1997 Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0L V8 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1997 Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0L V8

97 Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0L V8 AWD; The Mounty!

Well, I turned 16 and as a present I got the Mounty, my mom had be driving it around for a year, but now it was mine!! When i first got it I had no idea what a gift I had received, but being the way that I am I started my research. I knew I wanted to do something different with my mountaineer and had no idea the possibilities. I started with a simple google search and stumbled across THIS. I had no idea what a TT or Warrior shackles were but I knew it meant lift, so one google search for TT (vague, I know) led to a site about Torsion Bar adjustment and another google search led me to this amazing page. I know had a picture of what I wanted to do to my Mountaineer. BUT, seeing as how I was 16 and it being winter I did not have the steady cash flow of a summer job so this was put in the back of my mind even though I thought about it constantly... and this is how the madness began.

The Build:
First things first I needed a sound upgrade, being young I loved the bass so I acquired these subs that coming Christmas (a month after my birthday):

Accompanied by a new deck:

and somehow along that time period there was a little mishap with a tree and I lost the back reflector:

this took me a whole year to find a replacement!!!

Then it was a long school year (Jan. to May) and I got my "well-paying" lifeguarding position back and began writing down my plans and saving money to lift the Mounty and get some new rubber for it. But in the mean time I tinted the windows: 5% stripe on the windshield, 15% on the driver and passenger windows, and 5% on the back windows under the stock privacy glass. It was pretty dark.. hard to see out of at night. No pics, sorry!

The rest of summer consisted of saving and research. I finally had the money to order my parts, but not quite enough for the tires so I head over to Summit and ordered my new wheels (I HATE THE TEARDROPS!!), Add-A-Leaf kit, and Warrior Shackles (from Tellico4x4):



The wheels were put in the garage until I could get the new tires but I was ready to do something dammit!! I had waited all summer for this! Sooo I went over to a friends house and we cranked on the Torsion Bars a little bit and got 2" out of them, I made sure no more than that!! And then we added the shackles and dropped the Mounty back down. The lift gained was equal at 2" for the front and back so i decided it pointless to put the AALs on so we shipped them back for a refund. This was the last month in summer and with school right around the corner I decided I was gonna have new tires before we went back! I rode around with 2" of lift for a couple days and picked up as many shifts as possible and when I got the next paycheck I went the next day and got the new tires. GoodYear was my choice seeing as how one of the GoodYear rubber plants is right down the road from me here in Alabama and I got a good discount on them seeing as how I have a family member working in said rubber plant. I already knew what size I was going with, 31x10.50x15, and I decided to go with DuraTracs. So I gave the Mountaineer over to GoodYear service center for a good 2 hours and when it was ready I forked over my 800-ish dollars and went and got an alignment. She now sat with 2" TT/Shackles, Tint, and a pretty good sound system, and a used Yakima roof basket I acquired from a friend. I knew this wasn't it for me and the ideas came rolling again:

The mud in the above pictured wreaked some havoc on my front end. This led to a hub replacement and lower ball joint replacement and also a lessen, NO MORE MUD!! I still to this day have yet to replace the uppers which now need it because they are starting to squeak.

At some point during this I got a new exhaust setup: rear cat delete (oops, no inspections in AL), Flowmaster 40 series muffler, and new stainless pipes. Also discovered I had an exhaust leak which needs to be fixed sometime. It's loud and I like it so :thumbsup:

It was birthday and Christmas time again and by now all I had done to it was add a K&N drop in air filter. So I began formulating ideas and decided I wanted to do some more exterior work. I decided on: brush guard, KC Daylighters, and some new headlights. As soon as my goodies arrived I began installing. Brush Guard:


HIDS and clear cuts:



and here's a pic of the KCs on the brush guard during HID and clear cut installation but no night shots:

Since then I have removed the side guards on the brush guard and decided I did not like the Clear Cut Housings. SO with a lifted Mountaineer, squeaky upper ball joints, and a dream, I continue on in my never ending list of modifications.

