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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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Good thoughts, and that's what makes this forum invaluable. I think once in a while how things were done in the 80's etc, the lack of sources and feedback from others etc. We have it way better for that alone, and let's not even bother with social media(which I don't do anyway).

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Another trip under this rigs belt. This time, no problems getting there & back. Was only a 500 mile trip tho. lol @KurtECV joined me on the trip, kept me company, helped set/break camp, and was great to have along for the experience.

It towed fine keeping it in 3rd gear (OD off), and under 65 MPH the entire time. Engine temps hit 203, and trans temps hit 208 for highs, in a very hilly Ozark terrain. Averaged 12.3 MPG. Used 1 quart of oil. That oil usage still irks me pretty good. I think I am going to plumb the trans back to the new aluminum radiator.

The new headlights needed adjusted badly. On the way home, we stopped at Kurt's work, and adjusted them better for my leg home in the dark. I need to adjust the light housing dealio's, after removing the grill. The single vertical adjuster, won't do it alone. These things are stupid bright! I have never had a vehicle with lights this bright before. Holy mudder of gawd!

The bad stuff learned from this trip:

So there is a mystery clunk in the front end I need to find, and fix. Hope it's something simple, but knowing this truck, prolly not.

The steering is only about 75% capacity, and less than 50% in 4wd. It's a chore to turn the wheel, and off road, tires me out fairly quickly. I give up trying to figure it out, after $2k, and every component changed.

Brake pedal still drops to the floor randomly now & then in low range. I give up on this issue too, as it has been worked on so much over the years trying to fix it, it just makes no sense as to why it happens, even after an engine swap, and every single component changed....... AGAIN!

Rear bumper needs some love. The trailer shown it's weak point. It dropped at the hitch, and raised at the side tubes, hitting the fenders. I already have a fix thought of for that.

Dr door handle needs replaced. It lost it's spring, and the handle flops.

I reset the trip OD, and it froze. Won't work at all now. No idea what to do about that one, as it's a new to me issue.

The good stuff:

The new wheel well liners worked as intended. Stopped all the off road mud/debris from filling the voids, and cleaned off easily with a hose.

The rig works well off road. Best it ever has. For an IFS rig, it even surprises me how well it does. Level 3-4 trails was a chore or not even doable, for this rig years ago, now they are fair game.

The Overlanding people loved the setup, and was in awe as the rig walked right up and over obstacles they fought. I strapped one of them up a rock wall on a trail. Heh heh.

Pee wee's 11_2020.jpg

Camp set 2.jpg

Camp set 1.jpg

Overland hitched 1.jpg

mud 1.jpg

Pictures given to me by the event host, while on the trails. Finally, someone else took some pictures of this thing, doing more than just posing! LOL!

BH SMSO meet.jpg

BH smorr 5.jpg

BH smorr 4.jpg

BH smorr 3.jpg

BH smorr 2.jpg

BH Smorr 1.jpg

Few minor fixes, and it will be ready for the next meet in Moab, come spring. :)

dude, that setup is soooooo sick!!! I could look at those pics all day, so much to see!!
Keep at it you are doing GREAT!!

thinking about your brake pedal issue
I have seen this before
Air TRAPPED in the ABS pump
Two ways to get it out
Use a scanner that can power bleed the abs brakes (activates the pump while bleeding)
or go find a patch or gravel and get the ABS to activate many many times...the air will go downstream where it can be bled out.
Have fought this issue before a few times with these 4wabs pumps.
That is part of the reason why I like to delete the abs from my personal trucks, I can pump my own brakes pretty well.
Removing the pump gains you all this space under the hood, it simplifies the braking system and you lose weight, like #30 worth

The power steering getting hard at times, has either got to be heat or you have a ball joint, cv axle or tie rod that is binding?
That one has me stumped
While wrenching in the shop I think about this stuff, how hard you have worked and how shes still giving you some fits. I know the drill and my advice is to hang in IS possible to get all the gremlins out and once you do it will reward you for years to come.
Dang trucks!!
One of the sickest setups I have seen!!

It is a bit odd, because the brake pedal will be fine, then all the sudden it will drop. its intermittent. I watched it a few times over the weekend.

We would be descending down a small hill, then all the sudden gman would smash the brakes; because while depressing the pedal it would suddenly drop and he would have to lift his foot and smash the pedal to bring it back.

If i remember correctly, (correct me if im wrong @gmanpaint ) it is only in 4WD. or possibly more frequent while in 4WD.

ABS was deleted years & years ago. The ARB compressor resides where the HCU used to be.

Pedal drop is only in Low range, regardless if front CAD is activated or not. Vac ball has been inspected, as well as the hard CAD lines as a suspect, but all is well.

Seriously, I give up trying to figure the brakes out, after years & years of trying.

For the steering loss, I am also thinking suspension related. The main suspect is the Camburg TRE Heims, they might be binding as the ram cycles? Outer TRE's are fine, minus the crack in one boot.

I'm sorry I chimed in, I wasn't going to comment about the brakes because I also don't have any new ideas. The ABS is complicated and I thought it worth mentioning the air possibility, but that wouldn't be the pedal dropping.

