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How to: Explorer 3rd row delete & police package install

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorer Sport Tuning' started by jrgoffin, December 24, 2014.

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    1. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      EDIT (04/18): In the process of re-uploading photos thanks to PhotoBucket now charging a ridiculous amount of money to host them. Since there is apparently a 10-image limit here now for some dumb reason, the original post will have to be broken up in to three parts to accommodate the original 30 photos.

      At the moment, the 2nd & 3rd posts are on the second page of this thread since I had to create them to add the pictures. They may not be able to get put back in sequence since there were other replies after the original thread was created, but at least all the pictures are back!

      Part 1
      - - - - -

      There is a thread here from a while back that shows the removal of the 3rd row, but I wanted to expand on that and include the install of the "Police Package" (and fleet vehicle?) parts to convert the rear cargo area to a "trunk". With the new floor, this adds a bunch of extra storage underneath, which is a real bonus. If your vehicle has the manual fold 3rd row (like my '14 Sport), this is easy, and in my book, necessary. I can't comment on how much additional work would be involved if you have the power-fold seats, but I'm guessing it just entails removing some extra wiring.

      The other thread shows the removal of the interior panels and third row, as well as the installation of the cross-brace that is a substitute for the seats and required for the rear crash rating of the vehicle (the brace is originally sourced from the Lincoln MKT):

      Removing 3rd Row Seats & Installing Cross Brace

      Without re-hashing that too much, I knew I wanted to remove the heavy third row so I could add the storage space while still having the ability to haul things on a flat load floor. The downside to this is the cost of the parts: everything new from Ford (Levittown, Tousley, & Tasca will have the best prices) is going to be almost $1,200 - plus shipping. Fortunately, I found a relatively new Police Utility that got wrecked and bought most of the parts for less than half.

      Parts list (with Tasca prices) - current as of 4/18:

      Cross brace: DB5Z-7810780-A ($204)
      Support, front: DB5Z-78310B17-A ($190)
      Support, L: DB5Z-78310B16-B ($85)
      Support, R: DB5Z-78310B16-A ($85)
      Floor panel, front: DB5Z-7813046-BA ($287)
      Floor panel, rear: DB5Z-7813046-CA ($317)
      Bolts, front panel (2): W710150-S436 ($5 ea)
      Access cover, L: DB5Z-78312A29-BA ($7)
      Access cover, R: DB5Z-78312A28-BA ($6)

      For starters, here is my freshly painted brace (they are bare and will rust, so paint or powder-coating is recommended):

      [​IMG]

      The side supports (all of which are made from styrofoam):

      [​IMG]

      The front support, which tucks in behind the second row seats and allows the front floor panel to bolt on to it (it had a slight notch cut out of it from the original PD for whatever reason, but it's hidden and not noticable when the panels are over it):

      [​IMG]

      Anyway, removing the seats starts with unbolting the forward brackets/hinges that support the front floor panels when the seats are stowed. The panels are easy to lift up exposing the four 13mm nuts and the brackets themselves. Also removed are the two "U" supports that lock the seat in the upright position (shown on each side). The four bolts that hold them in (under that section of carpet) have a 10mm hex, and one of the holes is re-used for the long bolts that will hold the new forward floor panel in place.

      [​IMG]

      You'll also need to unbolt the forward seat belt brace that is under those access covers where the main bolts are. This is the right side as an example:

      [​IMG]

      Here is the Ford diagram that shows where the seat belt assembly (right side as well) bolts in at both ends of the seat "hinge":

      [​IMG]

      Once that is done, the interior panels need to be popped out and leaned inward so the four large bolts can be removed that hold the seat assembly (15mm hex). That thread listed at the top covers the removal of all the interior trim, but it's pretty simple. The rear seat weighs close to 100#, so I was glad to haul it out. Kind of a drag pulling parts off a new Explorer with just 2,000 miles, but it was for a good cause.

