Harvest Gold 1999 Ranger - Page 6 - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Project Logs For detailed builds specific to the Ford Ranger, one thread per vehicle please.

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  #126  
Old 05-04-2016
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Yeah, I said efan mod. I did a little digging, and the cause of the fire in that particular case was not the fan nor the battery, or even the guy's handy work. He bought an aftermarket controller for it, which the controller itself was the cause of the fire. Controllers aren't necessary. All that is needed is a temperature switch and adapter which can both be found for cheap on ebay. I believe I posted about those particular parts a few posts ago.
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  #127  
Old 05-05-2016
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I'm sorry, I didn't see that post. Can you post it again? I'd really like to do the Efan mod too.
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  #128  
Old 05-05-2016
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Here's the adapter I'm going to be using, in gold for obvious reasons. Availible in blue, silver, red, and gold in a wide variety of sizes. You'll want to measure the hose you'll be cutting so you know you have the right one. I'm putting mine in the upper radiator hose which measures an inner diameter of 40MMs.

40mm Gold Water Temp Temperature Gauge Radiator Hose Sensor Adapter Fitting | eBay
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  #129  
Old 05-18-2016
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Two new things are happening.

First and foremost, I finally found the reason why my left front wheel speed sensor signal is lost. It's not being generated in the first place! After some reading, I decided to jack up the vehicle and put it on jack stands. With my handy multimeter, I set it to AC volts and attached it to the right front wheel speed sensor first to confirm what I read. As the wheel was turned, as fast as my hand could turn it, I saw a round 300 millivolts of AC ripple which was clearly being generated and not just noise as it would consistently start and stop when I started and stopped turning the wheel.

Then, moving onto the other side, I preformed the same test and found that the sensor itself is not outputting any signal for the computer to read. I had replaced the sensor a while back, but I can say with almost 100% certainty that it is the tone ring inside of the bearing itself which induces the ac voltage into the sensor in the first place. So, I'll be replacing the wheel bearing in it's entirety, which comes with a new sensor for me to use. 50 dollars well spent if you ask me.

Next, I'm going to be installing something aftermarket. Just recently, it dawned on me that every single fluid that the vehicle uses has a filter, EXCEPT the coolant in the block. Well, I'm going to be retrofitting a coolant filter. For 34 some odd dollars, I can get this oil filter looking adapter with 3/8ths pipe thread in and out. Since it's way too small for the 1.5 inch main hoses going to the radiator itself, I'll be putting it in line with the heater hoses. I'd prefer it to be with the upper radiator hose, but considering all that junk will be floating around in the coolant as it circulates anyway, it's not a big deal. I won't get as much out of it, but it'll still be an improvement.

I'm also considering a larger transmission cooler, and possibly a temperature gauge for the transmission as well. Not decided on that, though.
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  #130  
Old 05-22-2016
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Well it irritates me greatly to say that my nice chrome push button switches are burning out, specifically the blue indicatior; which is pretty much the entire reason I bought them in the first place.

First, the one for the under hood light started to die, so I ended up replacing it with a toggle switch. Next the one for my radio died, the one which allows me to turn the radio on with the key out. I have only one that's still working, and it won't be too awful long before it dies too.

So, I'll be redoing that switch panel with different switches, NOT from sbl.

I'll be rethinking that switch plate as a whole, because there's some flex in the aluminum which I used, and honestly makes it feel, not sturdy; for want of a better phrase.

I like my switch panel, but I think I need to ditch it. What I'll probably end up doing is relocating the power door lock switches to the door handle bezels where they admittedly belong, and putting a set of switches on the radio bezel itself, in that blank or somewhere close by.

One thing is for sure, I have got to get rid of that toggle switch for my underhood lights. It always feels crooked which drives me absolutely bonkers. If you've used the same GM underhood lights that I have, you'll know that there are mercury switches inside them, so they're off when the hood is closed. With that known you're probably wondering "Why does he have a switch at all if they have switches built in?"
Well, to answer that, I've had my hood up at times for long periods, whether the engine is cooling or I'm working. If I don't need them, I turn them off. Given they're incandescent, They draw around 4 amps of current, which could drain my battery. I need to have the option to turn them off when they aren't needed. I will likely relocate the switch to somewhere under the hood OR get another round switch (push button because it doesn't have to be straight) to put in it's place.

