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Varsity's 2000 Explorer Sport

Discussion in 'Elite Explorer Registry' started by Varsity, February 4, 2011.

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    1. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      January 4, 2011
      Messages:
      606
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      15
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      28
      City, State:
      Chicago Ridge, IL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '00 Sport
      WOW :eek: I knew the registry needed to be updated, but I didn't think it was THIS bad. I'll be fairly straightforward with my wording here. I was more concerned about getting an update out then being creative and artsy with my wording, :D

      Now that winter and cold weather is gone (fingers crossed), its time to start focusing back on the truck. We've just hit 122k, and things seem to be well. A few things need to be worked on, such as the liftgate that doesn't want to lock with the rest of the doors, grumbling and rumbling from front end, and brakes, but that's all relatively normal and expected as routine maintenance. I replaced the front sway bar end links a week ago with Moog polyurethane replacements, and although the forum seems to have a mixed opinion on them, its what I went with and I hope they treat me well. My "swiss cheese mod" has been improved as well, although no pics. The holes are at least twice as big and I made one more vertical row. More than likely gonna leave it like that. The truck has been treating me well and its time for me to return the favor. It is still a blast to drive and I get attention wherever I go.

      This past weekend, my pops and I went to the 4 Wheel Jamboree Nationals in Lima, OH like we've been doing the last couple of weeks. Definitely not surprised to be the only Explorer there, but several people showed interest in the truck and it grabbed alot of attention during the Cruise Route. Although I was surrounded by many trucks owned by people with blank checkbooks and private mechanics, its still basically a show about showing off what you got, impressive or not. From stock to modded, to rusty/beat up and pristine show condition, it's still a blast to show off what my dad and I worked so hard on. While I surely didn't make any magazine covers or win awards, we still had a blast.

      Now that I have some more time on my hands, I'm beginning to work harder on sourcing parts for my 4x4 swap and MUCH MUCH needed bodywork. I've got a checklist of many of the things I need for the swap, and will begin collecting as soon as I can. I have also taken a class on welding basics and once I get a welding cart and gas, I can get to practicing my welding skills (which need A LOT of work) so when I come across some useful body panels, I can fix that up. Really don't have a priority as far as these two go, I'm just gonna go with whatever I can done first :)

      So onto the pictures. First couple are from the Lima show this past weekend, and one is of an Explorer sales brochure from 2000 I got on eBay. Most people would scoff at something so stupid, but I find "nostalgic" things like that interesting. If only I could find a window sticker, I'd be complete :)
       

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    3. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      January 4, 2011
      Messages:
      606
      Likes Received:
      15
      Trophy Points:
      28
      City, State:
      Chicago Ridge, IL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '00 Sport
    4. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      January 4, 2011
      Messages:
      606
      Likes Received:
      15
      Trophy Points:
      28
      City, State:
      Chicago Ridge, IL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '00 Sport
      Bit of an overdue update again...

      So I did end up throwing a junkyard trans in the Explorer fairly quickly after the dreaded problem I had in the fall. Tried a few gaskets and parts, adjusted bands and did basically everything I could do and nothing helped. Ended up getting a unit with 99k on it at the time for a bargain price and after installing, shifting was back to normal, if not better than before. Its kinda funny how even when you think your vehicle is at its best, throw in some new/different parts and see what a difference it makes. It was an overall night and day difference in more ways than the flare. So I've been driving it like that and all has been basically well. I've been working the truck to the bone lately, driving to and from work, and immediately to school right after between several campuses, and any other running around that's needed to be done. With the exception of a few routine wear and tear parts, like new ball joints, sway bar bushings, thermostat and rad cap, the truck's been going great and doing what I needed it to, handling anything I threw at it.

      With that being said...i found a replacement...

      Just browsing online and various websites like I have a habit of doing, a 2014 F-150 caught my eye at a price I couldn't believe. Long story short, I jumped on it. I won't get into details, since I know this isn't the right place, but its a 2014 F-150 with the 5.0, 4x4, Regular Cab, short box, pretty sporty lil thing. I pretty much fell in love with it immediately and brought it home and plan to use it as my new DD. Its the first vehicle I've ever bought myself and I love it.

      With all the praise I said before, the Explorer has been showing its age. With only 127k on the clock, its been alot of work lately. The transmission had awakened my eyes to the fact that the truck is at a point where I'm bound for some major repairs and I'm not prepared or in a place to deal with them. The transmission was bad enough. I had to keep borrowing rides and vehicles until I could get it fixed, and even then, its only a matter of time until the junkyard one gives up the ghost. Sure it could be years down the road, or the next day. Between working 45-50 hours a week, and going to school approximately 12 with only one day off, I couldn't give it the attention and care it needs. Now I'm chasing a fluctuating temperature problem, quite minor, but a problem nonetheless. Plus, the body is giving out too. The underside is getting rough and there's rust creeping out of every crevice and nook. All the minor things were starting to add up.

