SenorNoob's '88 Ext Cab "Build"


adsm08

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Thanks man. It's not very different from yours.
I think that's why I like it so much. Even 20 years ago you never saw one like mine around here. As far back as I can remember I have only seen a handful of them with that color scheme, and one was in a junk yard, another was on fire.

I dread the thought of working on it just because no matter how small I always end up with some kind of injury.
See, there you have the wrong attitude. They aren't "injuries" they are "memories".
 


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SenorNoob

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Alignment done today.

It was an interesting experience. The guy used the slip plates and a level to set it. He never even looked at the chart for my bushings. I'd bet it's still way off, but it drives pretty good now. It doesn't scream around corners and will almost hold a straight line going down the road. It doesn't return all the way to center though, it gets to within about a half inch of rotation of the steering wheel and stops.

I'd have felt much better about it if he at least used some kind of tool (tape measure?) to get the toe right. I guess that's what you get for $40 though.
 

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This came in the mail today. Thanks to BigMark303!



I really don't even have any idea when I'll get around to using them yet. But someday.

They're bigger than I thought. I guess things just seem smaller on a 24" screen.:dunno:
 

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S'more parts today.

I can't take the rattle anymore.
It MUST be fixed.



Just under $100 for everything from the cat back except the muffler. It was with the truck when I bought it. I do still need a couple 2" clamps though so..

I needed this to swap out for the 1-piece driveshaft.



AND, quite possibly the hardest part in the world to find good in the junkyard. Already installed.



Also fixed the horn today. I have a working horn for the first time in like 3.5 years. Now i just need to get a relay and the air horns installed.
 

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The exhaust is in, but it's not quite right. The last piece has couple odd bends. To get it to fit without hitting somewhere I had to double up on the hangers right at the back so it could hang lower.

It looks like the correct way to fix it would either be cut it and run it straight out the back or cut it just before the last bend and rotate that relative to the rest of the system..

It's definitely quieter now. If i let it idle while rolling I have to look at the tach to see if it's still running.
 

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The exhaust is really in the way now. :icon_twisted: Those superior shackles pushed the spring even lower.... And the Explorer springs with a Ranger top leaf pushed the frame farther up. Pics will be coming soon. I had to leave the blocks because I didn't have u-bolt that would work without them.

A few notes form the work:

I HATE spring-eye bolts.

A sawzall is less than useless on thick metal.

I HATE spring-eye bolts!

The Dorman spring hangers set ~0.5 in closer to the frame. (And since I replaced one on the front and one on the back you can imagine what that did to my axle alignment.) Would it be safe to just remove the bolts from them and stack washers under each hole then tighten it back down?



Those bolts are 14mm NOT 9/16. (same size but the thread pitch is different) BTW, 14mm x 120mm was what I used to replace them.

The bed is REALLY light. My cousin and I lifted it right off without a problem beside getting it high enough to clear the tank filler hose.

And did I mention:

I HATE spring-eye bolts!!!!!!!!!!!!:pissedoff:

The springs configured that way do ride stiffer, but it's actually better. It doesn't smack the bump stop over every bump now.

The one-piece driveshaft was done at the same time. Man, that makes a big difference in the way it looks down there.

I'll have to get some pics up ASAP. Probably Wednesday. I don't even know how much lift it has yet.
 

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As promised pics on Wednesday.


The only in-progress pic I have. I was running around trying to get things apart so much the rest of the time that I just gave up on pics



Here are a few after shots though:

Center of the rear wheel arch:



At the bumper:



Full side view:



Also, random pic of my old backup light sockets. I replaced them and knocked out a few dents today.



Comparing to my old pics, I went from 31.25 to 35 inches at the wheel arches. That's 3.75 inches of lift. If I subtract the 1.5 inches gained from the superior shackles, I ended up with 2.25 inches of lift from the 95 Explorer springs with the top leaf replaced with a 95 Ranger top leaf. I'm not sure how much of that is just from my springs being worn out though. I used the Ranger top leaf just because I could get poly bushings for it.

