The Black Hole | Page 174 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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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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Agreed on the redundancies, and one I'm thinking on, after the weigh in on the trailer has been done.

There will be some changes made when the trailer is in use for trips, ........................ if I keep it.

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So I was just reading Mountaineergreen's TM header install write up. I like what I he says Post install...

The biggest question, what is the difference over stock?

At first, not much. The first 10 miles I drove were not hardly any different than stock. I drove it the next day to work and pulled the battery cable to let the computer reset. I checked everything to make sure nothing was touching or rubbing. I put the cable back on and let the computer learn again. I set my programmer from performance to towing performance. I drove it about 30 miles and then hooked on to a 3,000 lb pop up camper and drove it back. The difference is night and day. I pulled the relatively heavy camper like a champ. Lots of power and torque that I could feel. The next day I put the programmer back to performance. The computer has figured out the new parts and it runs great. Acceleration is easier and faster. If you really get on it, it opens up and screams. Under normal driving, acceleration comes a lower RPMs effortlessly. This is only my third day since install at the time of writing this, so I will give reports over time.

Ok, so I'm thinking he didn't do a cam upgrade back in 2006 when that was wrote, and only had a preset programmer with a couple options, If I'm reading that right.

So if he noticed a change for the better towing a 3000 lb trailer, with just the header swap and a tow tune, I am feeling much better about what I'm thinking of doing this winter.

Stage 1 custom grind Comp Cam
Valve springs, retainers, & pushrods
1" intake heat spacer
New wires with heat socks on all 8
SCT Tune by Unleashed
Brett built Valve body
Possibly a better quality, Diff stall Torque Convertor ?? Will talk to Brett about this.

Not sure about a bigger TB, or MAF yet. I want to keep the stock air intake setup. I really like it as is, and I think this style is one of the best Ford ever made for a stock application.

Anything I'm missing for the stage 1 build? I'm only after a few more HP here, not a race engine. :)

You will want the converter
Excellent setup for sure

This will unleash the power potential the gt40 v8 can make in stockish form, the explorer cam (mustang HO basically) and choking manifolds along with the stock exhaust (4 cats, a muffler and resonator) just plain suck......this is a cobra 5.0 v8 and 1/2 ton transmission we should treat it as such!

Yes, those things will help a small amount, you will like it.

Rained for 4 days & nights. Fog lifted about 10:30 am this morning. A warm front pushed in, bringing with it, temps in the mid 80's by the afternoon. Put in an "Out of office" notice, went back at it, and got the rig back together. Cold front is returning tomorrow, dropping temps again, and more rains. Snow is in the forecast next week, so this was the big push to get it done in time, for the upcoming meet in a couple weeks.

The fight to get the front diff back in wasn't that bad, but wasn't that good either. I accidentally flipped the ear tab nut for the vertical bolt. I learned that when that happens, you have to remove the heat shield for the fuel lines to get it back over, and in place. LOL That took me the longest time.

New CV axles in. New synthetic gear fluid. New 12" limit straps. New front U-joint straps. New 3/8 grade 8 bolts for the UCA to Knuckle. New front Tuner Lug nuts, AND more oil pan clearance to the CAD housing.

Ran out of time to clean the liners and fire wall better. Was going to spray it down with de-greaser, and power wash it off, but couldn't. Still leftover splatter from when the power steering rack puked at 70 mph. I got the rest cleaned up pretty decent, so these can wait.

Full droop in all it's IFS glory! LMAO

Dr 5.jpg

Pass 3.jpg

I did have just enough time to install the new cargo hatch lock actuator. Works, but not all the way. It locks/unlocks, but only the glass will open. I had to open the glass, reach in, and pull up on the lock, to turn the hatch handle. I didn't realize this, until after I put the hatch back together. :( I do believe I can adjust it tho. There is 2 nubs on the thing that fits into the U bracket that holds it. I think I put it in the wrong one.

If I have time, and the weather allows before the meet, I will get the new LED headlights installed. But I have to focus my remaining available time to the trailer axles. Trailing arms need swapped with better pivot bushings. That will be indoors thankfully.

Enjoy the Nationwide three ring circus (Debate) tonight My fellow Americans!

whew debate is over now back to trucks!!

Well done shes looking really nice
I want to see the "tuner" lug nuts :) I run those spikey ones on our excursion and love them....they were cheaper then all the other options for a superduty???
You indeed should be able to get some adjustment out of that hatch lock fun!

Just plain style lugs in satin black. They are made for these wheels. I had an extra set of them. With all the work being done to this rig the last couple of years, they got marked up from tires being removed so much, and started to get rusted on the edges.

If it wasn't so cramped inside the hatch, swapping that actuator wouldn't be bad. My big mits makes it a royal pita.

I dream of changing up this front suspension for more articulation someday. Still on the fence about an SAS or a long travel kit with rcv axles. Both would cost me about the same in the long run, but thinking the long arm would be easier to do myself. only issue with the long arm, is you retain the weak sauce stock steering.

