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Mounty71's 4x4 Long Travel Build

My pride and joy, the Mounty:

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Video:

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

(performance)
MAC performance muffler with turn down tip
MAC performance intake

(exterior)
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

(random)
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"


COMING NEXT
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
35s


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Newly lifted on 31 BFG M/Ts:
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After its first offroading:
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Almost stock:
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josh40601

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Well it doesn't exactly drive like it haha. I did the best I could on the alignment, and it's definitely a hand full. But I made it 75 miles home no problem cruising at 65. I'm going to try tightening the top screw on the steering box to hopefully get rid of all the play it has.

I know the feeling. The ranger is still a pain in the ass to drive. Once I get all this shit with the explorer done, I'll dive back into figuring that whole shitstorm
 


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R.J.

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Well it doesn't exactly drive like it haha. I did the best I could on the alignment, and it's definitely a hand full. But I made it 75 miles home no problem cruising at 65. I'm going to try tightening the top screw on the steering box to hopefully get rid of all the play it has.

You'll never get rid of ALL the play. The Navajo drives bad too, but with inverted y steering.
 




mounty71

It's green, not gray.
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Made it back last night from the maiden voyage to the Rubicon and had a great weekend putting this thing to the test. We went from the Tahoe side to the Rubicon Springs and back. I broke a D44 stub shaft on the last obstacle getting into camp, and had one hub that stopped engaging right at the last obstacle coming out. Thank god I have a locker in front so I still had 3wd on the way out. But I'm amazed at what this truck can do crawling and how it flexes. I changed the coilover springs up front right before the trip from 350/400 to 300/350 and I love it. Still needs some major alignment help and could use more ground clearance and a rear locker. Body damage is very minimal since my sliders took the majority of the abuse. Not sure I'll do the Rubicon again but had a blast this weekend.

My group was 4 trucks, and I wasn't the only one with damage. My friends Courier crawler broke teeth off his front ring gear and another friend ripped his panhard bar mount off the frame of his Toyota crawler. Luckily some people with a Ready Welder showed up and we got it repaired enough to get out. A couple other people we ran into had some major problems on their full crawler buggies so it made me feel pretty good to bounce my way through in a soccer mom car.

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R.J.

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Glad you all made it through. I know you'll be beach to do it again one day, cause I'll be on that trip too!

Always like seeing a modded courier
 




josh40601

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awesome! Glad the truck did so well. I can't remember, Rubicon Springs are right past Big Sluice right?
 




RockRanger

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awesome! Glad the truck did so well. I can't remember, Rubicon Springs are right past Big Sluice right?

Yes if you are coming from the Loon Lake side. With the direction he Matt went they went down Cadillac Hill and then back up it. Sounds like never made it to Big Sluice. When I ran the Con last in 2005 the road from the top of Cadillac Hill to Tahoe was was very rough. Not hard just very tore up to beat you up on the way out. Is it still that way?

I really like this build.
 




mounty71

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RJ, he's got another Courier race truck too, built in the nineties that used to race in the trophy truck class in SCORE. I'll post a picture later.

Josh, thanks! Yeah the springs are basically across the famous green bridge from I believe Big Sluice.

Matt, thanks. Yeah from Cadillac to Tahoe is really rough, but I wouldn't exactly call it a road. All of the hardest spots are the other way from Cadillac down to the springs. From the last obstacle on the way out, which I think is Potato Salad Hill, to the staging area is just miserable rocky fire road, 5 or 6 miles of it.
 




josh40601

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Yes if you are coming from the Loon Lake side. With the direction he Matt went they went down Cadillac Hill and then back up it. Sounds like never made it to Big Sluice. When I ran the Con last in 2005 the road from the top of Cadillac Hill to Tahoe was was very rough. Not hard just very tore up to beat you up on the way out. Is it still that way?