The packs that went in were about halfway in-between the Explorer pack and the 95 Ranger pack in free-height. Oddly enough, the worn out 88 packs were about halfway between the 95 Ranger packs and the combo that I'm using.

I noticed how expensive the washers to space out those spring hangers were gonna be so I'm just gonna replace the other 2 hangers and hope it's right afterwards.
 

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The dent itself doesn't look like it will cause a failure but may have slightly bent it. I've straightened a drive shaft before on the truck. We jacked up the rear end and secured it well with axel stands. The ran the truck in drive at idle and used a sharpie against the turning drive shaft, holding it firm so it left a short line on the concave part of the drive shaft. We then used a jack on the drive shaft at the middle of the sharpie line to straighten it. We repeated this about 10 times in various locations on the shaft (all in the middle 1/3rd of the length) until the sharpie drew a perfect line with the driveshaft turning with no gaps, and it got rid of all vibration from the shaft being slightly bent. It's a bit crude but it did the trick.
 

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That's certainly an interesting (and dangerous sounding) method.^

I've come to the conclusion that either my pinion angle is off (due to the shackles), or the driveshaft is bent. Since it only vibrates (although bounces seems more appropriate) under load I'm guessing pinion angle. I'm going to lower the truck by raising it the inner hole on the shackles the next chance I get and see how that does..
 

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Well, the inner hole on the shackle is a no go. The spring eye is too big to fit there. I ended up getting a set of the 2* wedges superior says to use with the shackles and things seem to be mostly fine now.

I still have a minor problem, but I think what's left is engine related.... It only happens under load and at lower RPM. 1250 or less in third, 1500 or less in fourth, and 2000 or less in fifth. It seriously seems to be missing. I really need to pull some spark plugs and see if they tell me anything....

I suppose it could just be lugging at those RPMS but it didn't before lifting the rear.

I'm actually hoping it's off because of an exhaust leak I have right now. Although I wouldn't think it would be affecting the O2 sensor since the leak as after the cats and the sensor is before.
 

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Well, apparently it was a bubble in the fuel rail. I didn't think that was possible with a return style fuel system... I only wasted $70 to figure that out. So not too bad.

I did get another alignment done the other day.



I know the camber is extremely low, but it does return to center and that 3.7 went to 4.0 with the guy that did the alignment in the drivers seat. I spend most of the time with just myself there and I weigh about 80-100 pounds more than he does. I think it's pretty good.
 

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Ok, the miss is NOT fixed. It just varies in intensity with no apparent reason..

No KOEO codes. Haven't checked KOER yet.
The new plugs after running ~150 miles show almost no signs of wear. (Slight pitting of the electrodes.)

The only thing that was touched when the springs were installed that could effect running is I pulled to in-tank pump to get some idea of what's going on with my fuel gauge. (It hovers randomly at any point it wants below where the fuel level is at. With the sender out of the tank it reads right on at every position on the gauge.)

Not knowing what to make of it, I bought some tools that I hope will help. At the very least they should be useful in the future. Vacuum gauge. Fuel pressure test kit. And compression test kit.

I've got Friday off and all day is gonna be spent on the truck. Wish me luck.
 

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Testing it right now.

The fuel pressure is steady at 32 idling, 40 with the vacuum removed from the regulator. It spikes when "goosed".

KOEO and KOER only give the 111 System OK code.

Vacuum pressure varies slightly from 19.5 to 20.5 in. at idle. Drops to 8-10 ish when "goosed"

The TPS tested 0.93v throttle closed and 4.40v at WOT. This with a VREF of 4.72. All with KOEO.

I'm waiting for it to cool enough to pull the plugs to do a compression test and post up pics of the plugs...
 

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I had to take a break from the headaches of the miss earlier so I did this:



Then I got back to it and found some VERY serious rust in the fuel filter. Chunks that if they were any larger wouldn't pass through the line. The element rattles in the housing. Unfortunately it still isn't fixed with the new filter....

(FYI, the tank is new.)

I was unable to complete the compression test due to the lack of a 14mm long reach adapter for my gauge.
 


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