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Starkman's Explorer build thread

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by Starkman, August 18, 2013.

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    1. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      2000 Explorer Eddy Bower
      First off I want to thank everyone who posts their experiences and builds on this forum. I read and use them often.

      So, I thought I would add a thread with my project and maybe someone else can use me as help.
       
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    3. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      2000 Explorer Eddy Bower
      My Explorer is a 2000 Eddie Bauer with 135K miles with a V8 with dark gray interior and in great shape. I bought it from the original owner's son after he passed away. It was purchased from Estes Park Ford in Estes Park Colorado.

      Here it is as I bought it;
      [​IMG]


      The intent of this build is to create something that is comfortable for daily driving and can pull a dirtbike trailer or a small camper and explore trails in Colorado and Utah. The key is to not modify it passed the point where it doesn't work as a "comfortable" daily driver.
       
    4. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      2000 Explorer Eddy Bower
      Mods done so far (will add as completed);

      Torsion bar twist
      Shackle install
      Rancho RS9000X shocks
      33x10.50-15 BFG AT tires
      15x7 American Racing wheels
      removed running boards
      Rock sliders
      4406 transfercase swap
      Front bumper with winch mount
      Rear bumper
      Spare tire mount inside hatch
      Gold trim blacked out

      Future mods;
      Redesign rear bumper - tire carrier, fuel can, hi-lift jack mount, bumper will be an air tank
      On board air
      Rear locker
      Regear to 4.56
      F150 spring mod
      Front swaybar disconnect

      I would be happy to answer questions about my experiences in these mods.
       
      Last edited: August 4, 2015
    5. pbnj22

      pbnj22 Active Member

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      with removing running boards did you "plug" the holes, leave them there, or put the xls trim piece in its place?
       
    6. Campoli

      Campoli Active Member

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      Pics!!!
       
    7. Blue91Ex

      Blue91Ex Active Member

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      did you leave the fender flares? dont they tie in with the running boards? i feel like they wouldnt look very good without the running board to tie each fender together..
       
    8. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Great questions!

      One of the future mods is to add rock sliders. So, I want to do something different in the Explorer world but normal in the Jeep world. I will attach the sliders to the rocker panels. They will attach to the factory running board attachments and I will put nutserts in the "holes" where the trim attached. Understanding that the sheet metal isn't strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle but the real load bearing will happen in the back of the rockers at the running board threaded inserts. I don't plan on smashing this thing on the rocks but I do want some protection and also the clearance this mod provides.

      Here is the mock up I did to get measurements;
      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]

      The steel I got is thicker then the mockup steel. It's a 2x2 angle and a plate measuring 3 1/2" all 66" long. I will add round tubing to this to add more protection also. Yes, there are stronger ways to get this done but I think it will work for me. I bent what I thought were very strong sliders on my Ranger so I feel I understand the limits.

      I won't be doing this.
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: August 19, 2013
    9. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      This is the last time it was out, more mods since then.

      You can see the way the flares stop at the bottoms, not perfect looking but not too bad.

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    10. DjDom

      DjDom Moderator Emeritus

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      Looks good. That gold really needs to go black though. ;)
       
    11. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Transfercase swap

      I finally dug in. Low range here I come.

      Will it fit?
      [​IMG]

      Interior prepped.
      [​IMG]

      Hole cut in the floor for the shifter.
      [​IMG]

      Trimed and cut and used the factory F150 inner boot. Had to add a strap to keep the rubber from pulling out but works well.
      [​IMG]

      Reinstalled the interior and took the Ex out and the swap is complete!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
       
      Last edited: August 26, 2013
    12. exlporer

      exlporer New Member

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      Do the 33s rub? If so will you trim or body lift?
       
    13. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Trim, I want to keep it as low as possible. I'll be testing this weekend and will post pics.
       
    14. rabbit91

      rabbit91 Elite Explorer

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      :popcorn:
       
    15. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      I am so happy. The Explorer performed very well today. Disconnected front swaybar and it works better than I expected. Now finish bumpers and sliders and add a rear locker. Low range is so cool, never realized I missed it so much. And, this is the first vehicle I ever wheeled with an automatic trans. I love it!

      [​IMG]

      Good compression on the drivers side.
      [​IMG]

      Rear flex.
      [​IMG]

      One more, you can see the beginning of the rear bumper and sliders.
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: October 6, 2013
    16. rabbit91

      rabbit91 Elite Explorer

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      If you decide you want to wheel more than tow... go SOA I get an insane amount of flex now
       
    17. exlporer

      exlporer New Member

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      how does the gearing hold up? I have the same truck. Do the 33s really rob power from you on the trails as everyone says?
       
    18. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Yes, I can notice a power difference on the road but not off road. In low range and an automatic it crawls just fine. But I will regear someday. I ran 4.56s in my Ranger running 33s and that ratio was great.
       
    19. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Sliders done!

      After paint;
      [​IMG]
       
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    20. 96EXXLTinCO

      96EXXLTinCO Elite Explorer

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      Ok, I know you've done more since.........I'd really like a peak at that front bumper. I'm lookin to fab up something similar, but the pick in the lottery thread is a little to far away......
      And I'm wondering how you made out with the 33's initially? They had to be rubbing.......my 31's are.
       
    21. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Well-Known Member

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      Hey Rich, I forgot you had a build a thread. It's definitely out of date though.

      You should share what you learned on the front bumper. That could open up some possibilities for other people.
       
    22. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Wow, I did let this thread go.

      Front bumper

      Bought a Smitty Built bumper for a TJ Wrangler. Walked into 4Wheel Parts and they were selling a floor display for $100.

      The mount dimensions are basically 2"x4" so I cut the frame rails and welded a 2x4 piece of tubing on simple as that.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      You may notice a plastic trim cover attached to the bottom of the body to cover up the now exposed inner fender. I used the lower spoiler from the stock bumper cover. Ended up pretty good..
      [​IMG]
       
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    23. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Welded a receiver on top of the cross plate to mount a winch. Fabbed up a license plate mount and welded in some plates to mount a set of factory Ford Expedition driving lights I had laying around.
      [​IMG]
      Added a RCI skid plate I got from 2TimingTom.
      [​IMG]
       
    24. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Sliders installed
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
    25. Starkman

      Starkman Elite Explorer

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      Rear bumper

      Wanted to build the smallest and tightest bumper possible. Not entirely happy with it. I think I will be building a new bumper with a tire carrier.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
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    26. NorCalMike

      NorCalMike New Member

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      I'd love to see a swing out tire carrier setup. Nice work on the sliders too. Good usage of what you had to work with.
       

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