Getting the most out of what I have | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Getting the most out of what I have

toobladink

Elite Explorer
Joined
August 29, 2023
Messages
68
Reaction score
49
City, State
Spokane, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 4WD XLT
About time I made a post, I'm finally getting serious about what I own! I bought a 2000 XLT almost eight years ago now. Got it as my first car, and it's my only car. It's done everything I've wanted, and I've pushed it beyond what I thought was even thinkable on a camping trip once when a friend said I would be fine, and once I got a taste of that, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I have some goals with what I want to do, and I've been reading for a while on what I should or should not do. But I still have some questions as some stuff I've been looking at is old and the other stuff I'm curious about just doesn't have an answer or I'm curious about opinions. Currently sitting at 165k miles, so my first question is, how many more miles should I expect out of this? I've seen numbers upwards of 250k and my dad's F250 from the same year went all the way to 300k, so I'm feeling hopeful that quality transferred over and I'm only halfway.

First I want to confirm, is 31x10.5R15 the biggest tire size you can fit on a stock 2ng gen? I don't want to lift as I like my casual ride quality for the roads. I'm not super interested in doing stuff that would need a lift, I think my clearance is fine and with the tires I have on now, it'll give me a little over a half inch of gained clearance anyways. Found this info on a 15+ yr old post so I gotta double check.

Some lights went out in my instrument panel. I want to replace these and found some LED replacements on ebay. I imagine these will still dim the same and I don't need anything special? Also found they come in colors - are there any that look cool? My numbers are almost green so I was thinking just getting the white/yellow ones to maintain that. But like if orange or green gives it a cool look, would love to see some pics!

What should I be weary of maintenance wise? I mean this car is nearly as old as me and I've had ACL replacement, but literally nothing major has happened and I want to do some preventative maintenance on some stuff or know what I should check. I've replaced the brakes once a few years ago, spark plugs and filters about 10k miles ago, regularly change the oil/fluids, and tires are about 6 years old now (still haven't hit their 50,000 mile mark, I drove very little in college). Any belts I should look at for excessive wear or anything? I was thinking maybe the shocks are getting worn (they certainly feel like it) but keep reading if you were gonna say something about that...

I was looking at replacing the shocks to give me adjustable ride quality. Typically my use cases for this car now are road trips, and then I pull off into some forest roads and drive around til I find a spot I want to camp. The Rancho RS9000XL shocks look pricy but they look like they could do what I want. For anyone that has these, are they easily adjustable on the explorer? Is it worth the extra cash over the RS5000 you think, or just slightly noticeable and more of a marketing thing? I just really like the thought of turning a little knob to make driving on those washboard roads smoother so I keep my teeth.

Also to help improve ride quality, I was hoping that changing my tires and rims could help. Currently I have 16inch rims, but was thinking of moving to 15x8 with like a -20mm offset. Will the offset increase wear in the same way spacers do? Or is that a myth about spacers? I want a slightly wider wheel base for cornering and increased side walls so when I do purposely deflate them, it has a little more room to work with.

Lastly, this thing is kinda noisy. I don't like how damn loud it is when driving 70MPH on the interstate. I don't speed because usually I'm with friends and going faster means talking louder, or I gotta turn the music up and when I do that, the door panels vibrate. To kill two birds with one stone, I was reading about DEI Boom Mat spray. I'm almost positive it will help with the door panel vibrations, will it do anything for road noise or are there areas I can apply it where it could help in that regard? I know decreasing sound by like 1-2dB doesn't sound like a lot but if this spray can do that, I'd be super happy since every 3dB is perceived as "twice" as loud by most people.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





welcome!! We are neighbors!

assuming this is a v6? which v6? there are two 4.0 v6 engines in 2000

You can expect between 200-300K miles depending

Stick with the rancho 5000 or a monroe shock or kyb
The 9000s are nice but nobody ever adjusts them, meaning you set them on 6 and then you never click the adjuster again.

do not go from 16" wheels to 15" no no no 16 and 17's are the new 15
definitely do not run wheel spacers, you are better off with some aftermarket wheels that gain you a little width
you want a 16x9 or 17x9 wheel to fit a 31.5 x 10.5 tire

there is plety we can do for road noise including sound deadening and new window/door seals
but first lets have a look at your truck and hear some more details!

Way to make a thread1 now you can get started turning your 2000 into your dream machine

im sure she needs some bushings, links, bearings, likely ball joints and tie rods at these miles... You want things to be in good order for those new shocks and tires, get your ride quality back!
 






Do not buy cheap LED lights for the dash cluster. All the cheap Chinese LEDs will die within a couple months and you'll be tearing it all down again.

