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Top 5 Mods for a Sport

DadMode

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Argyle
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2017 Explorer Platinum
Part of the challenge with your advice is that no one currently offers an after-market BBK package for our vehicles... but you'll also be burning many thousands of dollars to upgrade brakes that already do a damn fine job for most of us

Stock, painted, or covers - do what you want. Your car. Your rules.

That is a pretty big challenge... I could have sworn Wilwood made a set but looks like I am mistaken there. Either way you will be spending a couple thousand on a BBK, so it's just a matter of where you want to go with it. These aren't track cars that are experiencing brake fade, so obviously putting on a BBK is nothing more than appearance, you'll never need that much braking power. It would be a last ditch effort for me if I ran out of mod ideas and just wanted that finishing touch.

As you said though, modding is a matter of personal preference. Do what you want and what makes your car personally yours. To me that's the hardest part of answering any question of "what mods should I do?" That answer is so subjective from person to person, you just have to take in all the ideas and do the ones that you like the best.

Also, for OP: Been in the mod world since high school with my first car 20 years ago. You will always run into people that like what you do, and you will ALWAYS run into people that "ridicule" certain decisions that you make. Do not let the naysayers make you feel like you made a wrong choice based on your opinion. Who cares if someone does not like your car?

(Edit: that last paragraph was pointing the finger at myself and feelings towards caliper covers)
 


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Sgt1411

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2021 Explorer ST
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Performance mods...
The single biggest bang-for-the-buck mod is a tune. Add a 3-bar MAP and t-stat for a few more ponies. After that, intake and exhaust will squeeze a little bit more out, plus make it sound more beastly.

Caliper covers vs. paint is a personal preference matter. IMO, the stock calipers are ugly in shape and finish, no matter what color you paint them. I went with MGP covers ( red with black "EXPLORER" lettering - without the fake bolt heads), and still love them 9 months later. They look great (IMO), and are super easy to keep clean. I have not yet seen a set of painted calipers on an Ex that I like the look of. As I said, it's personal preference.
T3WVaQE.jpg


Some people have argued that the covers reduce braking performance due to excess heat. However, it's an assumption, and not one person I've seen make that argument has been able to back those claims up with factual information, or have any personal experience with the product. In my own experience, and discussing the issue with other MGP cover users, not one of us has noticed ANY reduction in braking performance, or any signs of other heat-related brake issues.

Your Shadow Black looks gorgeous........I'm so jealous, mine looks nothing like that.
 




Eric F

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2017 Explorer XLT
Your Shadow Black looks gorgeous........I'm so jealous, mine looks nothing like that.

Secret photo tip (iPhone 7)...Adjustments the "light" and "color" settings can make a world of difference ;)
 




Sgt1411

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Secret photo tip (iPhone 7)...Adjustments the "light" and "color" settings can make a world of difference ;)

Its the depth of your Shadow Black that impresses me. Mine has way too many swirls to look good. Likely due to the guy (owner) using the highspeed polisher is not skilled and a bit of a knob!
 




2015TuxedoSport

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Houston, Texas
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2015, Explorer Sport
Performance mods...
The single biggest bang-for-the-buck mod is a tune. Add a 3-bar MAP and t-stat for a few more ponies. After that, intake and exhaust will squeeze a little bit more out, plus make it sound more beastly.

Caliper covers vs. paint is a personal preference matter. IMO, the stock calipers are ugly in shape and finish, no matter what color you paint them. I went with MGP covers ( red with black "EXPLORER" lettering - without the fake bolt heads), and still love them 9 months later. They look great (IMO), and are super easy to keep clean. I have not yet seen a set of painted calipers on an Ex that I like the look of. As I said, it's personal preference.
T3WVaQE.jpg


Some people have argued that the covers reduce braking performance due to excess heat. However, it's an assumption, and not one person I've seen make that argument has been able to back those claims up with factual information, or have any personal experience with the product. In my own experience, and discussing the issue with other MGP cover users, not one of us has noticed ANY reduction in braking performance, or any signs of other heat-related brake issues.

That right there is a slick ride. I appreciate the info and photo.
 




2015TuxedoSport

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2015, Explorer Sport
Big Brake Kit (oversized/higher pot calipers and rotors)
Down Pipe (first pipe in the exhaust gas flow connected directly to the turbo)

Honestly though, disregard most of what I said in 3 - 5 as my reading comprehension could use just a little work. You did specifically mention no warranty voids so...

3) Tune
4) Wheels
5) Whatever pleases you :)

These are general guidelines when doing basic mods on any vehicle, grab the smaller items first, add a little power, dress up the wheels and tires, and then do other things little by little that you think would look good on your car. Coolest part of modding is that you make the vehicle specifically yours!

