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2015 Explorer Storm Chasing Install/Mods


Medic531

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2019 Explorer 4x4 XLT
I am getting ready to purchase a 2015 black ford explorer 4x4 base. I found one at a local dealer that was just delivered however it has several things I plan to change/mod/add. The vehicle will be used as a daily driver along with storm chasing and EMS work.

Of course this is the civilian model so it comes with the silver grille and chrome explorer strip on the back hatch. I have searched and read several posts on here about grille mods painting vs. plastidip ect. I think my best, easiest and cheapest option would be to take those two parts to a local body shop and have them paint to match.

Since the roof will get two 800mhz low profile antennas along with a VHF antenna I would like to remove the luggage racks however I have seen several posts on here and it doesnt seem like its a feesable option so I may leave them like they are.

I also will be adding mostly rear emergency lightning (all whelen) for traffic warning along with a HAVIS console with three radios, a traffic adviser control box and switches.

The problem I have is the electrical system. Would I need a 2nd battery? Bigger alternator? What do I need to calculate as far as my lights and radios to see if the current stock alternator will work fine?

Suggestions/Tips?


Thanks :)
 


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nick3941sd

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2014 Ford Explorer Sport
I am getting ready to purchase a 2015 black ford explorer 4x4 base. I found one at a local dealer that was just delivered however it has several things I plan to change/mod/add. The vehicle will be used as a daily driver along with storm chasing and EMS work.

Of course this is the civilian model so it comes with the silver grille and chrome explorer strip on the back hatch. I have searched and read several posts on here about grille mods painting vs. plastidip ect. I think my best, easiest and cheapest option would be to take those two parts to a local body shop and have them paint to match.

Since the roof will get two 800mhz low profile antennas along with a VHF antenna I would like to remove the luggage racks however I have seen several posts on here and it doesnt seem like its a feesable option so I may leave them like they are.

I also will be adding mostly rear emergency lightning (all whelen) for traffic warning along with a HAVIS console with three radios, a traffic adviser control box and switches.

The problem I have is the electrical system. Would I need a 2nd battery? Bigger alternator? What do I need to calculate as far as my lights and radios to see if the current stock alternator will work fine?

Suggestions/Tips?


Thanks :)
If I was in your position I'd try and go for an Explorer Interceptor/Utility. Trim will be black, will not come with roof rails, the electrical system will handle your setup, 75MPH rear crash test rating, and you'll have the 3.7.
 




Medic531

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2019 Explorer 4x4 XLT
If I was in your position I'd try and go for an Explorer Interceptor/Utility. Trim will be black, will not come with roof rails, the electrical system will handle your setup, 75MPH rear crash test rating, and you'll have the 3.7.
The only dealer willing to sell me one has all white explorers. I wanted black if possible. Even then I would have to get approval from Ford for the dealer to sell it to me according to the dealer. I dont know what else to try in order to get one.
 




pup5581

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Deff need more juice then stock battery...most likely another one...maybe 2 depending on the output of everything going in
 




Medic531

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If I read everything correctly the alternator in the base explorer is 200A and the police version is only 220A and I wont be running nearly as much stuff as the police so that should be good. I never needed an extra battery on my Escape so I dont know anything about adding one.
 




nick3941sd

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The only dealer willing to sell me one has all white explorers. I wanted black if possible. Even then I would have to get approval from Ford for the dealer to sell it to me according to the dealer. I dont know what else to try in order to get one.
I'm not %100 sure but I don't believe what they are saying is correct. If it is, its unfortunate though because it sounds like the Utility Ex would cover all your needs. Maybe contact Ford Fleet for advice. There's also a member on here Sgt1411 that's very familiar with the interceptors, he may have some input.

In the past I've seen Ford dealers in my area advertising/selling new Crown Vic PI's to the general public.

Explorer interceptors are a great all around vehicle though. We are switching to them at my dept from Dodge and I'm definitely in favor of it.
 




pup5581

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If I read everything correctly the alternator in the base explorer is 200A and the police version is only 220A and I wont be running nearly as much stuff as the police so that should be good. I never needed an extra battery on my Escape so I dont know anything about adding one.
If that's the case then that's pretty good
 




Medic531

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If that's the case then that's pretty good
I will be adding two additional radios and maybe a few extra led lights. Overall it shouldnt be an issue but I am wondering. I am having FleetSafety from Pell City, AL do the install since this is a new vehicle I rather not mess anything up. This company built the Birmingham, AL Police Explorers and did an outstanding job.

So far all of the dealers I have talked to in Alabama wont sell a PI Explorer to me without selling it to my FD then me buying it from them. I found a dealer about 100 miles from me in AL that said they MIGHT be able to sell one to me if I get a letter from the FD then they have to send that to Ford to get permission to sell the vehicle. I will check with Ford Fleet and see what I can find.
 