Superbright LEDs has 194 LEDs that are perfect for the cluster and their LEDs are quality sourced.


Trying to change the color of the gauge cluster by going with different color LEDs doesn't work out all that well because the masking is tinted. At least this has been my experience. Even the "cool white" LEDs make the mask look weird. I find it's best to just go with "warm white" which is the same tone as incandescent light - same goes for the interior dome lights.

Converting all of your interior dome lighting to LED is also a huge boost in interior lighting. Again I would not go with cheap LEDs that will die or begin flickering within months.

Another plus to converting all of the dash/instrument lights to LED is it really knocks down the heat inside the panels. On these older trucks this is a pretty good benefit as it prevents the old plastic from warping or heat fatiguing, if it hasn't happened already.

I'd also suggest ordering the new twist bases to go with the lights which Superbright LEDs also sells.
 






About time I made a post, I'm finally getting serious about what I own! I bought a 2000 XLT almost eight years ago now. Got it as my first car, and it's my only car. It's done everything I've wanted, and I've pushed it beyond what I thought was even thinkable on a camping trip once when a friend said I would be fine, and once I got a taste of that, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I have some goals with what I want to do, and I've been reading for a while on what I should or should not do. But I still have some questions as some stuff I've been looking at is old and the other stuff I'm curious about just doesn't have an answer or I'm curious about opinions. Currently sitting at 165k miles, so my first question is, how many more miles should I expect out of this? I've seen numbers upwards of 250k and my dad's F250 from the same year went all the way to 300k, so I'm feeling hopeful that quality transferred over and I'm only halfway.

First I want to confirm, is 31x10.5R15 the biggest tire size you can fit on a stock 2ng gen? I don't want to lift as I like my casual ride quality for the roads. I'm not super interested in doing stuff that would need a lift, I think my clearance is fine and with the tires I have on now, it'll give me a little over a half inch of gained clearance anyways. Found this info on a 15+ yr old post so I gotta double check.

Some lights went out in my instrument panel. I want to replace these and found some LED replacements on ebay. I imagine these will still dim the same and I don't need anything special? Also found they come in colors - are there any that look cool? My numbers are almost green so I was thinking just getting the white/yellow ones to maintain that. But like if orange or green gives it a cool look, would love to see some pics!

What should I be weary of maintenance wise? I mean this car is nearly as old as me and I've had ACL replacement, but literally nothing major has happened and I want to do some preventative maintenance on some stuff or know what I should check. I've replaced the brakes once a few years ago, spark plugs and filters about 10k miles ago, regularly change the oil/fluids, and tires are about 6 years old now (still haven't hit their 50,000 mile mark, I drove very little in college). Any belts I should look at for excessive wear or anything? I was thinking maybe the shocks are getting worn (they certainly feel like it) but keep reading if you were gonna say something about that...

I was looking at replacing the shocks to give me adjustable ride quality. Typically my use cases for this car now are road trips, and then I pull off into some forest roads and drive around til I find a spot I want to camp. The Rancho RS9000XL shocks look pricy but they look like they could do what I want. For anyone that has these, are they easily adjustable on the explorer? Is it worth the extra cash over the RS5000 you think, or just slightly noticeable and more of a marketing thing? I just really like the thought of turning a little knob to make driving on those washboard roads smoother so I keep my teeth.

Also to help improve ride quality, I was hoping that changing my tires and rims could help. Currently I have 16inch rims, but was thinking of moving to 15x8 with like a -20mm offset. Will the offset increase wear in the same way spacers do? Or is that a myth about spacers? I want a slightly wider wheel base for cornering and increased side walls so when I do purposely deflate them, it has a little more room to work with.

Lastly, this thing is kinda noisy. I don't like how damn loud it is when driving 70MPH on the interstate. I don't speed because usually I'm with friends and going faster means talking louder, or I gotta turn the music up and when I do that, the door panels vibrate. To kill two birds with one stone, I was reading about DEI Boom Mat spray. I'm almost positive it will help with the door panel vibrations, will it do anything for road noise or are there areas I can apply it where it could help in that regard? I know decreasing sound by like 1-2dB doesn't sound like a lot but if this spray can do that, I'd be super happy since every 3dB is perceived as "twice" as loud by most people.
id expect about 200 at least. this one has 327k

yes, but some have experienced decent rubbing, depending on the ride height, sine these all settle differently. and also to an extent at this age depends on the spring rate of bar installed in your rig. that said a 30 should easily fit.

