dreamr's finally elite | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

dreamr's finally elite

Dreamr's little mountain goat ( 99 XL 4x4 )

The Truck and the Story

I surfed in here one day looking for info on my newly purchased Ford Explorer, and that my friends may have been a fatal mistake. For soon after entry the rumored Mod Bug bit. Painful little bugger, and I hear there is no known cure. Oh well if I am to be ailed by the bite of this rare creature at least I can be provided respite with this elite group of fellow victims. Whose to say I suffer anyway 'tis the finances which will begin to suffer :eek:

I always dislike having to say whom I am, and am tempted to move on to the truck. But then you would just get let down by my nearly stock X and be disapointed before I had a chance to say hello.
Here I am at Bridal Veil Falls.

My name is really Bryce though I suppose dreamr is a better fit, if only the world understood the simplicity of existence without the social structures and limitations we have put upon ourselves.........sorry.
Back to me. I am a thirty - one year old father of a beautiful if not sometimes demanding 9-year old girl by the name of Zaira-Dawn and live with my partner on the outskirts of Seattle. More accurately Edmonds, WA.


It seems I have absorbed my life into trying to vanish into the remnants of a more natural world. I grew up in Idaho and spent most of my childhood and teen years wandering the backcountry of Idaho with my dad and brother hunting, and fishing in some long lost location.

Of course back there(Idaho) it was a very different wilderness from here(Seattle) as there were no people. Living here has driven me further into the woods than before, which has been beautiful. Though the knees dislike the 100-150 miles we average on the trails each summer, most of it with a 40+ lb pack ( I know it's light to a lot of you military and athletic types, but I am a little guy with bad knees.) Besides see how much rain gear it takes to stay dry (gotta love the NW) and then wonder where we put food. If you would like to see a few of our fishing trips follow the link.


Do you want me to bore you more, or should I get to the truck? But my critters need some attention :D . I have been interested in animals in general since I was very young. Always catching and keeping wild critters at our home as a child. Today that has evolved several times over. Shiloh and I ran a reptile rescue and adoption agency for a couple years and became overwhelmed as we were maintaining over 30 reptiles and amphibians as well as all the ill rescue. Chaos and expensive but educating, got a Herp question I got an answer. Today we try to resist the urge to help everything and try to maintain our reduced collection of 13. These are mostly breeding pairs though so we always have a cage or four full of babies.:rolleyes: If ya want to take a peek scroll down a ways. .

Anyway here's my 99 Explorer XL. Now remember we just came together in late September 2003 so she's not a well trained or equipped lover yet.

January 2004 1.5" suspension lift and 30's

November 2004 2" suspension 30's and secrets under the hood.

January 2005 2" sus., and 3" Body lift with 33's

Current mods
*Last updated 3-19-05*

9-03 Steering wheel cover
9-03 Seat covers
9-03 Husky Floor covering /all and cargo
9-03 Tool Box w/ rifle rack
replaced with new tool box/tire carrier/camping
bed 1-05

3-04 Kenwood Cd head unit
5-04 Stock speaker upgrade to Infinity Kappa's
6-04 Custom removable mosquito screens for all windows LOL
Very neccessary for sleeping
12-04 Custom (cheap ;) ) console control panel
2-05 Blue lighting on a seperate circuit for camping
3-05 Body colored interior trim (the black stuff)
3-05 Garmin GPS
Next: more bass (just a bit I'm no audiophile)

9-03 My Stickers
10-03 Fubah style antenna
10-03 Lund bugshield
10-03 Aeroshade vent visors
10-03 5% Tint Rear 20% in front
11-03 Grill Insert painted chrome
12-03 Blue Spectre-wired engine compartment
12-03 Mud Flaps
3-04 Removed pinstripe
1-05 Removed the very scarred and twisted tupperware.
1-05 Fender trimming :rolleyes:
Next: Bumpers and Sliders?.

