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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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So true! Same thing happens to me Every time I go to replace something-maybe its just us Crazy 95 owners....

We're not crazy, everybody else is! :D

So, ended up breaking 3 of 4 U-bolts taking them off. :(
I am waiting to hear back from to see if they have replacements or not.

Since the basket is removed, it was a good time to clean the roof of all the crud that collects on the paint. Took a good while to get it to where I could claybar it smooth & shiny again. When you have a roof basket on, you only pressure spray under it, and you cant get the crud off all the way. Fast forward a few years, and it really builds up! :eek:

Lights, camera, shovel, Hi Lift jack, and wire looms all had to be removed. What a PITA. Should have stayed inside & watched football today! LOL!!

Edit: researched the u-bolts. They said they have none, and can't find any to order. They are a couple inches wider than the largest they can find, rendering the rest of the mount useless. These Coleman racks were made by Thule in CAN but were discontinued in 08-09. So I have to make my own with some u-bolts I can find at a hardware store.

So, if I am going to be working on it, I am going to go all out and paint it a custom color, Fabricate my own tire mount, and hi lift mounts. Change out the old rear H3 lights to LED's while I'm at it.

Edit #2 :
Nobody sells a U-bolt these size. Problem is they are to small in diameter for the width they need to be. So I picked up 4 ft of 1/4" steel rod, cut them to length, shaped them in the vise with a dom tube for leverage arm, and going to thread them to a M7 x 1.0 because I lost my SAE tap & die case somehow. I started practicing on the scrap rod, and I already foresee much aggravation ahead. 3" of thread, on 8 posts. Barf...puke...blech... tic tac? :fart:

Got all the hardware for the basket spare tire mount. Found a piece of 1/8" carbon sheet in the garage, to make the lower & upper sections of the tire mount. Just need to draw, cut and drill them out, then paint. :hammer:

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Roof basket looks new again, and I changed the color. Brackets are finished. U-bolts came out nice.

Made the Hi-lift jack mount, & painted to match the basket to blend in.

Today I'm making the spare tire mount for the basket. This is all done on the ultra cheap with leftover project metal, and new hardware being the only out of pocket expense. I looked up the costs of these items if I bought new, and said, umm....Yeah, I can do that myself for a fraction of the cost. :D

Pics will be posted after it is all done, and installed. :thumbsup:

So I got busy with life, a little behind with the update.

Ended up making version 2.0 of the bottom plate mount for the tire holder this afternoon. Everything got clear coated this evening, and is curing out overnight. Might have a chance tomorrow after work to install it all. Until then, a teaser pic showing just the basket and of the color choice. :D

No flash showing the gloss clear coat over the paint.


The next couple of pages are what I call... "Mickey Mouse Mods". Simple, cheap, and done out of the want to do something, but no funds to do anything substantial. I documented these mods simply to add to this thread and keep it current, and have a calender reference for them. Read at the risk of being bored to death and don't expect much. :D

Mickey Mouse Mod #1

Not the coolest or breathtaking mods I ever did, but this one worked out pretty nice. It was an extreme budget build. Out of pocket for new hardware was all it cost me. I had everything else laying around the garage already.

So I got the basket installed this evening. Not 100% done with it as the lights and shovel still have to be mounted and the wiring cleaned up. :)

So...Here are the U-bolts I made with 1/4" plain rod. Shaped, threaded, and painted. $4.99 for a 48" rod. :thumbsup:


The upper bracket plates that clamp the U-bolts to the basket.


Mickey Mouse Mod #2

The hi lift mount made from 1.5" sq tube, U-bolts, and 5.5" full thread 1/2 bolts. Since I am a novice fabricator (ha!) I always make one set of holes larger for adjustment wiggle room. :D



Mickey Mouse Mod #3

Tire mount bottom plate 1.0

Tire mount bottom plate 2.0

Installed bottom view

Top view with 10"x 1/2" Eye bolt. Used a Stanley Max gate latch to hold it in place when not in use. To reduce noise, I used plasti dip on the eye & the U-bolt. Chose to mount the plate under the basket so the U-bolt posts were pointing down not up into the wheel. I will remove the latch, and eye bolt once I can find a J bolt to replace them. On Hind sight, the latch is going to be into the wheel area, and might hit it. :rolleyes:

Basket mounted with Hi Lift installed. Rubber shock bushings are on the studs, behind the lift bar, then a washer and a wing nut, clamp it all down. Super easy removal and install :thumbsup:

Camera installed. White wires are for the lights. Still have to tidy up the wiring. Waiting until the lights are installed. :rolleyes:

Top tire mount plate bottom side. Eye bolt comes thru the center hole, and a wing nut is used to clamp it down tight. Bolt fits in a lug stud hole in the wheel for a keeper.

