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So I bought this 4x4 SUV...ld50

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So I bought this 4x4 SUV...Ld50 mods

So I bought this SUV...

I`ve never had a 4 wheel drive vehicle before now. Oh, I used to go out with friends years ago, got stuck, seen things break, the usual. Always had a car though, and that was fine.
Well I got this job working on pipelines, and gained more experiences with off road on the right-of-ways. All the work trucks were 4x4s with winches, and we worked them hard over the 4 & 1/2 yrs I was doing it. I`ve been itching to get into it myself for some time after hearing about my couzin`s
exploits in his Jeep, but thought I`d wait till my son was a little older and we outgrew my mustang.

Well the time came last February, in the form of a 1993 4-door Explorer XL 4.0 with manual hubs and a manual 5 spd trans.

I have some cash to put out, and have made some mods already, which I have tried to capture with my digital camera as I go.
I do have limits. I want to keep it low enough to fit in my underground parking lot, and I want it to be street legal.
At the same time, I want to go out with my cuz` and his friends, and show those lightly modified Jeepers up!

I`m starting this thread so I could maybe help some guys who are new to this, and want to build something up, without going all out like some of the members (and organizers) of this site.
The next few posts are going to tell the story up till now, including problems I`ve had, and prices I`ve paid. You may not agree with the order of the mods, but I`m learning!
I welcome all comments, Ideas, help, etc.

Serious Explorations has been my Bible for the past few months and I hope to help as much as you all have helped me!

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I`m back from the trip!

I must say, the locker was a huge asset, I kept up easily with my cuz`s (Tom`s) J@@p Comanche and actually fared better when we hit some mud that was up to my side skirts. The funny thing was, he had mud tires on too.

So I pulled some strings, and it was off to the Coquihalla Canyon.
Pretty early into the trail I saw a rather steep, rocky hill and jokingly radioed to see if Tom wanted to go up there. He said "sure, let me get my video cam out!"
It was the first real test of what The Station Wagon could do, and as I looked at the hill a bit more, I thought it was possible. I gave my digital camera to my brother to capture this hallowed event, and the moron missed it all! He said he was pushing the button, but I coulda killed him when I looked at the lcd to see and nothing was there.
Anyway, I put her in 4-low 1st gear and started my crawl. I couldn`t get any traction at first since the wheel ruts were carrying the water down and the small rocks were not giving me enough grab. I backed out and tried it again, this time hugging the side, out of the ruts. I just motored straight up after that, Piece of cake. Tom assures me that he`ll get me some screen captures of the ascent and said he can make a video I can watch on my PC, so I`ll have to find out if we can post video here, or at least I hope to get a pic of that for ya.

Not trusting my brother with the camera again, I didn`t treally get any true "action shots". But here`s some pics:

It was absolutely beautiful weather the whole trip, and with the snow melt, scenes like this were very common:

That`s my boy hangin` out the window. He was scared at first and then wanted to 4x4 all day long! The truck looks clean because we just ran through all the water at the base of the falls. In some places you could reach out your hand into water like that.

Shortly after that shot, I got into a trail and got some nice tree branch scratches from it. Tom said he didn`t think I would want to do it, but I figured that this is why I`m building this up, so I might as well get it over with.
It`s gunna hurt when I wash it tomorrow tho` :(

We had a great time checking out all the side roads and no one got stuck. The second day I followed Tom into this path he found and gave up after getting more scratches and bending my side skirts up a bit. Tom broke off his side mirror and a fender flare when he pushed on. I waited on the road for him and felt sorrow for the "cosmetic" damage he got.

So Ideally, a superlift would have been nice to get more clearance, but I won`t be getting one. Maybe some more skid protection and I gotta lose the side skirts now. I want rock sliders/nerfs on there anyway, but I was waiting till I lift the body a little. I thought I might keep the skirts on, Oh well, couldn`t wait. Down the road I`ll have to settle for larger tires for more clearance I guess.
Another thing I wasn`t really happy with was the antenna I got for my CB. It wouldn`t stay up at all. I think I will have to go with a whip of some type, maybe off my front bumper.

