Prep Work for Road Trip... | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Prep Work for Road Trip...

Thanks for the help, like you said family's safety first, but the truck has to look good.

Exactly. Over the course of the weekend, with lots of help from the family and a good friend, we went through the 2003 in detail for our trip.

Installed the 1.5" body lift and replaced the upper ball joints with Moog K80008's, and checked all the brake pads (and parking brake shoes) for at least 3/4 of original material. If they were suspect, they got changed.
When I trimmed the lower fan shroud, we also made sure all hoses were clear of the fan, and if not, attached to minimize movement.

Transmission got serviced last week, and the rear CV axle with a nicked boot has been replaced. While it was on the lift, I looked everything over, looking for leaks, loose, etc. I'll change the oil and filters this week, along with the wiper blades and belt, and pack the "old" belt as the spare, along with fuses, basic tools, etc.

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All the prep work paid off....

Imogene Pass, Colorado.....a loooong way from South Carolina



I did blow the lower thermostat housing on the way to Moab, but Moab Ford got one in overnight from Salt Lake City, and we were rolling again...

Coming back down Baby Lions Back in Moab...


Looks good Dred more pix's...

More pics coming...

my wife apparently took over 8000 pics....we got back yesterday and I am at work today, will start posting more pics this evening after I re-size and upload...

Going UP the Baby Lion's back....

Going up the Baby Lion's back...traction is awesome on the "slickrock", so the deal here is "nothing but blue" in the windshield, and once you are on top of the sandstone fin, don't do something stupid...



Who says a 3rd Gen can't take you cool places off-road?

Canyonlands overlook, Moab, Utah..



Jumping BACK to Imogene Pass, between Telluride and Ouray, Colorado...

Heading down from the pass at 13,114 feet..NOT the same as the shelf roads in Moab, Utah, but the Cooper Discoverer AT3's did their job well...


Cool scenery too...


the groups of TJ, YJ, and JK jeeps kept looking as us like we were crazy....with South Carolina plates, I played it up every time we stopped...

"Hey ya'll, we're trying to get to family that moved to Denver, is this the right road?"

I think this was the climb that pretty much did in the lower thermostat housing...the picture does not really show how steep, but this is the last push to the top at 13,114 feet...the Explorer was in 4Lo, working hard, and the tires were working hard to overcome gravity.


Roughly past where the Jeep is, a couple of rock shelf "stairsteps" made things a little "white knuckle" for my wife and daughter, as the limited travel on the rear unloaded a tire, and we started spinning and sliding backwards :eek: (if I only had a locker...:D)...

I got the truck stopped, told everyone to stop screaming :rolleyes: so I could THINK :scratch:, and picked a better route up the shelves suited to the Explorer's limited rear travel...didn't spin a tire THAT time :cool:

I can't wait to go back...

Another view at Imogene Pass, at the top...we added a LOT more trail decals after this trip...


Speed limit? More like idiot warning...yep, thats the end of July..


When you run Imogene Pass from Telluride, you end up in...Ouray!!!


The next morning, we decided to explore the Red Mountain mining area before setting out to Moab, Utah, roughly 4 hours away.


Stuff to see at every turn...


"Dad, can we stop here? I have seen this place in pictures...."


Well, that explains that....



"ohhhhkaaayy...don't think we were supposed to come out here...."


And some of my favorite shots from the trip, our "first" off-pavement trip...Last Dollar Road, heading into Telluride, Colorado...with a 3rd Gen!!




Awesome pictures. My missus reckons you're crazy for going up that roundish rock - and down the rock (is it the same one??).

Awesome pictures. My missus reckons you're crazy for going up that roundish rock - and down the rock (is it the same one??).

That is the Baby Lion's Back, since the famous "Lion's Back" is private property now and closed.

Traction on the sandstone "slickrock" is amazing, its anything but slick..use your head, watch the throttle, don't panic brake, and let your rig do the work.

We ended up wheeling solo a lot more than planned during this trip, the blown lower thermostat housing threw off the schedule. A friend and his wife that live in Moab could not join us in his Jeep XJ, or I would have given Fin's and Things a try, I've done that trail twice in a rental JK.

But I got to thrash the "Ford Station Wagon" as it's been called on some sand dunes in Moab, and the wife was at the wheel when we "squeezed" it under a little fallen rock on Long Canyon road...




I was impressed how well the 3rd Gen did...clearance under the frame rails and the front crossmember is still an issue, but I did not have time for a spacer lift, and the skid plates helped a lot!

On Imogene, descending into Ouray, Colorado, it gets rocky, the trail is basically winding down across scree slopes... I skated over a "bowling ball" rock that kicked the wrong way when the driver side front tire dropped off it, and the plates held, even the plastic fuel tank skid.