After I get the rest installed, I will get the tire in there, and take more pics of it, and some full view pics of the whole shebang.

Nice work Gman, those u-bolts look like they came out good

Thanks Brian!

They weren't as bad to make as I thought. Threading was the hardest part, but once I got started, it went pretty fast.

And thanks to Turdle who suggested using the rod to make my own. :)

I like it. Have you checked if the wheel will hit the gate latch? I think you might be ok there.

It clears the current spare wheel. Not so sure if it would clear a different style wheel. It's just temporary until I find a 10"x1/2" J bolt tho.

Very Cool and it sure doesn't look like you did it on a budget!

Ruh Roh!

I broke a fuel injector connector on the pass side next to the fuel regulator somehow. :(

Need to splice a new one on the harness. Just have to find one first!!! :eek:

Close up picture? ( I bet I have one-lol)

Close up picture? ( I bet I have one-lol)

Hold that thought. I asked someone earlier about sending me one. If they don't, I just might be asking you! LOL!

No picture, but it is a simple 2 wire OBD1 connector. I broke the clips off it somehow, and part of the plastic housing went with it. It won't stay on tight, and works it's way off. I do have a roll of that emergency repair tape that is supposed to be chemical and heat resistant (to a point), so I am going to use it until I get a replacement connector.

OK, Tomorrow I am sending you one disassembled fuel injector connector and one assembled one so you can see how it all goes back together. :D

OK, Tomorrow I am sending you one disassembled fuel injector connector and one assembled one so you can see how it all goes back together. :D

Thank you Jon!!! :notworthy

Def rather replace the connector itself, than splice into the harness. :thumbsup:

Finally had a chance to get the spare tire mounted in the basket. Man I forgot how hard it is to get these things up on top of these lifted rigs. :rolleyes:

I have a normal wing nut on the pass thru bolt for now. I have a larger Aluminum spinner nut on the way. I ended up just cutting 1/2" off the eye bolt to make it a J bolt. Removed the gate latch.


Yup, it's up there and ain't going anywhere.


Lights will be on in a few days. Oh, and the reason I did all this, was to make some extra room in the cargo area, for the upcoming SMORR meet. I am bringing extra stuff and needed the room back there. The spare will most likely go back on the rear cargo mount. I could carry two spares for long haul trips if I wanted I guess. LOL!!

I have an idea to mount something else on the Drivers side of the basket. If I have time after work this week, I will try to get it fabricated and mounted up. :D

Mickey Mouse Mod #4

So here is my idea. Yes it's a real Idea, from my brain. :D

Took a 34"x3"x1/8" Carbon plate, did some measuring, drilled some holes, made it look purdy with sagging paint (I almost stripped back down because of that sag, but I said screw it. lol), attached a few things, and mounted it on the roof basket. Came out just like I imagined it would. Thanks Brain.

Paint drying hanging from the rafters. Pardon the messy garage.


Security brackets, and these fancy space age silicone quick clamps attached. These things are amazing. Heat/UV resistant, and grip tight as heck. :thumbsup:


Mounted on the roof basket.


This can accommodate tools with handles up to 2.25" in diameter. I had a Maul Ax handy, so I stuck it in there. I will lock it in place with a long slide lock to the basket.


Only thing left to do to the basket, is get the dang backup lights installed, and the new spare tire spinner nut on when it arrives.


Nice idea.

Don't forget to put a guard on that axe blade before you head off anywhere!

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Nice idea.

Don't forget to put a guard on that axe blade before you head off anywhere!
What is this guard you speak of? :p:
That is a sweet way to mount tools!

Thanks Daniel! :) I kinda dig it too.

Got the lights back on, and the spinner nut on the tire mount. I'm all done for a while again. LOL!