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2001 Sport Trac Project

wkbogie

Member
Joined
October 19, 2015
Messages
27
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0
City, State
Raleigh, NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001Sport Trac, 2003Avi
Hey Guys and Girls,

I bought a black '01 Sport Track with Grey leather that is in need of some TLC and attitude. It has a few repairs that need immediate attention and then just some cosmetic repairs. Then... something to make it look a bit tougher.

Here is the list so far (will inevitably grow):
Needed:
Ball joints (upper and lower)
Alignment
4x4 not engaging )switch, module, fuses?)
Fog light busted
Center console leather ripped
Seats need cleaning/conditioning
Tires 265/75r16?
Paint rear window trim
Rear door interior handles
Left rear window motor
Fuel filter
Oil Change
Steering wheel tilt short for rear lights
Buff/ Polish dull exterior paint
Polish headlights
Recover Steering wheel
Replace cruise button
Transmission fluid and filter

Wanted:
TT / shackle lift
Paint exterior grey plastic black
Bull bar
Led light bar
Roof rack?
Body mounts

Wish me luck!
Before:
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concerning the center console, I had really good luck recovering mine with a kit from ebay, or I know many have just used a piece of vinyl from the fabric store. it's an easy and satisfying job.

as far as your steering wheel, I replaced mine with one from an 04-06 Ranger. It's a nicer design, with MUCH better cruise buttons. plugs right in, as long as you're comfortable using a puller and dealing with the airbags. I find the 1994-era steering wheel that Ford used for 12 years to be just ugly as sin, never mind the terrible cruise buttons.

good luck!
 






Don't forget to also do the body mount bushings. Those are always shot, just replaced mine with the prothane kit and made a huge difference. When you would get in mine the body would wiggle (also due to 227K shocks), now it feels like brand new should. My body also lifted up about an inch due to the sagging old mounts. I would also change your transmission fluid and filter, to keep the tranny going strong.
 






Don't forget to also do the body mount bushings. Those are always shot, just replaced mine with the prothane kit and made a huge difference. When you would get in mine you the body would wiggle, now it feels like it should. My body also lifted up about an inch due to the sagging old mounts. I would also change your transmission fluid and filter, to keep the tranny going strong.

+1 on the Prothane body mounts. Make a huge difference, even made my doors close properly again. I found I only needed to replace the A, B and C bushings (as the D bushings are made of a different material and were still good). The D bushings are also more difficult to change, as they are designed to lock together.
 






Good call on the body bushings and tranny fluid!
 






concerning the center console, I had really good luck recovering mine with a kit from ebay, or I know many have just used a piece of vinyl from the fabric store. it's an easy and satisfying job.

as far as your steering wheel, I replaced mine with one from an 04-06 Ranger. It's a nicer design, with MUCH better cruise buttons. plugs right in, as long as you're comfortable using a puller and dealing with the airbags. I find the 1994-era steering wheel that Ford used for 12 years to be just ugly as sin, never mind the terrible cruise buttons.

good luck!

I really like the two tone Escape Limited steering wheel. Do you think it would fit?
Also what is the measurement from the center of you axle to the bottom of the fender? I think the PO adjusted the TT bolts and I don't want to overdue it.
 






I don't know one way or the other. I would guess, with some certainty, no. The escape is based on an entirely different vehicle platform than the Ranger/Explorer/Sport Trac, and so I would assume there to be too many differences. Odds are, it uses a different mounting shaft, different air bag connectors, and cruise control interface.

I'll measure my truck as soon as I can.
 






I don't know one way or the other. I would guess, with some certainty, no. The escape is based on an entirely different vehicle platform than the Ranger/Explorer/Sport Trac, and so I would assume there to be too many differences. Odds are, it uses a different mounting shaft, different air bag connectors, and cruise control interface.

I'll measure my truck as soon as I can.

I just looked at the '04-06 Ranger wheel. I like it!
 






Your truck would look great with bigger tires. :)
 






Center Console Recover and 4wd Module

So I ordered on the bay repair kit for $20 or so as recommended on here. I also bought some 1/2" foam from JoAnns fabric store to replace my damaged foam.
Removed the console cover with 2 screws on the hinge.
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Flipped it over and took out the 8 or so screws, some plastic was broken or stripped, but good enough to reuse.
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It is essentially, Plastic with glue on yellow foam, thin rubbery grey foam, and then the leather.
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I replaced the leather and put some green thick foam in between the leather and yellow foam for added padding. After that, you just staple around per the instructions. The "bunching in the corners is a bit tough, but it turns out alright if you use enough force to hold the staples. Just try not to break anymore plastic.
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Forgot the finished pic, coming soon...


The 4WD module was pretty straight forward:

I pulled one from an Explorer at the JY.
I then removed my Pass. side kick panel.
Removed my old Module and replace the new one. It only had 2 small screws and 2 quick release pin style plugs.
Super easy.
Viola!! 4WD again!
 












My '01 ST had 184K on it when I bought it and apparently has had little-to-no maintenance preformed to it by the previous owner. My trans fluid was the dirtiest I've even encountered, but the trans was working fine. I was afraid to do a complete trans flush, fearing I might encounter slipping afterward. I dropped the pan, changed the filter with a quality WIX filter and replaced the 4 quarts of fluid lost with fresh Castrol Mercon V ATF. I also added a drain plug to the pan, so I could more easily drain the pan in the future. Even after changing approximately 1/2 the trans fluid, there still is no hint of pink to its color, but I feel better knowing the filter is new along with 1/2 the fluid. The trans is still working fine, so I'm leaving alone for now.

