03 fliptrac $700 daily driver (summer of fun with 4 sport tracs) | Page 20 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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


5 cupholders front


Two back!

Radio sucks I hate all the commercials
I am Bluetooth all day with Spotify
Wife ordered me atoto w rear camera! $165 on amazon woooohooo

I’m saving my money for new lifters and maybe some aluminum heads ;) can use 6 disc as small partial trade

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Nice, and I hadn't thought of that, where can I find a column cover trim without the shifter hole? I'll need one for my 98 project Explorer.

5 speed sport or ranger has the steering column bits lots of 5’speed rangers out there. These parts are almost always black, very rare to find tan or grey
Works for me as I will eventually install 06 ranger steering wheel to match (black)

I recently had the realization most if not all manual Rangers had non-tilt steering columns, whereas the manual Explorers had tilt steering columns (or at least mine does) like the auto Explorers. What I need to check is if you can screw the bottom half of any Explorer steering column "shell" (with slot for tilt lever) onto the top half of a shell from a manual Ranger (with no column shifter opening/boot) -- I'm betting you can. @410Fortune I'm assuming you're just going to leave the key interlock push lever out and the small rectangular hole will stay open?

Things are looking good! I'm a big fan of mixing and matching OEM Explorer, Ranger, etc. interior parts to get an "OEM plus" feel. Keep an eye out for a first gen limited console cupholder piece. They have the cups side-by-side instead of forward and back and are more "curvy" like 2nd gen interior styling (they fit better in 2nd gens than the actual 2nd gen consoles IMO). The first gen limiteds also have leather armrests for the half console and make an easy upgrade.

I could install the little key out lever but it would be just for looks. So I’m thinking of using that square hole for something else down the road… maybe mic for the speaker phone? Something clever like that. Right now there are a few “holes”‘in the interior there are spaces where the old cruise switches were in the steering wheel and then this hole… I can close them up with some
Black plastic if needed

So far I’m happy with this truck!
Speedometer is now working
I also wired the clutch switch to neutral wires so truck won’t start without clutch depressed


Speedometer was intermittent followed by p0500 code. Checked vss sensor, this truck using 96/97 computer and 96 transfer case with gear driven vss.
Pulled sensor the driven gear is worn. Put finger in t case can feel drive gear is worn.

Lucky for me I actually had a drive gear in stock from many years ago… I ordered two so kept a spare all these years

Off came the tailhousing


I cut the brown wire as it will never be used on this truck

Once tail cone is off you remove a metal collar, it snaps over the output shaft. Then the gear presses backwards towards t case and comes off the check ball
This gear is badly worn which explains the intermittent speedometer



New vs


Parts cleaned and lubed. Tailhousing installed w new permatex ultra grey
I used a 20 tooth driven gear should work well with 4.1 and 265 tires (31.5”)

Turns out 03 sport trax skid plate fits over the 4406

Truck is
Going on first Long trip
Today wife is taking it shopping!! Fingers crossed

Fingers crossed lol yup we remember what happened the last time! Lmao

Truck made entire day of shopping without major incident! Check engine light is on, last two times it has been p0500 code I’m suspecting my Speer sensor itself is bad
She said it’s grinding into 3rd gear so I have to look into this… the m5r2 is known for this yuck. I have another one… but I’m happy she’s on the road daily duty. I will drive her today to see about this third gear dealio

She said it’s grinding into 3rd gear so I have to look into this… the m5r2 is known for this yuck. I have another one… but I’m happy she’s on the road daily duty. I will drive her today to see about this third gear dealio
My wife can't stand driving my little Civic so she pretends she doesn't know how to drive manual (in reality she can drive manual just fine). To date, she still hasn't tried out my Sport -- might be a good thing since it's not nearly as smooth shifting as the Civic.

When I bought my Sport at ~256k, the shifter was sloppy and 3rd was 50/50 to get into. Sometimes it would grind or pop out of gear, other times it went right in. After replacing the plastic shift lever bushings and changing the fluid (plus adding another 1/2 qt through the shifter hole like you had suggested), I'd say the 2-3 shift goes smoothly 90% of the time now. Granted, that's an R1, not an R2, but it seems like they share a lot of the overall design.

