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Tim's '93 Sport

1993 Ford Explorer Sport


VW 1.9l BEW TDI, stage 4 Malone tune, Garret VNT17 Turbo
TD Conversions trans adapter
M5OD from 1998 Explorer (Replaced original A4LD)
Stock Borg Warner 1354E

Front Suspension
Dana 35 TTB 3.73
Warn 37780 Dana 35 hubs
James Duff 3” long arm lift
Progressive coils
Dual shocks
BrianBuilt Fab diff guard
James Duff steering stabilizer
1993 Chevy K1500 brake lines

Rear Suspension
Ford 8.8 3.73 limited slip
Alcan Spring 3” lift leaf springs
1970’s Jeep J10 brake line

Wheel and Tires
Cragar Soft 8 16x7, 4in backspace with second gen center caps
285/75R16 Goodyear Duratracs

3D printed ash tray switch panel
Autometer A-Pillar gauge pod with Autometer boost and EGT gauges
Pioneer headunit
Pioneer 4 way speakers
Pioneer 10in sub hidden in place of factory storage pocket in trunk
Pioneer amp

Custom swing out tire carrier using stock rear bumper
Clear cut headlights with better bulbs
BrianBuilt Fab cowl light brackets with KC Rally 400 spots
KC 26 series amber fogs mounted behind front grille
Five foot FireStik for CB
91-92 Sport fender trim
First gen Expedition tow hooks

Other Modifications
1994 Jeep ZJ steering shaft
Custom auxiliary/upfitter circuits
A/C delete

Future Modifications
4.56 gears with lockers
Atlas II
Built in sliders (rocker panels are rusty)
Hidden winch behind factory front bumper
Limit straps and bump stops
Skid plates
1-2 more inches of lift






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For the A/C delete I used a non A/C box from a 94 Ranger and swapped over my Blower motor and resistor.


Plenty of space to change passenger side spark plugs now.
Non A/C Rangers don't have that vacuum canister, so I zip tied it to one of the heater core hoses. Should be fine there.




I'm actually getting about 1 mpg better without the A/C and the engine has a little more get up and go now. Nothing drastic but definitely noticeable.

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That's pretty slick. I wondered how you got them in the grill like that.

Yesterday I threw some new brake pads on the front and flushed the brake lines.

This was my last project on the Ex for a year or two. I'm having a minor operation on my right knee in two weeks and then a major one in April. I'm not going to be able to move very well for a while after the major one. Kind of sad because I like working on this vehicle.

Washed the Ex today. Figured it should be clean while it sits in the garage for the next few months.

Also pulled the plastic rocker panel trim off. Looks a lot better. Just waiting on some caps to fill in all the holes left behind.


Good news, recovery for the first surgery has been going a lot better than I thought it would. So because of that I've been able to do some work on the Explorer.

I removed the rear sway bar and added front sway bar quick disconnects. Used a clevis pin, two washers, and a hitch pin for both endlinks.


Then I was able to test out the disconnects yesterday. Went wheeling with just a couple friends to Mount Baldy and Mount Rosa. Both trails we were only able to get so far until we ran into 1-2 feet of snow and had to turn around and go back

Old Stage Road/Gold Camp Road overlooking Colorado Springs.


One friend had just picked up a 1989 GMC Jimmy and wanted to see how it did off road. And another friend was in a 2005 GMC Sierra 1500 with a 4" lift and 35's.

None of us got stuck. My friend with the Jimmy almost got stuck on the last obstacle of the day. We were able to chock his wheels up with rocks and he was able to get out.



His Jimmy doesn't look the nicest but it runs and drives really well and did really well off road.

Only got two shots of the Explorer. I'm very happy with how it did off road in stock form. Never had any issues with clearance or traction. And it seems to flex really well with the sway bars disconnected.



Can't wait to get a 2.5" lift on it with some 31's.

Got to go wheeling again yesterday. Went up Mount Herman road in Monument and played around on a couple trails up there.

Went with my buddy in his Jimmy, his dad in a Jeep Wrangler, and another friend in a Toyota 4Runner



In stock form the Explorer seems to flex really well. I actually managed to rub my rear tires on the inside of the wheel wells a couple times






Still very happy with how this vehicle performs off road.

Well I've been busy getting the Explorer ready for an overlanding trip. Some buddies of mine and myself are doing the Alpine Loop down by Ouray around the end of May beginning of June time frame.

