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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, explorerforum.com 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




Pee wee's 11_2020.jpg
 
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gmanpaint

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Well, now what?

This just arrived this evening. lol

BH raw truss 3.jpg


Truss sections pre weld.jpg


If anybody remembers, way back when, I posted I wanted a Truss to handle the weight of the trailer for off road abuse. We also recently discussed the Timbren bump stops, and how they needed a pad welded onto the axle. Well, that was the kick in the pants I needed to get both of those figured out. My answer to both was a truss that can do both.

I found a small home based type custom fab shop in Ohio, that was willing to work with me, on a one off custom truss. After first contact and explaining what I wanted, he had the means, and the willingness to help. Not 3 years from now, not 6 months from now, but right there & then. Sick. Within 2 days, he had it figured out, the CAD render finished, and after talking out the details, he had it cut & bent. 2 weeks later, and I have it in my hands. Sicker yet. Now that is unheard of service, and I couldn't be any happier with his commitment, professionalism, and did what he said he would do. He didn't have the font I wanted for the wording, but instead of telling me no, he found it, and added it to his collection. Super sick. It also helped he is a 8.8 fan, and runs one in his 4 linked crawler. lol

Ok, so this thing....It's a full width low profile Truss. 1 pc 1/4" top plate that is 4" deep, and made for the bump stops to land on it at 3" tall. I can get rid of the upper spacers now. Woot!
Vertical walls are 3/16". There are 4 of them that are tabbed for perfect fitment to the top. The slotted inside tube supports are 1/4". Vent tube slot, and wide U-bolt slots for thick aftermarket bolts.

Now I have to decide weather I want to wait until spring to do this myself, or take it to a fab shop with a thermostat, and pay them to install it. If I can get a set price on it, that might happen. It's not a straight forward install. Besides the normal prep-work needed, there are a few odd things, that go along with the job. If people will only want to take a T&M agreement, I will wait until spring, and do it myself.

1) Sway bar mounts removed.
2) A hole cut on the top 4" horizontal plate for the Locker airline bulkhead pass thru.
3) New brake line made and mounting brackets for it. Threaded holes into the 1/4" plate.
4) Bleed these damn forsaken brakes.

Will get on the phone and start calling around to get a feel of what pricing is like around here for this. Might get lucky again, who knows. lol

For anybody interested in a custom truss, please reach out to him, and tell Casey that Gman sent you. His pricing is amazing, and is a pleasure to speak with. All around, nice guy living the American Dream. When you do what you love, it's no longer work!

He does more than the 8.8. Chances are, he can do whatever axle you have. Does more than trusses too. Plenty of pictures of his work, listed on his FB page.
Facebook link to his page Crawl Works Machine And Fabrication

For those that do not use Fakebook...
Crawlworks Machine & Fab
Email: [email protected]
Shop #: 1-740-491-7304
 
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410Fortune

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heck yes!! good progress and good to know people are still passionate about helping!!!
 
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fordpickupman

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Wholly rough journey......I've parted out rigs for that kind obstinance. (I hate Dodge wiring). I read through the whole thing looking for the SAS w Toyota steering box......lol. You are a loyal man gmanpaint. Thank you for logging your journey on here so that I could follow it and see what you have done.
 
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gmanpaint

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Wholly rough journey......I've parted out rigs for that kind obstinance. (I hate Dodge wiring). I read through the whole thing looking for the SAS w Toyota steering box......lol. You are a loyal man gmanpaint. Thank you for logging your journey on here so that I could follow it and see what you have done.
Wow. Sorry to disappoint with the SAS info.

I changed how I want to use the rig as I aged. Went from lets go all out, to lets just make it where it is most comfortable, with what I will use it for. I am not wanting to deal with all the hardcore rough physical stuff anymore. Relaxing longer trails with camping is plenty to make me happy these days.

This is a huge thread to read all of it. Thank you, for having the patience to read it, and not rely on the search feature.

Stay tuned, nothing seems to last forever on this rig, and it is constantly changing. LOL
 
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fordpickupman

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I think I spent a week reading it in little time slots.
 
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gmanpaint

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Well, after 5 long years since I last been, there is only 2 months left, before the 3000+ mile round trip across country to Moab. 😵

Spring is about to sprung, and I have about 1 month before the monsoons hit here.
Been waiting all winter to be able to work on this rig, and now the time is upon me.
This also means work will pick up too. 🤯 O man! Always a time crunch for these trips. lol

Moab to do list:

Wash the under carriage, from last falls trail run. LOL
Flip the front LCA bolts 180* (requires another alignment after)
Weld up & install the Rear Truss
Cut the fuel tank front mount to clear the driveshaft more
Install all new hard brake lines & / or replace the vac ball
Re-route trans lines to the Radiator and cooler
Get the engine tune done
Fabricate the spare fuel can mount
Fabricate the swingout drop table
Modify the Corbeau seat brackets & install the seats
R&R the Power steering pump
Torx the new R&P to spec

Hopefully I can check all of these off the list in time!

