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Aaron's Mountaineer: Massachusetts

Aaron "V8BoatBuilder"s Elite Explorer Registry Page

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Rausch Creek Off Road Park, PA. 33" Tires, 4" Lift

13422IM001322.jpg


13422ccmounty_web-med.jpg

West Dennis Beach, Cape Cod, MA. Truck as purchased, Christmas Eve 2002

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Got lost on the way to the mall..... Offroading in New Hampshire. November 2003

Introduction
I have set up this thread to detail my modifications, provide some step by step instructions for many of them, list my tips for general maintence procedures, and even throw a writeup or two of anytime I decide to subject my truck to the abuse of off-pavement driving.

I strongly encourage all members of Explorerfoum to read this thread, or skim over my dry writing and just look at the photos. Hopefully you can find a usefull tip or learn a little bit about your Mountaineer or Explorer. If you have a question, feel free to PM me, or even post it here. I've edited many posts to reflect conversations I've had over PMs. So yea, check the "older" posts, since I sometimes update them too..... (I have way too much time it seems....)

Now the Disclaimer:
If you follow any of my writeups or tips, I take no responsibilty for damage or injury you may encur. Always double check your work, and make sure everything makes sense. Never work under a truck that is only supported by a hydraulic jack - use jack stands! Remember, some systems, such as brakes, can affect others if you are not careful. Have fun, and get greasy. Make that truck your own.

Specifications As She Stands, 1/19/08:
Year, Make: 1997 Mercury Mountaineer
Color: Black, with gray trim and body cladding
Engine: 5.0 Liter 302cu in. V8. GT40p Heads.
Battery Duralast Gold Grp 65 Wet Cell, custom wiring
Transfer Case: Borg Warner 4406 Control-Trac w/Torque on Demand and low range.
Front Drivetrain: Dana 35 SLA, 4.56 gears, Open Differentail, Center Axle Disconnect
Rear Drivetrain:Ford 8.8" 31 Spline, 4.56 gears, Track-Lock Limited Slip
Tires: Interco TrXus MT 33x12.5R15 on Cragar 15x8 Chrome Plated Steel Wheels
Interior: Gray with Leather and Mountaineer stitching
Options and Creature Comforts Power Seats, Alarm system, remote keyless entry, power locks, power mirrors, overhead console with Autodim mirror, outside temp, compass. Rear Air. Message Center.

Modifications:

Page One (You are here)
- Ford OEM Class III trailer hitch installed 1/10/03
- Rancho 9000x 9way Adjustible shocks installed 2/14/03
- Aux reverse lights installed 2/15/03
- Oil Pressure Sender conversion in progress 3/14/03
- Front Tow hooks installed 3/31/03
- JC Whitney Full Brushguard installed 3/16/03
- Hella 500 Driving Lights installed 3/17/03
- Audio System including: Pioneer MP3 headunit, Pioneer 12 disc changer, Alpine v12 Mono Amp, Dual 10" Rockford Fosgate Subs (Now removed), Sound deading insulation installed 3/18/03

Page Two
- Explorer Express Swaybars installed 4/13/03
- MAC open element Air Intake installed 8/15/03
- Ventshade VentVisors installed 8/15/03
- Custom made Stealth Subwoofer Box with Kenwood eXcelon 10" DVC woofer installed 8/17/03
- Warrior Shackles installed 11/20/03
- Aux Transmission Filter Installed 12/20/03
- Autometer guages (oil pressure, oil temp, trans temp) Installed 12/21/03
- Torsion bar adjusters, January 2004

Page Three
- 2" Front Lift from TT, Add-a-leafs in rear Installed Janurary 2004
- Front control arm Camber Adjusters, Installed January 2004
- 31" BFG AT KO tires Installed January 2004
- Custom Front skidplate, February 2004
- New head Gaskets and a Valve job, June 2004
- Accell DIS coils, Taylor Ignition wires, June 2004

Page Four
- Baumann Engineering Shift kit and other 4R70W Mods, December 2004
- Message Center, January 2005
- Torque Monster Headers, March 2005
- Cruise Controll Deactivation Recall, June 2005
- Control Trac/4x4 trasnfer case swap, June 2005

Page Five
- More on the 1st BW4406 swap EVER!!

