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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:
DSCN0421.jpg


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):
DSCN0420.jpg

Accompanied by a new deck:
DSCN0425.jpg

and somehow along that time period there was a little mishap with a tree and I lost the back reflector:
DSCN0419.jpg

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:
Image1.jpg


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:
1218101340a.jpg

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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:
0123111541a.jpg


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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YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
hmmm, this is the only thread i seemed to have dug up and there's not too much info on it, but a more thorough search might yield better results:

LINK

i will keep looking though and try and help you out :D
 
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steve101

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thanks man im not to sure its the compresser but i put a fuel injector cleaner in 500 miles ago and it stopped so maybe the pulley idk btw mine has all orginal factory parts still going strong lol 114987 :D
 
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dreddog47

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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?

I got that mac intake for my friend for 50 shipped, the guy had like 4 people back out... He even threw in a free HID kit with a brand new extra harness... Hunt around maybe you'll find one for sale, i think they are hard to get new


Also, the raptor kit was the kit DDM came out with 10 years ago, they are the big bulky normal kit, like all the ebay kits you see with huge ballasts.. the ones they stopped selling was the digital slim, which were thinner ballasts and they'd last longer... both kits have a lifetime warranty
 
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YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
ok, well i just ordered some interior led lighting that strobes :) i think this will be a pretty cool little project while i figure out the HID situation

and also, going to North Carolina in June and want to ride with some people from here, we'll be up around the French Broad and the Nantahala... not sure of a date yet but will get back as soon as i figure that out!!!
 
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YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
FIRST POST EDIT, please read and tell me what you think! :D
 
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BigGreen

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hey how big of a lift do you have on your mounty? and what did you do or add to lift it?
 
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BigGreen

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hey how big of a lift do you have on your mounty? and what did you do or add to lift it? my question is for Young Mounty
 
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YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
@BigGreen:
My lift is two inches front and back. For the front I cranked the Torsion Bars up to the max of 2" and for the back I installed a pair of Warrior Shackles (part number WAR-153) which gave me 2-2.25" in the rear. Total, cost me an hour and around $80 bucks. I was able to fit 31x10.50x15 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs in there with no trouble. If you do the Torsion Twist DO NOT forget to get an alignment afterwards as the TT may throw the Ex/Mounty's alignment out of whack. Doing a simple search in the top right under 'Search' and typing in either Torsion TWist or Warrior Shackles you will find all the info you ever wanted.



As for recent news on my Mounty I installed lights under the seat that blink to my newly updated sub-woofer. A single Memphis 12" in a sealed box. The single 12" allowed for much, MUCH more trunk space and I am happy with the update (not gonna call it an upgrade, it's more of a downgrade but I am happy with the quality of the sub and the price I got for the old ones). The light adds a cool effect, neat for field parties, tailgating, etc.

With all the inline fuses running off my battery it's time consider upgrading the electrical system of the car. Secondary battery, additional accessory fusebox, higher amp alternator are where my thoughts are leading me right now. Plus with the aspiration of adding more exterior lights I feel this will soon become a necessity especially since right now I have a total of 4 accessories running directly off the main battery.

Also, my upper ball joints have gotten to the point of scaring me with thoughts of my front wheels falling off and those will soon be replaced, hopefully this coming weekend.

And after doing my first ever spark plug (coincidentally on a 5.0 Mounty, my sisters) and noticing the difference it made from the ORIGINAL, yes O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L, 160,000 mile plugs and wires I feel mine are needed for an updating (upgrading?) not knowing whether mine are original or not, mine only having 132,000 miles, but still.

So there's the news for the my Mounty so far, plus the addition of a spare Maxxis Mudder mounted conveniently in the Yakima roof basket. I'm constantly formulating new plans/mods for the mountaineer, somewhat now focused less on the off-roading portion and more on the speed, horsepower, etc. portion of the 5.0. I'm looking into building a CAI and also any other ways to speed it up. TMH's are on the list but $700+ is hard to come by for this 17 year old and once I save that up I'll porbably have trouble spending so much on one part so it could be a while but they will be done!! Any other suggestions that follow my path of ideas are greatly appreciated, especially not-so-cost-worthy mods (cost worthy being defined as $700+ lol, i don't mind spending a couple hundred on her every now and then, especially for something cool!!).

Thanks guys for the help and getting me better acquainted with my vehicle!!
 
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dersch6221992

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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.

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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!!

hey i also have a mountaineer. and i have a pushbar that came of a ranger. it matchs up width wise perfectly. the only thing is no mounting hardware. I see that you have yours mounted up and that you cut the bottum half of your bumper. i have been looking into doing that or taking the bumper off, installing pushbar to frame horns and cutting and fitting bumper around it.
my questions for you is how did you go about cutting your bumper? (was it all plastic?) and can you please send me some pics of how you hooked your bumper up?

thank you this is the first mounty i have found with a pushbar installed and pics! very exciting.

mine as well as this too while im at it. how do you like the tt twist/ shackles. shacky ride? gas mpg affect? hows the ride? also did you have any trouble getting the top bolts out of the frame rails? i went to do this at one time and couldnt get the bolt out cause it was seized long story the shackles never happend.

sorry so long but finally another mountaineer with mods i wana do.
 
