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01Pathmaker last won the day on April 19 2021

01Pathmaker had the most liked content!


Previous Fields

  • Your Pathfinder Info
    2001 SE 4x4, OME HD front coils w/trim packer, KYB GR2's, OME MD rear coils w/1" SFC spacer, OME shocks, 255/70/16 Falken Wildpeak ATW3's on OEM 5-spokes, SFC front skid, custom front receiver & 1996 SE 4x4, SFC 1" lift and front skid plate, 31x10.50 Treadwright GuardDog MT's on ugly OEM 6-spokes (my $400 find)SOLD!
  • Place of Residence
    On ocean beaches with a rod in hand...
  • Mechanical Skill Level
    Standalone Tool Chest Mechanic
  • Your Age
  • What do you consider yourself?
    Weekend Warrior
  • Model
  • Year

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Long Island, NY
  • Country
    United States
  • Interests
    Family, friends & fishing! Anything that goes BANG!

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01Pathmaker's Achievements

NPORA Old-Timer

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  1. Here's a few teaser pics from when I first brought the Ex home... Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  2. So, a few weeks ago I got in, started the old girl up, put her in drive to pull her into the garage to do some work on the roof basket, stepped on the brake and BAM, pedal went to the floor. Ended up being one of the hard lines above the rear axle had decided to succumb to corrosion. Looking at the rest of the hard lines back there, I decided it would be prudent to replace them all, as well as the rubber line. I then checked to see if I could free the bleeders on the wheel cylinders, nope, one crumbled and the other offered no resistance, as it snapped off with almost no pressure. I pulled her back out and ordered up a coil of line, bag of fittings, frontier rear hose and a pair of wheel cylinders. After all the parts arrived, I got to work and replaced everything aft of the clean section above the muffler (which worked out well, as I already had the new exhaust on-hand to replace the old rotted junk), bled the system thoroughly, hung the new exhaust and went off on a test drive. This is where frustration began. The brake pedal was inconsistent, sometimes high and tight stopping great, sometimes dumping all the way to floor requiring hand brake application, sometimes somewhere in between. Carefully, got her back home, went through the bleeding process again, no air bubbles at all. Took a ride up the road, still consistently inconsistent. Bled again, no air. Called a mechanic friend, bled it with him, no air. Looks like the master cylinder is toast from experiencing "full throw" when the pedal went to the floor, which is not uncommon for an old, high mileage unit. Looking closely at the lines and fittings to the master, it was decided that it's time to let her go. If she didn't have concerning structural rot, I would've been much more inclined to do what needed to be done, but at this point it's not something I want to get into on a vehicle that might not be structurally sound for much longer. It's been a great rig, made 20 years worth of memories, but in the end, it's the right decision. I had been casually looking for a clean, specifically spec'd Armada for a while now, as my kids (annoyingly) keep getting bigger and we could really use more room. I have found and looked at several over the 6-8 months, but they were either too high mileage, not properly maintained or severely overpriced. I opened up my search a bit, to include a very select few suburbans, expeditions and excursions, but found a lot of the same. Then by a stroke of luck, this past Friday I took a "mental health" day from work, began perusing the interwebs a bit and low and behold, a new listing popped up for a 2003 Ford Excursion XLT in my area. I clicked on it, just to realize "hey, I know this truck!", call the number, a guy I haven't seen in years answers, we catch up, I tell him I want to come look at it, stopped at the bank and went. Sitting there in all her monstrous glory, a beautifully clean, rust-free, well maintained, low mileage, tastefully modded ride. The listing did not include an asking price, nor did we discuss it on the phone, I just brought what I was willing to spend. We start talking and reminiscing as I'm looking the truck over, then I ask "what are you looking to get?", he says "I know you know what you're looking at and what it's worth", a very correct statement, "and I know what I could get for it, BUT I know if you're the next owner, you'll treat it as I have. How about ...". Without hesitation, I said "I brought cash, let's call this deal done!". I am now the very happy and proud owner of this true gem, for about half of its true market value! Although I'm sad to part ways with the Pathmaker, I'm excited about all the room and adventure the Ex has to offer. I'll still stop by this awesome community from time to time. I'll probably post a few obligatory pics of the new-to-me beast and if I find any R50 parts kicking around, I'll be sure to post 'em up.
