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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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Tbars4

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....They look great and those look like some stout brackets for being temporary..:biggthump
 


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Dannyboy

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nice, those weren't on the red/white Explorer's roof rack were they? He had a set with red trim that were blacked out on the bottom.

Also, I can tell you from experience, you should really run those lights on a relay, I ran a cheapo set of 35w lights in my factory fog place and it burned up the factory headlight switch. It was a stupid rookie move on my part because I didn't know any better and I ended up needing to buy a $5 relay AND a $40 headlight switch. They lasted a couple weeks and then my lights started flickering and I lost headlights, foglights, etc.
 




mounty71

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nice, those weren't on the red/white Explorer's roof rack were they? He had a set with red trim that were blacked out on the bottom.

Also, I can tell you from experience, you should really run those lights on a relay, I ran a cheapo set of 35w lights in my factory fog place and it burned up the factory headlight switch. It was a stupid rookie move on my part because I didn't know any better and I ended up needing to buy a $5 relay AND a $40 headlight switch. They lasted a couple weeks and then my lights started flickering and I lost headlights, foglights, etc.

I know which explorer you're talking about, that guy actually has Hella HIDs i believe...but these were on a silverado work truck. And thanks for the tip on the wiring, i'm a complete newb when it comes to wiring. Just wondering why a relay would be needed if both these and the factory fog lights are 55W?
 




mounty71

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....They look great and those look like some stout brackets for being temporary..:biggthump

Thanks. For temporary they'll do fine, they will wobble a little bit forward and backward, but i'm not worried.
 




Dannyboy

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Just wondering why a relay would be needed if both these and the factory fog lights are 55W?

Hmm, maybe I stand corrected, I just know that with a cheap brand of fog lights I burned up my headlight switch, perhaps they were drawing a considerable amount of power although they were not much brighter. Perhaps I need to stroll over to the lighting forum and reeducate myself.
 




carlover

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Nice let me know how they hold up. I decided to convert my hellas to HID's due to the plastic housing of the kragen ones. But if they hold up i might buy 4 or 5 for my light rack when it's finished.
 




mounty71

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Hmm, maybe I stand corrected, I just know that with a cheap brand of fog lights I burned up my headlight switch, perhaps they were drawing a considerable amount of power although they were not much brighter. Perhaps I need to stroll over to the lighting forum and reeducate myself.

Haha, i'm not very educated myself, but i was just curious. Hopefully it's as simple as it is in my mind.

Nice let me know how they hold up. I decided to convert my hellas to HID's due to the plastic housing of the kragen ones. But if they hold up i might buy 4 or 5 for my light rack when it's finished.

I wont be using them as often as you will, but after pismo this weekend i'll give you some feedback. Tons of guys on DR have them and love them for how inexpensive they are.
 




carlover

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Haha, i'm not very educated myself, but i was just curious. Hopefully it's as simple as it is in my mind.



I wont be using them as often as you will, but after pismo this weekend i'll give you some feedback. Tons of guys on DR have them and love them for how inexpensive they are.

Yeah i was so close to buying some. But i like the metal case of the hellas, and i got a 55w HID kit for a smoking deal. Also let me know how they hold the adjustment, that's my #1 compaint will hella 4000's is they dont hold up and down adjustment very well.
 




Dannyboy

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Haha, i'm not very educated myself, but i was just curious. Hopefully it's as simple as it is in my mind.
QUOTE]


yeah, I think similar, it sucked driving 4 hours holding my flash-to-pass light on for headlamps so from here on out I just go for relays for insurance.
 








mounty71

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Forgot you wanted an update Sean. This past weekend i used the lights for 3 or 4 night runs and they are great! Such a huge improvement over stock headlights and brights, i just wish i could mount mine on a roof rack because mine don't shine far enough being mounted so low. With your current 3 lights on the bumper, i think you could use these just for a roof rack, maybe with a spotlight for way far in the distance, and you'd be set. They also held their position really well, even wobbling back and forth with the mounts that i have. It took a little while to get them pointed where i wanted them, but after that i was happy. But i read on DR that they've gone up to $137 each. :thumbdwn:
 




mounty71

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Just a little foreshadowing to an update i should have tomorrow - my roommate began teaching me to weld tonight. :D Finally!
 




mounty71

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Today i picked up what will be the beginning of my front bumper (and my friend's which we will be building together). Right now we have the boxed frame horns, the main tube, and light tabs. It'll be a few weeks before we'll have a chance to get them built, we still need to get the rest of the pieces of tubing.