Need to purchase some spare 5.0 engine parts for this thing. Just small items known to break and can trail fix.

Serp belt
T-stat
Rad cap
Spark plugs & wires
Idler & tension pulley's
Coil pack?
Anything else to add, that is common to fail on the 5.0L?
 
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CDW6212R

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Be sure all of the coolant hoses are in good shape, and maybe a used DPFE and IAC sensor I might carry as a spare. The belt items are good in case something gets caught up into it, fluids would be next big items I would think of.
 
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gmanpaint

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Yeah, I carry all fluids, and have a couple rolls of silicone repair tapes for hoses. The tape should hold until I get off a trail, or to a hwy exit for a hose replacement. Hoses are fairly new, and bulky to carry as spares, but I do carry some length of heater core hose, and clamps already. The heater core switch is one I forgot about tho. I have had that break on me twice on the 94.

Never thought of an oil filter tho. Never had one fail me.

DPFE, IAC, and heater core switch, I can grab from the salvage yard, as those are pricey little parts. Never thought of those either.

Appreciate the feedback guys! Thanks!
 
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vroomzoomboom

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Well, after 5 long years since I last been, there is only 2 months left, before the 3000+ mile round trip across country to Moab. 😵

Spring is about to sprung, and I have about 1 month before the monsoons hit here.
Been waiting all winter to be able to work on this rig, and now the time is upon me.
This also means work will pick up too. 🤯 O man! Always a time crunch for these trips. lol

Moab to do list:

Wash the under carriage, from last falls trail run. LOL
Flip the front LCA bolts 180* (requires another alignment after)
Weld up & install the Rear Truss
Cut the fuel tank front mount to clear the driveshaft more
Install all new hard brake lines
Re-route trans lines to the Radiator and cooler
Get the engine tune done
Fabricate the spare fuel can mount
Fabricate the swingout drop table
Modify the Corbeau seat brackets & install the seats
Gut the interior & Install the sound mat.

Hopefully I can check all of these off the list in time!

Need to purchase some spare 5.0 engine parts for this thing. Just small items known to break and can trail fix.

Serp belt
T-stat
Rad cap
Spark plugs & wires
Idler & tension pulley's
Fuses & Relays
Coil pack?
Anything else to add, that is common to fail?

ah damit. HAD i known you need those parts, i would have just sent you them. i went through a bunch of spare stuff i got when dono sold me his truck, and tossed a bunch of stuff i knew i wouldnt need or want......
 
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donalds

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I think all of us explorer owners have a " stash " of parts
 
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vroomzoomboom

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I think all of us explorer owners have a " stash " of parts

well.....i have my stash, a few year ago i bought another members truck from (celly) him and he gave me all his spare stuff, and a couple of weeks ago i bought dono's and he gave me all his spare stuff (him and i always did have a "my parts are your parts" thing) so now i have 3 peoples stash.
 
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BKennedy

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I have every body panel but the driver's side doors in my shed, plus a complete wiring harness, three heater hose switches, a few boxes of misc parts, two PCM's, and a spare engine. I also have a bypass kit for the heater hose switch consisting of two 3/8" OD sections of pipe.
 
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donalds

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well.....i have my stash, a few year ago i bought another members truck from (celly) him and he gave me all his spare stuff, and a couple of weeks ago i bought dono's and he gave me all his spare stuff (him and i always did have a "my parts are your parts" thing) so now i have 3 peoples stash.
My grandpa bino used to say all the time with felling lol
Its metal you can cut it weld it and sell it Hold on to it
Its one of those things left over from the depression
It always stuck with me
 
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gmanpaint

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RotoPax project part 1:

Had always wanted to be able to carry a spare fuel can on this rig since day one. I bought a new Jerry can, and a Smitty built can mount, years and years ago for it, but never had a spot for it. It sat until it was eventually used on the camping trailer, in front of the tongue box.

Well, I had to remove that from the trailer, as it was obstructing the rigs spare tire swingout, from opening fully. This meant I couldn't open the rigs rear hatch, with the trailer hitched up. So back to no spare fuel can.

I decided I wanted to remedy this right away, and figure it out. I looked around on the webs, and local sale posts on social media. I found a person selling his RotoPax setup for cheap. I priced all he was offering and he was 1/3 retail anywhere for all of it. Now I figured I could fabricate something for these on the tire swingout, and bought them. This setup was two 3 gal cans, two individual RotoPax mounts, with two Rhino Rack adapters for each.

I decided against putting them up in the roof rack, as I wanted them lower for a couple reasons. This meant I needed to stack them together. I have seen others do this, and went to researching the special mounts needed. After finding the extension adapter, the reviews on them wasn't that great. Seems the biggest issue with these, is the bolt inside them tends to shear in half, due to the weight and off road abuse, and the cans fall off. I didn't want that to happen, so I thunk it out a bit.

Soooo..... Since the weight/forces was the issue on the bolt breakage, all I needed to use them for was to clamp them tight to the cans. By supporting the weight underneath them that would solve it. Ok, bought the extension mount, and got to putting this to paper.