My auto hubs were starting to crap out on me. They were grinding when I turned corners and would not engage or disengage very easily. So I switched them out for a set of Warn manuals. I went with the slightly heavier duty 37780. They seem very well built and I have no complaints about them. And the best part is they don't grind when I turn now:thumbsup:

I also installed a CB radio. I chose a Cobra 18WXSTII with a 4' FireStik II. I built a custom center console to hold the CB.




Eventually the console will house an auxiliary fuse panel with switches for off road lights, on board air, and a winch. But those items are way down the road.

I mounted the antenna to the side of the rear bumper.


Just wanted to pop in and subscribe to your thread. Oh, BTW you can get onto 31" tires with just an add a leaf in the back and 1" coil spacer up front. That's all I have on the 94 right now and it's got 31's. with a 2.5" lift you'd probably have to do some trimming, and would probably want to re-gear in the neighborhood of 4.56's but I bet you could fit 33's. I run 31's with the same 3.73 lsd rear you have and it's tolerable. Just food for thought.

Check out frontrange4x4.com also. It's a local "club" for people that live along the front range to get together and go wheelin. I'm on the forum there pretty much daily also under the same user name. Lemme know if you have any questions about anything, my knowledge and list of "want to do's " is far greater and longer than my wallet and I'm happy to help.

Keep up that nice work and if nothing else, hope to see you out on the trails.

That's good information, thank you for that. My dilemma is that I want to keep this Explorer as nice as possible. It's been in the family since brand new and I've grown up with it, so the thought of trimming almost makes me sick. I figured if I go with the 2.5" with 31's I'll still have pretty good suspension travel. I feel like with 33's I won't have as good suspension travel as I would with 31's. And eventually I'll re-gear to 4.10 so that I could go up to 32's if I wanted.

My ultimate goal, once I'm out of school and have the money, is to buy another first gen and SAS it. That way I have something that I won't feel too bad about tearing up.

I visited frontrange4x4 and it seems like something I would like to join. What all do I have to do to register? Are there any fees? Other requirements? I have my typical friends that I go wheeling with but it would be nice to be apart of a club.

Hope to see you on the trails. It would be nice to see some other Explorers out there.

There's no fees, donations toward the monthly site maintenance are accepted, but by no means necessary. The only requirements to stay active is to log into the forum a minimum of once every 60 days, and join on one of the many many runs put together throughout the year, one time a year. I myself joined a few last year, and I'm sure will join or host many this year as well. As for that I can always put one on down there on an easy trail, no biggie. If you want to join just register on the site and once you're approved upload a avatar pic, then go to introductions and post up some pics of your explorer, where you are located, what you've done to it so far and what you'd like to do. That's it. I'm on there quite a bit, (strangely I haven't been on there yet today).

As for wanting to keep you Explorer nice and not tear it up, I totally understand. Our 94 was bought specifically to build into a trail rig due to my 96 having over 260k miles and getting pretty tired and needing a lot of work. It's got A LOT of Colorado pinstriping though so be careful on what trails you go on for sure. Managed to pick up this 94 for $800 with 139k miles, but it has needed lots of repairs. Nothing major just mostly bushings, ball joints etc. They are still out there and we even almost drove all the way down there last year to look at a 1st gen 4dr that was already SAS'd, just didn't feel right though. You let me know whenever your close to being ready for one and I'll help you look.

I'll let you know for sure, but I think we might be joining a different group down your way this Saturaday up above Woodland Park at one of the gulches (metberry, longwater or hackett I think). I would have to check wirte ups on those but they might be a little more than you want to take a nice stock rig on. Regardless, we'll have to hit some of the other trails in that area once the snow is gone, there is some mild but fun trails up there.

Lemme know if you have any other questions!! Name is Chad BTW.

Thanks Chad.

Looking at the write ups and pictures for those trails, they don't look any worse than what I've already taken the Ex on. But yah, let me know. I'm always down to run some trails.

Cool, I did look it up, it is Hackett, Mettberry and Longwater. So the whole story is that Rocky Mountain Overland which we are also members of has some people taking their HAM license in Parker that morning. The plan is to be there to support them for that and then go down and run the gulches if they are passable. Kinda hard to say at this point but they are all in the Hayman burn area so they do get a lot of snow, hard to say at this point. There wouldn't be any need for you to go all the way to Parker just to turn around go back down. I'm sure I'll be able to get a feel for what the trails are like in the next couple days and we can try and make a plan from there if you're interested in going.

