Well, $578 later and the Explorer (hereforth referred to as The Exploder) is running great. It was making a vaguely frightening clunk from the right front wheel when I turned and backed up so I had it checked out. The tie rod ends were worn down to little nubs and about to break off and kill us all. So that plus a front end alignment was $280. I also had them check out why the rear differential was leaking gear fluid. The seals were all totally shot so they had to drop the driveshaft and axles and do all that.
I would have preferred the Exploder to be in perfect shape and require no work when I got it but that was expecting a bit much from a car with 135,000 miles on it. I still think I got a great deal. I paid $3900 for it (down from $4100) and the Kelly Blue Book on it was $4300 at the least. I put some new brake pads on the parking brake and now this work and I think (hope) I have a solid truck.
8 cylinders is a whole different story than I am used to. I hooked up the waverunner tonight and took it down to the car wash to blow off a few years of spiders and dirt and dryer lint. I could barely even tell I was towing something. With my Ranger it was an effort to pull the little waverunner. With this thing it’s like it’s not even there. So that’s awesome.
So, hooray! Now I just need it to be summer so I can go to the lake! I wanna go to the lake so fucking bad. Lake, lake, lake, lake, lake.