HOW TO: Saleen XP8 Ford Explorer Rear Wing Installation | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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HOW TO: Saleen XP8 Ford Explorer Rear Wing Installation


Elite Explorer
April 14, 2007
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Ford Explorer LTD AWD
This came from an old archive of the dead ********* guide. Some photos posted by Don here Saleen Wing install instructions

Saleen XP8 Rear Wing Installation

Written by Ted Suplee (TAS)​
Wednesday, 24 August 2005

Although SALEEN XP8 Explorers are no longer made and the parts are no longer mass produced, every so often random bodykit parts pop up. Such was the case when one of our ELITE Members, Ted Suplee, was able to acquire an authentic SALEEN XP8 rear wing. The rear wing truly does complete the street look and is a very nice aesthetic addition to any Explorer. Continue reading for our complete, thorough step-by-step installation guide...

The following is a detailed write-up on how to install a Saleen XP8 rear wing on a 2nd generation (1995-2001) Explorer. This is a fairly moderate task which requires drilling holes in the rear liftgate. So it is important to double check measurements to insure a proper fit.

Tools/supplies required:
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Electric Drill
  • Various size drill bits
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • Thin cardboard or posterboard
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil
  • 3M single side adhesive tape or weather stripping found at Home Depot
  • Saftey glasses
Here is a newly painted Saleen wing ready to be installed:

Making Templates

The installation of the wing requires 4 holes drilled in the hatch. Making templates from the wing and transferring them to the hatch is the easiest way to mark the drilling locations.

Start with two pieces of thin cardboard or posterboard. Take each piece and secure them to the wings mounting area with the wing's screw and nut. The mounting area on the wing is curved, so you may need to cut slits in the cardboard in order for it to conform to that area. Then just tape the overlaped edges together.

Trace around the wing with a pen or pencil.

Then remove the cardboard from the wing and cut around the tracing.

The finished template should look like this. The two holes will mark the drilling locations.

On the wing's mounting area, stick on a couple of strips of 3M single side adhesive tape(I used weather stripping from Home Depot). This foam tape acts as a buffer between the wing and the hatch when installed.

Taking Measurements

On the wing, measure the distance between the stud and screw hole.

And then from the stud to the edge of the wing.

Also take measurements from each end of the wing. From stud to stud and screw hole to screw hole. Write down all measurements.

On the hatch, you will need to determine where the center is and mark it with a piece of tape. This will be used as a guide when lining up the templates.

Using the measurements, place the templates on each side of the hatch and secure with masking tape. Be sure to line up the edge of the template with the top edge of the hatch. Once the templates are secured, you can recheck all measurements to make sure they match up.

Drilling the Holes

*Always use protective eyewear when using power tools*

With the templates in place, you are ready to drill some holes into your hatch. First, drill starter holes at each marked location on the templates, using a small drill bit. Then switch to a larger bit and redrill each hole. Make sure to drill the holes large enough for the mounting screws and studs to fit through. After the holes are made, you can use a dremel with a grinding bit to smooth out any rough edges.

Recheck the measurements after all the holes are drilled and use the dremel to make any adjustments.

This is the view from inside the hatch.

You can use some touch-up paint on the holes to cover up any bare metal.

Next, carefully place the wing onto the hatch and guide the studs through the holes.

Through the inside of the hatch, install the two screws on each side. You may need to use pliers to get the screws through the plug hole.

Tighten with screwdriver and reinstall the wire plugs on each side.

Then install a nut onto each stud and tighten with a ratchet. Do not overtighten.

Final Installation Steps!

Finally, with the hatch closed, make sure the wing is lined up and even. Also be sure to check that the hatch opens freely without any rubbing.

Final shots of the wing install on an Explorer:

Mission accomplished!

Those are good instructions, thanks for re-posting them here.

That reminds me about my GTC wheels, do you still by chance have someone you could ask about the machine work I need on my wheels? You might not recall, but these have holes made for a unique deep 12mm lugnut. I have aftermarket 1/2" lugnuts that do fit in the holes and hold the wheel on. But the holes need to be slightly deeper, and larger to accommodate the installation tool. The machine work needs to be done by a specialist familiar with machining wheel lugnut holes etc. They have to be located perfectly for the bolt pattern, and exactly the right dimensions.