I ended up continuing to drive the green one. The trans in the green one has been freshened up and shifts way better and firmer then the lazy trans in the black one. I drive hard and just don't trust that trans to take abuse. Plus the green one uses coolant and oil and its just easier for me to keep on the fluids if I am driving it. And the green one has a hitch where the black one doesn't.
Been working the green one pretty hard the last few weeks. My 17' box truck died on me the other day leaving me stranded. Ended up using the green explorer to strap it back to my work about 3 miles, pulled with no issue.
Been also using it to tow the buggy chassis around...
Then for the real test, I towed the buggy to rocks and valleys last weekend. About 300 miles round trip. Gotta say I was impressed. That green explorer has 280,000+ miles on the engine and chassis. And it towed well. Turned off the overdrive and set the cruise at 65 mph. Most of my trip is 131 north and south which once near big rapids is alot of rolling hills. It never downshifted hard on the hills and maintained speed with ease. I averaged 10.5 mpg towing on the highway at 65 and the surface roads at 60 mph. I didn't win any races starting off from a stop but once up to speed it had no issue maintaining. Braking on the other hand was a different story. I really should of installed the brake controller I have into the explorer as stopping with just the explorer brakes was pushing it. But I had no issues as I left plenty of room and anticipated every possible scenario of every person in front of me.
I bought that green one for $1200 of CL. And its been a work horse. Other then burning oil when idling to long and seeping coolant from the pass cyl. head. It has given me no issues and only req'd fixing when I push it to hard. I have mud bog'd it, I took it to Moab utah and beat onit on some of the harder trails for 5 days straight, I dd it everyday 80+ miles, I tow pretty large loads with it, I've taken it to the dunes and buried the rev limiter and jumped it more times then I care to admit. To say the least, I have been very happy with my purchase :).