01 STrunner's Sport Trac | Page 6 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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01 STrunner's Sport Trac

My name is Patrick and now that I've finally done some work I'll start a registry to keep track of where it's been and where it's going. I'll try to organize it chronologically as best I can.

I got the truck in June of 2008 with 70,000 miles on it.

Newest Setup: SAS/SOA, 3" BL, Warrior Shackles for ~12" total lift.


Some quick stats:
2001 Explorer Sport Trac
4.88 Gears
LP Dana 44HD Front Axle with leaf springs
SOA Stock 8.8 in the rear
35x12.50 BFG KM2s
17x9 Cragar Soft8 wheels
6x5.5 bolt pattern all 4 corners
Advantage Hard Hat bed cover

Here she is the day we brought her home


And of course it had to be approved by our skilled research team


The first thing I did to it was add a little ford emblem over the door badging. This pic is pretty recent but the best closeup I have of it. And when you're 15 stickers are still fricken sweet haha.


Another pic after a nice bath and detailing


My backyard; well sorta. Shenandoah National Forest is about 20 or 30 min away. I really like the view


This is a mountain bike park my buddies and I hit up a lot. The sun was at a cool angle so I snapped a quick picture.


Next thing (About a year and a half later) was a new set of shoes as beach driving was in the very near future and I needed a tire I wouldn't get stuck with. Got a set of Hercules Terra Trac A/T's in the stock size yet again. Before the beach trip I added a CB since we were traveling with RV's as a little group to OBX. That was just mounted on the passenger side of the console and the antenna was run under the carpet to the magnet mount antenna on the roof.

And the best way to go to the beach:



After the beach trip I decided I needed a little extra light in the back for hooking up trailers and just for more light whenever I wanted. Or to tell someone behind me to shut their damn high beams off. So I went down to Autozone and for $20 picked up a cheap pair of 3X5 Pilot Aux lights and hooked them up to a switch that I put down on the side of the console.


Also that was after a little fun with friends in an old park I found near my high school. Also from this next pic you can see how worn out the old shocks are. They were creaking over every little bump. Ended up having a local shop replace all 4 - Monroe Sensa-Tracs on the front and Monroe air adjustable shocks in the rear so it could be leveled out under heavy loads.


Heres a somewhat side shot with the new shock. Easily an inch or 2 higher. Before I learned mud was the devil...


A pic of the air shocks getting a workout. The setup is about 6000-6500 lbs. - Little overloaded but at the time it was our only choice for a tow vehicle since we got rid of our 3/4 ton with the 8.1 liter Vortec. Truck did fine the temp gauge didn't even rise but she didn't like overdrive at all.


My friends and I are big into snowboarding. Since the bed is so small, had to put the board up on the roof. So a Yakima rack was added on top.

That sunbleached gray cladding just wasn't cutting it anymore and I started to see guys on here that painted theirs black and I loved the way it looked. After researching a little I found Krylon Fusion to be the main paint everyone used. Got a few cans and started the project.



And After:



For a year and a half the truck really didn't change. I was too busy with school, sports and helping remodel the entire house to really think about it.

I then got into Clemson University and joined the Offroad club. There was already a sport trace in it!! although it was stock. But hey 2's better than 1.
We took a couple trips but I've really only got pictures from Uwharrie Nat'l Forest just outside Charlotte.




Decided while I was there to get my wheels repainted dirt brown. Still haven't learned my lesson about mud


I went to the wrong state to want college and coming home to VA only gave me a little hope before our annual trip to Snowshoe WV. And yes we're dumb enough to men bike in a couple inches of snow.


Back at school I was starting to go crazy not bing able to do work on my truck after looking over projects on here all winter. I got a small fix when Offtrac said there was a guy selling a brush guard which I had been looking for. He also threw in some clear corner lamps for nothin!


Finally finals week was done and I could start working on the TT/Shackle Lift

Heres a picture of it before the lift:


I was experimenting with the front bumper and was too lazy to put it back on for the picture.

Like Lono I put the jack stands on the frame right in front of the wheel wells and used the bottle jack to push the leaf springs down so i could put the bolts in.


With the shackles only: the stupid bolt killed what daylight I had left so the torsion keys had to wait for the next day.


After the TT so its all done! And now the cladding is off to be painted minus the front bumper. I wanted to see what it looked like.




Finally looking like a truck

After that the body lift was next:




And after body lift:






There wasn't a terrible amount of trimming to do. Still waiting to see how it all flexes out. It took me long enough. After 4 years of owning the Trac and almost 60,000 miles later its barely the same as when I bought it home from the dealer. It took about 2 and a half years before I even started looking to do anything. I really have to thank everyone on here for their help and guidance. Now she sits high but there's always room for improvement and I'll update as I go along.