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And here are some of my first attempts at welding...not too bad.
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And here's a picture i like from my last trip to pismo.
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Tbars4

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...There's no turning back now...Can't wait to see the progress...:biggthump
 




mounty71

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I'm bored at school so i figure i'll update this.

I've gotten a few small projects taken care of recently, and a few more to do in the future. First, the bumper i posted about above isn't happening. My roommate built his, and it turned out awesome, but i decided not to do it, so everything was sold and is now on someone else's truck. I have a 1.5" piece of tubing already pre-bent and it fits the front end just about perfectly, and i got it for only $15, so i'll use that and save a lot of $$. When i do that i'll just run simple tubes to the frame instead of the boxed horns.

I put on some warrior shackles i've had for a couple years, then got some longer used procomp shocks for the rear and sold my old ones. Rear limit straps are gone because they're now too short and not really needed anyway. I also cranked the torsion bars to stiffen up the front.

I got some junkyard leaf springs because mine are really worn out, so we're gonna experiment with combining my current pack with the new pack so hopefully i can lose the AAL without losing any height. And my roommate who does some fabrication thought my front and rear tow hooks were installed very dangerously, so I also got a hitch from the junkyard for less than $20, to use as a rear tow point. For now it's installed the normal way, but i want to try and get it between the frame rails and poking out through the middle step in the rear bumper, like sparkyxplorer (think that's his name) did. I still need to reinstall the tow hooks on the front.

At the offroad expo i picked up an oval LED amber light and cut it into the rear bumper, but still have to wire it up for truckhaven. I also want to install the fiberglass fenders i got off craigslist just temporarily until i decide to sell them. I just want to see what they look like. The last immediate thing i want to get done are the traction bars and try extending them just a tiny bit, but that probably wont happen before truckhaven.

One problem my truck currently has is a malfunctioning tach. Half the time it just sits at 0, but sometimes will spring back up to the correct position. The way the truck runs hasn't changed at all, so i guess it's not a big deal. Opinions?
 








mounty71

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i think youll like the way the fenders look and probably just keep them on.

Haha, with stock suspension they'll probably look ridiculous, they're pretty big. And i can sell them on DR or RDC for a LOT more than i got them for.
 








mounty71

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Sold the fiberglass fenders a couple of days ago and used some of that money to pick up some used aluminum wheels. The two reasons i chose to change wheels are 1) i've had the black ones for 5+ years and was ready for a change, and 2) the aluminum wheels are much lighter than the steel wheels. I was told they are American Racing Outlaw IIs, but judging by the offset they might be stock early 90s ranger wheels. I also saw some stock ranger center caps in the guy's truck when i got the wheels from him, but he was also telling me he had ANOTHER set of stock ranger wheels, which they might have belonged to.

Anyway, i'm really torn between the black steels and the aluminum wheels. I know it's a little hard to tell at night, but i couldn't resist taking some pictures anyway. On one hand, i really like how it looks from the side, but at an angle or from front and back, i think they have too small an offset. They definitely sit further in than my old wheels. These are also 15x7 whereas my black wheels are 15x8. The new wheels also make my tires look smaller...maybe time for 33s.

Tell me what you think.

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FROADER

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It is tough to tell the difference between the outlaws and old ford wheels. I like them better than the black wheels though. Personal preference of course, but I like the AR 5 stars better than the outlaws. :)

It looks good!
 




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