      I also took out the rear seat belt mechanisms which required removal of the upper trim panels in each corner (one small bolt each plus the normal clips). There are four T-50 Torx bolts that have to come out (two each side), and for the right side, the subwoofer also needs to be taken out temporarily to access the lower Torx bolt.

      Here is the left side with the mechanism removed and the lower Torx bolt threaded back in so it wont' get lost:

      [​IMG]

      Similar for the right, except the subwoofer is back in place (three 10mm hex bolts and one electrical connector -real easy):

      [​IMG]

      Once that stuff was out, I used some spray adhesive with some black trunk-liner material to cover the holes in the trim panel that would be left from the rear seat belts. The black liner was scored at a local car audio shop, but there are probably plenty of options with other colors as well. With the police version, the slots are just left open, but I wanted them covered. This is the view from the back:

      [​IMG]

      One of the panels back in place showing how the seat belt slot is now filled:

      [​IMG]

      Cont. (<---- Hyperlink to Part 2 on next page)
       
      Last edited: April 21, 2018
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    3. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      Very nice write up!

      Glad to see someone who is as OCD as me.....

      My Agency puts equipment storage boxes in the back of our Utility's. Like many Agency's they take out the full size spare and they throw out the foam and rigid floor in order to fit in the storage box. Removing the foam and tire completely defeats the 75MPH rear crash rating but still many do it.

      I bet if someone had a contact at their local agency they could grab some of this stuff cheap.
       
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    4. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      It was definitely nice to find the parts at a "discount"! I wonder what local PD's do with everything if they add the steel floors - I might have to inquire. It's well worth it to do this, just too bad it's not an option on the civilian versions.
       
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    5. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Here is the cargo liner for the 2014 MKT. It wouldn't have an exact fit along the sides if used in the Explorer.

      Peter

      P4280234_001.JPG
       
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    6. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      The Husky version, #23181, is relatively "square" and has the same width as the Explorer seat assembly when folded (that stands to reason since the cross brace actually came from the MKT). You would just possibly have the raised edges that would not be flat against the sides, but that is probably not a big deal since it still matches the relative outline of the new floor panels. I would assume the Ford tray is the same size.
       
      Last edited: April 21, 2018
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    7. langla4

      langla4 Member

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      very nicely done. Appreciate the attention to detail.
       
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    8. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      Thanks! This was definitely one of my gripes about the vehicle, but it was easy enough to take care of. Love the vehicle and am even happier to have the extra storage space. Just too bad it isn't a factory option like it was in the '05 and earlier models.
       
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    9. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I agree and would prefer to see the 3rd as an option. As a single driver, I never used the 3rd row in the Ex. The only time I put them up in the MKT was to see if they worked and to see what they looked like in the 'tailgate' position. Aside from that they are always under the cargo liner.

      Peter
       
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    10. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      I've seen some MKT's without a third row that are used as "limo's", but it definitely is a drag that Explorer owners aren't so lucky. That was one of the many reasons I grabbed a '14 Sport: the power-fold third row became standard in the '15 and I definitely didn't want that option either.
       
      Last edited: January 9, 2015
    11. cwescapexlt4x4

      cwescapexlt4x4 Explorin' the Desert SW Elite Explorer

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      My 06 didn't have 3rd row as I able to order without.
      Great write up and attention to detail, i will certainly be referencing this when I get my next EXP. How long did this take to do the work? (not the purchasing, but the removal/install)
       
    12. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      Yeah, up until 2010, you could still order without the third row (I had an '04 Mercury Mountaineer that I ordered the same way). With 2011 and up, it's considered part of the structure - at least as far as the crash rating goes - hence the substitution of the X-brace when the seats are removed. The job wasn't all that difficult and probably took me a couple hours or so, but I stretched it out a bit since I was snapping some pics as well.
       
