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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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Looks like it did well Gregg.

It did real well this time out. The only real errors made was by the operator. LOL

Almost became a member of the Roll Over Posse at one point. :eek:

Having some fun.



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Went out for a lazy trail ride with the 33" KM2's on it to see what a difference the 4:56 gears & locker, made with the proper combo ratios. It walked up everything I pointed it at at idle for the most part. I was solo, so I didn't push it hard at all. Did some washed out level 2's and some creek trails only. The height difference from 33" to 35" is amazing even though it don't seem like much on paper. I did drag on spots it would clear easily with the bigger meats. So the decision to either go deeper with gears, or get a doubler was made.

A doubler is the choice for the main reason of future mods. No sense regearing the front axle, if the SAS is going to happen someday. I can stay 4.56 with the doubler for street manners, and only have to regear the front axle when the time comes.

Here's the rig taking a break in a nice field. The green in full on mode after a hard winter is a nice site to see and take in.



Any practical ideas on how to keep the clutch pedal from falling off the slave push rod?
It has come off a few times and luckily none of the times was in any dangerous situations. I don't want to push my luck anymore.

Was thinking of drilling a small hole and using a push clip. If there is something that is already made for it that can be purchased and installed, that would be nice as working on the pedal assembly is a real bear for me.

Great pic's mate! Is it missing a cir clip on the clutch or is that the way it was built?

Great pic's mate! Is it missing a cir clip on the clutch or is that the way it was built?

I really don't know to be honest. :dunno:

It sure could use a cir-clip to hold it in place, but there wasn't one on the pedal assembly when I got it for the swap. I have heard of others with the same problem, but never seen an answer to it.

Duct tape is the answer ! :p:

So $500 for the D&D kit? The way they talk, it's just a simple build with the kit. Trim the plate, some tig welds,a little JB weld or RTV to seal the gap on one side, and thats it. I know there is more to it than

So really the costs using the D&D kit, and supplying 2 t-cases, getting the drive shafts shortened & lengthened, plus a shifter linkage set up, is a bit higher than $500.

I know a guy in KC that will not only machine the parts, he will build it complete for $500. $50 more for the twin sticks with mounting brackets. I drop off both cases, and pick up the completed doubler later. I have seen his work in action on 6 diff rigs this year, and all I have to say is WOW! Everyone of the people that are using his cases have only good things to say.

Decisions, decisions. :D

Got a nasty squeak in the front drive shaft, so I removed it. After removing the rear yoke, I found out that the ball joint is toast. I have never seen/read anywhere on how to replace this part. Anyone ever replace this part before? I'm stumped on how to go about it.


Nevermind :D

I figured it out. Its a pressed in joint. Had to pry it out and press the new part in. I used a bench vise and the collar from the old centering ball joint to press it in the center of the flange. Make sure the seal is seated properly as it will come off and allow water in, once that happens, that pretty new ball joint is toast. I used a good bearing grease on everything for insurance.There is a strong little spring that goes into the opening of the ball. That spring in turn goes into the little tube thats inside the center of the drive shaft. Getting the u-joint carrier back into place is tricky. The spring loaded flange pushes the u-joint away as you try to get it lined up. Patients is a virtue here on this step.

I used my 4wd ball joint C-clamp with the impact gun to remove install the u-joints. Works perfectly for this. :thumbsup:

Coo Coo Coolio.:thumbsup:

I found out that the 1st gens skids are smaller than the 2nd gens skids after removing them both off the 94 & 95. 2nd gens are much wider and deeper than the 1st gens.

Went to the Junk Yard and grabbed a 1st gen Tcase skid plate for $5.00. :thumbsup:

Here is the cool part of this....

The 1st gen T-case skid plate fits roughly across the front frame rails of the 2nd gens, where as the 2nd gens skid does not, as it is at least 6" wider. So what does this mean?

It means, I was able to give my poorly protected radiator & condenser some much needed armor. :D

All that was needed to be done was drill new holes in the plate(stock holes are too close to the frame edges), and drill the holes in the frame rails. Bolted it up using 7/16"x5" bolts and lock nuts.

This is just phase 1 of this. I plan on adding to it in the future. I can now add some protection to the power steering lines and cooler, buy attaching material to the t-case skid and the cross member at an angle.The front of the skid will be worked on also to give it an upward angled lip. I placed it so the stock angle was in the rear on purpose. It is perfect the way it is to back out of something if it ever gets centered on it w/o catching.



Cool mate, you can never have to much armour under there! Great post.

Cool mate, you can never have to much armour under there! Great post.

:D TY!

I have been nervous about smashing the radiator ever since the HD skid has been removed. This will give me some peace of mind now.

Excellent work Greg. I wanted to bolt a plate across the frame like that to mount a winch. Can you post up some pics from the top of how it's bolted?

These pics are about all I have off hand Jason.

The plate was attached using 4"x4"x.1/4" angle. Cut them down to the depth of the mounting plate (7"), and bolted them to the frame with 1/2" grade 8 hardware. They are L brackets now, and the mount sits on top of them and was cut to fit the width snug like. Then the plate was bolted to the shelf sections of the angle brackets. Step bits are your friend for this task...LOL :D



Look's like a tranny or oil cooler looking for a BIG ROCK now :D

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Makes sense. Thanks Gregg. Is that for a winch? Looks like a slot for the fairlead on the front?