We welcome the General 2.0 to the stable | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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We welcome the General 2.0 to the stable

Edit: Photo bucket has royaly screwed over forums across the world!! I'll work on getting pics put back in here as best I can as time allows. Gonna take awhile for me to do all my threads though. :mad:

Been looking at getting another Explorer for quite a while now due to the 260k+ miles on mine and me losing confidence in making it to wherever I'm going and back in it anymore. Been thinking all along I wanted another 2nd generation Explorer mainly because I just love the damn things. However, the TTB front end in the 1st gens were appealing as well. I'll leave it at this, I wanted either a 1st gen Explorer sport (getting hard to find, trust me!!) or a 2nd gen V8 AWD so I could eventually put that 5.0 in my current Explorer. Been looking all over the Southwest, from San Diego, to Phoenix and Vegas, Sante fe, Texas..............I was about to give it up and figure out something else when a 94 sport popped up in Aurora. By the time we saw the ad and got ahold of the guy we were the 3rd in line to get a shot at it. Game over. It only has 139k miles on it and wants $1000. I'll be damned if he didn't call the next day to tell us the 1st two didn't even show up and the 2nd in line got called into work, so we were up!! So we got a 94 sport 4X4 4.0L OHV, 5-Speed. Checking axle codes on the door sticker revealed it has the same rear end as mine, a 8.8" with 3.73 LS, I've been really happy with the limited slip on mine so I was glad to see it wasn't open at least. It's got a lot of little squeaks, pops and creeks to track down, but I'm happy with the deal. The body is straight, the paint is fair, I think we made out ok. Anyway, here's a few pics of it next to Coors Field last night. I'll get some more of the interior and whatnot when I get to do a little work on it. But for now..........





Anybody that knows me knows I DON'T do stock!! gotta get into that weird (well weird to me anyway) area of the forum where people know stuff about these 1st gens, and get doing some research and pricing. I havent been on a trail in over 2 months and it's beginning to take a toll!!!!

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[MENTION=270493]96EXXLTinCO[/MENTION] All bent tubes. for points welded or mounted to the frame:)

Right now i spend the time and monny for the Mazda, i need a roade legal car for work.. looking into audio and tires for it now. think i want the Cooper st maxx 265/75/16 and a DIN 2 Android radio :thumbsup:

Nice write up for the dach lights:thumbsup::thumbsup:

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@96EXXLTinCO All bent tubes. for points welded or mounted to the frame

Damn. That doesn't leave much room to cheat.

Right now i spend the time and monny for the Mazda, i need a roade legal car for work.. looking into audio and tires for it now. think i want the Cooper st maxx 265/75/16 and a DIN 2 Android radio

I've never had Cooper tires, but I never hear anything bad about them. Nice choice on the radio!!

Nice write up for the dach lights

Thank you!!

Not much to report today, loosened up the bumper and got it back up where it should be and took the tupperware off the bottom of it.


I also hit up the hardware store for a couple bolts and nuts and got that left rear shock mounted up top.


Took it for a test drive, MUCH BETTER!! No more banging back there in the back, and it feels like a whole different truck. Still had a little rattle/clang going on more towards the front though. I crawled underneath while it was running and listened, finally discovered that the new catalytic convertor was touching the transmission crossmember. The cat wasn't installed flat horizontally so one of the little "wings" on the corner was clanging with the vibration of the truck. WHO DOES THAT???? :fire: It had to be painfully obvious to the installer that that wasn't going to work like that. Dont have my welder or any matierial with me so pushed the cat up off the x member and jammed a nut between em. Might be headed to my town tomorrow where I can grab my welder and some other things I could use in the garage.

Also removed the front driveshaft to see what all the play was about and found this:





The cardan is blown out. Not doing anything about that for now as no definite decision has been made on lift so dont know what's going to happen with driveshafts. Don't to spend money on one we may not end up needing. ALTHOUGH, a couple emails were fired off today that could potentially put some wheels in motion, hmmmmmm. :D Now I'm off to eat some dinner and get after the research on lifts, driveshafts, you know..............the good sh*t.

