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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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that is why I love my 7.3 trucks for towing, hauling and working....even on 37" tires our excursion gets 12-14 mpg
Our 7.3 trucks have so much dang torque it is 97 OBS truck will hit 25 psi of boost with no trailer attached and put you in your seat through 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear..........5th is no slouch either, I just wish the old Zf5 manual had one more gear for today's highway speeds

If I had the money for a stroker and to re do my 6260# explorer (I am Gmanpaint in this scenario) I would have to consider the BT4 conversion...... 4 door explorer trail machine weekend warrior that hauls its own camper across country........BT4 under the hood for me. Forget gasoline, turbo diesel is where it is at for a rig like this....

just my opinion!

Turbo Diesel! That would be pretty epic!

I wish you had talked me into the BT4 conversion, before I just recently dumped $8k into the 302/OBD2/Trans/T-case, and everything else that went into the conversion! Have to get some use out of this setup before I discard it. 1 trip just doesn't justify the costs spent already. LOL

Like I said previously.... Get rid of this rig for a truck with more stock power, and build it up for trails...... Get rid of the trailer for a smaller lighter one..... OR get more HP out of this rig.

Have to live within my means. Can sell or trade for another rig & trailer, but can't just throw away $$, by replacing the current engine trans, t-case all together.

Front back half liners are done. Painted them up with self etch primer, and 4 topcoats of Hammered black. Decided against the bed coating. Paint will be easier to touch up when needed, and it will be needed.

Cardboard mock ups was made for both sides, then transferred over to 16 ga sheet metal. Dr side was 3 pc, and pass side was 5 pc. Panels was bolted up, then tacked in place. Finish welding was then done on the table. This job sounded much easier in my head when I started, but man, wow, what a head scratch'er. If I had to do it again, I think I can cut the time in half after everything I learned on this set.

Not the prettiest, but they are functional for the purpose intended. You can't really tell they are there to be honest. Smaller than they appear in the pictures below. Weigh about a pound each.

1 Pass card board 1.jpg

2 Dr's mock up 4.jpg

3 pass mockup 5.jpg

4 painted 3.jpg

5 painted 1.jpg

Dr side on

Dr on.jpg

Pass side on

pass on.jpg

wicked!! what paint did you use?

took me 3 attempts to make the final fender skirts I liked........ I use ABS plastic up front and conveyor belt material in the back....... metal would be super cool!!

wicked!! what paint did you use?

took me 3 attempts to make the final fender skirts I liked........ I use ABS plastic up front and conveyor belt material in the back....... metal would be super cool!!

Topcoats are just Rustoleum Hammered. 4 coats to build up the hammered texture, and take a bit more abuse. Originally was going to use either Monstaliner, or Raptor liner, on them, but thought even those would get chipped up eventually, and costly to touch up.

I am already in the process of making rear gap guards too. I still have leftover 16 ga sheet metal for that.....and to do the front halves of these fronts someday.

for parts like this I just use black paint or easy to just hold some cardboard up and re spray......

So after installing those clear lens reflector headlight housings, I am shopping for new bulbs. I'm undecided on what to get.

Sylvania Halogen Silverstars are in there now, but they need more output. These have a blacked out tip on them for the reflector style housings. Seems to me, that the clear lens could run a bulb with a clear tip? Dunno!

I'm not going to spend hundreds on fancy projector retrogrades, or top of the line HID's, and am only willing to spend so much on bulbs. The rig is rarely used at night, and is only a part time hobby useage. So far I have come up with the following replacement choices.

Halogen: $45-$55/set, But both have short life spans (as short as 6 months) because of the higher output.
Sylvania Silverstar Ultra (27% brighter than stock) $48
Phillips Xtreme 130% (26% brighter than stock) $54
LED: $50-$60/set long life spans for the lower end chinesium brands.
Plug n Play 9007 from a few manufactures.
Each of those brands have a slightly diff style to them. All claim to be direct plug in swaps. All with built in high speed cooling fans. All are about 400% brighter than stock, which more than likely breaks down to 1/4 of that in real life. So 400% claimed, is more like 100% brighter than stock..

Auxbeam: 25w-2500lm/ea-6500k color- Zes Led chip-IP65- 30k hr life span- 5 star rating @ 100% - $56.00
Alla: 30w-5000lm/ea-6k color-Cree Led chip- IP65- 30k hr life span- 5 star rating @ 75% - $50.00
Katana: 36w-6000lm/ea-6500k color-Cree Led chip- 55k hr life span- 5 star rating @ 78%- $50.00
Torchbeam T2: 30w- 6000lm/ea- 6500k color- House brand Led chip- 50k hr lifespan- 5 star rating @ 78%- $47.00

So, as you can see, the $ pricing is all about the same on all of these, halogen & Led's.
Halogens last the longest, but are the weakest output. BUT... They are hassle free, trouble free install, and can easily be replaced anywhere the rig maybe at any given point.
Led's will most likely outlast the truck, and are much much brighter, and should help with the smoked out reflectors on these new housings, but might take some mod work to retro fit, even tho they claim to be direct plug n play. so far I am reading that the O-ring seals do not seat properly into the RBV housings that great. In the event one does go out, replacement is not easily done and a few days wait time.

