Frame Question & Clearance to Engine 5.0 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Frame Question & Clearance to Engine 5.0


Active Member
April 22, 2016
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Mercury Mountaineer
This is an accident related question. I'm trying to determine if our 98 Mountaineer 5.0 is fixable or not. Would it be possible for someone to take a look at their 5.0 Explorer or Mountaineer to see what the clearance is and possibly post a picture of the area between the frame and the passenger side exhaust manifold is?


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Its less then a few inches

It's not much, I've got to replace the manifold on mine and it looks sorta miserable.


From the picture in your post it does not look like there is any frame damage, if that is what you are asking.

Inner fender does not look distorted.

Lower \ Upper control arms look good from what I can see.

The easiest way would be to put a wheel back on it and have it brought to an alignment shop.

If the alignment is not far off then the frame should not be bent.

I bought one with similar-looking damage which had been driven down a steep incline after sliding off the shoulder, bounced over some large boulders, 5.0 AWD, what surprised me most when I tore into it was, the torsion bar was bent significantly. Camber was so far off, it was undrivable. It took big-time hammering to get the hex-end out of it's socket. I straightened that torsion bar in my axle press, a tough feat, replaced the lower A-arm, got things straightened out, and it tracked very well! imp

The torsion bar is bent significantly on ours as well. The lower control arm is pushed back significantly I believe the upper control arm is not damaged. The steering rack is broken. Also, it appears that a body mount is no longer sitting in the place it has for the last 20 years. The frame appears slightly bowed, but that may be my eyes playing tricks on me. I will try to get some more pictures uploaded soon.

If the frame rail is bent, as long as the metal is not torn, any good frame shop can tram the frame (verify frame measurements published by the factory) and cold pull it back into place.

It should be done on a frame machine because , once set up properly, it becomes a completely level surface so measurements can be taken.

I'm pretty sure the frame is bent. I can't find a shop that will say that they are able to do it. One has a 12 ton machine and says that a 20 ton machine is needed. The nearest one I can find is 200 miles away. Here is a couple pictures of the frame near the exhaust manifold.



Does the motor and transmission mounts look damaged/ripped?

If that truck was in Michigan you could make some money parting it out. Pretty clean!

Or find a heavy truck chassis repair shop.

At best the frame could be pushed into a diamond shape on the front end.

That would take a lot of force.

Is the left side just as close to the exhaust manifold?

I know its tight in there.

How do the body panels fit on the left side?

Is the front fender gap closed up where it meets the door?

That is bent, I checked mine, although, it's MINOR, my 99 parts truck doesn't show any space difference, so if I was you, I'd get some body panels and get them adjusted as close as I could and roll with it, I've seen worse and that's fixable