have eBay ones on mine, works fine. they are significantly brighter than those that came out though so then by comparison he radio is rather dim. and these should all have green, since theres a coating on the cluster plastic that makes it green, its not determined by the light.

definitely trans cooler and chaining glfuid regularly goes a long way.

have rs5k on mine, very nice overall. cant imagine there being a significant difference to the 9ks, since i assume they will be adjusted not very regularly

nah, these days 16s so much more common, and theres much more option imo. wouldnt go to 15 if you alr have 16

and yes its all the same hold 10 lb at your chest vs holding it out, same thing. that said, rim has one less thing to break.

have kilmat in this one, keeps it down somewhat. that said, where msot of the noise gets in in this one is thru the hatch, so it still is loud. if i got the hatch to align properly it'd be alot better imo, its just the nature of the fact that the hatch doesn't align. if it did, i imagine it'd be significantly quieter. its a roll on sticky mat. it also keeps door vibration down a bit imo.
 






I had a set of white Amazon leds in mine and tell you what I love them. Mine had 200k on a switched instrument cluster only thing you got watch out for with the ohv is there garbage transmissions. If you have a manual other story. Tires you can fit a 32 on stock suspension no problem trust me we've done it. Just make sure you maintain your vehicle and it should last a long time.
 






I agree you want good leds nothing sucks worse than cheap leds in a cluster, they flicker they don’t don properly and they just do not last. Spend a little and get decent ones
 






welcome!! We are neighbors!

assuming this is a v6? which v6? there are two 4.0 v6 engines in 2000

do not go from 16" wheels to 15" no no no 16 and 17's are the new 15
definitely do not run wheel spacers, you are better off with some aftermarket wheels that gain you a little width
you want a 16x9 or 17x9 wheel to fit a 31.5 x 10.5 tire
Nice! Yeah I took it up in the Colville national forest and went all the way up to a peak called South Baldy (sweet fire tower up there, would not recommend camping because we found a bear den nearby) and now I'm on this forum LOL.

I have the SOHC variant!

Any reason for particular wheel/rim sizes? Just availability, are they more common so more affordable? I'm surprised you guys are able to fit 32 inches and 31.5 inches on these stock! I just don't want to lift or do any fender trimming, I just want to have something bigger so the tires aren't so tucked into the fenders (it just looks bad) and so I have a little more confidence on those forest service roads. But maybe if I replace the leaf springs with the shocks then I would be able to confidently fit 32s?
 






Nice! Yeah I took it up in the Colville national forest and went all the way up to a peak called South Baldy (sweet fire tower up there, would not recommend camping because we found a bear den nearby) and now I'm on this forum LOL.

I have the SOHC variant!

Any reason for particular wheel/rim sizes? Just availability, are they more common so more affordable? I'm surprised you guys are able to fit 32 inches and 31.5 inches on these stock! I just don't want to lift or do any fender trimming, I just want to have something bigger so the tires aren't so tucked into the fenders (it just looks bad) and so I have a little more confidence on those forest service roads. But maybe if I replace the leaf springs with the shocks then I would be able to confidently fit 32s?
Interesting I've took forest service trails very confidential with 31s and a slippery trannie. I would look into doing shocks and leaf springs and maybe do the the torsion twist and rear shackles. Ain't going to affect ride quality that much.
 






Interesting I've took forest service trails very confidential with 31s and a slippery trannie. I would look into doing shocks and leaf springs and maybe do the the torsion twist and rear shackles. Ain't going to affect ride quality that much.
ah yeah some of the ones I got on are pretty rough where I had to have a spotter, I did nearly destroy my car. On the ones I can go a little faster on, it actually makes me think I need new leaf springs as well because I recall rocking so much that it was comparable to being out in a deep sea storm on a life boat. And of course there are some roads where I feel like the limit is whatever the gravel is going to give me :p
 






Replace things one at a time. Shocks are easy backyard stuff, nab some RS5000X's (I have part numbers if you want 'em) and see how they feel before deciding to replace springs.

If you absolutely, positively insist on not lifting, don't try to go wide-stance (which is called "track", not "wheelbase") and tall tires at the same time. It won't work. 265/70R16 are dirt cheap and easy to find in whatever tread pattern you like, they run about 30.5" tall by 10.5" wide.

The spacers vs. backspacing debate could go on for ever, but at the end of the day finding wheels with the backspacing you want is the better choice. 1 part in stead of 2, and they're lighter weight, which saves wear on bearings, brakes, and suspension. The advantages spacers give you are that they're cheaper and removable, which means if you go too wide (like I did) you can take 'em off. Smart people don't need to do this. Also having to remove spacers to access front-end components is a pain and requires power tools.