Really happy with the difference in drivability today. Some new bushings throughout thing and it would feel like a brand new truck.

OH YEA, turn signals quit working. Fuse is good, had a spare flasher in the console, tried all different combinations of the 3 in the hazard and turn signal spots to no avail. I love electrical issues :banghead:

Small update, I couldn't wait to do something about the front driveshaft any longer, it was driving me nuts. Went to the Junk yard and got a front driveshaft off a low mile 2nd gen. Put a new U joint on the front axle side of it, and will install it tomorrow or Monday. While at the junk yard, I also found a brand new set of brake pads still in the box in a 2nd gen which will work beautifully on my '96, a universal/homemade cold air intake that's also for my 96, got a new right side headlight bezel as mine was broke, and some other various electrical components for when I start to add lights and whatnot. I also used black plasti-dip on the grill and headlight bezels and nightshaded the front reflector and park/turn signal lenses. Didn't even think of it when at the parts store but I also need a new boot for the slip joint on that front driveshaft :banghead: :thumbdwn: Although.......... might be a good reason to go back to the junk yard :bounce: but we'll see. I also picked up motor mounts and a trans mount, they're both not looking or feeling too good.

Still no definitive decision on lifting this thing :(


Got the driveshaft all put together, went to put it in............too short. APPARENTLY the front driveshaft in an automatic is shorter than in the manual :banghead: I should know better than to not research...........SOOO took it all back apart and had to use the boogered up driveshaft that was in it, but used the "new used" cardan from the Junk yard. Going to have to get one out of a manual now, so another trip to the junkyard, oh darn.

Doing a t-case swap today, I got a 1354 a couple months ago COMPLETE with everything right down to the double trim ring for the t-case and manual trans. Also got a trans mount and both motor mounts to put in too. Hoping it goes smoothly :D

Oh yea, had the drivers side hub off the other day, no c clip on the axle stub *facepalm* I need to check the bearings and repack them anyway and get some new seals in there.

Hopefully next post is later tonight and we have a functioning manual t-case!! Need some lift soon too, not that my 96 is big in anyway whatsoever but I feel like I'm driving a car in this thing....................

Didn't get it done last night, realized I didn't have a gasket to go between the two, and when I took the t-case to the cashier at the junk yard when I bought it, they wanted to charge me for a sensor that was on it, so I took it out and left it, he decided to not charge me for the speed sensor after that. Anyway, have a hole where that sensor was and didn't have time to figure anything else out today so I rigged up a plug for now. Also went to change the tranny mount, holes that bolt up to the trans were off a little. Damn Taiwan made O'reily crap!! No one else in town has a mount of any kind so old one went back in. Heading out there to stick the new t-case in right now, HOPEFULLY it pulls out of the garage under it's own power tonight!! Will update later...............

And it's done..............mostly. Need to go get some ATF and fill it, need to trim a little more carpet for the new trim ring, and figure a way to re-attach the shifter boots to the trim ring. Had to get it together to get it out of the garage, but the t-case will have to come back out at some point to do something better about the missing sensor hole, and I didn't have a gasket to go between the trans and t-case. Here is the plug I rigged up for the missing sensor, it's just a bolt and fender washer, plus 2 wire grommets out of a Harbor Freight assortment pack that fit nice and snug, I put it all together and then super glued it.





Hopefully it'll last until I get a chance to pull the whole thing again. I'll get interior pics after it's all done.

Gotta find a trans mount and pray that I don't have the same issue with the motor mounts as they are the same brand the trans mount was.

Still havent ordered that damn trans mount, or got the interior done yet, BUT, I did order a 3" Performance Accessories body lift yesterday. Found it on Amazon for under $30 DELIVERED!!! :eek: :D

Going to go start soaking some bolts in PB blaster ;)

Dang! Under $30 delivered? It that with the steering shaft extension?
According to the description below it does. I'm off to get a ANOTHER wheel bearing. We're looking good for tomorrow too by the way..........

