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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

Plans:
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:
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With 33s
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Now 12-15-15:
 



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Still in the boring collecting parts stage. Probably start pulling the Mount apart in April. I am currently looking for tires in the 38-40" Range.

But I did throw some 33x12.5s under it for fun. Didn't end up going wheeling though. Just messed around on the property.
Suspension is still 100% stock. It rubs like crazy but I am not driving it like this or anything. I also did not know the bumper was some kind of polymer. Its not steel.

FYI, I take a lot of pictures...

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I started to tear apart my YJ so I can get the things I don't need sold.
Sold my tons this weekend.
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Off to the new owner
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Not sure if you want to drive to Pa. or northern W.V. but there's tons of tires on CL around here in those sizes pretty cheap. Here's a couple just from a quick search. What are you doing with the 37's when you get the bigger tires?

I have no problem driving 3-4 hours one way for the right deal.

Thank you for the links. Some decent deals there. And people say 16.5s are a thing of the past and cant be found haha.

Unfortunately, with the axles I have, I need at least a 17" wheel. 16.5s will probably work but I need 8x170mm with a lot of back space. I know finding a 16.5 with that config will be nearly impossible.

I sold my 37s on wheels last night...
 






Sub'd as our situations are oddly similar:

- Built a ranger, wheeled the crap out of it, had a kid, and just finished selling the parts off it (the truck, not the kid).

- Bought a TJ on the cheap to get the family out wheeling again. It's fun on the trails, not so fun for the 2+ hrs to drive it to from the trails. No room for a trailer, so all my rigs have to be able to run down the road.

- I'm still sitting on my one tons from the ranger at this point, and I'm reconsidering building my Merc (also a '99) instead of going down the Jeep path I'm currently on.

One thing that has kept me from going down the Merc road is that we tend to run alot of tight technical trails around here, which means an Exo is a must if I want to keep glass in the thing. Putting an exo on a 4 door looks like it will be a chore to make it look right (2 doors have it easy).

I wouldn't be scared of the unit bearings at this point. It would be nice to not get all greasy when you swap a shaft, and it would also be nice to not have to worry about repacking bearings after every water crossing.

Keep the updates coming!
 






Sub'd as our situations are oddly similar:

- Built a ranger, wheeled the crap out of it, had a kid, and just finished selling the parts off it (the truck, not the kid).

- Bought a TJ on the cheap to get the family out wheeling again. It's fun on the trails, not so fun for the 2+ hrs to drive it to from the trails. No room for a trailer, so all my rigs have to be able to run down the road.

- I'm still sitting on my one tons from the ranger at this point, and I'm reconsidering building my Merc (also a '99) instead of going down the Jeep path I'm currently on.

One thing that has kept me from going down the Merc road is that we tend to run alot of tight technical trails around here, which means an Exo is a must if I want to keep glass in the thing. Putting an exo on a 4 door looks like it will be a chore to make it look right (2 doors have it easy).

I wouldn't be scared of the unit bearings at this point. It would be nice to not get all greasy when you swap a shaft, and it would also be nice to not have to worry about repacking bearings after every water crossing.

Keep the updates coming!

Ah yes. I was a fan of your Ranger. I remember first seeing pics of it in BrayD's thread. Yes, I creeped a bit.

Mine was built on a lower budget, but yes, we have similar backgrounds for sure.

I like the post you posted yesterday in your thread. I wheel similar terrain as you as I am in Ohio. I lived in Fenton MO for 8 years, but that's another subject haha. Tight, slippery trails with random obstacles are the majority here. Body damage cannot be avoided unlike the western guys. My non-caged Ranger was pretty rough after a few years of wheeling. As much as I would rather have a traditional interior cage in my Mount, I will probably be forced to do an exo on this one as I want it to last a little longer. Obviously I am going tons and larger than 35s this time around. It is probably going to be too big for my area but too late now. I shouldn't have sold my 1/2 tons fitted with 5.13s and lockers. But hey, those paid for this Mount. My income is much different now than when I was building my ranger which is one reason I went the bigger boy route. The 2nd reason is that the D44 didn't hold up well to my wheeling style with 36s. Even with the 235k mile 2.9 in it. Gearing would have helped me. But lets see how this goes. I can see my self getting carried away with this one and getting a 2nd wheeler. A 1st gen 2 door 4.0L Ex on 1/2 tons and 35s. So much cheaper than the Jeep route as I am sure you have discovred by now.
What I can say, I cannot WAIT to pull up to daycare in a bruised SUV on 40s and park next to the large luxury V8 sedans the other dads drive. I don't have much in common with the other dads...