Stay tuned for more mods as soon as The parts come in!
I also got an idea for a close to free mod this weekend while sweltering in the hot interior. It would be great for guys with no A/C. I need more ventilation....

<EDIT, lol, instead, I got my A/C fixed and upgraded to the new system. My idea was to get a loop of metal, weld it to a small metal plate with a hole in it, and use another plate with a hole and a bolt with a wing nut to fasten it to my window latch loop. Make sense? It would have let the window be open a little -oh well.. Might of let fumes inside the truck anyway.>

Here`s 1 more pic I thought was cool:

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Road speed vs rpm

-With 4.10 gears and 31 inch tires.

approximately 100 km/hr (62mph?)in 5th gear had me at 2100 - 2200 rpm.

140 km/hr in 5th gear had me at 2900 to 3000 rpm.

I had to guesstimate for the difference in speedometer readings due to the bigger tires. I think I`m very close.

Still not bad for the freeway since most of them are 100/hr and some areas have 110/hr limits.

Damage Report!

So I got the Station Wagon all cleaned up and the scratches actually aren`t that bad!:D A little polishing should get rid of most of them.
I got a dent though, a trail scar. It`s on the front passenger fender above the tire. I think I can bang it out though, so I`m happy.

The side skirts, or, tupperware, is pretty scratched up, but I managed to bang it back into place for now. I`ll take it off before I do my rock sliders.

Also noticed my driver`s side rear shock mount got some metal folded over near the bolts. Probably from backing out of a couple predicaments.

Oh and Jack is missing in action! I will miss him. He`s probably lonely out there in the bush... I feel bad that I didn`t think about him when he obviously couldn`t have hung on.

Next episode:
"2" body lift install!"

Just got the call that my shipment is in, and will do it this weekend!

:mad: :fire: :mad:

Well the lift is off for now, I didn`t quite get what I thought I was going to get in the kit.

I got a Performance Accessories kit and the main thing that has made me stop and re-assess the project was this part of the instructions:

"MANUAL TRANSMISSION ONLY: The floor board must be notched to the rear of the shifter. Remove stock shift boot. Notch the floorboard back far enough to gain complete movement in all gears and 4-wheel drive. NOTE: the stock shift boot must be replaced with an aftermarket shift boot (not included in kit). There will be a small section in front of the shifter where a new piece of carpet will need to be installed. Install new shift boot (not included) check operation in all gears."

Not believing it, I looked through the contents and found a steering shaft extender, but nothing else for the shifters.

I really thought, from reading the lift write up on this site, that I would have shifter extenders with the kit. I don`t want to end up with a shoddy looking shifter setup that is 2" lower that they are now, with a patch of carpet put in.
I specified That I had the manual shifter, and 4x4 shifter in the truck when I ordered, and the instructions do explain how to work around them, but it is unnacceptable to me. I can`t believe they wouldn`t give extenders with the kit, and what kind of aftermarket boot am I supposed to get?- Baah!

I`m going to call the place I bought it through tomorrow and ask about it, If this is all I can get, then I will take a look into fabbing something up, I guess. The cruddy thing is I won`t have much time to do it after this weekend. So it will have to wait a couple weeks.


The kit should have a warning sticker: "May require cutting of vehicle, new carpet and boots...:rolleyes:

Oh I did up this little mod for my Canadian brothers, But non-Canadians are more than welcome to do it as well!

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I used about 6 layers of address label stickers, stuck on top of each other so the red light wouldn`t show through the white part.
I cut out the maple leaf using a template made from a picture of the flag from the internet which I printed out and then reduced on a photocopier until I had the right size, and then stuck it on the brake lamp.
I waterproofed the whole deal with about ten coats of *Color Vision Crystal Clear Coat*, That I bought at Walls Mart for an unrelated reason.

< Guess what? It is starting to come off now a bit, it would be awesome if I could devise a more permanent method!>

<2nd edit- I ended up painting it on there!>

I got the idea from someone else actually, that I spotted on the road. Maybe you can buy them somewhere?