I really like this build.


ahhh, that makes sense. such a gorgeous trail. cadillac hill is no easy feat either.
 




mounty71

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For guys with D44s, do you clearance the ears on your axles for full circlips or do you just use the C-clips that come with the u-joints and leave the shafts alone? I'm wondering if the clearancing I did for full circlips weakened the ears too much. On the other hand, that u-joint was a Moog whereas the other two are Spicer, and the Moog fit really loosely in comparison when I first put the shafts together, so that could be the cause of the breakage too. Just trying to get a plan for fixing this.
 




RockRanger

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I didn't clearance my yukon shafts. I can't remember if they came with full circle clips or not. I am not home so I wont be able to look for a few weeks. Amazing how far this rig has come from being 2wd and you and your dad at truckhaven in this and his TJ.
 




mounty71

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I didn't clearance my yukon shafts. I can't remember if they came with full circle clips or not. I am not home so I wont be able to look for a few weeks. Amazing how far this rig has come from being 2wd and you and your dad at truckhaven in this and his TJ.

Back then I never would have imagined what this truck would turn into, but it now has pretty much all of the different things I love about Ford SUVs. Except for the roll down Bronco rear window...

For now a friend has an entire D44 front end that he's just letting me take parts from, so I'll start with replacing just what I need. I'd like to remove the cut and extended inner shafts I have now though and keep them as spares.

This is an old picture of the Courier race truck I mentioned. It doesn't look so clean now since my buddy rolled it on its side. He plans to race it someday.
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And another picture a friend took.
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R.J.

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Anything new on the Mounty? Need some inspiration?

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mounty71

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I need lots of inspiration! I've barely touched it since the Rubicon and I have little motivation to work on it, and we're planning to do a New Year's Mojave Road trip.

I replaced the broken axle and this time I tried tack welding the u-joint caps and using the C-clips instead of clearancing for full circlips. I can't figure out why one of my hubs gets stuck and won't engage or disengage sometimes, so I got a brand new set off ebay for cheap and have 2 spares I'll carry with me. Other than adding a little more ride height to the front after switching to the softer springs, nothing else has changed. Still needs an alignment badly, it has a slight misfire sometimes, oil filter adapter leaks, lower radiator hose has a pin hole leak in it, which requires removing the steering box to get to it, which is the kind of work that I hate doing. And somehow the top of both rear doors has separated from the body. With the doors closed I can squeeze a finger in between the doors and the body.

My friend's shop where I work on it was already 1.5 hours away from me, and now he has to move and his new place is even farther away, which kills what little motivation to work on it that I already had. He has started doing shop work pretty much full time the last few months so I think I'm just going to have him do everything for me.

How have you been? I assume you've begun treatment?
 




R.J.

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I need lots of inspiration! I've barely touched it since the Rubicon and I have little motivation to work on it, and we're planning to do a New Year's Mojave Road trip.

I replaced the broken axle and this time I tried tack welding the u-joint caps and using the C-clips instead of clearancing for full circlips. I can't figure out why one of my hubs gets stuck and won't engage or disengage sometimes, so I got a brand new set off ebay for cheap and have 2 spares I'll carry with me. Other than adding a little

How have you been? I assume you've begun treatment?

Oh man you have a real off road rig now. With all the annoyances that come after a such a huge job. I hate those little things.

I've been good. Keeping my head up. Doing chemo therapy. And that's basically what I'll be doing got the next few months until i have surgery. But i took the Navajo out last week, might take it out to the trail next week too. B2 still needs a lot of work.
 




mounty71

It's green, not gray.
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That's good to hear that you're still getting out with the Navajo. It may be a long shot but if you can make a little trip for New Year's, you're more than welcome to join.
 




mounty71

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Maiden voyage to the desert was pretty much flawless. My battery tray rubs the steering fluid reservoir so I had to bend the reservoir bracket to get some clearance, and the hose for my windshield washer fluid disconnected. That's it. I drove it pretty hard all weekend, had to use 4hi for a minute to get out of a tight spot, and the front end felt amazing on the high speed stuff.

I'll try to post a couple short videos and pics when I get them from friends.

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mounty71

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You might need to mute the video to keep from laughing, hearing my friends' reactions cracks me up every time.

 




R.J.

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Landed good
 






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