Thank you sir. I will be getting a Tune first. Then I will BBK and Calipers. I think it would look cool with Brimbo once I save enough money. If it even fits.
 








peterk9

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I need better lights. Halogens are not cutting the mustard at all. Any opinions on LED/HIDS etc? Came across this and I think I like it. HID Xenon + 2011-2015 Ford Explorer Replace Projector Headlights - Black Clear
There are several threads on upgrading the headlights to HID/LED but most are just about changing the bulbs which is not the correct way to go. If you want to do it correctly, the housing must also be changed to adapt to the type of aftermarket HID or LED kit. Your link seems to be the way to go in doing a proper upgrade. Good luck.

Peter
 




DangerZone

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2013 Explorer Sport
Anyone have good advice on hacking the My Ford Sync II? Mainly I want to override the hassle of not being able to use/edit navigation routes while moving. I’ve googled it and I’ve come across a few different kits but I seriously don’t see the need to spend 300+ on unlocking that one feature. I was hoping there was another option.
 




peterk9

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Anyone have good advice on hacking the My Ford Sync II? Mainly I want to override the hassle of not being able to use/edit navigation routes while moving.
I think that would fall under 'distracted driving'.

Peter
 




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13 Expo Sport 88gt&90gt
I installed a DiabloSport Trinity T1000 tuner on my 2015 sport. Great performance Improvement overall, added a lot of torque a lot more horsepower and really changed up the shifting. It was very noticeable. I've had it on the vehicle for 3 years and no issues at the dealer. The worst was when I took it in for something with the computer my service guy asked me to detune it so he could cover things without it being an issue. It only takes a few minutes to do that, so if I ever brought it in for anything like that I would simply detune it and then retune it afterwards. I'm about to buy a 2017 Explorer Sport and will install the DiabloSport T1000 on this one assuming it fits appropriately. I still have to call the manufacturer and double-check. I also installed a K&N air filter which was another good Improvement. Tinted windows of course. Enjoy your sport!
How many preprogrammed tunes are on the T1000 for the sport?
 




drudis

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2016 Explorer Sport
You can unlock the programming with Forscan, and set it to something like country of Brazil (not USA), so that its legal there.
The downside is that 911 wont work.
Due to the downside, I opted NOT to change that setting, and get type directions _really fast_ at a red light.
 




peterk9

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HamHands

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2015 Ford Explorer Sport
My top 5 mods are/were as follows:
#1). I needed somewhere safe to store/put my Sun Glasses, my wallet/money/CC's, Radar Detector, Dash-Cam, and my CZ Sidearm for when I go to places like Lifetime Fitness (Gym) or Fulton & Dekalb County Courthouses to perform research... All 3 locations are notorious for car break in/thefts from trash that lurk in the parking lots/decks. And yes, all of the aforementioned items fit comfortably and securely inside. This 10 gauge steel, concealed safe/vault was an absolute mandatory for me... The console latch/cover doesn't let on there is a safe with valuables in it. I sourced and installed this safe almost immediately after the purchase of the Ex-Sport.
RnwWkyg.jpg


4AlW06m.jpg


#2). Was to match the tint of the rear passenger, tailgate, and sunroofs. I had it professionally done to 20% all the way around. The cooling effect was immediately noticeable and it provides an element of security as passerby's cannot easily see to look for valuables. You can't see anything in the 2nd or 3rd row areas. But you can comfortably see out of the Sport when driving at night!
a2KRnhD.jpg

MNa0Jno.jpg

# 3) I had to do something about the miserable "Factory Projector Headlights" and weak fog lamps. I installed the (9003/H4) SeaLight LED's with the supplied Can-Bus Decoders plug n' play swap in's... The illumination is night and day compared to the dim stock lighting makes night driving with just low beams and fogs, excellent. The Hi-Beams are superior to any other Hi's I've ever used and the Fogs are great for down low and projected fan/flood lighting. Pic doesn't do justice...
c8HMNgI.jpg

#4). I dislike chrome anything on a vehicle. Ford went out of their way to black out the grill, accents, ground effects, smoke treatment to the head/tail light lens', mirror caps, etc... buy yet they leave the "Sport" and Ecoboost badges in gaudy-azz chrome! So I bought a can or two of Plasti-Dip and watched 4-5 YouTube videos. I blacked out the badges and replaced the blue ovals. I left the tailpipes alone because they are polished aluminum and they are machined nicely... nicer than most higher end makes/models to be honest.
pLRwsvG.jpg

#5). The best for last... I bought and installed an SCT, (X4) Tuner from Southern Speed Inc and loaded with their 93 Octane Tune... All I can say is Wow... What an awakening. I had gotten in the habit of running the ExSport in Sand-Mode 75% of the time because I wanted/needed the throttle response moving in & out of Atlanta traffic. Since the 93 Tune I've yet to put it in Sand Mode after the initial Tune because the engine is so much more responsive than stock. The WOT shifts are surprisingly smooth and is the reason I went with the SSI Tune over some others because I read so many accounts of the transmission slamming when up-shifting from 1st to 2nd and especially from 2nd and into 3rd gears; (which is unacceptable to me because I know what that leads to eventually!!) The SSI 93 tune's HP/Torque gain is eye opening and brow raising! It drives like a new vehicle and to be perfectly honest I'm "learning" how to drive her all over again. I punched the throttle to 3/4 down... coming out of a Home Depot the other day and got sideways until I completely let off and steered toward the direction I slid in. So the new tuned Explorer-Sport deserves quite a bit more attention while I'm getting used to the extra boost and HP/Torque. A Borla Exhaust System is on the way next and that is the last planned performance upgrade. It's all I'll ever need truthfully... maybe more than I'll ever need... but I'll just have to learn to live with it.:p
Fna0FTM.jpg
 




Mark1950

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2005 Ford explorer
Read your vehicle's Warranty Guide and it will pretty much cover your question.