      So what does this mean for the good ol' Explorer? Well, I still have it and plan to keep it for awhile. I want to keep this as a spare vehicle, and a fun weekend toy. I'm not gonna get squat as far as money for a 17 year old rusty 2wd Explorer, and none of the parts on the truck will transfer to the F-150. I also don't have the time, nor patience to try parting it out. So, i might as well keep it and see what I can do with it. Relieving it of DD duty should hopefully allow me to give it some much needed attention, and maybe even time to give her some goodies. I don't want to do much to the F-150, as its still got a warranty and is a nice truck, so Ill keep the modding and whatnot to the Explorer. Maybe I'll finally get around to 4WD swapping it, or practicing my welding skills and fixing up the body. I still have a trans cooler sitting in the garage that I want to put on the Explorer as I wouldn't be surprised if heat was the killer of my original trans. I've had the Explorer almost 7 years. Its done everything and anything I've asked of it quite reliably. Its been a great truck and got me into tinkering with cars, as well as introducing me to the off-roading world. Its hauled me to and from high school, college, work, activities and whatnot. I owe it to the truck to see it through.

      I know I don't currently post as much as I should, but its probably gonna be even less now. But hopefully when I DO, it'll be of updates worth sharing, and cool stuff I couldn't have otherwise.
       
    5. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      Messages:
      606
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      15
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      City, State:
      Chicago Ridge, IL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '00 Sport
      *** SPOILER ALERT *** No pictures...


      Finally got around to doing something that's been sitting since last Labor Day, installed an OEM trans cooler to the truck. Don't know if I posted when I got it, but last Labor Day as part of the 1/2 off at the junkyard, I got the trans cooler from an Explorer. Judging by the trucks in the yard, looks like most already come with it. I don't know if it was just part of the tow package, but it seemed harder to find one without a cooler mounted on the header panel in front of the condenser. But, i grabbed one from a 2000 that had a little under 90k on it and looked in great shape! Hardly any of the fins were bent, no rust or discoloration on it, and the fluid that came out of it looked great! Also pulled one of the lower lines and the little clip that holds both the lines together.
      The install went pretty easy with hardly any set-backs. Not too surprisingly, my truck had the mounting holes for it so bolting it up was a piece of cake. And the lines weren't too bad either, just sorta bent and modded my current lines to work, although that part was a bit tricky. Not sure how the body lift would've affected it, but the lines with the rubber hoses look to hang sorta low from factory, so we were able to lift em up a little bit higher out of the way without restricting flow or anything. All in all, it was a nice Saturday project and wasn't too hard to make it like factory, if not a little bit better. It'll be a while before I know if it helps or not, but it certainly can't hurt.
       
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    6. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      Location:
      Colorado Springs, CO
      City, State:
      Colorado Springs, co
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      97 Explorer 5.0
      Just looked thru your thread here and WOW you did a lot with your EX. Would you have some pictures of where you mounted your Cup Holder LED's. That looks awesome. Really like how you accented your dash.
       
    7. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      City, State:
      Chicago Ridge, IL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '00 Sport
      Thanks for the compliment! Yep, she sure has changed since I got her, mostly for the better, hehe.

      I did take a few pics of the cupholder lights. Its a pretty basic install, nothing fancy or impressive, as we didn't think much of it and it was an idea I had a while back. Thinking about it now, there's a few different ways to go about it but it ended up working well so I left it.

      I got a pack of what I think was 3 LEDs with two wires coming of each one from Pepboys, although I assume any parts store should have something similar, wired em together to the parking lights and ran the wires under the console, under the carpet up to behind the dash/foot area. Drilled a little hole until they fit in and put a little hot glue on the back to hold em in place. I grounded the wires to a screw that attaches the armrest to the console. Here are the pictures I have, I can try to get better ones if you'd like. And also what lights I used.

      And sorry the cupholders look gross, I swear I usually keep em spotless!!

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      lights.jpg
       
    8. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

      Joined:
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      Location:
      Colorado Springs, CO
      City, State:
      Colorado Springs, co
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      97 Explorer 5.0
      Looks good. I like that Idea a lot. Some times I do night wheeling and putting a cup back into a Dark Cup holder sucks. Once I get mine I will post pics in my thread. I saw on Amazone that they have a TON of lights for like next to nothing and that is what I will be ordering. Thank you for posting pic of it.
       
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    9. Varsity

      Varsity Don't need no stinkin 4WD...yet Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      January 4, 2011
      Messages:
      606
      Likes Received:
      15
      Trophy Points:
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      City, State:
      Chicago Ridge, IL
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '00 Sport
      I posted in the "what did you do today" thread, but I'll add it here too. Couple weeks ago, I took the Explorer to Badlands Off Road Park to participate in their "Christmas in Attica" parade. Basically, people dress up their ATVs, UTVs, Jeeps, 4x4, etc. and drive through the town in a parade with fire trucks, police, etc and throw candy to the kids. It goes for a nice cause too, as they ask for toy donations for local kids. And surprisingly for December, we had beautiful weather too. It was a ton of fun seeing kids run out to see the decorated vehicles and grab the candy and whatnot and being able to put a smile on their faces. I ended up taking home a trophy for "Best Decorated Jeep/SUV/Truck/4x4 so that was awesome too. All in all, super fun day and gave me the warm fuzzy feeling and stuff.

      Super disappointed Badlands didn't post action shots of the parade like they did last year. All I have are the pictures after I was just about done decorating.

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