1997 Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0L V8 | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1997 Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0L V8

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

Background:
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.
Stock:
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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):
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Accompanied by a new deck:
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and somehow along that time period there was a little mishap with a tree and I lost the back reflector:
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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):
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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:
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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:
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HIDS and clear cuts:
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and here's a pic of the KCs on the brush guard during HID and clear cut installation but no night shots:
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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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HID and KC issues

With the addition of my new headlight housings + the HID install I know have a predicament. I have really weird shadows in the light output, at first i thought it was my brish guard then realized it wasn't. Is this the new headlight housings? Did I mess something up? Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

On to the KCs. I installed the KCs and they were working fine, love the brightness and all but I went to mount my switch after a week of it just hanging out where ever and i routed the wire through the firewall rather than through the door (lol, i know this was a bad idea at first but i was pressed for time.). When i went to mount the switch my KCs would not turn on. Nothing happened. I checked all my fuses (had to replace one) and re-did my positive and negative battery terminals just because it needed to be done and with all the wiring to the terminals i needed something more heavy duty. i can't figure out why the lights still aren't working....? could it be grounding issues (one ground is on where the hood closes and the other for the switch is on a screw under the cubby hole, both "seem" to be fine) also, any advice/suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.

On a side note, our first big snow storm came this past week (no school for a whole week thanks to a mere 6 inches) and the mounty handled amazingly well. The Duratracs performed amazingly and my brush guard helped in one incident with a trash can :rolleyes: the AWD was found to be useful but I see a BW 4406 swap in the future :D
 



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thos aftermarket housings aren't all they are cracked up to be...The reflective piece gives off strange patterns, thats why I switched back to stock housings they work fine for me, though they look a little old...it sucks too cause I loved the look of the clear housings...I used them for about a year but couldn't take it anymore, the stock ones give out great output for not being clear I don't have HID but with silverstars they are good enough for me
 






The shield in there is made to reflect halogen, not HID... HID bulbs are designed to send light forward, halogen sends it in 360 degrees... thats why in reflector housings, HID's have funky patterns.... If you want to keep those housings with a good output, you need to do a projector retrofit....

How about some output shots with the HID's? set the camera ISO to 100 and take some 20ft from a wall, then some in an open parking lot or on a dark road....
 






thanks for the info! and i'll get those shots on as soon as i get the chance. would removing the shields help (if that's possible...?)?
 






KC lights fixed.. replaced the switch and a 3 amp fuse. all is well.

about the headlights, i'd really like to get some info on if removing those little shields will help out my beam pattern at all as i would like to get this done sometime soon.
 






Looks great man, I hear ya' on the hubs! I just had todo mine, my drivers side bearings had been ground to dust! Im onto ball joints, UCA's and tie rods myself.

Those headlights look amazing on there too:thumbsup: If you can afford it, keep the clear housings and retrofit a projector in there for the HIDs. I havent seen a retrofit in real life yet, but the results I see in pictures compared to the eBay 1 piece housings, and diamond cuts like you have are astonishing. My dream over the summer is to get rid of the projector in my housings and get a real one and fit it in there.
 






Nice mounty. I think the soft 8s look great on your truck. I'm picking a set up this spring. I'd like to get a roof basket like yours as well, but we'll see i guess.
 






the cragars are possibly one of my favorite upgrades. i hated the tear drops, everyone has their own opinion but i despised them. i had to get rid of them and these definitely compliment the look i was going for. i really picked up a deal on the roof rack from a guy i knew. it was used but looked just like new.
 






ok, huge breakdown of the mounty this weekend (1/21-23) (well huge in my eyes :P):

taking apart the the new headlights; removing the shields. haven't had any input on this so someone please stop me if this is the wrong thing to do, if not I'm gonna go ahead and whatever happens happens. I can always clean up the stockers right? and a final aiming of the headlights.

major cleanup of the truck; the mounty is in need of a huge clean inside and out, may try something new with my subs to increase cargo space.

