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Sport97's sport

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My name is Vince, I live south of Pittsburgh, Pa. I bought my explorer after i graduated high school(july 08) with 50k for 3500

The Ex:
97 explorer sport, SOHC/auto, leather, moon roof, + mods...


The x: It had 50k miles on it when i got it, and had only minimal rust. Since then the rust has been fixed, and I'm over 100k. Maintenance has been typical with plugs/wires, fuel filter, all 4 ball joints and a thermostat. Running Mobil 1 syn has seemed to quiet the timing chain rattle. Its totally quiet in the summer, and slightly louder in the cold weather.

DSCF8221.jpg


flex2.jpg







CURRENT STATE: 12/2011 @101k

-front skid plate
-removed front valance
-relocated front fog lights
-clear corners
-safari bar/lights (victim of rust and off roading)
-bed liner on a few things
-8" sub w/ amp
-4 pioneer speakers
-air box mod
-new rockers w/o rust:)
-cobra CB w/ 2 3ft wilson whips on the back
-Firestone At's , 265/75/16
-TT
-4 door leaf pack/aal/shackles

Near future:

-f150 tow hooks

Future: 3" body lift, 285/75 M/Ts
 


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Glen4X4

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When I did my rear bumper cover I did not take the bumper off I just took a long flat head screw driver and hammer and tapped the plastic tabs on the inside of the bumper and the carefully pried up on the pad and took it off easily, just another idea... There is a company that still makes the dog legs because I recently took my truck to a garage to get an estimate to get them and the rockers replaced and they were available I can't remember how much they were though. I'll see if I can find a source for ya on them.
 


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sport97

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When I did my rear bumper cover I did not take the bumper off I just took a long flat head screw driver and hammer and tapped the plastic tabs on the inside of the bumper and the carefully pried up on the pad and took it off easily, just another idea... There is a company that still makes the dog legs because I recently took my truck to a garage to get an estimate to get them and the rockers replaced and they were available I can't remember how much they were though. I'll see if I can find a source for ya on them.

I'll try that with the rear bumper, sounds like it should work.
That would be awesome if you found a set, i have looked hard for them and have had no luck. I contacted a local place that sells and fabs body parts and they told me they dont sell the dog legs or sport rocker panels. The reason they said is because the 4 door rocker covers the full length and would work to replace the rocker and dog leg area on a sport, but I dont think they are right.

Glen don't you have 2 4 door models? I have a sport, the dog legs are different between the 2 and 4 door models.
 




Glen4X4

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Yes, they are different between the 2 and 4 door models but I would think if a company is still making them for the 4door you would think they're still being made for the sport also.
 




sport97

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Yes, they are different between the 2 and 4 door models but I would think if a company is still making them for the 4door you would think they're still being made for the sport also.

Now Glen, thats way to logical! Ive found countless sites such as LMC truck and some local body part places that sell 4 door parts, and not the 2 door. Im going to stop past all the local body shops sometime soon and see if they are able to order them.
 




Glen4X4

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Ouch...didn't realize that...that's ridiculous good luck then man. If it comes down to it though a good body shop would be able to make the parts you need if they're not able to order them its just that it'll of course cost more.
 




sport97

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Pulled the rocker trim off to find this:
The picture does not do it justice, the whole backside is rotted away.
 

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97sprt4x4

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i feel your pain. i had this too.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226252&page=5

you can see it in post 92 and 94 There really isn't anything we can do without getting custom work down, i'm thinking i may fill it with foam and bondo over it then herc it as a permanent fix... there's really not much you can do without getting custom work or cutting one off a junkyard truck.
 




sport97

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i feel your pain. i had this too.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=226252&page=5

you can see it in post 92 and 94 There really isn't anything we can do without getting custom work down, i'm thinking i may fill it with foam and bondo over it then herc it as a permanent fix... there's really not much you can do without getting custom work or cutting one off a junkyard truck.

Yea, I am going to stop past my dads friends house and have him take a look at it. He works at a body shop and may have some ideas, tips or parts i can use. How did that rust reformer work for you, is it still holding up? The passenger side only has minor surface rust(i think...) that I'm going to sand thinking and coat in POR-15 before painting it.
 




97sprt4x4

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i couldn't afford POR-15 so i tried this stuff... and i guess it worked. I mean it's not rusting where i put it but it's rusting everywhere else because the water is getting in other places, so it's doesn't look great because the paint is stained with rust, so it's rusting somewhere else, i'm gonna have to fix this soon or i'll go off-road and a panel will drop off on the trail. let me know what your body shop guys says.

Justin
 




Glen4X4

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Unfortunately Vince that too is how my 96 explorer is. It'd be nice to have descent strength aluminum formed and pop riveted in there and then bondo it smooth so that you don't have to worry about that part rusting again.
 




sport97

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i couldn't afford POR-15 so i tried this stuff... and i guess it worked. I mean it's not rusting where i put it but it's rusting everywhere else because the water is getting in other places, so it's doesn't look great because the paint is stained with rust, so it's rusting somewhere else, i'm gonna have to fix this soon or i'll go off-road and a panel will drop off on the trail. let me know what your body shop guys says.

Justin

Well maybe i can't afford it either haha, i'm trying to do this pretty cheap. I will let you know, I'm going to try and stop past to have him look at it this weekend but i have a test at school saturday so it may not be until the following weekend.
 




sport97

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Glen aluminum would be nice, no more rust then. If my ex had 120k or more on it i would'nt worry about this rust, but im still under 80k. I also plan on having it as my main means of transportation at least until i graduate and have a job, so atleast 3 years. By that time i will have had a job for 1 year and can get a new vehicle(hopefully an explorer or mounty, maybe an f150)
 




Glen4X4

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Yea that's what I was thinking and wow I cannot believe you have under 80k and have that bad of rust. I understand man, I have 168k on my 96 and still want to keep it descent looking and run it for as long as I can.
 




sport97

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No progress on the rust work, but I don't intend on starting for a few weeks yet. And holy s**t, I looked up what a gallon of POR-15 runs, and looks like I wont be buying that!

I was looking at doing a 2" BL along with TT and shackles. I love the look, and would run 32"s or 33"s. Only cons are that my hitch and push bar will be too low, and I don't have the resources to fab up brackets.

With that being said when i do the TT and shackles im hoping to be able to clear 32x11.50s for my next set of tires and ill call it quits there.....for now...
 




sport97

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My buddy gave me 2 3ft cb antennas the other day, so yesterday i fabbed up some taillight mounting brackets and hooked them up. I have to say the dual antennas look pretty sweet. Not to mention, even without being tuned they have at least 10x's better range than my old short magnet antenna.

Pics soon! Ive been very busy lately.
 




sport97

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exp.jpg


She still cleans up nice
 




Glen4X4

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She does look good. Wax her or just normal washing?
 




sport97

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2 coats of turtle wax synthetic wax. I love that stuff, it goes on so much easier with no white residue and shines pretty good too.
 




Glen4X4

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From what I seen on pics, next time try a claybar, I have yet to do but have seen it makes vehicles look that much better but is very time consuming. I know my truck looks nice once she's hand waxed, its been a year.
 


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sport97

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That is actually on my list for my next full detail, which probably wont happen until i do my body work.
 




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