If you've already tried that, it may be time to pull it apart for new bearings and synchros and get it to 100%. Luckily these M5s don't seem too terrible to rebuild and kits are readily available.

You said it perfectly!!
I was able to find 3rd just now but have not driven it far, it maybe intermittent. Plus I’ve had the shifter in and out about umpteen times now so I will check it over very carefully. It has new bushing kit

I cleaned and first scrub down
Paint shows it’s 20 years old… perfect for a daily





Factory Matt’s drying

Body paint door jambs plastics interior will need a lot of work and cleaning over next year or so to bring her up to par, but for now she’s a runner. I will continue to attack the bugs…
No check engine lights allowed!


Get some Epic Revive trim & cladding restorer for the outside plastic trim! Make sure you scrub down the plastic real good before use! Forget the rest this is the best! 👍💯♥️🇺🇸
Any other detailing questions just ask
You can get those mats alot cleaner too!

Thank you. We live in the dirt/mudd so I do not detail things like I used to when they were pavement pounders. This is why we run rubber floors and Monstaliner paint jobs. I do detail trucks quite a bit before I sell them, this sucker was put right to use so just got a basic cleaning and quick wax. My mother in law detailed cars professionally for 40 years I have learned a lot from her! Now I am teaching the teenagers how to wash wax, windows and interior… they are slow learners lol!!
The Matt’s were simply rinsed with a power washer, that’s it no solutions no scrub brush nada! The kids and dog will make short work of messing this all up, I do what I can ;)

All of the grey plastics will get dyed to black eventually, I hate the dull grey
For now this will do!
Working on wiring up 2005 v8 trac now and finishing up Eddiemoney ranger before the snow comes

Hopefully you found 3rd where it's supposed to be.

Drove the sucker all day I found 3rd gear right where it should be, however it does grind slightly if downshifting from 4-3 at higher revs, otherwise we good! She does like to stall from time to time when downshifting I may bump up the base idle screw just a bit to compensate
Speedometer is reading a little fast like 70 at 65 so I will need to change the driven gear again.. otherwise this thing is a blast to drive!

Dude at the gas station “ did they sound like that stock?” I said “ he’ll no “ they do not hahahahaha I said I put a cammed v8 in it he was blown away by the side exit and the exhaust note….

Ordered new ball joints and tie rod ends
Went with these “new” Dorman extreme duty ball joints for $21 ea in rockauto
I recognize them right away, you see there was a Canadian company called mas that started making heavy duty ball joints for our trucks then they dissapeared, looking into it I found dorman purchased mas… and now we have these ball joints so I am going to give them a try. The mas joints in my 97 have held up fantastic for 10 years now.
I went with Moog upper control arms, Dorman hd lowers, Dorman hd inner tie rods and ttx outers..
Also Bluetooth atoto with rear camera will be here next week.
Now that she’s a driver she has earned some parts. Front end needs some work to save these nice tires.

Also finishing wiring up 05 trac 5.0 on superlift my stepson should be firing that sucker up today.
Now the 07 ranger is moving to bay one… to get my complete attention until it is done

Finally have a sport trax! And a v8 5 speed to boot

Let us know when you blow away one of these wanna be mustang drivers! Lol
When I had my 2020 elantra sport with the 1.6T I hammered down on one he was to busy burning rubber! Lmfao

I would say she is more f150 then she is mustang lol

Never go full mustang

Well I love sport tracs more now than I did at the beginning of this thread. Been driving the $700 “eightrac” for a couple of weeks now and I’m in love all over again. The tachometer is way off, reads high. Speedometer is off I have a 20 tooth gear in there she needs an 18. The front end is out of alignment 235k miles will do that! New parts are on their way for the front end.
Otherwise man oh man what a hoot to drive! I love it. Sounds like a mustang has a nice rumble to it and then on the highway at speed it actually quiets down quite a bit. No issues with the 5 speed or clutch they are flawless. It is actually really fun to drive! And comfy
Have not had a single issue