So I'm wanting to change the rear bumps on this rig, to something beefier and longer than stock. Airbags are a no go because of lift gap, and need all custom fab work to make a reality. Not wanting to go thru all that, and started searching for bump replacements.

Timbren makes a set for the explorer!

These are a 2k Aeon hollow bump, but replicate an air bag, with a single upper mount, that uses the stock bump location. 2k is for the max tongue load, which nobody will ever get over 1/4 of that on an Explorer.

Ordering them today from

If anybody is interested for the beefier rear bumps, the Timbren part # is, TGMFK10R

rear bumps 1.png

If anybody wants more cushion to an unmolested front bump mount, the Timbren bump part # is, TFXF1004A

front bumps.png

front bumps installed.png

Very good, you got a lot done there, soon before some cold air comes in.

I have those Timbren's in a box still, was going to put them on to help with loads with my spare vehicle. I may not need them depending on how the vehicle sets with new shocks, it has some brand of a helper spring shock now. They look very easy to install, I figured 15 minutes when the truck is in the air, if the shocks aren't in the way.

Don, just take the wheels off, and you will have plenty of free room to work with. I would go ahead and install them and let them help the leafs out, with your daily mail loads. Are your new shocks the ones with the helper springs on them?

So mine are supposed to arrive today. I previously called Timbren, and got the full height measure of them. These are made for the stock ride height, with frame to axle gap about 5" and these sit 1" above the axle.

Well, mine is far from stock ride height. My sprung under lift springs, leave a 10" gap LOL!

I originally decided to just make a drop mount for them out of sq 2" tube, to get it closer to the axle tube. But I just found a company that makes drop disc spacers, just for these Timbren plate cups, that fit between the jounce spring & frame rail. These spacers come in 1/4', 1/2", & 1" discs. You can stack them too. A set of the 1" are only $20.

Found here Timbren Rear Bumpstop Spacers

So do I stack a couple of them 1" disc's, or do I use just one 1" disc, and still make the sq drop spacer to get them even closer?

Timbren spring is 4.75" tall. Leaves a full 5" gap still.

Spring + 2" sq tube + 1" disc= 7.75" leaving a 2.25" gap. Add the trailer and it drops 1.25"-1.5", leaving about a 1" gap, as intended from Timbren.


Add two 1" discs, to the 2" sq tube, letting the jounce springs touching the axle with trailer loaded. I think this will work best for towing, but what effect they will have when wheeling on twisty trails, and axle is trying to articulate and stuff a tire? I don't want to stop it from articulating a bunch. A little is fine, I can live with that no problem.

What to do, what to do? Opinions anyone? I need to get these installed this weekend.

I think installing them without any spacer to start with will be best. With them in, then you can see better what spacer you might need, and if making a more solid mount may be better than the spacers they make. As you pointed out they should be easy to R&R, stick them in and see what you think then.

Well, for them to even work, they need to make contact with the axle under load. I only really want them for towing the trailer, to help the springs out, and help with sway when hitched up. I already know they won't ever make contact as is when towing. They say a 2" gap is too much for them.

Because of the time frame crunch, I think I will go ahead and order 4 of them, and then decide if I want to use 1 or 2 of them stacked. $20 loss if I only use 2 of them. Is what it is!

As far as the sq 2" spacer tube goes, I just realized the tube I have is 1/4" thick. Was thinking of using 1/8" wall. Oh well, more weight, & more beef to this tank. lol

Modifying is an adventure for sure, and every change touches other things. Fun fun, do it now before it gets cold.

Stupid time change. Up way too early on a Sunday, sipping coffee and bored. So a tiny update just cuz....

Timbren stops had arrived, but the spacers didn't. I checked on the order status at the website, and they are still processing, not even shipped yet.

So.... Running out of time, I went ahead and bolted up the 2"x3" spacers I made. Since the axle was moved back 1", the stock bump stop location wouldn't work. Offsetting the stops bolt hole an inch back, compensated that. So the stops bolt to the 2x3, not the frame rail. Just added the stops for now. Hopefully the spacer discs arrive before it's time to head out.

The pass side stop R&R is simple, the dr side is a bit more blah. The rear brake line, uses the stops stud to mount it's bracket too. The fuel fill hoses are in the way, and the rear ABS line to boot. For this sides R&R, the wheel came off to work at it. This make room for me to "Helen Keller" it from the wheel well. 15mm ratchet wrench (no room height wise for a socket) on the nut, and pressing upward onto the stop as you wrench away. Stop has a keeper pin to stop it from spinning, that goes into the frame next to the bolt hole.

The spacers should be easy to get on, when they arrive. Might have to flex the axle for droop to get a 6" extension/socket inside them stops to bolt them on/off tho. Plan is to leave these on at full working length, and remove the disc spacers when hitting the trails w/o the trailer. W/O the trailer & spacers, there will be a 3.5" gap, and these will compress some when the axle hits. Should work out well, for axle flex on the trails. This weekend will be the test run to see how it really works.