Reverse lights install; gonna strategically place two reverse lights on my roof rack to aid in reversing (badly need it with the dark tint on the rear).

switch panel addition. probably gonna take advantage of the cubby hole space and add 4 switches, even though only one is in use right now, but might as well plan for the future right?

begin searching for a spare tire; i'm in need of a 31" spare seeing as how i've been driving around for half a year without one and no way of fixing a roadside flat (i know, really dumb)

anymore ideas will be added to this post and i would also like some suggestions, what do you have that i don't?what are your favorite, most necessary, or useful mods?

also, i'm going to begin looking around (and saving) for a 4 inch suspension lift and bigger tires but that will be sometime this summer.
 






Follow-Up on Big weekend

got the shields out of the headlights, minor improvement. still have some bugs to work out before i decide to replace them.

the mounty did not get it's major clean-up that it needed; this will have to wait lol

bad money situation kept me from getting any reverse lights installed (identity theft, traffic court, etc.), but they will come eventually!!

did not get my switch panel thing made this weekend cause of the time it took to "fix" my headlights; but i did find a thread a sketched out some plans for my switch(es)

may have a lead on a used 31; again the money situation is keeping me from acting on this right away

still researching the lift plans/ideas. with 4" suspension along with my 2" tt/shackles what will i have to replace/worry about??
 






just get a pair of stock lights...they put light out pretty well...I know they don't look good though, but compared to the aftermarket ones I got which were ($89) there a lot better
 






Bah, wish i read before...

Pulling the shield out is probably going to cause more glare for oncoming drivers, just saying

and I know how you feel about the output, I just put HID's in a friends 00 XLT with the euro headlights and diamond corners, and his output is absolute crap... but it does look awesome though
 






yeah, these suck! i'm definitely going to look into a different type of housing. and when these lights go out i'm getting the DDM kit, which i should have in the first place.

new idea i'm look at, true cold air intake and maybe some more performance stuff seeing as how i'm pretty content with my setup... right now.
 






yeah, these suck! i'm definitely going to look into a different type of housing. and when these lights go out i'm getting the DDM kit, which i should have in the first place.

new idea i'm look at, true cold air intake and maybe some more performance stuff seeing as how i'm pretty content with my setup... right now.

DDM stopped selling HID kits, they still have the raptor kits up but the digital slims are gone, they are moving into other areas....

just put a mac intake on my friends 00 V8, made it a hell of alot louder

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that looks bad ass! i will definitely look into that! i'm digging it big time. what are the pros and cons of this over, say, the KKM kit... or the K&N kit?

what are the differences between the Raptor kits and HIDs?

and i believe i have an exhaust leak. when accelerating there is a tick coming from the right front. sounds like an escaping air, ticking noise if you get what i'm trying to say??

thanks for alll the replies, you've been extremely helpful dred
 






that looks bad ass! i will definitely look into that! i'm digging it big time. what are the pros and cons of this over, say, the KKM kit... or the K&N kit?

what are the differences between the Raptor kits and HIDs?

and i believe i have an exhaust leak. when accelerating there is a tick coming from the right front. sounds like an escaping air, ticking noise if you get what i'm trying to say??

thanks for alll the replies, you've been extremely helpful dred

I think K&N's you are paying for the name, and the only experience with KKM i've had is on a first gen, which was 100 dollars for a filter and MAF adapter

The ticking is probably coming from the manifold, they have a tendency to crack or leak... either that, or its the EGR pipe, or exhaust manifold gasket....
 






i really like the look of the MAC CAI but it is like 170... and the KKM is like 90 now. i'll probably be going with the MAC though, it looks like a more in depth, complete kit.

and about the raptors? whats the difference between them and just a regular HID kit?
 






sexy mounty. im running 3 in body lift on 31 bf goodrich all terrains
i live Virginia beach VA and i swear theres only 2 lifted mountys here sucks
 






haha i feel your pain main. i'm the only one around here in alabama i think. how was the body lift gettin it on? i'm looking into putting one on this summer and trying to run some 33s
 



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haha i feel your pain main. i'm the only one around here in alabama i think. how was the body lift gettin it on? i'm looking into putting one on this summer and trying to run some 33s

It was pretty easy i had to use one for ranger but it wasent that hard the only thing is your going to have to cut your front bumper brackets lol i had mine on for 5 years and still havent done it yea i wanna add a 3in suspension lift and 35s but dont have the money for that lol. Oh i have something werid umm when my heat is on the car chokes down and then revs back up any ideas? Ty in advance
 






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