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98 5.0 XLT Expo/FF POV Rig

CvrnRth's 98 5.0XLT 33's on TT/Shackle

Well Im gonna start this to help document my transition from a yard ornament to a DD/Mild Wheeler/Personal FireFighter POV to haul myself, my wife, and my soon to be family that the wife will be blessing me with July 10th.

I was in the search for some sort of Mid-size SUV, 4dr, 4wd, and came across a 98 5.0L XLT AWD. Did some research and made the guy an offer, it had been sitting for over a year and a half, has about 150k on the clock.

And this is what i got for $450:

DSCN0479 by coverinearth, on Flickr

DSCN0481 by coverinearth, on Flickr

What it needed:
Tires are shot, dry rotted, leaking
Wheels are basically falling apart
Won't start - Fuel Pump isn't making a sound
Brake Hard Lines are all rusted through
Tran Cooler Lines leaking
Rear Shackles rusted through (Perfect chance to do War-153's)

Plus the usual odds and ends from it sitting around, a good tune-up, fluid changes, brakes, etc.

The ideal plans:
Yank the tupperware and mudflaps
2" TT, Full length AAL and War-153's
Possibly a bodylift
33" Cooper STT's on AR Black Steelies - Already have
RLC Front Bumper
Ramsey Patriot 9500 Winch with wirelesss remote - Already Have
Tube Sliders that I'll be building
Rear Bumper that I'll be building
LED Outfitters 48" TIR Sabre Lightbar
Manual T-Case swap eventually, after I get it running and driving to see what else me need work.

I think thats it, so now let the project begin!


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So first thing i decided to do, give it a little bath.

DSCN0483 by coverinearth, on Flickr

DSCN0484 by coverinearth, on Flickr

DSCN0490 by coverinearth, on Flickr

The thing is very clean, the only BAD rust is the rear hatch.

Then my buddy stopped over and we got bored....

DSCN0493 by coverinearth, on Flickr

DSCN0501 by coverinearth, on Flickr

DSCN0503 by coverinearth, on Flickr

Tupperware is coming off in the next day or 2, and ill start dropping the gas tank and getting some mechanicals fixed.

All suggestions are welcome!


Lookin good man! Cant wait to see how it turns out!

Oooh, nice tires. I actually like the look of them stuffed in there with minimal lift. Your rubbing might be bad at lock and droop and stuff, but it looks pretty awesome sitting there. Hopefully you can trim them good to keep your rubbers happy.

Well tomorrow im tearing into it, dropping the gas tank to do the fuel pump, and while its out run a new hard brakeline from the rear axle up the frame.

Anyone got any tips or pointers? Planning on sanding and painting some of the frame, and also giving the gas tank a good coat of paint while its out.

Ordered new straps and the full pump/strainer setup from RockAuto.com

Well fuel pump is done, new hard brakelines all the way from front too back, and replaced the tranny cooler lines. It officially runs. Slight tick in the motor, sounds like its something up top, but its way overdue for an oil change so hopefully with some fresh fluids it'll quiet down.

Now does anyone have input on rotors, gotta do fronts and rear, thinking about possibly going some sort of slotted/drilled combo?

Thanks for all the help.


Well instead of buying a set of warriors i decided to just go ahead and build a set, I built both the front and rear shackles for my old wrangler.


0510132108 by coverinearth, on Flickr

Still having a few weird problems with the explorer, still need to finish doing the brakes. Also having problems with the Key FOB not working. The Airbag light is flashing. And for some reason one of the puddle lights in the mirror wont shut off, nor will the dome light.

Input is welcome, gonna hit the search button a few more times to see what i can find.


Well got the saggy butt fixed.

Before: (34.5" to the fender)

DSCI0019 by coverinearth, on Flickr

After: (37" To the fender)

DSCI0032 by coverinearth, on Flickr

Old Vs. New:

DSCI0022 by coverinearth, on Flickr

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DSCI0035 by coverinearth, on Flickr

Still want to replace the ubolts with something beefier and pickup a set of ubolt plates i can modify to skids. Bringing the engine hoist over so i can flex it out and measure for shocks as well as make sure brakelines will be good.

