is just a tube with fins on it, pretty simple/ high flow. The rangers only have a tube (no fins) so technically you could just bypass it and se what it does.