11-03 Triple Goddess 3rd Tail Blackout )0(
12-03 Pilot Amber fogs
12-03 Pilot Cyber-white driving lights
1-04 Sylvania Silverstars
1-04 Superwhite Markers
2-05 Clear corners
2-05 Sylvania Silverstars blue/amber signals
Next: auxillary reverse lights

1-05 BFG M/T KM 33x10.5
11-03 Ultra 15x8 alloys
12-03 Warrior shackles w/TT 1 1/2 in.
1-04 Energy Suspension hyperflex bushings
12-04 Pro-comp AAL/ TT up to full 2"
1-05 Performance Accessories 3" body lift
2-05 Monroe Reflex Shocks
2-05 Yukon 4.56 gears
2-05 Rear Eaton E-Locker
3-05 Explorer Express swaybar
Next: HP D30 solid front axle

10-03 Accel superstock plug wires
10-03 Bosch Platinum plugs/
swapped for motorcraft double plat. 5-04
11-03 Throttle Cable Mod
1-04 K&N FIPK Gen II intake
1-04 Custom built cat-back exhaust
1-04 All breathers extended to underhood filters
4-04 BBK 66mm. Throttle Body
6-04 SCT Performance programer
(This program was re-done by Bama Chips and
Rocks!!!! My previous Apten was a bad experience!12-04)

12-04 Optima Red Top
12-04 Brown Wire Mod (2hi,2lo,auto,4hi,4lo)
3-05 B&M Transmission Cooler
I don't know????

1-04 Hidden Hitch front class III receiver
2-04 Hidden Hitch rear tube style class IV
5-05 Eddie Bauer gas tank skid plate
5-05 Eddie Bauer transfer case skid plate
11-05 Custom IFS Skid Plate
Next: well.. a multi- mount and a winch I suppose



Need some off road do ya?


A Little tiny bit of flex


Felxin a bit more

Well that's all folks. I am excited to be a member of this forum, hopefully I won't aggravate you all with my need to know everything about something before I do it. And to all you seeking knowledge I'll do my best to relay the truth as I have found it (more than likely with the search feature. ;) ) I have a automotive history of small block chevy muscle cars and 5 liter mustangs (it was such a fun car). Should have helped my dad and brother more with their trucks. So I have a general knowledge of performance stuffs, suspension though, what's that ... I always thought flex was something you did to show off your muscle... Rick and the pumpkin have completely redefined this for me. Thanks,I think. Might cause me to be single with a nice truck though. Bye everyone, and see ya around.




I recently decided to update this thread a bit as it seems to be constantly expanding in the winter months.
On some mods I have gone into more detail than others on the site. As part of this registry there are several of these posts, so for ease of browsing I have created this brief table of contents. In addition to this if at some point I have gone into more detail on a thread outside of this I have linked it below as well

NW Explorer organized runs
Solo Run (locker testing)
Salmon Le Sac / Cle Elum
Wenatchee/Cle Elum Run

Table Of Contents

Page 1
-Me and my truck
-Welcome from members
-Sylvania Silverstars
-Extended breathers
-Pinstripe removed
-BBK throttle body
-Infinity Kappa’s
-Apten Flasher

Page 2
-Optima Battery
-Control panel
-Brown wire mod
-Bama Chips flasher re-tune
-3” inch P.A. body lift
-33’s and fender trimming

Page 3
-New tool box/false floor
-Exhaust rehung
-New Shocks
-Clear Corners
-Eaton E-Locker
-Yukon 4.56 Gears
-EE Swaybar
-Interior trim painting

Page 4
-B&M Transmission cooler
-Garmin GPS
-Gas tank and transfer case skids
-Custom IFS Skid Plate

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!


Congrats! Being elite is cool. :cool:

nice truck and congrats....

Did you say nearly stock? :D Nice truck and congrats on being elite.

Welcome, one thing that you may not know, but kind of goes as an understanding here, is you are never allowed to leave! Explorers may come and go, but Eliteness is forever!;)

And by the way, I enjoyed reading your history, very well written I thought:D

Congrats on Eliteness! ;) And very nice looking X!

What do you do up at Baker? Hike, ski, 4x4? I've only been up there once and I live in Bellingham!! :rolleyes:

Thanks everyone.
Gina, sadly my knees don't deal well with skiing any more, but I do a lot of hiking and camping in the area.
I also have this obsession with fishing high mountain lakes. preferably without road access to hinder others joining me, but I found a lot of roads to lakes that I've never had the guts to try witha vw golf and their just to far for a day hike. Backpacking is an option, but i usually take my kid too Baker as she loves playing at Silver Lake campground especially when the tadpol's all hatch:) Should be fun to get up some of those roads with the X this summer. Maybe you'll bump in to me and the fam have a beer with us and the bears. I swear I've spotted more bear sign in whatcom county than any where else in the cascades I've been.