One thing is for sure, whatever switches I end up using, they will not use those little solder lugs. What a PITA for soldering to.

</rant>
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  #131  
Old 05-22-2016
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I like the front bumper conversion. I was going to do the same on mine but then I decided to throw a trail gear bumper on instead. In a couple weeks I'm going tear out the stock cross member and replace it with something more stout so I can bolt the bumper to that and to the side of the frame rails. Should be plenty strong for a winch at that point.
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  #132  
Old 05-22-2016
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Thanks, was the right call. I like yours, too. If you haven't already, you should also consider a pair of spot lights on the bumper, relay'd to the highbeams. There's a chrome metal lens you can get from harbor freight that uses a fairly standard bulb, H1 I believe. Could stuff a pair of HIDs in 'em for even more light output for the trails and whatnot.
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  #133  
Old 05-24-2016
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Quite a good read. Got lost when you did all the electrical discussion. Good looking truck though. You helped me out with a head lamp issue though. Planning on changing mine out, not for any reason except that I think an upgrade would be nice. You section on the LED vs Projection helped me decide. I live in a semi rural area and I like to see at night, that is why I did the fog lamp mod, that you graciously guide me through. Only decision I have to make now is, chrome, black, smoked and whether or not if I want to do an HID kit, to get really bright. Would I have to beef up the wiring?
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  #134  
Old 05-24-2016
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You have two types of HID kits. One kit runs directly off the vehicle's wiring, which is what I have for my fog lights. Plug it in, ziptie the ballast (or screws) out of the way, done. The other type, on the other hand, draws more current. However, it comes with everything you need already. Instead of drawing power from the headlamp circuit for power, it only uses the headlamp circuit to turn it on, off, and activate/decativate the high beams. It then grabs it's power directly from the battery with it's premade harness.

For performance reasons, I would lean towards the latter of the two. It's a little more involved, but worth it in the end.

Something else you could also do, is install a set of spot lights in your grille, wired up the same way as your fog lights for even more visibility.

Smoked lenses will have a reduced light output, albeit only slightly in some cases. It's basically the equivalent of tinting your windows. So if an upgrade on visibility is your end goal, I wouldn't go for smoked.

One last thing I'll throw out there, is I don't recommend buying an LED headlight kit, which replaces your bulbs if you use reflector type housings. I ran a set for a few months and my visibility absolutely sucked. The lowbeam range was decreased and I had no highbeams at all. That being said, projectors work differently, so the results may be different. At the end of the day, however, if you want a sure fire working solution with no worries, stick to halogen.

And, thank you for the compliments. If you don't mind sharing, where'd you get that switch you used for the fog lights? I'm thinking about using two of those for when I redo my switch panel.
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  #135  
Old 05-25-2016
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Well, after much searching and measuring, I'm electing to just leave my switch panel alone. Much rewiring and so much isn't coming together. My USB module won't fit anywhere, literally, I cannot find a proper size switch, etc.

So, I'm electing not to bother with it. So, the switch doesn't light up anymore, after less than a year. Fine; but it the switch itself still works without fail. Until it stops working completely it'll stay right where it is and I'll bother with it then. I would like to, however, make the plate itself feel more rigid. Maybe fiberglass or epoxy.

However, the hood light switch will be relocated most definitely to, under the hood. I have everything I need for that already, just need to actually do it. As for what will go in it's place? Well, I'm thinking either a voltmeter if I can find one the right size or, the more likely scenario, the cigar lighter socket I have and possibly a decorative insert.
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  #136  
Old 05-25-2016
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I appreciate your input. I did not mention LED's in my response for a reason. I read your posts, but would you recommend them for the backup light?. It seems that you are doing your best to turn me into an electrician. Would like to try the spot lights, just no place for a switch. Halogen lights, was thinking of those, but was unsure if they were part of the HID system. As far as the compliments, they are worth it. You are getting me inspired to try different things out on my truck. With all the help you gave me, would be more than glad to share information.

Lightswitch: XT AUTO 20 Amp Car Marine Blue LED Toggle Switch Dash Rocker Switch 4pin 3-pack

Switch panel:
AutoEC Rocker Switch Panel Switch Holder Housing Kit - Black Plastic
They come in different styles, to hold more switches.