I like it :)

That is too sweet :chug: :can:
By the way, the " 'wheeling pits" behind that arena off of 152nd in Surrey have been opened up with a dirt road. They are putting in a water pipe or something. I thought you should know.


Funny the write up here shows a shift extender in it. But they don`t show a floor transfer case shift tho`
It was a Dick Cepek kit, which they claim was a relabelled PA kit, so ???? where`s my extenders? Maybe it is a liability issue now.

By the way, saw your site, crankcase. That 78 Courrier is SWEET! oh and the Ex`s aren`t bad either. Different seeing them all with no roof racks. I can`t decide wether it looks good or bad. If I run out of room in the garage I thought I could get rid if the plastic thingies at least, but I`m okay for now.

I got about a 1/2 inch room to get into my garage but I always take the rack off this time of year to put the canoe up there. Looks good with or without it I think.

My dad bought that Courier new from Dams in '78. It only has 100,000 kms on it. It passes aircare in the top 10% of its type of vehicle. Still runs fine, yet it has NEVER had the tranny fluid changed, and it has only broken down once in 24 years.....:eek:


Well it has been a while but I have that darn 2' body lift installed now.

-I`ll start with a before pic from the side:

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The kit is from Performance Accessories.
My invoice says item # PA792
I don`t know if that is a number for the 4x4 shop tho`

I wanted a transmission shifter extender and could only find one for a 3 inch lift.
Trail Master # 40124 (from package)

First of all, this is a b**ch to install, so be warned.
I sprayed all bolts several times with penetrating oil in the weeks leading up to it and the bolts were still stubborn.

I followed the kit instructions and won`t pour over all the details here, but will mention some tips, and highlight problems.

I first disconnected the emergency brake cable, the fan shroud and the steering linkage.

Then I loosened all the body mount bolts (ten of `em)
After the passenger side was free, I jacked her up like so:

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I have a piece of 2x4 just under the lip under there. Don`t blame me if the lip bends on you, because it was okay for me!

All the bolts, except for the front, were removed from above. The nuts on the front most mounts have to be removed from the bolts. I had to move my air intake tube from the pass. side to use the acces hole:

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Then you have to take the bolts out of the mounts from below. They go into a sleeve, you see, and were a problem, because the mount will spin.
I used a big pair of vice grips to hold onto the metal part of the sleeve where it rests against the body,so I could get the pass. side out. I ended up having to grind off the head of the drivers side, pulled it out, put it in a vice, and unscrewed what was left with my vice grips.
Then you have to drill out the old threads in the sleeve to accomidate the new bolts.

I had to relocate the jack to the rear once I got the first couple of spacers in. It wouldn`t lift far enough where it was in the pic and I didn`t want to push my luck on bending that "lip". At the rear I had one 2x4 resting across the frame and the curved spare tire rest, then I had a 2x4 on the jack pointing up to that.

Once the mounts were done I put everything back together and looked at the shifters.
I trimmed a little of the metal near the transfer case shift because it was resting there in 2 wheel drive:

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Then I put the extension on from below the rubber thing:

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Gotta pull the rubber up around the transfer case shifter until everything sits somewhat even:

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Then put the boot back on.
I pulled the boot up as far as I could to the transfer case knob, and as far down as I could on the shift pole. (past the weld)

I will leave it like this for now. The transfer case shift barely gets into 2 wheel tho` since it rests against the boot plate, so I might have to do something else later. I`ll see how it goes.

So I ended up with a taller truck with ugly gaps above the bumpers!

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My plan is to replace those bumpers one day, but to make it acceptable for now, I started with the front:

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Can`t remember where I heard this, but I went and bought some lawn edging and trimmed it to about 3 inches in width, and fit it in the gap.
I drilled 2 holes through the old gap fill trim and fastened it with 2 machine screws and nuts, one close to the tire and the other about 4" towards the front.
Then I pulled it tight to the other side and held it with vice grips to drill the holes and put 2 more machine screws in.

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For the rear, I am going to have to get that bumper up somehow. It isn`t lined up with the trim anymore, so filling the gap is unnacceptable. I will do it this weekend, and show you how I did it!


