2nd Gen Tow Hooks, My Solution | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

Afrojoe

Active Member
Joined
June 5, 2016
Messages
95
Reaction score
15
City, State
Ringgold, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
I know others have touched on the topic of tow hooks, but I figured my solution might help others and I think it looks great. (Plus this will let me test out imgur) I purchased my hooks off an Expedition and F150 at the junk yard and used hot rolled steel as spacers to drop them to whatever height I wanted. Used 1/4 inch in front and 1 inch in back that way I didn't have to cut any of my bumper. Only problem I could forsee with this is in the rear and the fact of how close my shackles come to the hook. Although I'm sure them bumping wouldn't be to bad. I used the existing hardware except for purchasing longer Class 10.9 bolts (only for the back because of the 1 inch spacing). Process was fairly easy. The front only requires removing 4 bolts for the bumper and 8 for the plastic valance (I took my valance off to cut it with tin shears). My brackets slid into the box frame fine, others might have difficulty. The rear was simple cutting the brackets in half and drilling the half inch holes.

i9B25vR.jpg

Primed and Painted mine. Automobile Primer and Flat Black Rustoleum paint. If I had it I'd probably do bed liner paint but anything will work.
wCZiXnG.jpg


Spacers and the amount of bolt thread left.

POMoEZX.jpg


My rear holes were behind that rivet and slightly behind the factory hole, I forgot to take a picture of the front, but basically took the valance off and placed the hook with spacer up the the frame and marked where the front holes would need to be. Mine are as forward as possible in front and as far back as possible in the back. If you spaces the front a half inch and the rear 1 and 1/4 you could move them slightly further, but I'm happy with my placement.

PF4Bl0f.jpg


How close the shackle is to my hooks on a downward inclined driveway

bzDRyxv.jpg


Front hook mounted directly behind bumper mount, forgot to paint those spacers, but they're never coming off anyways.

SzuXwK1.jpg


Valance trimming, I did lose one mounting point per side, but it's pretty sturdy with the 6 remaining.

jkPaFRk.jpg


And what I'm actually proud of, how good I think it all looks done.

yVjFoX3.jpg


I feel pretty confident in these hooks, I understand rear mounting isn't ideal, but I think it'll work and I'm glad I got the 2 bolt hooks rather than 1 bolt. My spacers were cut at 5 inches in length (4 inch would have turned out better I now realize) the only reason I used them to begin with was to avoid cutting my bumpers and I feel that mild steel will provide plenty of support to keep them from twisting or pulling down and out. Total cost was about 40 dollars, 30 in hooks and 10 in steel (1/4 inch 1.5 inch wide 4 ft long). Thoughts and opinions welcomed. I'll try to answer any questions the best I can and hopefully the post will help someone else or at least give others ideas. Ps. Let me know if the links don't work or if there's a better way to share images.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





CorbinDallas

Active Member
Joined
April 3, 2013
Messages
87
Reaction score
9
City, State
Calgary
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 5.0 EB/2005 Aviator
Haha, if you are posting to imgur, then you forgot the cat tax!
 






Afrojoe

Active Member
Joined
June 5, 2016
Messages
95
Reaction score
15
City, State
Ringgold, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
Cat tax? (I looked it up, apparently I'm an anarchist and don't pay my taxes. Viva La Revolution!) What's a better way to post pictures? Other than becoming an Elite lol
 






SWIGIN

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 6, 2015
Messages
592
Reaction score
89
City, State
PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
79 Bronco , 98 Explorer
If they are different, which one fits up front? Any thing to look for when junk yarding for hooks? From what you said it seems some only have one bolt and some years have 2?
 






Afrojoe

Active Member
Joined
June 5, 2016
Messages
95
Reaction score
15
City, State
Ringgold, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
The F150 and Expedition hooks I salvaged are exactly the same. I think the Expedition was a late 90s and the F150 was a early 2000s I believe. From what I've seen some guys have used hooks from Expeditions that only have one bolt which I'm sure is plenty, but I think I'd rather have the 2 bolt design. The way I did mine both single and double bolt would work front and back. If you pick up hooks from a junk yard make sure to get the brackets that the bolt thread into. It was a bit hard to slide them out of the expedition with the bumper on but with it off its as easy as can be.
PS. One of the hooks I got has definitely been used because the inside of the ring is a bit indented, but I think that's just proof that they cold pull out my X if needed. Really if possible I'd get hooks off a bigger vehicle because then you know it's meant for heavier weight. Of course it shouldn't matter what brand it came off of shouldn't matter as long as it'll fit where you need it so go ahead and check suburbans, yukons, whatever might have hooks on it.
 






Turdle

The Lowrider is a little higher
Staff member
Moderator
Elite Explorer
Joined
June 16, 2003
Messages
30,542
Reaction score
2,311
City, State
Humboldt, KS
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Mounty
I took the liberty of "editing" the links in the first post.

Since you got the links, you can do it 2 ways.

Click the "Image" tab ( the little icon with mountains) in the upper bar of the post window, then paste the link in the box that pops up.

Or
after pasting all the links in your post, edit each link like this



The Image tab merely places those codes around your link for you.
 






SWIGIN

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 6, 2015
Messages
592
Reaction score
89
City, State
PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
79 Bronco , 98 Explorer
Thanks for this thread!

I just got back from the JY and I did find 4 just like yours for $5 each.
 






Afrojoe

Active Member
Joined
June 5, 2016
Messages
95
Reaction score
15
City, State
Ringgold, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
No problem. I'm not the first to do Hooks and won't be the last, but new content and options are always nice. You should share how they come out when you get them on, SWIGIN.
 






SWIGIN

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 6, 2015
Messages
592
Reaction score
89
City, State
PA
Year, Model & Trim Level
79 Bronco , 98 Explorer
I finally Mounted my front two hooks.

I used a 3/8 thick Steel spacer between the frame and the hooks since I had a small plate of it and I cut them 2'' wide.


I have a small hobby machine shop so cutting the 3/8'' plate steel was easy then I used my transfer punches to mark where I drilled the plates. I then bolted the hooks on with just the front hole in the hooks going through the factory slotted hole in the frame.

I pulled the hook as far front as they would go and used the transfer punch to mark the frame for the second hole. I used the factory nut plate thing that came with the hooks and with the 3/8'' plate the factory bolts were perfectly flush with the nut plate so I wouldn't go any thicker.

Now I just got to do the rears.........
 






Afrojoe

Active Member
Joined
June 5, 2016
Messages
95
Reaction score
15
City, State
Ringgold, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Ford Explorer XL 4WD
Looks good and you've definitely got better clearance for the hooks up front than I do with the 1/4 inch. You might be able to drill yours differently than I did in the rear, but if you go with the same placement you'll have to cut the threaded bracket thing in half because there's a steel wall just after the rivet. It surrounds the spare in the rear. If you're having a hard time getting the hooks threaded up in back you could take the bumper off, it's only 4 bolts but a PITA too get back.
 






slisman

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 24, 2016
Messages
111
Reaction score
37
Location
Poland
City, State
Gdańsk
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Explorer II
Hello, have you still these photos? They aren't displaying properly....and I've just bought F150 hooks for my 2000 Explorer :)

Front hooks can be mounted without drilling in frame, yes?

EDIT: Pics are working again :)
 






TsherryUSA

Elite Explorer
Joined
March 16, 2019
Messages
97
Reaction score
77
Location
OREGON
City, State
PORTLAND
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Ford Explorer 4WD 5spd
Rad looking hooks! Might have to find some as a winter project now...
 






Top