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Project Pale Rider 2.0 98 XLT Budget trail rig


JungleSkunk

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City, State
Carbondale, Co
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
I just wanted to post a journal of my upgrades to my new 98 Explorer XLT 4x4 OHV as I upgraded it to be a cheap but functional trail rig on the weekends.

It was bone stock when I got it and had just over 160k miles.

Ive purchased Rancho RS5000 front shocks, Monroe Sensa Trac rear adjuactable struts, Warrior 153 Shackles, Torsion Twist, 31x10.50xR15 Achilles Desert Hawk XMT's, 15x8 American Racing Black Steel Wheels, and a roof rack. Painted the Grill, Removed the running boards and mudflaps, and Ive also done the plugs and wires and most fluids.

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Mbrooks420

High Voltage.
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Looks really clean. I dig it.
 




RangerX

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I haven't heard of those tires before but they sure are good looking!
 




JungleSkunk

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City, State
Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
I haven't heard of those tires before but they sure are good looking!
I saw another user here mount them on an explorer and they looked awesome. They came in at about $110 each with free shipping so it was too good to pass up.
 




JungleSkunk

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City, State
Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
Got my LED light bar installed today. I still have a 20" bar and a few pods to add but didnt get a chance to do it this weekend.

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JungleSkunk

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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
We went up and did a little off roading on Crystal Mill Road this weekend. Just wanted to upload a few pics. We ended up having to turn around because the snow got too deep but it was a fun little trail.
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JungleSkunk

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Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
Looks good. Doing any other plans with it?
Im eventually going to put bumpers on it and a winch and maybe a few other simple mods but its pretty much where I want it for right now. Its my daily driver and very capable off road and thats how I like it.

I am going to change the fluids and filters this weekend including the transmission and might add an additional trans cooler as I noticed the trans was a little hot after wheeling in the colorado mountains for 4 hours straight haha.

Ive also ordered a CB and a few other accessories but nothing too crazy.

Thanks for checking out my thread!
 




WormsExplorer

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97 Sport 4.0 ohv auto
You bet. What all trails have you done here in Colorado. I have been on quit a few and working on getting Ex to be able to do some of the trails I have been on already. I do have to say I really like the way the tires look. How do they perform? I have not been on any trails north of Denver I have mainly been on the trails out by BV and Colorado Springs.
 




JungleSkunk

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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
The tires are pretty nice. Super grippy off road but they sound like a helicopter taking off at 60+ mph. I dont drive too far or fast to work so it doesnt bother me at all. For the price I really like the tires. I will note the rubber is a little soft which is nice on the rocks but not sure how they will wear over time.

Ive gotten to do a lot of trails here on the western slope including some up Independence Pass, the Flat tops, Holy Cross City, Spruce Canyon, 24 rd and billings canyon, Escalante Canyon, and lots of local stuff on Crystal mill road, Coulter mesa, hightower, and the Mcclure Pass area. Most of the fun trails are still closed up high here because of the lingering snow. Cant wait for them to open,

I am also looking forward to checking out more trails over towards Ouray and down south more.
 




WormsExplorer

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The tires are pretty nice. Super grippy off road but they sound like a helicopter taking off at 60+ mph. I dont drive too far or fast to work so it doesnt bother me at all. For the price I really like the tires. I will note the rubber is a little soft which is nice on the rocks but not sure how they will wear over time.

Ive gotten to do a lot of trails here on the western slope including some up Independence Pass, the Flat tops, Holy Cross City, Spruce Canyon, 24 rd and billings canyon, Escalante Canyon, and lots of local stuff on Crystal mill road, Coulter mesa, hightower, and the Mcclure Pass area. Most of the fun trails are still closed up high here because of the lingering snow. Cant wait for them to open,

I am also looking forward to checking out more trails over towards Ouray and down south more.
There is a gathering We are planning in Ouray this year. It's in the planning section here called Colorado color run. Starting August to Sept for like a 4 day weekend. Should come out if you can. Others from here are gonna be there.
 




JungleSkunk

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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
There is a gathering We are planning in Ouray this year. It's in the planning section here called Colorado color run. Starting August to Sept for like a 4 day weekend. Should come out if you can. Others from here are gonna be there.
I am going to do my best to make it. Its really close to me and I think I can swing a few extra days off for a long weekend.Before I am ready I think I need to install a trans cooler with fan or an electric fan on the existing cooler to help with heat issues while in 4 low on longer trails.

Hope to see you there!

I also got to install a couple of my LED light pods on my roof rack. I think they look cool and now its lit up like a christmas tree. I am wiring the rear ones to come on with the reverse lights and the front side leds to turn on with the bumper LED bar.

Have to finish up the wiring later this week.

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RockRanger

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Good looking rig. When the time comes check out the front winch bumper kit I make.
 




JungleSkunk

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Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
Good looking rig. When the time comes check out the front winch bumper kit I make.
I think we spoke briefly on the forum about your bumpers. I would love one but dont have the means to weld it up properly at the moment.

I picked up a few accessories at a yard sale this weekend including a brand new Jerry Can and holder and an older Realistic CB radio to mount to my rig. I also did a little fly fishing and got out in the mountains for the day. Not much luck on the fish but a great day.

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JungleSkunk

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Just a few more pics. Crystal Mill Rd and Beaver Lake.

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Turdle

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Really like your explorer. I think it is set up just right for most of the trails out there. :thumbsup:
 




JungleSkunk

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City, State
Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
I ended up installing smoked tail lights after knocking one of them out on the trail a few weeks back. I also did rhino liner on the fenders and rockers. I have one more coat to put on but I like the way it came out so far.

I have been having some alignment and shaking issues at high speed so I ordered a complete front end rebuild kit including wheel bearings, tie rods, sway bar bushings, ball joints, brakes and rotors ect. to just eliminate any issues all at once I will be putting on this weekend. Anything is better than the worn out factory parts at this point.

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JungleSkunk

Active Member
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Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
So I took a long weekend to do some much needed repairs on my Pale Rider project. It took a good 8 hours of labor but I ended up replacing the entire front end of my truck.

Upper Control arms and ball joints, lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, sway bay links and body mount bushings, wheel bearings, rotors, and ceramic brakes and back to stock length shocks.

Here is a shot of all the old parts that came off followed by a few of the progress. I plan on following up with a real alignment at the dealership this week and hopefully conquered this front end wobble at high speeds.

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Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




JungleSkunk

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City, State
Carbondale, Co
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1998 Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0
A few drone shots today above triangle park near Rifle, Colorado.

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