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My 99 Explorer Project

Snapey

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Location
Australia
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999, Explorer, XLT
G'day everyone,

I'm a young fella from the east coast of Australia, fairly new to posting on this forum. Just thought I'd share some progress with my project!

O22hFxC.jpg


I had received a 1999 Ford Explorer for FREE as the previous owner was convinced that it was no good and dead. Luckily for me, after basic diagnosis and about 15 minutes of work, it was running, driving and stopping! So far I've done the following:
  • Added bull bar (removed bumper bar, wired blinkers)
  • Fixed the engine from running too lean (split vacuum lines)
  • Replaced the battery
  • Replaced Ball Joints
  • Replaced sway bar bushings
  • Replaced the rack ends
  • Replaced tyres
  • Wheel alignment
After those small fixes, I had it registered and on the road!

KGXZito.jpg


I've decided to go all out on this project in making an epic four wheel driving/camping machine. Here's my ideas for the future:
  • Big tyres.. (33s?)
  • Body lift (2-4inch)
  • Long travel suspension (or some other way to get flex? Haven't researched)
  • Spot lights
  • Skid plates
  • Rear leaf springs (5-7 leaf, 2inch lift)
  • Roof racks/basket
  • Solar/dual battery set up.
  • Probably some performance enhancements (more research needed).
Hopefully I can keep this updated with my progress! If anyone has any tips or information that would be handy to know, I'm more than happy to take it on!
 
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donalds

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1999 ford explorer sohc
Nice job I like the black paint
 
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CDW6212R

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Very nice. It's a shame that none of the 302 models got there, you would appreciate the stronger engine and trans, plus the bigger transfer cases that bolt to the V8 trans.

Have fun there, and we'd suggest a pre-lube oiling device for that 4.0 SOHC engine.
 
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Snapey

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1999, Explorer, XLT
Very nice. It's a shame that none of the 302 models got there, you would appreciate the stronger engine and trans, plus the bigger transfer cases that bolt to the V8 trans.

Have fun there, and we'd suggest a pre-lube oiling device for that 4.0 SOHC engine.

Honestly would've loved the V8...
 
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CDW6212R

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Honestly would've loved the V8...
If you could source the 4R70W transmission(4WD version) in a 98-03 two bolt starter type, plus the transfer case like an F150 has(BW 4406), you could put the rest of a 302 together, and ship over the needed wiring harness and PCM etc. From what I read years ago, the trans and TC were even more rare there, maybe due to the right hand drive(front drive shafts on the right side).
 
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GLOCKer

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1998 Explorer Limited
I want that front bumper and I really want my 98' to be a 4x4 now!!! Yours looks sweet!
 
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Snapey

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I want that front bumper and I really want my 98' to be a 4x4 now!!! Yours looks sweet!
Thanks heaps!

I was fortunate enough to get that solid black bull bar for around $450. It had never been mounted before & built specifically for Explorer's from that era. It was an absolute steal considering they retail for $1800+.
 
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poker4me007

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Thanks heaps!

I was fortunate enough to get that solid black bull bar for around $450. It had never been mounted before & built specifically for Explorer's from that era. It was an absolute steal considering they retail for $1800+.

+1 on the bumper, looks Nice.
 
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Snapey

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Project Update:

Leaf Springs
I've finally found some good leaf springs that'll suit my Ford nicely.

My Ford currently has the stock 3 leaf springs and they're sagged to buggery. I've struggled finding suitable springs as the market for Ford Explorer's in Australia is fairly small, meaning that most Australian parts are pretty heavy on price.. Most of the after-market springs I've looked at have been $1200+. Some even reaching the $2000 mark for a pair.

I opted for Tough Dog 7 Leaf 40mm raised leaf springs. These bad boys will give me that extra bit of clearance, get rid of the sag and are just down right a much better spring to have under my car. These cost me around $660 for a pair and they were heavily discounted!

The springs will arrive in the next few days or so- will be sure to take before and after photos!

4WD Issue
When my car is in 4WD, high or low range, there is a terrible clunking noise when turning. I've read that it could be stuffed CV joints, and I'm hoping that is the case or even something more simple. I've tried recording it from the outside, but the noise, nor the jump is recorded well. I also tried to strap one of my GoPro's underneath the car to try and film if there was any unnatural movement underneath the car. It showed nothing.

This problem has really stumped me. I'll be having a good look at the CV joints over the weekend, hoping to find the issue. If anyone has ANY idea what this could be...please let me know! I'm very lost...
 
