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Project thread: “Beast”

TribeZ

Elite Explorer
Joined
September 25, 2020
Messages
164
Reaction score
104
City, State
Vancouver, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Limited v8
Hey been on these forums since purchasing this vehicle in 2009. 74k miles and had only one owner before. I used forums for great advice and kept everything stock until earlier this year. I have gotten a bigger stronger work vehicle now and can turn the explorer into a project car!

My Rig; 2001 Limited v8 2wd 152,000k, 171,500 current.

Recent new parts / work last 10k:
Installed used tranny (🤞) new filter synthetic fluid
Fuel pump
Fuel filter
Egr valve
Pcv valve
Evap system hosing
Master cylinder brake
Coil packs
New spark plugs/wires
repacked wheel bearings
IAC 153k
New TPS 154k
Cleaned Intake
Cleaned MAF
Cleaned front A.B.S. Sensors
New battery leads
Replaced hood hydraulics
Synthetic fluid rear diff
Radiator hoses
washer fluid float
Refinished Headlights
Replaced turn signal arm
Replaced leather / foam on arm rest
Re-finished roof / rust touch up
Painted front and rear bumper and grill
Replaced some weather stripping inside doors
Resealed rear windows

159k miles:
New power steering pump
New water pump
New thermostat and housing
New idlers, and tension pulleys.
New fan blade
New drive belt

170k miles;

Engine swapped out for 214k mile engine. With upgrades.

4/28/24
Valve body swapped for Jmod’d + sonnax zip kit.
Trans flush and fill, filter, electronics inside.
Oil change and new filter.

5/7
Moog full front end suspension
Bilstein shocks
LED upgrades red gauges, warm white over head light middle, and rear license plate lights.
John Cena “can’t see me” rear window accessory.


Mods:
Torque Monster Headers!
XE258-hr cam
1.6 Scorpion rockers
Screamin Demon coil packs
Cat Back Dual in / Dual Out Flowmaster 40 2.25”
Jmod + Sonnax zip kit
265/75/16 Falken A/T tires
Energy Suspension sway bushings front and back
Warrior shackles
Bilstein front shocks
Monroe load assist rear coil shocks
Cone intake with hard pipe
Sct 4 Tuner with pro racer software package
Custom tune
Kenwood touchscreen DDX5707S
Pioneer 4way speakers and 8” kicker sub upgrade of stock.

I drove this vehicle literally into the ground between 2009-2019. It moved me and my wife to college from California to Missouri. We pulled trailers full for moves 4-5 times cross country. And the last pull I installed a brake regulator and 6 pin to pull a 16ft dual axel that should have killed me and almost did. Have gone through 3 sets of ball joints in those adventures. Replaced a radiator but overall no major repairs. In 2019 I drove it almost a thousand miles with an empty transmission, my cooler line was detached. I almost sold it but just could not pull the trigger. So I got lucky and found a used trans with 20k more miles then mine and slapped her in 800~ all said and done was a miracle. Used it to move one more time and again contemplated selling. But instead I started repairing!

This year all the work I posted above was done besides the trans. I payed a shop for the exhaust work, and most of the work involving fluids. I took apart my emissions system and replaced almost everything in the front cabin, egr and tubing, and hoses going from manifold down to the evap solenoid. It was not passing smog here in cali. I used carb cleaner for Maf, intake, and iac. Replaced coil packs, plugs, wires. Had to install a stock air box for smog, Passed smog! Then I wanted to work on some cosmetics.
6DA0580A-7C0C-42FE-B64C-DF563F273A65.jpegF05A931F-393F-4B38-BEE4-0443BA1993E3.jpegC87BE83F-CCA6-489C-A3B7-B3514E2B1AFF.jpeg

BAADEAFF-CA6B-45E8-B82F-8D3D24640313.jpeg


The exhaust had a couple leaks, could not resist going duals. It comes out same as stock passenger and on drivers side I love the sound. It did get routed under the spare a little funky but still happy. If I ever remove the spare for trail riding ill re route the exhaust. The monroe load assist coils shocks are amazing in the back. Fixed 1-1/2” of sag. The front shocks were very nice at first but honestly am not as pleased with those with only 1000~ miles so far. Will probably be upgrading to bilstiens or ranchos up front.