Quick run for some 3/4" sq tube, and fired up the chop saw. I didn't want any open ends, so I 45* cut them. Once the box was made, I added 1/8" expanded metal for a bottom. A plate welded to the middle uprights for the Rotopax mount, and a couple rings for straps was added. To help support the weight from the 2"x2" main mount bracket, I added a couple runs of 3/4" tube a bit more than halfway underneath. A little triangulation goes a long way.

Entire thing weights 10 lbs.

RP Raw 1.jpg

RP Raw 2.jpg

RP Raw 3.jpg

RP Raw 4.jpg
 
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gmanpaint

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Rotopax project part 2:

Once it was all cleaned up, it got a couple coats of self etch primer, and a couple top coats of gloss black. I thought about having it powdercoated, but didn't feel like waiting, and the cost was $100 quoted to me. Meh....

RP spray painted.jpg

RP Ring paint.jpg

RP finish paint 1.jpg


Good enough for this application!
 
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gmanpaint

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Rotopax project part 3:

After the paint had cured out, it was time to install it to the tire swing.

On the left is the main RotoPax mount, with the Rhino rack adapter on it. On the right is the extension to stack 2 cans together.

Install hardware.jpg


I removed the rack adapter, and flush mounted the main mount to the plate on the box uprights.

Install 1.jpg


The bracket I made underneath it simply drops over the 2"x2" tube on the swingout, to the right of the tire. I made it to orientate this direction, because the other way would interfere with the swingout's locking latch. The box was pushed back a little so the box wouldn't extend past the spare tire, but leaves a gap between it and the rigs hatch.

Two grade 8, 1/2" bolts secure it to the tube.

Install 2.jpg

Install 3.jpg


Single 3 gal can test.

Install 4.jpg


All good to go!
 
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gmanpaint

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RotoPax project part 4:

Installed the extension adapter, and the 2nd 3 gal can. they both sit on the expanded metal, and the Rotpax mount firmly clamps them in place.

RP on 1.jpg

RP on 2.jpg

RP on 3.jpg


The military Jerry strap I have is about 6" too short to work. :( Need to find a longer one. Bummed about that, but oh well. It's just a secondary security backup, but one I will use. I added a cable lock to them as well. These have dual handles on the cans, so it made it easy to do.

I had to move the tag from the hatch to the bumper now that these blocked it. Easy as pie. I drilled and tapped 1/4'-20 holes into the diamond plate, and used stainless hardware. Added a new tag light, and used the stock tag light wiring harness. A 3/8" hole with a rubber grommet, some split loom, and Bam, all done.

On to the next mod!
 
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gmanpaint

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Trail Table:

Finished up the rear swing out mods over the weekend. Well, until I get another hair brained idea at least.

This one took a couple tries. Because the swing out was not made straight across, and has a kick out at the hinge, it made this little build interesting.

The Dr side angle of the tire mount sticks out further than the Pass side, so it's not flush across. The first attempt failed after I realized this wouldn't fit flush against it, and could not be mounted as planned. Back it went to the table, some cutting, some grinding, some new metal welded, and hit it at a different approach for mounting/use.

Confused yet? I was for a while too, don't feel bad.

All welded up using 1/2" Sq tube, and 1/8" expanded metal. Hinges of choice are sealed Exterior Gate hinges. These can stand up to the elements. Total thickness of it is 5/8".

TF1.jpg


Off to the paint booth, for self etch primer and Hammered black top coats. Once cured, it was bolted to the swing out by the hinges. I tapped some holes, and used SS screws.

To hold it closed, a locking toggle type clamp latch was welded to a 1/8" plate, then bolted to tapped holes. The latch catch had to be extended, so a small pc of angle was used, and welded up. You can see it in the picture above.

TF3 latch install.jpg



Instead of using a length of chain, or cable to hold it, I opted for a 15"x 25 lb gas prop. Reason being is that the Gate hinges can only open to 90*, and pretty much hold the 5 lb weight of this table. The gas prop lets it open slow, and holds it tight (assisting the toggle clamp) when closed, for a rattle free application.

TF4 Gas prop installed.jpg


Table down, and swing out opened at 90*. Not the best placement, but it was this or nothing. I can make it work.

TF5 open 90 degree.jpg


Swing out opened 180*. this gives more room to work around the table. This will most likely be the position when used, as it frees up all the camp box extension items when used.


TF6 opened 180.jpg


All closed up

TF7  Closed.jpg


And the gap between it and the hatch door.

TF8 Hatch gap.jpg


Have a brand new Trash-a-roo bag for the spare tire. Will have to remove the tire cover when using it tho, which is fine as it will only be used on trips.

Well, that's it for now. More planned, but not sure if I have time to get them done before the next major trip out. Have a shakedown run with a friend in a couple of weeks, and the rig needs to be usable for that. We shall see.

Next mods are not all Foo Foo, like these last couple have been!
 
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