  3. This really makes me wish my Pathmaker wasn't rapidly rotting away at this point. I've been looking for a clean, low mileage R51 or Armada since I have 2 growing kids and a 65lb lap dog, but this makes me want to look for a clean R50! Ohhh, decisions, decisions...[emoji848] Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  4. That's a good thought. Ultra black is the only silicone I've used on any engine applications for many years. It's very stable, stays pliable and is "sensor safe". Used sparingly and appropriately, it'll save a potential headache down the road. Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  5. Welcome! Looks like a good find and ol' Hoss found itself a great new lease on life! Best regards from the 'states! Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  6. Only time I've drained the block on these is when doing a full coolant flush. I will add that when the block gets drained, it can sometimes be a real chore to purge all the air out when refilling. Take your time, take a break if you start getting frustrated, because that's when stuff gets broken and knuckles get busted! [emoji23] Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  7. PB is good stuff and works better than anything else, in my opinion. I typically will give ugly stuff a good soak a few days before (when possible), but if/when that doesn't work I always grab the heat wrench. Typically, with steel fasteners into aluminium, you get corrosion from the 2 metals not really liking each other, so patience and appropriate heat work great. Go slow, if it doesn't feel right, it's probably not. In these situations I pinpoint the heat to the area directly around the bolt. With aluminium you usually don't need much, just enough to "wake things up", which breaks down the corrosion. After I get it to free up, I'll back the bolt out little by little, until it feels like it's starting to bind, stop, give it a squirt of PB, change direction and thread it back in, then repeat until it's out. Most of my broken bolts or stripped/mangled threads are the result of forcing things. Granted there have been some that happened just because it was fate [emoji6], but I can't stress enough how important patience is. Once things are apart, clean out the hole as best you can (compressed air or even the keyboard duster "air in a can" works), determine the correct thread size/pitch and chase the threads with a tap. When you have to reuse an ugly old bolt, I also chase the threads on that as well. Makes things much easier to put back together. Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  8. I did the relocation on my 96 probably 5+ years ago. Although I don't have it anymore, I sold it to a guy just down the road from me. It's still going strong and he hasn't had any mechanical issues, aside from popping a code for a bad o2 sensor. As for the true functionality of the relocated sensor, I'm sure it's not as effective as it's original location, other than an easy fix to an otherwise involved (and sometimes very difficult) repair. All that aside, if your doing all that other work, it shouldn't add too much time and effort to the job. In my (almost 30 years of) wrenching experience, I've found that a majority of stubborn fasteners, mangled threads and such are far more common on the more "external" engine components. Not saying I've never snapped a manifold or head bolt, but it is more easily prevented with patience, finesse and appropriate application of heat. Even an inexpensive handheld map gas plumbers torch can do the job in many cases. In fact, I rarely break out the oxy-acetelene torch anymore, unless I'm doing some "heavy" work or crude cutting. My little $40 map gas job is much less hassle. Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  9. Just to be clear, which color did you actually order? I don't really care about matching, but would like it to not look like a gaudy, mismatched add-on. I'm torn between the K & W. For some reason the W is less money than the K... Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  10. That is awesome use of an otherwise useless space, I love it! Mimics the placement of the outfitter switches on the newer Ford Super Duty. I'd also imagine that if the color difference really bothered anyone that much, it'd be easy enough to match it with interior plastic paints that are available, but for my utilitarian use it's fine. Just might have to pull the trigger on one of these (and yes, I just looked them up on ebay [emoji6]). Nice find fellas! Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  11. If you download the Tapatalk app it makes uploading pics really easy. It took me years to get on board with doing it that way (because I'm stubborn and old-school), but I should've done it long ago! Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  12. Welcome! We like pics here too!! [emoji1] Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  13. The old girl performed flawlessly, fully loaded, out on the beach today. It's amazing how much better this thing handles now, I really didn't realize how worn out everything was! Unfortunately, the fish didn't cooperate today, but had a great day with my girls regardless. Sent from my Mobile Communications Device
  14. Haha haha! I actually thought about washing it too! [emoji38] Maybe if there's enough time tomorrow, but it won't matter much since Friday she'll be back on the beach, getting all salty & sandy and hopefully covered in fish blood & scales!! Sent from my Mobile Communications Device

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