The 5 speed and 4.1 axle gears will remind you real quick that this is not a mustang, the m5od is geared pretty low, at most stops a second gear start is used. It drives like a pick ‘em up truck with mustang undertones lol larger tires (285) will help with highway gear. Tachometer is off, shows like 3200-3500 rpm at 70 in 5th should be more
Like 2750-2800. I may have to use a tachometer driver from a 5.0 in this cluster to get it accurate
The camshaft allows me to pull each gear all the way to redline, she defiantly has some power! The 5 speed is nice after driving 5.0 autos all these years I can tell the power is better and the mpg is waaaaay better, a welcomed thing with these fuel prices

New atoto head unit is installed and rear camera, I’m having issues with the camera I think they sent me a bad one? Not sure I may have to return the whole thing and try again. Bluetooth with apple carplay is very nice. I got it working with the factory subwoofer as well, sounds fantastic!

The 4wd works *****in, we have had some rain so she’s been going through some slick mud and climbing gravel hills

Also we fired up my stepsons 2005 sport trac 5.0 two days ago, she now fires with the bump of the key. I had to do some fancy wiring on that sumbitch including bypass the fuel driver module… now that it’s running we will be troubleshooting the 05 trac has a very unique (one year) instrument cluster so that should be fun. The 05 was actually easier to wire up then the 04 ranger and just did and the 07… obviously! Hahaha
I built a nice exhaust for the 05 as well, dual in single out flowmaster sounds good so far! His 05 is blue and on a superlift, she’s going to be a beast.

Okay onto the pics!

You got one to sell me?

05 exhaust from Downpipes baxk. Dual 2.25” into flowmaster dual in single out. Truck already had a brand new tailpipe so we re used that. It maybe a little small (looks like 2.25”) I would prefer 2.5” but hey he can upgrade down the road


Be kind it was all welded in the truck upside down lol

Sounds great! And mounts w three clamps so can be removed




Also built a real fuel line adapter with parts from speedway 5/16” fuel fitting with an6 fittings, cost about $40



2005 trac 5.0 4r70w 4406m
33” duratracs

I can sell you one sure I have one more sport trax here lol my 04 blue one w bad sohc. We could 5.0 it and 5 speed it I have one more
M5od. I’ll tell you what you can have it for $50! Fifty smackers

No seriously this white truck it would take a lot of money for me to let it go… like $18-25k otherwise she’s a keeper!
The white one is getting ball joints tie rods and alignment (already did new bearings and it has recent brakes and shocks)
I also ordered a pre cut window tint kit and some roof rack crossbars the wife wants a basket up top so she can:
Haul more crap home (yard sales)
Find sport trax in parking lot

Apparently she is used to having big huge lifted trucks that stand out from the crowd hahaha

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Atoto f7 we $165 on amazon w rear camera




With mounting brackets installed

Brackets modded to clear switches

Perfect fit


Glued the mic in place to cover the hole in column shroud, worked perfectly




The wiring is a little tricky, good to have the 03 sport trac wiring book (I have 01, 02, 03 and 05 books for traxs now)

Basically to get the factory sub to work there are 3 wires power to sub amp (remote turn on) which is a 5v feed or you will get a “thump” each time you turn the key on. So we use a 12v to 5v resistor inline. Also the atoto subwoofer rca out is full range so I used a low pass inline filter to block out all mid and high ranges, keep bass to 100hz. Have to cut an rca cable apart to get the + and - feeds. All in all it worked out easily without having to buy an install kit or wiring harness (I never do)

This is the 12v to 5v step down used for the remote wire to factory subwoofer amp

RED WOLF Car 12 Volt to 5 Volt Step Down Adapter Harness Fit Aftermarket Radio Stereo Install for Early Ford Mustang Lincoln https://a.co/d/hqj1r1P

Here is the inline bass
FMOD Crossover Pair 100 Hz Low Pass https://a.co/d/dzilhN0