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My "Modified" Stock 97 Explorer

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by EXP97LORER, September 14, 2017.


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    1. EXP97LORER

      EXP97LORER New Member

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      City, State:
      Oregon
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1997 Ford Explorer XLT
      Hi there,
      I just though I'd take a minute to share what I've done to my 97 Explorer, while keeping a relatively stock appearance.

      First, I decided to replace the stock dash lights with LEDs. Many of them were burnt out, and I was getting tired of the green hue. By putting in white LEDs, I ended up with a nice light blue color.

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Next, I decided to add keyless entry. This car was actually sold with Keyless entry as part of the XLT Package, but the dealer instead installed an engine immobilizer. The immobilizer was removed, and I installed keyless entry. The kit was just 18 dollars, and it was really easy to wire into the rear door lock switch.

      [​IMG]

      I've also done a few other small upgrades to the car. For example, the pocket under the aftermarket stereo is a wireless charger. All I have to do is toss my phone into the pocket, and boom, it charges.

      [​IMG]

      All of the dome light have been upgraded to leds, providing a nice white light when the car is opened. I spent hours tracking down and eliminating every rattle, either by replacing trim clips or finding loose bolts. The car runs solid, with just over 120,000 original miles on the SOHC V6. All belts, hoses, and other wearable parts have been replaced. The seats are heated (aftermarket part, about $80), and I have wired heated mirrors to the rear window defrost switch. Also, many exterior upgrades have been done, such as new headlights and chrome grille. All of this has been done while maintaining the stock appearance of the car.
      [​IMG]

      This picture doesn't do the paint justice- I did a full pain correction, and it has been left with no swirl marks and shines like a mirror (when its actually bright out).

      Any other suggestions of modern conveniences I could add to the car while still keeping it stock? I really like the style of the older SUVs, but I wanted to go for some of the modern features.
       
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    3. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      City, State:
      Erie, Pennsylvania
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1998 Mountaineer AWD
      I love my power inverter. Next on my list is a quality on board compressor, and rear bags to stiffen it up.
       
      Last edited: September 14, 2017
    4. SWIGIN

      SWIGIN Active Member

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      City, State:
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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      79 Bronco , 98 Explorer
      I like those gauge lights!
       
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    5. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      City, State:
      Albany, NY
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
      I have LEDs too, yours look a bit more even.

      Android HU, rear coilovers, Poly swaybar bushings....
       
    6. Vikram

      Vikram New Member

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1995 Ford Explorer XLT 4W
      Very nice, I have a 95 - i love these because they look how SUVs should look imo (everything these days are too rounded imo) and mine has also been very reliable. I'm thinking of getting new headlights too, because mine are yellow and nasty as heck lol. Where did you get yours? I'm thinking of either some with a black housing because i got a dark grey explorer and i think they would look. Maybe the ones with the halos. though I agree, I like to keep a stock appearance overall with slight mods to enhance the look.
       
    7. Indispensable Explorer

      Indispensable Explorer Member

      Joined:
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      City, State:
      Tennessee
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      95 Explorer xlt
      V6 4x4
      I really like the looks of your explorer! The white looks amazing, and combined with the new grille and headlights make the vehicle look new! Which grille did you buy? I was considering replacing mine too. One thing you could consider adding is a remote start, that's one thing that I wish I had even in my mild winter weather.
       
    8. Spudhut

      Spudhut New Member

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      Location:
      Bentonville
      City, State:
      Bentonville, AR
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1997 Explorer Sport - 4x4
      Callsign:
      KG5SPB
      nice clean work, great looking Explorer! I really like how the dash lights came out. Are you able to dim them using dimmer switch on the dash?

      I added an '01 bumper with foglights/chrome surrounds to mine, lights up the road much brighter than before!

      Any chance could you throw up a photo of the bulbs and what type/model you used in the dash?
       
    9. 1996xlt

      1996xlt Active Member

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      City, State:
      South Mills, NC
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      02 Ranger XLT
      To add to this, a higher trim level XLT would have the lower front bumper with fog lights, I'm sure you could find one in your local junk yard. Either swap the hole bumper or just take the lower section and it appears your truck is already wired for it, so plug-n-play.
       

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