Mounty71's 4x4 Long Travel Build | Page 13 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Mounty71's 4x4 Long Travel Build

My pride and joy, the Mounty:





It's a 2000 Mercury Mountaineer. I acquired this fine vehicle in 2003 with just 32,410 miles on the ticker, and it was in pristine condition, having been driven by an elderly couple, and always serviced regularly at the same dealership it was delivered to from the factory.

This thing has gone through a series of different suspension setups, but currently it has:
Solo Motorsports 4" extended D35 TTB with D44 outers, and custom radius arms
2.5x12" King coilovers with 2.5x12" secondary King reservoir shocks
4WD conversion with BW4406 manual transfer case
2.5x18" rear King shocks outboard of the frame
custom ordered Deaver leaf springs with 12" 2AM Fab shackles
Full-width 8.8 rear with stock disc brakes, Blue Torch Fab diff cover/truss
4.56 gears front and rear, lunchbox front locker, limited slip rear
roll cage through dash and firewall to engine cage

(previous front suspension setup)
Long Travel front end 5" wider per side with 2.5x8" Sway Away coilovers, Dixon Bros. shock hoops
2.0x2" King bumpstops
Full heim steering
3" Procomp lift spindles
homemade lower rear A-arm crossbrace, lower A-arm mount weld-washers, upper A-arm gussets
8" limit straps
removed swaybar

MAC performance muffler with turn down tip
MAC performance intake

front bumper with removable light bar, with 4 Hella 4000 55w HID conversions
custom rear receiver and swing out spare tire carrier w/ gas can
clear corners
McNeil fiberglass fenders
removed running boards
5.0 emblems
color-matched grill surround with mesh grill
clear LED light in rear bumper

ABS defeat switch
Icom race radio
recovered center console in black
fog lamp-hi beam mod
added tie-downs in cargo area
rear hatch interior handle
4x4 Ranger front towhooks
driveshaft "loop"

3-link rear suspenion
add 2.5 or 3.0x18" King bypass shocks to the rear
switch front smooth body shocks for 2.5 or 3.0x12" King bypasses
rear fiberglass







Newly lifted on 31 BFG M/Ts:


After its first offroading:


Almost stock:



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..I must have missed it..

..When did youlast have your pinion seal worked on?

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I'm assuming it was replaced when I regeared...about 3 years ago. You remember that debacle.

...I thought it might have been newer...

In other news, my pinion seal is leaking pretty bad. More money down the drain.

..I'm not sure of the life expectancy on pinion seals and I'm sure they range different amongst the brands, but never thought of a 3-4 year old one leaking as a waste of money..:dunno:..Leaky pinion seals seem pretty common on here..

...IIRC you got all your money back from the first guy and that money went for the second install?

..This might help...Toward the bottom of this thread and you should be able to do it yourself..;)

No, not wasted money. Just money I don't want to spend. But isn't that the case for everything...?

I think I got my money back from that guy, but I honestly don't remember.

Thanks for the link, I was going to begin looking into if it's doable myself.

...That's my problem with both my trucks...I can't seem to get one mod finished before another maintenance problem shows up..

...The list of "Need to Do's" is growing faster than the "Want to Do" list..

..It's a vicious and costly cycle..:(

Well after looking into it, it's not going to be so expensive like I was expecting.

F getting that pinion nut off! I tried for at least an hour, ended up carefully putting a jack at the end of a breaker bar and it started bending the breaker bar but the nut wouldn't budge. I'm taking it to a shop to get done in a couple of hours and it should be around $80, which isn't bad and is worth it IMO.

I cycled the front end and this is the clearance I have now with the 90* shock hose fittings. It could bump a tiny bit more on a really hard hit or landing but I still think I should have enough clearance.



And a full-bump pic

While we had the shocks apart to install the fittings, we took apart the shim stacks to get a base for valving, and boy are these shocks strange. One of the shims on the compression side has notches in it, and there are 4 identical shims in a row instead of a pyramid stack. I'm just going to try to find another company's shims (maybe their pistons too) that fit and use those.

