My 2000 5.4l Eddie Bauer 4x4

Discussion in '1st Gen - 1997 - 2002' started by ExplorerTom, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    Honestly, there's not much to take a picture of. Imagine a bunch of 12 and 10 gauge wires and a couple relays.
     
  2. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    I finally got around to adding some cargo tie downs in the cargo area.

    I ordered 2 sets of these:
    http://www.uscargocontrol.com/Ratch...stems/Anchor-Point-Tie-Down-Kit-8pc-w-2-Track

    I was originally going to go with a couple 4 foot tracks. And while the adjustability of the track would be nice, the extra cost just wasn't worth it.

    I added the 8 L-track tie downs and 4 2nd gen Explorer tie downs.
    [​IMG]

    I hid 2 L-tracks and 2 Explorer tie downs under the carpet:
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    The extra length of each screw was ground down:
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    These clips are removeable when I don't need them:
    [​IMG]

    I used to have my junk in some milk crates pushed up against the back seats. Now I have it secured and still accessible from the open tailgate:
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. hartsemperfi

    hartsemperfi Well-Known Member

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    I just skimmed through this but lemme ask your still using the original headlight switch for switching purposes or are you running a new switch?
     
  4. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    Factory switch. All the switch does now is turn the relay on. The point of doing the rewire is to run thick gauge wire for all the high power stuff.
     
  5. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    Lately I've been noticing a popping noise from the left front. Tonight I finally jacked up that wheel and I put my pick-ax under the tire (makes a great fulcrum). There's a ton of play in the lower ball joint. Ordered a new lower control arm. I know I could get the ball joint itself for significantly less than the whole control arm- but the new control arm come with new frame bushings as well (which could be bought for significantly less as well.....). But now it's a simple remove and replace. No fighting with 209,000 mile stuck bushings, no ball joint presses. All I need is a torsion bar unloading tool.

    Passenger side is still nice and tight.
     
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  6. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    I did the ball joint test the other day (jack up the control arm and lift just the tire with something) and saw a ton of play in the lower ball joint. I bought a new lower control arm, which may or may not have been a great idea........

    With the old ball joint still installed, it was tough to see just how bad it was. But with it off and the boot removed....... Yowzers!
    [​IMG]

    It was dry. The grease zerk on top had come off (or was never installed?) and I could look down into the joint. And lots of play up and down even by hand.

    Getting the arm out. That was a chore. I was able to separate the torsion bar from the torsion key, but it did not want to come out of the control arm. And the sway bar link was frozen and had to be cut off. But the arm actually came out fairly easy- with the torsion bar still attached.

    I spent some time torching the control arm but I figured there's so much metal, it's tough to actually get any meaningful heat into it with the torch I have. Lots of PB Blaster was sprayed on it. I used an old socket held with a pair of channel locks on the end of the torsion bar and hit it with my BFH. Nothing. I decided that since this arm was trash anyway, I'd take the Sawzall and see if I could cut into the arm at the hex and relieve that clamping force. I didn't get all the way through it, but I got close.
    [​IMG]

    I went back to the BFH method and started seeing progress. Eventually it popped out.

    The old arm:
    [​IMG]

    The sway bar end link:
    [​IMG]
    You can see how the outer sleeve has become one with the inner bolt.

    Reinstalling was fairly straight forward. But I did need to clearance the sides of the bump stop and bottom of the shock attachment to fit the new control arm. My grinder made pretty easy work of it. I used anti-seize on the torsion bar ends just in case I'm ever back in there doing this again.

    The bushings at the frame pivot point were still good shape. Buying the whole arm probably was not the best choice financially. Oh well.

    I've still got a fair amount of torsion bar adjuster bolt sticking out. I don't think I'll need new keys for the amount of lift I want to do.

    On road impressions are great. I never thought the front end felt bad when hitting bumps, but now it feels very solid. Even driving around with a half connected sway bar is barely noticeable.
     
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  7. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    So after a week of driving around with no sway bar connected, the ride honestly wasn't too bad. "Supple" is about the best way to describe it. It wasn't quite as responsive though and I think it rolled pretty good.

    I ordered some Energy Suspension replacements that also included the sway bar bushings.
    [​IMG]

    I had to cut out the passenger side link as well:
    [​IMG]

    The sway bar bushings came out easy and are the same size as the old bushings.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The result is pretty amazing. Now the steering is really responsive. And going over bumps at an angle seems tighter than before.

    Not bad for about $35.
     
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  8. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    I know my trailing arms aren't nearly as bad as some that I've seen, but I figured if I was offroad, I didn't want my sorta rusty arms to fail at the wrong time.

    I ordered new arm from Supreme Suspension. Their prices are more reasonable compared to PMT.

    The overall project........ while not "hard" some of the bolts were much more of a PITA than others. The left upper bolt needs to be cut off because the gas tank is in the way. I think my impact gun needs to be replaced.

    Factory on the bottom:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Factory on the right:
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Getting the new links lined up took a little bit of creative rigging. The right side went in pretty easy but the left side I needed to use the factory tire jack to push the axle back enough to line the bolt holes up.

    [​IMG]

    The initial test drive is favorable. It's not a night and day difference but it seems tight and responsive. And the piece of mind of not having those rusty pieces back there is nice.
     
  9. poorboy1964

    poorboy1964 Full Access Members

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    Nice I have looked at the supreme stuff lift blocks and keys these look well made.
    Did they come with new bolts?
     
  10. ExplorerTom

    ExplorerTom Full Access Members

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    They did but i reused the stock hardware. The stuff they sent was grade 8.8 and the stock stuff is 10.9.

    The stuff is pretty well made.
     
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