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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
The JB Weld was a fail. It's still leaking. Looks like I'm going to have to replace the radiator. No biggie. Glad I didn't flush the radiator with fresh coolant. Probably gonna replace the thermostat while I'm at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
144,194 miles. New aftermarket radiator, thermostat, and rad cap that I got off Amazon for $55 total. Truck is running well.

Getting the damn thermostat on was a PITA. It kept slipping down when I'd install the housing causing a leak. Ended up having to remove the power steering bracket entirely to have easier access, then put a bunch of black gasket maker on the edge of the thermostat to hold it in place. My son and I let the gasket maker get tacky for 20 minutes before installing the housing. No more leaks.

My son wanted to see how a thermostat worked so we did the boiling test. It was my first time testing one too, so it was cool... Or hot, heh heh.

Flushed the cooling system 5 times with distilled water, then added a gallon of Prestone coolant between the system and the reservoir and finished it off with more distilled water. That should be around a 50/50 ratio.

Also replaced a few rubber vacuum lines underneath the air filter housing since they were embrittled.

Checked the belts and they were fine. Coolant hoses looked good too.

My son was frustrated at the thermostat leaks because we'd have to take everything apart again. I told him how we're lucky that we don't NEED the car today and how when I was on my own I'd run into these problems and needed the car fixed that day. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to get to class and work and couldn't afford to take taxis to get around nor a mechanic. His attitude changed for the better. Life is good, and I'm grateful my kids have a better life than I did at their age.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Don't tug on the hose too hard if it's old. Or better yet,be ready to possibly replace it. Have a flashlight handy because of the nooks and crannies.

It's going to take a lot of patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
144,582 checked for a cabin filter. Mine doesn't have a slot for one. I'd have to cut the slot where it's marked. I'm just going to leave it.

On a good note, the exhaust smell in the cabin has stopped entirely. One of the things I fixed seems to have fixed that problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 · (Edited)
144,632 finally got around to changing out the transmission fluid. Used some GL4 stuff off Amazon.

While under the truck I noticed a few coolant drops. Hopefully nothing serious. Topped it off and for now I'm just going to keep an eye on it.

Checked the clutch and brake fluid. Brakes needed a little topping off but clutch fluid was filthy again, same color as before. Probably residue that was in the line. Gonna flush that out again next week, and going to keep flushing regularly until it's not that color anymore.

Power steering topped off due to leak in the gear box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
144,884 replaced the leaky hose as well as another hose right behind it. Not sure which was leaking so I just replaced both. One was molded in a U shape, and the other went to the heater core out of the thermostat housing. I recommend getting an 11 inch, 45 degree bent needle nose pliers to replace those hoses. It couldn't be done by hand. The power steering pump and bracket, tire, and oil filter will also need to be moved out of the way for better access.

Oddly, when the coolant was leaking out, the temperature needle stayed in the normal zone, but the AC stopped blowing cold. Once I replaced the hoses and refilled with new coolant, the AC blew cold again. Gonna do some research to see if the coolant level has anything to do with the condenser keeping cool. Not sure how it would be considering it doesn't plug into the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 · (Edited)
Got a full suspension kit this past weekend. My son and I replaced upper and lower ball joints, all 4 shocks, stabilizer bar links, tie rods and center link, and the idler arm. Greased all ball joints.

Notes: Shelved the old idler arm and stabilizer bar links since they looked good. The OEM lower ball joint uses a clip that's covered by a rubber seal; in order to remove the seal, I had to slightly press out the ball joint then press it back in; this lifted the seal so I could get a flathead under it and pry it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Took it in for an alignment yesterday. Got it aligned but the steering wheel isn't straight because I'm off by a tooth with the pitman arm. Damn it. The alignment has a 6 month warranty so we're going to hold off a few weeks to adjust it, then take it back to get it realigned.

I still don't like how the steering feels. I feel a random drift in either direction sometimes and a bit of play in the steering. I wonder if the toe isn't facing in enough. I'm going to ask that they look into that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
Replaced the fuel pump yesterday morning along with all breather and fuel hoses coming out of the tank and at the fuel filter along with the fittings at the filter. Filter was replaced a few months back.

*Replaced the leaking seal in the steering gear box some time back. Unsure of miles at the time; estimate around 147k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
About 150k miles. Changed the oil and filter.

Tried straightening the steering wheel but the pitman arm and steering column splines are all slotted in a way that you can't make small adjustments. That means the alignment is where the adjustments to the steering wheel, with respect to the wheels, must be made. I'm going to take the truck back to the shop and have them look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
155,540 Supertech oil (5w30) and filter (ST6607).
Flushed clutch fluid with Supertech DOT3.

