Mounty71's 4x4 Long Travel Build | Page 22 | 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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Had a lot of other things going on the past few weeks but I finally got back to it this weekend. Finished the steering ram frame mount. Not incredibly happy with it but for right now it's staying (and hopefully stays in place and doesn't rip off). The swinger at full lock to the driver's side is parallel with the bracket so we're good on clearance.


Replaced my two stock transmission coolers with this new one made by Tru-Cool. Part # LPD47391
This is something I'm really excited about, I've read reports of people prerunning Mexico offroad races in extreme heat and rough terrain and it keeps the trans fluid cool. With a little trimming of the stock plastic "shroud" behind the grill, and removing one little sheetmetal bolt-on bracket for the grill, the cooler fits really well and is about as big as you can go. The aluminum piece with the holes is a mounting bracket I made, not part of the cooler. I rushed it so the holes are pretty poorly aligned.

And what it's replacing:

The steering cooler mounted below that is made by Derale. Pretty standard and comes in a bunch of different lengths.

I was able to trim the back corner of my battery tray and squeeze it back into place. I'll have to use a smaller than stock battery (that Optima is not mine, just for testing size) and make my own bracket to hold it in place.

Also squeezed in my stock steering fluid reservoir, although with the motor and frame movement it might be too tight a fit. I bought a really nice PSC 8.25" aluminum reservoir months ago prematurely, not realizing that the power steering pump sits too high on the motor for the reservoir to fit under the hood. Oh well.

And also got my remote motor oil filter mounted. I need to pick up a couple of fittings for the hoses still.

Here is tire clearance at full bump/full lock to the passenger side.

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looking good man!

Getting pretty close on this thing. Knocking out all the little finishing details is taking much longer than expected, and then I have to tear everything back down to paint still!

I had to notch the end of the tube of the shock mount to have enough space to get my oil filter hoses on. Also welded on mounts for the shock reservoirs.

Found a small coolant reservoir on Summit for $6 so I took a chance on it and it fits perfectly on this aluminum bracket I made to go where the ABS deal was. This leaves plenty of space on the other side of the engine bay for the windshield washer fluid reservoir.


Finally got a power steering line adapted to connect to the box.

Built a custom steering shaft using Borgeson u-joints and slip shaft. Also pictured are new limit strap mounts. I had to redo them and move them higher and use longer straps because the first ones I did hit the lower strap tabs at bump.

Mounted my transmission fluid filter inside the frame here, but after getting the exhaust on one of the cats is right next to it and very close, so I may move it, although I'm not sure where yet.

As for the exhaust, I got the passenger side in place and it will require zero modification as far as I can tell right now. I was nervous that my trans crossmember would interfere with it. Now I just hope the driver side of the exhaust also clears and allows space for the front driveshaft.

And lastly, I modified the transmission crossmember I made earlier from bushing mounts to solid tubing mounts at the frame,so now the only flex is in the stock transmission mount.

There are tons of other little things I've done as well to tie up loose ends, but these are the major ones I've been able to check off my "to do" list.

When we both finish our trucks, we need to recreate this


I'm trying to make a Pismo trip June 2-4, you should try to come and we can make that happen.

I'm trying to make a Pismo trip June 2-4, you should try to come and we can make that happen.

That's pretty soon. Are you gonna be ready by then?

Hopefully! There may be a few loose ends but I'm so anxious to get out there.

It's too soon for me. My car is ready for light wheeling, but not high speed. And I prolly can't get the days off.

Ya so June 2nd is only 2 weeks away. Not looking good!

Anyway, tore down the whole thing yesterday and painted the frame. So glad that's done, and that means all the major fab work is done! I'm bringing everything that bolts onto the truck to work this week to powdercoat, except for the beams which are just too dirty and greasy right now. Unfortunately we don't have a sand blaster so I need to clean them up myself.


Weee, fresh powder coat!


Got a lot of little things buttoned up this weekend. The major things were getting the battery mounted, making a bracket to rotate the steering fluid reservoir away from the shock hoop, and building the transfer case crossmember. I have a small polyurethane bump stop that goes above that centered tab that the t-case sits on. Not pictured are tabs I made for a skidplate to go under the transfer case to the transmission crossmember. The driver's side exhaust isn't even close to fitting. The down pipe hits the new oil pan and the rear cat doesn't have room for my trans crossmember, so that entire section I cut out and will need to be redone. Also realized that the transmission auxiliary filter won't fit where I mounted it so that will either need to move or I just won't use it.




that's a cool looking crossmember.

What about going to the bullet style CARB cats? would they fit?

Thanks, been thinking about the design and I'm hoping it's strong enough in case the center is dragged over a rock and that it won't bend up. As for the cats I guess I'll wait and see what an exhaust shop says about just moving the stock ones to a new location.

if you are expecting it may be drug across a rock, I would add some more beef on the front of the case and definitely a skid plate.

It's been a few weeks of slow progress. First, I couldn't powder coat my beams at work because we don't have a sand blaster that big and they're too heavy to hang on our racks, so I took them to get done somewhere. The place took a week longer than they promised, plus they didn't mask off the uniball cups so they took even longer to fix that.

I've been doing FINAL assembly on everything up front which also takes longer than just mock up because I'm doing my best to correctly shank as many bolts as possible. I would have had it on the ground this weekend but I realized that one of my junkyard spindles is damaged, so now I'm going to replace both and keep the other good used one as a spare. I did finally swap the rear axle studs back to the stock 5x5.5" bolt pattern. Hopefully it will be on the ground this coming weekend.

I also spent a couple of weekends building this roof rack for a friend, which I'd been putting off for about a year but finally had to just get it done. We used 3 of these plastic flooring panels meant for chicken coops. It was a lot more work than expected and I wouldn't do it again, but it did come out pretty cool.;ft_building_materials-ft_mats_flooring;pgha2215.html





Axle shafts are in, front diff is in, front and rear driveshafts are in, shocks are in, wheels and tires are on the ground! Rear driveshaft needs to be shortened, brake lines need to be made, driver's side exhaust down pipe needs to be made, and I need to finish some plumbing.

getting close man!

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Well I guess this thread is now useless from this point back to the beginning. Thanks Photobucket for single-handedly ruining decades worth of public forums.

Anyway, I'm so close to having this drivable! Very few things left on my to-do list. I had to get the rear driveshaft shortened so I should be getting that back this week. Not sure why since its the same rear expedition shaft everyone else uses with their BW4406.

My friend is finishing up the brake lines hopefully this week. I need a couple of fittings and the steering and transmission plumbing is complete and I can fill up all the fluids and start it. Here's where I put the trans filter, above one of my rock slider tubes on the passenger side.

Another Rubicon trail trip is coming up in a month and a half, so that plus a little test trip before that is the goal now.