Product Description
Performance Accessories 3-inch Body Lift Kit PN-793 raises the vehicle for adding larger diameter tires, without altering the factory suspension system and OE ride characteristics. The kit includes high pressure fiberglass reinforced nylon lift blocks, 3/16 inch thick laser cut and powder coated front bumper relocation brackets, a CNC machined and zinc plated steering extension, high strength hardware, and extension brackets. Manual transmission requires (Shift Extension PN-3700). A set of urethane wheel-well extensions (Gap-Guards 2wd & 4wd PN-6728) are available separately, and are used to conceal any gaps between the body and frame. This system can be installed in 8 to 9 hours and comes complete with everything necessary for installation. Additional Information: • Fiberglass reinforced nylon body blocks • CNC machined & zinc plated steering extension • Laser cut and powder coated front bumper relocation brackets • Laser cut and zinc plated fittings and brackets • High strength hardware included • Made in the U.S.A.

So got a nice deal on a used set of 31's. Plenty of tread left but they are aged a bit. They'll be fine for what I do anyway. The General has a wheel bearing squawking bad enough that I don't want to drive him, and I wasn't 100% sure about fitting 5 31's in a sport. So I moved the General's roof rack over to 2.0 The plan has always been to move it over, I just didn't really want to until I got my own crossbars made to mount it to. Oh well, seems like that's how most things are going with the little sport anyway, put it on just to take it off later. It sits up too high for my liking on the stock crossbars and looks kinda funny IMO. Plan is to make 3 custom crossbars out of 1" or 1 1/4" square and set em nice and low to the roof. I like the size on it though, pushes my lights out further to the front of the truck. Looking forward to....................okay NOT looking forward to the body lift showing up and the install nightmare to ensue, but definitely looking forward to the results of said lift. I got add a leafs waiting to go on and am scheming up a custom 1' - 1 1/2" lift for the front for now.

Thinking that since we're stripping the General of some goodies for now anyway, might as well grab his front driveshaft and put it in the truck that's gonna be doing some wheelin.

Was pretty impressed with the test drive after installing the 31's too, seems to have not lost a bit of power like the General did. Anyway, here's a few pics of the 31's on 2 point oh and the roof rack with lights that aren't wired up yet.

Oh yea, just so happens the neighbor has a 1st gen sploder too.




Going to build a different mount for the lights too. The ones on there worked well for a half a season and served their purpose, but I want something simpler with less hardware.

Came up with a plan to put the CB in slot where the ashtray is. I moved the cigarette light up to where the 4X4 switch was too. I still have the trim for the 4X4 switch and the vent out of the truck. I cut some old gift cards to size to fit in there. 5 on the front side and 2 on the back makes it nice and flush and once they're all epoxied in it will be nice and sturdy too. I think I will move the lighter wiring back down below and use that circuit to power the 3-way power point I have and will be mounting under the dash right below the CB, and then use the space where the 4X4 switch was to mount light switches.
Just finished up doing radius arm bushings last night. The pass. side was toast and clunking all the time. I used the old bushings as spacers under the coils up front, and today I put in the add-a-leafs. Feels much much better, that pretty much took care of the noises from underneath, but now it pulls left like a mother. Hope to finish up at least the trim where I want to put switches, and start wiring lights up. I have GOT to get some driving lights on this thing. These headlights suck, even after polishing. I've used driving lights on the '96 all along and love em. Haven't decided on any yet, but lord knows I'll prob get the same walmart ones that were on the '96 and use those till something better comes along. Also want to take the top lights off before I wire em up and plasti-dip em flat black. Those lights and the wheels are the only chrome and/or silver item on the truck and I want to black it out.
I seem to like this truck more and more every day. It feels much more solid now, still not sitting as high as I want or on the 35's I want it on, but being 6'7", it's much easier to get in and out of with the 1 - 1.5" lift and 31's. more of a slide in and out rather than a sit-down and stand up. :D
Off to the shower and then to read up on alignments..............kill me now.

