Obie's 2003 Trac | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Obie's 2003 Trac

Ok, time to consolidate and register this new gal.

So I bought this one on May 17, 2013. Had 86k miles and came from Florida, so pretty much rust free. So wonderful to work on a truck that doesn't have rust falling all in your eyes, and bolts that aren't seized and fused into everything.

The Timeline:

Super Stock! For About Two Days :D - P255/70/R16

The First Mod - RCI Metalworks Skid Plate

Wheels and Tires Installed, Zero Lift Yet

1.5"TT and War 153 Shackles

Westin Grille Guard

Finally, Bodylift Installed and No More Rub!


The stats:

XLT Premium Edition with Every Package
September 2002 build date
4.0L SOHC Engine
5R55E Auto 5 Speed Trans
BW1354 Electric Shift Transfer Case - 2.48:1 Low Gear
4.10 Gears with Limited Slip Rear
Came With Jason Pace Bed Cap

The Mods:

Performance Accessories 70023 3" Body Lift
Daystar Polyurethane Body Mount Bushings
1.5" Torsion Twist/Warrior Products 153 Shackles
Rancho RS5374 Front Shocks
Rancho RS999185 Rear Shocks - Setting 3
RCI Metalworks Skid Plate
33x12.5R15 Goodyear Duratrac Wranglers
Black Rock Defender Series 905 15x8 3.75" Backspacing Wheels
Step Bars Removed - Might Reinstall
Westin Sportsman Grille Guard
Moog Problem Solver UCAs, LCAs, and OTREs
Raybestos Advanced Technology Rotors and Professional Grade Semi-Metallic Front Brakes
U-Bolt/Shock Skidplates from Brian1
Solid Offroad 8.8 Diff Cover

The Future:

4" Superlift
Coilover Conversion with Fox 2.0 Resi Shocks and Eibach Springs
EGR Rugged Series Front Fender Flares
Hella 550 Offroad 55w Fog Lights on Grille Guard
Daystar Polyurethane Shackle Bushings
Cobra 29LX CB Radio Install
Fuel Tank Skidplate
Curt Hitch Receiver Flipped for Bodylift
Auburn Gear Ected Max Locker for Rear Axle
Superior Axle & Gear C-Clip Eliminator/HD Axle Shaft Kit for Ford 8.8
Custom Bolt On Rock Sliders
Ford 8.8 Differential Pinion Slider
Hidden Winch Install

The Fix'ers:

Sunroof Drain Leaking
A/C Recharge? - Clutch Seems To Click A Lot
Driver's Side Map Light Button
...This list is wonderfully small :D

The Fixed:

Moog Problem Solver Front and Rear Sway Bar Links
Front Pinion Seal - National

The Rambling:

I always wanted a Sport Trac and I finally couldn't take anymore of guys like Lono and Offtrac and STrunner and Luke posting such awesome pictures anymore. So I got one for myself :D One of the best financial decisions I think I ever made, despite what anyone else says about now owning three Explorers. This is a tip top of the line Trac. XLT Premium, every package, every comfort and convenience option and some I never even knew existed! Gotta love the auto-dimming rearview mirror and the "vent" button for the rear window :D

I want to build this up to be able to comfortably and reliably DD 100 miles a day. So the IFS stays, but gets beefed up. I also want to be able to take it on the tougher trails and not have to worry about grenading the axles or busting up the body. So it's gonna get armor, sliders, and beefed up axles. And probably a few spare CVs just in case. I also want to keep it rust free, so she'll be washed once a week, waxed every three of four months, and undercoated twice a year, and probably get a repaint within the next five years. I sorta wanna copy Offtrac and get the Ford green ;)

I would loooooooove to swap over to a 5.0/4R70W/4406 drivetrain, but that is a super long term project that I won't even consider unless either the engine or trans goes, and after 200K.

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Thanks fellas! So, I decided to thoroughly wash the frame and underbody before work today, let it dry on the interstate and in the parking lot for a few hours, then after my shift I went through and undercoated it. I used two cans of Amsoil HD Metal Protectant, which is a very good wax based chain lube and undercoating. I didn't do the underbody steel, but I did do the frame and suspension and rear axle. I'll let Ziebart do their thing with the steam clean and super penetrating oil stuff. They can get inside the rockers and door seams and everything better than I could anyways.

So, I think it looks a lot better now and the minor rust that was starting to form from all the rain and humidity I've been having is now sealed off and won't spread any further. It's actually much more black in person than the pictures show.

I also got my Solid diff cover today, but I'm gonna install that after work tomorrow. All my scrapers and buffer disks are there, and plus it's easier to dispose of oil and work in a parking lot than a gravel driveway. Monday I pick up my u-bolt skids from the powdercoater and then I'll get those installed too.

