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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
The Splash is flying high again. Gotta finish up the refurbishment under it.

The tall jackstands I use with my hoist are a pain in the ass sometimes. To park anything under the truck like a small tractor or my golf cart or whatever I have to move two of the stands out of the way then put them back. But I won't work under anything without them. I always have them in place even if the truck is just parked up there not being worked on. After I bought the hoist I gradually got accustomed to ducking at the right time under the truck. For the first while I banged my noggin regularly by slightly misjudging the headroom. Nothing serious. Just enough to cuss and rub my old melon vigorously. I can walk around under the truck automatically bobbing and weaving as I go now. Rocky Balboa would be proud of me.
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Discussion Starter · #162 ·
Meanwhile.. back at the gofast garage..

My plan for August is getting back to the V8 Splash project. Next step is getting the 5.0 and auto trans ready to use. The automatic will be going to a trans shop to be inspected and see what it needs. It was in the '96 Explorer I bought for the V8 swap parts. Has about 120,000 miles on it so I imagine it needs some work.

After much thought I decided to go carb'd for sure, so now I need an intake, a carb and some other parts. I'm just really tired of computers and electronics and schematics. Spent many years immersed in that stuff. Burned myself out in hindsight.

Now I know why my dad refused to put an EFI engine in any of his trucks. I thought he was just being stubborn. I posted this pic before. Posting it again because it's a graphic example of why he felt that way. Wish he was here so I could tell him I get it now.

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Arranged things in the hoist bay so I can work on the truck again. It's down on the floor now. I had it parked up in the air with some stuff sitting under it.
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The Eddy Match Co sign is where my wife parks her Edge. She was employed there as a graphic artist many moons ago. She worked at 2X the size of a matchbook cover and has amazing eye sight. She can use either hand equally well to draw too. Pretty sure she's actually left handed but her mother forced her to use her right. Her ambidextrous ability, plus the fact that both of our kids are left handed, convinced me she's actually a lefty. We had to insist my mother-in-law not do the same thing to our kids. It worked out fine for my wife but sometimes it doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #163 ·
This is my handy dandy light for working under a vehicle. Works pretty good. The base is from an office chair I scooped at the landfill. Probably doesn't look like it but it's actually very stable. Based on some crude testing, even with a 48" fixture on top, it would have to be tipped over somewhere between 30 and 45 deg to be a problem. Even it did somehow go over there would just be some pain in the ass sweeping to do. I dropped a tube when I was replacing one on the ceiling a few years ago and I'm still finding pieces of it. The stand can extend up a couple more feet and also be turned 180 deg for top down lighting, like working in the engine bay. It's still very stable even with the extra height. It can also can be turned 90 degrees for vertical illumination and/or storage purposes. It has a long extension cord on it and I used a plastic switch/receptacle combo box so I can plug a trouble light or whatever in. Gonna switch to LED when I get around to it.
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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
I'm not much of a fabricator but I can make oddball contraptions like that light stand. I used to have a big fan on it but that went to what the township calls the appliance recycling center, which is actually just a separate pile of junk at the dump.
 

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This is my handy dandy light for working under a vehicle. Works pretty good. The base is from an office chair I scooped at the landfill. Probably doesn't look like it but it's actually very stable. Based on some crude testing, even with a 48" fixture on top, it would have to be tipped over somewhere between 30 and 45 deg to be a problem. Even it did somehow go over there would just be some pain in the ass sweeping to do. I dropped a tube when I was replacing one on the ceiling a few years ago and I'm still finding pieces of it. The stand can extend up a couple more feet and also be turned 180 deg for top down lighting, like working in the engine bay. It's still very stable even with the extra height. It can also can be turned 90 degrees for vertical illumination and/or storage purposes. It has a long extension cord on it and I used a plastic switch/receptacle combo box so I can plug a trouble light or whatever in. Gonna switch to LED when I get around to it.
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Nice...I’m partial to the 3-foot rechargeable LED light sticks from HF. Hi and low settings, magnetic ends with hooks, too. And they actually hold a charge for a good while. They’re sturdy too...I’ve dropped mine many times and it’s still ticking. May steal your office chair base idea...the options are endless. Hmmm....
Have you seen the new Ford Maverick compact trucks?...more akin to the old Rangers than the new ones, but very spendy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #167 · (Edited)
I'm being stubborn about upgrading my lighting. Not intentionally. I just often don't think about it when I'm out shopping. And if I do and I already bought something else I usually decide that's enough spending for one day. Being retired on a fixed income is a different way of thinking. Took me a while to get the hang of it.

