‘98 Explorer 5.0 2wd prerunner build | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

‘98 Explorer 5.0 2wd prerunner build


New Member
January 9, 2022
Reaction score
City, State
San Luis Obispo CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Ford Explorer EB
Thought I would share my ‘98 5.0 2wd explorer “budget” build.
It’s been about 3 years imagineering
2 years of collecting parts and actually building it
My dumbass thought it would be cheaper and cooler to do this build using OEM F150 parts. Was it cheaper? Maybe. Was it a lot of alcohol fueled fab? Yes. Lol
I can honestly say that I spent the most money on shocks and bumps of this whole build.
I started with the rear axle..
I chose an ‘04 F150 8.8 because big bearing, bigger brakes, wider, and still able to use the factory speed sensor from the explorer. -$250 @ local junkyard

cut off all the factory junk, added a backbone truss and geared it 4.56 with Spartan lunchbox locker


Then I bought the explorer lol


Once I got the exploder, I was able to take better measurements on the rear frame for leaf spring mounts, and commit to supension options. I decided to do a cantilevered link killer set up cuz I didn’t want to run the shocks into the cab, but wanted a lot of travel. I also decided I was gonna try to adapt F150 4wd spindle/knuckle to my home-brewed alcohol fueled long travel arms. At this point, I had several design issues, I wanted to run 5x135mm lug pattern because I wanted to use knuckles from an ‘02 F150 4WD because using CAD to model, the a-arm geometry of that year worked so well with the stock explorer a-arm pivot mounts vs using the later years F150 knuckles. (Also I had scored on stock FX4 17” wheels cheap using that lug pattern -$100 for x4 rims) Problem is my rear axle is 6x135mm pattern. I devised an absolutely redneck way to re-drill them. Welded all the lug holes shut except one that would work with 5x135mm and re-drilled the lug pattern using a mag drill and template to accurately mount mag-drill.


Worked out perfectly. Lol
Once I had the rear end all figured out, I went ahead and modeled a cantilever set up designed around King 10” stroke 3.0 4 tube bypass with a rising rate.
Stay tuned for part 2!

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

love it!!

in the background it looks like a black cow is floating in the air
also you dropped some zip ties and fuses LMFAO!
Thanks for sharing

Part 2: Cantilever Fab.
It was time to fab the leaf spring mounts, shackle, and cantilever. (Leaf spring mount, hangers and shackle courtesy $$ of DIY off-road for plans)


Around this time, I got the Kings that I had ordered.

I got everything fabricated and all the pieces and components gathered up for install.

It was now time for the explorer to go under the knife. But first, a little tire roasting session lol

Part 3 coming up!

Part 3: cantilever install

Now to start cutting and snorting metal dust. CHOP CHOP

My technical supervisor lol

At this time, the frame was cleaned up and ready for the cantilever subframe.

All the factory stuff removed

Cantilever subframe tacked in

Front leaf hanger tacked in

Axle in place with mock up leafs for cycling

Part 4 coming up!

Part 4: getting king 2.0 x 2“ stroke tacked in at full bump with the leaf perfectly flat.

King 3.0 mounted for cycling and tacking in the lever arm links.

Everything clears and is coming together perfectly. It cycles 18” of travel bumped and limit strapped.
At this point I needed to trim the fender to clear 35’s at full bump. But that had to wait for another day. This is how it sat while I was modeling the front arms.

Made a prototype arm to check alignment and clearances as well as shooting for ~ 1” wider trackwidth for stability in the high speed whoops and rough stuff.



At this point, I took the prototypes and mounted them with the ‘02 F150 4wd knuckle.

It all looked good and was gonna work really well with 6* caster at ride height and ~ 12* caster at full bump. This makes it super stable and wanting to track straight as the suspension cycles in the whoops/bumps. Minimal bump-steer. Time to fab the arms and front end in part 5. Stay tuned!

love it!!

in the background it looks like a black cow is floating in the air
also you dropped some zip ties and fuses LMFAO!
Thanks for sharing
Haha thats another topic of UFO cow abduction problem I’m having on my property…… LMFAO
the whole build was an implosion of random dropped stuff lol

I’ve always loved that color.
It’s definitely a unique color. I’m gonna stick with it and paint my fiberglass fenders that same color. Was even thinking about getting the wheels powder coated the same color but idk if it would be too much of the same color lol

Some good work here

Part 5: A-arm fab.





At this point, I had acquired my King 3.0 x 8” stroke coil overs and 2.0 x 2” bumps.

It was time to install the arms and weld in the ruff stuff 9.75” shock towers, bump-stops and cycle it a million times more lol Stay tuned for part 6!

This is how it sat while I was modeling the front arms.
View attachment 444646
Reminds me of when I first got my front end low from the coilover conversion and before I lowered the rear to match. Got some really interesting looks when I drove it like that a couple times haha.

Amazing work so far!