What to do, what to do? 🤔

Found this website that was handy.



This is what I have been using for a year now with no problems
Good and bright

Got em on rockauto bulbs are priced very well on their

Yeah, I looked at what rock auto offers. Prices are great for what they have. Problem is the Phillips halogen 100% (brightest offered), they have are no brighter than the ones I currently have.

So, in my infinite wisdom, I chose the new headlight housings with a black reflector inside, instead of the chrome reflectors. LOL

These black reflectors suck up the light output of the bulbs, like a lot.

Thus the reason I am needing a brighter output, to offset the loss. So the brightest halogen, or an LED is the current thinking.

There are plenty of super bright Aux lights facing forward, that will light up the night for a mile, but I don't want to have to use them at a constant on the road. They are just way too much to use at night, sharing the Hwy's. Now, some off the beaten path back road or on the trails, that's a different ballgame.

Funny, I forgot about those lights. You just need decent regular headlights, the chrome backgrounds will make better output. I didn't think about that black, and I've considered those before too.

Well, seeing that their brand new, going to run them for a little while, until I don't. Lol

This weekend is supposed to be nice out. Like mid 70's. Going to plan on dropping the front diff, and work on the locker.

Going to have to use the motorcycle Jack, as @KurtECV has my trans Jack used for this job. Lol

so the black housings will never really put out good light.....but who cares they look really sweet!

So relay on your aux lights for good lighting? Like some wicked good led driving lights and some good fog lights??
There are some tiny led lights on the market that make big make up for the lack of light from those housings.

Yeah, I got the AUX front lights covered pretty well already. I can't rely on those for night use on main roads at all.

80w PIA amber Fogs are amazing. 5w LED Amber bubble Cree Drivers down low for fog/dust, use take care of the low side very good.

Then there is 2 LED light bars. One on the bumper, and one on the roof. These are like turning on the Sun at Midnight. Only good when alone on the road. These will blind An Egyptian sun God.

I ordered a set of 36w 65k LED bulbs, with drivers & high speed fans for these black housings. Hopefully they make up for the output loss of the Silverstar Halogens.

Removed the front CAD Diff housing out this afternoon. Letting it drain overnight, before I dig into it, and clean up 10 years of nasty on it.

Front Diff draining.jpg

Was hoping to be able to just replace the locker pins & springs with the carrier installed. Nope. Ring gear is to thick and it blocks access to two (of 4) of them. Carrier has to come out, and ring gear removed. Figures. What a Richard. Will get to that in the morning.

While I have that removed, I have clear access to the engine's oil pan at the CAD housing location. Going to massage the pan inward a bit for more clearance. I think I might try grinding down the cad housing a bit too. That way I don't have to beat on the pan too much. Instead of just swinging a Ball Peen at it, I have an idea to use a 1.5" hitch ball. Thinking is.... Hold the ball on the pan where I want it to push in, and hit the ball stud with the ole 5 lb mini sledge. If I crack this pan, I'm in a world of sheet!!!

The 3 ton Triple lift floor jack worked better than I thought it would, for dropping the dif. Better than the trans jack actually. Removing the cup on it, lets me use the wide flat platform, that cradles the dif nicely. The rubber diamond strips are actually the platform in the pic below. I have to manhandle the dif on mine, as it doesn't drop straight down like normal. The rear LCA support tube is in the way of the vertical bolt on the dr side, and it can't be removed until the dif is twisted, and shoved around every which way til Sunday, as it is lowered. Fun by yourself I tell ya, just fun! But being able to work this jack handle as I am under the rig wrestling a smelly dirt front pig, helped a bunch. It's also a jack stand. Uses a big pin bar under the platform to hold it up after it's lifted. Pretty safe for a floor jack.

triple lift jack.jpg

Delivery man showed up with goodies a bit ago too. New LED headlights, and a new rear cargo door actuator finally arrived. But first, let's see if this old man can get this front end back together in working order.

Good tough work there, the right jack and tools make it manageable.

How do your bushings look in the diff, the housing mounts? I've had one diff, that they seemed a little loose, some cracking of the rubber. I tried to buy new bushings for one I'm going to rebuild, and one of the three is different evidently, and not available from Ford or the part number search.

They "Look" fine on this housing. At one time in the past, I had thought that one of them was bad, as I had a mystery clunk, I was trying to locate. Turned out that the bushing was fine, not cracked, and made that way. I would think those are a discontinued part by now, and would have to source them from a used diff?

