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Matthew (MM.4x4.Explorer)


I Made my account here on EF For a few years now, I've responded to a few threads here and there, but I finally did the Elite Explorer deal (2 for 1) this last November, and I'm Glad I did! (Especially Now!)

Ever since I was little, I loved our families 97 2 door Explorer we bought in 2002 with about 10k miles on it. (It's a Sport, 4x4, 3.73 w/LSD, 4.0 OHV, 5 Speed Auto). My siblings and I grew up in it and I always said I wanted to drive it, but my parents daily drove it and I never really thought about how realistic that would be that I could drive it one day. Well, fast forward to when I was about to get my permit, the lower intake manifold gasket broke. My family and I didn't know that much about engines, and the Explorer sat outside for about 6 months. My dad was going to send it to a junkyard. A few weeks before I got my permit, (I was about 15), A friend of mine came over and we took the engine apart and put it back together with new gaskets. (a Full day plus a few hours the next day) and it was Fixed! We kept the (Now running) Explorer. I put every penny I made mowing grass into it either upgrading little things, or fixing things. My senior year of HS I replaced the Heads (one was cracked) myself (That was big for me!). When I turned 18 my parents gave me the keys for it as my birthday present because they know how many hours and how much money I've put into the thing.

My goal is to keep this Explorer running until I die!
Everything I've learned has been on this Explorer (From rebuilding the top end of the engine (and painting the valve covers, lower intake, etc. Ford Blue!), to repainting the roof, replacing the heater core, etc.).

Fast forward a few years now to today (1/9/2021) and I Just Traded my old f150 I bought two years ago (Not going to get into that story) for a 1993 Ford Explorer XLT (4 Door, 4x4, 4.0 OHV (Same as the 97), 5 Speed Manual, 3.73 W/LSD, RED Interior). It isn't perfect on the inside (or outside), but I think it was a fair trade (and worth it!). (I made this trade (Title for Title) Yesterday, 1/8/2021

Since the 97 has so much sentimental value to me, and I don't want to damage it, I will feel 100X better off roading a rig I got / built specifically to off road. I went up to the mountains (In Colorado) This summer several times with the group of Explorers / Rangers and just other awesome people (Shoutout to all of you!) in my 97, and it did good (for what it is) but I just don't want to tear it up.

Stay tuned because this 1993 XLT is going to be (I think) an Awesome (Nothing crazy, but pretty cool) build!

Ok, Enough Talk and Here we go! Follow me on Instagram @4x4.Explorer

1/8/2021 (First picture of the 93 and the 97 Together). Also the day I got the 93...


Elite Explorer
June 27, 2014
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Explorer Sport 4X4
1/8/2021 - First "Mod" Completed already: (I took off the bumper valance (I think that's what it's called)), and it already looks better!

1/8/2021 - First "Big Step" into the build: Yesterday evening (1/8) The night I got it, I ordered a lift kit for it! Today (1/9) I got an email saying it's estimated delivery is Thursday! (I'm going to start installing it Thursday evening or Friday morning!)

If you can't tell, I'm excited to build this thing and off road it!