EDIT: almost forgot, I grabbed one pic tonight while out on a test drive and running some errands. Here's the night it came home:


And tonight after small lift and 31's:


EDIT 2: Oh yea, the $30 PA 793 body lift I ordered...........canceled because they were out............jerks.

Been workin on something or another every night lately. Tonight I'm plasti-dipping the chrome lights on the roof rack. Wheels are to follow tomorrow and then it'll be blacked out. 2 more coats or so, let em dry overnight and re-assemble them in the morning, then on to the wheels. Here's my little bitty "shop" with all the light parts hung up or laid on the floor awaiting plasti-dip:


Where the 4X4 switch was, I use old gift cards to cut to fit and expoxy to glue them in, as well as each one to the next. Nice a sturdy. Will most likely go with light switches here now.


Alright, time for the next coat to go on the lights. I'll update with pics as soon as I get a chance between everything going on right now.

So I've been working on this little guy quite a bit lately, and an update is long overdue. To start with, the chrome lights up top, are now black:


Oh yea, and there's one more up there now too, so I'll have 2 100W spots, and 4 55W spots up there, plus the 2 55W on the front. I had 5 up there when they were on my '96 and did a great job when wheeling at night (and I wasn't following anyone) so I'm sure this set-up is gonna be awesome.

As mentioned before, he got a little lift courtesy of replaced radius arm bushings in the front, and pro-comp 13120 add a leafs in the rear:



I have been so sick of crawling under my 96 everytime I hit a trail and unbolting the sway bar end links, I decided no friggin way I was doing that on this one. Rear sway will most likely get deleted, although it has crossed my mind the a set of moog end links on the '96 didn't even last a year without the rear sway, so I'm wondering if the front isn't doing almost twice the work and wearing out faster? I may make the rear on this one quick disco too, we'll see. Anyway, nothing fancy, removed lower link bolt, drilled a hole, put it back in with a washer and a cotter pin, presto!! quick disco's!!
Not the best pic of it but you can see then new silver washer and part of the cotter pin in the lower link mount:


Been wanting to get out and see what this little thing can do, but one thing holding me back......especially for this time of year in Colorado, is a lack of tow points. Hitting trails this time of year, you're all but guaranteed to need a yank out of a bank at least once. There isn't squat on the front of these things and I just don't trust the rear bumper all that much. So grabbed a set of hooks off a S-10 Blazer during my last trip through the junk yard. Being as they were removed from a Chevy, I'm floored that they weren't used up beyond their usefulness.......................................anyway, started by removing the front bumper to see what we had to work with:


The front of these frames are made to crumple on impact. :banghead: Pretty sure the moon has a smoother surface. So after much contemplation and checking my inventory of available matierials, I welded a 1.5" plate along the inside of each frame rail, used a bolt to bolt up the back end of the hook and help hold it in place, Then triple passed everything with my little 110v Lincoln welder. Not too pleased that I will have to cut them back out whenever a winch becomes a feasible purchase, but this was about my only choice for now. Also picked up some new cheapy 55W halogens to supplement the headlights. I re-used one of the front bumper brackets to mount the lights. All temporary of course..............


With lights homesteading out front now, wired up a relay and switch in the new switch location (Where the 4x4 switch was) courtesy of the 4x4 switch vacating the premises due to being replaced by a manual shift t-case. The left switch is for the fronts, the other 2 are for the upper lights which I have not managed to get wired yet, but the switches are pre-wired for them anyway. I also mounted up some extra power points with an extra bonus USB port under the ashtray. Since it's full time hot due to using power for the original cig lighter, I added a switch to it also:


The empty space where the ashtray should be is going to be the new home of the CB radio. I have a plan to use the inner part of the ashtray as a mount for the CB.