Do you have LED's under your head lamps. I like the look of that.
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  #137  
Old 05-25-2016
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Thanks for the links to the switches. Some day I may end up getting some. Nice choice.

LEDs are more than suitable for every application without fault, except for headlights. I have LEDs in my turn signals, corner lights, brake lights, interior lights, reverse lights, etc. Only my headlights and auxilary reverse lights are halogen. I've purchased all of my LEDs from superbrightleds.com and I've been satisfied with them all. Of course I ended up paying about 100 bucks to do the entire truck's exterior, and that's only the indication lights. The rest was extra. Of course, if you want to, you can also get them off amazon for much less. If you don't use any smoked lenses like I did, you can do that just fine. I had to go brighter due to my smoked lenses.

If you really want awesome reverse lights though, there's no substitute for a set of auxilary lights at the rear. For 20 bucks, you can get a pair of 55 watt lights at walmart, each light fitting in your hand, which are what I use. The bulbs inside are plenty sufficient, halogen bulbs. However, they can be replaced with either LED or HID bulbs if you're so inclined. The only stipulation that must be followed, unless you want a blown fuse, is they cannot be just wired into the reverse lights directly. You must trigger them with a relay and run power directly from the battery. Very simple, basically the same circuit as for fog lights. And, actually, an old mains cable off a vacuum cleaner or similar works just fine. So, cut the ends off an old extension cord, lol. Bonus to doing it that way is the wires are ultra protected, having their own insulation as well as a coating of rubber around them as well, making splitloom unnecessary.

Another factor of why mine were so expensive is because of how many bulbs I have. 98 and 99 rangers have a total of twelve indicator lights, including brake, turn, parking on the front and rear. In contrast, 2001 and newer rangers have only have eight. Which, if you want to do the same, you'll need to know the numbers of the bulbs.

For the 2001+ model years, Corner lights are 194, turn signals (front and rear) are 3157, and reverse lights are 3156.

As for halogen and HID stuff, HID bulbs are xenon bulbs and they are a 'direct' replacement for halogen bulbs. Halogen bulbs are not used with HID ballasts.

To go further into detail, here's how they work. Halogen bulbs, as their name implies, has a halogen gas inside a glass capsule with a tungsten filament that gets hot and emits light. Simple.

HID bulbs (which stands for High Intensity Discharge), and are filled with xenon gas, hence their alias, xenon bulb. However, instead of a tungsten filament heating up, there is an electrical arc (electricity going through the gas itself) which emits the light. 12 volts DC can't produce an arc through the gas, so a ballast is required. The ballast transforms 12 volts DC to several thousand volts AC along with an 'igniter' to get it started, sort of like how lighter fluid gets a fire going, but the actual fuel then takes over.

So, in short, HIDs replace halogens entirely. In the case of our dual beam headlights, once swapped to HIDs, no halogen remains in the headlights.

For switch placement, there's a few tricks you can do. A couple washers will allow you to mount a standard toggle switch in the radio bezel, in place of a cigar socket. The washers effectively sandwiching the bezel between them. However, if you can find a 23mm switch to pop in then that's better, however 23mm switches are very hard to come by.

Some people also grab explorer radio bezels, which can have two OEM fog light switches mounted in them for a clean OEM look.

Another, equally clean method, is to mount switches in your door handle bezels. Chrisfix has done this with his Mazda Bseries on youtube, which can be seen in "Project nightlight". Switches can also be mounted in the stock ranger center console. I've done this before and it works quite well. Of course, if an explorer center console is swapped in then you have a lot more real-estate to work with.

Of course there are a variety of switches to work with. Big, small. Illuminated, non illuminated. Rocker, toggle, push/pull. Square, round, rectangle, oval. Amazon, ebay, and summit racing are all good places to look for switches. Don't go to autozone or other parts stores unless you want to pay 15 dollars or more for one switch. You can get the same thing online for much cheaper on your couch, lol.

One note though, I wouldn't buy switches from superbrightleds.com. They don't last. Mine are proof of that. As always, if more info is desired I'll always share.

Last edited by TheArcticWolf1911; 05-25-2016 at 09:01 PM.
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  #138  
Old 05-26-2016
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Well, I got my spare tire/wheel put back together and under the truck. Used up what paint stripper I had and pressure washed it. A coat of rust reformer to kill as much rust as possible, then a coat of primer, and finally a coat of black gloss high preformance enamel, same stuff I used on my axel, diff, shocks, and leaf spring packs.