    13. stillmarried

      stillmarried Member

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      Thanks to the inspiration from the OPs, here are some more tips from my third row power seat replacement with the interceptor deck cover.
      Tire cover: After you pull out the seat, lay the two foam side pieces on top of the tire cover, cut off the part of tire cover that is under the foam pieces. I cut off the excess carpet with a utility knife, and then cut the press board with a vibrating tool. I then used 1 1/2" wide black gaff tape to cover the edges of the tire cover for a finished look. I think it is a good idea to cover the tire with this cover so that when you put tools and stuff in this storage area the tire side wall is protected by the tire cover.
      Then, I stripped out all of the parts from the third row seat assembly, and sold the aluminum seat frames for scrap. I used the black cover material that went over the head rests to cover the holes where the seat belts came out in the upper trim panels, as well as cover holes in the lower lift gate trim piece.
       
    14. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the Forum stillmarried.:wavey:
      Thank you for the additional info.:thumbsup:

      Peter
       
    15. bburzycki

      bburzycki Active Member

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      Great write up with part numbers..

      I am actually going to build a custom platform / storage system in mine to accommodate the ton of equipment I carry with me....
       
    16. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      Some good ideas there! Will dig the spare tire cove back out and go to work on it. I did keep the entire seat assembly just in case, so it's wrapped up and stored for safe keeping, but I never even pay attention to the rear belt openings. You should snap some pics and add them for all to see your work!
       
    17. jordansypek

      jordansypek Member

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      nice write up!
       
    18. Bstard2001

      Bstard2001 Elite Explorer

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      Very cool write up!!!
       
    19. TRWXXA

      TRWXXA Member

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      Very nice how-to thread.

      Are the same parts good for doing this to a 2016? If not: Anyone know the equivalent part numbers?
       
    20. TRWXXA

      TRWXXA Member

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      Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

      Guess I'll find out myself. Parts on order.
       
    21. Joeysvtexplorer

      Joeysvtexplorer New Member

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      Wanting to trade my PI rear trunk set for rear seat belts and floor inserts including space saver spare!
       
    22. sumitagarwal

      sumitagarwal New Member

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      I'm actually considering doing the opposite of this: buying a PI and adding in the third row. Any thoughts? Looks like plenty of third-row seats are available on eBay, but getting the seatbelts may be the trickier part.
       
    23. jrgoffin

      jrgoffin Member

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      Since PhotoBucket decided to hose its users by charging a substantial fee for 3rd-party hosting, a lot of forum posts are going to be useless without pictures. I did recently open a TinyPic account and will re-load the pictures there eventually.
       
      Last edited: April 20, 2018
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    24. peterk9

      peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      With a $20 Elite membership you should be able to repost all the pictures in your original posts making it much easier for members when checking out those particular threads.

      Peter
       
    25. stillmarried

      stillmarried Member

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      Just used this thread to install the third row seat conversion for a 2017 Limited. I had a print out including pictures from the OP original posting.
      If you get the Ex Service Information CD from Helm, section 501-05 shows details of how to remove the quarter panels, scuff trim panels, and D pillar trim panels.
      A tip that I used to reinstall each quarter panel back in place is to find each pin and clip of the plastic quarter panel that fits into the Ex body, and then apply a piece of blue tape on the outside surface to match each location of the pins and clips. Then when you are pressing the quarter panel back in place, you only need to push in on the areas of the blue tape to seat the pins and clips in place.
       
    26. metroplex

      metroplex Member

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      I just looked at the photos and was wondering how the parts work with the indent in the floor? My 2018 has a raised lip underneath the 3rd row, so it isn't entirely flat. Does the police interceptor use more styrofoam blocks to level the floor? I repurposed my Weathertech trunk liner from my 2014 SHO and put it under the 3rd of seats but I found out there's a lowered part of the floor that prevents the liner from going all the way to the 2nd row of seats. I'm not sure if this is normal on all 11-17 Explorers as well.
       

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