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New front bumper


Explorer Addict
January 18, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
Bolingbrook, IL
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
So... I'm still working on this. I need to buy the lights. (i'm going to try and fit 4 in there.) attach the skid plate (1/4 diamond plate aluminum or stainless. I think its stainless, but my dad says its aluminum. but i think its way too heavy to be aluminum) sadn, primer and paint it. but this is what i got so far.... i hope these pictures work.


let me know what you guys think.

edit: 4/6/08

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Very nice work, kinda sticks out far but nice. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

looks good but i agree it sticks out way too far... totally killing the approach angle the explorer already doesnt have.....

i looked at that and was like whoa! thats an icelandic expedition truck with little tires because of the glacier hole bar.....

yeah i screwed up a bit, but its my first fabrication deal. i made renderings, and didnt really follow them at all. i think it will look a whole lot better with the skid plate and lights in it. and if i dont like it... i'll have my dad get me some more tubing and i'll try again. i need a bender tho. and the bar follows my approach angle almost exactly. didnt plan that, but it happend that way. and where i live... theres a few jeeps with lifts, but theres nothing obnoxious around here. so i like being a little difrent.

Looks good, it definatly sticks out. I wouldn't call it obnoxious, just unique. Personnaly I would shorten the hoop a little and that would also give you more room for the lights you want.

Can I have your old bumper? :D I need a stock one and want a '95-'98 style one.

i'll give it to you if you want to pick it up, but i dont think you would want it. theres 2 cheap wal mart lights rusted into it and homemade pushbar bolted into it that was made out of some aluminum tube and my old rear bumper brackets. but i see your in illinois. nice to see another illinois sploder froader. i think i talked to you on or so if u want a bumper thats all hacked up, its yours. oh and theres no air dam.

As long as it is still able to be mounted to the front I don't care what it looks like. I have a '91 Explorer bumper jerry rigged to the front now... I just need something to get me by for a month or so till my tube bumper is made. PM me your address so I can mapquest it and we can work out a time for pick up. :thumbsup:


so i put on the light bar tab and mounted my first 2 (of 4) lights. i went to pep boys and got navigator slim lights. they are very slim, and seem halfway decent for $30 a pair. but they only had one set so i went to 2 wal marts, 2 meijers, and an autozone and couldnt find another set, so i'm gonna have to wait till another set is in stock. so thats why my lights look so close together. these are crappy night shots taken with my camera phone, i'll take better pics when i make more progress. i still have to bend and attach the skid plate, and the grind some(toooooo much grinding too make it look good, but i ripped my jeans on it today, so sumthin has to be done.) sand, primer and paint. so on with the pictures.


just low beams on:

and with my new bumper lights on:

and this is my trustee lil century 110v fluxcore mig welder. and my makeshift shield. oh how i wish i could afford to upgrade to a 220v gas shielded lincoln mig and an auto tint helmet..... someday.....


I'm happy to see that the Explorer center caps fit on the Rock Crawler wheels. I was thinking of doing this when I swap to my new rims/tires.



nice to see another illinois sploder froader. i got all my stuff at discount tire. $1250 and some change for 5 rims and tires. they asked me if i wanted center caps and lugs, and i said no. and then they told me that i had to have the lugs because my stockers wouldnt work. but when i put the tires on, i noticed there fancy lugs wouldnt hold my center cap on. and then i compared the 2 sets of lugs(old and new), and they have the exact same conical shape at the bottom, so i took the lugs back, and actually made profit(they sold them to me for like $25 or sumthin, and when i returned them, they gave me the full $40). and when you go for an alignment, i'd recomend firestone centers, because every other place i called said they couldnt do it, and just tires said i had a specialty vehicle and charged me twice as much. if you havent bought ur new rims/tires yet, shop around, because alot of tire shops will make deals with you on such large purchases.



I purchased my rims/tires from 4 Wheel Parts last Fall. They were having a "12 months - no interest" sale so I got 4 (I had a source for a fifth tire to use as a spare - now I need a rim). I paid just over $800 for everything shipped to my door. I also compared the lugs that came with the rims and the stock lugs. The conical sections sure look the same to me. I like the look of the stock center cap better, too.