Oh, and there was just enough time left (sun sets way too early now), to get the Dr side LED headlight bulb installed. The Driver box on these things need mounted up, so to make room for that, the battery and the air filter box has to come out. These are most definitely way way brighter than the Halogen Silverstar Ultra's. I think I am leaving the orange marker/turn bulbs halogen. I like how they look with these clear lens when on. No need for brighter LED's for them, these work very well.

I will post pics of everything when 100% done. I was just bored this morning, and made this post. LOL

Installed the pass side LED headlight. glad that's over. Took an hour to change a dang bulb. Kept coming up with "How many People does it take to change a light bulb" jokes as I went. Yeah, just silly.

Had to remove the air filter assembly from the fender, the #2 relay box, & the CAD Disco relay cluster, to gain access to the back of the headlight. Needed to get at it from behind, so the Driver box can be mounted to the core support, and be able to "tune" the bulb. What a pita. Night shot later on with an edit.

When I had the intake tube (maf side) lifted up out of the way, I noticed that one of the intake tube clamps gear/screw, was resting on the upper rad hose. It had left a decent (but small) impression in the hose. I no likey like that. Has toooo doooo summtin summtin bout dat.

Redneck fix until I can figure out a long term fix for it, like a new hose. Wrapped the hose with the silicone fix it repair tape over the impression. Used a small pc of hard rubber (1/4" thick), and zip tied it under the clamps gear. While the intake tube clamp is still resting on it, it is just rubber to rubber contact instead of metal to rubber.

upper rad hose impression 1.jpg

redneck rad hose temp fix.jpg

I need to hit up a salvage yard and look for a 95-96, and grab the missing bolt and clip, for the air filter cone to inner fender. Didn't come back with one, from the 5.0 swap joint. Also need a new pass side windshield cowel trim pc. The rubber weather strip in the middle has come loose, and is trying to walk up the windshield. I don't think I can glue it back on either, as it is all curved now.

Besides the bump stop spacers not here yet, I think the rig is ready for next weekends cross state camping/wheeling adventure. :)

Timbren spacers arrived this afternoon. Just in time, but took some doing. Had to call the seller, and ask why the hold up. That was Monday. They said they dropped the ball with my order. Supposed to have put the hardware & spacers together as a kit, then ship it. Problem was they got side tracked with doing that, and forgot about me.

So I reminded him that I was told I would get them by last weekend, as I have a trip coming up in a few days, and need them installed. He said he would overnight them at no charge, as long as I would take eight 1/2" spacers, instead of four 1" spacers. Wait wut? lol Said the 1/2' spacers already have the hardware in the bags, and are ready to ship right there & then. I was like, hmm..... Well, alrighty then, send em!

So I installed them as they showed on the website, with the spacers between the frame and the metal cup washer. Like this:

spacer placement picture.jpg

Without the trailer, there is a 1.5" gap to the axle tube. With the trailer, there should be 1/2" gap, and that's perfect according to Timbren.

Plan is to remove the spacers after the trailer is removed, and before hitting the trails. With the tube spacer mounts I made, it's very easy (& fast) to accomplish that.

No trailer load.

Rear timbren bump with spacers installed.jpg

Will see how this works in a couple days from now.

you might need to add a strike pad to the top of the axle? As the leaf springs articulate the axle moves fore and the spacer will miss the tube at times? the solution is weld on a pad so it cannot miss...
I love this idea, somewhere between the factory bump stop (takes a beating back here, since moving here I have knocked off 3 factory bump stops) and a full hydraulic bump stop...nice

Good idea. Make the pads the height of the u-bolts, and curve the edges slightly front and back.

There is only a 2.5" gap between the u bolts. Can't weld to the outside of them and still install, remove the u bolts easily.

To weld a pad to the inside gap, only thing I can think of is using one double sheer tab, and a plate to the top.

1" wide double sided tab, will leave a 3/4" space, for a good weld bead to the sides. Then you have to fight the u bolts, as the pad will be over them.

What about making a bolt on plate mount, using 2 more u bolts, to the outsides of the leafs u bolts? Hmmm.

I like that idea of a pad with two more u-bolts, but that would be more complicated to make. It would have it removable, but welding a small pad to the housing would be easier. Both ways can be very good, I'd lean to welding a small pad onto the housing. They doesn't need to be welded along the top at all, just on each side front and back. The pad would only be there to spread the force evenly from the rubber bag, to the top surface of the housing. I'd think on it for a while, and decide which way would be better or easier to work with.

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Pros and cons to both methods.

Bolting will allow easy access to the leafs U-bolts, and not something that is permanent, and once made, it's transferable to another axle, in the event these do not work as wanted. Harder to make? Sure, but not really that much harder for me.

Weld on would be a simple 2 pc item, hot glued together, then permanently glued to the tubes between the leaf U-bolts. I would have to grind these off if this setup is found to be undesirable to this rigs use. They will also make R&R of the leafs U-bolts harder. I remove them every other year, or maybe once a year it seems. :(

I am just going to wait and see, how it does in it's current setup. I mean, it hasn't even left the driveway yet, so it's a bit early to know how it does. LOL