Found a unicorn


Shran

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Downside to a bigger, thicker one is you simply need more heat. One morning last year during our CO trip, the little Coleman burner under my buddy's skottle would not heat it up enough to cook on. It was a combination of high altitude and temperature... even with a 20lb propane tank we just couldn't get it to heat up. Our propane stoves did the same thing and we ended up cooking over the fire. Rather would have had a smaller, thinner disc that time and they are sure more easy to pack up.
 


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Shran

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Made quite a bit of progress and we are still well over a month out for the AZ trip...feeling pretty good about this. Rear bumper is more or less done. I still have room to add maybe a water jug storage thing, cooler holder, etc on the swing out arm but haven't decided what yet and am just leaving it as is for now.

As you can see I had to add a brace going back to the frame. The tire carrier was heavy enough that I could twist the whole bumper with very little effort.

I still have the spare tire in the factory location as well as the second spare on the swing out arm. For now I will just have two at all times. I may, at some point, replace the factory location spare tire with a water tank or something... not sure... having water onboard would be nice.

I also built a bracket to hold my 3.2 gallon fuel packs on the roof. These things are pretty slick! They just stack and are a lot easier to work with than your typical 5 gallon plastic jug or even a jerry can.

Next on my list is replacing a leaking timing cover gasket. I was hoping I wouldn't have to do this and that new hoses throughout would fix whatever was leaking... and they sure helped... but the timing cover is definitely leaking too. I have time now to fix it and I'd hate to be topping off coolant all the time for the next 3-4000 miles.








 

Shran

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Well... this happened... I was going to replace just the timing cover gasket but I decided since I will have it halfway apart, I might as well go a little further and do valve cover, upper and lower intake gaskets, and injector o-rings all at once. So it is a little disassembled now but I'm glad I went this route - gives me a chance to clean the oil and crap off everywhere that the pressure washer can't reach. 27 years on the original gaskets and nothing was really leaking, exception being the timing cover. Not bad.

You can see where the timing cover gasket blew out and was seeping coolant. The paper appears to have just disintegrated over time.


 

Uncle Gump

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Nice job on the bumper and tire carrier. Kinda looks like you probably took an old bent axle and cut the flange off for the hub? Did you build the bumper itself out of box tube? If so... I'm surprised it was twisting.

I can't wait to get started on mine...
 

Shran

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Thanks, the tire mount is actually the outer 10" or so of a 7.5 axle shaft. The lockout hub is just a spare that seemed handy to throw on there... it's just sandwiched between the flange and the wheel. I had to grind down the middle of the axle shaft to make it fit. Good place for that greasy bastard to hang out till I need it.

The bumper is built out of pieces of 3/16 flat plate. Top and rear are 6" wide, the angled part is 4". I cut all the little sections out and pieced them in.

I'm not real surprised that I can twist it, the tire carrier arm is about 50" long and weighs probably 100lbs with a tire on it... that's a lot of weight and leverage. It springs back though so it's not like it's bending every time it opens and it's way better after I put the brace behind it.
 

Shran

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Small pic dump from our AZ trip below. We had a lot of fun, the wheeling was, at times, a LOT harder than I wanted to do but we made it back. Roughly 3000 miles round trip in a week. The trip took us through south eastern AZ, Lake Roosevelt/4 peaks trail, Lake Pleasant to Crown King, then up to Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, and Monument Valley.

My poor little Explorer is in need of some love soon. I bent something in the steering, dragged everything over a bunch of big rocks in a creek, both rear shocks and one front are blown out and something shakes but overall it did pretty well. Winch definitely got a workout.

The new skottle worked great. Cooked on it at least once if not twice a day.

Cool trivia regarding the last pic: the spot we camped in the Monument Valley area was the same location that John Wayne was at in his movie "The Searchers." One of the locals informed us about that.

I do not take credit for some of the pics - borrowed them from a couple of the other guys.









 

Jim Oaks

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Looking like a true Expo rig. 👍
 

85_Ranger4x4

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I have thought about picking up an Ex while they are cheap for a family wheeling rig that is a little more disposable than my '85.

Torn between a TTB first gen or a 5.0 second gen (with a t-case swap)

Looks like a lot of fun. :icon_thumby:
 

Shran

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I like the 1st gens a lot, obviously, but the 5.0 trucks are nice. The main thing I don't like about mine is how underpowered it feels with all my camping gear loaded up. Maintaining 75mph on the interstate is pretty hard at times. I don't think it'd be a problem at all with a V8. Going to 4.10 gears may be a necessity for me or I need to lighten my load, although I'm not sure how - I don't really pack that much stuff.

We are planning on doing a Utah trip sometime next year. Before then and besides the high rider lift, I am hoping to replace the factory spare tire with a water tank. Something small like 10 gallons or so would be ideal.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Sure sounds like nice campin' weather up your way... :ROFLMAO:
 

Shran

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Igloo camping, maybe! On the bright side, there's no fire danger...
 


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