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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




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Was nice out on a weekend, so I spent a little time on the rig. Had a couple small projects I wanted to get done, and did just that. :)

1st small project was getting the one pc steel shovel back on the basket. I made some mounts out of 1/8" flat, painted them, and mounted them up. Works great, no slop, nice and tight.

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2nd small project was to get the side lights mounted and wired up. These match the rear lights. 18W Cree LED, and amazingly bright for what they are.

Mounted.

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All 4 lights on, view from the rear.

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Flash on to cut the direct glare.

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These will work great when camping or on the trails at night when light is needed. :)
 






The 35" Pro Comps are going up for sale very soon. :)

Great trail tire, but too aggressive for me on the road. The purpose of this rig is to travel long distances on it's own. A more road friendly tire is on order.
 






Got an email from 4wd supply about the tires. They are on a national back order (again), and are 4-5 weeks out. :(

I'm going to SMORR the 23-26 this month, and really wanted them installed for this trip. What a drag man.

Oh... If anybody wants to join me out there, the more the merrier. I could use some backup on the trails, and someone to chat with around the campsite. :D
 






I would think about joining, but my explorer won't be ready, RZR is ready.
 






I would think about joining, but my explorer won't be ready, RZR is ready.

I'm mainly going just to get out of the house. Been almost 2 years since I have gone anywhere. I have asked a few others to join me there, but haven't heard back from most yet. If you can swing it, that would be great. Rig or no rig, and the rzr is always a good time there. :thumbsup:

Edit:

I just can't seem to catch a break when it comes to something like this. I'm cancelling the Smorr weekend. :(

Last year's fall meet was rained out, and the same thing happening this weekend. Rain on Thur, all day Fri until Sat morn/afternoon. That means half the park is going to be a flowing river, and 90% of the trails will be impassable for me. That and tent camping in the rains with upper 40's temps isn't for me.
 






And to add to the reason my avatar is what it is.... LOL!

Installed the New 35" MTR/K's using the road forced balance machine for optimum wheel to tire match, then Dynabeads for balance. Only got it up to 60 mph on a short stretch of road, but they ride nice and smooth, with no vibrations. Best part is they are nice and quiet. Objective achieved! :)

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Sigh...

Confirmed the rear oil leak is a blown valve cover gasket. The leak is bad enough that it has soaked the Dr side inner Cv joint. :banghead:

This will make two Intake manifold removal jobs to do now, since Pugly has a leaking lower intake at the rear water jacket. :eek:

Anybody want to come by and help knock em both out? I will supply the BBQ stuff and liquids for the day. :D
 






No takers I see. Fine... More BBQ for me, myself, & I!! :D

Pugly's intake gasket first, this weekend, and if work/weather allows, then the valve cover/intake gaskets for this rig, the following weekend.

Spoke too soon. Ordered the parts from Rockauto and saved $30, but they wont be here in time for this weekend. LOL!
 






Just curious, why are you tent camping when you got an explorer?? Too tall to sleep in the back?
 






Just curious, why are you tent camping when you got an explorer?? Too tall to sleep in the back?

Too Much stuff is why! :D

Between tools, recovery gear, spare parts, coolers, etc.. there is no room for me, and I prefer a nice comfy bed to sleep on.

I have slept on a twin size mattress in the back before, and I didn't like it much. I am tall enough that my head hits the back of the seats/console and my feet hit the cargo door.
 






Too Much stuff is why! :D

Between tools, recovery gear, spare parts, coolers, etc.. there is no room for me, and I prefer a nice comfy bed to sleep on.

I have slept on a twin size mattress in the back before, and I didn't like it much. I am tall enough that my head hits the back of the seats/console and my feet hit the cargo door.

Makes sense, I took the back seat out and built a sleeping platform. I dont do tents. I'd rather sleep on an alternator than in a tent

Btw, hows the new tires doing?
 






On this rig, I have no idea on the tires yet. They have 4 miles on them so far. Haha!

I have experience with these MTR's already on a diff rig tho, I'm sure they will be the same. :)
 
























So it stopped raining for a day here. After work I decided to get that template for the bumper plate done.

Plan was to add a Jamscal tire swingout to it once the plate was welded on. That's just not going to happen.

After I got the template made, it was obvious that the swingout won't work. Hinge pin location would block the hatch from opening. The edge of the plate needs to be halfway across the Tube bumper to sit flush to weld a bead, so the edge of that plate is only 2.25" away from the hatch. That would push the swingout tube past the edge of the plate, and possibly past the edge of the tube bumper. :(

I looked to see if I could pull the entire bumper back some to give more surface area on top to accommodate the swingout, but that can't happen with this bumper either. Reason being is the 1/4" C channel mounts are welded on the tube, and there is not enough going along the frame to drill new holes to pull it back as much as needed. I would basically be rebuilding this bumper. :(

I need to save save save and just get the entire bumper & swingout ($800) from Jamscal in the future. :banghead:

For now, I am going to go ahead and get the plate bought, cut, and welded on the tube.

Pics got turned after the upload for some reason. :dunno:
 

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Clearcoat failure on a black paint job is fairly common, and this rig is no exception. I called around to see how much a bodyshop would charge to paint it. Pffffttt!! Um, no thanks. LOL! Time to come up with a cheaper solution.

I messed around last winter and tried to use a Carbon fiber wrap, but failed miserably attempting the install, so I just removed it, and decided to use some Plastidip spray instead. 1st pic below is a sad attempt of installing the vinyl. lol

I got to the 8th coat of gray colored dip, and the can dripped a big glob (tried a new spray tip) in the center, and messed it up bad enough that I would have to peel it all off, and start over. I decided that I will go with the matte black next time around. That day is tomorrow, if it doesn't rain. :)

I just removed the hood, brought it in the garage, used wide blue painters tape close to the area to be painted. I used 1/4" painters tape to get the clean line with the curve. You have to remove & re-tape every 2 coats and pull it when the dip is wet to retain the clean edge. Tiger stripping is gonna happen some on big surfaces with a rattle can. The spray pattern overlap needs to be about 75% on every pass. This big area really needs an HVLP sprayer and product bought in volume. Oh well, I used what I had at the time, and learned a lot about dip in the process. I will post the final pic when I finish, but for now, here are a few shots.
 

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How timely. I noticed fading in the back corner of the power dome and was looking at pictures of plastidipped hoods tonight. Can't wait to see your results. I was hoping to do this Tuesday or Thursday this week.
 






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