All good Don. This brake issue is so old, and even tho it is had been discussed in this thread many times in the past, it is easy to forget details (like ABS delete), especially for those that have just recently joined in here. I try to word my posts to remind people, but sometimes that gets overlooked when reading, because my posts are so long winded. lol

The whole setup is an amazing engineering feat!
Sorry about the oil consumption. New valve stem seals would probably fix it, but It's an absolutely painful thing to do in vehicle.
I know its irritating.

You have done, and are doing amazing things here.

Thanks Dono!

I'm not sure what is causing the oil consumption. Could be the pcv system, could be valves, who knows. It had just over 100k on it when installed. I really had higher expectations from it, as the 4.0 didn't come no where near to that much oil loss. And that engine had over 200k, with some sludge build up on it, from the previous owners lack of care. Heck my 94 has 276k on it, and it leaks more than it uses. Lol

I moved the bump stops back about 3/4" today. They was just a bit to far forward of the tube center. I could see the rub Mark's up one edge from it. Now when the axle goes up, and back, it should hit square.

I picked up a galaxy 8.0" Tab A for mapping software use. Been searching for a mount that doesn't cost as much as the damn tablet does. They are either real cheap, or real expensive. I dont trust the real cheap ones. Lol

If anybody knows of a decent suction mount with an extension arm, please let me know, so I can check it out. Thanks!

SOB sinking ass brake pedal PITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can tell you this
Its either the master cylinder, the booster, the lines or a caliper! LMFAO!!
not funny I know

Well keep at it anyways....... I had a sinking pedal recently but that was on a 76 F250 and it was indeed a bad master cyl and a big fluid leak at the rear drums....the leak caused him to press harder on the master cyl and when it traveled too far it blew the seals...... fix the leak, new MC and we are good.

5.0 are not oil consumers, they typically drip a little from the rear main, possibly a few oil leaks develop around the valve covers but typically if they are using oil and burning it up = valve seals, of course, right? huge PITA but still totally do able with a good valve spring compressor

Well, hopefully when the cam swap, and related goodies happens, it will help with the oil loss.

Speaking of that work..... Are the OBX headers any good, or are they just a cheap low quality aftermarket part, with poor quality control? Waste of $$, or worth the ask?

It has to be in the master cylinder, i know its newer. The seals in the cylinder have to be by-passing.

With regards to the oil consumption this is directly from Ford via AllDataPro (per 1998 Explorer w/5.0L):

1. NOTE: Oil use is normally greater during the first 16,100 km (10,000 mi) of service. As mileage increases, oil use generally decreases. Vehicles in normal service should get at least 1,450 km (900 mi) per liter (quart) after 16,100 km (10,000 mi) of service. High speed driving, towing, high ambient temperature and other factors may result in greater oil use.

Define excessive oil consumption, such as the number of miles driven per liter (quart) of oil used. Also determine customer's driving habits, such as sustained high speed operation, towing, extended idle and other considerations.

Oil consumtion usually comes down to maintenance, oil change intervals and what type of oil, plus the air filter quality(people forget those). My last two 98's both eat oil badly. The prior owners didn't take care of the engine well at all. Using a quart every week or two is bad, that's on the care taker of the engine. I bet both of mine are leaking past the valves primarily, I'd say 85% of it is the guides and seals. The rear mains drip a drop a day maybe, same for the front seals. One of mine has a small leak from the oil pan front corner. R&Ring the heads is the only good solution to that kind of oil waste. I plan to rebuild some GT40 heads to swap on my 98 next year, that should help with the oil loss.

I had an old Saturn in the shop at ford and it burned so much oil that it would smoke out the entire building and burn your eyes. buddy of mine bought the car from the customer for the price of the diag, and replaced a quart of oil with ATF and ran it for a bit and now it runs like a top. the best $100 he ever spent lol

After 7 master swaps, I'm thinking more of a bad hard line connection.

Sounds like I should be hunting down a new set of heads!

I'd go at the brakes like most people, go back through the things already done, and hope something was missed.

If you can find a used set of stock GT40P heads, a rebuild is not that expensive. I'd put in new guides and an aftermarket valve spring kit, plus the typical valve job and machine work. All you're really after is the new springs, valve guides and seals, the R&R labor is the worst part.

I went over the R/R for the heads, being a pushrod engine, it should be a pretty standard repair.

IF you just wanted to do the valve seals to stop the leaking we should be able to do the on vehicle. Just have to pump shop air into the cylinder to keep the valve from dropping into the cylinder... pretty standard work

I struggled with doing my valve seals, as finding the right tool to compress the spring to get the keepers out was not easy for me. Then, It was back braking work for me. Kurt, I'm thinking your still a young guy so hopefully it doesn't hurt.

I'm with you though Kurt, just do the valve seals on the vehicle. It's the lesser of the evil's.
I found a pic in my 347 build thread with a pic of the only thing I could find (Tim could find, lol) that worked.


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I did it in the truck on my old 96 with one of these


I would not suggest it, that was the first time I ever did valve springs and man oh man what a chore that was. My hands hurt so bad by the time I was done... that was about 15+ years ago now!!! the twist style tool will work, but it was a real PITA to twist all 16 of the dang springs closed
I like the tool posted above, leverage is your friend.