Hunter's '96 XLT | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Hunter's '96 XLT

Hey all,

I've been around this site for awhile but haven't made a thread about me yet, so I figured I'd go ahead and make one for your entertainment.

I've done a few mods here and there that I got the ideas from on this awesome site, and I'm more than happy to show them off to ya'll

First off, My name is Hunter and I'm currently studying mechanical engineering at the University of Central Florida. I got my 1996 5.0L XLT in September of 2010. My aunt was the first and only owner until then.

Since, I have converted all interior to blue and white LED, slightly lifted it with shackles and torsion keys to fit some 32x11.5x15 tires which I'm loving! I even built a custom 12" sub box to fit in the rear quarter panel. Even more recently I've added a roof basket and some other mods here and there.

Engine runs great, and I love my Explorer! Now for some pictures:



Here are some shots of the roof basket. Its a Rage Powersports Stingray low profile roof basket. Mounting them on top of the roof racks seemed too high for my liking--and the absense of roof racks didn't look good either, so I came up with this:


where the roof racks basically go "through" the roof basket instead of underneath it..


Here are some of the LED interior shots:




Here is a shot of the sub that I built the stealth box for:


thanks guys :us:

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That looks pretty cool! good idea!
If you have a table saw you could try cutting an inch off the back of the plastic part to narrow it a little if you want it to look a little lighter. Maybe a bit off the front edge as well if there is room for it.

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So today I tackled my latest and much needed project: the headliner.

I chose to go with a new camo headliner, and I have to say it came out really cool.

I started with taking out the old headliner:



Then I glued on the camo fabric


And within 2 hours...






It came out really cool and I'm happy with it! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Love the new additions. I would somehow seal those holes in the rockers to keep the mud and water out. Id fine a plastic push in fastner (like the ones used on a lot of interior parts) and use a little silicon on it to seal it in the hole. The water isn't the big issue, it'll run out of the drain holes. Dirt/mud however will just rot the rockers out from the inside.

I thought about making a new rear carpet for the trunk out of camo. They had some stuff at wally world that looked to be about the right size to start with.

Yea I've thought about plugging those holes and I've read about it. I havent looked into finding them anywhere but Im sure theyre not too hard to find.

As far as the carpet in the rear cargo area, I've seen that stuff at walmart. In fact, if you look at the little image on the packaging, its a ford explorer rear cargo area so I'm sure it'll fit well haha

How much did it cost for the camo and glue and was it very hard to do? I've been thinking about replacing my headliner with camo for awhile now. Also how much is it for the back cargo area camo thing you were talking about? Thanks!

i totaled $38 for glue and fabric! And it wasn't too bad. You definitely need a 2nd or 3rd pair of hands to help you hold and glue the new fabric. I'd say the hardest part is removing everything before taking the headliner out; the actual gluing wasn't even that bad.

And i think it was like $15 but i cant be sure

Hey guys! Haven't posted on here in awhile but I have still been doing some mods to my explorer and I figured I'd update you guys.

Since last time, I have completely converted all external lights to LED except for the headlights and foglights. Turn signals F/R, brake lights, reverse lights, and license plate lights. For the turn signals up front, I got the switchback LEDs that have orange and white LEDs and switch colors when used. (see video below)

For the rear, I got Cree LEDs for the turn signals and reverse lights. For the brake lights, I got the "spider" lights that have the 5 fingers that spring out once inserted into the brake light housing. Check out the images and video below:



I've also got all of my interior lights converted to LED now. Guages, switches, AC control, overhead lights, puddle lights, cruise control, etc. Heres a quick video

I've also added a CB radio and PA so that I can be that obnoxious kid driving around yelling at people. Managed to fit it behind the front license plate. (kinda dirty now haha). I mounted the CB underneath the drivers seat and made an antennae mount coming out of the rear hatch. I'll get some pics of it later.

I've also added some more camo inside the truck. I'll get some shots of that later as well

Hopefully you guys enjoy, and questions about anything are welcome!

Got a big update for everyone!

First off, I moved up to Georgia and soon after bought a 2006 F-250


I've done some minor work on it, but it was already bullet proofed with 130k when I got it. I resolved a long start issue, EGR delete, and straight piped it. I installed a 2.5" leveling kit and 35"x12.5" tires, some LED lighting, and it's been good since

This allowed me some time to work on the explorer and do what I've been wanting to do for years now.. put a straight axle up front and make it 4wd. I had bought a transfer case, linkages, and driveshaft off of an F-150 several months back and it just sat for awhile. I finally got around to doing some real work on it about 3 weeks ago and have some pictures to share, but it's still a work in progress

It all started with disassembly and cutting out the IFS components:

Then I got ahold of a Dana44 off of an early 80's Jeep Wagoneer and started tearing it apart:









Then I got to sandblasting and cleaning parts off the axle to prep for paint and rebuild:





I bought some HD 7-leaf Wagoneer leaf springs. The amount of information on which leaf springs to choose is very slim; most guys start out with the waggy 5 leafs that come with the axle but soon say that they became too flat and would have to replace them with 'something'. I'm hoping the 7-leaf HD springs will work well for this setup



I started grinding on the frame to see how it cleaned up. I still have some grinding and cutting to do to get the old upper control arm mounts and shock mount off of the frame.


I purchased some new U-joints for the axle. I'll end up having to get new balljoints, several seals, and new hub assemblies for either side. More to come on this


I've been able to paint some parts along the way. Here are the axles after pressing out the u-joints and prior to installing the new u-joints




Here's the diff cover getting painted


While I have the explorer up on stands, I can tackle the leaking timing chain cover:


This will take a week or two to complete because the notorious water pump bolt got stuck in the block and will have to be removed once I get the timing chain cover off. Waiting on a crank pulley removal tool before I can move any further on this step..

The next steps are to get some leaf spring hangers, shackles, and some plate steel to waterjet and bend to make into the front crossmember and hanger mounts to weld to the frame. Hopefully have it all welded in within the next 2-3 weeks

I will try to update you guys at least weekly with this project, but I'm already excited for it to be done!