'98 XLT 5.0 Frame Off Restoration | Page 8 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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'98 XLT 5.0 Frame Off Restoration

Superlift leaf springs are on!


You can also see the u-bolt/shock skidplates underneath. The only problem with these is that due to clearance issues with the sway bar, I can either run my shocks upside down (not gonna happen) or run without a rear sway bar (gonna happen) and just be more careful when driving around. These are semi-installed, since I just set them up there with the old ubolts while I wait for my 5/8" ones to come in. Those things were the biggest PITA to install out of the entire rear. So heavy, and even lubing the old ubolts did not help the new nuts go on smooth. Would have been better if I had the lift.

And my buddy's trick worked flawlessly. It literally took less than one minute, combined, to get both old shackle bushings out of the frame. Hit them up with a sanding wheel to smooth them out and get the remaining rubber out, lubed up and pressed in the new poly bushings, and only took about five minutes. And the bushings for the springs went in today on my lunch break, smooth as silk. Used up almost two ounces of poly grease just for six bushings though.

Tomorrow I will begin the front. I wanted to get the chassis slid around today, but I didn't finish in time before the rain really started coming down. Tomorrow should be nicer though, I hope. I don't wanna get it wet because I'm gonna be shooting a couple coats of rattle can medium tan over the axle, springs, and shackles. It's not gonna be perfect, and won't last long against rough trails, but it'll be a cheap and nice way to make it look cool for a while. Will make spotting any leaks easier too.

Enjoy a few more pictures!



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Looking good man.....and as for the rear swaybar? IMHO its a waste of space...I haven't ever ran with mine...in fact ive recently taken my front off as well and though I notice that one gone so far it hasnt been unbearable.

Thanks! I've been thinking about taking the front off as well. 750lb coils should keep the front end stiff enough to not roll over if I need to change lanes real quick. Or pass some slow grandma on a country road.


Seriously though. Frame looks purdy.

Sure does, ready for some paint pics of the body!

Well? Where are they?!? :D

Any update?

Paint Pics?

Nothing new yet :(

I just finished building a trailer to tow it over there and I'm waiting for the plates to come in. It's still gonna be at least a few more weeks though. I've been putting most of my money lately into the new Sport Trac. That's almost done (at least to the point of being good enough for the SMORR run later this year) and I can start turning my attention back to this.

I have gotten some goodies in though, like the new Torque Monster Headers :D Cannot wait til I can hear those roar.

And since it's been so long in the coming, I guess I can post up the teaser picture I talked about a few months ago:


Just remember, this isn't anywhere close to done. The pattern will be wrapped around to the quarter panels, and additional complexity added in. These are just the building blocks. All that has to wait until the body can get dropped back on though.

Looks good cant wait to see end results

Looks good but you've gone this far, why not remove the wiper motor/washer, and that button? It's all in the small stuff.

Paint is gorgeous

Do my truck next! Seriously though I like the paint so far

Coming along nicely. I love the color. I just had my 96 done in Sahara tan.

How have I never seen this thread? I like where this is going.

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Thanks for all the kind words!

I didn't want to remove the wiper and motor because I really like it when it works, plus, I have a brand new arm and motor and wiper blade installed in the liftgate, haha.

Oh, and the rear sway bar shouldn't be an issue anymore. Fox shocks are designed to mount rod down, so I should have plenty of clearance. Bar Pin Eliminators from Brian1 will make mounting those a breeze :D By the time this is done, he's gonna have made half the parts!

I feel bad that I haven't worked on the ol girl since April, but I've been working dang near seven days a week and what little time I did have, I worked on the Trac.

Buuuuuut, this weekend should be a chance to return. Before I finish saving up to take it to the blaster masters, I'm gonna go ahead and grind, drill out, cut off and weld everything I need to for the coilover brackets, mount the lcas and ucas back up again real quick, install the springs on the shocks and start making sure that all the hard clearances check out. I'll still need to do things like brake lines and limit straps, but I'll need to have it reassembled fully and the weight on the suspension to get everything correct for that. Though I may wind up needing to steal the UCAs, caster/camber bolt kits, and lower ball joints for the Trac, depending on how the alignment goes this Friday. Ford bless parts compatibility :D

I don't think I'm gonna be able to get it done this year though. I really wanted to get the chassis fully done and paint completed before winter, but my wallet is disagreeing with that right now. Maybe with some creative budgeting and a lot more overtime and no more spending money on Trac parts, I can try again in the fall.