On the opposite side of the wheel (non valvestem) I decided to use undercoating instead, since that's where all the junk sits a time goes by. A tarp or something to cover the top wouldn't be a bad idea. Also installed a brand new valvestem as a target of opportunity. Had the tire off anyway to fix leaks, anyway. Pics of that. Not a lot to show, not a lot to tell.

After paint stripping, wire wheeling, and a cleaning with acetone in preparation for paint.







Not bad for a spare. Now if this were not a spare, I would have taken more time and used more paint thinner, but I was going more for protection and longevity vs looks.

Second thing I did today was relocate my under hood switch to the engine bay. I used a standard red illuminated rocker switch, nothing special about it in particular. It came in the box with my reverse lights (which are techincally driving lights). Kept it for later use, and here it is being used.

Also in the bag came a plastic mount of some sort, never really understood them, but I used the mount as a template for cutting the hole. A combination of drilling and filing were used to bring the hole to dimension, using a pair of digital calipers to get it close to size. It is slightly oversize by half a millimeter or so, but that doesn't matter in this application. Yes, I use millimeters and centimeters, get over it lol. The mounting 'plate' itself was made from soft steel from an old battery backup unit, cut out with a hacksaw, and also brought to the grinder to knock off the sharp edges as well as clean it up a little to make it look a little more presentable. I debated whether or not I wanted to paint it, but in the end I ended up leaving it the silvery color it started as. A bench vise was of great help here.

The plate itself is mounted to an existing fender bolt, using a 10mm nut that threads onto the bolt nicely.

As far as wiring goes, it is fused at 5 amps. Both bulbs (1156) draw close to four amps. If a 5 amp fuse isn't close by at the time, as they're somewhat uncommon it seems, a 7.5 would have sufficed. The inline fuse holder used was actually reused from a previous mod, which was believed to draw way more current than it actually does. So, with that now moved to another suitable circuit inside the cab, that leaves me with an open fuse holder.

As you can see, the ground wire for the switch is simply soldered to the plate itself. All the ground wire does is allow the switch to illuminate, so I didn't find it necessary to run it to an existing ground or to the battery terminal. The remaining wire simply runs to the under hood lights, along the heavy gauge cable for the inverter inside the cab.



Ideally, I would have preferred for the switch to be illuminated when it's off, so the switch can be quickly and easily located in the dark. Unfortunately it's a generic switch, and is illuminated when the switch is on. With that in mind, I had thought about wiring in a small LED in the same panel, using a small relay to turn the LED off when the switch is on, and vise versa, but in the end decided not to. If it is infact that dark that I cannot find the switch, I have more than enough sources of light, including the vehicle's headlights, to illuminate the area enough for me to find the switch.

In place of the hood light switch, which was mounted in the radio bezel, I decided to install a socket in it's place like what would have been there factory. However, instead of plugging it back into the existing socket, I wanted it to be live only when the key is on for an inverter later to be plugged in. To do this, I simply bridged the socket onto an existing circuit that I had wired in for the third socket on the center console. I didn't take any pictures of that, as there really isn't anything to see.

In a perfect world, I would have preferred to have had a round voltmeter alone mounted in the bezel itself, however I couldn't find any voltmeters that were 23mm in diameter. All of them were way too large, likely intended for custom pillar gauges instead. I was able to find out that plug-in style voltage meters exist for this type of socket. Not exactly what I was after, but I suppose a bonus is that it can be taken into any other vehicle as a quick test to see if the alternator is outputting any voltage if tools are not available.

As a final note, I'll be ordering a wheel bearing, swaybar bushings and endlinks here within the next week or two. Of course, plenty of photos will be taken and I'll post the process here that I took for anyone curious or wanting to do it themselves.
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  #139  
Old 05-26-2016
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Also, just checked my email. Superbrightleds.com has a 10 percent off sale on everything for memorial day. Code: MEM16
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  #140  
Old 05-27-2016
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Was out tonight, and found some lights on at a closed dealership. Photoshoot!



