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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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dersch6221992

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hey man idk if this thread is dead or not! but i finally got around to doing some updates. i am installing the TT/ shackles this weekend hopefully (whenever they come in) and then putting some 31's on it. I am looking at a brush guard just like yours. 149.00 shipped to my house off ebay.
also how do you like your MAC cold air intake? i have a k&n right now and im considering upgrading that... what did you pay for it?
last question is any problems with your transfer case and the bigger tires? a guy once upon a time from a offroad shop said bigger tires will kill my transfer case.
 



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YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
Hey man! Not dead, just haven't done much stuff to it lately but I've been collecting parts for a couple big projects soon. I've been working on an Elite Registry and I'll link it here when I'm done. The brush guard is a great addition and good for me because I couldn't find one anywhere else! It's held up well. I love my MAC intake. There's a noticeable growl, especially under heavy acceleration but I also have no stock exhaust. If you just have the K&N filter it's worth the upgrade, IMO. But if you have the K&N cold air kit it probably isn't worth it. I cannot however vouch for any mpg gains (heavy foot). I got mine from explorerexpress for about $189 if I remember correctly. As for the transfer case situation mine is fine, no problems whatsoever. But your CVs will wear out eventually and will continue to have shortened life thanks to the torsion bar adjustments (if you crank them up ~2").
 






dersch6221992

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Glad to see this isn't dead. Your truck has a lot of stuff I want to do. For the lights on your bumper what did you go with? I want to get about 6 total. 4 on top. And 2-4 on brush guard. But don't want to spend 600 on them. But I want something that will throw light. And throe it far

The k&n I think is just a regular air box with filter. I will look when I get home. If nit I will buy one mountai probably.
Also you should check out my bud registry I started. Its under 2000 mountaineer I could use your advice on parts/ things to do.
 






YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
I went with the KC Daylighters on the brush guard. The spot lights, not the fogs. They'll go as far as you can see. I plan on putting 4 Hella 500s up top since
I got rid of the other lights that were up there. 3 lights on the brush guard would be a tight squeeze, 4 would be impossible unless you mounted some to the side or got smaller lights (smaller than mine at least). Be careful to check state laws about auxiliary lights before you go throwing a bunch on there. That's the good thing about Alabama, virtually no car restrictions... OR INSPECTIONS haha.

I'll check out the registry when I get home from work and see what I can help you with.
 






dersch6221992

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Yea in Michigan your good to run with 4 plus headlights up front. Plus I'm an emt we get leeway
 






dersch6221992

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also for the hella 500's are you going with 55w or the 100w?
and are your kc daylites 55w or 100w?
 






YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
I'll probably go with the 55 watt Hellas and I'm pretty sure my KCs are the 130 watt. I have an Optima YellowTop battery for all my accessories; winch, sound system, lights, etc.

On your registry I read through your to-do list. The only thing I can give advice to really are the HIDs. 8000k is really blue. My 6ks are very, very white. I prefer this but it's all in the eyes of the beholder. Just choose wisely.
 






dersch6221992

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I'll probably go with the 55 watt Hellas and I'm pretty sure my KCs are the 130 watt. I have an Optima YellowTop battery for all my accessories; winch, sound system, lights, etc.

On your registry I read through your to-do list. The only thing I can give advice to really are the HIDs. 8000k is really blue. My 6ks are very, very white. I prefer this but it's all in the eyes of the beholder. Just choose wisely.

Thanks for advice! I like the blue really... I haven't decided if I will actually purchase those or not though.

For your yellow battery... did you add a separate alternator? Or how'd you do that?
 






YoungMounty

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'97 Mounty 5.0 V8 AWD
I kept the stock alt. I believe the Mountaineers came with a higher amperage alternator. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I do plan on redoing the stock wiring one day (hopefully soon).
 






TUBJUB

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1997 Mountaineer V8 AWD
Nice Mounty

I really like what you've done. I had a question on the shackle though. I looked at tellico4x4.com and only found 1.25in lift shackles so I was wondering if you had a part number for the ones you ordered?

edit: After reading all the posts again i found that you were so kind and included the part number already. I hope to have a truck that looks almost identical to yours.
 






YoungMounty

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Just saw the edit, I'd been meaning to reply but haven't really had the chance. Just for others though it is Warrior Products part number WAR-153 I'm pretty sure. Thanks for the compliments. I've got some big changes coming up: Torque Monster Headers and 33x12.50s are in the mix right now.
 






97Mounty97

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That looks great! That's pretty much what I want to do to mine
 






cwol97401

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1997 Merc Mounty 5.0L
Great build I like 99 % of it. I've been looking for a brush guard for my mounty and also a top rack but I don't need a huge one. The daylighters are a much needed upgrade and so are the top lights. Where did you-- or did you-- mount the second battery? I must complain about your hid headlights though. Hid kits are illegal and unsafe. No halogen headlight housing made (ever) is designed to properly throw the light from a hid bulb. Think, using a torch flame to replace a flashlight bulb. The beam does not aim correctly and the glare is uncontrolled. You are blinding literally every driver that goes the opposite direction whether you realize it or not. Take them out and put in a set of silverstars. You will be much happier with the beam pattern and will not be blinding oncoming traffic. If you want to keep the hid lights then spend the money on a good set of reflectors to put inside of your clear housings. They are not legal still but are much safer than a completely uncontrolled light you have now. Don't misunderstand me, I like the idea to hids, when they are done safely. Unfortunately very few people who do these retrofits do it right. Below is a link to the AL law on headlights and to a helpful forum on the dangers of hid light kits.

Federal mumbojumbo

sema.org federal regulation of aftermarket parts

Glare from Headlamps and other Front Mounted Lamps - NHTSA

Alabama Headlight Regulations

Candlepower Forums: Automotive lighting
Go through the threads on this forum. There's tons of information about safe, bright front lighting.

Like I said, love the build.
 






wingcmdr

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I believe by reflectors he means the projector housings that are made for HID and LED bulbs and correctly aim the light. Also, here's what my Mounty currently looks like :D
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My girlfriend took the picture and wanted me to do this stupid pose lol. it's on 31's with war-153s in the rear and about an inch up front to level the truck out because of it's case of saggy ass before
 






cwol97401

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I believe by reflectors he means the projector housings that are made for HID and LED bulbs and correctly aim the light.
Therein lies the problem and my point. Companies do not manufacture reflectors or housings to retrofit into vehicles that did not come from the factory with them. The engineering is too cost prohibitive to make any profit, so they will never do it. The only safe way to put HIDs in our trucks is to purchase a set of projector housings originally designed for HIDs, like those out of a BMW or the like. They were engineered from the beginning to use an HID bulb. Anything short of using one of those, fixing it inside of your headlight housing and aiming it properly is simply dangerous.:thumbdwn: No way around it. Even the projector retrofit borders on not legal in many states. The law basically says that the headlight cannot be altered from the manufacturer's design.
 






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