I had rust starting on my roof so I sanded it all down and used rust oleum rust gaurd. It almost matches the stock black as a primer. Then I just clear coated over the primer. I then used the same stuff on the bumpers, trim, and some touch ups to match. Not sure how it will hold up but looks good for now.

My current goals are TM HEADERS. It will be my next big purchase, and I am also slowly building the confidence to install them myself from the other repairs I have tackled. I also plan to add warrior shackles and twist the front up to match that lift. But I figured no reason to shackle and TT until I replace the 255/70/16 with something bigger thinking 265/75/16 or 32” can’t decide.

Posting from my phone will try and work on post and more add more pics tomorrow.
D4BD8152-FA99-4C87-BCAB-897CCE8E211F.jpeg


C5E220AF-1E10-482B-AC06-1812507E7625.jpeg
 



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duals look really nice, any shots of the underside how they get around the axle and spare tire?
Thanks for sharing, 01 Limited 5.0 = wicked good truck
 






duals look really nice, any shots of the underside how they get around the axle and spare tire?
Thanks for sharing, 01 Limited 5.0 = wicked good truck
Quick shots. I can run my gloved hand around the spare without hitting the pipe. I installed the coil overs after the fact and was also nervous of clearance but no touching so far or burnt smells. I learned later also full bent might have been ideal but still happy. Was 450~ parts and labor. Was a 70$ Repair. Or new exhaust single for 300$ duals for 450 I could not resist.

oh and yea these forums particularly made me realize I will never let this truck die. And only continue to drive it more enjoyably as I learn to repair it myself. I told the wife I want to slowly convert for camping. Thinking of removing rear seats and building a bed / storage style setup. But could be years. The TMH I will hopefully be able to do next 6~ months. I saw that new batch you posted and my credit card seems to be nervous.
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My current issues list;
Ticking from engine. Probably an exhaust leak.. sometimes not there other times consistent. More noticeable in gear then N. Also hear a weird rattle at low rpm under load like climbing hills. I seafoamed a few times and after cleaning out the intake and such it has rarely come back. I also used my tune to set my spark timing -2% 0-2000rpm helped with the noise.

E brake pads are rusted out. I went to take them apart until I saw I needed to take the rear diff apart or be a surgeon. So decided to wait. Also have a spot of rear brake line wearing through needs replaced.

Bulb behind the lower part of Rpm guage went out plan to so all new led and looking at new guage faces. The stereo display has never worked but I like the stock look. Would be nice to find a working one some day. A/C blower door sometimes gets stuck. It seems to reset if I disconnect battery and will function as normal for a while and randomly get stuck. When stuck will only blow cold on “max a/c” and will be volcanic hot on any other temp setting.

Only thing I noticed from the box tune on Sct was WOT adjustments and shift pressures. I increased 1-2 10% 2-3 15% 3-4 5%. Feels much better no jerks but fast shift. Mine used to hang a little before shifting. For WOT I pushed shift timing forward a little it will stay in second for 3 extra mph this feels much stronger when it shifts into third better power band. I also adjusted 3rd to 4th making it impossible for the trans to shift into 4th at WOT hoping to avoid and overdrive ring slip or damage.

Besides TMH also looking at;
Valve body upgrades.
Replacing tension and idler pulleys
Replace front o2 sensors
Warrior Shackles
265/75/16 Tires !
 






Looks like a good rig! If you are looking for camper inspiration, I humbly submit this drawers / sleeping platform I built this summer: My 99 EX-Camper Build Like you I was see-sawing on whether to remove the rear seats or not. Decided that for now, it was easier to leave them in. Can always remove later to expand the build.
 






Hey been on these forums since purchasing this vehicle in 2009. 74k miles and had only one owner before. I used forums for great advice and kept everything stock until earlier this year. I have gotten a bigger stronger work vehicle now and can turn the explorer into a project car!

My Rig; 2001 Limited v8 2wd 152,000k

Recent new parts / work last 10k:
Installed used tranny (🤞) new filter synthetic fluid
Fuel pump
Fuel filter
Egr valve
Evap system hosing
Master cylinder brake
Coil packs
New spark plugs/wires
Repacked wheel bearings
Cleaned IAC
Cleaned Intake
Cleaned MAF
Cleaned front A.B.S. Sensors
New battery leads
Replaced hood hydraulics
Synthetic fluid rear diff
Radiator hoses
washer fluid float
Refinished Headlights
Replaced turn signal arm
Replaced leather / foam on arm rest
Re-finished roof / rust touch up
Painted from and rear bumper
Replaced some weather stripping inside doors
Resealed rear windows


mods:
Monroe front shocks
Monroe load assist rear coil shocks
Cone intake
Cat Back Dual in / Dual Out Flowmaster 40 2.25”
Sct 4 Tuner ( box tune though :/ )
Pioneer 4way speakers and kicker sub replacement of stock.

