Family Wheeler - 2nd Gen Mounty on Tons | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Family Wheeler - 2nd Gen Mounty on Tons

GOAL: Have a streetable (but will be towed to the trails) family rig on 40s that can handle difficult obstacles and trails.

Rig - The Mount
Make: Mercury
Model: Mountaineer
Engine: 5.0L EFI
Trans: Auto
Case: AWD, no low range.
Front: Torsion Bar A-Arm
Rear: SOA 8.8
Gears: 3.73s
Miles: 146,000

Trans: ZF5
Case: 1356 (if I can fit it). Also have a 4407.
Front: 2005 Ford Dana 60, Parallel 4 link
Rear: 2006 Sterling 10.50, leaf for now
Gearing: 5.38s
Tires: 40-42" DIA

I would also like to chop the rear and put the gate directly behind the rear seats. I do not have the resources for something like that... YET.

Day One:

With 33s

Now 12-15-15:

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About myself. I am new to this forum but not to RBVs. I used to have a 1990 SAS Ranger on 36s and wheeled it hard. Finally it got so rough that I parted it out and scraped what didnt sell. Now I am a family man and bought a Jeep YJ project to make into a family wheeler. Well, decided to sell it back into a RVB. So I picked up a 99 Mountaineer a few weeks ago and have started collecting parts. I will keep this thread up dated as I move along.

My '90 Ranger:
Bringing it home

TTB Days - 4.56 gears and 33s with a 4" sus lift and 1" body



It went through D28 shafts faster than fuel....

Then I swapped in a 79 FW D44 and a 93 FW 8.8 with 5.13s. I used EB coils and ran 36x14.50 TSLs


Still broke SEVERAL Stock D44 shafts...











Then I bought this off a buddy. YJ on GM tons and 37s.

Once the guy I sold it to comes and picks it up, I will be D60/10.25 shopping.





The little man

So I went back to RBVs and picked up a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer. Going to see how I can apply what I know now to a family wheeling rig.

Day 1: Purchased 12-30-2014 for $950
Owner claimed it had a bad tcase. Upon a quick drive, I determined it was a bad unit bearing. It ran perfect. Steering was tight. So I gave the guy his money.
Recent new parts:
Stainless exhaust from that CAT back
Rear tires
Plugs and wires.
The guy was then told it needed a T-case and he gave up.

It does have rust, but nothing I was not going to cut out anyways.

I should fix it and resell for $2500, but I like it. So too bad.







We got some snow on the during the first week of Jan. So I fired up the GoPro and took it out into the back yard.

The CASE works fine.




You guys may enjoy this. I am used to wheeling regular cab trucks. The SUV certainly has more body to it....


I'll be watching this build. You got a great platform for a family wheeler, V8, passenger and cargo room. There's a ton of Mounty SAS'd rig's on here so plenty of reading material for references.


4dr will make great family wheeler. I have thought the same thing.

Have you considered 05+ Ford 60 front and 10.5 rear? Search hard good deals can be found. I bought a set for 400, but sold for 550, which both prices were cheap.

I think making custom long arms to bolt to the big factory wedges won't be hard, the axle beef is awesome.

Here's some inspiration to spur ya along! :eek::eek: :thumbsup:

WOW! That is cool. Nice work there. You Texans never fail to amaze me. I am going for something kind of like that but more on the truggy side. So the hatch will be where my frame ends and links start. No idea how I am going to do it yet, but I have an image in my head. I have seen a few Cherokees with the setup I am looking for.

4dr will make great family wheeler. I have thought the same thing.

Have you considered 05+ Ford 60 front and 10.5 rear? Search hard good deals can be found. I bought a set for 400, but sold for 550, which both prices were cheap.

I think making custom long arms to bolt to the big factory wedges won't be hard, the axle beef is awesome.

Yes, these are an option. They are reletivly cheap, have big brakes, heavy duty, etc.

However, the off-road after market support isnt quite there yet. I plan on running chromoly axle shafts, 5.38s, etc. I am also not a fan of unit bearings on a wheeling rig. The 05+ unit bearings are WAY better than the 99-04 unit bearings, but still. They are also wider and require a wheel with a lot of back space leaving the hubs exposed to the rocks. The metric bolt pattern is not something I want either. Now I wouldnt mind a set to throw under my OBS dually :thumbsup::thumbsup::D

I plan on using a 78/79 front 60 since they provide a clean tube to work with (not a bunch of factory stuff attached to them) and the pumpkin spacing is great for linked suspensions. I should be able to land one for $400-500.

I like the Ford 10.25s because they are CHEAP and my '99 VSS will go right in.

The Dually. Could use some SD axles someday.


Going to check out a 05+ Dana60 on Sunday. The SD ones have larger tubes, larger brakes and 35 spline outers. Not fan of unit bearings in this application but I am going to see if I can work with it. Should be fine for my relatively light rig. The price is right. A matching rear might be hard to locate but I will figure that out later.

And some other from the past few weeks.

First job



Nice. Look forward to following this.

I also think you will be fine with the unit bearing setup at least for the 99% of the things you will probably see. There is always that 1% but usually to prevent everything 100% comes with a big price tag!

So I picked up a 2005 Dana 60 today. [MENTION=89103]crazyflights[/MENTION] was right. The price was right. Under 100k miles. Going to see what I can do with it. They are pretty beefy. I am not sure why I didnt consider it at first.
Huge axle tube. Large joints. 35 spline outers. The unit bearing part kinda sucks but under this rig, shouldnt be a problem. I got the track bar, steering linkage and calipers for it as well.
Finding a matching rear on the cheap will be a challenge.

This is it next to a 79 D60...

Found a guy that was moving. I picked up a rear 2006 10.5 and a BW4407 for a total of $150.


Well, I was invited to a wheelin event next weekend. A Bachelor party. So I bought a cheap unit bearing and threw it on. Going to wheel this thing in stock form. Why not.
Check out that shock piston... Got to love Ohio.



Also tried to get my truck out thats been stuck for over 6 weeks. This is the 3rd attempt to get it out. It was 4 degrees out and my driveway is a slope that is currently covered in ice. I put my truck in gear and hooked it up to the Mounty. I do not know how, but it DRAGGED my dually 100ft to clean asphalt. One man show. I am very impressed.

The dually was literally iced to the ground.



Here went nothing

I had to keep getting out to adjust the dually's wheel since I was doing this alone.



It earned a heated garage spot for the night. Putting tags on it tomorrow.

Nice starting point. I'll be watching your build. Mines a SAS'd family wheeler as well. Although it looks like I take it much easier on the trails than you do as I haven't broken anything (except the factory driveshaft after the lift and it was extended beyond its limit).

I checked yours out. I like it . Clean and simple with those sliders and bumpers. I look forward to building this and taking my kids out with me.

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A buddy came over and we used this JD Model 4 air over hydro bender that I have for the first time. He needed to make a new panhard bar for his 95 Ranger. The tube was 1.5" OD x 0.250 wall. It bent it like butter. I look forward to using it.




He brought over his old 33s for me to try out for a wheelin trip. Tight fit. I just need to do some trimming.


Then decided to look this thing over. I might DD it for a little while.

It had a bad squeal. Turned out the serp belt was not routed correctly. Fixed it and then it checked out fine for a 3 digit vehicle. Drove it 50 miles to work today. Found out the cruise doesn't work. No complaints. I miss DDing a gasser V8...

Took these to work with me to get the beads cleaned and fixed. These don't hold air.

I look forward to wheeling this thing in stock form.