On another note I hooked up the trailer wiring harness and ran it up above the bumper so I don't need to have a bracket hanging below, and it just rests underneath the hatch when closed. I've always wanted to try towing with this truck. Now I just need to build my rear hitch/tire carrier.


And I finally fixed the rear wiper enough that it touches the rear window through the entire sweep. Took a lot of bending and cutting of a brand new wiper blade and grinding on the wiper arm, but it's much better now.

Finally got something on for the driveshaft. Originally I wanted to build something rigid to surround the driveshaft to keep it from falling to the ground if a U-joint should break, but clearance was an issue, so I just used an old limit strap I had and attached it from an existing hole in the front gas tank mount to a bolt for my exhaust. Maybe a little janky, but good enough for me.


Also added these clips for the trailer wiring harness to keep it from falling out from under the hatch.


Added a 2nd fire extinguisher just now, got it at Harbor Freight for under $13!


And here is where I've had another one for a few years now. It's small enough to fit snug under the side of my seat and it never moves.


Did a spur-of-the-moment Main Divide Rd. run tonight with a couple other trucks. Of course I get a flat tire after I sold my spare last week. I had fix-a-flat which got me home still with some air in it, but by the morning my tire will be flat. Luckily it's one of the tires I'm replacing soon anyway.

Picture looking out over Anaheim. It's so nice to be able to drive to a place like this so easily, and still be within eyesight of the beach and Catalina Island.

And looks like this guy had worse luck than me. We ran across this truck on the trail, not part of our group.

The front shocks seemed to do pretty well. I felt the front end leave the ground a few times and I never felt it bottom out hard on landing, and the upper arm never hit the shock hose. They're still too soft but they are only at 150psi with air, not nitrogen.

Found my first crack in my frame :(, where the A-arm crossmember meets the bottom of the driver's frame rail.



Ouch... I assume that's just a weld-up, or no?

..Time to head over to BTF and kick carlover's truck out of line..:p:

Ouch... I assume that's just a weld-up, or no?

It's called an automatic SAS Joe. Just have to wait for the crack to spread itself instead of doing the cutting myself :) Ya, I'll probably grind it out/drill the ends, and then fill it in.

..Time to head over to BTF and kick carlover's truck out of line..:p:

Nah, I'll take care of it at home. My roommate has had probably 4 or 5 cracks all over his Ranger's frame and he fixed Arvin's Mountaineer's frame too, so I've got everything I need here.

Replaced my 2 month old leaking radiator today. What a PITA! Whatever engineers at Ford who designed the radiator/AC condenser mounts on this truck should be shot. And this new radiator is already giving me problems where the trans lines enter/exit. I'm hoping I can get it solved tomorrow or I will be pissed if I have to replace this radiator again. I had to take my bumper off to get enough room to wiggle the radiator/AC condenser around, so while it's off I'm going to repaint it.

On the bright side, I got my rear rotors and pads replaced for free today! Should be getting new rotors and pads up front tomorrow, which I'll sadly have to pay for.

Whoops, edited my post.

From gray...
P1030078.jpg black.


Not too fond of the black but I think I just need to get used to it. I eventually want to get it powdercoated the same dark green as the bottom of the rest of the body.

Got a new radiator in, and after fighting some trans line leaks, it's finally in with no leaks. Also got the front brakes on and bearings repacked, and I can definitely feel a big difference in brake pedal feel and stopping performance, and no more squeaking! Just need to flush the steering fluid, and weld up the cracks in my frame (found 2 more), and then it's back to modifications!

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Just picked these up for a great deal, for my front end.


The procomps I have on there now are valved too soft, but there are no parts that fit them that I can use to revalve them. The story is, the procomp shocks were actually made by Edelbrock, and Edelbrock is closing down their shock department, and apparently they never did much to develop this line of shocks anyway. They referred me to Poly Performance who Edelbrock has worked with before on shocks, and they couldn't find shims from any shock manufacturer that will fit, so I went on craiglist and found these Fox shocks for cheap.

I'll sell the Procomps because they are still perfectly functional and almost brand new.

The Procomps are 8", the Foxes are 6.5", but I cycled the front end today and they should be fine. And now I'll be able to order whatever I need easily without having to search all over for something that may not even work.