Peter
Larger mass airflow sensor and throttle body if you dont, take out the mass airflow sensor. It's in the air intake hose and is held in place with two screws. Buy a can of mass air flow sensor. Do not use any gas, carb cleaner, not anything else like that. Handle this sensor carefully and use only mass airflow cleaner
 




peterk9

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Larger mass airflow sensor and throttle body if you dont, take out the mass airflow sensor. It's in the air intake hose and is held in place with two screws. Buy a can of mass air flow sensor. Do not use any gas, carb cleaner, not anything else like that. Handle this sensor carefully and use only mass airflow cleaner
I think you must have quoted the wrong person.:dunno:

Peter
 




Stephen Cannon

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City, State
DFW METROPLEX
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Explorer Sport
1. Tint. Came from dealer with 30% I would have preferred 25 (Texas Legal) but oh well, no reason to remove just for that.
2. Eye Brow Tint, this is the area along the upper portion of the windshield to help keep direct overhead glare down.
3. LED MOD, I recently replaced the back up lamps and rear turn signals with Sylvania 7440 (Back up) and 7440A (A Amber, Turn Signals)
4. Weather Tech all the way around front passengers 2nd row 3rd row, under seat 3rd row (stowed), In Channel Vent Visors, Moonroof wind deflector.
5. Next will be LMS Tuning kit. I transferred the CAI kit from my Taurus SHO Yes Direct fit 2014 SHO and 2018 Explorer Sport same engine and same CAI kit.

If I go with painted Calipers I will probably just replace with NAPA, The last set I ordered from them (2013 Taurus SEL) were powder coated black and a direct swap over. I had taken the advantage to do a brake fluid flush and new pads/rotors.
 




Watcher58

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Billings, MT
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2015 Explorer Sport
Performance mods...
The single biggest bang-for-the-buck mod is a tune. Add a 3-bar MAP and t-stat for a few more ponies. After that, intake and exhaust will squeeze a little bit more out, plus make it sound more beastly.

Caliper covers vs. paint is a personal preference matter. IMO, the stock calipers are ugly in shape and finish, no matter what color you paint them. I went with MGP covers ( red with black "EXPLORER" lettering - without the fake bolt heads), and still love them 9 months later. They look great (IMO), and are super easy to keep clean. I have not yet seen a set of painted calipers on an Ex that I like the look of. As I said, it's personal preference.
T3WVaQE.jpg


Some people have argued that the covers reduce braking performance due to excess heat. However, it's an assumption, and not one person I've seen make that argument has been able to back those claims up with factual information, or have any personal experience with the product. In my own experience, and discussing the issue with other MGP cover users, not one of us has noticed ANY reduction in braking performance, or any signs of other heat-related brake issues.
That is a sweet ride!
 




san~man

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Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Sport
That is a pretty big challenge... I could have sworn Wilwood made a set but looks like I am mistaken there. Either way you will be spending a couple thousand on a BBK, so it's just a matter of where you want to go with it. These aren't track cars that are experiencing brake fade, so obviously putting on a BBK is nothing more than appearance, you'll never need that much braking power. It would be a last ditch effort for me if I ran out of mod ideas and just wanted that finishing touch.

As you said though, modding is a matter of personal preference. Do what you want and what makes your car personally yours. To me that's the hardest part of answering any question of "what mods should I do?" That answer is so subjective from person to person, you just have to take in all the ideas and do the ones that you like the best.

Also, for OP: Been in the mod world since high school with my first car 20 years ago. You will always run into people that like what you do, and you will ALWAYS run into people that "ridicule" certain decisions that you make. Do not let the naysayers make you feel like you made a wrong choice based on your opinion. Who cares if someone does not like your car?

(Edit: that last paragraph was pointing the finger at myself and feelings towards caliper covers)

No manufacturer makes a direct "bolt on" kit for our Ex. There was a company (I lost the link) who made custom brackets to fit Wilwood calipers over larger rotors, but you lose the parking brake feature. It was also over 3000 for the front and rear kit.
 


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Livernois

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2013 Explorer Sport
I would have to agree the tune is the #1 mod to these explorer sports. Just off a tune you can pick up 60+awhp. Then adding intake and more importantly 3 bar map sensor for higher rpm performance. I also agree on lowering kit for handling. If you guys have any questions message us or call us at 313-561-5500
 




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