Page Six
- Waterpump, Timing Chain, Timing Cover, Cooling Hose Replacement
- Superlift K494 4" Front Lift, Central Axle Disconnect Swap
- Custom Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines
- Rear SOA, 4.56 Gears


Planned Mods...
- Custom Rocksliders
- Custom Rear Bumper w/Tire Carrier
- Fatmat entire interior
- Sandblast, POR 15, and paint underbody, suspention and frame.
- Replace rear leaf spring bushings with Energy Suspention Poly
- Lockers
- A Pillar grab handles
- Flowmaster Exhaust with 50 series delta flow(s) with dual 2.5" piping or single 3", custom downpipes and high flow catalytic converters.
- Upgraded door speakers and amp
- SCT chip w/87 octane program(s)
- FMS E303 Cam and Roller Rockers
- Cut the roof off and put in a cage!!

Help.... this list is getting too short!

These photos were taken the night I purchased the truck: (Christmas Eve 2002)
13422aaron_s_mountaineer2.jpg



ENJOY THE THREAD!
 


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V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
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Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Mountaineer V8 4x4
TTG said:
Is there any difference between a message center and a overhead console in terms of what they do? Or was it just 2 different styles of the same computer?

My Mountaineer came standard with the overhead console, which contains a magnetic compass and a display for outside ambient temperature.

The Message Center is, for the most part, a fuel management computer. It came on Eddie Bauer and Limited models. Since it uses VSS input, 95-97 models use one version, and 98-01 models use another. They are not compatible with each other.

With inputs such as fuel level, speed, and fuel flow, it displays the following functions:

1) Distance Traveled. Nothing more than a 2nd trip odometer, its resetable.
2) Miles untill empty. Using both fuel level and average MPG to calculate the reading.
3) Gallons untill empty.
4) Gallons used. Resetable.
5) Instantaneous MPG. Fuel flow with speed compensation.
6) Average MPG. Resetable.
7) There are other functions as well, such as windsheild washer fluid level monitoring, oil temp monitoring, and exterior light monitoring. I only hooked up the fuel management features.
 


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

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
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Control Trac 4x4 Swap: Electrics Pictures

Pictures from the electrical install:

Parts Needed:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_41.jpg


-GEM
-Bezel with switches
- Torque On Demand Relay
- Shift Relay
- T-case harness

Torque On Demand Relay:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_42.jpg


Brown wire clipped and extended for 2wd switch:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_46.jpg


Shift Motor Relay, and GEM:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_43.jpg


T-case wiring harness, under driver's seat:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_44.jpg


T-case wiring harness, at t-case:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_45.jpg


Big thanks to StadX2, his research in the electrics portion of the swap meant all I had to due was plug in modules.

His writeup can be found here: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85487
 




V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
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Control Trac 4x4 Swap: Front Driveshaft

Front d-shaft installed.

Autozone had the u-joint I needed, for only 11.99. It's not listed by application, only part number. But it is stocked.

Front shaft from a 2000 F150 w/4.6 and 4x4:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_47.jpg


It has flanges on both sides that use the 1330 u-joint. The flanges have a 2.5" square bolt circle.

Slip yoke almost fully compressed when installed:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_48.jpg


Front "conversion" u-joint w/grease fitting:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_49.jpg

(Autozone P/N: 185793, PDQ #109134. $11.99)

Front driveshaft to torsion bar cross member clearance, looking aft:
13422Transfer_Case_Swap_-_50.jpg
 




bmxking5

Explorer Addict
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City, State
Monroe, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Sport & '96 XLT
I really like your Mounty, Aaron. :D Nice job on it. That's awesome that you've got low range! :thumbsup:
 




Saleen_SR71

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City, State
San Jose, CA
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'97 EB 5.0
wow youve done a lot of work. keep it up, i want to see more.

