Tom's '97 XLT registry | Page 12 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Tom's '97 XLT registry

Here's my registry. It's not going to really serve as much of a build log or anything, just to help keep track of the (minor) things I do to it along the way.
(Edit: yeah, that all turned out to not be true...... Keep reading to see what I mean)


This is my 1997 XLT. I bought it on 10/13/2010 with 117,500 miles for $2000. It has the SOHC V6, 3.55 rear end and the "Controltrac 4 wheel drive".

This is basically as it was when I brought it home:


Interior shots:PG[/IMG]
(lost photos)

Features:
side-step boards
6,000 lb receiver
Ford mudflaps (removed)
hood wind/bug deflector

This Explorer wasn't abused- just a little neglected. The interior is in good shape. The paint isn't in horrible shape- some dings and scratches here and there. All-in-all, good shape for a 13 year old vehicle.

Issues:
cracked and pitted windshield (fixed via post 61)
inoperable 3rd brake light (fixed via post 68)
inoperable fog lights (DS housing is smashed on backside and button on dash does not illuminate) (removed)
poor heater output (fixed via post 3)
coolant temp gauge not moving much (fixed via post 3)
pulsing front brakes (fixed via post 2)
slightly sagging rear end (fixed via post 7)
weak hood lift struts (fixed via post 5)
weak glass lift struts
weak tailgate lift struts
broken driver's seat recline handle (fixed via post 8)
leaking rear transfer case output seal (fixed via post 23)
worn shocks (fixed via post 7)
alignment out-of-whack (fixed via post 12)
lack of engine power (fixed via post 3)

So basically from here on out, this registry will be dedicated to how I have breathed some life back into this thing and some adventures along the way. I've already addressed some of the issues mentioned above. I'll try to post as many pictures as I can, but I know I've already failed on some.
 



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Here's the reason for my forum name:
367de357ca3e9b00f1635f279c095e32.jpg


1998 Mountaineer 5.0L AWD. Bought it while living in Wichita, KS in about March 2003 with 98,000 miles and sold it 13 months later after taking it to CO and MN once and WI twice. It never got offroad and didn't even have a trailer hitch. It made some weird, expensive sounding, noises while idling forward while riding the brakes. I didn't know about this forum. Plus the factory radio display would go out and the driver side exterior handle would flap in the breeze while driving down the highway. We sold it because gas in the 2004 was approaching $2.00/gal and my wife was driving across town four times a day for her job. It got a repeatable 18 mpg no matter how fast/slow we drove. So with the cost in gas, the fact that we didn't "use" it for what it was, and the impending repairs, we sold it.

Wouldn't you love it if gas was $1.90 again?
 






Great thread. Took me a while to go through the thread but def makes me wish I would've gone to Colorado when I lived in New Mexico. Ride has def come a long way and looks great. Love the bumpers and got me curious in getting something like that for mine now.
 












Looks good, I placed mine in the same place and have a back up under the rear seat.
 






Replaced the rotors and pads that came from the junkyard on the D30. I went with some DBA rotors (4096s) and Hawk LTS pads (HB210 Y.677).

The old:
cb16335ade6f96d4f4d0bf068442ec0a.jpg


Side-by-side:
a449cc5891287601018112206f7e2f99.jpg


Here you can see the difference in the cooling vanes density.
DBA:
2aa321919061ee88ce3712222b52e894.jpg

Junkyard:
e35c8b137c090ec0aa9a60aa07437560.jpg


All done:
1d850f8335b29490842b305789ac4956.jpg
 












That sucks. It snapped because the ubolt was 1. Off-centered in the swivel pin to the latch and 2. Doesn't have a secondary pin/locking latch to keep the pressure off of the ubolt. I'll upload pictures (shortly, on my phone now) of my setup and it has held up for years of abuse. I bought my kit from EMS offroad.

Ok, so here's how I built mine and added a secondary lock pin (started with a cable lock but changed to pin) as well as a gusset bracket for the isolator pad where it latches to keep the vibrations down.