What I was lacking the most now in order to hit the trails is a rear tow point. I picked up a rear bumper/hitch off a 2002 Explorer a while back and pulled it out to see what we could do. It only took a 3/16th shim on each side to take up a little room, had to drill one hole on each side, and elongate one other to bolt it right up. Made a custom license plate mount and added a light to it to stay legal, then a hook slide tube to attach whatever recovery is needed to be utilized (hopefully not for me) oh yea, I also mounted it upside down to keep it up nice and high and not destroy my departure angle:




I also decided that I wasn't feeling to "confident" in the replaced radius arm bushing turned coil spacer. I had some washers that were way to big to use a coil spacers, but a perfect sized hole saw allowed me to use both the old bushing, and the oversized washers together!! Could'nt have worked out better, and now I have no doubts about the spacers:


Then I decided to give him a once over (since we're hitting the trail tomorrow actually) just to see if there was anything major that needed fixed before the outing. Glad I checked..........the left side radius arm mount that I JUST replaced was split. You get what you pay for, and what I got was a repeat of the job. So I jumped online to see who had some moogs in stock locally. Only one place, Advance Auto, but wait a sec.........THEY ALSO HAVE RADIUS ARM BRACKETS IN STOCK????? If you recall the right side bracket had been worn through by the radius arm and the bushing there wasn't going to last long. No sense in putting in Moogs if they're gonna get ate up. So replaced radius arm bushings and the right side bracket, LOVE IT. Last thing on my list for the day was to dismount the crappy stock size spare tire, and mount up a 31" BFG A/T that came with a set of 4 Goodyear Wranglers I picked up from a fellow local club member for $40. mounted up the new tire and went to winch it back up under the back................who knows what's coming next?? :banghead: :banghead: doesn't fit. so in the cargo area it went for now till I decide on something else for it. (open to suggestions, though really dont care to put in on the roof). That's about it for now, next will be to get the big lights up top wired up and live so I can dare a*****es to flash their brights at me at night. :D Now it's off to shower and get to bed so we can give this thing a shakedown tomorrow, will try and post up about that tomorrow night!!

Reading this reminds me of my build lol...it's lookin really good!

Reading this reminds me of my build lol...it's lookin really good!

LOL, this will be a slow and cheap build as well!! But we're takin him out for a shakedown run today, can't wait!!

Awesome! Have fun, don't break too much and take plenty of pics lol! :D

Awesome! Have fun, don't break too much and take plenty of pics lol! :D

Looking like a group of about 12-14 trucks, so there should be plenty of time for pics!! It's actually a meet up and training for Trailsoffroad.com contributors. Since last August I have been running trails, recording GPX tracks and taking pictures in order to do trail write ups for the website. To date I believe I have 7 or so published? We're looking for people in other states as well since this will be a national website with trails from all over the country. Here's a link to my favorite write up I've done so far Geneva Creek If you or anyone you know out there is interested in checking it out, there is a place at the top that says "join our crew" where you can get more info and schedule an online meeting with Todd the creator of the site. There is a lot of perks to doing this and it's fun too.

If you like my write up, at the bottom of that page is a place to learn more about me, and I'm pretty sure it lists the other trails I've written up. Feel free to PM me too if you want some info from someone on the "inside" LOL.

So the shakedown run ended with a dark, slick run down the mountain after we all took turns getting stuck in the snow, some worse than others. Nothing bad to say about the truck really, front driveshaft was making a bit of noise, but I expected that after cobbling one together. A group of 6 of us, myself, 2 JK's, 2 FJ's and a taco all took turns getting stuck on a steep snowy hill. Then the taco blew out his rear diff...........litterally. A piece of the ring gear is sticking out through the housing so the taco stayed put for tonight. Just got home a bit ago as it was a hell of an ordeal getting everyone down the mountain. I'll try and remember to get some pics up tomorrow, gonna crash out right now.

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I saw that post on Colorado 4x4 recovery.

I'm shocked that the Toyota broke. I've been led to believe that Toyotas are indestructible and require zero maintenance because they are simply the most reliable machines on the planet.