*edit*
im going to do some sound deadening in the cargo area today depending on when it arrives, i ordered 40 sq. ft.. i dont think its enough but its better than nothing, it costed me $102 shipped to my door. i heard it was better than equal or better than dynamat (depending on the thickness you get). i ordered it from Second Skin Audio (recomendation from a few people)
 




Norad

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City, State
Edgecomb Maine
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 XLT
Where is the next write up

Aaron where is you next write up? I read your write ups like I read 4wheeler or 4 Wheel and off road. Where is this months issue? Just kidding really sweat Mounty keep up the good work
 




izackary

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'06 Mazdaspeed6 GT
Next issue:

Clear Corner Installation. :D
 




97 Eddie Bauer v8

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97 Eddie Bauer
I want to know if the message center can be made to work in 02+ 4.6 v8 4 doors, like a limited. I want one of those so bad but their interior needs "something" - I believe the message center is what it's missing!

Also can the brown wire mod be done to the 4.6 liter v8's? I see they have some control over the t-case unlike the 96-01's 5.0's do.
 




izackary

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I can tell you right now that unless the 4.6L can be had with selectable control-trac (i'm not as knowledgeable on 3rd gens), then no, you can't brown-wire a stock AWD rig. If it has the BW 4405 or whatever with the electric clutch, then yes, by all means you should be able to brown-wire it.
 




V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
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97 Mountaineer V8 4x4
Just a little bump, I hit 159,000k miles today.
 




DeRocha

NEX Vice President
Elite Explorer
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
Just a little bump, I hit 159,000k miles today.

My how the time flies.. Its been that long already? :scratch: It seams like yesterday, but its been over 2yrs..
 




V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
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Too long, but it does feel like yesterday. The sharpie on my Beach Permit from 2005 has faded, every time I look at that sticker it pains to think that was the last time I went off road!

However, in the next few months I'm buying a small pickup to use as my DD, and I'll resume modifying the Mountainer, maybe with the aid of a sawzall and a welder :D
 




izackary

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Too long, but it does feel like yesterday. The sharpie on my Beach Permit from 2005 has faded, every time I look at that sticker it pains to think that was the last time I went off road!

However, in the next few months I'm buying a small pickup to use as my DD, and I'll resume modifying the Mountainer, maybe with the aid of a sawzall and a welder :D
good call!
 




V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
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Well the "next few months" turned into "this weekend."

I have a new toy, she weighs 2 tons and has a manual transmission :D

Just what the doctor ordered: 2000 Ranger std cab, long bed (7'), 2.5l 4cyl, 5spd manual, pw/pl/keyless entry/cruise/pwr mirrors/72k miles, 1 owner, recent clutch, she runs great!! The bed is a little dinged, and the rear bumper is AFU, but otherwise fine shape.
 

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izackary

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Let me be the first to say....NICE RACK! :D
 




DeRocha

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Let me be the first to say....NICE RACK! :D

Damn :p: I so wanted to say that. It was the 1st thing that came to mind when viewing the pictures of it.. The 2nd was about how much better gas mileage it has over the mounty. I'm surprised you hadn't bought a truck before now anyway considering all the construction materials you have been cramming in the mounty since you got her..

Anyway congrats on the new ride.. you'll need to make a new thread now :D
 




V8BoatBuilder

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Purchased some MFG 33x12.5x15 Mudders today... let it begin. Now I must decide between 15x8s or 15x10s.
 




Paraphoe

Go big or go home
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Purchased some MFG 33x12.5x15 Mudders today... let it begin. Now I must decide between 15x8s or 15x10s.

My fault, I told you in my PM I went with 15x11.50 rims. :rolleyes: I meant 15x8.
 




DeRocha

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Many people run 15x8s 4.75 BS because this rim orients the tire in a position that closely matches OEM (1st pic).. I'm running 15x10s 3.75 BS on my Explorer and had to remove 2-3" of the fender directly behind the front wheels to alleviate rubbing (this was in addition to a 4" suspension lift + 3/4" body lift)
 


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

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




V8BoatBuilder

Transplanted Bostonian
Joined
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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Mountaineer V8 4x4
I'm running 15x10s 3.75 BS on my Explorer and had to remove 2-3" of the fender directly behind the front wheels to alleviate rubbing (this was in addition to a 4" suspension lift + 3/4" body lift)

That comparison graphic is awesome - thanks for that John!

I'm leaning towards 15x8s for the following reasons:
1) They are cheaper!
2) They seem to be less prone to rubbing.
3) People say that the smaller rim is better for low psi situations

I'm still considering 15x10s for the following reasons:
1) BFG's own website recommends them.
2) They're only about $10/more.
3) They look good!
 




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