Medic531

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Apparently the base explorer 4wd that i picked out only has a 109amp alternator at 14.1v. can anyone confirm what the base explorer is suppose to have?
 




nick3941sd

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I will be adding two additional radios and maybe a few extra led lights. Overall it shouldnt be an issue but I am wondering. I am having FleetSafety from Pell City, AL do the install since this is a new vehicle I rather not mess anything up. This company built the Birmingham, AL Police Explorers and did an outstanding job.

So far all of the dealers I have talked to in Alabama wont sell a PI Explorer to me without selling it to my FD then me buying it from them. I found a dealer about 100 miles from me in AL that said they MIGHT be able to sell one to me if I get a letter from the FD then they have to send that to Ford to get permission to sell the vehicle. I will check with Ford Fleet and see what I can find.
Yeah I'd explore all your options. 100 miles for a vehicle is nothing to get what you actually what.
 




Medic531

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Yeah I'd explore all your options. 100 miles for a vehicle is nothing to get what you actually what.
Ford very quickly replied and said no. i dont understand why ford can control the sale of NEW police interceptors but not USED ones. To me that doesnt make sense.

I talked with fleet safety and the told me what upgrades i need to make. i talked to my dealer and he is going to work with me with internal upgrades and work those into the negotiations.
 




BlackJac

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If you plan on storm chasing, you may want to plastic-dip the whole vehicle whatever color you want. It would add an extra layer of protection from debris and hail.

I agree with trying for the Intercepter.
 








twodogs603

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Your electrical system should be fine. Well, Im assuming you will be going
with all LED warning lights? If so, they have very minimal amp draw, and your radios ( you can only talk on one at a time) dont draw that much either so I dont see a problem.
 




SHAD0W

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If you plan on storm chasing, you may want to plastic-dip the whole vehicle whatever color you want. It would add an extra layer of protection from debris and hail.
+1

...and several coats at that! Do you plan on adding other protection measures?

I could see how it would seem more economical to paint-to-match. But if something happens to that paint while chasing, you would likely have to have things repainted, as oppose to touch-ups. And the expense will keep rising. If you dip, the abuse it takes still leaves the OEM paint/finish unscathed--unless, of course, you take on serious storm shrapnel.

One other route you could take is to have it painted to match, then dip over it. So in the event the dip has to be removed/redone/whatever, you have at least the desired look underneath.

Like most other members here, I would freak after getting a scratch on my paint.

Hats off to your courage, and your willingness to use your truck! Would love to see pics when your setup is done. And of course, post some twister pics as well :thumbsup:
 




Medic531

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I will likely plastidip the front grill. One of the autoshops I asked wants $550 just to paint the front grill. I am not one to get within 2 feet from a tornado, i just like watching it at a reasonable distance. I dont plan to core-punch and get into too much hail unless I have no other routes so prob wont go with any additional protection. If anything I do want to add a Sentina Push Bumper in the future but not sure.
 




twodogs603

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I will likely plastidip the front grill. One of the autoshops I asked wants $550 just to paint the front grill. I am not one to get within 2 feet from a tornado, i just like watching it at a reasonable distance. I dont plan to core-punch and get into too much hail unless I have no other routes so prob wont go with any additional protection. If anything I do want to add a Sentina Push Bumper in the future but not sure.

$550 to paint a grill? A body shop did mine for $75. Course I took it off the truck and delivered it to them.
 




Medic531

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$550 to paint a grill? A body shop did mine for $75. Course I took it off the truck and delivered it to them.

i know right...they said they would have to take the whole front bumper off and everything and they charge $52/hr and they charge for time period for the paint to dry...i think ill shop around. there are lots of places that do this type of stuff around here. I started with them as they have done really good work on my parents vehicle.
 




Sgt1411

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Medic531

As others have suggested the PI Utility is a much better choice for what you want to use it for. Retail vehicles aren't engineered for what your duty cycle will be.

Im not sure about the dealers restricting sales, Im going to contact someone at Ford HQ in Dearborn and ask about that.

I can also put you in contact with the Government Sales Rep for your area but their contact info is on the Ford Interceptor web page.

Also if you get the Ford base prep lighting package with Whelen equipment it's covered by the Ford warranty as well.

Check out www.fordpoliceinterceptor.com for all the benifits over retail.

Have you thought about used?

I know Nevada Highway Patrol bought hundreds of 2013 PI Utility's and then as soon as the EcoBoost PI Utility came out they began a complete turnover to the EcoBoost.

Also don't pay for painting anything, the vinyl wrap Ford uses is very good and will cost less than $500
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

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asull85

The Storm Chaser
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I know it would be a haul for you but I just saw that MHQ in Marlborough, MA has leftover 2014 Interceptor SUV's and Explorers for cheap. They may sell one to you seeing as you are an EMT/Storm Chaser. I might be heading out there soon to have a look at what they have to replace my 2010 Explorer.
 




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