LONO100's SPORT TRAC BUILD | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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well, it'll be a year this week that ive had my explorer and ive completed most of the mods ive planned so i thought it would be a good time to finally do my registry. this one is going to be extensive!

my name is ken, if anyone ever wants to reach me my email is underground707@gmail.com or you can just message me here on the forum, im always on here wasting time. here's some info on my rig:

2003 Ford Explorer Sport Trac XLT
bought it for 12k and it was in pristine condition with only 60k miles on it.

my current specs and mods can be found on my vehicle specs tab

here's my build:

this is how she looked when we brought her home.

pretty much stock with a camper shell, class III hitch and brake controller

this was our first ride in the mud about the same time last year

the first thing i modded was getting a grill overlay to put over the honeycomb grill just to give it a little character.


this is a pic of my engine with the KN intake installed.

my next project was getting some fresh bright bulbs in the dash. i changed them all, stayed with the same color just some fresher brighter burning bulbs
(#194). if you plan to do this, change out all the bulbs including the HVAC controls so you wont have to take it all apart if one goes out.

i then painted my radio bezel to match the exterior paint to give it a little custom look inside, without going too custom


my next project was painting the awful grey cladding.






my next and much needed project was finding a set of black wheels and some good mud tires. this was my most fruitful project because i actually made money on this project. by being extremely vigilant on craigslist, i was able to find a set of black 15" wheels with fresh pro comp mud tires on them for 400 bucks. with my infamous negotiation skills i talked the guy down to 200 bucks and got a set of black wheels and fresh mud tires that looked awesome!

here's what they looked like when they went on;


i rode on these treads for two months before i was able to sell just the tires to a jeep owner for a whopping 400 bucks! i made 200 bucks on these treads AND i got to keep the black wheels! biggest score of my summer in 2011. i took that profit and sold my stock wheels for 600 and used that to go toward my locker and 33" tire project which you will see later.

next on my project list was to get some much needed shocks. my stock shocks were completely blown, and my buddies would say my trac rode like a boat. i went with a set of rancho RS5000 all the way around. i was able to find a set on 4wheelonline for 159.00 shipped WITH a 50.00 rancho mail in rebate. 110 bucks for shocks, score!


with the black wheels, my custom grill no longer matched, so i broke out the paint and redid my grill;

here are a few pics of how she was looking at this point;


you'll notice in these pics i just swapped out that long stock antenna for a little stubby black autozone antenna for 8 bucks.

my next project was to install a CB radio and roof rack. im a nut for cleanliness, so i planned and waited to get my roof rack before i slapped the cb radio on, that way i could conceal the antenna cable for a neat look.

this is how i fed the antenna into the cab:

15' of wire on a magnet mount antenna and i mounted the antenna right above the brake light and worked my way into the cab

fed the wire through the door seals

pulled the trim and fed it along the door jambs

and the coaxial landed perfectly under the ash tray!

tapped a fuse

grounded it

and mounted the radio

super clean look, no drilling, no loose wires

fully functional and i get great SWR readings, pretty close to 1.0 on ch20

i zip tied the wires under my roof rack


here's how it looked with the roof basket on

here's a few pics of how she looked so far, and how she put in work on our camping trips in summer of 2011








next, i got into the real meat and potatos of my build and installed my rear aussie lockers. it took me a little research on what i wanted, what would fit my needs best and i decided that a lunchbox type locker would be the best fit for me. i went with the aussies, and it's the best mod ive made by far! here are a few pics of the project
materials for the install

pics of the pumkin opened up before the lockers went in


axle shafts pulled

spider gears out!

lockers in!!!


my first problem i had with my trac was when i got a CEL code. it read back as P0171/P0174. the guys who read my codes for free told me they wanted to take apart the engine down to the lower intake manifolds, and a whole bunch of other crap to solve the problem and it would start at 600 bucks. i told them to go F themselves and went to the forum for help. luckily, ncranchero aka sport trac yoda pointed me to this infamous rubber elbow problem

i was able to resolve the issue for a dollar. thanks ranchero!

after a little planning and a lot of procrastinating i finally got my lift and 33"s on. i went with 33" goodyear duratracs on midnightrebel's recommendation and i got to say, these are hands down the best tires ive ever bought. if rebel ever makes his way out to the west coast i owe him a few beers. i did a simple shackle/TT lift. went with the tried and true warrior #153 shackles and twisted those torsion bolts. got 3" lift all the way around (2WD!). here are some pics of the project.

shackles came in the mail:

used my jack to give me a little help in lining up the shackles


after the lift but sitting on my stock wheels as my black AR-767's were at the shop getting the 33"s on.



and bam!




slapped the spare on the roof

next i slapped my alpine in and got rid of that god awful stock deck.