I drove this vehicle literally into the ground between 2009-2019. It moved me and my wife to college from California to Missouri. We pulled trailers full for moves 4-5 times cross country. And the last pull I installed a brake regulator and 6 pin to pull a 16ft dual axel that should have killed me and almost did. Have gone through 3 sets of ball joints in those adventures. Replaced a radiator but overall no major repairs. In 2019 I drove it almost a thousand miles with an empty transmission, my cooler line was detached. I almost sold it but just could not pull the trigger. So I got lucky and found a used trans with 20k more miles then mine and slapped her in 800~ all said and done was a miracle. Used it to move one more time and again contemplated selling. But instead I started repairing!

This year all the work I posted above was done besides the trans. I payed a shop for the exhaust work, and most of the work involving fluids. I took apart my emissions system and replaced almost everything in the front cabin, egr and tubing, and hoses going from manifold down to the evap solenoid. It was not passing smog here in cali. I used carb cleaner for Maf, intake, and iac. Replaced coil packs, plugs, wires. Had to install a stock air box for smog, Passed smog! Then I wanted to work on some cosmetics.
View attachment 324066View attachment 324065View attachment 324064

View attachment 324063

The exhaust had a couple leaks, could not resist going duals. It comes out same as stock passenger and on drivers side I love the sound. It did get routed under the spare a little funky but still happy. If I ever remove the spare for trail riding ill re route the exhaust. The monroe load assist coils shocks are amazing in the back. Fixed 1-1/2” of sag. The front shocks were very nice at first but honestly am not as pleased with those with only 1000~ miles so far. Will probably be upgrading to bilstiens or ranchos up front.

I had rust starting on my roof so I sanded it all down and used rust oleum rust gaurd. It almost matches the stock black as a primer. Then I just clear coated over the primer. I then used the same stuff on the bumpers, trim, and some touch ups to match. Not sure how it will hold up but looks good for now.

My current goals are TM HEADERS. It will be my next big purchase, and I am also slowly building the confidence to install them myself from the other repairs I have tackled. I also plan to add warrior shackles and twist the front up to match that lift. But I figured no reason to shackle and TT until I replace the 255/70/16 with something bigger thinking 265/75/16 or 32” can’t decide.

Posting from my phone will try and work on post and more add more pics tomorrow.View attachment 324060

View attachment 324067
I've been wanting headers myself... I'm n california too so it's hard to find a good cheap legal set for the 91but I can dream lol...i know 31s would fit that great I've heard the manifolds r good and u won't see any gains idc really headers look better. Reading about how this truck got u through makes me want to keep mine going. The roofs of these trucks is like a boat deck..I'm doing a project beast myself full race truck RN I've been modding and modding for years body looks great beasting out the 4.0 ohv for more power looking for 200hp and pass smog....what part of California? Santa Barbara area here..
 






Looks like a good rig! If you are looking for camper inspiration, I humbly submit this drawers / sleeping platform I built this summer: My 99 EX-Camper Build Like you I was see-sawing on whether to remove the rear seats or not. Decided that for now, it was easier to leave them in. Can always remove later to expand the build.
I loved this thread! I showed my wife the light's / camping setup you made and we both liked it. Definitely the inspiration of why I want to do that too!

Edit: How are those drawers holding up? I was wondering if you would add some kind of support on the end while in "Camp" mode so they would support more. But looks like you were putting lots of weight on them no problem.
 






