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Son's first car (Sport Trac). Some questions...

99SS

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2003 Explorer Sport Trac
Hi all
My son just recently received his license and now has taken ownership of one of his grandfather's 2003 (maybe '04) Sport Trac. It's in great shape but there are some additions, modifications he'd like to do. Admittedly, this is exciting for me too as I used to love to mod my muscle cars back in the day. Now I get to mod and play again (albeit more conservatively now) with my son.

Few questions I'm hoping you can answer as I continue to research this truck.
1) He mentioned that he'd like to reduce the body roll. I guess he's used to the more modern cars these days (lol). Can you point me towards where we should start? I'm thinking shocks (not sure when they were last changed). Maybe look at replacing mount bushings?

2) He said he may like the look of a slightly bigger wheel/tire. I was thinking of maybe 32's but not sure those will fit in the wheel well. Any thoughts behind the durability behind torsion keys and shackles? I believe I saw those for this truck. I haven't gone out to measure yet but I think the ~2" will give enough clearance over stock.

3) The truck has possessed headlights lol. At night they turn on automatically (regardless if the headlight switch is on 'on' or 'auto'). However when shutting off the car, the headlights will not turn off until about 2-3 min. I guess not a major problem but it drives me crazy wondering why. Any thoughts?

Thank you for the assistance!
 


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CDW6212R

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Welcome to you and your son. There's a lot you can do for those trucks, the shocks and tires etc, depends on whether you want it up or down. Lowered will make it handle better and be less likely to roll. Try to choose tires which are wider and with shorter sidewalls(the profile series). A 50-60 series tires will be safer than a 75 series tire.

The Sport Tracs had known body mount issues, they often fell apart and made the truck rattle and be less tight overall. So check those well, you can find replacements in rubber or urethane, the hard part is removing the old and saving the steel parts to reuse.

The auto lamp circuit might still be in the mirror of those, check that. The ones in the mirror have the time adjustment there too, one sliding lever turns them on and sets the time before shutting off.
 




99SS

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2003 Explorer Sport Trac

CDW6212R,​

Thank you for taking the time to answer my initial questions. It's truly helpful. Ahh didn't think (or even realize) about the timing adjustment. Yes there is one on the rear view mirror if I recall. I'll have to go out there and look. However, will that help in having the lights turn off when the truck turns off? Right now they just stay on for a few min when the truck is shut off. Thanks again!
 




CDW6212R

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I have the high end mirror on several of my Fords, the three 98's I have the auto control is at the bottom left of the mirror. Pushed all the way left, shuts the auto function off, and just to the right of that turns it off to the shortest on interval. Pushed far to the right will leave the lights on for a long time, 5+ minutes.
 




traveler

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Those slides on the mirror are prone to breaking. When mine broke, it broke in the Auto position set to max time on after shutting down the truck. I searched for a new mirror but after a while I gave up (not a priority). If you pull the plug in the back of the mirror the headlights will go back to good old fashioned manual control.
If he wants the bigger tires and 32 is the biggest you want, then the torsion twist and shackles is the easiest cheapest way to go. Twist it up just enough to clear the tires, If you don't go crazy with the twist then it shouldn't harm your reliability or ride too much. Find a set of shackles on Ebay or go with Warriors (I may even have a set of shackles I found in a Pick a Part I'd part with).
 




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