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New explorer owner 97 xlt

Bought my first Ford and its a pretty good one I'd say!

1997 Ford Explorer XLT

V6
4dr 4WD
Power windows, locks, seats
stock premium audio (I think) w/ 6 disc cd changer
leather
tinted windows
114K miles

I got it for a fairly good price and need to put a little work into it. I need new tires that is for certain! I am just having issues with which ones and where to get them put on. I have some telling me tires plus, some say order online and have them put on at wal mart, some say just order and have em put on at walmart.

After reading a GREAT post here I now know how to repaint the trim on the outside that has faded!!

I want to paint my grill also but not sure if I should just order a new one as I have seen a few for 20-30 dollars.

Also wanted to get some LED lights not just for style, but ones out and I cannot see from 0-40. I have seen some guides somewhere.

Oh, and yeah my camera for some reason (its horrible) always says 2004...

087-1.jpg


093.jpg


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088.jpg


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NHarris

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Good looking X. Green color looks nice on it. And the rims..they look good, especially compared to my 98's. lol :D
Any future mods planned for it?
 
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Joined
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Stationed near Rapid City South Dakota
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97 XLT
Yes, I plan on modding it cosmetically. I am computer savy, a 13 year air force member, have an degree in hotel/fit/rec but all I know about cars/trucks is you need gas to make them go!

As for the color, I was really amazed by it. I don't know what the real color is, its like teal or something....Ok just checked outside and its "SH Med Willow Met C/C". Dunno if thats considered green but it sure looks green/blue mix and I love it!

As for mods, keep in mind this is currently my only vehicle which my wife and 3 kiddies ride in, are going to be like I said cosmetic for the most part. I don't want a lift kit or anything.

here is what I would like to ultimately get, just unsure yet of where to order the stuff.

-LED (for the speedometer so I can actually see it!)
-Cheap stereo system (something cheap but decent)
-new grill? The paint is worn off it and it looks off gray. I'd like to get a chrome looking one
-New tires ( a MUST since these are pretty low) I need to research cheap in price but high in quality tires. I do live in South Dakota for now and yes it snows like hell!
-Paint for the trim. I saw the threads here and it looks rediculously simple.
-new headlights and fix fog lights. The head lights are ok but they look so dirty and old it detracts from it. I do not like altezza "gangsta" style looking ones I just want something to make it look cleaner and nicer.
-Lastly MAYBE some new rims. These ones are ok looking, some of have a few deep scratches or dings in them. DEFINATELY not going to be a spinners...


I don't have a lot of money, so I'll have to buy cheap and buy over time. The tires are going to be first since its a need, not just a want.

What have you done to yours, or others done to theirs, thats simple but makes a nice little touch??

-Jim
 
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97xlt4.0

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'97 XLT
Looks great, i like it!! Check ebay for new driving lights/headlights...I got some brand new driving lights for $70 with free shipping a few months back, and they're great.
 
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Joined
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Thats pretty cheap, are they easy for a novice to install too?
 
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97xlt4.0

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yeah, I think i had mine done in 15 minutes. I was able to reach behind the bumper, undo the bracket, unplug the wiring, and put the new one in....I still need to aim them a bit, though!!
 
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Sams01XplrSprt

Southern Cali Explorer
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nice x u got there
 
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NHarris

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Yes, I plan on modding it cosmetically.

here is what I would like to ultimately get, just unsure yet of where to order the stuff.

-LED (for the speedometer so I can actually see it!)
-Cheap stereo system (something cheap but decent)
-new grill? The paint is worn off it and it looks off gray. I'd like to get a chrome looking one
-New tires ( a MUST since these are pretty low) I need to research cheap in price but high in quality tires. I do live in South Dakota for now and yes it snows like hell!
-Paint for the trim. I saw the threads here and it looks rediculously simple.
-new headlights and fix fog lights. The head lights are ok but they look so dirty and old it detracts from it. I do not like altezza "gangsta" style looking ones I just want something to make it look cleaner and nicer.
-Lastly MAYBE some new rims. These ones are ok looking, some of have a few deep scratches or dings in them. DEFINATELY not going to be a spinners...

What have you done to yours, or others done to theirs, thats simple but makes a nice little touch??

-Jim

-For my 98, nothing yet. I just swapped out the radio a while ago, but since then the stock radio has been put back in.
As for the grille... My 98's grille paint has worn off. Its tan now.
-My 05...different story. Its got a billet grille, upper and lower, no running boards, airbox mod.
Next thing for my 05 is clear corners, and an explorer forum decal for the windshield.

Get a cold air intake. Not a k&n, because they are expensive. It will give some more horsepower and torque.
I'd sugget to you to get a billet grille for your X, get a new stock one, or repaint the stock one.

Looked at the pictures again...what color are those running boards?
They don't appear to be the same color as your explorer. I'd suggest you get those painted the same color.
093.jpg
 
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Paraphoe

Go big or go home
Elite Explorer
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
Yes, I plan on modding it cosmetically. I am computer savy, a 13 year air force member, have an degree in hotel/fit/rec but all I know about cars/trucks is you need gas to make them go!

Then you've come to the right place. :)

As for the color, I was really amazed by it. I don't know what the real color is, its like teal or something....Ok just checked outside and its "SH Med Willow Met C/C". Dunno if thats considered green but it sure looks green/blue mix and I love it!

Yea, it's "Willow Green Metallic" and was pretty common in the late 90's for the Explorer.