well, the winter came and so i slapped the camper shell on


the dogs were greatful

and that's what she pretty much looks like today, now that the warm weather is coming around and the days are longer, more projects are in the hopper. i already sourced a new radio bezel (thanks to midnight rebel for the tip) for my roof rack light install, and thats going to be next. i was planning on learning how to weld this past winter, but a pretty bad car accident sidelined me. im back on my feet and ready to go, so i will also be planning on rock sliders and a hitch mounted spare tire carrier. i have a magnaflow exhaust, but i might switch it out to a gibson or flowmaster catback system, and im thinking that since im 2WD, i should look into getting myself a winch. i might go the hitch mounted route so i can switch it to the front and rear if need be.

thanks to the forum and all the great members, i wouldnt have been able to mod my trac to the way i wanted it without the EF. ive done write ups to all of these projects so the know-how is out there, just use the search bar! if anyone would like to try any of the projects i did, or if you want to ask me questions about anything, just message me, im always on the forum and ready to help you with whatever knowledge i have, and if i cant help you, ill try and point you in the right direction to who CAN help you. thanks again to everyone, ill leave with some pictures of a few places where my trac has taken me and my friends since ive owned her. cant wait for summer 2012 to roll around, much more pics and adventures to come!

tahoe desolation wilderness




cascade falls




genoa peak



lake tahoe


on the road

pinnacles monument and hollister hills







richardson grove (redwood forest)




my duffel, been with me on a ton of trips already, and on many plane rides too!


hope you guys enjoyed the build and pics as much as ive enjoyed all of yours. this forum really gets me through the work day!

more projects to come this summer.

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Your truck was one of my inspirations to lift it i did my shackle and TT off of your forum about it great looking truck and always good write ups thanks

thanks man, i appreciate it. ive always hoped that my write ups would help fellow members out there. ive been following your build and its coming along nicely!

well if you guys ever take the plunge, let me know if you ever need any help, im down! im telling you, i tackled this trail without lockers and being that im 2WD, it took all of my skill to get to the peak. i hit the same trail after i slapped the lockers in and got up it in half the time. i am being completely honest here, my 2WD trac with the lockers can handle with ease a lot of stuff my old 4x4 would have trouble with.

sweet lookin sport trac

Great looking truck. And great write-up on all your projects. I certainly cant wait for summer to put all the different threads to use and start modding mine.

thanks, im itching for the summer to come around, i have some projects im dying to get going on. im already making plans for some camping trips too. more pictures to come!

Great build thread, very nice Trac. Pics are Awesome, scenery is spectacular. Incredible trees, mountains, and Fresh Air. We have pics like that in Chicago, they are in books at the library...

Real Nice Work Lono!!

thanks bro, ill post more pics soon. btw, i love chicago, its one of my favorite cities in the world, hands down! your downtown is so clean, a cop on every street corner, and public transportation there rules. giordano's ruined pizza for me, because now everytime i get a slice im comparing it to that deepdish style. i also love millenium park, and the surrounding neighborhoods like wicker park. awesome in the fall time. we dont get that kind of autumn here on the west coast. lake michigan is unreal to me, the biggest lake around here is tahoe and michigan makes tahoe look like a pond.

Great build thread, very nice Trac. Pics are Awesome, scenery is spectacular. Incredible trees, mountains, and Fresh Air. We have pics like that in Chicago, they are in books at the library...

Real Nice Work Lono!!

No use posting the same thing I was going to say.
I've got an Aussie front in mine and love it :salute:

Those first set of rims you bought. Do you know what the backspacing and width was?

Those first set of rims you bought. Do you know what the backspacing and width was?

yeah, all of my wheels ive had had a backspacing of 4.5"

i posted this on a few threads already but thought that id add a few pics on my reg of my brand new kick ass thule MOAB roof basket.





heres a shot with my thule apex 4 hitch mounted rack i got for free from my shop. score!

Wow u put in a lot of work... Looks great man what paint did you use for the bumper?

thanks dizzle, i really appreciate it. it was a labor of love, and its ongoing. the paint i used was satin black krylon fusion paint for plastics. when you do this project its pretty simple and theres plenty of write ups on the forum if you search for them. the number one key to doing an A+ job is prep work. clean and clean and clean. then take your time painting, and do multiple thin coats. good luck and post pics!

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Hey LONO...truck's lookin' good!! I was looking to get a roof rack, but have a couple of quick questions about the load bars (crossbars..whatever they are called). What brand did you get and where? I've been looking around and most I find are Thule (not a problem, just kinda pricey) and seem to stand up higher than I'd like. I was looking at OEM bars, but they are rounded. Any info is appreciated.