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Proud new XLT owner/short Explorer story

MotorolaBilly

New Member
Joined
September 16, 2004
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
City, State
Round Prairie, OR
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 XLT
Hey guys! My name is Billy Myers. I'm 19 and I live on Round Prairie, OR just off Interstate 5 exit 113. I just bought a white 1997 Explorer XLT from a used vehicle lot, who acquired the rig from an AT&T auction. It was a manager's vehicle (fully equipped with golfball dent in roof), and had the AT&T "Deathstar" decal on the doors, along with the Berkeley Hights site name and a USDOT number. This is a cruel irony; I'm an AT&T longlines nut, but upon purchase the decals were removed. One of these days I'll check on the legalities of returning it to it's former colors. Other than a few tiny dents or scratches, the body is flawless, 9 out of 10.

When I'm not working as an equipment yardman or dispatch trucker's aide at United Rentals of Roseburg, I'm a railroad brakeman for a narrow-gauge shortline. One of the crew vehicles was (before they ran it into a train in June and it didn't let go) a '97 Explorer XL, and I only got to drive it once earlier this year. My previous vehicle was an '85 Dodge Ram Custom B250 van with an awesome three-tone paint job but a tired, heavily-smoking and thirsty 318. I also had no second gear. First was good for about 39 MPH and third, 87. The one time my plates ever went on the air (with me listening), I was let go with a stern warning. To quote the OSP officer, "...because son, I'm surprised this boat GOES that fast."

Anyway, it was time for a new ride. I had really liked the way the railroad's Explorer had handled on the way to the mini mart that night, despite the lack of instrument lights! I was determined to have one soon, so when a friend told me about this XLT from AT&T, I did the deed and have been thrilled since. Now I understand why people grin at their new vehicles! Even without the logos, this big white SUV with DOT-C2 bumper striping, a backup spotlight, hood-mount VHF gain antenna, and my safety vests on the seatbacks looks much more at home on a logging road or next to the RR right of way, not in a parking lot.

If you've come this far, thanks for taking the time to read it all. :confused: I'm a very proud owner now, well, in three year's time... and I look forward to sharing words with you all!

Sincerely,
~Billy
 


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CodePoet

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 11, 2002
Messages
2,426
Reaction score
1
City, State
Indianapolis, Indiana
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 XLT
Welcome to the site! :D

have fun with the new expo
CP
 




JasonH

Member
Joined
September 14, 2004
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
City, State
Kosice, Slovakia
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 5.0V8 XLT
Yet another proud Explorer owner

I have recently bought an unconverted 1997 5 liter V8 XLT and am very happy after my first 2 weeks of on/off roading in a very comfortable and extremely capable vehicle. The car is 2-tone black/silver and belonged to the Slovak Ambassador to Germany, who never ever took it off road!! I am a British ex-pat living and working in the Slovak Republic in central Europe. I run the strategic planning team for U. S. Steels European HQ. This is my first 4x4 and I am new to driving away from highways. BUT . . . . . . I got the bug and now its way too late to go back to a 2 wheel drive.

I do have a couple of questions though, and I wonder if anyone on the forum can help me out? Being new to this 'sport' I dont know what sort of limitations the vehicle has and indeed my own? (although I am learning real fast - I'll post some pics as soon as I can figure out how to get them on the site) Is there a site where I can get some basics of off-roading information? And more specifically, more information about the Explorer off road.

I have some Yokohama all terrain tires at the moment, but they look like they have been on the vehicle since new and all motorway driving with a defective differential - which has been replaced by a new imported diff direct from Ford US . . . . anyway, its time to replace them. I am thinking about Goodyear Wrangler MTR 235/75R15's or BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains - is this a good move? Where I live there are not a lot of places around to get spares and even the tires are going to have to be imported!! There are a couple of off-road clubs around, but all their vehicles have high lifts and communication with these guys is not the easiest in the world. their first recommendation if I want to join them is that I lift my Explorer but I read that aftermarket lifts don't exist due to the AWD suspension?? Do I need to lift the vehicle at this early stage in my offroading career? And is this really going to help if I dont get bigger wheels/Tires? Or should I take things slow and stick to mud tracks until I get more experience?

To date, we have spent most of our off-roading in forest tracks and up and down small hills, mud holes, sand and water/mud/leaf combinations seem to be the main type of terrain once we get out of town. We only got bogged down the once, and having hiked to a local ski resort and begged to be towed out once, I really dont want to go through the embarassment again. We have a '4x4 kit' that we have built, including such things as a shovel, axe, full first aid kit, extra water, warm clothing, matches etc etc. Is there anything specific that I should add to my kit when we go off road??

I would be grateful for any advice that I can get to further my knowledge and to avoid having to dig myself out at some point. I know that this is inevitable, in order to find out the limits of the car and driver, but I would rather delay this for as long as possible.

Kind regards

Jason Hunter :exp:

jason.hunter@europe.com
 




SoBeLover

Explorer Babe Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
Elite In Memoriam
Joined
June 17, 2003
Messages
3,025
Reaction score
4
City, State
Middletown, Connecticut
Year, Model & Trim Level
None
Billy and Jason, welcome to Serious Explorations!! Remember in looking for information about your trucks, the search button is your best friend. :D
 




JasonH

Member
Joined
September 14, 2004
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
City, State
Kosice, Slovakia
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 5.0V8 XLT
Thanx Sandy, I'll take a look. We had a bit of fun yesterday evening. There is a Hummer dealership not far from where I live and we took the X through their test track!! They were very surprised that we made it through with no problems :) and they will increase the difficulty of the track until we get bogged down/stuck or they have to tow us out. They are adamant that they can build a track that the Hummer can get through but we cant. Its gonna be an interesting few months of increasingly difficult terrain :) I cant wait. I'll get some pics on my site asap.
 




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