-new grill? The paint is worn off it and it looks off gray. I'd like to get a chrome looking one

I'm not aware of any chrome inner grills, but you can probably easily paint it black and it'd look nice. A bunch of guys have done that.

I need to research cheap in price but high in quality tires.

Conflicting goals. :D ;)

-Paint for the trim. I saw the threads here and it looks rediculously simple.

Might have been my thread. It IS super easy, if you can handle masking and a rattle can. Assuming if you were in the Air Force you're at least mildly competent and it should be an easy job. :p:


-new headlights and fix fog lights. The head lights are ok but they look so dirty and old it detracts from it. I do not like altezza "gangsta" style looking ones I just want something to make it look cleaner and nicer.

You can restore the ones you have now, to remove the fogging. A little bit of sanding, Meguiar's headlight restoration kit and you can make them good as new.

You can check out my explorer registry link in my signature for some other ideas if you'd like. Welcome aboard and good luck. :thumbsup:
 
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NHarris

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Then you've come to the right place. :)

I'm not aware of any chrome inner grills, but you can probably easily paint it black and it'd look nice. A bunch of guys have done that.
I know where to get a chrome grille...I think the chrome grille looks good! :thumbsup:
LMC Truck
http://www.lmctruck.com
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Joined
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Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
-For my 98, nothing yet. I just swapped out the radio a while ago, but since then the stock radio has been put back in.
As for the grille... My 98's grille paint has worn off. Its tan now.
-My 05...different story. Its got a billet grille, upper and lower, no running boards, airbox mod.
Next thing for my 05 is clear corners, and an explorer forum decal for the windshield.

Get a cold air intake. Not a k&n, because they are expensive. It will give some more horsepower and torque.
I'd sugget to you to get a billet grille for your X, get a new stock one, or repaint the stock one.

Looked at the pictures again...what color are those running boards?
They don't appear to be the same color as your explorer. I'd suggest you get those painted the same color.

If I get a CAI I'd have to have someone else put that one in for me. Im looking not for more HP but more MPG. I was also looking at another site before about those grills. The outside of it is chrome so not sure how chrome again, or even black would look. Its like off gray right now, I am not sure what the original color on it was, black or gray.

The running boards are gray, think it would look better being the same color? And if so, how could I get that kind of paint and is it as easy as the rattle can painting of the trim?

Im all for learning new things, with guides preferably, and this explorer is my first used vehicle I've owned. I've built and rebuilt computers without issue but I've never needed to nor wanted to really mess with a vehicle.
 
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NHarris

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Cold air intakes are easy to install...at least for me. MPG wise, its worth it. Also you will get better acceleration.
I'd just keep those gray running boards. They looked purplish on my computer. It would look better as the green, but its not worth taking those running boards off just to paint them
 
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Joined
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97 XLT
Cold air intakes are easy to install...at least for me. MPG wise, its worth it. Also you will get better acceleration.
I'd just keep those gray running boards. They looked purplish on my computer. It would look better as the green, but its not worth taking those running boards off just to paint them

Yeah I went out and looked at it too. The bumper is gray just like the boards so it works.
 
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NHarris

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Here's a suggestion for Rims:
Just my suggestion on the rims... I think that the mercury mountaineer rims would look best with your explorer. They look like the ones on there but the cut-outs are painted gray.
mercury-mountaineer-wheels-3293-b.jpg
 
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Joined
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Messages
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Stationed near Rapid City South Dakota
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
Here's a suggestion for Rims:
Just my suggestion on the rims... I think that the mercury mountaineer rims would look best with your explorer. They look like the ones on there but the cut-outs are painted gray.
mercury-mountaineer-wheels-3293-b.jpg

those do look nice! How much are they tho?

Im searching the interwebz too for a solution to cleaning the headlights off with household products as I do not want to go into town this week during the Sturgis Bike Rally! Im sure there is something somewhere I can use to clean off the haze.
 
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NHarris

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Paraphoe

Go big or go home
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Im searching the interwebz too for a solution to cleaning the headlights off with household products as I do not want to go into town this week during the Sturgis Bike Rally! Im sure there is something somewhere I can use to clean off the haze.

Did you miss this:

You can restore the ones you have now, to remove the fogging. A little bit of sanding, Meguiar's headlight restoration kit and you can make them good as new.
 
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Joined
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Did you miss this:

Or did you miss the using household products and not wanting to go to town to buy anything. :D

I tried a few of the internet tricks but it didn't work for mine so I will have to wait till next week and go to a store to buy the resto kit.
 
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NHarris

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WITH TIRES!!! DON'T GO THROUGH WALMART!!! MY EXPLORER HAS WALMART TIRES AND THEY DID NOT INSTALL THE TIRES CORRECTLY! THE TIRES ARE CHEAP, OUT-OF-ROUND, AND WERE NOT PROPERLY BALANCED!
Do yourself a favor...go to a real tire store.
 
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Join the Elite Explorers $20 Gets rid of the ads!

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Joined
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Messages
39
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1
City, State
Stationed near Rapid City South Dakota
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT
WITH TIRES!!! DON'T GO THROUGH WALMART!!! MY EXPLORER HAS WALMART TIRES AND THEY DID NOT INSTALL THE TIRES CORRECTLY! THE TIRES ARE CHEAP, OUT-OF-ROUND, AND WERE NOT PROPERLY BALANCED!
Do yourself a favor...go to a real tire store.

I actually checked walmart, their tires are crapola here and too much. Im thinking maybe sears, tires plus, or tire rack maybe.

I saw some 79 dollar tires on a site and it said they were high rated.
 
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