Montego the 1997 Mercury Mountaineer - Maintenance Log (Picture Happy) | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Montego the 1997 Mercury Mountaineer - Maintenance Log (Picture Happy)

Hey guys, and gals.

I created this thread to not only display my 1997 Mercury Mountaineer, but to also keep track of everything I do to keep her living for another 20 years :)

First a little bit about her; I was looking to purchase a V8 Explorer, as I grew up in one when I was about 4 years old. I have been looking for the past two years, but I wasn't in any rush as I used to have a 2002 GMC Sierra in near mint condition, but it just wasn't my cup of tea, I've always been more of an SUV guy. So here I am about a month ago browsing Craigslist, and I scroll across this awesome 1997 Mercury Mountaineer, advertised for just $1,000.00. I couldn't hesitate, I called the guy up, arranged to meet later that day, drove about 30 minutes to take it for a test drive, and brought her back home!

She's a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer 5.0 2WD with 186,000 on the clock! It needed a very thorough cleaning, but I do mobile detailing for a living, so that didn't scare me away. It ran flawlessly, and everything including the ABS, cruise control, air conditioning, heat, power seats, etc. works.

It's got gray leather interior, dual power seats, rear ac, and overhead console. My long term plans are to restore her to showroom new, and add some more bells and whistles, like a message center, factory premium audio, maybe a 2" lift just to make her look more aggressive.


As she currently sits.

When I first brought her home, the third brake light still works!


I restored the factory lettering on the tailgate using a Sharpie. Was worried about it washing off, but it hasn't yet, and it's been a month.



I got rid of the dented up front bumper, and found a nice chrome bumper for $20.00 down the road on Craigslist.


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--- Post reserved for Maintenance log ---

Purchased for $1,000.00 on November 23rd, 2015 @ 186,700 miles.

Nov. 24th - Oil & filter changed @ 187,000 Miles, due at 190,000 miles. ( Castrol GTX 10w30, and Purolator PureONE filter )

Nov. 24th - Air filter replaced. ( Fram MicroGard )

Nov. 24th - Power Window Motor bearings replaced.

Nov. 26th - Spark Plugs & Wires Changed @ 187,200 Miles. ( Autolite Platinum plugs, and OmniSpark wires )

Dec. 04th - Evaporator Core cleaned to restore HVAC air flow.

Dec. 11th - Brake Pads, and Rotors replaced. ( BrakeBest Semi-Metallic )

Dec. 12th - Carpet removed, cleaned, and thorough interior detail done.

Dec. 14th - Front Bumper replaced.

Dec. 16th - M.A.F. Sensor, and I.A.C. Module cleaned.

Dec. 17th - Oil Catch Can installed to prevent dino fluid from causing build up in the throttle body due to the PCV system.

Dec. 20th - Throttle Body removed, and thoroughly cleaned.

Dec. 24th - Fuel Filter replaced. ( Motorcraft )

Dec. 26th - PCV Valve replaced. ( Purolator )

Dec. 29th - Battery terminals replaced. ( Brass )

----- 2016 Happy New Year -----

Jan. 01st - Hit the 190,000 mile mark!

Jan. 07th - Power Steering fluid flushed. ( Mercon ATF )

Jan. 09th - Oil & filter changed @ 191,000 Miles, due at 194,000 miles. ( Castrol GTX 10w30, Purolator PureONE filter, and new magnetic drain plug with copper seal )

Jan. 22nd - Idler Pulley replaced, due to the original grenading.

Mar. 06th - Oil & filter changed @ 195,000 Miles, due at 198,000 miles. ( Castrol GTX 10w30, and Purolator PureONE filter )

Mar. 06th - Front brake pads replaced, entire brake system bled. ( BrakeBest Semi-Metallic, Dot 3 )

Mar. 16th - Replaced seats with a like new set that I found for $100.00.

Mar. 29th - Rear brake pads replaced again, due to a bad caliper. ( BrakeBest Semi-Metallic )

Mar. 29th - Interior bulbs converted to LED.

Mar. 31st - 3" LED Light Bars installed, replacing factory fog lights.

Apr. 01st - Wires Changed (Wrong Set) @ 197,050 Miles. ( OmniSpark )

Apr. 03rd - Sway Bar End Links replaced. ( Moog )

Apr. 22nd - Interior swap!

May 03rd - Hit the 200,000 mile mark, WOO!

May. 20th - Oil & filter changed @ 201,000 Miles, due at 204,000 miles. ( Castrol GTX 10w30, and Purolator PureONE filter )

Nice work!

I too once had visions of doing something similar to my '97. I can't exactly put my finger on where it all unraveled......

Haha, thanks. I've read your build thread partially a few weeks ago, you've done a great job with it.

In all honesty, for now I plan on lifting it a tad like I said, just to give it a better stance, going to replace the suspension, probably with some coil-overs to assist with ride height when towing, I'd like to get a roof basket, but I'll probably fabricate one since I've got a welder ( just have to convince my other half to let me buy the materials ).

Other than that, on the interior I'm going to replace the carpet, and redo the headliner here within the next few weeks. I removed the carpet and pressure-washed it, but it didn't make a huge difference.

Just replaced my fuel filter, MAN what a difference! It had get up and go before, but now it's like a whole new beast. Idles so smooth as well, and fires over on a dime. Well worth the $14 for the Motorcraft filter.

It's been quite a while since I uploaded any pictures, so here's where we are today. I recently replaced the shredded leather seats with some very clean grey cloth seats I found at a junkyard for $100.00.



Super happy with my new fog light LED light bars. I have them angled down slightly so that it doesn't irritate oncoming drivers, but also adds sufficient lighting down all the country back roads.




Swapped Interior

So, over the past few days I have gutted my Mountaineer, and the 1999 Ford Explorer that I purchased for $250.00, and transferred the entire interior over to the Mountaineer, since it is very clean, and the tan seems more luxurious to me. The gray interior I had was trashed from the P.O. the headliner was shredded, carpet was brown, even after cleaning, and I couldn't get rid of this weird odor that seemed to be stuck on everything.

All I've got left to do is transfer over the dashboard, which I am going to start on later today, and finish up tomorrow.

I also took the rear lift-gate off of the Explorer, and my brother is going to perform his magic on it next weekend to make the paint match. ( He is a certified auto-collision tech, and his Trans Am looks like a mirror! )

I'm very happy with the swap, it's like a different vehicle! Here are some progress shots. Going to give it a scrub down in a bit, my hands were pretty greasy. I almost fell asleep last night on my way home from a 3.5 hour trip with the AC on.











Nice Mountaineer. Trying to get mine back to showroom quality as well. Mine is a 1999 with 205,000 RWD as well. It was honestly beaten to **** and I am slowly bringer her back to life. I also had to replace the rear litigate which I just did last weekend. Great to see someone trying to do the same thing with almost the same car. Great post. I will make a thread when mine is a bit further along.