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YoungMounty

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the bumper is actually two separate pieces. you can get the bottom off by removing the fog light housings and then the screws that attach the bottom to the top. I'll try and get pictures up of how the brush guard attaches tomorrow. there's the three bolts you see at the bottom which go to a piece that goes through the frame then attaches to another piece that goes up behind the grill and then comes below the grill and reattaches to the brush guard. that may sound confusing but like i said, I'll try and post pictures tomorrow.

as for the tt and shackles... I really like it! it's a great way to lift the mounty without spending too much. as for the ride quality, it's a lot more stiff in the front which in some ways i like and don't like. i haven't done exact calculations for gas mileage but i do believe it went down somewhat. not too bad, but i would contribute that to the lift and tires. and lack of small maintenance that is due up this weekend. i expect to be riding at about 11-12 mpg after that maintenance.

talking about the shackles, i had no problems whatsoever getting the bolts out of the frame. my truck has spent ALL of it's 14 years in the south so... NO RUST :D so yeah, I had no problems whatsoever.

Anymore questions you have or anything that I didn't answer feel free to ask and I'll try and get those pics up tomorrow. and also a picture of some new things I've yet to post:)
 
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dersch6221992

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the bumper is actually two separate pieces. you can get the bottom off by removing the fog light housings and then the screws that attach the bottom to the top. I'll try and get pictures up of how the brush guard attaches tomorrow. there's the three bolts you see at the bottom which go to a piece that goes through the frame then attaches to another piece that goes up behind the grill and then comes below the grill and reattaches to the brush guard. that may sound confusing but like i said, I'll try and post pictures tomorrow.

as for the tt and shackles... I really like it! it's a great way to lift the mounty without spending too much. as for the ride quality, it's a lot more stiff in the front which in some ways i like and don't like. i haven't done exact calculations for gas mileage but i do believe it went down somewhat. not too bad, but i would contribute that to the lift and tires. and lack of small maintenance that is due up this weekend. i expect to be riding at about 11-12 mpg after that maintenance.

talking about the shackles, i had no problems whatsoever getting the bolts out of the frame. my truck has spent ALL of it's 14 years in the south so... NO RUST :D so yeah, I had no problems whatsoever.

Anymore questions you have or anything that I didn't answer feel free to ask and I'll try and get those pics up tomorrow. and also a picture of some new things I've yet to post:)

okay so it was pretty easy to take the bumper off?
and ya i know what you mean about the bracket ot bumper. i wonder hows hard it would be to drill thorugh the frame to attach it. what i relaly wana do is attach the push bar and then cut the front bumper to fit over it and look "stock" but still have the beefy guard.

and okay i wana do that once i get a car for mpg to drive to work lol. 4.00 a gallon is way to much to have a lift and go down to 12mpg.
 
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YoungMounty

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sorry i have't gotten those pictures to you yet. the weathers been bad around here recently. i was under there the other day replacing fuel filter and spark plugs/wires and completely forgot to take pics of how the brush guard attaches.

I didn't have to drill through the frame though, there were holes right where the brush guard bracket attaches through the frame, but i will get those pics to you when i remember.

on another side note, the spark plugs/wires and fuel filters went successfully for my 2nd time ever doing this job (1st time ever solo!) and turns out the plugs, wires, and fuel filter were original at my best guess by how bad those things were stuck on there and the fact that the wires said 1997 on them lol :D but the plugs were still burning clean, just burnt out. went with all motorcraft and it's nice so far, i can definitely feel a difference.
 
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sport97

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my questions for you is how did you go about cutting your bumper? (was it all plastic?)

the bumper is actually two separate pieces.

dersch, I see you have a 2000 mountaineer. The bumper is different than that of a 97 mountaineer. The bumper YoungMounty has is the same that the 95-98 explorers have. You may still have a 2 piece bumper(and upon looking at picture it appears to be 2 pieces,although i'm not sure) but its not exactly the same.


Good job on the maintenance stuff. I'm due for plugs, wires and fuel filter too. All original on my 97 with 93k miles
 
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YoungMounty

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thank you for pointing that out, sport97! dersch, make sure you examine yours well!! lol
 
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dersch6221992

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thank you for pointing that out, sport97! dersch, make sure you examine yours well!! lol

good job on plugs. i did my wires, plugs last summer they were stilll the originals.

and i put some lights in my grille, and fixed some rust this weekend. i looked at my bumper and it is acutally all one piece. i wonder if a 95-98 would fit on a 2000?
 
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sport97

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good job on plugs. i did my wires, plugs last summer they were stilll the originals.

and i put some lights in my grille, and fixed some rust this weekend. i looked at my bumper and it is acutally all one piece. i wonder if a 95-98 would fit on a 2000?

Bumpers should all swap between any second gen
 
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dersch6221992

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sounds good to me. in the near future i plan on getting a different one to attach pushbar too. would a ranger one fit on it?

and youngmounty could you still show me some bracket pictures?
 
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YoungMounty

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i'm setting a calender reminder for tomorrow to remind me. i tend to forget these things because of school and when i remember it's already too dark but i will tomorrow! sorry for the delay :(
 
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dersch6221992

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i'm setting a calender reminder for tomorrow to remind me. i tend to forget these things because of school and when i remember it's already too dark but i will tomorrow! sorry for the delay :(

no biggy i wont be able to actually work on my till this summer when i get my next apt. with a garage. i just wana start looking at it to see what i need.
 
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YoungMounty

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Brush Guard brackets

sorry for the delay (again), here ya go.

0424111535a.jpg

this is the part where the bracket attaches to the bottom of the brush guard and then goes up to the frame. the part that attaches to the frame got cut out but i'll get a better one for you

0424111536a.jpg

the bolt you see at the far right is where the bolt that goes through the frame on the lower bracket attaches to this one on the other side of the frame. the bolt on the left is the one that goes right behind the grill where the brush guard has tabs that go under the grill at meet it right there.
 
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