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I want to make my Explorer off road worthy.

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by justjoe032, October 28, 2010.

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    1. justjoe032

      justjoe032 New Member

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      hey so i just got a '96 xlt, manual trans explorer! its my first real car haha and i kinda want to get it prepped for some little off road action. i'm just a beginner haha. nothin big, no huge rocks or holes but just a little fun on weekends hah. i dont have a ton of money and my dad sure as hell won't fund it haha. so whats are some basic needs for off roading? lift? tires? shocks? etc.

      thanks,
      JOE
       
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    3. pcsullivan91

      pcsullivan91 Member

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      just get some all terrain tires if your just wanting to play around in the mud and have a good time offroad. Eventually a lift will be necessary if your wanting to try bigger obstacles but a good set of tires will get you started.
      I miss the stock off roading days...
       
    4. MrQ

      MrQ Take the Bull by the Horns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      A good set of tow straps and mounting points (Tow hooks, d-rings and such) are a good start. They are relatively inexpensive and can save you a big headache if you do get stuck. A hi-lift jack is also a good investment. For about $60 you can have a decent off road lifting implement. :D Also, deflate your tires to about 15psi before heading off the pavement so you can get maximum traction.
       
    5. Albino 94LTD

      Albino 94LTD Recovering from Moab 2016 Elite Explorer

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      that's sound advice^

      check here for a variety of trails in Washington; http://www.nwjeepn.com/WAtrails.htm
       
    6. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to this forum! I've moved your thread into the modified 95-01 section.
       
    7. justjoe032

      justjoe032 New Member

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      sweet thanks a lot everyone. i think ill find some tires and work my way toward a lift. is a body lift the way to go?
       
    8. colintrax

      colintrax Elite Explorer

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      Don't worry about the body lift until its time for tires again. Just make sure you have offroad tires, and you should be good. Even the 2wd explorers do pretty darn good when they leave the pavement.
       
    9. Albino 94LTD

      Albino 94LTD Recovering from Moab 2016 Elite Explorer

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      Use the search box to look for TT and shackles.

      If you're greared 3.73, you can run 31" tires with that combo and run 75% of the trails listed in the web site I linked.

      That should serve you well for a couple years
       
    10. explorer1998xlt

      explorer1998xlt New Member

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      I have a 1998 ford explorer xlt, and i also wanted to start to make improvements on it so i can go off roading. Its a 2wd. I just want a list of things that i can do to it in order of importance. I am willing to do it over a long period of time just to get the money to do it. Right now it doesnt ride terribly rough on the street, but just like any older car out there it isnt super smooth.
       
    11. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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    12. MrQ

      MrQ Take the Bull by the Horns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Being 2wd isn't a sin in the 4wd world, though sometimes it's made out to be. Generally, a locked 2wd will outperform an open diff 4wd. So, if you don't want to convert to 4wd, a locker (Aussie is a good low-cost lunchbox locker) can make a giant difference in your off road performance. Also a small lift, 31" tires, decent tow points (tow hooks, d-rings, etc), an off road jack, and, in the long run, a good winch will really get you where you need to go.

      This is NOT to say that a 2wd will handle everything a 4wd can, but with this setup you can at least handle some fun trails. :)
       
      Last edited: May 10, 2011
    13. Ray Lobato

      Ray Lobato Moderator Moderator Emeritus

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      I absolutely agree the Dan. Get a locker in the rear and you will do things you never thought were possible. With a locker you will have true 2wd, which will get you over more than you think.
       
    14. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      ive been thinking about throwing a rear locker on my ST. ive looked at the powertrax lockers from richmond and they look pretty legit. what about the aussies that were metnioned in the earlier thread. anyone have any knowledge or recommendations between the two? which would be best for an 03 ST? i dirve my ST on the freeway but do go off road and up through the sierra mountains for snowboarding and camping a lot too. id say i do about 80/20 freeway/trail and mountain driving with my ride. how would my ST handle on the road with lockers on, especially in the rain?
       
    15. MrQ

      MrQ Take the Bull by the Horns Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Rookieshooter recommends the Aussie locker. He is using it in his front axle d44 right now but is considering, when he regears, going with an Aussie in the rear.(per his last FHDRS interview)
       
    16. Blee1099

      Blee1099 Evil Asian EF Vendor Moderator Emeritus

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      Search for Alec's 2wd rig, Splat
       
    17. LONO100

      LONO100 Well-Known Member

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      thanks, I always see people raving about the Aussie lockers but also read that the powertrax lockers by Richmond are super quiet and don't make as much noise. ill read up more on the Aussies.
       
    18. tlwbc16

      tlwbc16 New Member

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      Richmond Update and Question

      I also had read the recommendations for the Richmond Locker as a less 'abrupt' locker than the Detroit. I have a 2WD 1999 Sport that I just had re-geared with 4:10 gears and a Richmond locker.

      First, Richmond has sold their locker business to some Chicago company so supply is short right now. I finally found one at Jeg's.

      Second, the new owners don't want to hear any technical or warrantee issues.

      My locker just locks the left rear wheel...the right wheel just sits there. We put it up on the lift, cover off. If you hand spin one wheel, both turn (as they should). If you give either wheel a jerk, the right dog clutches dissengage. Yes, we verified the clearance was correct with the provided square gage.

      The Richmond new owners say "impossible"...must have been assembled wrong. I had the work done by a very experienced driveline shop, a shop that had installed Richmonds in the past (and had a Toyota Richmond on the shelf).

      We are going to take it down next Wednesday and re-trace the assembly steps but be aware, the new owners of Richmond Locker a more than a little suspect and absolutly no help diagnosing this problem.

      Any one have any suggestions? I will post what we find on Wednesday.
       
    19. monkeybam

      monkeybam New Member

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      im new to off roading

      hello everyone,

      Im new to off roading i just bought a 91 ford explorer its a rwd 4x4 the owner who i bought it from changed the 4x4 from automatic to locking hub. how do i put the suv in to 4x4? Its has 4 kc lights on it with a custom bumper and i put 4 new 31 x 10.50 x 15r tires on it. I what to put new shocks on but i dont know what to start with? It my daily driver but i also want it to be set up for off roading.

      zach
       
    20. PrerunnerManiac

      PrerunnerManiac Active Member

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    21. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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      Nice runner

      Have nothing against 2WD. When conditions are right, cars can get just about anywhere. I saw a guy drive a beater toyota tercel up to elk camp in the rockies over jeep trails. But had my share of being stuck and stranded plenty in the past and generally not on any planned offroad trips. Learned my lessons and stick with 4x4 for offroading or whenever the weather forecast is bad.

      Like anything else its all about location and conditions. Hills, mud, snow and ice make 4wd somewhat of a requirement in many rural areas in the snow belt. Soft farm fields and steep muddy dirt roads in spring do just fine with getting 2wd trucks sunk in and stuck. In town on pavement anything over 3 or 4 inches of snow without chains is going nowhere.

      Where I live now we do have pretty darned good road service and usually have the streets cleared fairly quickly, but still sitting around waiting on plow trucks at least once a week during winter in is plain dumb. Soccer moms ditched their minivans in the midwest for 4wd trucks years ago for just this reason. That's why finding a used 2wd suv around here is rare.

      Offroading with 2WD is absolutely fine in places where the ground is solid and not wet or slick. A locker will get you up some steep hills and over some ruts that will leave an unlocked RWD stranded.

      4WD is not perfect. You still get stuck, just farther from help and in much worse places to get out of. The very best thing to have on any offroad trip -- FRIENDS WITH A SECOND VEHICLE!
       

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