03 fliptrac $700 daily driver (summer of fun with 4 sport tracs) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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03 fliptrac $700 daily driver (summer of fun with 4 sport tracs)


Truck Season!!
Staff member
Elite Explorer
August 3, 2000
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
B2 "Slightly" Modified
I love sport tracs
Ever since they came out I have always wanted one!
I helped my old room mate buy one with my good credit 20+ years ago, he later wrecked it and we had to fix it and sell it. Bad move on my part.
That was as close as I came to owning one….. until recently

Now I have 4 of them! We are flipping rangers explorers and sport tracs here. I have a major sport trax project in the works! It has been on hold for a while because I am building a highly custom 2007 ranger for my buddy.
During this time I managed to pickup a few “tracs”
I had a white 01 that was going to become my new rig, right now she’s just a rolling chassis with no drivetrain. I’ve spent the last 2-3 years looking for a good deal on camper shell for a trac.. these can be difficult to get your hands on. Then it happened! I found a blue 03 with camper shell, higher miles bad engine but in great shape. This will become my own personal rig! The white one is getting a v6 and has been sold to a friend who needs a ride up here in north Idaho.
My plans for the blue truck include a custom v8, 5 speed trans, manual t case, rear discs and a Dana 44 ttb up front. This build might take me a while. In the meantime my bronco ii (daily wip for 25+ years) had some rust issues and some other body and frame issues, she needs a brake. My wife’s 07 FJ cruiser needs new front coilovers ($1800) and some other suspension and body work (300k miles all custom FJ) the FJ could also use a brake

This is where this sport trac comes in.
I found a 2003 white sport trac without a scratch on it for $700. It has 234k miles on it and runs shifts just fine. I got it cheap because it was literally pouring water on the ground d and leaking a half quart of oil in 20 minutes.
Took me some hose clamps, some intake gaskets and a valve cover gasket and now she is fixed. I also added 5/16”
Front wheel spacers to make these late model explorer 17” wheels fit, previously they were rubbing on the upper ball joint.
I plan to register and drive this trac while we build the new blue one. This rig takes the pressure off the bronco and the FJ cruiser.

Lots of little mods will be done to this “beater with a heater” as I drive it. I want to see how many miles I can get from a healthy sohc In My hands. This one runs good!

So far she had gotten intake o rings, drivers valve cover gasket, air filter, and an oil change. I will be changing all fluids and the trans filter/fluid this week as well as lots of detailing and removing 20 years of body soil

This 03 has two tone leather, heated front seats, moon roof and the factory subwoofer. Pioneer 6 disc in dash cd and everything works aside from the passenger power door lock.
Stay tuned as I fix up project “fliptrac” my new daily! First up will be a new fuel pump, a little torsion twist, some new fog lights, install the blue topper (for the dogs) and lots of cleaning waxing. She will be for sale when I’m done with her hence the name “fliptrac”

I’m on love all over again! After all it’s a 4 door ranger with a plastic bed and all 5 windows go down, what else does a person need in life?

My new build, 03

Our temporary wip



After much cleaning the leather looking good!

First sticker in place let the mods begin!

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Looking good Jamie. Nice find :chug:

Congrats, watching

What type of tree is the one with the white flowers?

I wish the body lines of the rear of the cab were more conducive to a flat bed. I wanted to swap my plow truck driveline over and build a small salt box for the bed.

I’ve been seeing these for 1000-2000 with either bad motors or trannies. Also several V8s within driving distance for under 2 grand. Make a nice combo.

Thanks dudes
I have considered a flatbed trac as well, I would simply keep the bedside plastics below the flatbed so it would look proper-ish

The blue one will be getting a cammed 306 with obx headers, m5od-r2 and 4406m 2” body lift, along with d44 ttb planning for 35-37” tires

The white one will get some love as I drive it, bluetooth and maybe some tint

We have a few flowering trees right now pictured is a huge cherry tree planted on a hill, makes it like impossible to get the cherries (need a 40’ orchard ladder) and it needs to be topped
We also have a crabapple also somewhere is Asian plum several apple trees scattered around also

Sounds like an excellent plan.

Nice looking truck!

How would you do ttb on these? Frame swap?

Plan is to graft the frame at the firewall, but that is only preliminary plan
Other route would be to start with a 93-97 ranger frame

I have a friend of mine getting me a whole front section from a ttb f150 frame rails steering gear box etx

There are a handful of people that have already ttb the ifs truck I will be following g their lead, but basically it is much like a sas

I figure v8 trac 5 speed ttb might be kinda unique and fun to drive!

Nice pair of Tracs. Did you say the white one has a 4.0? That might be a good engine to install the pair of Polaris manual tensioners in. I'll be following along. The wife's Yellow '02 Sport Trac is on hold while I have the '97 MM on my brain.

and they have rockers under them still! every trac i have looked at over the last 4 years the running boards are hanging there for love, or or gone because there are no rockers left.
ive had a few in the past that i have flipped. i came real close to keeping one because i wanted to make one like john jonstone had.
nice scores however for a wicked price. they are going for around 3-4K up here miled up, and clapped out.