Truck = $8500.00

Plasma white hid headlights = $39.96
Mini driving lights = $65.00
Filter adapter = $68.41
K&N filter = $50.00
Window visors = $45.00
Cheap CB = $75.00
Antenna = $50.00
Tow hooks = $40.00
2" susp lift with shocks = $464.00
31x10.5 BFG T/A K/Os = $835.00
New lower ball jts. and alignment = $ 604.00
Fire extinguisher = $ 40.00
4.10 gears, locker, U-joints = $2635.37
2" body lift kit = $148.45
Shifter extension = $58.21
2" x 20' tow strap = $40.50

Total "EX"penses = $13758.90

Sweet! I love your way of showing how you did everything, and how the prices are in CDN.

Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see how you fix the rear bumper problem. :D

I like the idea of the lawn edging as a filler. I may have to see if I can use that as a filler for my rear bumper. My aftermarket bumper doesn't wrap around as far as the factory bumper and it leaves a big gap. The other option I was thinking of was welding on extensions to acheive the wrap.

Bravo!! Thats all I can say. Very good job, I really like how you are going through everything.

Truck looks good!

Where did you get the adapter to put on a cone filter?

Where did you get the adapter to put on a cone filter?

Didn`t I mention I love ebay? ;)

-oh and Crankcase, I may have been a little sarcastic about the courier! If it didn`t have a ford emblem on it I would hate it! :D nice shape tho` I guess.

Remounting rear bumper after 2" body lift.

Well this turned out well. It took me three hours, but If I had these instructions it would have taken me two.

Tools I needed:

-Acetylene cutting torch
-Socket set (obviously)
-Stationary grinding wheel
-Hand grider
-Hand buffer
-Big drill

I was lucky to have a shop at my disposal, but I bet if you didn`t have this stuff, or the know-how, you could roll into a shop with your bumper off and get this done cheap. ;)

I started out by taking the bumper off, and then decided what to do.
I measured straight up 2" from the lower bumper hole and chalked a circle.
I then chalked a line for my cut that would allow the bottom lip of the bumper to have room:

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Here it is after I cut:

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I chucked that piece I cut, in the scrap bin.

Then I cut along the top of the frame like so:

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I heated up the the part that was left after those second cuts and bent it straight up to begin building up the upper mounting point.
I saved the piece left after I cut and shaped it a bit on the stationary grinder then welded it into the space in the frame. Gotta totally disconnect your battery if you weld on the frame! It has been over 5 years since I`ve picked up a welder, but I just perservered. After shot is here:
( You can see, I drilled a hole where the upper mount was going to be, just so I knew how much, or if, I needed to weld some metal on.)

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Then I did the other side, and drilled out the holes. I purposely drilled them a little bigger in case I needed some fine tuning or they were a little off frome each other.
Then I evened up & cleaned everything up with the hand grinder and buffer, then threw some black paint on the whole back frame:

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Then I had to think about getting access to the tire winder, so I drilled a hole in the plastic trim:

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I remounted the bumper, and am pleased with the fit:

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I think I might just go ahead and do the front bumper when I have some more free time. So watch for more tinkering!


Hey I been looking at all my past posts and saw that I forgot to add a few little tidbits about my mods.
I think I cleaned it up a little, but you`ll let me know if you see something that doesn`t make sense won`t ya?

Oh and thanks to everyone for your posts and support along the way back there! It`s not that I`m ignoring you, I appreciate the acknowledgement. ;)

<LOL, just dawned on me that I had the price wrong on the differential work by 1000$ -I wish it was that cheap!>

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Front bumper relocation

Sorry but I don`t have step by step pics for this.:(

Okay, I relocated the front bumper! Basically all I did was take my tow hooks off and cut the ends of the frame off just behind the mount holes with a hand grinder with a cutting wheel.
Then I welded them back on two inches higher and remounted my towhooks inside the frame rails:

This pic tells all!

I could have reinforced the frame a bit. I will when and if I ever get an aftermarket bumper.

Next episode:
Mounting shackles and shock mount skid plates.

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