IMG_4314.jpg


IMG_4328.jpg


Here's a link to my PB bucket, from page 6 and up there's tons of pictures of the carrier, brackets and latching mech. to check out. I noticed that you had the nuts on both sides of the u-bolt holding it tightly onto the pivot pin, you can see I just doubled them up on the backside of the pin so that it can move as needed with the vibrations. I think that this is the main culprit as to why it snapped along with the pivot pin not being centered when it was last latched.

http://s1201.photobucket.com/user/MidnightRebel07/library/?sort=3&page=5
 






I just noticed that you don't have much of an isolator pad left there, when you close and latch it do you latch it down really tightly with the latch to keep pressure? This could be another reason why it snapped the u-bolt, too much tension on just that.
 






Haven't done much to it lately- just driving it and having a good time with it.

But the nagging 4wd lights that have been blinking ever since I went to the manual transfer case finally got to me. I bought a GEM module back when I had the lift put on but just never opened the dash to change it out. And after getting a lecture at the emissions place from a guy saying I needed to make sure I lined up for the AWD rollers as he pointed at the 4wd switch on the dash with the "auto" position, it was just time to fix it. I picked up a "new" center dash bezel at Littleton U-Pull and swapped it out:

The old bezel:
b44e0807d962501e8c5d93b16b049ed0.jpg


The "new" GEM module:
3087deabf98250cc0a0a5636e275c6b2.jpg


The "new" bezel:
f053e58d26ac9be5496347847e8521f9.jpg


I was told there was a set of nice leather seats at the junkyard a couple days earlier, but by the time I got there, they were gone.
 






This is a project I've been meaning to get to for awhile:

Extend vent tubes! I've only done the rear so far. I picked up this 5/16" clear tubing from Ace Hardware. I used about 7 of the 10 feet I bought just on the rear. I routed it up behind the left tail light. Because it seems to get super dusty back here, I zip tied a piece of shop rag to the end to act as a cheap filter. I then sprayed it with some WD-40 in the hopes of trapping more dust.

53a255cb8ffffb55691649759cf52d04.jpg


The front axle's tube is inside the left wheel well and ends a little above the top of the tire. I'll get to it and the transmission soon.
 






Nothing like February in the mountains:
b05b8195a1e5a495f7066822322d02bb.jpg

9519fadb42d892906c0d2ab153b619aa.jpg

f07121b7e2658f79b96a574137c4802c.jpg


Then I got the diff hopelessly hung up on a rock. Forward didn't work, reverse didn't work, stacking rocks didn't work..... Out came the brand new MaxTrax:

I slid sideways into this position:
25ecd686201e8d1f3de7f55184071470.jpg


This is trying to get the MT in position to go forward:
d452d6abe41447aadce7aaa204382bbe.jpg

a5342323dfe2b26476c6d03d1b48015f.jpg


The front MT ended up getting pulled under which probably helped when we put the rear MT behind the driver rear tire. It pulled itself right out.

This rock felt much steeper than the pic indicates:
09db22216c956aab50fe716821ddfd28.jpg


I'll ***** out more pics later.
 






Great wheelin' pics man. I miss going wheelin'. Looks like a winch might be in your future. Lol
 


















Great photos and videos man, looks like an awesome trip into the mountains. Really makes me miss living out west. I see the Jeepers couldn't resist the obligatory poser flex on a stump shot. LOL
 






Great build man.

Btw what brand or setup was that rear storage? Did you build it or a combination of both? I might have missed you previously explaining it.
 






The drawers are essentially ARB. I think they are technically a different company but if you search for "ARB storage drawers" they pop up. They are expensive but extremely well built. Had I attempted to make my own they wouldn't function nearly as well and would weigh 10 times as much.
 






The drawers are essentially ARB. I think they are technically a different company but if you search for "ARB storage drawers" they pop up. They are expensive but extremely well built. Had I attempted to make my own they wouldn't function nearly as well and would weigh 10 times as much.

Thank you.
 



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Time to get rid of the BFG AT's.

That'll fix up the rest of the traction issues.

Their a good all purpose tire, don't get me wrong. Sturdy, puncture resistant, good on the street and all that, but they just don't get it done off road.
 






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