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  #141  
Old 05-28-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheArcticWolf1911 View Post
T
If you really want awesome reverse lights though, there's no substitute for a set of auxilary lights at the rear. For 20 bucks, you can get a pair of 55 watt lights at walmart, each light fitting in your hand, which are what I use. The bulbs inside are plenty sufficient, halogen bulbs. However, they can be replaced with either LED or HID bulbs if you're so inclined. The only stipulation that must be followed, unless you want a blown fuse, is they cannot be just wired into the reverse lights directly. You must trigger them with a relay and run power directly from the battery. Very simple, basically the same circuit as for fog lights. And, actually, an old mains cable off a vacuum cleaner or similar works just fine. So, cut the ends off an old extension cord, lol. Bonus to doing it that way is the wires are ultra protected, having their own insulation as well as a coating of rubber around them as well, making splitloom unnecessary.
To make sure I understand.. Fusible link at battery, 60 watts. Hot wire to brake light to activate relay, battery to fusible link to aux lights, one wire to ground from relay, then a ground for each light. I am making sense of this stuff, you achieved the impossible. Have to find a relay, and figure out where to place the lights.
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  #142  
Old 05-28-2016
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If you're going after auxilary reverse lights, you want to wire to the factory reverse lamps to activate the relay.

If you wire to the brake lights, they will only illuminate when your foot is on the brake.

If it helps; the exact same circuit I built for my aux reverse lights is the one I showed you for your fog lights. The only difference is, what the fuse is rated for (15 amps in my case), and what wire I tapped into to trigger the relay. Other than those two things, they're identical.
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  #143  
Old 05-29-2016
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Silly me. Yes to the Reverse light. Saw the lights at Walmart yesterday. They had a couple of different ones for under twenty. Had a pair I could hold bothe in one hand and then another pair where the light itself was hand sized. Could get a good look to see the bracket.
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  #144  
Old 05-29-2016
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I've bought two different sets of those 20 buck lights, both 55 watts. However, one I would definately advise against getting as the plastic housing is likely to break upon tightening down. The kind that I bought is metal with a glass lens. Very durable. Here's a shot of the ones I bought. Crap picture but, should get the point across. They work incredibly well for their size. Something else worth mentioning, is if one of the bulbs should go out, but the housing itself is fine, the bulb is actually a (I believe) H1 size bulb, which can be bought at most auto parts stores or online for very little money. And, if desired, can be replaced with an entirely different type of bulb, a both LED and xenon replacement sizes are available. Which, is what I intend to do when the bulbs go out as the warm white halogen color doesn't match well with my cool white reverse lights.

Pic of the aux reverse lights in their package:



Also in the box it comes with a wiring kit. You can use this if you want to, but trying to make it work with a custom harness will only complicate things as the wires will need to be extended. Don't just throw the bag away, though. Keep it around. There's a nice inline fuse (rated at 15 amps), a red illuminated switch with a mounting plate of sorts, and some long wires. If you wanted to, you could use it to wire in an under hood light, like I did. The plastic mounting plate, or whatever it is, makes an excellent template for making a hole in another material for the switch.

Also, tip for wiring this in. You seriously do not want to use any form of crimp connector for this. Strip, solder, and heatshrink tubing is the best way to make your connections solid and last a long time. Crimp connectors and T taps, regardless of how much tape is used, will only fail time and time again as water will always get to your connections, no matter what you do.

Since all a crimp connector does is squish metal around more metal, heavy oxidation will build between the metals until there is so much resistance that no more current can flow. With solder, liquid metal flows between the two wires and bonds strong. Solder, too, will corrode over time, but the corrosion will have to eat through the entire wire plus the solder to kill the connection.

If you don't have one, a soldering iron can be had for little money. A good weller pen style soldering iron with a built in stand and heat control off amazon is 40 bucks. For solder, you want 60/40 rosin core solder. Not acid core. And do yourself a favor now, don't buy the ultra cheap solder. That solder sucks. It does not flow well at all. A hardware store or electronics shop are the best places to get solder. Also, a small piece of soldering advice.

Some people like to heat both wires up with the iron then flow solder onto them when they're hot enough. This works, but it takes a fair amount of time and can also end up melting the insulation on the wires. Not cool.

The quickest, best way to do it, is flow each individual wire end with solder, by touching the solder to the iron first (with the wire touching as well) and then dragging that hot, molten, solder onto the wire itself. The hot solder will quickly heat the wire and the solder will 'suck' right into the wire, similar to how a paper towel soaks up water. This takes some practice, so I'd advise trying it out on a bench with some cheap wire to get a feel for it.