So I discovered something this morning that is frustrating. The DR side wheel turns the front drive shaft as is. I suspected that the locker's springs was worn, and causing the front locker to stay engaged. Ordered a new set of springs & pins to replace them, and is why I dropped the diff yesterday.

After inspection of the locker, the springs are good, and are doing their job just fine. So I dug into this thread, and found the post I made 10 years ago, when I installed it. The picture I posted of this locker after install spoke volumes to me this morning.

The way this locker is installed, the teeth are fully engaged. What this means is, when the dr side axle is turned, the locker case on the dr side, turns the cross shaft, which turns the other half, which turns the ring gear, which turns the pinion gear, which turns the drive shaft. That's only supposed to happen when power is applied, and the 2 halves close together, locking onto the cross shaft. I either installed the locker wrong, or that's just the way it is.

I'm going to email Lock Right, and send them this picture, and ask if that is normal or not. If you look closely, you can see the teeth meshed together on the bottom of it. One thought is, the gap isn't big enough to seperate the 2 halves from the cross shaft. That would need a re-shim to correct it if that is the case. Another thought is that there is just no way to change it up, and I have to live with the way it is. AWD Mounties, have the front shaft turning the carrier at all times, so it really shouldn't be an issue for the carrier to be turning. My front shaft turns, but the Atlas case gears are not engaged in 2wd, so the drive shaft is free spinning inside the case. I need to go buy a new set of feeler gauges today, and get a measure of that gap to submit to Lock Right with this picture.

95 cad d35 carrier with lock right locker installed.jpg

Always Something!

Future reference...
The distance between the halves of the LockRight, that is between the two drivers, should be about 5/32-inch (.156-inch, or 3.86-mm). The tolerance limits are between .145-inch (3,68 mm) and .170 inch (4.32-mm). If this distance is much over .170-inch, either the case is quite worn or the thrust washers are missing or are too thin and problems should be corrected before proceeding further.
Ok, so this was what I posted back on page 43, 10 years ago.

Fast Forward to today...

Took another gap measure on the locker, and it was 0.157". I'm good there and still in the tolerance range. I really don't consider that a change at all over 10 years. No reason to change the springs on it. I also checked the torque setting on the ring gear bolts. 80#'s, so good there too. All that means, is I don't need to tear the axle assembly apart.

I think that the locker is installed as should be, and it is, what it is. Both axle sides turn when the pinion is rotated, the drivers tire will always turn the driveshaft, and the pass side tire spins freely (not turning the drive shaft), because of the central axle disco.

I cleaned up the entire housing with a brass wire wheel as best I could. Cleaned the inside with brake cleaner, and ragged it all down. Cleaned the backside of the engine cross member and surrounding area as well. Scraper and wire brush made a nice black particle rain, and it poured on me. lol

clean dif front 2020.jpg
clean diff rear 2020.jpg

Found a missing nut on the underside of the pass engine mount. The positive cable has a bracket that uses that stud to hold it. No idea if it fell off, or if the engine swap people forgot it. I found one for it, and zipped it on. I think I need to replace that cable anyways, as it is too short. I'm sure the body lift isn't helping that length either.

This wasn't a total loss of time & effort. I managed to massage the oil pan a bit, for the CAD housing clearance. Plus it all got cleaned up real good. 10 years of cross country travel, and some crazy good times wheeling, sure made a mess in an area you just can't clean normally.

Going to be a couple days before I get it all back together. Rains just moved in, and will be here for a bit. Cover back on with some Red RTV, and let it cure out in the meantime.

The pass side CV's rubber dust collar to the backside of the bearing hub, had separated, and left a nice rubber ring flopping around. I replaced that axle last October (1 yr ago). I called the parts store, and asked if that is covered under warranty, and they said yes. They ordered me a new one to replace it with. Think I am going to paint the steel cases black before both of them go in. Dr side is new, so no rust yet.

Lot's of yammering there, with no real good info, other than the locker checked out ok. lol Thanks for reading anyways!

That should keep the rust at bay for a while. lol

cv's painted.jpg

Good bead of Red curing out.

Dif cover on 1.jpg

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Great work as always. Back to your weight-to-power issue, have been thinking a lot about your concerns as have been strategizing the build of the new-to-me rig. Probably not going to build it exactly the same . . . after 25 years, kept on adding stuff that was "neat" but not really "necessary". Case in point, Rock Lights - - cool addition, used them probably twice. . . Going on the new rig? Nope. I could go on. . .

Is an option big-ass trailer and significantly less in-cab storage for base camp wheeling, and full-size in-cab storage when you go without the trailer? I mean seriously, how many cutting boards are required for a wheeling trip? Don't get me wrong, your threads on the BH, Pugly, and the trailer are all great reads, and the fact that you document your efforts with commentary and pictures helps make this site such a awesome source.

Just my ruminations, have been giving considerable thought on what I really "need" the new rig to be. . .

Best of luck moving forward,