Congrats Bryce on becoming Elite :D

Your little daughter is a cutie pie:)


I know I post too much to my own thread, but I got me a few new mods this week and have to tell someone, my g/f just rolls her eyes.

1st I upgraded to Sylvania Silverstars..:eek: ......how did I ever see before? With all the street lights in Seattle I rarely see my beams on the road, only the Pilot's. Now evrything is just so .........well light. Almost perfect color match with the Pilot's too

2nd Spring is coming so I need to get those breather's up out of the water. I spent more here than necessary, but I wanted it to look nice so i ran all the lines to a set of three k&n breather/filters on the pssenger side of the engine bay. Where does the T-cases original breather stop at????????

Last and I am still berating myself for blowing more money. I went in to a local shop and had them build me a 2.5" cat-back system. I was originally going with the magnaflows, but after debating with the mechanic he conned me into going with the Allied systems muffler (Meanstreak if i remember right). After looking at all the flow charts and other comparisons he had available they seemed to have equal performance capabilities. (They were dealers for Flomaster, Walker, As well as the Magnaflow). Selling points. Lifetime warranty, Much more offroad worthy than others offered, The sound is deep and rumbely, at 3000rpm instead of starting to sound like a v-6 it quiets down and gets this nice hum. very quiet inside while cruising. Plus he said if I didn't like it he would trade me stright back for the magnaflow, no cost. we'll have to see so far though nice.

The exhaust really made the intake do it's job. before it growled under the hood, but just seemed not to get any where, Now though that intake just kinda snarls :D Actually I think it may be louder than the pipes.

Also to the first post I am continually adding things I change or do. I also added dates to the listing of mods to help me keep track a little better. lol Anyway I digress time to go finish the breathers. I'll put up pics of stuff when I can borrow a friends cam.

nice truck man nice to see that you take so much pride in taking care of the explorers.

for the sylvania silverstars did you just change the bulbs to silverstars?? for the head lights.??
I think my stock lights do a good job but you can never have enough light.

The original post in this thread has been updated to include the few new mods, and updated pictures including a couple from the recent NWExplorers run at Tahuya

I sat down to bring this thread up to date, and realized that I did little in february to help the project along. It seems nearly all my money went to getting A hitch and miscellaneous recovery gear, not to mention winter hiking gear for my gf.

March was similar, only my money was rapped up in chasing down a runability issue and buying a new car for my gf

Mod wise I only got in a new kenwood deck, removed the pinstripe, and of course tinkered around a bit with the exhisting toys. Pics without pinstripe, and the new deck are below, nothing to fancy, just a cd player is all I needed.

If the taxes ever come (silly girl spends all my $ and forgets to file taxes) then possibly April will hold a bit more in store :bounce:

Guess we'll see ehh



The deck

You know, you should try writing a book or something. Your thread from top to bottom just kept me sucked in. I couldn't stop reading....

Anyways, why does yours look more lifted than mine? Are 4wd leaf springs stiffer, because i have the same lift as you i believe? TT/ warrior shackles.

I would really love to live somewhere desolate like that, at least where all of the pics are taken. I take that you and your gf are pretty serious, you buying her a car and everything? Sorry to get nosy if i have.

I don't know what I did the first part of April, other than hike and drive all around my sacred mountains.
It seemed that somehow,
as I drifted through
evergreen slopes
and ice covered crags
somewhere the mod bug lost its hold,
possibly to be replaced by the mosquito,
perhaps to forever be lost
in this misty mountain mystery,
Of course come the end of april,
Taxes are in ,
what shall i do?

GET MORE TOYS!!!!!!!! :bounce: :burnout: :smoke: :burnout: :bounce:

I gave John at Explorer Express a buzz and he quickly shipped out a BBK 66mm. Throttle Body for me.
It arrived in three days and was a beautiful piece. Install was simple and straight forward with the exception of getting the TPS off the old throttle body. I finally ground the screw heads off and proceeded to finish the job.
Minus grinding time, the install took under 15 minutes, then 15 more for fine tuning the tps and idle.

I pulled out of the driveway to the hill I go up every morning. It is a steep mother and my driveway is right at the bottom. At 3000 rpm's I have been hitting a tad over 30 sometimes 35 at the top of the hill. It always felt like labored exceleration.