Hackett is the most difficult of the bunch and that's due to this "step":

It's at the top of "Hackett Rock" which is a big (like 100 yards long) rock. And this is only difficult if you're open and get crossed up and unload opposite wheels and you'll just spin. But I made it through twice before I was SAS'd.

Then when you start going down toward the river, there will be a split in the trail. Go left. If you go right, you'll have to drop down this:

I've never had a problem with this rock on the way down, but coming up, it hung up 3 rigs one day:

All 3 of The Gulches are fun trails. It's a great area. It's not super rocky like what you find in the Yankee Hill area. But you'll be lucky to get 2 trails in that day if you are starting after the ham test. I have never run all 3 in a day. It can be done but you have to start early. You use to be able to connect the trails at the river instead of doing 3 out-and-backs. The connecting trails are still physically there, but the MVUM doesn't show them so......

I remember reading about that trip in your thread.

The connecting trails are still physically there, but the MVUM doesn't show them so......

Yea I wouldn't want to take that chance. I stick to the MVUM's. Too easy not to with PDF maps app. We'll have to see what the snow looks like in a couple days I guess. I know they got a lot down there. Maybe some trails will be clear across the highway in the burn area? All I know is I need 4 tires turnin in some dirt. Are you going Tom?

Tried to do some exploring up off of Old Stage and Gold Camp road today. Made it about 10 miles in and the Ex started running way too hot. The gauge was pointing at the L in NORMAL. Pulled over, let it cool off, then turned around and headed home. Didn't have any issues with it running too hot on the way home.

Within the last 2 years I've replaced the radiator (twice, don't ask :(), radiator hoses, water pump, and fan blade. I've also done a complete flush of the system.

Did some research and seems like I should replace the thermostat. Logically that's what makes the most sense to me with the way it was behaving today. The current thermostat is the original so I would say it needs to be replaced anyway.

So I went ahead and ordered a new Motorcraft 190* thermostat. I also ordered a new radiator cap and new fan clutch. Radiator cap and fan clutch are the originals as well and the fan clutch doesn't seem to engaging fully and is kind of noisy.

These are the last parts of the cooling system that need to be replaced. I figured It would be a good idea to get these replaced because I really don't want to have any issues with the Ex when I'm all the way down in Ouray in June.

Parts should be here Tuesday.

I've been up those roads a few times last year. It's a lot of uphill, especially if your fan clutch isn't spinning the fan as fast as it should. I assume you still have the fan shroud? That thing is more important than most people think, acting like a funnel it speeds up the air being drawn through the radiator, and obviously more air = more cooling. Definitely change the t-stat, it's too cheap and easy not to. Something else to consider, I'm not sure how hard you've pushed that motor since doing the coolant flush, but if you introduced any air to the system at all and that air just so happened to make it to the pump, the pump will cavitate and you'll lose the pressure that pushes through the system whenever the t-stat is open. When filling it you want to to either park on a hill facing uphill making the radiator cap the highest point in the system for any air to go to, or unhook the highest hose wherever that may be, (I'll take a look at mine and see what we have to unhook) to allow air to escape while filling. As for staying cool the rest of the way, going downhill there's air being moved through the radiator and even if you manually dropped into lower gears to help control your speed going down and were running high RPM, you're introducing the same amount of fuel to the motor as if you were sitting at idle, and less fuel = less bang = less heat. So reverse that whole theory and that's what was happening going uphill.

You're totally on top of it though, just wanted to throw those couple ideas your way. Bummer you wont be able to make it tomorrow, but you're being smart and I appreciate and respect the hell outta that. I've skipped out on runs because I wasn't confident in my truck enough and didn't want to be the guy broke down on trail ruining everyone else's day, so kudos on that. Good luck on the repairs buddy!!


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I've been up there a couple times without any issues. Yesterday was the first time I had an issue going up there.

Yep, still have the fan shroud and it's in one piece. So I'm good there.

Since the coolant flush, I haven't pushed the motor hard at all. I like to take it easy on this vehicle. There shouldn't be any air in the system as I filled it as you described.

Yah I was hoping I could make it, but would rather be safe than sorry. Definitely some other time though.

As for replacing the thermostat, do I need to drain coolant? I keep finding mixed answers. I don't think I should have to drain coolant. But if I do need to drain coolant I would imagine I only need to drain enough to get it below the level of the thermostat. I don't want to put all new coolant in as the coolant in it now is only about 6 months old.