Found a unicorn


Shran

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My buddy that did an onboard water tank went to tankdepot.com or some site like that with measurements and got a part number that was close, and ordered a new RV water tank of that part number on Amazon. Worked out well because you can sort by dimensions. I'll probably just get a rectangular tank... I don't need lot, 10 gallons would more than suffice, and I have a little 12v ATV sprayer pump that I'm going to use - I use it now for my shower tent and it works great.
 


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Shran

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OK: How's this for a unicorn? I found a '99 Explorer Sport XLT today... with 7400 miles on it! And it donated its rear axle to my unicorn.

I just happened to be junkyard browsing for an 8.8 with 4.10 gears and found it. Apparently, the PO drove it up here from CA shortly after purchasing it, wrecked it, and it sat outside his shop for 20 years and eventually ended up in the junkyard. Would have been a nice rig to fix up but the frame is really bad, front clip is gone, airbags are blown and it has 20 years worth of water and dirt in the engine. Bummer. I actually drove past this truck on my way to work since 2006 when I moved here and remember it quite well...it just sat...and sat... and sat, and rotted.

But for $200 I did get a basically new 8.8, complete with all the brake components and e-brake cables. I'm pleased. I scored a set of 4.10 gears for the front from another forum member, and ordered an Eaton E Locker today... hopefully in the next few weeks I'll have a pretty significant upgrade done!

Just for proof...

 

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Here's my shiny literally almost new but 20 year old 8.8! I just did a quick wire wheel job to knock off the rust and shot it with industrial Rustoleum. Figured I would put a cool diff cover on it too while I have it apart.

I need the 3.73 rear end out of this Explorer to put in my stepside high rider bastard truck so this 4.10 swap is happening a lot sooner than later. More to come

 

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I got the single most expensive part of this build so far back from my buddy today, my front center section with the E-Locker installed. Also got the rear backing plates and caliper brackets sandblasted and primed. I need two seals for the front but that should be the last things on the list before I can do the install.

 

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Do the drain drill hole mod to the front diff?
 

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Do the drain drill hole mod to the front diff?
Do you have a link that shows more details about this? A drain would be super cool.
 

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Its really simple. Basically you just drill into the lowest diff mounting bolt hole & that bolt becomes a drain when removed. Just drill from the inside of the case to the threads, don't go all the way through the housing, if that makes sense.
 

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Also does the new E-locker still use the old design with the engagement ramps where it can unlock when changing forward or reverse direction? After wheeling my buddies JKU Rubicon I'm hooked on electric lockers. Bought an Aussie front locker for my Shortbed but I just might go ahead and put that in my STX & order an E-locker for it instead when I go to 5.13s.
 

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That's ingenious. I will have to do that.

I can't answer your other question. I hope that's not the case, the guy who set up my gears didn't say anything about that and he's installed a lot of them... Says he's never had a problem with any of them. Guess I'll find out 🤪
 

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you can see the engagement ramps I'm talking about in this video
 

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I kinda think that my e-locker probably is that style although I'm not totally sure. From what I have read, the standard issue "E-Locker" are all that style, but the "E-Locker4" is different and I doubt that's what I got. I'm sure it will be fine, we'll see though.

In other news, I have been on the lookout for alternate storage containers for all my camping junk. I have been using big plastic totes for the last couple years, and while that works fine, one of them is very heavy since it's full of parts and tools. I have to drag it in and out of the Explorer every night when we set up camp. I ran across a Pelican case at a pawn shop for $50 and permanently mounted it to my roof. It has slightly more room than my tool tote, which will be nice. Now I don't have to drag a 75 pound tote full of parts around, they can just be on the roof rack all the time.





Which brings me to my next point: Two is definitely better than one. I scored another dang near identical size Pelican case from a different pawn shop today for $75, I'm going to mount it in front and pack clothes or cooking gear in that one. Just need to take the handle/wheel assembly off and use some more u-bolts to attach it. I kinda feel bad drilling holes in these cases but they are exactly what I want and they need to be relatively secure.


 

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Axles swapping is done, I finished that last Saturday. I had more time into running wires for the front locker than anything else and ran into a small issue - where to mount the switch? I figured that I really have no use for an ashtray, it's wasted space, I never have anything plugged into the cigarette lighter socket, and there are very convenient ground, constant hot and dash lights hot wires right there... why not use that spot? So I cut up the side of a plastic garage door opener cover and made a blank switch plate.

I have a ton more room now for additional switches. I anticipate installing another E-Locker in the rear at some point if I decide I like the front one... could put a gauge or something in there, who knows.


Also... I mounted my other Pelican case to the roof rack. I discovered that my skottle and my cordless chainsaw will fit in one of them - that is a HUGE win, the skottle is always in the way and I don't really like it just chilling in the back.

The other big win is those fuel tanks - they still fit on the roof rack. AND!!! so does my plastic folding table, in that same spot!!! I'm planning on using a bungee cord to secure the table in place and will put my shower tent floor mat on top of it to keep it weighted down, another big win... less bulky items to move in or out of the vehicle every day is a good thing, especially potentially wet or dirty things like the floor mat or table.

 


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