You don't want to lift now, but you will. RTZ makes a nice re-indexed torsion bar key kit with lifted shackles included, get 2" easy. It's like the Rancho RS5000 is designed for this kit. That should clear 31's with a 2" wider track (1" on each side) without issue... @Fix4Dirt, wanna verify that?

Your SOHC has plenty of daylight left. Make sure you use full synthetic 5W30, I used conventional last time, and never again. Synthetic only, baby. Keep your fluids full and fresh.

Watch out for the usual stuff, the SOHC/5R55E combo is hated by many but I use these trucks for what they're designed for and have 195k on one and 222k on another with no issue, although there is a rattle developing on the 222... didn't think it was the timing chain, now starting to think it might actually be the timing chain. I'm sure you're aware that the rear timing chain guides are a common point of failure (on poorly maintained examples, which tend to be the majority).
 






yes sir the rtz kit clears my 31s easily. have a 1" spacer, and it works fine. no rubbing that i can remember. to fit them stock would have been a bit of a challenge tho, w/o any rubbinng. tbh there is variation in these based on the tbar spring rate and how they were set factory.

im very very happy with my setup of rtz kit with OME CS042R springs and the rtz shackle, plenty of flex in the rear... enough to almost tear a brake line! (speaking of which need to order those extended ones)

not to get political, but why 5-20? 5-30 is what is used in this one. and usually throw in some of that motorkote... it got it to 327k ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

attatched is how the setup looks (lmk if ya want more pics) and it would prolly be a tad higher if it wasnt for heavy winch bumper sag and also proof of 327k ;) on original motor and trans no i ternal work done aside from changing the orimary tensioner and guide

F01BB5D0-8372-4E42-93B4-B2522E95B31D.jpeg


5C7AD48B-80EA-4678-89E4-4D14030165B3.jpeg
 






heres another

939DDC74-585E-4E7D-B8C5-FED60C620BDB.jpeg
 






For your rear brake line what we usually do for a lifted ex (without buying anything), is remove the hard line from its bracket then it can flex another 3-4”
 






For your rear brake line what we usually do for a lifted ex (without buying anything), is remove the hard line from its bracket then it can flex another 3-4”
:eek: never thought of that!!!! dont need to order from deerfield then :)
 






@Fix4Dirt Hmm, nice catch! I fixed it.

@toobladink In case you missed it, I meant to say 5W30, not 5W20.
 






1694818962304.png

Okay haven't done anything yet because I just took a road trip down to Monterey to see the Indycar finale the other weekend. Wasn't going to have time for anything else but installing rain guards.

After that trip, my biggest priority now is improving general ride quality and the first thing I want to do now (before the RS5000s) is fix the death wobble under braking. What suggestions do you guys have? When slightly braking at speed (60+MPH) the steering wheel/car shakes and vibrates quite a bit and doesn't feel as stable. Checked everything when I got back and the wear looks fine, but I would probably need to replace the pads within the next year or two anyways. Could is be the caliper being inconsistent? It feels pretty even throughout the car, doesn't feel like it's coming from one side in particular. Was pretty happy with all other aspects of the car on my 2,000 mile round trip - it did everything I needed so feelin good. Brakes are a pretty serious safety thing too so I don't mind going crazy with these. Don't some people use the F-150 brakes for more stopping power(?) (like for towing)?

Also the oil thing - I did do 5W30 but I thought I remembered seeing 5W20 being recommended... (TLDR - it isn't, just wanted to link this old thread) 5w20 when truck calls for 5w30?
 






Oh and regarding the DEI boom mat spray - it really helps kill resonance. I was only getting that issue in the rear doors, so i sprayed the inside of those and also took off the door panels and sprayed inside those. I think the mounts for them were just worn/loose and when the music got loud, the vibrations from the speaker combined with the resonance from some songs made them vibrate like crazy. It's gone entirely now even though the door panels are just as loose. I don't think it made the car quieter (I didn't record a "before" so can't do an "after") but holy **** it let me blast music.
 






@toobladink That brake wobble, you don't have anything going on with the ABS, do you?

Might be time to go full-on, replace the rotors, pads, and calipers.
 









Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





now that winter is in full swing, starting to work on this a bit! got the LEDs installed in the instrument panel, feels like i'm driving a spaceship now. installing new brakes within the next week or two, probably going to do it with my dad the weekend before Christmas :) i'm just glad i can see how fast I'm going at night now, but switching these for LEDs make me want to swap out the dome lights for LEDs

dash_leds.jpg
 






Back
Top