1997 Mercury Mountaineer, 5.0L V8 | Page 4 | 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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okay thank you. i will try to see what i can do this summer.

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Does anybody know where I can get a MAF adapter?

And also, if I want to upgrade my MAF, how and what should I do/get to go about this?

New Pics





Cleaned it later in the day

  1. Torque Monster Headers
  2. MAC Cold Air Intake
  3. Tune (Henson)
  4. New CV's
  5. Camshaft Positioning Sensor
  6. Upper Intake Spacer?

i will take that brush guard and those lights off your hands!! :D

Today, the Mounty suffered a blowout on a 120 mile roundtrip to Birmingham, AL. CV's are acting up as well. Good thing I had a 31x10.50 spare to throw on when it happened. Went the remaining 45 miles on a Buckshot Mudder lol. It will be going to GoodYear tomorrow to get a new DuraTrac and a balance/rotation and possibly new CV's. I think it threw off a wheel weight because there was one before and now there isn't. I'll post pictures when I get some good shots tomorrow.

Just ordered a MAC CAI for the Mounty. Ordered from Explorer Express. Last e-mail response from them said they had 6 on the shelf. Unless someone else has ordered one I'm assuming there are 5 left. Get em' while they're here is all I have to say!!!

Mac cai

Here is my new Intake:



i cant wait until i get my cragar soft 8s. gonna be so nice. also planning on getting some 31 guard dog mt's, and then by end of summer its gonna be some 33s! also planning on TT/Shackle, front kit of 4" suspension and then the 5.5" SOA in the back. big plans, lots of time :D

Young mounty where you located in Alabama? I'm Scottsboro just curious if your close.

i cant wait until i get my cragar soft 8s. gonna be so nice. also planning on getting some 31 guard dog mt's, and then by end of summer its gonna be some 33s! also planning on TT/Shackle, front kit of 4" suspension and then the 5.5" SOA in the back. big plans, lots of time :D

Sounds awesome man, Be sure to post some pics!! What I always seem to find is I have big plans but little money, lol. But like you said, lots of time so no hurry :)

I'll send you a PM

I just got back from a trip to Panama City Beach, Florida.. about 750-800 miles round trip. We stopped about 2 hours from my hometown and noticed my radiator leaking, bad. We filled it with water and put some stop leak in it. As soon as I got home and upon further diagnosis, the radiator was cracked. We put a new radiator in it and flushed all lines to get rid of any stop leak still in the system. No biggie, and it blows so cold!!

Question for ya. I noticed earlier in the thread you had pictures of your ball joints before and after. How did it ride with the bad joints? I notice when i drive my 97 AWD that it feels a little lose driving around but not to the point that it's all over The place. Almost like it wants to bounce around but it isn't bouncy like a shock going out. When i push it up and down in the front of the car, i hear it squeaking a ton. Looking up and under, my upper joints as far as i can see look kinda like what you pictured. Sound like bad ball joints?

The only thing I could tell from my bad ball joints was the squeak. I didn't really notice and difference in driveability, mine rides rough now and rode rough while I had bad ball joints. The squeak was unbearable. I would have my music playing loud plus my exhaust loud as it is and could still hear it. But as for bouncing around, I didn't notice anything. If the seals are blown on the uppers or lowers I would go ahead and replace them.

Here are some pics of my new (to me) rack and lights. The rack is a Yakima MegaWarrior, the size bigger than my previous LoadWarrior. This one has 4 lights as well.





And my personal favorite:

Here are a couple more pictures:


and a picture of the bedlined grill:


I have not seen the transformation in real life yet, but I see in the picture compared to the results, eBay's a shell, and you like the diamond cut is amazing. I dream of this summer is to get out of my shell projector and get a real, and it fits in there.


I haven't been on this website in a long time but here is a little update:



Just read through your registry,

AWESOME mounty! Would love to do same thing as you, just needing the money haha
I'm in school too so hopefully with time I can get mine nice and fabbed like yours.

great job!

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I here ya man. I'm in school too and do most of my projects during the summer when I have a job. The winch was a gift though so I got lucky on that one. I've got plenty of plans for the future so stay tuned!