I was busy with other tasks but I did manage to get my aluminum oil pan prepped and painted yesterday. It's from the '96 Explorer V8 I bought for parts. The finish on it is a custom mix. I discovered by accident one day that using JD med gloss black for the base coat(s) followed by a light misty top coat of JD muffler paint after the med gloss results in a finish I really like. Not as shiny as med gloss and not as flat as Blitz black. Gotta lightly shoot the medium gloss black with the flat black muffler paint just as it's flash drying to have the look I want. I do a bunch of very light coats with the med gloss and let each one dry thoroughly before the next coat. Regular paint will stick to aluminum pretty well that way.

The oil pan is sitting on my mobile stair step unit. I used a 1" square tube stair step frame that was at dad's and put some old plywood on it. Also a pair of tires and wheels on one end and wheelbarrow handles on the other. I made it several years ago to stand on and wash the roof on F150 and my wife's Edge but started using it for various other tasks. Very handy as a roll around workbench. First time I ever painted anything on it though.
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Discussion Starter · #168 · (Edited)
I was planning to replace this 7.5 rear end with an 8.8 posi so I didn't prep and paint it but I think I'm gonna keep it in the truck for now. It has 3:73 gears which is what I want to go with the automatic trans from the V8 Explorer. My brother said the 7.5 might not live long behind a 300 HP engine and I said I'm gonna be 67 shortly. Other than a few test runs I'm not gonna be doing the kind of driving where that could be an issue. The next owner can do an 8.8 swap someday. So now I have to clean up the 7.5" rear end and paint it.

The box sides are fiberglass on a Splash stepside but the rest of the box is steel. I completely stripped the frame but the cab and box floors are well coated with oil and rust free. So I left those areas as is. The only place there was any rust on the frame was where the gas tank is and where the spare tire was. The receiver hitch blocked the oil too. Nothing bad. Just some minor pitting but still annoying.
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My daughter brought me back some Panama plates from a wedding trip where she was the maid of honor. She said an old guy was selling garage sale type items in front of Manuel Noriega's bombed out mansion. I have some pics of the rumble rubble somewhere.
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Discussion Starter · #169 ·
Yesterday a bird was chirping non-stop in my hoist bay when I went out there in the morning. Was making a pretty big fuss but I couldn't see it anywhere. I thought it was another pesky swallow. They've been relentlessly trying to move in for several years. Eventually I realized the squawking was coming from a location near a bunch of red Folgers coffee cans on the highest 2x6 'shelf' near the eave. So I used a 10 ft step ladder to get up there for a look. Found a young cardinal trapped down between the plastic cans. So I got it out of there and went outside and let it sit on my hand. It just sat there for quite a while. Didn't seem to know what to do till Mrs Cardinal started chirping at it then it flew across the parking area to the big spruce tree where she was (and they lived happily ever after).

There's has been a breeding pair of red Cardinals around here for at least 17 years. The original pair were replaced by their offspring, which were themselves replaced, and so on. The reigning males are always a pain in the ass. They're beautiful birds but not very smart. They constantly attack vehicle mirrors and the latest one even has a go regularly at an upstairs window when the evening sun is just right for it to act as a mirror. So the baby I rescued will likely grow up and take over for his dad eventually and carry on the tradition of aggravating me. No good deed goes unpunished.

Btw the baby cardinal made me laugh. The cresting was just starting and it looked like a punk ass teenager with spiked hair. :D
 

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Army, when I built my V8 S10 years ago, it had the typical 7 5/8” ring gear rearend that comes under all of them stock. It is also what came under the firebirds and camaros at the time. I was like you and didn’t want to change the rearend out. I did end up taking the 3.42 ratio out and putting a 3.73 posi out of a firebird in it. Lots more fun that way. I estimate the 327 had about 400 hp. Mild build on engine. Rearend held up well and was still in truck when I sold it. If you’re not at a drag strip with slicks, it’s probably not gonna hook hard enough to tear it up. Spin, spin….
 

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Nice story about the Panama plates...decades ago my Mom's cousin was trying to lure me into working with him maintaining "earth stations" overseas. Went with him to Panama City once during Christmas break...the downtown there used to look kinda like the French Quarter in Nawlins. Anyway, Noriega was still on top. It was pretty surreal watching the Christmas parade with Santa, elves, etc., in a tropical city with armed/military guards everywhere. I decided I wasn't that adventurous for work...
Yesterday a bird was chirping non-stop in my hoist bay when I went out there in the morning. Was making a pretty big fuss but I couldn't see it anywhere. I thought it was another pesky swallow. They've been relentlessly trying to move in for several years. Eventually I realized the squawking was coming from a location near a bunch of red Folgers coffee cans on the highest 2x6 'shelf' near the eave. So I used a 10 ft step ladder to get up there for a look. Found a young cardinal trapped down between the plastic cans. So I got it out of there and went outside and let it sit on my hand. It just sat there for quite a while. Didn't seem to know what to do till Mrs Cardinal started chirping at it then it flew across the parking area to the big spruce tree where she was (and they lived happily ever after).