I've been wanting headers myself... I'm n california too so it's hard to find a good cheap legal set for the 91but I can dream lol...i know 31s would fit that great I've heard the manifolds r good and u won't see any gains idc really headers look better. Reading about how this truck got u through makes me want to keep mine going. The roofs of these trucks is like a boat deck..I'm doing a project beast myself full race truck RN I've been modding and modding for years body looks great beasting out the 4.0 ohv for more power looking for 200hp and pass smog....what part of California? Santa Barbara area here..
I am in San Diego area. The Torque Monsters are CARB legal here in Cali. And for smog I have to re-install my stock airbox and put the factory tune back on. So really not too many more mods can "legally" be done here. The exhaust shops near me wont cut out my second set of cats. I doubt any inspection place actually gets under a 2001 ford explorer and check to make sure it has 4 cats, but oh well. The best part of California is all the junk yards. I could pull 3 5.0 engines from just the one closest to me. I have been tempted to take heads off to get them sand blasted and re-sell. Heck even throttle bodies sell from the explorer's because they are all metal. The trans with less then 150k miles can go for 500+ online even without re-building. Just no where to store all the parts while waiting for if they sell. Once I have my own garage I fully intend to buy a second 5.0 2000/2001 and rip it apart just to clean parts and then install them on my own rig.
 






I am in San Diego area. The Torque Monsters are CARB legal here in Cali. And for smog I have to re-install my stock airbox. So really not too many more mods can "legally" be done here. The exhaust shops near me wont cut out my second set of cats. I doubt any inspection place actually gets under a 2001 ford explorer and check to make sure it has 4 cats, but oh well. The best part of California is all the junk yards. I could pull 3 5.0 engines from just the one closest to me. I have been tempted to take heads off to get them sand blasted and re-sell. Heck even throttle bodies sell from the explorer's because they are all metal. The trans with less then 150k miles can go for 500+ online even without re-building. Just no where to store all the parts while waiting for if they sell. Once I have my own garage I fully intend to buy a second 5.0 2000/2001 and rip it apart just to clean parts and then install them on my own rig.

Hmm yea those 5.0 motors are beasts.Idk if they would check....hollow it out..have heard trucks without them they sound like a old car...was going for it today on those headers no matter what my manifold bolts won't come out.... Ugh tried some lubricants but they just want to snap... Wanted to remove them to pull the heads and clean the valves anyway..Nice... Yea I like junkyard parts I got a whole 93 explorer running with new 31's all delivered to my house for 350... Lol the receipt for the tires was still in the glove box...brand new they said the owners lost the keys... I found them in the cup holder... Not to mention it had a trunk full of new parts I was like NO WAY the craziest part is I was using the rear differential went to go service it and BRAND NEW oil came out....idk how these things end up in junkyard sometimes.
 






I loved this thread! I showed my wife the light's / camping setup you made and we both liked it. Definitely the inspiration of why I want to do that too!

Edit: How are those drawers holding up? I was wondering if you would add some kind of support on the end while in "Camp" mode so they would support more. But looks like you were putting lots of weight on them no problem.
I sprung for 300lbs drawer slides. When I was installing them they seemed like overkill. After the first weekend using the drawers those slides were totally worth the $$$. Super stable, but you'll need to anchor the drawer carcass so they don't tilt. If I were to build the drawers again I would get a locking drawer slide. I use holes and a nail to keep drawers from sliding in when I have them out, but I feel like having that feature on the slide would be a little cleaner.

Feel free to shoot any questions my way and good luck with your build!
 






HOLY GRAIL!
well besides finding TMH at the junkyard. But I found a pair of warrior shackles! Were on a 2 door sport. 18$ for the pair!!
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So did my O2 sensors along with those new shackles. I only replaced my upstream sensors they were toast. 153k miles on em. I opted to just do it underneath. I am a plumber and have been in smaller spaces.. so it was not the worst. It took me longer to do the shackles I had some rust to fight. The front bank connector is in the middle of the 3 above the tranny. I got both hands up there to hold the receiver end and to push down clip. Shackles only seemed to add 3/4” from where the load assisted shocks had me sitting. I have the front 2 full torsion twists so far. Front is about an inch shorter then rear.
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Looks like those new shackles gave you a nice little lift in the rear.
 






Looks like those new shackles gave you a nice little lift in the rear.
And the ride quality felt really similar almost unchanged. I think the coil over shocks helping. Imma twist the front up some more to match. Really eyeballing some 265/75/16 tires now.. though I cannot increase my stock spare size because of the exhaust. Or I need to come up with a work around. I have read because I have 2wd I can just put the undersized spare up front and only use it short distances if I have to use it. But that could be a fun scenario with a bottle jack on a vacation or something.
 