It's been 1 year and 11,000 miles since we got the truck, and my son has become very attached to it. He's currently in USMC boot camp. He went against my request to join the Army. He said he just wanted to be a Marine like his old man; I had to smile at that. Anyway, the truck will be in tip top condition when he returns. If he gets stationed stateside, he can drive it to his duty station. If overseas, I'll just park it in the back yard until he returns.

Except for the seal at the crank shaft pulley, there are no more leaks on the truck. Steering is still not as good as I'd like, but it's good enough. If I hold onto the truck, I think over time I'm going to replace all ball joints and steering components again but with quality parts. I used cheap parts off eBay to get it on the road.
 

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FrontyCB00

Nice project for you and your son. Good dad award. Also, thank you and your son for your service.

I'll be following along with your progress. I just bought an 02 XE King Cab 4cyl MT. After the initial tune up from my trusty mechanic, my plan is to teach myself how to maintain and repair and do as much as I possibly can by myself. I'm pretty handy with a wrench--I'm a yacht captain and am the ship's de facto engineer, but I've always driven newer cars until this one. Bought me a beater in order to achieve some financial objectives, including becoming debt free.

Have you picked up the repair manual for your truck? I found them here - https://manuals.co/workshop. The guy asks for a minimum donation of 5 GBP (the exchange rate is an unbelievable 1.3 at the moment). Not bad for a 3500 page repair manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
FrontyCB00

Nice project for you and your son. Good dad award. Also, thank you and your son for your service.

I'll be following along with your progress. I just bought an 02 XE King Cab 4cyl MT. After the initial tune up from my trusty mechanic, my plan is to teach myself how to maintain and repair and do as much as I possibly can by myself. I'm pretty handy with a wrench--I'm a yacht captain and am the ship's de facto engineer, but I've always driven newer cars until this one. Bought me a beater in order to achieve some financial objectives, including becoming debt free.

Have you picked up the repair manual for your truck? I found them here - https://manuals.co/workshop. The guy asks for a minimum donation of 5 GBP (the exchange rate is an unbelievable 1.3 at the moment). Not bad for a 3500 page repair manual.
No, I haven't gotten the manual yet. Thanks for the link.

I'm all for debt free, man. Good luck! I'm trying to FIRE through rental properties. If you've not heard of FIRE, check out reddit's Financially Independent Retire Early thread. I hope my Service Record thread helps you. Feel free to ask me any questions via PM. I'm not a pro mechanic, but I've learned quite a bit over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Currently around 156500 miles. The fuel gauge recently started messing up, reading inaccurately. It moves slowly up and down randomly, and spends most of it's time on Low Fuel. I pulled over when I first noticed it and there are no fuel leaks. We changed the fuel pump (which reads the fuel level) some months back and the pump still works. I'm going to leave it alone and use the trip meter to determine fuel level.

I drove around with a container of fuel to test the mileage limit. I got up to 289.7 miles and decided to fill up the tank, which took 13.5 gallons to fill up. Google said the XE takes 15.9 gallons, but I'm not going to risk the car shutting off on a busy highway, even if I'm carrying spare fuel. It can reach at least 290 miles and that's good enough information.

So to summarize:

290+ miles to a tank
13.5 gallons yielded 290 miles.
Recommend filling up by 240 miles at the latest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Also, my son graduated boot camp last month and is an official Devil Dog. Oorah. I have the truck while he's in combat training. In a few weeks he'll be at his MOS school. I'm going to redo the entire front end suspension system again, this time with MOOG ball joints and quality shocks. It should be ready when he gets to his MOS school, at which point I'll load up my motorcycle, drive it up to him, and ride back home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Just ordered all MOOG parts: upper control arms with ball joints, center link, lower ball joints, tie rod assemblies, and front KYB shocks. The rear are Monroe shocks and fairly new; I'll see how the whole truck feels when the new ones are in place. I'd like a little bit stiffer ride. Currently the XE feels like a boat.

My son is in Missouri for training for a few months. My other son, who will probably inherit this truck in a couple of years when he's old enough to drive, is going to help me install everything.

Also, reminder to check the rear bearings. I'm getting a weird clacking back there randomly. It could be something needs tightening too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
159,525

Installed all parts listed above. The front shocks feel nice and firm. I think I'm going to do the back as well. Got lifetime alignment and Destination tires at Firestone.

Clutch slave cylinder has a small leak. Gonna buy a Luk cylinder eventually. It can wait for now.
 
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