Today it effortlessly climbed up the hill at the same 3000 rpm but i was doing about 42 at the top :bounce:

When I stand on it is really is only a moderate/mild mprovement over just the K&N, cat- back exhaust, and larger bore Maf on these newer 4.0's, but in general driving circumstances it shows itself with smoother exceleratrion and much quicker rpm rapping.
It kinda feels nice to accelerate evenly, or a little faster than the pack, without having to give it a bit of gas and make my exhaust get loud.
On the freeway, after 60 it just keeps rapping up like it would at 40.. Yeah, no more standing on it to try to get past the 60 hump to pass cars. Now I get to gently accelerate :rolleyes:

I think I finaly understand how Aldive can get 30mpg there is no need to stand on it to get going if you've got just a little x-tra power to boot. I don't fool myself though, it is only a little extra power.

Now I am just waiting for my package from Apten :banghead: ;)

Hi Bashman,

I also have a 93 (black sport) that is in SERIOUS need of some mods!
I'm new to this and you have what looks like a great list of stuff you've added/done to your 93.

Could you elaborate a little on what you've done? (please be gentle as I'm a noobie to this)!

ANY help (any at all!) is greatly appreciated !!!!

So far I've seen a cool lower valance & fog lights for 93's, but I'm in serious need of ideas & where to get them!!!


Bashman said:
Congrats! Being elite is cool. :cool:

Mays additions to the project

The month is still young, but with the adventure schedule I have set up over the next weeks I bet I won't do much work on the truck

The first Mod of the month is..... Infinity Kappa's

I just got sick of the stock speakers. They had no range, and couldn't keep the voice audible when the bass guitar or drims kicked in. After debating between the pioneer three ways and the Infinties which I had in my last car, how could I choose anything less than the Infinity.
They are a great sounding speaker for a simple stock upgrade. The Pioneer three ways seem to be a good pick too, but I had to go with my tried and true.
I did buy my gf the three-ways for all around her little kia, as well as a nice Pioneer cd deck, so I guess I'll get to test the theory of sound out soon :)
Dang mothers day makin' me spend money on someone else's ride.

Now if only Apten would get it together and get me my dang programer. I ordered 2 weeks ago, and the guy goes I'll ship it out in the morning. Yeah right.
Go Explorer Express!!!!!! I ordered my TB And the tuner on the same day, I got the TB 9 days ago? Now do ya think Apten has shipped the tuner yet :rolleyes:

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!

For some strange reason I find myself at home on the weekend rather than off fishing in the mountains. Guess it's a good thing every once in a while, for it allows me to catch up on my chores. And update a few threads.

I have had a hell of time with Apten Performance, and am very disgruntled by their complete lack of customer service, but to move on. I am going to try and just look at their product.

I used the new flasher to reprogram my truck with a 93 octane program.

IT ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

Performance wise, it really didn't add much, but definately helped to tie my other engine mods together. It raps a lot quicker, and the shift pattern is so much better!!!! I am actually more pleased with the re-mapping of the shift points than I am with the other 800 dollars spent under my hood..

The program rocks, just be damn sure you make yourself absolutely clear when dealing with Apten so you don't wait 6 weeks for the wrong thing and have to go through the mess of sending it back for the appropriate programs, or getting a refund. I can't even get a return call. What a joke!

Update 12-04 *** So I still really like this chip though I never did have success in getting Apten to work out our deal. Neddless to say I paid for a dual program custom tuned flasher. Something like 420+ dollars. When I got it there was only one choice of programs, and it immediatelt threw a check engine light indicating a lean condition. After chasing what I assumed was a problem with the truck for months. I started a series of tests running 100 miles on the freeway with different configurations of my aftermarket add-ons.
What I found, was that It mattered not what parts were installed. with the exception of this program.
With the program I throw codes.
With out it I do not.
I even tested it in it's stock configuration for 890 miles to Idaho in a wide variety of conditions (lava rock to freeway). Coming home I put the program in and threw a check engine light at mile 63.

Today I took the flasher into a local performance place and described my problems. He professed to have little knowledge of the explorer, but pulled the programs onto his computer. Guess what he found......... The tuner had never been tuned by anyone other than SCT at manufacture. Figure ehh..
Anyway, I will get it tuned properly after the winter lift projects :fire:
Sadly I like the shift point diffence so much that I ignore the check engine light. Probably bad, but hey it'll get reprogrammed soon.