Nice
HOLY GRAIL!
well besides finding TMH at the junkyard. But I found a pair of warrior shackles! Were on a 2 door sport. 18$ for the pair!! View attachment 324226

And the ride quality felt really similar almost unchanged. I think the coil over shocks helping. Imma twist the front up some more to match. Really eyeballing some 265/75/16 tires now.. though I cannot increase my stock spare size because of the exhaust. Or I need to come up with a work around. I have read because I have 2wd I can just put the undersized spare up front and only use it short distances if I have to use it. But that could be a fun scenario with a bottle jack on a vacation or something.
Yea u might see more power after u replaced those 02s...31s would look nice
 






Nice



Yea u might see more power after u replaced those 02s...31s would look nice
My main goal was possible mpg gains. Little more power would be nice. I had 9-11mpg in town and 16mpg on freeway last year. When we got the truck in 2009 we saw over 20 on road trips usually. Since all the recent repairs is up to 15 city and 21 highway on some short tests. I will be traveling few hundred miles in a few weeks will get some great data. TMH says get me up to 24mpg would be pretty sweet for a heavy ass v8.
Im going to be checking out the other local pick your parts I bet at least one set of TMH are sitting in a junkyard somewhere.
 






When you finish adjusting the ride height of the front, go get an alignment very soon. That adjustment of the torsion bars alters the camber, which will eat the tires faster.
 






When you finish adjusting the ride height of the front, go get an alignment very soon. That adjustment of the torsion bars alters the camber, which will eat the tires faster.
So I might run the set I have tell they wear and align when I replace them. I have less then 30% up front. So far it still drives straight as an arrow. I am headed on a road trip next week, and had contemplated the alignment. Have seen and known people who jack em up 1.5-2” and see no issues. Imma see if I can get it into the budget though probably better “safe then sorry”.
 






I used to buy nearly the best tires I could get, I had a set of Michelin's that I wore out in 11 months. I was driving a few gravel roads then, and delivering mail is hell on tires. So $165 each was a waste for tires that can't last very long. Lately I've found Cooper tires about $100 each, and those are lasting me about the same amount of time. Lesser brand tires can cost less, but you want tires that are safe in rain or on wet roads.

Good luck with the trip, hopefully your fuel mileage will be good, better. I recall 21mpg with my 93 Explorer going to South Dakota with the recall tires(they announced it when we were on the trip). Those Firestone's did well, and the 93 4WD with 3.73 gears weighed almost the same as these later 302 trucks.

Those new O2 sensors should help a little. How old are the spark plugs, those often are forgotten? My latest 98 Limited is white, and it had original plugs in it last year when I got it. They were so bad I also lost a coil pack. It was running fine when I bought it, and a week later a miss began, new plugs didn't fix that, but they had massive gaps, over .150" on all of them. That will kill a coil pack I learned then.
 



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I used to buy nearly the best tires I could get, I had a set of Michelin's that I wore out in 11 months. I was driving a few gravel roads then, and delivering mail is hell on tires. So $165 each was a waste for tires that can't last very long. Lately I've found Cooper tires about $100 each, and those are lasting me about the same amount of time. Lesser brand tires can cost less, but you want tires that are safe in rain or on wet roads.

Good luck with the trip, hopefully your fuel mileage will be good, better. I recall 21mpg with my 93 Explorer going to South Dakota with the recall tires(they announced it when we were on the trip). Those Firestone's did well, and the 93 4WD with 3.73 gears weighed almost the same as these later 302 trucks.

Those new O2 sensors should help a little. How old are the spark plugs, those often are forgotten? My latest 98 Limited is white, and it had original plugs in it last year when I got it. They were so bad I also lost a coil pack. It was running fine when I bought it, and a week later a miss began, new plugs didn't fix that, but they had massive gaps, over .150" on all of them. That will kill a coil pack I learned then.
Did my plugs, wires, coils, new egr valve and solenoid. And replaced cracked lines on my evap system. Hoping it all together is getting the truck back to 90%+. I had Michelins on it when we got it at 74k and they lasted tell around 120k switched to a set of Toyo open country’s. Right after those tires I hauled that 16ft dual axel trailer. Funny actually thinking Bout it now. In about 4k miles I shredded my front set because the trailer had so much weight on the rear my front was raised the whole trip, ****ing up my camber.. but so far Toyo Back country set i went to after are best tires I have had yet. Michelins got great MPG. But they did not handle the best in weather. Toyo Back countrys love snow. And gave me great traction so far.

I think I will get the alignment this week.
 






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