You might consider dropping the lower engine oil pan (easy to do). There's no telling what you'll find in a Ford 4.0L SOHC oil pan. Hopefully nothing. If it doesn't tear, the lower pan gasket is reusable.
 






You might consider dropping the lower engine oil pan (easy to do). There's no telling what you'll find in a Ford 4.0L SOHC oil pan. Hopefully nothing. If it doesn't tear, the lower pan gasket is reusable.

Isn't there some issue with the pan hitting the front axle assembly on 4x4 trucks? or was that on older ranger with the 4.0 OHV...
 






Isn't there some issue with the pan hitting the front axle assembly on 4x4 trucks? or was that on older ranger with the 4.0 OHV...

Oh, maybe. I don't have any 4x4's so I don't think of that.
 






Ball Joints Done- Kind of... forgot lift alignment washers

So I ordered Both Sides- Upper and Lower Kit from A-1 Auto. Total $119!

It took quite a while to get the lower out due to the fact the ball joint press I rented from Autozone only has so many sizes. But the real time was getting the lower installed!
1. I put them in place and jacked them up from the bottom with another floor jack. I set a collar insert from the ball joint tool in the jack cup.
2. This gets them in just a bit. Due to lifting the A-arm and the A-arm pivoting, they go in crooked. Also the AZ Ball joint tool is just a tad too large in diameter for the balljoint and it slides around a bit. They end up non-concentric with the tool.
3. The best way for me to get them in far enough and aligned correctly enough to get the c-clip on, was to beat on the a-arm around them with a hammer while pushing up from the bottom with the floor jack. This does not help keep the ball joint inserts (that I rented to set in the floor jack cup) concentric with the ball joint, but oh well, it worked.

Sorry I forgot pictures, it was raining.

The upper joints were straight forward. The only tough part is getting the rear bolts out and back in with the (stock) alignment shims.
Also the upper driver side was a tight fit. I had to hammer it in place and pry it up a bit after hammering too much.

*Also, as swshawaii pointed out, this is a great time to install camber bushing alignment spacers if you plan on lifting it. Now I have to take out the upper bolt again.:banghead:

Driver's
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Driver's
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Passenger's
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"3. The best way for me to get them in far enough and aligned correctly enough to get the c-clip on, was to beat on the a-arm around them with a hammer while pushing up from the bottom with the floor jack. This does not help keep the ball joint inserts (that I rented to set in the floor jack cup) concentric with the ball joint, but oh well, it worked."

That's how I remove and install the lowers. I couldn't figure out AutoZone's BJ press either. My BFH worked fine and didn't damage anything.
 






That's how I remove and install the lowers. I couldn't figure out AutoZone's BJ press either. My BFH worked fine and didn't damage anything.[/QUOTE]

Great minds think alike!:chug:
 






TT lift with longer bolts

After inspecting my TT bolts for room to adjust, I realized I did not have enogh left in order to lift the truck ~2". So I went to Fastenal and ordered some longer grade 8 bolts.

I ordered 2 8.8M12- 1.75x100
Total cost was $7
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After installing them, I had about 1 1/8" of thread left. Keep in mind I have 147k on the truck so there is a bit of sagging. (Results May Vary) They do not stick out as much past the skid plate as the picture shows, it's just a funny angle.
I rounded the edges with a grinder mimicking the original bolts, super quick and easy.
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It now sits at around 36.25" up front on 255/70r16's. Looks great! Just waiting on new tires and alignment bolts.
The rear shackles will follow in the next week or so, hopefully.
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Painted Plastic Cladding

Holy Jeez! Most dramatic looking mod ever. Why did they ever come in grey?

So I was limited on time this week and only had one day to get this done before the rain and wife cut it short. Those of you who have painted interiors and other plastic parts in the past know, USE ADHESION PROMOTER and LIGHT COATS!

So I went to Walmart and bought my supplies.
5 Cans of Satin Black Krylon Cover Maxx, quick drying paint suitable for plastic
2 Cans of Adhesion promoter
Masking tape
High end newspaper
Degreaser from the dollar store
Wax and tar remover
Pack of scuffing pads
WEAR a MASK! I did not and my chest has hurt for 2 days!
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1. Washed the plastic with soap and water
2. Cleaned it with degreaser
3. Wiped it down with Bug and Tar remover
4. Scuffed all the plastic with the scotchbrite pads
5. Wiped again with bug and tar to remove any dust from the scuffing
6. Taped off the bottom of the truck above the plastic. I did not remove any panels for lack of time. Make sure to tape off in the cracks between the bed and cab as well as fog lights and radiator
7. 3-Light coats of adhesion promoter (don't let it run, it is like a clear primer)
Go quickly b/c there is only a 1-2 minute lapse between coats. I did two panels (front and side) complete 3 coats, then the other two (back and other side)
8. 7-Light coats of the Krylon Black Paint (For this also go light and stay about 10" away to avoid tiger stripes. I went all the way around the truck repeatedly for over an hour. It dries tacky in about 5 minutes and is ready for the next coat.)
9. I let it sit in the unseasonably warm NC afternoon sun (70* in December) and over night before removing the tape. I have no idea if this is the best idea, but I was not sure if I would need more coats in the morning
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Results were amazing!
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We are getting closer! One step at a time!
Next:
Timing Chain Tensioners
Shackles
Steering wheel
Camber alignment bolts
Tires!
 



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