I will be putting the manual tensioners in this sohc engine. I have had a set of manual tensioners on my toolbox for like 7 years now, I finally have a personal sohc to install them into.

It has 234k miles on it and runs fantastic
After sitting all winter when it started there was very slight timing noise for half a second, none since.

I will also be doing plugs and ignition wires asap as well as a fuel pump.
Currently I have 4 sport tracs and there are two others here on the property including a 05 that my stepson owns which is in the shop getting a v8, 4406 and a 6” superlift

None of these sport tracs have any rust, only slight body damage and cracked plastic bedsides?! This white one is near flawless after lots of elbow grease to remove the people dirt from the last 20 years.
I really like the interiors on the 03-05 trucks
The 05’dash and cluster are kind of cool I may look into those as upgrades for my blue 03

I will get some more pictures today I am vacuuming the ac right now

I remembered that you had some Polaris tensioners stashed away...

Our 04 x has both manual tensioners since we got it :) never adjusted them yet
Just don't make them to loose... its really easy to

Cleaned the orifice valve yesterday, then vacuumed and finally charged the ac with 30oz of r134.
Ac is working flawless! Ice cold

Did front end shake down test needs inner and outer tie rods like yesterday as well as drivers wheel bearing.

I have a set of wheel bearings, non abs. I will be installing this am… this truck is getting abs delete because we don’t like the factory abs and I do not want to buy wheel bearings lol

Also replacing alternator due to bearing noise and fan clutch because it sounds like an airplane clutch is engaged all the time killing mpg

Simple!! Reliable and cheap!!

So the ABS wheel bearings are different? Do these 2wd STs have conventional inner and outer wheel bearings or a bearing made on a hub similar to the 94 and up Mustangs?

These are simple unit bearings just like all the rest of the gen ii they just simply have no speed sensor in them. Many rangers were made with either no abs or just RABS and so we can get bearings with no “holes” in the sides. I bought these raybestos ones months ago because they were on close out rock auto. My personal sport trax will not have abs, I absolutely despise the pedal pulsing 4wabs on these trucks…. I have been pumping my own brakes since I was 16, grew up in the mountains of Colorado,
For me this abs system increases your stopping distances it does not decrease them, especially on gravel or ice…. And the way the pedal pulses… I could go on and on.
Plus removing the 15# unit all the lines and wiring makes some nice space under the hood.

So these bearing that were intended for my v8 ttb trac project got used today on the $700 beater

Bye bye sway bar too… the previous owner put these 07 explorer wheels on this rig and they were rubbing on the upper control arm/ ball joint 💯 of the time and worse they hit the sway bar waaaaaay before full lock severely Reducing the turning radius

This trac is a daily driver and does our road a lot… we will not be doing high speed cornering or hauling heavy trailers long distance so I just deleted the sway bar. Independent suspension should be INDEPENDENT!!!!


Deleted stock parts. I cannot believe the sway bar links actually unscrewed usually I have to cut them with a grinder in like 2 places to get them out

These are the bearings I am running

Raybestos 715014

Type in 2000 ranger and look at the front bearing hub options there are
Like 30 choices!!! Many with 2 wheel abs (no sensors or holes in front bearings)

Work was done this am new precision brand inner and out tie rods, new wheel bearings and sway bar delete. Ac still ice cold, happy wife happy life!

Next I will swap the alternator and fan clutch for a lower mile unit and then we will be looking for a Bluetooth head unit and I have some tinted sport trac glass I can swap into the doors… nice having a personal junk yard and parts rigs

"My personal sport trax will not have abs, I absolutely despise the pedal pulsing 4wabs on these trucks…. I have been pumping my own brakes since I was 16,
For me this abs system increases your stopping distances it does not decrease them, especially on gravel or ice…. And the way the pedal pulses… I could go on and on."


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All was well in sport trac land and then boom it happened. Overheated, lost oil pressure engine quit. Wife was driving it yesterday with ac on, started to hear ticking noise, then she checked the gauges saw water temp was pegged and she turned off ac… hahahaha temp started to drop but it was too late… tick tick tick she said oil pressure needle started to bounce, heard loud pop… she made it off highway to gas station and it quit. All happened in less than a mile.

Two hours later I made it there with trailer, it fired right up and drove on! I was not expecting that I already had my winch cable out hahahahaha

Does not run properly something is a miss, even though the engine is smooth something not correct I can feel it.
So guess who is getting a 5.0 way ahead of plan

Now we know why she was $700
I suspect loss of water even though I see no leaks, will check it out this weekend. She is still on trailer.
Bad truck!

This is what I get for owning a sohc!! Hahahahahaha about 1000 miles before

Crappy timing! Was hoping it would make it through summer for us