Tom's '97 XLT registry | Page 18 | 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)

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.

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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Rebuilt my trackbar because the old one was contacting the upper control arm mount on the diff.

Had a small kink put in to help clear:


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Nice roof rack mod! Rim Rocker looks like a good time. Its on my schedule for sometime in September or October.

How do you like the Maxtrax mounted behind the Trasharoo? I thought about doing it that way but wound up putting the Maxtrax on my roof because I didn't think the Trasharoo would work as well and would move around too much.

The Trasharoo actually works pretty well with the MTs behind it. All the nubs of the MTs actually keep it from moving.

I've never had to use my MTs when mounted there. That would be a downside- especially on day 3 of a trip and the bag is kind of full.

Rim Rocker is a decent trail. We left Montrose around 12:30 pm on Friday, made camp around 7:30 pm near the CO/UT border. Left camp at 8 am and were in Moab by 12:30 pm Saturday. Definitely wait until it cools off some. We did it the first week of June and it was 100 degrees in Moab when we got there. I did nearly all of it in 2wd. It was dry and dusty- but saw evidence of rigs struggling in what had been mud. Tons of Aspens just outside of Montrose and more just inside UT- if you could time it right to coincide with the colors, it would be awesome.

Thanks for leading the way Tom, was a pleasure to finally hit a trail with you and Rich, and fitting that out of the first 2 Explorers I get to wheel with, one of them was the one that got me off my ass and working on mine!! My new favorite trail in Colorado!!

Did my best impression of an ice breaker today:




I was the first through in several days and the ice was pretty thick. The big sheets would actually slow me down as I broke through.

Good time!

Sad I missed it! Going out tomorrow? I want to get out one more time.

We ran MSV and Coney on Saturday. Not a lick of ice on that pond. Rich, you mentioned Bill Moore last week, we ran it during the day Tuesday I think it was, we had a helluva wind storm up here the day before and it took down 2 massive trees that were across the trail. Luckily we had 3 winched rigs with us and got em out of the way enough to get through. I've been working on getting pics uploaded, I'll post some up whenever I do.

I love your write up on your rig. Chinamens Gulch is one of my favorite trail. It was my first trail that I went on when I moved here to Colorado Springs. I can not wait to get my rig up there to Chinamens. I was up there a few months ago with a friend of mine that owns a shop here in the Springs. I drove his TJ and just missed the trail. It is a trail and all 4 seasons though. :) Again I love your write up. Planning the same set up for my rig but gonna go with a 4 link in the rear.

I haven't driven it since June- and that was just to the store to get bolts for the Expedition. With the kids getting super active with their activities, going 4wheeling is getting tougher and tougher.

It's just time for a change. The sale is going to take forever. Who knows, maybe after 6 months I'll change my mind.

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Is this thing still on?

Apparently I didn't sell it. I've actually been driving it about once a week to work. Until this happened:

Axle seal gave up the ghost. After pulling the axle, I think I may know why:

The gouge looks like it's right at the inner part where the seal rides. I tried going to 2 pick n pull yards but at each yard, all the 2nd gens had their whole axles taken. Damn Jeepers. And I didn't know that 1st gen axles are same- minus the lug studs. Oh well, figure putting in used axles with likely more miles on them than mine might not be the best idea. I'm going to order new axle shafts.

Also while I've got all this torn apart, might as well fix my parking brake shoes:

I also recently developed a coolant leak from a cracked thermostat housing. I upgraded that to an all aluminum one.

I've got a few other things planned for this in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.