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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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I've been driving the truck more lately and my daughter has been driving it to/from school every day... So far holding up well! :)

Nice pic I snapped at the gym this evening :D

20221019-201600.jpg
 



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Decided to finally replace the lift supports for the rear glass, lol. Made a quick video while I was at it :D

 






Decided to finally replace the lift supports for the rear glass, lol. Made a quick video while I was at it :D


love the thumbnail! :D
 






love the thumbnail! :D
Haha.. I had fun taking that photo, lol. It was hard keeping the glass down as much higher and it would lift all the way up with the new lift supports :D
 






Good job, those are a common need to do item. My last set seems weak and I know they are less than three years old. I think I'll do those again, the cost is usually $15 apiece.
 






Got the new tires on... As expected the front rubs a little on the back part of the front wheels fender. The car IS lowered a bit via the torsion keys from years ago so I am in process of turning them in and seeing if I get enough clearance. If not, I'll grind just a bit on the corner that rubs.

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And the problem spot...
20221029-142211.jpg


Not to bad! I need to clean up and paint my wheel center caps or buy some new ones if I can find any, lol :D
 






Have some watch for rubbing while you turn into your driveway. Usually the rub occurs at the lower bumper lip. That can be trimmed , and if you take time won't be able to notice.

Edit . I see the rubbing on the plastic trim , you can trim that a bit also
 






Lifted up the front of the Xploder and screwed in the torsion key screws a good bit more (but still a lot of thread left).. pretty much so the head of the screw is flush with the torsion key covers. Put truck back down and tinkered with it a bit to get both sides even. Car sits at the bottom of the fender lip to the ground at 35" in the front. The front of my running tubes is the same height from the ground as the back of them but the car "looks" to be a little higher in the front compared to the back especially with the extra wheel gap in the front compared to the back. I'm thinking of adding Warrior shackles to the back to raise it up a little more and give me a nicer stance.

I noticed the fender was just bbbaaarrreeelllyyy touching the tire even lifted up some in the front and I didn't want to lift it any further really especially without lifting the back up so I took an angle grinder and just trimmed the inside corner of the fender a bit and it clears now even after driving around and letting the suspension settle. It may bump hitting some huge bumps or whatever but I'll keep an eye on it.

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Got the new tires on... As expected the front rubs a little on the back part of the front wheels fender. The car IS lowered a bit via the torsion keys from years ago so I am in process of turning them in and seeing if I get enough clearance. If not, I'll grind just a bit on the corner that rubs.

View attachment 436026
View attachment 436027
View attachment 436028
View attachment 436029

And the problem spot...
View attachment 436030

Not to bad! I need to clean up and paint my wheel center caps or buy some new ones if I can find any, lol :D
nice fitment!!! the rub on this one occurred on the tupperware, and only when articulating and at lock. but that was with 1" spacer....
 






nice fitment!!! the rub on this one occurred on the tupperware, and only when articulating and at lock. but that was with 1" spacer....
Thank you! I ordered the Warrior 153 shackles and will install those in the back and I think it should sit nicely. Drove the truck a bunch over the past day as did my daughter and have experienced zero rubbing :D
 






Thank you! I ordered the Warrior 153 shackles and will install those in the back and I think it should sit nicely. Drove the truck a bunch over the past day as did my daughter and have experienced zero rubbing :D
from lowered to lifted! welcome to the dark side :p
 












Does anyone have any recommendation for something that can maybe snap or sit in our horrible cup holders that would expand the cup holders a bit so they can actually hold something in place without tipping over easily?? Lol.
 






Does anyone happen to know the belt size or part number for a belt that bypasses the AC compressor?
 






Went ahead and ordered Gates K060840. This is a 83.97" effective length belt. Found a video where a guy ran a belt that was about 10" smaller than the OEM belt when he bypassed the AC compressor so I looked for a gates belt about 10" shorter than my slightly longer than OEM belt (due to my waterpump setup) and ordered that. I guess I'll see if it fits or not soon, lol.
 






For the lift pros in here... Where do we lift the truck up to get the leaf spring lined up right to bolt in the new shackle?? I have the frame on a jack stand and have a jack under the rear shock mount lifting the tire up.. Is that right?? Also, it seems my shackles had already been changed in the past by Justin probably years ago and he had 2 pieces of metal bolted in place, lol:

20221105-173117.jpg


With the placement of my exhaust it blocks in my passenger side shackle so I ended up needing to cut the bolt to get it all the way out of the bottom slot and I'm still trying to get the top bolt out, lol. Driver side looks like it will be easy thankfully!
 






Ok, finished up with the rear end, lol. Had to get a bit innovative on everything, LOL. Ended up wedging one of my smaller floor jacks between the frame and top of the leaf spring to push it down enough to get the new Warrior shackles in place on both sides :D Worked out pretty well!

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I must admit these Warrior shackles look a lot better than the scrap metal that was in place, haha. Bolt holes between where they were in the scrap metal and the Warrior shackles looks to be about 2 inches or so difference, maybe a little more.

Quick before and after photo... before Warrior shackles and after:

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And a few photos I took with the interior and exterior lights on for fun:

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Also replaced my cruise control steering wheel buttons... Don't mind the steering wheel cover, swapping that out tomorrow with an all black one of the same style. Went brown hoping it would match the interior brown but was to dark for my taste and didn't match how I wanted it to:

 






Ok, finished up with the rear end, lol. Had to get a bit innovative on everything, LOL. Ended up wedging one of my smaller floor jacks between the frame and top of the leaf spring to push it down enough to get the new Warrior shackles in place on both sides :D Worked out pretty well!

View attachment 436223
View attachment 436224
View attachment 436225

I must admit these Warrior shackles look a lot better than the scrap metal that was in place, haha. Bolt holes between where they were in the scrap metal and the Warrior shackles looks to be about 2 inches or so difference, maybe a little more.

Quick before and after photo... before Warrior shackles and after:

View attachment 436226
View attachment 436227

And a few photos I took with the interior and exterior lights on for fun:

View attachment 436228
View attachment 436229
View attachment 436230

Also replaced my cruise control steering wheel buttons... Don't mind the steering wheel cover, swapping that out tomorrow with an all black one of the same style. Went brown hoping it would match the interior brown but was to dark for my taste and didn't match how I wanted it to:

313403139-10209655335896306-1143334242906380567-n.jpg
Looks amazing
 









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