There's has been a breeding pair of red Cardinals around here for at least 17 years. The original pair were replaced by their offspring, which were themselves replaced, and so on. The reigning males are always a pain in the ass. They're beautiful birds but not very smart. They constantly attack vehicle mirrors and the latest one even has a go regularly at an upstairs window when the evening sun is just right for it to act as a mirror. So the baby I rescued will likely grow up and take over for his dad eventually and carry on the tradition of aggravating me. No good deed goes unpunished.

Btw the baby cardinal made me laugh. The cresting was just starting and it looked like a punk ass teenager with spiked hair. :D
Nice bird story...we have Bluejays and lots of Cardinals, too. What really gets my goat though are the owls and nighthawks that like to swoop through our yard under the big trees at dusk and just after, when Jack and I are outside doing our last yard check of the day...too dark to see them, they just whiz overhead close enough to scare the bee-jeebers out of you. Right now on the cusp of midsummer the nighthawks are after the night bugs...I think the owls just like making me jump though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #172 ·
Yah my previous V8 Rangers loved to spin the tires. My '96 347 Splash was definitely bad for that. Was really easy to drift it. It was an extenda cab. The one I'm building is now is a reg cab stepside so it should be even better at donuts.

327's are my favourite GM engine. I was an impressionable young fella when a local guy bought a new '67 Camaro with a 327 4 speed, Actually his rich grandmother bought it for him. He would cruise down the main street on a Saturday night like a boss. I was driving our pig taxi at the time (a scruffy '67 Chevy longbox), and I wanted that Camaro so bad.


Army, when I built my V8 S10 years ago, it had the typical 7 5/8” ring gear rearend that comes under all of them stock. It is also what came under the firebirds and camaros at the time. I was like you and didn’t want to change the rearend out. I did end up taking the 3.42 ratio out and putting a 3.73 posi out of a firebird in it. Lots more fun that way. I estimate the 327 had about 400 hp. Mild build on engine. Rearend held up well and was still in truck when I sold it. If you’re not at a drag strip with slicks, it’s probably not gonna hook hard enough to tear it up. Spin, spin….
 
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Discussion Starter · #173 ·
...we have Bluejays
Us too, including a baseball team. Toronto is about 2 hours away and my son and his buddy go to lots of games. The Skydome was just allowed to open again so they went last weekend. They're both big box pharmacy/retail stores managers and work for the same company. They get lots of perks from suppliers, like Jays tickets. My son is a diehard Browns fan too and gets tickets for that too. He used to buy season tickets years ago but decided freebies are better :unsure: :D.

Actual blue jays show up twice a year here on their way to somewhere else. They're big and aggressive and eat all the other birds food then head out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #174 · (Edited)
What really gets my goat though are the owls
There was an owl living in our barn when I was a kid. Acted kind of sociable during the day but very territorial at night and would buzz anybody who was walking around back there after dark. He'd come silently swooping in just over my head like a B2 bomber. Used to scare the you know what out of me.
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We used to have bats do that too. They weren't trying to run us off. They were just flying around catching bugs. So one night as I was going past where they usually hung out I suddenly held up an aluminum scoop shovel and by chance one of them hit it. I heard a metallic ding! but couldn't see what actually happened to it. Wasn't there the next morning so it must have escaped with minor injuries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #175 ·
Have you seen the new Ford Maverick compact trucks?...more akin to the old Rangers than the new ones, but very spendy!
Haven't looked into them much. No interest in a truck with an integrated box. I wouldn't want a '61 to '64 F100 uni-body either. I want to be able to disassemble a truck right down to the cab shell, even if I don't plan on doing it. It's not something most buyers care about but I do.
 

