General Tune-Up Advice?


RangerJoey

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Hi All,

First, I apologize if this is the wrong section to post. It's "help", but much more general than specifically engine vs brakes vs transmission, etc. That said, it's still a bit of a help post...

So I'm in the midst of getting my "new to me" 1999 4.0 XLT. The truck was originally my Dad's then sold to a family friend so I know both owners. It was thoroughly maintained until it immediately wasn't. Just neglected. Even now, I'm trying to get the brakes working before we talk final exchange.

So that said, I'm asking for some general tune-up advice. I'm not sure what direction I'll go in terms of performance, exterior/interior updates, etc, but my focus right now is having a fresh baseline for this thing. It's coming up on 20 years old and now sits just under 123,000 miles. Based on some Explorers I've had - including a 99 - I'm thinking:

Engine:
Replace Spark Plugs & Spark Plug Wires
Clean Throttle & Idle Air Control Valve
Tighten Throttle Cable
Clean Mass Air Flow Sensor
Replace Air Filter
Replace Oxygen Sensors
Replace EGR Valve
Replace PCV Valve
Replace Serpentine Belt
Replace Fuel Filter

Oils & Cooling:
Change Oil
Change Front Differential
Change Transfer Case
Change Transmission & Filter
Change Rear Differential
Change Power Steering Fluid
Flush Radiator
Flush Brake Fluid, (I guess my current issue is doing this already! :) )

I know my brakes, tires, & suspension still need to be addressed too and I was told all are bad, but without driving it, I can't tell how bad bad is. But I have two concerns when looking at the ignition, drive train, and cooling. First, is there anything I am missing or should use when doing all this. Like for the oil. A lot of folks swear by Marvel Mystery Oil, etc. Would it be recommended to throw a quart in and, if so, how accessible is a oil pan drop in case it loosens up some sludge? Same for the fuel injectors. Do I just run some Techron or something or should I be removing them and cleaning them by hand? Any concerns with replacing the Intake Manifold Gaskets? And when doing the radiator flush, should I be changing the hoses if I'm not taking out the radiator? Or bite the bullet and actually swap out the radiator for the sake of a "baseline"? And at that point, you know it's going to roll into a water pump replacement too. :dunno:

And secondly, are there a few simple upgrades I should do while I'm in there fiddling around? With the belt off and intake tubes out of the way, should I consider replacing, (upgrading?), the alternator if I plan on going with a few aftermarket speakers and "smart" head unit? And I've read something before about an underdrive pulley or something for this 4.0 OHV engine. Is now the time to worry about that? And what about an electronic cooling fan? I don't mind revisiting "upgrades" later, but just seeing what makes the most sense based on the list above.

Long term, I don't see this as an offroader. But I want it to be an enjoyable utility truck for the family. Able to run to the dump, haul some patio pavers, and not fear inclement weather. That sort of stuff. So my intention is to change some aesthetics, (convert emblems & front end to 2011?), change some comfort\convenience\technology, (upgrade stock seats, led interior bulbs, and torque-enabled head unit with backup cam?), and smooth out the ride quality, (definitely better tires and brake & suspension swap).

Sorry for the long post. And hopefully this isn't the wrong section. I've been thinking, (read as "obsessing" :D), over this truck since I was told the current owner is looking to get rid of it. If there's anything I'm missing or any suggestions based on all this, I'd very much appreciate it.

Happy 4th of July!
 


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Denisefwd93

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Whoa!!! That's going to cost you a lot of money to start replacing stuff that isn't bad. I have essentially the same truck 94 4.0 manual 4-wheel drive, it was a farm truck and it's a mess.

I can sense your excitement and energy. Which is what I don't have. But you are in the right place here on TRS!
 

Ewgoetz

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Before doing any of that, I would start with putting sea foam in the crank case and fuel tank.

Than Brake Booster line into Upper Intake:
Using a pliers, slide the three prong clamp up th hose and remove the plastic nozzle.

Do NOT PLACE THE HOSE INTO THE CAN OF SEA FOAM!!! Instead get a funnel and POUR it into the funnel while the truck is running. This will eliminate the chance of HYDROLOCKING. I REPEAT POUR into a funnel! :

let the vacuum pull all of the sea foam into the intake and shut engine off. Let stand for 15-20 minutes...Some poeple have let their trucks sit overnight and have had good results..

