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Truck of the Week! Johnstone's Sport Trac 1/19/04

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Well, I've been an Elite member for probably like two years. I guess it's time to put something in the Elite Registry. So here goes...

Engine: Stock 4.0L (245) SOHC SEFI V-6, Home made snorkel kit out of 3" PVC
Transmission: Stock Ford 5R55E 5 -Speed Automatic Overdrive
Transfer Case: Borg Warner 1354 electric shift - Gear Ratio — Low — 2.48:1
Steering: Stock Power, Ford - Rack and Pinion (Includes Steering Cooler) - Ratio 19.1:1 Static
Front Suspension: Ford SLA (Short/Long Arm) Independent Front Suspension, Rancho RS5000's, Torsion Twist.
Rear Suspension: Stock springs relocated over axle with generic spring perches, Rancho RS5000's, WAR153 Warrior Shackles, anti-sway bar removed.
Front Axle: Hybrid Dana 35/Sterling IFS, Powertrax Lock-Right, 4:10 Gears
Rear Axle: Ford 8.8, drum brakes, 4.10 gears, Powertrax Lock-Right
Driveshafts: Front - Stock, Rear - Aluminum from Extended Cab Ranger
Communications: Cobra 75 WX ST 40 Channel CB, Wilson 1000 antenna
Recovery Equipment: 60" Hi-Lift jack, 20' looped end tow strap.
Tires/Wheels: 35x12.50x15 Goodyear Wrangler MT/Rs on 15x10 American Racing AR-767 steel wheels.
Exterior: Performance Accessories 3" body lift. Gloria Zimmerman Rocksliders. Yakima roof rack with spare tire carrier. 60" Hi-Lift jack mounted to roof rack. Hanneman 3" flared fiberglass fenders.
Interior: Leather seats, power moonroof, power rear window.
Audio: Stock CD/AM/FM radio.
Future Mods: SAS, Custom tube bumpers front and rear, a winch, and possible engine swap.


Before Pic
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After Pic
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Purchased 6/30/2000. It was 4th of July weekend, and I took her out for some camping and
minor offroading in Big Bend National Park in 110 degree heat. I put my first scratches on her that weekend.
I was just letting her know how hard she would have to work for me.

I bought her fully loaded. I think the only option I didn't have was the audiophile stereo system and of course the hard tonneau cover wasn't available yet.

Big Bend National Park
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I pretty much left her stock in appearance for over a year. Thanks to this website I learned about the KKM performance filter and installed it.

In August of 2001 I made my first appearance modification. I did the Torsion Twist and installed the longer Warrior shackles. I bought the Warrior shackles from Desert Rat Offroad store in Tucson for about $45.00.

After torsion twist and longer rear shackles made by Warrior.
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In January of 2002 I made my first trip to an Explorer4x4.com Meet, Truckhaven Run of 2002.
It was at this offroading event that I really began to realize the limitations of having the longest Explorer on the block.
As Rick and other pointed out to me, my step bars would take a beating out there. On the last day of offroading I nailed one of the step bars so hard that I hit it when I opened my drivers door.

Truckhaven 2002 - Tailgate Party on the Sport Trac!
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On the way home from Truckhaven, we stopped in an offroad shop in El Paso, TX. That's where I ordered the Performance Accessories 3" body lift kit for my truck.
In the middle of February 2002, my wife and I installed the body lift kit. Luckily I had a friend that had heard about another Sport Trac that had installed this kit and he warned me about how close the A/C line will be to the harmonic balancer after the lift is installed. I used some universal muffler bracket material to make sure the A/C line was held down away from the harmonic balancer.

The day after adding a 3" body lift.
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At the end of February 2002 is when I got my 35" x 12.50" Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires mounted on 15x10 American Racing black steel wheels.

At the middle of March 2002 it was time for the 1st Annual Arizona Meet. We had a great time hanging out with everyone and seeing the Arizona desert. I even had fun rescuing some stranded moto-cross guys.

Arizona Meet - Coke Oven Run
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After that trip I worked on getting a full-size spare tire and a way to mount it on the truck. After purchasing another MT/R and steel wheel for a spare, I ordered a Yakima rack and hardware to mount on the roof and put the spare tire on it.
I also bought a front skidplate for a Ranger. It bolted right up. But, it's mainly for looks. It's too thin to really protect the truck.
Getting ready for the Moab 2002 Meet, I removed some of the grey cladding and did some painting to get rid of the rest of the grey.

Moab 2002 was an awesome experience. Ever since that trip I've been wishing I lived closer to that area. I feel like I beat the crap out of the truck on that trip.

Moab 2002 - Wipeout Hill on 7 Mile Rim Trail - Photo by Rick Horwitz
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After Moab, we headed for Nevada to pay a visit with Gloria Zimmerman so that she can spec my frame and make me a set of her rocksliders.

