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Mn Mountaineer V8 SAS

Very nice to see you back at it!

Can you tell us what diameter tube you are using for your bumpers when you get around to building it?

2" diameter and at least .120" wall, plenty heavy duty!!!
I'm already contemplating getting another die set for smaller tubing.

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Well i still haven't needed 4wd yet but show's it isn't just a pavement toy. The girlfriends new driveway needs a little help with drainage...:D

I made a little more progress last night. I removed the rear bumper and started making measurements and looked at my options for the receiver tube as well as the bumper tube placement and possible designs. One of my big concerns is being able to get to the receiver pin for easy removal as well as maintaining as much clearance for departure angle. Also trying to decide on whether to bend the tube in and attach it to the frame just behind the tire or cut and cap the tube and run a strut to the frame instead. I suspect it will be cut and cap to match what i will have to do up front because of tire clearance. My head was just swimming with ideas and options so i didn't get any decisions made.:D So i ended the night with putting the bumper back on so i could drive it today.

But i do have a picture of it with the bumper off now so i can sketch up some options that will help me visualize what i am thinking.

For the steering box, were you able to reuse any of the old lines ?

For the steering box, were you able to reuse any of the old lines ?

I cut, swaged and silver soldered the gear tube end into the original pressure hose. I used a section of the return hose but made new return tubing out in front of the radiator to reuse the cooler. So technically no, i had to modify all of it.

That kinda answers my question haha I plan to run the cooler again as well.

I have a few pictures of the line modifications and what i did to mount up the cooler here.

This weekend i got to test the bump stops all the way around at about 50 miles an hour. I was taking a detour on a gravel road when hiding around a corner was a deep and sharp edged wash out across the entire road. I'm sure it looked better from the outside, it was quite a hit inside. I felt both the front and back bottom out, everything came back down even and straight so it was just a test. :D
I also got to do some short trail riding with it to retrieve the planking and power poles for the round pen we are moving to the new house. I had all of the 2*12's on a snowmobile trailer and made it back down the really tight trail. When the trailer tires hit the manure out side of the shelter they promptly began sinking and plowing up Pooo. Which brought the mountaineer to a two wheel drive stop. I hopped out, looked at the trailer and laughed. Then i locked in the hub's, popped it in low range and with very little tire spin pulled it right on through. So i finally needed four wheel drive with these tires for something other than crawling on rocks.
I really need to make time to get the rear bumper done. Using the stock bumper to tow the trailers this weekend sucked because of the extreme angle. I know the bobcat trailer also far exceeded the maximum tongue weight rating of the stock bumper. It survived and the mountaineer worked like a champ the whole weekend. :)

I managed to get in some trail riding this weekend with the girl friends seven year old son. The trail had reasonably small rocks and several muddy spot's with varied amounts of slop. I needed 4wd for a few of the mud holes and powered through no problem till we got to a section that was quite long and so sloppy it had a floating wooden bridge laid down for atv's to cross it and it was not quite wide enough for the mountaineer the whole length. Not having another vehicle with or a winch yet we decided that it was smarter to turn around and find something else to do. We did also enjoy the ride with the A.C. pumping away with no over heating issues.
The trip did start out with little boy commenting that it would be fun on the atv because it could go faster on the trail but soon changed when he realized the hoards of dear flies that were on the outside of the mountaineer.:D

Sounds like you showed him a great time, good on you!

So a couple of weeks ago i noticed small puddles under the front of the mountaineer. I discovered that the front diff cover bolts were slightly loose. I tightened them up and the problem went away. Yesterday morning i had a huge puddle around the drivers tire. It was gear lube that came out of the drivers side axle tube. Concerned but not being in four wheel i drove it to work, not a drop in the parking lot from it also nothing in the garage again this morning. I have been trying to determine why the axle seal started to leak and the only thing i can come up with is that the u joint may have a slight bind on it when parked with the tires at full lock which i try not to do but does happen with how i am parking it in the garage. I will fill up some more and see if it leaks again. I really don't want to put new seal's in it already i probably have less than fifty miles on it with the hub's locked in.