Restart your engine ...... it will blow out lots of white smoke.

In order to not rouse local authorities, I did this at 5:30 in the morning and took it for a 15 minute drive. Many have said that they've done this only to have neighbors, police or the fire department show up at their door. Your bronco will some like uncle Milton on poker night! Anyway, I figured that morning I must have killed 1-billion bugs. Hope this helps! Here are the other details from Sea Foams website.

The egr and 02 sensor replacement is unnecessary, unless your getting codes referring to them.

Stay away from underdrive pulleys! They will cause over heating and under charging for the alt.
 
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RangerJoey

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Love the seafoam! I swear I was going to do an oil change first, top off the coolant, (there's nothing in the overfill container so I have to see if something's up or it just was neglected for the past couple of years), and then do some seafoam. I've had a lot of success with that stuff smoothing out rough idles but so many people are polarized on the subject, I figured I wouldn't even bring it up.

And in general, assuming nothing is wrong with the radiator, alternator, EGR, and O2 sensors, how "preventative" is that stuff? As in is it wasted time & labor or is it staying ahead of the curve? Does that make sense?

And Denise, why not go crazy on your truck and go all John Deere theme? Come on - it's almost begging for it :)
 

Denisefwd93

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I'm more of the black and tan way of thinking for this truck, pretty simple just to paint the chrome parts black especially with these new types of paint they have available.

I'm slowly getting this truck up into top mechanical condition in preparation of another engine that I have in storage.

The whole undercarriage & frame is very very rusty on this truck,.

the 93 I just sold I had almost no rust go figure, but it was an automatic truck and I wanted a manual truck. We were going to do an automatic to manual swap but it was just too much work for this old broad and my old friend Hank.

changing out the transmission 2 months ago near killed me & it was pretty on my hard on my friend Hank even though he would never admit it.

 

RangerJoey

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Definitely with you on the tan and black! I'm weird about "de-chroming" things, but like you said, that paint & peel stuff is amazing. Are those fender covers gray or is that faded?
 

Denisefwd93

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Definitely with you on the tan and black! I'm weird about "de-chroming" things, but like you said, that paint & peel stuff is amazing. Are those fender covers gray or is that faded?
Gray, I've not done anything with the cosmetics yet. Way to many mechanical problems I update my RR94 thread (in my sig) as things progress
 

Andy D

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'nother 94 4.0 guy here. I ended up replacing all the brake lines and hoses. The Rt came with new wires and plugs. After 20 yrs, stock wires will be leaky,. Fill a squirt bottle full of water, start the engine, and spray the wires. If the engine stumbles, get new wires. and boot grease.
 

RangerJoey

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Thanks Andy! What made you want to swap all the brake lines? I'm dealing with a leak now, (and technically can't even drive the truck). I'm removing the bed, (turning into a PITA :sad:), so I'd have decent access. Of all the things I might throw money at that's not broke, this one I really wouldn't mind. Just fearing what would happen if I screw it up.
 

Andy D

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I had the rear line go on me when I was repairing the frame on the left side. The calipers and rear brakes were frozen solid and rusted to bits.The front lines were just The hoses just plain looked ugly. Living in the rust belt and driving heaps for 60 odd yrs ,you get better and better at brakes. By the time a line rusts through, the rest are just waiting for you to splice that together before the next one pops. AMHIK. Spend about 50$ on a double flare tool,a tubing cutter or 2 , a file. Buy a 20' roll of tubing. A double flare is a process. If you don't follow the process, the fare will leak and you wont be able to bleed the system. That is the whole deal about brake lines. If they aren't tight, you cant bleed the system Making a flare takes a little practice, but it aint rocket science :D
 

Denisefwd93

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stock, may get leveling springs in front "somday"
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Front hoses really do collapse on the inside and they can look new on the outside, I've seen that on 4 vehicles that I've owned over the years. The 94 I now have, the right front caliper was completely clamped and would not release until the hose was taken off I left side was restricted.
 


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