So once again I find myself with a rig in need of some serious attention. I originally bought this thinking it would make a good parts rig for my 97, but after seeing it and then actually driving it home after paying only $500 for it, I couldnt bring myself to tear it apart. It just needed some love.
Here is what Ive got so far:
this is where I found her, as I found her. She had sat for over a year, but fired right up.
After I drove her home I took some close ups of what I had in store for me.
severely faded headlight/signal plastics:
lots of moss, mildew, and lichen growth on the paint:
Interior smells a little, but mainly its just dirty, some mold. and some bleaching has occured on the carpet.
The leather is dirty, but intact and salvagable. Check out the sweet *** mobile phone!
Under the hood. 303K miles and runs like champ. No major leaks, some corrosion on the aluminum parts but mainly just dirty.
Ford "Mach" Stereo system works but display is blank - Fixed with power supply re-solder
drivers power door lock not working at all - solenoid replaced
Passenger power door lock jams in certain conditions - common spring issue, fixed with new springs.
passenger front door doesnt open from the outside - Same issue as above, fixed
passenger rear door handle broken, hard to open door from the outside - pending
most of the dash lights are out - replaced with new bulbs
armrest torn and latches broken - pending
drivers power seat doesnt seem to come far enough forward - seatbelt slider was sticky, fixed
wiper blades all trashed - ordered
A/C compressor cycles on/off constantly - disconnected for now
Lumbar pumps in seats dont work - switch issues, one fixed, one pending
drivers seat recliner lever broken off - replaced with salvage part
The interior was NOT pretty...in fact it was pretty disgusting. Im thankful the seats are leather because they are fairly easy to clean and restore. The carpet is pretty bad but I thought I had a chance to bring it back
The driver seat wouldnt go all the way forward. As it turns out it was just the seatbelt slider was sticky so I managed to get the seat to move forward and got a look underneath:
I shop vac a little as I go because I dont like working around moldy stuff, but once the driver seat was out this was was left to clean up:
so I started to clean up the leather. This is a comparison of just the first step in cleaning the drivers seat, compared to the still dirty passenger seat:
Close up of the difference:
Both seats completely cleaned and ready for conditioning.
Paint has been started on and this wheel has been detailed to show what they should all look like when fnished.
So a few days work has left me with the interior basically finished, I have a couple details left to do, like recover the armrest and clean the sunvisors but basically the hard stuff is done. I dont feel dirty sitting in it anymore and I dont feel like it will make me sick breathing inside it.
Here is the cargo end of it, without the extra cargo mat...
...and with the mat. The mat took the bulk of the abuse in its life, which is a good thing, but it was harder to clean.
back seats cleaned and protected:
Interior sans carpet during its cleaning process. I pull the carpet completely out and use a secret cocktail of cleaners and processes to pretty much restore it to factory clean.
Carpet back in after letting it fully dry near my woodstove. I did NOT dye this carpet or buy a new one. This is what came out of the truck after much cleaning.
Console cleaned, and reinstalled
remember this spot? with the moldy french fries and whatever else that was? all gone and sanitary.
and the seats go back in...
And thats pretty much it for the interior. I have a few details to sort out, but basically Ive moved on to the full on exterior detail. I will post an update once I complete the exterior.
Hey no problem Im just tring to get this up and running as a driver right now with stuff Ive had around for many years. Kind of what you did but with a little more elbow grease. This one might include a motor swap if I cant unseize the motor.
I kind of forgot about this thread. Life took me down some back roads and off the beaten path for a while. I finally had a chance to take some final photos of this project which will now go up for sale shortly. Ive had my fun with it, brough it back from the brink of going to a junkyard and made it a productive member of automotive society again,
So here are a few pictures I took today. The only photoshoping done to them is autolevel (ctrl-shft+L) and resize.
Yeah, i had to do some transmission and transfer case work on it, but the motor has given me no trouble at all so far. Its been very reliable for me, but Im almost positive some previous owner had it rebuilt. Its really just too nice to be 304K original.
previous fix for audio display intermittant didnt last - second attempt resoldered the power supply as per help from explorer forums. now working steady again
HVAC fan made noise then stopped altogether - solution was to remove the mouse nest in the squirrel fan and unshort the resistor
bad power window child safety switch made only drivers controls work - fixed by taking switch apart and cleaning the contacts
armrest cover shredded - replaced with black genuine leather
fog light mounts broken, lights flopping around, one bulb out- fixed mount with epoxy, replaced both bulbs with silverstar upgrades
Also from a thread on another forum here is the meat of the trans repair. I had all forward gears working fine just no reverse whatsoever. Diagnosed as a broken reverse band:
Might as well make this a diary of the process since I went ahead and dove in head first like I always do.
So, it took me a little over 6 hours to get the trans out of the vehicle. Part of the problem was that everything was stuck fast and the exhaust was pretty rusty. Rather than making more work for myself down the road by having to pull manifolds and drill broken studs I took my time, used plenty of Blaster and worked all my exhaust bolts out without breaking anything. It was quite a relief actually.
After that it was fairly routine but still it seemed like everything took extra effort to free up for removal. It doesnt help I dont have a lift and Im working on cold concrete with a near 50yo body, but...she came out!
That was yesterday, so today I cleaned up the outside of the trans. Easy off oven cleaner FTW! I then mounted it to an engine stand, an idea I got from the explorer forums and set to taking it apart:
I dedicated a work area and table to the job so I could keep everything in order, clean and organized. I have pretty good light in this spot as well.
So skip ahead to most of the day taking my time, being careful to note how everything came apart and which was was up...I came to the reason for this repair, the broken reverse band. Ive seen this exact same failure on others pictures. Seems like a weakpoint, but what do you expect at 300K miles.
The tab that the reverse servo pushes on to constrict the reverse band was broken off.
At the end of the day, this is where I stood, transmission torn completely down, everything bagged and/or tagged and all I can do now is wait for my rebuild kit to arrive. (note the laptop for the teardown manual on hard drive for assistance as needed). Man I love technology.
The guts of the beast. Everything looked really good coming out.
The problem and the solution:
and fast forward to a few hours later, completely reassembled:
I buttoned it all back up and its been working great. Feel exactly like it should, no harsh shifts, no slips. I saved myself a TON of money doing this myself.
I also ended up replacing the transfer case as it turned out the one in there had been run dry of fluid and the chain was badly stretched. During the process of finding that problem I ended up buying a replacement front carrier as well. I say buy, but it was really more of a trade screw up on the junkyards part so I ended up with it for free. Total cost of the transfer case and front carrier ended up at around $175 with fluids.
All said and done I have just under $1000 into the truck including an estimated cost for the chemicals I used that I had on hand. Kelly Blue Book on it even with the miles is just over $4k, so I think it was worth the effort!