And I also bought a doubler shaft from Duffy. I had ZERO issues with DDmachine. I ended up selling the shaft to a guy in Yukon since my Ranger fell apart before I could build a doubler.

My dad still lives in MO. Maybe we can wheel SMORR some day.
 






Creep! ;)

The Ranger started out as a low budget build (Sold off all my Jeep junk which bankrolled most of the 1st round of that build). I don't really want to think about what I had tied up in it before I parted it out :mad:

The Jeep stuff can get expensive for sure, but you can mitigate most of that cost by building things yourself, and buying the things on the cheap. I'm amazed at the general mechanical apathy most Jeep owners display. Almost to a T, they want to just spend 5x the money to buy a bolt on widgit rather than spend a little bit of time making it themselves. To each their own I suppose.

For now the stupid Jeep is fulfilling its purpose as a stop gab wheeler, and I'm not too deep in it at this point. But I'm sure that can quickly change If I'm not careful :lol:

Keeping with the theme, before picking up the TJ I searched hard for a 1st gen 2 door that wasn't complete junk to swap everything over from my truck. But they were unexpectedly hard to find when I was looking. In the end, I like the drive line options with the small block ford vs. the 4.0 options. Plus, if I decide to keep my Merc and auto (for the wife) the 4r70w is pretty robust for a slushbox. As noted, an exo is going to be required to keep glass in the thing for the wheeling we do in the midwest.

I try to get down to SMORR a couple times a year, bumping into each other is not out of the realm of possibles. We also routinely hit up Flat Nasty, Washita, Interlake, and on a rare occasion, Attica.

Enough hijacking your thread, build something already :D


Ah yes. I was a fan of your Ranger. I remember first seeing pics of it in BrayD's thread. Yes, I creeped a bit.

Mine was built on a lower budget, but yes, we have similar backgrounds for sure.

I like the post you posted yesterday in your thread. I wheel similar terrain as you as I am in Ohio. I lived in Fenton MO for 8 years, but that's another subject haha. Tight, slippery trails with random obstacles are the majority here. Body damage cannot be avoided unlike the western guys. My non-caged Ranger was pretty rough after a few years of wheeling. As much as I would rather have a traditional interior cage in my Mount, I will probably be forced to do an exo on this one as I want it to last a little longer. Obviously I am going tons and larger than 35s this time around. It is probably going to be too big for my area but too late now. I shouldn't have sold my 1/2 tons fitted with 5.13s and lockers. But hey, those paid for this Mount. My income is much different now than when I was building my ranger which is one reason I went the bigger boy route. The 2nd reason is that the D44 didn't hold up well to my wheeling style with 36s. Even with the 235k mile 2.9 in it. Gearing would have helped me. But lets see how this goes. I can see my self getting carried away with this one and getting a 2nd wheeler. A 1st gen 2 door 4.0L Ex on 1/2 tons and 35s. So much cheaper than the Jeep route as I am sure you have discovred by now.
What I can say, I cannot WAIT to pull up to daycare in a bruised SUV on 40s and park next to the large luxury V8 sedans the other dads drive. I don't have much in common with the other dads...

And I also bought a doubler shaft from Duffy. I had ZERO issues with DDmachine. I ended up selling the shaft to a guy in Yukon since my Ranger fell apart before I could build a doubler.

My dad still lives in MO. Maybe we can wheel SMORR some day.
 






I'm amazed at the general mechanical apathy most Jeep owners display. Almost to a T, they want to just spend 5x the money to buy a bolt on widgit rather than spend a little bit of time making it themselves. To each their own I suppose.

This. So true. I didn't want to be stereo typed into that category haha.

I bought a brand new JK in Feb 2013. That's when I discovered how inflated the aftermarket is for the JK market. WOW. I sold it a few months ago.

Hopefully these tires I am looking at are a score. Then I have most of the required big ticket items.
 






