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2000 AWD Xploder from Turbo back to NA

After getting an estimate on how much it would run me to fix up my Xploder with all new exhaust, cold side piping, and a bunch of other stuff done up the "right" way... I've decided to convert my Xploder back to NA form so that I can actually ENJOY the truck before I die of old age.

Anyways... To start it off I ordered up a MAC cold air intake (I do not have the stock intake) and sold my FMS headers on ebay.

I plan on buying a set of torque monster headers in the next week or so but am still up in the air on how I should run my exhaust from a performance "speed" perspective. I do not plan on doing much, if any, off road driving, so am looking for a setup that improves take off and speed for spirited pavement driving that sounds good.

I already have the spare tire removed (and will be keeping it off, I have free towing anyways lol)... What would an optimal setup be with the above in mind and no worry of a spare tire being in the way? True duals (straight pipe off of each header, thru separate mufflers, and out the sides), or a dual exhaust both going into a 2 in 2 out "H" pipe style muffler and then out the sides? Or something else? In all cases I won't be running any cats.

I also plan to re-tune my car since currently it is tuned for the turbo setup which obviously will no longer apply once I rip everything out.

Thank you for any input! :)
 


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willzilla

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Picked up a pretty nice shape replacement radio bezel to swap out my beat up looking one, lol. Grabbed it on eBay for like $50. Looks pretty good and the vents are nice and firm (and the right one doesn't flop down like my current setup, haha). Also found some nice trim type 3m "stickers" that you can place on top of various trim bits to "spice up" the car, may grab something and add it over the bezel to make it look nicer and hide the few peeling looking spots or something.

20210817-190657.jpg


Also, the weekend before last, finally got around to installing my catch can on the ZL1 and an intake and added a nice big gulp snorkel to it a few days ago.

20210816-141917.jpg


Catch can was a PITA, lol, had to pull the supercharger lid off, unbolt the supercharger from the manifold and lift it up 6" so I could gain access to the PVC valve and replace it with the one for the catch can... and of course the supercharger manifold bolts are one use bolts, lol, so had to replace them :D

Not a ton going on currently, pulled a muscle in my neck real bad and can hardly move my dang head or shoulder, lol, and also spilled boiling water on my hand so it looks like the hand from Scary Movie at this point LOL.
 


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willzilla

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Been a busy few weeks! Have been dinking around with my ZL1 and putting together YouTube videos and what not, lol. I'm about to install a nice Borla ATAK w/NPP valves cat-back exhaust on the Camaro and was filming some quick sound clips with the stock exhaust to use in a video later for a before/after side by side and decided to dust off the ol Xploder and add some sound clips with her, haha :D Still sounds pretty dang good... minus the stupid belt squeal on the initial cold start for a few seconds! LOL. Feel free to check it out:


I plan to add a lot more Xploder related video type stuff as I go! :)
 




willzilla

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Still tinkering around with YouTube... Did an "overview" video of the XPLODER! :) Kind of go over some of the weird mods like the electric water pump, dual electric fans, etc, if bored... check it out :)

 




XploderPhil

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I've really enjoyed reading your thread and the video is great, thx.
 




willzilla

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I've really enjoyed reading your thread and the video is great, thx.
Thank you! It's been a long time with running into a ton of road blocks, lots of help from people in the forum, and learning new things along the way! Lol :)
 




willzilla

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Hopefully I will finally get around to installing my front license plate bracket shindig in the next few days as weather permits as well as fixing up some of my interior wiring that melted (well, the hot glue support braces melted, haha) :D Also... STILL need to vac and charge my AC and drain and replace transmission fluid and filter... still dreading that to be honest, lol.
 




willzilla

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XploderPhil

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Hopefully I will finally get around to installing my front license plate bracket shindig in the next few days as weather permits as well as fixing up some of my interior wiring that melted (well, the hot glue support braces melted, haha) :D Also... STILL need to vac and charge my AC and drain and replace transmission fluid and filter... still dreading that to be honest, lol.
I hear ya, I have to do my front and rear diffs plus the trans and transfer case. Lots of fluids and lots of laying on the creeper. Then suspension and steering, install my Power Stop brakes and try to get the rear shackle bushings at the frame fixed. But no rush, still have about 5-6 weeks to get it done, pack up the house and set out for the 2200+ mile trip, with mom and the three pets 😳. Headed home to Texas
 




XploderPhil

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Found this site, Ford Explorer 1997-2000, Mercury Mountaineer 1997-2000, Interior Molded/Flat Dash Kit Combo, 2WD/AWD (full kit), 9 Pcs., sells overlays for the interior.. Ordered up some samples to see how it looks.. May pick up a kit (though really I just want one for the radio bezel lol) to clean up the interior and kind of hide some of the defects, lol.
I have been thinking about doing a wrap on my black dash trim pieces
Maybe a carbon fiber look?
Amazon productI'm also going to do the gauge change over to either white or maybe gray/silver out of the Ranger. Trying to get as many parts pinned down since I don't have to pay tax here 😉
 




willzilla

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I hear ya, I have to do my front and rear diffs plus the trans and transfer case. Lots of fluids and lots of laying on the creeper. Then suspension and steering, install my Power Stop brakes and try to get the rear shackle bushings at the frame fixed. But no rush, still have about 5-6 weeks to get it done, pack up the house and set out for the 2200+ mile trip, with mom and the three pets 😳. Headed home to Texas
Oooo.. sounds fun! I don't have tooooo much work left on the Xploder... well, ok... seems something new every time I look at it that I want to do.. Plus repair and restore the 84 El Camino SS, lol.. and tinker with the ZL1, our family van (need diff fluid is next I believe, and track down some suspension noise), fluid for the wife's EcoBoost Mustang (just changed out the air filter and spark plugs a few days ago, thankfully super easy lol). Will be installing a Borla ATAK cat back and secondary cat delete link pipes on the ZL1 HOPEFULLY in the next week or 2... Car is going to sound insane I think, LOL. Kept the version with the npp valves so I can run it semi quiet or BEAST mode :D

Where to Texas are you moving back to?

And yeah, overlays, if they are quality, can look really good. I did a ton of real carbon fiber weave overlays (mix between flexible and hard pieces) in the ZL1 and they look super good. I just made sure to steer away from hydo dipped fake carbon fibber which looks fine by itself but next to real cf you can see a huge difference side by side, so either go all real cf or all hydro, don't mix.

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For the Xploder I ordered sample of like 6 different colors.. am kind of leaning towards Burlwood or the Blackwood or maybe even the "synthetic" carbon fiber if it looks nice in the sample, haha :D
 




XploderPhil

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My brother has a place on Lake Livingston, so we'll be staying there till we decide, probably will end up north of Houston, Conroe area maybe.
 




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