The Future Build:
this list is going to be detailed and in no way an ordered list, just stuff popping into my head as I write it. Things I want and can acquire, things that make take a long time to acquire, and things that probably won't happen until this isn't my daily driver.
  • Tint Re-Do
  • more lift
  • 33x12.50x15s
  • BW-4406 swap
  • different headlight housing
  • lights on roof rack
  • even more lift
  • 35x12.50x15s
  • massive interior renovation
  • grey trim modification
  • dual exhaust pipes to single pipe
  • Cold Air Intake
  • performance upgrades
  • electrical enhancements (fuse box)
  • cool interior stuff lol (vague, I know. more to come on this subject later)

and one dream of mine is to take this car through all 50 states and visit other EF members and go wheeling; 5 down, 45 to go!!

So, thanks to EF and all it's members especially the ones who have helped me, written things that I have read, and the ones who have given me ideas. I couldn't have done it without y'all!

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Well, replaced my lower ball joints today cause I was getting a VERY bad squeaking noise coming from them. while in there noticed the seals on the wheel bearings were blown and my upper ball joints are at critical level, guess whats next?

And I'd like some input on an idea of mine, would my exhaust be louder if I y-piped it out of the muffler (dual-in/out) and led it to a 2.5" pipe out of the back over my current setup, 2.25" pipes out the back straight from the muffler?

nice mounty

Old v. New Ball Joints

just in case you wanted to see the wear on these old ones here you go


and here are the new ones i got:

and these come with the neat grease fittings

Old v. New Ball Joints

oops, double post

Yup, those were toast. Nice truck though- I like the way it's set up! :thumbsup:

thanks man! and yeah they were blown to hell, the wheel bearings and uppers are nasty too. i'm fixing those tomorrow most likely. on a brighter note my brush guard should be coming in sometime soon, can't wait to get it on and see how it looks. pics will be up as soon as i get it on!!

As for your exhaust..

A dual out Flowmaster 40 series with dual 2.5" pipes out the sides makes a V6 sound nice n' deep/loud... Can't imagine it would hurt a 5.0 :) :)

old hub assembly v. new hub assembly

out with the old:

the camera phone picture does not do it justice, this thing was unsafe

and in with the new:

it's the master pro kit i got from O'Reily's for $75 a side with a 1-year warranty, i'm pretty satisfied.

with Christmas coming up i'll have a whole mess of goodies coming in soon, thank you Santa lol

now i just gotta get the uppers out of the way:)

As for your exhaust..

A dual out Flowmaster 40 series with dual 2.5" pipes out the sides makes a V6 sound nice n' deep/loud... Can't imagine it would hurt a 5.0 :) :)

hmmm, interesting thought but after dealing with the 2.25" pipes I'm kinda leaning away from the dual pipe setup and wanting to experiment with some sort of single pipe out the back, side, somewhere not too sure yet. but if i keep the dual pipes i wanna do some 45s out the back with 2.5" tips... but i'm not trying to imitate a truck so i'm kinda torn on the subject. many sketches and thoughts coming to mind.

1st post edited for organization and ease of reading

never mind.. :( brush guard delay

but i got some much needed brake work done today: rear pads, rotors and rear driver side caliper was stuck so it got replaced. brakes are much better now.

New Pics

playing around at a local off roading spot today, got some pics:




FOP (Shinbone Ridge), AL

and this picture has my buddy's chevy Z71 in it:

6" pro comp suspension and 35x12.50x18 nitto mud grapplers​

Brush Guard

I picked this brush guard up off ebay after searching for 95-01 explorer brush guard. I found this one and communicated with the seller who told me it would not fit a mountaineer......? well, i decided to order it anyways and of course it DOES fit. And I installed it the same day it arrived at my door.



here's is the ebay listing for anyone who wants to check it out:
CLICK... $212 to the door. Great product, extremely sturdy.. overall I'm extremely satisfied except for the lack of knowledge from the seller, and notice its a MOUNTAINEER in the ad picture, hahaha

My Eagle Eyes black headlight housings arrived along with a set of KC daylighters. A set of 6000K HIDs are in the mail. too bad i have to wait until Christmas to do anymore installing, more pictures to come!!

HIDs and new headlight housings

I upgraded to HIDs with all new headlight housings. The kit is 6000K 35w Hi/Lo Bi-Xenon and I'm enjoying it a lot so far except for some strange shadows that appear. I need to aim them a tad bit higher and they will be perfect. Pictures:



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