And then I all I need is a CB antenna and I can finally relax and stop working on this thing for a while. I'm probably not gonna be able to get a locker before SMORR, but hopefully I can have one by the end of the year. I want the nice Auburn Ected Max that's limited slip when off. And they're made in my home state :D




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Really nice looking ST. Looks real beefy, and that black frame gives it that subtle pop.

Diff cover installed! Filled with Valvoline SynPower 75W140. Everything inside looked great, no metal shavings, no abnormal wear. Had to extract a broken bolt from someone's previous hack job, but that wasn't too bad. If I have to do it again though, I'll use alignment dowels. That diff cover is heavy enough to make installation kind of a pain.


NIce, I enjoy my Solid diff cover, you've got two pretty sweet Explorers on your hands.

Oooh, more awesome rear end shots today :D Just got my u-bolt and shock skidplates installed that Brian1 made. I originally was going to run a custom set he made me to keep the lower shock mount at stock height, but decided to switch with the ones I had on the 98 to raise these up and keep them in their optimal travel length with the shackles on the back. I coated these with some black Eastwood HD anti-rust wax coating since they had developed some rust while sitting on the 98.


The difference between these and stock height:

Just barely clears the sway bar, but that's clear enough:

nice sport trac

Well, pretty sure I'm not gonna make it to SMORR now.

Edit: Pictures aren't posting right, gonna hafta upload them when I get home.

Got broadsided by a kia. Driver didn't even look before barreling out into the road, tried to avoid it but it wasn't possible. Split the steering knuckle in half and destroyed the tire. Wheel seems fine, but probably gonna need another new upper, lower ball joint, cv shaft, brakes, fender, and probably rocker.

So its now gotta get towed from Illinois to Indiana and I'll have to fight with the insurance company to make sure they replace the stuff with the exact parts I specify. I'm not holding out hope for a quick resolution.

That sucks so bad. Hopefully the repair process goes better than you're anticipating.

Here are the pictures of it:





I've calmed down a bit, and right now I'm just glad no one got hurt. It could have been worse if he'd hit me just a few feet further back, since I had two buddies in the truck with me, both sitting on the passenger's side. So I'm actually pretty glad he hit there, all things considered.

And on a funny note, I looked at the ground by the rear passengers door and noticed a puddle, and I thought some line had broken before I remembered that there's nothing that runs on that frame rail. Turns out, my buddy in the back spilled an entire cup of pop and it was leaking out through the floor at the seat mounts, haha.

Sorry to hear about the accident man. The wheels are probably bent and the body is more then likely shifted over on the frame. Make sure you tell the adjuster to check all these things when checking it out. also look at all the body lines and panels to see how bad things really are shifted over. My neighbor does frame and bodywork for a living and you'd be amazed at what adjusters don't check for that can cause serious problems after the vehicle has been "fixed".

...and the body is more then likely shifted over on the frame. Make sure you tell the adjuster to check all these things when checking it out. also look at all the body lines and panels to see how bad things really are shifted over.

I've been compiling a list of things they need to check for since I got home, as well as getting all the receipts and service documentation together. But thanks, I didn't even think about body shift, I'll make sure that gets checked too.

I called up the CPA guys (the ones who installed the body lift on this and have done all the resto work on the 98) and they assured me that regardless of what the other guy's insurance tells me, that they can do the repairs and make sure that I get the parts I specify. I've given them a lot of good business and they said they've got my back on this. So that's good news, I shouldn't have to do all the fighting with State Farm myself.

O.k. so looking at the pictures the list of parts I would say need replaced or atleast sriously looked at closely right off the bat are:
Upper and lower control arms, knuckle, tie rod end, axle shaft, front axle assemble and mounts, axle shaft seal, frame at crumple zones and right in front of the front body mount on the cab,wheels (not just the right front but check the others to make sure they aren't bent as well), torsion bar and endlinks.

These are the key things to check closely. Good luck buddy. Keep us posted on how things go.

Damn, sorry to hear, Obie - I hate it when people don't pay attention behind the wheel...

At least I have a badass new rental :D


So its still in the shop and they're gathering up all the parts. No frame damage or body shifting, so that's good. And they're replacing the broken parts with the same ones I had on there, so I'm not getting screwed into cheap parts. Also, picked up some EGR front fender flares from ebay today. Now I need to get some for the rears :)

Got her back today! Now I just gotta get used to not driving a muscle car again. But the suspension seems solid, body work is perfect, and I'm glad to have her again.

Glad to hear you have your Trac back man, total change going from something to a ST, especially lifted Trac's like our's.

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Very Cool! Any pics? I really need to check out this shop. Pics on their website are really impressive.

Done right, Quick, and Quality work, those 3 rarely go together.