While i have it flexed i'll then trim to make sure the tires clear all around.


If you want some beefy u-bolt skids, contact Brian1 here on the board. I bought a set he made and those things look like they could take a direct missile hit. And they work with the factory 1/2" u-bolts or upgraded 5/8" ones.

They do move the shock location up a few inches, so you may need to get different shocks. He also makes bar pin eliminators so you can run universal shocks.

Bumper looks nice, I'm guessing that's a winch tray underneath? What winch are you gonna run with it?

Edit: Oh, nevermind. Scrolled up and saw the Ramsey Patriot. Nice winch

Recently got the lift all dialed in, ditched the rear swaybar completely. and yanked the front links so that I can build some discos up front seeing as this will see alot of road time.

Front disco'd:

DSCI0077 by coverinearth, on Flickr


DSCI0076 by coverinearth, on Flickr

Still have some trimming to do, and possibly gonna do the 1.5" BodyLift to help with some rubbing. Although the rubbign at ride height is minimal considering those are 33"s on just a TT.

The rear we ended up running my built shackles and the explorer main leaf. The rest of the leaf pack is a 3" Old Man Emu Cherokee lift pack. My main leaf is whooped though and is going to need replaced, I'd still like the rear up another 1-1.5".

Still need to flex it out totally and measure for shocks, really trying to find a good deal on front coil-overs as I'm not liking these torsion bars.

Another issue im running into is the Rear soft brake line not being long enough, anyone have a part number for a direct bolt-on steel braided line?

Flexed up a bit with lots more left to go! Rear shocks are disconnected too:

DSCI0074 by coverinearth, on Flickr

Then i got the itch and rolled these outta the garage and they are really starting to make me want more:

DSCI0071 by coverinearth, on Flickr

DSCI0072 by coverinearth, on Flickr

37x12.50x15 Wrangler MTR's on Eaton 32 Bolt Beadlocks.

Front bumper is almost finished up, winch is all repainted waiting on stickers from Ramsey. Started mocking up the rocksliders but gonna wait to see what I do about the BodyLift.


Great work so far bud! The body looks super clean, and I'm liking the bumper a lot. :thumbsup:

Holy crap I havn't updated this forever. Well a few unfortunate circumstances arose and this thing is finally about ready to be road worthy.

Pictures from today, turns out after poking around the rockers were rotted pretty bad. Plan is to cut them clean out 2"x6" rectangular steel tubing and weld in sliders.

The rear spring packs came back apart. I built a set of springs using a set of 3" Old Man Emu Cherokee packs, put thme back together using some U-Bolts from RuffStuff Specialties as well as building my own u-bolt skids while I was at it. I think the stance is perfect. No rubbing with just some minor trimming, truely a perfect example of just a TT and a little rear lift and 33's fit perfect.

0920141701 by cvrnrth, on Flickr

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0920141830 by cvrnrth, on Flickr

0920141830a by cvrnrth, on Flickr

Don't mind the winch cable and bungee cord, just got the new Optima Red Top battery in yesterday and still need to finish wiring the winch in.

Hopefully I can get this thing in the dirt before the snow flies!


Started fixing my rocker rust this week.

Got all the cancer cut out:
1010141015.jpg by cvrnrth, on Flickr

Then decided why put sheetmetal in when you can just weld the sliders in the hole?
1010141130.jpg by cvrnrth, on Flickr
1010141130b.jpg by cvrnrth, on Flickr

The finished sliders
1012141908.jpg by cvrnrth, on Flickr

One more mock-up
1012141845.jpg by cvrnrth, on Flickr

Over-all I gained 2" over the stock rocker panel. The slider is made from 2"x4" 3/16" wall steel tube. The steps are 1" Schedule 40 black pipe.

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nice work man, I really like the sliders. Custom made I assume?