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Not really without getting the super lift. John Rock got fiberglass front fenders that kinda hid the extreme rake a little.

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It's a little high IMO, what do you guys think? Maybe 2" higher than Chad's. Right now the front well is 2" higher than the rear. I was thinking about putting an AAL in later to strengthen up the leaf pack a little bit.

I'm definitely going to 37s next if not 38s. Which makes me hesitant to lower it but at the same time it's pretty high.... Decisions....

Awesome man! That's huge. Looks like you could lower it some and still fit 37s. Either way, you have to be happy with how it's going.

Two screwdrivers, a BFH and a sawzall, yup, it's all there.

Yeah man I'm really excited. I was trying to compare the top of the tire to the bottom of the painted section of the front bumper to Chad's and it's not too far off. I'll end up deciding by this weekend what I want to do as far as ride height goes.

Two screwdrivers, a BFH and a sawzall, yup, it's all there.

That's all you need right?

I'm counting on a little settling. I don't want it to be ridiculously high but I do want height at the same time.

I've been trying to decide between 33's and 35's for several weeks now. And in my head i kept saying 35" because then when the front shells out i'll HAVE to do a SAS. You're thread pretty much made up my mind.

I've been reading about the SAS and SOA swaps alot lately and i've already started collecting parts now. I cant wait to have something thats as big as yours... I've got a D44 out of a 76 bronco w/ disk brakes, hopefully it will work haha

Awesome build man!

couple quick question

On your SOA, do you still have your warrior shackle bracket?

Do you still have a body lift on there?

Those are 35x12.5 KM2's arent they?

Thanks man! You should definitely go 35". They really aren't that hard to fit compared to 33s. Use the advanced search and look up a thread started by Offtrac called 35" KM2s installed. That and Lono's TT/shackle how to we're the most helpful threads for me. They show everything you need including trimming.

I still have the BL on because I want the extra room under the good for possible additions in the future and the general ease of working on things underneath. There's a lot less bloody knuckles than before haha.

I may end up swapping from warrior shackles to add a leaf but for now they are still mounted up.

And yup you called it. 35x12.50x17 KM2s. I got them for their driveability on the road and have yet to be let down by them on and off road. I know there's better trail tires out there but most suck on the highways. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you have any specific questions.

It's pretty tall, you need to drop it a few inches. How's it flex?

I have yet to really "test" my explorer out off road. But does our little 4.0 have the goods to push those 35's?

I know i buried my trac on Christmas after hitting some ice and ending up in the ditch, and she was able to walk her self up out after doing some digging. Which shocked the hell out of me.

I'll be putting the 35's on with in the next week or so. I've read that km2 thread front to back half a dozen times trying to decide if thats actually the route i want to go with the truck haha...

I noticed yesterday how much the body lift helps working on the truck... i was able to change all the spark plugs while sitting on my cooler hahaha... Didnt have to lay over the engine bay and bust knuckles on them...

Way too high for me. Is the body lift still in there?

Congrats on the progress! :thumbsup:

But does our little 4.0 have the goods to push those 35's?
Properly geared it will push any size tire.

Correct me if im wrong 01, but werent you running around for a while now with stock gears and those 35's?

I realize that i can gear my axles and make my 4.0 push them, but i was more refering to the next 4-6 months while im gathering the parts if my truck will have enough umph to push the 35's...

He had 4:10s which is a stock gearing, but different trucks came with different ratios.

The 4.0 will spin 35's even with the 3.08 but it won't be fast. And your transmission will hate you

It could push them, but that will put 4-6 months of unnecessary strain on your transmission. From my experience, the best thing to do is wait until you have all the parts, then do it all at once.

The engine is plenty capable. 4.10s and 35s are fine on road IMO, if you realize you're not driving an S2000. Off road could use lower gearing though.

I would go 4.88 I'd I had any intention of keeping it IFS.

^if he has 4:10s I wouldn't think its unnecessary strain. 3:73 is pushing it, and anything lower is silly.

I should mention that I always drive with OD off and only drive highway on my way to trails, in which case I leave OD on. My daily driving isn't necessarily the norm. Less than 10 miles a day.

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My truck already has 4.10 l/s from the factory. Which i've read is obviously on the verge of not being enough gear. But for a limited time and for only having probably 500 miles in put on it in those 4-6 months... im hoping it's no big deal.