"Kermit Bandit" (1998 Limited) | Page 3 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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"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:

New pics I took today..




And what is left over of my parts car....



Kermit looks great Kris!!

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

What??? What happens to the mounty as the DD? I feel the explorer gods are up in arms...