1999 Explorer: want to fab a new tank-ish body for it | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1999 Explorer: want to fab a new tank-ish body for it


New Member
August 11, 2020
Reaction score
City, State
Dallas, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
2010 F150 Texas Edition
I have always loved tanks. Two years ago my brother in law showed me a craigslist ad for a tank for sale. Turned out to be homemade in the 60s, probably, although the previous owner swears his daddy told him it was a real WWII tank, therefore it is a real WWII tank :) At some point in the 80s the engine broke, so they tore it and the transmission and tracks off and left it in a field. About four years ago it was dug out, mounted to a trailer, painted pink and driven around to breast cancer fundraisers. Then the wife got cured of her cancer, so they decided to sell it. So I bought it. :)


My plan was to get a VW Beetle engine and fab up some tracks and oh yeah repaint it, but well, that has not happened. Kids showed up and put a hold on things :) Did buy some cool headlights from an M60 tank, and got some periscopes and other fiddly bits.

But then this week I was offered a 1999 five door V6 Ford Explorer for basically nothing. It even runs! I am told. I have seen it from a distance, but will not get to drive it till this weekend.

So now I am thinking strip the Explorer bare down to the frame add HMMWV tires and jack it up a little and build a new body that is tank-like, and mount the turret I have to that. Seems reasonable!

I have seen some threads on where people have swapped bodies with an older Ford pickup, but have not seen anything where someone fabbed a new body from scratch. Something like a wheeled Bradley or the new French Jaguar is what I am aiming, at this time, for. https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a20733128/france-nexter-jaguar-armored-car/

The gun is fake currently, but I am working on an air powered cannon that shoots tennis balls.

1) Has anyone done something like this before? Specifically made a fake military vehicle, but even more generically just fabbed a whole new body onto an Explorer? I anticipate running into problems and would like to see how others solved them. I would love to find a forum where people do this kind of thing, but have not so far.

2) is this too crazy? It seems like a good idea to me, but I've been covid-cooped up for months so who knows?



No I have never seen anyone do a scratch built body on their Explorer. Yes, I think it's a great idea :D

If you decide to go for it be sure to post photos of the build:chug: