Finally bought one ... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Finally bought one ...

... after months of looking for one online ...
test drove a dozen...
lurked here (great forum here guys!) ...
... and snagged this one immediately after it went up for sale ...

One owner 1998 Sport, light blue, SOHC V6, 5 speed auto. It has just 55,000 miles and is just stunning ... it looks like it has been sealed in a time capsule ... like it is 98% brand new.
Blue cloth interior that is very fresh. The original owner took exceptional care of it, too, larger battery, added a trans cooler, never towed with it (the light pigtail, still in the NOS box, was included however).
Nicely detailed service record.
It must have been garaged all the time,too. The Florida sun is not kind to 11 year old vehicles.

Here is the jaw-dropper ... it was turned in for Cash For Clunkers!!!! :crazy:

Out of 90 vehicles that dealership processed, there was this one and an Expedition that they couldn't justify actually submitting for the gov't funds and destroy such nice vehicles ...

I am ecstatically happy that they didn't. This thing is such a cherry.

I did a quick search, but it looks like I have to get a membership to post pics? correct?

Very happy to finally arrived with a good reason to be here.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
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yep, unless you link from a host site,.
Elite is not an expense,, it is a priveledge,,,
look at what you save, against what it actually cost for Membership, ,

welcome you can also join and it will give u a code and u can post the pics on here

Pictures added

Thanks for the welcome guys.

I am a contributing member on another board, (the info that you learn is definitely worth it). I will probably do that here too after my wallet heals a bit from this big purchase.

Here are some pictures of "Sporty" ...






Like I said before ... looks like it was sealed in a time capsule ...
I am going to have to take some pics right at sunrise ... they will look a lot better than these... the light is a lot kinder to the camera. I had to tone these down a lot to get the light blue color right.

Didn't think I would like the step bars on the sides, but am finding they really are handy in getting in, and I am 6'1". Being that my wife is 5'4", I guess they are staying. She is looking forward to driving this a bit too, so that means that I get more time with the new Mustang we bought "for her" ... Win-Win situation!

Looking to tint the side and wing windows ... factory tint on the back is quite nice.

Looking into swapping most of the stereo from my last ride in. This has the Premium sound system with the seperate rear controls, etc., and the display doesn't work. From what I have read here, I am guessing that most of these have the same problem. I am a guitar player and in a band (part of the reason for buying Sporty, got equipment to haul). I tend to demand a bit more than what I am hearing out of this system, so I am leaning toward redoing the whole stereo from the ground up.

Nice score and welcome. I'm glad they didn't turn it in for CFC. I can't stand them crushing perfectly good vehicles. I wish my 2000 looked that good.

WOW- that is s stunning sport! Good thing the dealer had some foresight. Let me ask without an actual number answered back- did you pay more than $4,500? If so, the dealer is smarter than the government... ;)


nice lookin sport u got there


I did pay a premium for it ... more than $4500, but not too much more ...;)

I have been looking for a Sport in earnest for at least a year, and after looking at a bunch of average-condition 10-year-old Explorers, and having my wife scowl at most of them, both our jaws dropped when we saw this one in person. Had to have it, and looking to be in it long-term. Drove my last truck for 10 years ... I tend to hang onto things I like, so it is easier to justify spending a bit more.

I will be using for work, and with the deductions I typically take, this will be making me money by the third year I have it.

This was a "want it, need it, gotta' have it".

Just got an Elite Membership

I knew I would eventually step up to Elite status, but this weekend drove it home ...

I scored a set of factory alloy wheels ( the ones that are like pinwheels ...) and 255/70 tires. The tires that I have been driving on were made in '01 ... they had to go ... dry rotting a bit. Whoever put these wheels on most recently must have used an air wrench, and screwed them all on waaaaay too tight. I was using a long breaker bar and could barely move them ...probably more than 150 ft-lbs. Surprised my brake rotors are OK.

Also... probably cross-threaded two of them...

I have never had the experience of snapping off wheel studs before ....:mad:
...never occurred to me that you could do it while removing the lug nuts. Had to walk away from Sporty for a while after snapping off the second one.

After I calmed down a bit ... searched the forum. I had visions of having to pop the rear axle open, pull the C-clip, and yank the axle, ... but you guys had the answer.

I managed to sneak the studs in (barely ... ) after just removing the brake rotor ... THANKS! ...

Membership here just paid for itself! ... had a couple of studs installed in about an hour and wasn't rushing.

Glad to be joining!

Bump ... just moved into the Elite Registry .... nice to be in good company. :D :thumbsup:

Recently changed to alloy wheels and 255/70 tires.

Just scored a factory subwoofer and amp yesterday ... $14 ... whoo-hoo ...

Nice score!!!!

Congrats on your purchase!! Looks outstanding. The EF family will be there for you, I've learned that. Welcome!!

Switched to 4 door leaf springs

Just switched the monoleafs out for 4 door leaf springs. In the process, switched sides to even out the gas tank lean effect.

Very nice improvement in ride and handling. Noticed right away, that stepping in, using the step bar, it was firmer ... almost didn't compress at all now.

It still had about 3/4" of lean even with the spring swap. I also have had the feeling that both torsion bars were jacked up prior to me getting it. It always has seemed higher than other Explorers that I pull up next to. It also seemed to rock, side-to-side, too much for my liking, like it was rolling across the top of the suspension, instead of being down in the right area. By just adjusting the passenger front torsion bar, I got it levelled out. It is now very level on all four corners.

The RF started out an 1 1/8th inch higher than the LF. I took the adjustment down on that side in steps ... a turn or two at a time. I marked the fenders with tape, measuring from the same spot each time.

What I found is that a turn on the torsion bar adjuster tends to equal about 1/8th inch at first, and increases a bit as you go. Also, you can not measure right away ... you need to go out for a drive, and intentionally go over some light bumps to get it to settle down. Seems that the torsion bars, after having all the weight off of them are "extra-fresh" for a while. The first measurement I took should have been lower and was, in fact, an extra inch too high ... had me scratching my head at first. I waited at least a day between measurements and further adjustments.

Very happy with the stance, and the driving feel improvement.

Be sure and Loctite the adjuster bolt after moving it, and to check torque on the leaf spring bolts after a week or so.

Now I need to do some upper ball joints, refinish the wheels, get four fresh tires and an alignment, and we'll be good to go here for a while.

Glad all seems to be going well with Sporty! Sure would have been sad if that poor thing had been euthanized... Happy you saved 'er! :thumbsup:

New pics

Here are pics after the spring swap and putting some new tires on it ... 255-70-15 Firestone Indys.


And here it is with the wheels painted in graphite paint...


It is finally starting to look a bit custom ... ;)

Dove into this past weekend and did a lot of tune-up items. The idle was getting a bit shaky. Changed the fuel filter ... took out some no-name China filter and put a Motorcraft in. Idle smoothed right out. Dumped a lot of black crud out of the old filter.

Then proceeded to replace the original spark plugs and wires. Broke every single plug getting the wires off of them. Together for 13 years ... none too happy about being moved for the first time. Soaked the plugs with PB Blaster 24 hours ahead of time, and another shot that morning for good measure. They were still plenty tight.

When I read here about accessing the plugs from the fenderwells, and it didn't make much sense to me. I could look right at most of them from under the hood. I was used to changing plugs in my Comet ... certainly this couldn't be tougher than that. ...Yeah ... RIGHT! About halfway through the driver side, I started to see the light and attacked them from underneath ... much better. Got over to the passenger side, and after I took the tire off too, this became one of the easiest plug changes on the planet. In retrospect, I should have taken the drivers tire off, too. Just threw a blanket it and worked around it.

The plugs from the passenger side gapped out at around .06 - .062. Specs call for .054, so 70K miles could account for this. However, the driver side plugs all were gapping at .072 - .078 . Makes me wonder if someone at the engine plant had a problem/wasn't doing their job/was doing recreational substances at work.:rolleyes:

Put an new air filter in it, and did a mod that I have been itching to do. I had already removed the rubber silencer from the air box. Now I added two more openings .... oval slots removed from between the ribs, next to the inlet. Probably increased the inlet area by another 50%. I didn't want to get too greedy here. We get so much rain in here in Florida. I still wanted some protection from accidentally sucking water into the motor.

It didn't run bad before, but there is a noticeable difference now. Feels like it shed a few hundred pounds. I haven't confirmed it yet, but it does seem to be getting better gas mileage,too.

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