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CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
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98 Limited AWD
Project Update:

Leaf Springs
I've finally found some good leaf springs that'll suit my Ford nicely.

My Ford currently has the stock 3 leaf springs and they're sagged to buggery. I've struggled finding suitable springs as the market for Ford Explorer's in Australia is fairly small, meaning that most Australian parts are pretty heavy on price.. Most of the after-market springs I've looked at have been $1200+. Some even reaching the $2000 mark for a pair.

I opted for Tough Dog 7 Leaf 40mm raised leaf springs. These bad boys will give me that extra bit of clearance, get rid of the sag and are just down right a much better spring to have under my car. These cost me around $660 for a pair and they were heavily discounted!

The springs will arrive in the next few days or so- will be sure to take before and after photos!

4WD Issue
When my car is in 4WD, high or low range, there is a terrible clunking noise when turning. I've read that it could be stuffed CV joints, and I'm hoping that is the case or even something more simple. I've tried recording it from the outside, but the noise, nor the jump is recorded well. I also tried to strap one of my GoPro's underneath the car to try and film if there was any unnatural movement underneath the car. It showed nothing.

This problem has really stumped me. I'll be having a good look at the CV joints over the weekend, hoping to find the issue. If anyone has ANY idea what this could be...please let me know! I'm very lost...

You aren't driving that in 4WD on dry roads or pavement are you? That would be a massive mistake that will ruin many parts. 4WD is for use off road or where there is enough looseness of the ground to not bind up the TC, axles, and front differential.
 
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Snapey

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1999, Explorer, XLT
Project Update:

It's been a while since I've added to this, so here it is! Only a few minor changes have been done over the past few weeks.. but check this out:
Got some very good 7" Kings LED Spotlights for the bullbar. Not only are they amazing when driving at night and tackling the Aussie bush, but they also look pretty sweet on the front!

8mEvCKs.jpg


8FqxqHH.jpg
78pdnMp.jpg



Leaf Spring Update:

I am STILL on the hunt. The leaf springs I had previous mentioned fell through, as the retailer actually failed to say that they were discontinued. Fortunately, I think I've found some new raised leaf springs for around $800 AUD, which I am hoping to get within the next few weeks.. I'll keep updating!
 
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gmanpaint

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Surely you have a spring shop somewhere on that big island. You can have stock specs sent to them, and then instruct them to make them with as much lift as desired.

Since your planning on adding camping gear, and the likes, and the most suspension lift the front can handle ( other than long travel or straight axle swap ), is 2 ", I suggest making them for 3" of lift. After your loaded down, they will drop an inch or so, and leveling it off. I did exactly that, and has worked out great. I have added 1000 lbs of gear for trips, and no sag.

Rear locker and deeper ( higher #) gears, will be your best bang for your buck. The deeper gears will also help your transmission. 4:56 & 33" tires is a great on/off road combo. 4:88, even better off road. That will help out with the lower hp.

Do the high impact items first, then add all the doo dads later. A locker will get over something, better than a light bar.

Either way, glad to see your excited about your explorer, and wanting to have fun with it. If you make a registry for the rig, you can update and keep track of all you do for it, as you go.
 
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Snapey

Member
Joined
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Messages
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Year, Model & Trim Level
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Surely you have a spring shop somewhere on that big island. You can have stock specs sent to them, and then instruct them to make them with as much lift as desired.

Since your planning on adding camping gear, and the likes, and the most suspension lift the front can handle ( other than long travel or straight axle swap ), is 2 ", I suggest making them for 3" of lift. After your loaded down, they will drop an inch or so, and leveling it off. I did exactly that, and has worked out great. I have added 1000 lbs of gear for trips, and no sag.

Rear locker and deeper ( higher #) gears, will be your best bang for your buck. The deeper gears will also help your transmission. 4:56 & 33" tires is a great on/off road combo. 4:88, even better off road. That will help out with the lower hp.

Do the high impact items first, then add all the doo dads later. A locker will get over something, better than a light bar.

Either way, glad to see your excited about your explorer, and wanting to have fun with it. If you make a registry for the rig, you can update and keep track of all you do for it, as you go.

There are plenty of spring shops... however, most quotes I've received have been $1,200+ for a pair of springs... A lil crazy for a young fella like myself who's studying and paying rent! I'm settling for the premade 2" raised leaf springs.

As for the lockers and gear ratios, it's definitely on the list for the future.
 
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donalds

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1999 ford explorer sohc
I fixed my sagging leaf spring s with this vid be careful any time your working with springs
If the vid is not up to spec mods delete it it has bad jokes well good jokes bad language

Lift without $$$$
 
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