Full intro with build plans, etc | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Full intro with build plans, etc

Maw_Dooce

Member
Joined
November 19, 2017
Messages
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Location
SoCal
City, State
Greeley CO/ Chula Vista CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Ford Ranger XLT
HELLO ALL!! :)

This is going to be an interesting journey, that's for sure. I've done this before in the past but we're going to do this one a little different, emphasis on we're. I built a 95' Bronco XLT, 5.8 351 Windsor OBD II, Deavers, National Leafs, lockers front & rear, etc. and it was just too much. I'm mostly a trail rider/ explorer, I need to get out to run the dogs, I need to be able to tow and get my gear out too, I love to get remote and camp, I like to get rowdy from time to time off road, I take many things from overlanders (such as recovery, living off the truck, & great gear), but I am not an overlander, I will be building a rig to take me to Alaska, Utah, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and back home to Colorado!!

Here's what I am looking to build and how... I'd like to pick up a late second gen Explorer, XLT, Eddie Baur, or Limited. I do want it to be in very good condition interior and exterior, I know those redneck balls out off roaders pick up a truck in poor condoition because 1) they're going to replace all the parts anyway (drivetrain and susp), and, 2) because all the type of off-roading that these guys do trashes the interior, I've gone this route before but that is not what I'm looking to do with this rig. I am wanting to build a clean functional rig I will spend a lot of time in, so comfort is a must, there's also a bit of sentimental value here, for all of my outings, hunting, and recreational activities. My focuses will be on performance & suspension (kind of at the same time) and recovery, then functional mods, you wont see me plasty dippin anything anytime soon lmao. I'm looking at an SAS, motor work, gearing, suspension, lockers, recovery, and off-road lighting.

I have chosen to build an Explorer because of course I like they way they look modded but it's just a smart build. I know that Mid-Sizes rule the off-road world, I can pick up a 2nd Gen cheap, plus **** independent rear suspension so I wont be getting a 3rd gen or later, and in my opinion the Explorer was a lot closer to a 1/2 ton than the Ranger. I always say, more so applies to the way trucks and SUV's were (now-a-day's there's so many damn models out there) that there was an SUV/ Pickup counterpart, back in the day an SUV was a Pickup with a different cab on it, same drivetrain, motor, etc. For example the S10 Pickup is to the S10 Blazer as the K5 Blazer is to the Silverado 1500, the Excursion is to a 3500 Truck as the Expedition is to the the F-150, subirban to 1500.... But, IMO the Explorer was more heavy duty than the Ranger and if I remember right it is because of the weight of the truck. The Explorer has the 31 Spline rear axle, came with a V8 and rear wheel disc breaks (you can only find the 31 spline rear end in a Ranger in the FXII).

I plan to use this forum to the fullest, I am going to read as many articles/ write ups as I can before posting/ asking questions, or doing my build/ mods. I say this is our build because I am going to be running a lot of things by everyone before buying/ building, gathering as many ideas and opinions beforehand. This ensures that I build the best rig possible plus I'd bet that 96% of the info I need is already here, the rest is just man gossip haha. I will do a build thread so the people who advised and I chatted with in the forums can see the build as well!! Then once she's being used for adventure I will do trip/ trail threads!! When I did my Bronco it was more word of mouth, and sometimes I'd learn about a different way I could have went about something. after I had already done a MOD, or I'd end of, after some time, wishing I would have waited and spent the money on a bigger stronger build. Although, I did use FullSizeBronco.com to meetup, chill. build, and wheel with!!

Here's what I need to sort out, because I really don't trust the Wikipedia write up lol: what motor, trans, Eq. came on what models/ trims, what parts were better than others that came in this year or that year... Like I am attracted to the V8 but maybe it was trash, bad torque, or something, maybe this part or that part made it a bad motor at that ear, maybe the V6 is actually a more powerful motor, or with just a few cheap simple mods it is made to be better. Although I have a feeling it's the 5.0 that came in broncos too so eets a good motor. I also need to figure out what tranny was better, I've been driving a Ranger for ever and I am really sick of the 4 Speed w/ OD, but maybe the 5 speed was trash, also what motor tranny combo was the best setup. It's those tips and tricks I don't always know about, like removing the bed to do a fuel pump instead of dropping the tank.... My old man is very knowledgeable about the outdoors, fishing, camping, hunting, etc. but he's not much of a Mech, this stuff wasn't passed down to me like most the guys here I's imagine. I jumped over to the Air-Wing as an Aircraft Electrician after my combat tours in the infantry and after working on an 80 Million dollar airplane I decided to start wrenching on my own vehicles, I built a 95" Bronco and have maintained all my other vehicles since then. I am ready for a big build though!!!
Soo.. lets get this started :chug:
 



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boominXplorer

Elite Ranger
Elite Explorer
Joined
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City, State
Virginia Beach, Va
Year, Model & Trim Level
00 4x4 Mounty
99-01 V8 would be the only way to go. Finding a good clean one might make you pay over kbb but it's worth it. Don't forget the mountaineer also, it's the same as explorer but more options standard.

I put over 100k miles on 35s in my old 2000 mountaineer without any major engine or trans issues.(Had broken the 1-2 accumulator spring in the trans and timing cover pee'd 2x over those 100k miles). I ran the crap out of that truck and rode it hard.
 






Maw_Dooce

Member
Joined
November 19, 2017
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Location
SoCal
City, State
Greeley CO/ Chula Vista CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Ford Ranger XLT
99-01 V8 would be the only way to go. Finding a good clean one might make you pay over kbb but it's worth it. Don't forget the mountaineer also, it's the same as explorer but more options standard.

I put over 100k miles on 35s in my old 2000 mountaineer without any major engine or trans issues.(Had broken the 1-2 accumulator spring in the trans and timing cover pee'd 2x over those 100k miles). I ran the crap out of that truck and rode it hard.
Dude I've already done a bit of research, plus I just have general Ford knowledge from that era, I just wanted to study more before really saying shi*, but that's exactly what I was thinking. And, I know I may spend a bit more off of KBB and shi* but I don't care, really good interior is something you learn to appreciate over time when you're out.

I usually take into consideration the other makes owned by one of the big 3 and when I was doing Ranger work I definitely looked at the Mazda B Series Trucks, but I never thought about the Mountaineer, I mean I knew about it just didn't think about picking one up, AND extra features standard, that's tight dude thanks, just gotta swap that grill hehe.

Actually without going into it detail, my Ranger also has something to do with me wanting to build an Explorer, that will not I mean will not quit and I've used the hell outta that Ranger since I was 19. I know Ford was so silid in that era!!

Nice 1st reply!!
 






Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2002
Messages
13,635
Reaction score
4,362
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
Looking forward to seeing It. I'm the opposite. If I bought an Explorer, I'd swap the Mounty front end on it.
 












Maw_Dooce

Member
Joined
November 19, 2017
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Location
SoCal
City, State
Greeley CO/ Chula Vista CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 Ford Ranger XLT
Looking forward to seeing It. I'm the opposite. If I bought an Explorer, I'd swap the Mounty front end on it.

Uhh :fart: that front end though haha jk, to each their own!! :chug:
 












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