"Kermit Bandit" (1998 Limited) | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

  • Explorer Forum license plate frames are available 2 for $12, or 4 for $17. For photos and more details CLICK HERE

"Kermit Bandit" (1998 Limited)

(Note: This registry is for Kris G. I do not own or condone anything Kris does with this truck :p:)

Yep folks, another Bandit. Just what you were hoping for. This one is a 1998 Charcoal Green limited SOHC V6 with ControlTrac 4WD. This truck originally ended up in my possession after doing some automotive work for a guy and Kermit was payment. Can't pass up free trucks! :thumbsup:

Anyway, Kris and I were discussing the concept of building an explorer out of the spare parts he and I had laying around. Only problem was, we didnt have a frame or shell to start one...until this limited fell in my lap.

So Kris came up back in April 2011 to help with the 5R55E swap in Blue, and we continued discussing this limited. We worked out where Kermit (Kris named it) would go to Austin with him and I would bring the Nasty Hoe back with me. Kris and I worked out our schedules and we planned for end of May.

Oh, and one more important detail I forgot to mention: This was a front end collision vehicle that was totaled. So the entire front clip was damaged. Hence why Kris and I had the spare parts :D Here's what it looked like when I got it...

Plans for this limited include:

TT with shackles
Bilstein Shocks all around
New set of 265 75 16 Michelin LTX m/s
Updated XLT leather seats
Kenwood in dash navigation /DVD
Reverse camera and backup sensors
MTX thunder form in place of Mach

I plan to make this my main Daily Driver so once I get the feel of this Explorer with the 3.73s and the 265s I will decide if I want to upgrade to 4.10s

Updated pics, as of 3/7/2012




and pics of progress.










And then when I got it home











And so it began. I loaded Kermit up and drove the 7 hours down to Kris's house. The next day, we unloaded Kermit into the garage of Destiny and accessed the damage.





As you can maybe see, the hood, bumper, frame horns, core support, inner fender supports, radiator, A/C condenser, and tranny cooler were all damaged beyond repair. The collision also forced the front doors back about 1/4 " and needed realigned and some body work (which Kris has no problem doing).

So, in the middle of the texas sun (ugh, too hot for this Oklahoma boy) we began tearing kermit apart to begin repairs. Luckily, I brought my welder which helped things out greatly! (Note: I know my welds still arent pretty, but they are structurally sound :cool: )

After an afternoon trip to SVO's house to loaded up the Navajo, we returned to Kermit and continued stripping him down and finally got the core support out.

And as you can see, the inner fender supports were pretty crumpled, and next to impossible to pull back out to form.

But I happened to bring an extra support from the Mounty I chopped up earlier this year.

So the new plan was to weld in replacement fender supports into Kermit and reattach the core support to them (again, from my chopped up mountaineer)



Oh, and meanwhile, Kris took care of the airbag problem. The driver side bag was originally a black one that Kris re-dyed to match, and the passenger bag was scratched, so it was re-dyed as well. Can't even tell!

Some parts Kris already had prepared earlier, like an 99-01 limited bumper. The 98 bumper of Kermit's was damaged and non-repairable, so Kris is going to make it look like the 99-01 Limiteds. Because he is sneaky like that.

And back to the support structure. We got the Core support alligned to where it should be and tacked in the driver fender support. Once it was in place and squared up, I just started laying beads of weld everywhere.

By then, I think it was Friday (All I really remember is Texas sun) MrQ showed up in Austin and assisted a bit with Kermit. And apparently he thought it appropriate to take pictures of me doing work. So we started on replacing the frame horns from a good explorer and welding them onto Kermit who had bad and bent frame horns. It sounds easier than it looks. Never mind the balding head...



By then it was Friday night and the John_Rock Memorial Run was the next day in Marble Falls, so we called it a night and headed out there on saturday. When we returned about 9PM, we hit hard and heavy on Kermit and finished up welding the frame horns and welding in the passenger side fender support. After which, all the body panels were loosely put in place to check for gaps and alignment issues. I must say, Kris and I can do some decent body repair in just a weekend...

So that's where Kermit is at now. Kris will fit all the body panels and repaint the front end to match the Charcoal Green color. He also plans to re-dye the entire dash and clean out the HVAC box. Then, a one inch torsion twist & shackle lift and I think he's putting on 31" tires, But I'll let him chime in later on it.

But a big thanks to Kris for helping me out this weekend and taking care of Kermit. I know it will be in good hands and Kris, you'd better keep this registry updated :p:

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!

lol, ok ill come down to you :p: But there better be a pool this time :D

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!

I'll have to check, I think we may have tossed the kids blow up pool, but just for you I'll get another... :)

LOL, i appreciate the offer :p: I only weld when there is a stone inground pool with lots of models taking pictures...

Just saying:cool:

Well I'm sure I can find someone in the hill country with a pool....as far as the models you'll have to import them, I live in a retirement community haha.

ah shoot, we can have a geriactric bikini contest at your house! :D I think i remember you saying something to that effect too :p:

Yikes, if that actually occurred, I'm pretty sure I'd have to sell my house hahahaha.

This conversation just got interesting. LOL

Wow Welcome to the ExplorerForum.com TMI hour presented by NICE59FORDF100:p:

It's all fun and games till someone loses and eye.

I can haz updates? I know you have some :D

Ok ok,

So I have two new updated on the Kermit Bandit. Ill start with the body work.

The core support isnt going to be seen but I still did not want it to look pieced together.

So a little sanding, bondo, primer, and wet sanding. I had the welds cleaned up, looking decent and ready for some paint.




I bought a little bit of the correct color in a single stage paint. No sense in wasting my time doing base/clear on a core support.


Over all I am ok with how it turned out. If it was an out side body panel I would have taken more time and made it look perfect.


Second update....

The Interior got a lot of attention as well.

After I was done cleaning the carpet with purple power and water hose and let it dry in the Texas heat. I re-installed the carpet



The seats were cleaned with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, Then used Leather conditioner, here are the rear seats installed.


Very nice work Kris! Kermit is going to turn out great.

Updated first post with even MORE pictures, muwahaha

Rig is coming along good!!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Like the Christmas wrapping paper on the windshield!!!

The rig is looking good! Great job Kris! I can't wait to see it up close once it is all done. Kris, you are absolutly amazing when it comes to this kind of stuff. :thumbsup:

keep up good work

Oh yea, you're doing a great job, I'll be taking pointers and tips on how to do this stuff :)

So, For any one still following the Kermit bandit project. I will be updating this thread soon. lots of progress has been made.

I did purchase a 98 limited just like this one as a parts car. and minor paint work is all that is needed now.

Stay tuned!!!

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!

Im following!!