Maybe the fluid has already drained out to below the level of the seal.

That was my thought too.
We had some high winds in northern MN Sunday evening which prompted me to stay till the morning. I tried to do some after storm damage assessment for a friend this morning. this was the good stretch of road.

Which led to this, i wormed my way through for a ways.

I tried going in the rest of the way on foot after i got to an impassable area. I got too where the power lines were down across the road with no safe way around and decided to turn back after taking a few pictures for him of what was left of the area. I can't remember the last time i saw so many trees down at once.

Last week i put 1900 miles on the mountaineer with no issues. We had a family vacation down in Branson Mo. which was nice not having to do anything if i so chose. I had hoped to try the trails at SMORR but i didn't get the bumpers or sliders done yet so that was out. The drive through the Ozark mountains was incredible, the steep grades required it to down shift but maintained 70 mph. no problem. No overheating problems and the a/c worked great.

I took this shot of my mom's stocker next to mine at the resort, just a little difference.

I'm glad to see that it is still running great.

I had heard about the high winds down that way. That is some carnage for sure. It was also pretty bad farther north as the grandstands at BIR got torn up pretty well.

Actually those pictures were from just a mile or two north of BIR and on the west side of 371.

Been a while since i have posted on this thread. :(
I made time a couple nights ago to top off the front diff to see if the seal was toast or what. It was only about half a quart low and sat two full days with no sign of leaking and i am running synthetic in it which would leak if there was the slightest issue. My best guess is that when i had the leak it must have had some tension on the axle shaft from having the wheels at full lock and made the seal distort and leak. I should double check the steering stop settings i guess to keep from loosing another $5 worth of diff lube and possibly ruining the seal/s.

fantastic write up!! i have just recently gotten into a 98 explorer with the 5.0 and have visions of grandeur in my head, and yours and 2times builds are where I'd like to be i think, i absolutely love the way they look, Great job!! my fab skills are not nearly as refined as yours, but hopefully in a few years i will have assembled all the parts needed to do this and the time/funds to complete them, great job once again!!

Earlier this summer we needed to get some building supplies about 40 miles from the girl friends place and i was pleasantly surprised how well the mountaineer handled the big trailer considering the size of tires I'm running.

On Monday i was up north and decided that i was making a trip to the Spider Lake trail system a priority even though it was raining off and on. I had never been there before even though it is only about twenty miles away from Pine River which i have frequented since i was a kid. I had no idea what to expect but was greeted by a hand full of trails for ORV's with proper permit's which i have:D. The trail system had no difficulty rating system, just what vehicles were allowed on which trails. I picked the closest one and headed down it. The trail was wide enough with little brush dragging down the side.

A short distance down the trail i had to dart off into a slight wide spot to avoid two side by sides ripping up the hill i was about to descend. After that close call i decided to turn on the LED lightbar to give anyone else more warning. The trail had little turn off spots to take in the beautiful fall colors.

This uphill turn felt a lot tighter than it was.

This was the first real down hill and all of the leaves on the ground were making it hard to read the actual terrain.

Without a saw or winch i was forced to turn around and take a longer route though the trail system.

That option had very tight banked corners and the rain was making things even more unpredictable so i decided that this solo mission had run it's course and i turned around yet again to return the way i came in shortly after this monster hill climb and then descent.

After all i am still getting used to the capability of the mountaineer.
I had a great time there were a couple of pucker moments negotiating the tight bowl turns around trees but i had no damage or stucks and the fall colors were incredible. I did have one of the remaining original shock bushings give up and now it has a clicking sound over certain bumps. I will be fixing that tomorrow.

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Well it's been on the road for over a year since the conversion and the only failure was the battery this fall and the fill plug on the rear diff cover had a small leak. Oh and the shock bushings this fall. I have just shy of twenty thousand miles on the conversion. I have not made the time to make the bumpers or sliders yet. I plan to get to the rear bumper soon. ;)