Mounty71's 4x4 Long Travel Build | Page 29 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

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:



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Nice looking dog

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

did you ever link it?
Truck still kicking in 23?

Nope I still haven't linked it, but funny you ask that because I was just thinking about it again recently. Truck's still kicking though and I've been able to take it on a few short trips recently. I've been busy and spending any extra money I have on a 97 year old house I bought a couple of years ago, so the Mountaineer hasn't been a priority. But I have pretty much everything ready to go except for coil springs, brake lines, limit straps, and probably a few other small items that will inevitably come up, and I finally have the space at my own house to do it.

On another note, do people safely use the 4 degree camber adjusters on the TTB? Years ago when I built the front end, I don't remember finding anything over 2.75 degrees, so when I recently found 4 degree adjusters available I was a little surprised and thought they might stress the BJs too much. My tires desperately need more camber in the front end.

Also it's been almost impossible to get the t-case into 4 low recently. How easy/hard should it be with the manual shifter? I pull on it with all my strength and sometimes can't get it. It's never been easy in the 5 or 6 years since I installed it but seems like it's getting worse.

If i recall the most correction available for 4wd is like 3.25 degrees it maybe that a 4 degree camber shim for a 2wd installed in a 4wd gives less correction? Again going from memory! I'm wanting to TTB a sport trac planning my project

Shifter Issues Galore!

Had a chance to dive into the transfer case shifting issue this weekend; the most time I've spent working on this thing in probably a couple of years. Removed the center console and pulled the carpet back, and I opened up the cutout in the floor around the shift lever because I suspect they might have been making contact. I can now easily go from 2hi to 4hi whereas I had to pull pretty hard on the shifter before. Still wasn't able to get it into 4low though, but the car was off (but in neutral), so maybe that's why? In the past I've always done it with the car running and trans in neutral. Honestly can't remember if I was always stopped or rolling a couple mph.

I also noticed the shift lever has a ton of slop with where it mounts on the linkage so I'm going to fix that before reinstalling it. The knob also pulls off of the shifter really easily so it's difficult to pull back on the shifter very hard. Maybe it's just me but the shifter is angled a little too far back going from 4hi to N or 4low, that I'm pulling more up than back. I ordered a shift knob with female threads in it so I'm going to adapt it to the top of the shift lever, and might also modify the lever to be more straight/upright.

Also dealing with a transmission shifter issue. Last time I was in the sand dunes it didn't want to automatically downshift to 1st when I was flooring it. And the shift indicator on the dash is misaligned enough that I can't manually shift it into 1st before the shifter is bottomed out all the way to the right. Feels like something is up inside the steering column, so I need to disassemble that next.

That’s a 5.0 for you minor adjustments after years of abuse! Column shifter bushings wear out they are plastic rings they like to slide out from under the cover they belong in. Reset the cable and indicator in neutral because it is in the middle of the travel

The 4406 shifter we usually heat and bend the shifter arm for a better angle to match these explorers, I use e6000 hobby glue to hold a knob on if they get loose
Can always knock it back off with crescent wrench and a dead blow.
Thanks for posting updates! The People
Want pics!

My modification to the t-case shifter. I added material on the back of the notch to kick the knob forward, and I found a better fitting bolt and nut to attach to the shift linkage. And this is the shift knob I got. The adapter it came with fits perfectly over the splines on the shifter and has provisions for 3 set screws, so it feels really solid without any other modification. I still might try to remove some of the bend too but it feels much better so far.





Ok so I need some confirmation from someone. 410, I feel like you probably are pretty familiar with this. I dropped the steering column and the shifter bushings are actually intact and don’t seem very sloppy. I think my problem is with the metal “gate” bracket the shifter engages with. It’s hard to tell what step of that bracket the shifter should be on when in D, 2, and 1. For years when I shift into D, I would have to slightly push to the left for it to feel like it fully seated in the correct gate/step. Which I can see with the column dropped, that it’s the same step as N, but all the way to the right of that notch. When the transmission is actually in N, the shifter is more to the left of that notch. I hope that makes sense. In 2, it wants to be in the rightmost notch, like it’s skipping over the 2nd rightmost notch. That also leaves nowhere for the shifter to go when I try to go into 1st.

This is N, the shifter is in the middle/toward the left side of the notch.

This is when I first shift into D, sort of half way into the next notch (looks like the corner of the bracket might be worn down?)

This is also in D after I push a little to the left, where it feels like it’s fully seated in D. Same notch as N but all the way to the right of the notch.

And this is 2nd. You can see it skips the notch to the left and leaves nowhere for the shifter to go into 1st.

So are N and D supposed to share the big center notch? Is there a way I can adjust the shifter cable?

Underneath the truck
Unhook shifter cable ball from trans shift arm
Where cable mounts to bracket at trans is adjustable. Pull the white plastic lock up; so the cable is free to travel in the bracket (loose)
Put column shifter in n
Put trans in n
Lock down cable at trans bracket
Re attach shift cable to shift arm at trans

Check that you have park to 1 in correct spots/detentes on the column shifter

Finally figured it out, thanks! I had studied that plastic adjuster on the bracket earlier but couldn't figure out how it worked. The white locking part was very difficult to move. So after adjusting that and the little wheel for the indicator below the steering column, everything is aligned now. So that solves the transmission shifter I think (except for the times it didn't want to automatically downshift to 1st...hoping that was an anomaly). I just need to put the interior back together so I can drive it and see if I can get it into 4low now.

Felt like being productive this weekend, but didn’t feel like working on anything of actual importance, so I finished welding the trailing arms. I mig welded the majority of them a few years ago but I didn’t have the small pieces of 2” for the bungs at the time, so it was just the bungs and then the overlays that I had left to do. I have my friend’s tig welder at my house so I’ve been messing around with that. I think I was welding way too hot and/or too slowly. Definitely a ton of room for improvement but I’m pretty happy with how they came out.







Better late than never...🤷

Like jewelry! Well done

Felt an urge to get out of town for a night and hit the trail so I went up to Corral Hollow off highway 4. It was difficult to do but I was at least able to shift into 4low with the modified shifter. Still don’t know why it takes so much force though. Otherwise an easy, problem free trip. It’s such a cool trail with a couple of flexy spots but nothing difficult. The weather was cool and very wet but I think it made it even more enjoyable. I found an isolated camp spot off the trail last year and luckily no one was using it this time either, and no one else was camped within a few miles.




I’d seen this cabin previously but went to check it out this time. It was unlocked so I went inside and it has a log book for people to sign, some random old supplies that people have left over the years, and it’s been pretty well maintained and not vandalized that I could tell fortunately.


This flag was at the end of the offshoot that I camped on. When I got there it was super windy and the flag was being held on only by the bottom corner. I happened to have an extra chain quick link in the truck so I was able to reattach the top corner. Coincidentally when I went back to the flag to fix it, the wind momentarily completely died down. Doesn’t look like it has much life left but at least it’s fully attached now. :thumbsup:




Dang I guess that old feller Buncher was abandoned! Those things are so much $$$$$

Looks like something from a story book!
Thanks for sharing and for saving that flag