What did you pay for your alignment? My local Ford dealer, who is well aware of the mods I'm doing, has always said they would do an alignment when I'm ready. I'm a little leery of Firestone in general but I suppose it's the tech that does the alignment (not the company!). Also, which Firestone did you go to?


i dont think the place i went to was called firestone, but its related to firestone. i just looked it up, Its Mastercare car service, but its the same company as firestone. i beleive my alignment cost me $50, because the lady at the counter took $10 off because i was waiting for like 2 hours(they were just really busy). the alignment itself took about 15 minutes. and i went to the mastercare facility in Bolingbrook on rt. 53. and $800 for rims/tires shipped? Nice deal.

Since putting my new rims and 33s on in early '00, I have had my Explorer aligned about 4 times and never had a problem at any of the places (Wakegan Tire, Antioc Tire and a Firestone distributer called American Tire).

When I first put my 33s and Tailgunner rims on I used my stock centercaps and lugs. I never had a problem with them and the only change is I went to the rounded edge Ranger type centercaps cause they looked better than the Explorer ones with the sharp edges. Even now with the stock centercaps and lugs and the Tailgunners painted black they look good. :thumbsup:

I have always got my tires and rims from National Tire and Wheel, I paid $989 back in early '00 for my 4 33x12.5/15 General M/Ts mounted and balanced on 15x8 Tailgunners, delivered to my door by FedEx... When i ordered my tires and rims for the 250, 5 33x12.5/16 TRXUS M/Ts mounted and balanced on 16x8 Black ARs and delivered to my door by FedEx I got them for $1200...

I thought i got a good deal, and it looks like i got ripped off. lol. oh well. I'm going to the cliffs this sunday with a bunch of rangers and a jeep. you guys are more than welcome to join us if you want. we'll be sticking to the easy trails since most vehicles with us are stock. we are meeting at the cracker barrel parking lot at boughton rd and I-55 in bolingbrook/romeoville(its on the border). hopefully i can get my skid plate on this saturday, but i need access to a brake press, and my dad is out of town and doesnt get back till thursday night and its his frend with the 75 ton press and welding shop. i need to fab up some rear tow points too. then i dont have to do any more recoveries with my shackles or rear cross member. so hopefully this saturday my bumper will be done and i'll get it painted next week sometime. and i ordered my other 2 lights for the bumper. i will have spent a grand total of $130 on this bumper. including lights, wiring, 2" wide plate steel(home depot), tubing(freebie) and a new spool of wire for my MIG welder.

Thanks for the invite Aric but I have a motorcycle safety class at Harper College on Saturday. And, my truck isn't quite ready for wheeling just yet. I have to install my locker and swap in my 4.10 axle first (the front's already in). I'm hoping to be ready for a trip to the Badlands this Fall.

$60 sounds like a pretty good deal for an alignment. The Ford dealer wants $75. I'll shop around some more.

yeah... new gears sound nice. there next. them and a rear locker. i'm saving up for em. probly get em in less than a month. but my 3.55's will do for now. anyone know what comes stock in the xplorer? i hit dry pavement in 4 hi b4, and the tires didnt turn real well... it felt like the rear was locked.... but i dont think xplorers have those stock.

Some explorers come with a limted slip differential. When one wheel slips too much it locks. Also, you shouldnt use 4 hi on dry pavement, is kills the tires (youre dragging them around corners), and can break other things too...

i know... i know... it was when i first got the truck and i was 4WD happy. i dont do it on a regular basis or anything. i have the auto 4wd.... so i dont use 4-hi in snow either. i just use 4-hi or 4-lo when froadin.

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There should be a little metal tag on one of the cover bolts on the rear diff. Those numbers will tell you what's inside. If you already know you have 3.55s, then the tag should have 3.55 or 3L55 (limited slip) on it someplace (I think). I have the tags off of the axle in my truck (3.55) and the axle I'm going to swap in (4.10). Let me know if you need help deciphering the numbers.