My Jurrasic Explorer build thread | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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My Jurrasic Explorer build thread

Well I should have some progress next week. I have decided to expedite this project because of some recent criminal activity in the neighborhood. Basically I need to make this thing mobile so I can sell my house. So its not gonna be near as finshed as I would like. I will just have to do the cosmetics at a later time.

Some reassembly pics to follow.

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Going back together! I'm hoping to get started on some of the body work maybe next weekend. We'll see I guess, I got to get the garage cleaned up so i can move around. There is so much stuff laying around right now!


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I rebuilt my body casters. The other ones were a little too skimpy for the job. Now this thing rolls across the floor with no effort, doesn't wobble around and I can climb underneath without the fear of this thing crashing down on my head.

Starting the body work, cutting out the rusty metal.

Tools purchased:

Spot weld cutter and bits
Body seem splitters
Lots of 4 inch cutoff wheels for my grinder - very, very handy.

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Finally got a good day to dedicate some time to this project. Today was cleaning the body, pulling the harnesses out and cutting out more rust. There is alot of the structure that is missing that I never knew was even behind the rockers. Its no wonder these things rot out the way they do. There is about three panels that come together and are spot welded together and they hold water great!

Next will be fabbing up the pieces not available by hand, welding them in, and then installing the rockers. I got a little work to do to the wheel houses, but they are actually fairly clean.

Here are some pics, I was amazed at how many spot welds had to be drilled to seperate the panels. All the structure in the 3rd pic, was completely gone on the other side. It really has no supportive roll to the rocker panel, so i'm going to cut it all out anyway.

I can't wait to start putting this back together, I really want to get some paint on this truck.


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To everyone on the forum, Happy thanksgiving! To those who might be following this thread, my apologies for no more progress. Life sometimes gets in the way. I have not been able to devote any time to this recently, but i'm hoping to soon.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!


Just wanted to know how things are going? Basically, your project is the same kind of project that I'm going to be doing to my Ranger when I can get the facilities to do so.

About the only thing that would be easier is that I have six bolts that attach the bed to the frame, lol! Other than that, I've got nearly the same level and amount of work you do. And my Ranger is a First-Gen Ranger, with the Twin I-Beam front suspension that the rolling chassis has. I would, also, as a word of note, replace the I-Beam bushings and the radius arm bushings--they'll tighten up the ride, and, if they are made of the same material as the the body mounts, should last another 200,000 miles.

Nice work so far! Hope to see this thing come to completion!

I know this thread is old as hell.. but i got so interested reading thru, I'm wondering, what happened with this ???? Did you give up the project? Finished and never posted the final outcome?

Probably a lost cause, seeing as the last person never got a response.. just really curious.

I'm curious as to what you did to switch to the 2wd beams did you just move and change the brackets on the crossmember?

Yep. I also got into the thread and was getting excited at the progress. Kinda disappointed that it ended so abruptly. Hope for some updates soon.

It's a cool project. Many of us have been watching too. One of the many cool things related to 1st gen explorers!

To all those who have wondered about me and my project. My apologies to all of you. I have had some major setbacks in my life the last two years. Its amazing how life can change in an instant and some things just get lost for other more important matters. I'm now in a much better position and am ready to start tackling this again! Its nice to see that some people were following this. Your interest will help me get motivated.

This weekend I'm following a lead on a totally rust free truck for the right price. If its as nice at it seems, i'm going to use the body and maybe get started painting in the next few weeks. I will be updating!

I'm curious as to what you did to switch to the 2wd beams did you just move and change the brackets on the crossmember?

I actually found a 2WD in the junk yard. I removed and swapped over the whole front suspension. The beams, pivot mounts, springs, steering links, and pitman arm. I had a portable generator and drilled the rivets from the donor in the yard. I got everything for $100, back in the days when junkyard parts were still cheap. The coil buckets and radius arm mounts are the same as the 4WD model.

Glad to hear you are back! We all know lifes a ride that sometimes throws wild curve balls..

Good luck on your work.

Thanks. I'm hoping to post something on this project this weekend. We'll see.

Sooo.. went and looked at a "rust free" Craigslist post and to my surprise it was advertised as such. So for $300, and about 3 hours digging this thing from the forest overgrowth that has tried to reclaim it for the last two years, I brought her home. My diamond in the rough I guess. This one will be a much better candidate from which to build my JP project.

I brought it to my shop, stripped the trashed interior and dumpstered that. Literally nothing left to salvage besides the plastic side panels. Then I pressure washed it top to bottom inside and out. I can't believe how rust free this vehicle is. Supposedly it hailed from Cali then moved to Tennessee and finally made it to my old Kentucky home where it sat in the weeds until now.

The guy said they parked it cause the trans began slipping. Think I'm gonna do my first trans overhaul with this project. But first thing first, pics!!





I still can't believe how clean it is. I was pressure washing paint off the frame. It still had the paint pen marks from the factory on the underside. Frame paint lasts about 3 years here.

I finally got this vehicle ready to go home. I'm going to do like the other and pull it off the frame. I want to paint everything and do this completely right. This is how it sits now. I'm going to have to clear my garage out so I can finish the disassembly. Most of the interior was junk and I trashed it before I started. Two of the windows have been missing for the past couple years. I evicted a mouse and several wasps in the cleaning process.

There is a little bit a body work to do before paint, but this will be a much easier start than with the other. The other truck was damaged during storage, plus it was rusted worse than I thought.

In the meantime I got to put a fuel pump in my areostar and my dad wants me to get his old Buick running. Hopefully I will have some progress on JP this week.


It's hot.. it was 105 with heat index today, and I just couldn't not work on this. Nothing crazy but I almost have this thing ready to start body work. I've stripped nearly everything from the shell. I want the paint to look factory, so I removed the glass, trim, mirrors, door handles, blower box etc.

I found 7 wasp nests, 5 active. I removed 5 mouse nests. Most of the insulation and other soft interior parts were ruined from mouse excrements. The dash was cracked and ruined from its time out west in the sun and heat.

Luckily I have all the interior parts I need from the other vehicles to complete this. Here are some pics of the truck as it sits.




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Wouldn't it be nice if the engine bay was this open normally!!