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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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Finished up making the shroud this evening. Ran out of time to get it installed. That's how life is lately. Plan plan plan, & do what ya can.

To make this work, and get the sides to sit flush against the Rad, more cutting & welding was required.

The 5.0 shroud is way too big (depth) for a 3" body lifted 5.0. I had to cut the top horizontal lip down to 3/4" in depth, which matches the sides, same as the 4.0L top is.

The bottom of the shroud. Well, to get this to not drop past below the radiator, I removed a few inches off it. 3" to be exact. This left no horizontal wall, and the box was only 3 sided to the Radiator. So.....

View attachment 341611

I used the upper cut off portion removed, (left side on the above pic) to make a new lower wall. The shroud is curved, with the center being the high point of the radius. I just traced the curve with my Milwaukee octopus ink pen, and cut it to shape with the Dremel cutting wheel. It was almost long enough. Left 1/2" gaps on both sides. No problem, just made some filler pcs from the scraps. Looks a little out of shape, but that doesn't matter. When I cut this pc, I left it a bit higher, so I could use the extra material to weld with on the outer seam. Worked out beautifully.

View attachment 341612

Welded in the lower wall on both sides, then the end fillers all around. Strong as new, or strong enough for this use. Nothing structural about it, so I'm good with it.

View attachment 341613

The caution fan lettering is now on the bottom. LOL

I might have to tweak one corner for the lower Rad hose and the extended fan shield, for the upper hose. That 3" body lift makes things interesting with this taller Radiator. So much easier with the smaller 4.0L Rad, and being able to drop it with brackets.

Hopefully this works. If not, I'm only out a few bucks, and a few hours of Life.

View attachment 341614

Placing it into position for mock up, it looks like there will be 1" of exposed radiator at the top. I can live with that. Good enough for this old man.

I love my plastic welder

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Anybody following this thread know if torque monsters will clear the steering shaft with the 3" body lift?

Got a line on a good set, but not sure about them working or not.

Edit: Was able to spend some time after work, and dig into this subject on the forum. Never mind.

Looks like I am going to learn how to install these TM's, using the how to write ups already here.

Pic for attention. 😋

BH Pee Wee drop Aug 2021.jpg

I know how to do that stunt. The headers that is.

you even know someone that has headers that have been clearanced for a 3 inch bodylift

Dont everybody hold back on my account. Let the info flow out, like a morning after White Castles.
you will need to ask mr. smith about this lol

The interference depends on the thickness of the steering extension adapter w/body lift. The adapter will probably need to get tossed out and you just redrill a hole in the steering shaft to do without it.

@boominXplorer It would need a longer intermediate shaft, as it doesn't reach the column w/o the adapter.

I did grab a double U-joint (cardone style) intermediate shaft out of a Torsion bar Ranger a couple weeks ago. It might be longer fully extended. Need to put it side by side with the Explorer shaft and see for sure.

You can redrill the upper shaft hole 1" down and it will reach with no adapter. There's enough slack for a 2" body lift in the stock shaft but not 3" body lift.

Looked at the upper column, and the top of the intermediate shaft. Can't wrap my head around the drill a new hole thing.

So these used Torque Monsters....

Seller said they was the -01 set, which is what TMH lists as the EGR set, which is what I have. External EGR on the 98.

Well, they are not the -01, they are the -00 style. So now I have 2 issues to deal with.

I sent Bob a PM here on the forum, asking if he would sell just the bung and insert adapter. Will have to call him, as it's been over a year since he has been here. The thinking is since they are just mild tube steel, a Mig weld would work, but a Tig weld would be best.

I can tell the previous owner had leaks with these. The flanges are pitted on the mate surface in spots, and the carbon is present on the outside of the tubes at the flange. I will want to have them machined flat prior to use. They don't look bad overall tho.

I found out that TMH does make, and sell a set, for a 3" body lift too. I wish I knew that prior to these used headers.

OK, so what do you all think? Are these worth the trouble?

You can file the flanges fairly well yourself if they are reasonably flat. The EGR bung may not be that bad, but placing it could be interesting. You might end up with a better EGR fit than the original spot, but that depends on the EGR pipe you use.

You can file the flanges fairly well yourself if they are reasonably flat. The EGR bung may not be that bad, but placing it could be interesting. You might end up with a better EGR fit than the original spot, but that depends on the EGR pipe you use.
I planned on using the existing stock EGR pipe. I seen it has to be manipulated a tad bit to work.