JK's are the biggest offenders right now, but the TJ's aren't too far off either. I had thought about picking up a set of bumpers for this guy since I was in a time crunch. After seeing the prices of the them, I decided I wasn't in that much of a time crunch after all and fabbed up my own :afro:

This. So true. I didn't want to be stereo typed into that category haha.

I bought a brand new JK in Feb 2013. That's when I discovered how inflated the aftermarket is for the JK market. WOW. I sold it a few months ago.
 






Picked up some tires over the weekend. Took a whole morning of driving around but I wanted them.

They are a little bigger than I was looking for, but challenge accepted.

I got (5) 42x15x17 Pitbull Rockers. No wheels. One tire has some patches which the last owner used as a spare.
All have rock rash but all have great tread.

Hello 4D2s
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Previous owners rig. He bought a set of sticky treps to replace the pitts with.
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Picked up some tires over the weekend. Took a whole morning of driving around but I wanted them.

They are a little bigger than I was looking for, but challenge accepted.

I got (5) 42x15x17 Pitbull Rockers. No wheels. One tire has some patches which the last owner used as a spare.
All have rock rash but all have great tread.
I just fell in love with this build:thumbsup::D
 












Picked up the 10.5 finally.
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Now starting to look for 05+ 17" wheels.

DD duty has expired and insurance has been removed.
 












nothing new? :)

I know, I am not moving very fast haha.

I did technically start tear down on Monday. 5 Months later....

I didn't get far but its a start. I started to pull the 8.8. I sold it to a buddy and he is starting to need it. So I got the upper links, 3rd shock and e-brake cables off. And that was about it... Free time is scarce around here.

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I also picked up some wheels. A buddy found a deal on 2008 F-250 17" steelies for $100 with tires and TPS. So he grabbed them for me and got them all in his '91 CRX haha. This is the deal I was waiting for. Some kid offing his OEM wheels cheap for some bro wheels.

They are 17x7.75. My tires are 15 wide but have a lot of sidewall being 42s. With weld on bead locks, I should get near 8.5" wide. I was looking for 17x9s, but for the price of these I couldn't say no. I will get my money back after I sell the sensors and tires.

These 05+ axles require a lot of back space. Especailly if I want to stay relatively narrow. Very few of the "off the shelf" wheels had the back space I wanted. If they did have it, they were not cheap.

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Off topic, but a lot of my free time this spring has been going towards my mower. I mow with a 1974 Gravely and broke a shift fork last fall. My fault. I tried power shifting it. Anyways, I spent a Sunday in January tearing it down. Found the broken fork. Couldn't find a reasonable replacement so I welded it. Its cast iron so I know welding it probably wouldn't hold up. Well, I put it back together in April. Only had 2 gears out of 4 but could shift into 4 gears. Turns out you CAN put a Gravely gearbox together wrong. So I spent a 3rd Sunday pulling it back apart. This time I had drawings. I had a few gears swapped and got it back together. Worked great for 2 weeks then that same shift fork broke. I knew it would happen but was hoping it wouldn't... A few weeks go by and I havnt been able to get to it. My grass is growing fast. So I bit the bullet and bought a new 52" commercial walk behind. Maybe I will lose some LBs.
My old 50" ride on took me 4 hours and 15mins. With this new WB, my new time is 2 hours and 5 minutes. Once I learn how to use this thing, I think I can get it down to 90 minutes. With 2 kids, time is money.
But now I have part of my Sundays open again!

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Thing mows like a hoss. This is the first mower I have ever been able to get back to this section of my yard.
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Get the whole piece hot with a rose bud, weld it, then bury it in sand so it will cool down very slow and even, and it'll hold. (dry warm silica sand) not backyard dirt.

It's pool filter sand $4.00 for a 90 Lb bag.

Don't know your welding experience, so if you already knew this just insert slap here:
 



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so.. now u got wheels, tires and axles... i am looking forward to this :D

Just need time :thumbsup:

Get the whole piece hot with a rose bud, weld it, then bury it in sand so it will cool down very slow and even, and it'll hold. (dry warm silica sand) not backyard dirt.

It's pool filter sand $4.00 for a 90 Lb bag.

Don't know your welding experience, so if you already knew this just insert slap here:

Haha. That is exactly what I did at work. I work in the Steel Industry and specialize in welding overlays :thumbsup:

If it was cast steel it would have worked better. But I am pretty sure it is iron. However, I did do a chemistry check on it. The results were odd.
 






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