Before you modify! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Before you modify!


Active Member
July 24, 2011
Reaction score
City, State
Bartonville, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'11 Limited
Of course many if not all of us frequenting this part of the Serious Explorations forums are interested in some level of modification to their vehicle. I just want to warn all of you interested that before you modify any part or remove a part you make sure you can get replacements.

I'm in the process of doing some mods on the Explorer I bought 6 weeks ago and have stumbled onto an issue I never anticipated. I removed the plastic trim with not enough regard for the little clips that hold the trim on. I figured they'd be inexpensive and easily sourced at the dealership. Not so! The dealers don't even carry the clips for the wheel arches and sourcing them is not easy as you have no part number to go on. I'm making my way through the process and sourcing after too many hours on line and not enough time on my back in the garage putting my X back together.

I've seen other posts here where members are taking parts off and cracking them open to add LED's or what not. Some are finding out the hard way that while the parts might be available they are not cheap. In my case they are a sub component to a much more pricey part.

Do your homework, don't rush into a mod until you know well and good just what you are taking apart. I wanted to have the trim on my painted to match the body. To save some money I figured I'd remove them myself. I may have saved a couple hundred bucks up front but on the back end I've probably spent more. So far I've purchased; rattle can paint and clear coat for the back up sensors the paint guy was worried about painting, tools to remove the fasteners, fasteners I've broken. Then there is the cost of my time and aggravation...

So please heed my warning. Have fun and be creative with making your vehicle your own but think about what you are about to embark on. This after all is like any DIY project around the house...most likely to end up taking longer and costing more than you expect!


I've noticed on my 98 Ex, it is really difficult to get to anything. Like my rear wiper switch, the wiper does not work but the Window Sprayer will operate, I figured maybe a loose wire or something behind the switch. then I started looking at the black bezel surrounding my center dash console, practically no way to take it off without possiblt tearing it up! They really didnt want you taking that thing off for ANY reason! lol. Even the Door plastic is difficult to remove and even more of a pain to put back on. It seems no manufacturer wants you removing anything (hmmm wonder why)...

Too late, I got a little creative and removed the ram air scoop tube that goes into the lower OEM air intake box. Well needless to say I'll have to purchase the lower part if I ever need again for what ever

Can definitely relate... had a problem with our 04 explorer inside the instrument cluster... the shift indicator was not moving smoothly. Figured it would be a simple disassemble, lubricate and reassemble... only when I was done, the car presumed I was trying to steal it, so shut down the vehicle from starting... $400 later after the dealer reprogrammed the computer (key fix was not sufficient) I was back on the road and the shift indicator was still sticking... ended up trading it in for the 2011...