Once both wires are tinned for your connection, get 'em together, then touch the iron to the tinned wire. The solder will rapidly melt and the solder will join together. Once cooled, you have a nice strong connection.

Soldering takes more time and it's more work, but in the end, it will last longer and it is truly stronger. For interior work, on the other hand, where wires aren't exposed to the elements, crimps are just fine, although I still prefer solder.
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  #145  
Old 05-29-2016
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Here. Dug up the video I found the soldering technique in. However, two things I want to add. First, it isn't necessary at all to have an expensive iron. A simple iron that just plugs into the wall with no controls what so ever is perfectly acceptable; and this is the very type of iron I use. I would recommend spending around ten dollars for an iron, or more if you so wish. Anything below ten is usually pretty crappy and makes the process a lot more difficult.

Second, Collin mentions the 'two second rule'. While this applies just fine to boards as he is demonstrating on, for copper wires like we're working with, five to ten seconds is more realistic. The more you work with solder and the iron, the quicker you'll get at it and the easier it will be.

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  #146  
Old 05-29-2016
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I've only soldered one time and it was to mount strain gauges to a soda can and measure stress/strain when the can is opened. You definitely don't need anything fancy to do stuff like you're talking about. Cool video though
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  #147  
Old 05-29-2016
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No, high quality-several hundred dollar irons are way way overkill for anything on a vehicle. Main reason why I posted the video is it has good soldering tips and techniques which I find are good practice in the automotive world.
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  #148  
Old 05-29-2016
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Yeah it's a good video to get a grasp on how to do it. It seems like you're really into the small details for your truck haha. Got any bigger plans like a lift or anything?
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  #149  
Old 05-29-2016
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I like the height right where it is, as well as the tire size. Plus that's something everyone seems to do. Don't get me wrong, not bashing on the mod itself, it works rather well; but I'd like to do something different.

In the next week, my front left hub assembly is getting replaced, along with the swaybar bushings and endlinks. The bushings are doing the 'orange dust' deal, and the endlinks seem fine but I might as well if I'm in that area anyway. The bearing itself is fine, but I'm replacing the entire assembly because the tone ring isn't creating a single in the sensor anymore, which is throwing an ABS light.

As far as modifications go, one of these days I would really like to kick my 3.0 to the curb. I'm still trying to decide between the 5.0 or the 4.0. I like the 5.0 because v8 and modifications are more bang for buck given the compression ratio, but the downsides are that a lot of aftermarket parts are required to make it work. If those, expensive, parts aren't available I'm married to a 5.0 I can't use. In contrast, the 4.0 is a simple drop in engine with no aftermarket parts required. The downside, though, is mods like superchargers aren't as effective on the 4.0 from what I've read. Which, if I'm doing an engine swap in the first place, other things are going with it.

With a new engine, a transmission naturally comes with it. Before the 3.0 comes out of the truck, both the engine and transmission will be worked with heavily. The transmission will be given a fluid flush and filter change, as well as any necessary components replaced. The engine on the other hand will be modified for some better 'go'. Just what happens depends on the engine I wind up with, which in all honesty, will likely be the 4.0 v6 SOHC.

Along with that will also come an explorer rear end, consisting of the differential (4:10 with L/S), and probably rear disks. At that point I may consider swapping in the expo leafs and giving the torsion bars a bit of a crank to give it a little more height.

More towards now rather than the much much later of an engine and rear end swap, I would like to pitch my driveshaft and go for an aluminum one.

After vacation, I'll be doing the EFan mod, which I've already detailed so I won't bore you with that again.

Other than those things, there really isn't much I want to do; realistically speaking.
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Old 05-29-2016
00GreenRanger's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: North Bend, WA
Posts: 1,289
I had a similar issue with my abs sensors up front. The interesting thing was that I could not find a sensor that would fit in my existing wheel bearing assembly. I even had ford run the VIN and order me the part but the part of the sensor that goes down into the assembly was too big. I ended up buying new wheel bearing assembly's and replacing the rear VSS sensor and all was good. But what a pain in the *** that was...

As for the engine swap. I would do the 5.0. It's a better platform to work from and I think in the end you'll be happy you went that route man
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