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Hah! Cool owl pix. Understand completely about unibody anything. My late great uncle Merritt liked the comfort of the big land yacht sedans, so he'd make his own pickup truck with a torch...just remove everything rearward of where he wanted the back of the cab and build a flatbed for the frame. Odd? You bet...one of my fav late relatives though because he would always take me fishing when we stopped on our road trips to visit him and Aunt Elmy...even if it made my Dad hopping mad because he was trying to keep a schedule. Merritt had no schedule, so he figured nobody else needed to keep one either! Heck of guy...one of a kind! And we always caught fish...which Dad loved to enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #177 ·
The Explorer tranny was aggravating me while I was cleaning it before it goes to the transmission shop. So I hung the SOB! Got the bell housing section done. Used SOS pads and elbow grease. Still kinda scruffy. If I can satisfy myself I have all possible openings the sand might get into securely sealed off I might do a light sand blast on it after all the greasy crap is gone. I've done various intakes, valve covers, various other cast parts over the years. If I stay back and keep the nozzle constantly moving it leaves a nice satin surface to clearcoat.
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It's gonna get a new pan fer sure. The one on it now is rusty. Might be ok if I blast it but there's some pitting and the pan isn't very thick to start with.
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I have the shortblock for my 5.0 engine ready to go for an inspection and machine shop work as needed. It's down to just the block, crank, pistons and cam/lifters now. I worked with a guy who was the machine shop manager at a Carquest store in London ON before he came to work with us at the municipality as a 'water operator'. The title doesn't fit the job very well. Makes it sound simplistic but it actually requires smart mechanically savvy staff to keep things working right. He made more money working with us than he did as a manager at Carquest and he has a pension plan now too. Worked with him for 12 years and whenever there was a glitch that affected the computer controls (SCADA) he and I would head to the water or wastewater treatment plants to figure it out. He'd be going over the physicals systems while I worked on the PLC and HMI stuff. Anyway.. he still has good buddies at Carquest and he talked to them about looking my engine over and quoting me on whatever it needs, and he offered to help however he can. The comfort level with him involved is significant to me. I stripped the engine back in 2007 or so, painted it up nice and it's sat on an engine stand since then. It was running great the day I pulled it out the Mustang. I probably would have used it as is back then but it's gonna get a thorough checkup now and whatever it needs to insure I don't have to pull it back out later.
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The Splash rear end will be getting the same treatment as this one incl the Allen head bolts, which I like. I don't want to break the gasket seal so I'll use a C clamp and do the bolt change one by one. Will likely use med gloss JD black this time, which is less shiny than the standard gloss paint on this one. I want at least some shine though. Blitz black is great for hiding flaws and I use it a lot but it's too flat for something like this. Kind of a picky thing but it's my truck! :p
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Got a bit of work to do first though. I had it down to bare metal, decided I wanted an 8.8, let it sit like this all winter, decided to use it after all and now I have to wire wheel it all again. Dammit. Will be getting new spring bushings and emergency cables while I'm at it. Gonna put all new brake lines on the truck too while it's easy to get at.
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This 400 frame at the front was original paint. The section from the engine back is Blitz black. You can see that Blitz is definitely flatter. Med gloss seems to be about right. But if it isn't a resto who cares right? Use whatever does the job and makes it look the best for the condition it's in. Shiny black paint on something that had rust pitting looks terrible, to me anyway. Gloss black POR paint is the worst for that. It looks like the purpose was to emphasize every flaw.
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Med gloss. Yeah baby.. :cool:
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Gabby, the main thing that will need checked on your engine that has been sitting is the valve springs. If they weren’t backed off when engine was pulled or regularly turned over to prevent them from becoming compressed over time. Also make sure valves aren’t sticking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #179 ·
If I was Gabby I'd say you made some very good points there :D. There's lots of unusual factors for this type of swap plus all the typical kinds of mechanical issues to worry about, like what you mentioned. I'm taking the heads with me to Carquest for a checkup. They're GT-40's off a '93 Cobra and were done back around '08 by a college motive power instructor I know. They were sitting on the engine but not bolted down. Never backed the springs off while they were stored and I have a valve spring compressor so no excuse. The valves probably need some attention now and I have to install push rods and rockers yet too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #180 · (Edited)
Did some more transmission cleaning yesterday. I'm concerned now the Explorer automatic I have might not work right if I go carb'd and no computer. Didn't think there was gonna be an issue but I ran across a negatory discussion about it yesterday that I hadn't encountered before. It's not a very common swap and not much info out there specific to what I'm doing. And most similar swaps were done years ago so I can't ask the OP or other contributors any questions. If I can't use the auto trans stand alone I'll have to either go EFI using the Explorer parts/computer or find another transmission that will work. Like an old C4 or whatever. I definitely want OD though. My Vette has Flowmaster 40's and no OD. I don't mind but my wife doesn't appear to be enjoying herself when we're roaring down a highway in 3rd at 3000 RPM just to go 50 mph. Actually it's about 60 mph at 3 grand. A 700R4 will work and a 200R4 OD trans will bolt right in with no issues but I don't drive it enough to warrant that. And ear plugs for my wife are a lot cheaper anyway.

I took the tranny mount off yesterday, wire wheeled it and prepped it for some paint. No after pic yet. Just gotta clean up the sides on trans now before it goes for an inspection.
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I'm sticking with automatic but a carb is the only way I could have switched to the T5 manual trans I have. All V8 Explorers in the 90's had an automatic and the computers apparently won't work for a 5 speed. I have all of the EFI stuff incl the computer off my 5 speed '90 Mustang though so that would be an option. Been gathering parts up for years. I have actually have enough stuff to use my manual trans '93 Splash to do yet another swap if I was so inclined, which I am definitely not. I was definitely not gonna do another one after I sold the last one ..so take that with a grain of salt.
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Like I've mentioned a couple times before.. the 347 was the exact same '96 Splash as the one I'm doing now except the latest one is reg cab. An extenda cab model kinda looks like a tadpole from behind unless it has huge tires on the back.
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