3rd Gen Prerunner Project... Maybe... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

3rd Gen Prerunner Project... Maybe...


New Member
October 4, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Belmont, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Eddie Bauer 4WD
Hey guys, I bought a 2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer in October after a couple of years of being away from off roading. My mom had a 1991 that she got in 1990 up until about 2004 so I have known for a while that when it came time to buy a SUV/Truck to tow my track car with I was going to be looking at Explorers. I absolutely love the Explorer for it's styling, comfort, 3 rows of seating, and it handles being off road far better than I expected in stock form. I made the mistake of waiting until after I got the Explorer to begin researching options as far as suspension lifts and such and of course was a little disappointed but not surprised at the lack of aftermarket support. I understand that Ford went for more of a comfort useless SUV than a purposeful one like the previous generations had.

Without wasting any more time... I love prerunner style trucks and SUV's, and I've wanted to build one for a long time. It's quite clear that the 3rd generation Explorer is not exactly the best platform to start off with for building one but I like challenges. What are my options as far as suspension goes? I've seen that by combining a body and suspension lift I can get about 5" total out of the Explorer... but that's not really what I had in mind as far as adding travel and doing it all via suspension lift. I'm basically just looking for general suggestions on whether or not this is even going to be a possible task. I'm sure there will be some tough problems to overcome but I'm just hoping to find a way to do it without a ton of custom fabrication and such because at that point it will become not even worth it.

This photo is basically my inspiration when it comes to prerunner trucks. Perfect stance and look in my opinion.

And here's some of my stock '03 EB.




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!

Well you've taken on quite the challenge...there's nothing on the market even close to what you'd be interested in suspension-wise. There was a guy on here that wanted to do the same thing as you, but he was banned from the forum a while back so there have not been any updates on his explorer. He was having Brandon at BTF Fabrication do work on his truck. Brandon made some upper control arms for the front of that guy's explorer to correct camber problems he saw when he lifted his explorer, but that does not really improve suspension performance much. Brandon is on this forum so you can contact him here, or he has a website too. The first guy i mentioned who was banned from here also either has the mold for some front fiberglass fenders, or he knows the person who has it. I believe Baker Motorsports made some rear fiberglass quarter panels/door skins for the 3rd gen as well, but i don't know if those are available, or if you would still be able to use the rear doors. Anything can be done, but whether it will be done depends on how much money you want to spend. It won't be cheap.

Like Mounty71 said, it's all about the money. If you could get new front and rear control arms(upper/lower) made with some king coilovers in place, you could increase your travel and have a little fun doing it. Anything can be done, it just depends on how thick your wallet is! Also living in CA, there should be a few fab shops around that specialize in that kind of thing. Keep us posted on what you find out.

Also, I LOVE the HDR photo of that F150!!!!

you will need upper and lower control arms, longer axles in the front along with a shock loop to mount the shock of your choice. you are talking some big money but it is possible. i have a set of BTF upper arms on my mountaineer and there are a very good product. talk to brandon and he will help you with whatever you need. they are great guys to work with. the upper arms where around 500 bucks and the lower control arms i got quoted a grand for the set. keep us updated with what you do

CASH!!!... thats about the long and short of it. I guess if you really want a bad ass prerunner like the one in your pic, you gotta spend the money. If you're building something to go to the mall, when probably not worth it.

Keep us posted if you actually have the cash and skills to dump in to a project of this size... would love to see a 3rd Gen all drooped out 15' in the air off a dune!

oh yeah and for the rear i'd say a sas would be the best bet

nice x u got there i have an uncle that lives in belmont he lives off the edgewood exit is that near u. i live in southern cali but i come to bay area to visit family and friends and my gf.