I hope that works out well. I've only done one EGR pipe, and it was my stock Mercury, but the pipe was an aftermarket kind with no adjustment section to it. It fit well enough, I had to start both ends gently and barely, then snug them up evenly.

I will circle back to the Headers after I get time to figure out the EGR add, and the steering shaft interference. For now, they are shelved.

Today I had some time to mess around with this rig. I decided to attack that sloppy Intermediate steering shaft, and try the IFS SLA Ranger Shaft out.

About a year ago, This rigs R&P blew on a trip, and a Mechanic swapped it out in Kansas. Well, he must have had a heck of a time getting it off. Not sure if it was stuck on, or he thought it came straight off the rack, instead of up, then back. He beat the snot out of it. It's just aluminum, so it doesn't survive a hammer and screwdriver to well. Not sure if this is what caused the slop in it or not. Can't remember if this gap is supposed to be there, but I don't remember it like that!



Once off, I placed it next to the Ranger shaft to check the differences.
The Ranger shaft is over 1" longer. This helps a lot when you have a 3" Body lift.
The lower female end is the same shape, and orientation.
The upper Female end is almost the same.
They use the same upper & lower bolts.

Both fully extended, in the next 2 pics. Both have the same amount of slide travel.




Ok, so here is what I really like about swapping to the Ranger shaft. it has a mini double Cardon U-joint on the lower end. No more Ball and socket to wear out. This will be my 3rd intermediate shaft now, and hopefully, the last!

So, the top female end.... The Ex top has an expansion slot to install over the shaft end, and closes up tight with the bolt.


the Ranger does not have this slot, and is solid. I had the hardest time fighting it, and it just wouldn't go on, no matter what. So....



Pried it open a tiny bit, then tapped it on, over the steering shaft end. Bolted it all up, and Bam, tight as a frogs ass. No more slop.

This was a $10 mod. To me, it's an upgrade, as I hated that Stock shaft with that ball and socket. A Steering extension can only be had, if you buy the entire BL kit, last I checked. This is one way around that expense.

That is very well done, a nice little upgrade.

TMH update:

After 1 unanswered PM here on the forum, a call with no answer, and a filled mailbox unable to leave a voice message, I sent Bob at TMH an email asking to sell me the EGR parts. A few days later, he replied.

He wants me to send the Pass header to him, so he can convert the header himself. He said he will also give it a new ceramic coating, and include a new ERG pipe. In his price, he includes return shipping.

I am currently waiting on a reply back from him.
I thought I might as well have him re-work the Dr side for the 3" BL too. Well, depending on what he says price wise, and If he can/want to even do it. This will take any stress or worry out of this install for me, even if the total costs end up more than a new set, after it's done. I can justify this expense by the reasoning of the initial costs making me buy them now, rather than procrastinating the purchase, for who knows how long. Fingers crossed he responds with good news!

Finally talked to Bob at TMH today.

He says the 3" body lift versions he makes are completely different then the non BL set. The Dr side just can't be safely converted to work, and he won't try again.

He went on to say that the intermediate steering shaft is why, which I figured as much. I explained to him that I swapped the stock shaft with a thinner diameter Ranger shaft, and it gives 3/8" more clearance. That intrigued him. He want's me to try the one I have on the Dr side and see how it looks.

Ok, so if it does indeed clear and works, I will be sending him the Pass side to do the EGR conversion. He includes a brand new pipe made for his bung adapter. He will also send a new set of gaskets.

So, if the Dr side doesn't work, I am selling these, and ordering a new set made for the 3" Body Lift.

He is at least 3 months out, and he is now doing this full time. Said the Covid situation has increased his orders. Guess everybody had the time to work on builds, and flooded him with orders.

I have a weekend run the first weekend of Nov, and I'm traveling for 10 days this month, and squeezing in 4 weeks worth of work into 3 weeks. Prolly be mid of Nov before I can even attempt the Dr side experiment.

And again!! Thanks to you there is yet another Mod/Upgrade (translate "Expense") to work on. I like that Ranger steering mod. Like you I'd rather have the double cardon, and the extra length is nice to think about as well.

Now... Should you decide to sell those headers, would they work with a 2" body lift? 😁

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And the Napa 10" extension soft line (Thanks RockRanger for the P#) I moved it away from the shock later on.

I went back a ways looking at all the work you've done and notice this post so....

Ummm....... What NAPA part number for a 10" extension soft line?