In the middle of June we drove to Louisville, KY for the 1st Annual National Sport Trac Meet hosted by the www.mysporttrac.com website.
We got to tour the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant where all the Explorers and Mountaineers get assembled. It was pretty cool.

My Sport Trac back at it's birthplace - Ford LAP
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I had a lift and 35" tires, but I still couldn't play with the Big Dawgs on the tough trails.
So it was time to start concentrating on getting lockers to become a big dawg.
For some crazy reason I ordered a locker for the front D35 differential first. I ordered the Powertrax LockRight from Rocky Road Outfitters, www.rocky-road.com, for about $230.00.
It was about at this time that I received my rocksliders from Gloria Zimmerman. So one Sunday, me and my friend Bill proceeded to install the rocksliders and locker in the front differential.
After getting the front differential axle assembly removed from the truck and get the carrier and ring gear removed from the differential, we discovered that one of the side gears for the locker was wrong. I ended up returning the locker to Rocky Road Outfitters. They in turn tried to contact Powertrax to verify that the side gear was wrong. Bad timing, Powertrax had just been bought by Richmond Gear and were in the processing of moving everything, so they couldn't respond to Rocky Road Outfitters. I knew it was wrong, but they had to follow their procedures. Finally, they were able to verify with Powertrax that is was wrong. But it would be sometime before they could get me another D35 LockRight model. So I asked them to refund my money and I called Randy's Ring and Pinion who had one in stock for about $5-$10 more than Rocky Road Outfitter's price. I ordered it from Randy's Ring and Pinion and got it installed the first weekend of October 2002.

Powertrax LockRight installed in my D35/IFS differential
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The next weekend I had organized an Offroad Run in Las Cruces, NM. I had contacted the Las cruces Four Wheel Drive Club to show us one of their trails. Homer, from LCFWDC got some of their members together and Becker69 and Marty196 from Explorer4x4.com showed up. I had also gotten a local Las Cruces member from www.mysporttrac.com to show up. We did the Broad Canyon Trail. It was a pretty tough trail. Marty196 and Becker69 and the other Sport Trac owner wisely chose not to try and drag the trucks through this trail. This is were I learned to listen to he power steering pump. When it's been whining for a few minutes, it's time to back off and try something different. But, I didn't and I bent a tierod. Luckily we were able to bend it back into place without it breaking.

My bent tierod
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Broad Canyon Trail, Las Cruces, NM
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My Gallery of Pictures from the Broad Canyon Trial, Las Cruces, NM
http://www.explorerforum.com/data/showgallery.php?cat=3039&ppuser=4107&thumb=1

After getting a new tierod installed and getting a new CV half-axle, it was time to get a rear locker installed. I called Rocky Road Outfitters again and ordered the Powertrax LockRight for the rear 8.8 differential.
It cost about $240. With my friend Bill's help again we got this installed on 12/22/2002. Plenty of time to be ready to run as a big dawg at Truckhaven 2003.

Powertrax LockRight Installed in my rear 8.8
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So, January 2003 rolls around and it's time for Truckhaven 2003. I had a great time running with the Big Dawgs.
Truckhaven may not be the most scenic place to be, but it's one of the funnest meets to go to.
On the first night there, I flexed the rear wheels so much that I caught the fuel filler assembly with one and ripped it up. The next day, Matt(Rockranger) and Tom Davis helped me fix my fuel filler to make it usable again.
On the last day of offroading here, the stress of all the tight turns finally took it's toll on one of my CV axles. The passenger side one broke on the waterfall obstacle.

Truckhaven 2003 - Photos by Rick Horwitz
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Broke CV axle at Truckhaven 2003
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On my way to Truckhaven 2003, I made a quick stop to pick up the Hannemann Fiberglass Flared Fenders that I bought used off a guy in Southern California. In February 2003, I installed the fenders.

After installing the Hannemann Fiberglass Fenders
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Money has been tighter in 2003, so I did most of my offroading in Texas. It was good to see more of the Texas wilderness.

We went once to Coletto Creek near Victoria, TX.
Three times to the Slabs near Kingsland, TX.
Twice to Devil's Den in San Antonio, TX.
Twice to Shiloh Ridge near Alto, TX.
And twice to Barnwell Mountain, near Gilmer, TX.

The Slabs near Kingsland, TX
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Barnwell Mountain Recreation Area near Gilmer, TX
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Devil's Den in San Antonio, TX
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Shiloh Ridge near Alto, TX
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toddious

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that sport trac is bad ass........Congrats man
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




greenmtnboy

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Sweet!!! I want mine to look like that!
 








BigDakota

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Nice looking Sport Trac..I am always amazed at what a lift and big tires do to transform a vehicles looks!
 




mynameisaric

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What is the snorkel cap made of? and how effective is it? best lookin sport trac i've ever seen btw.
 




John_Rock

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SoBeLover

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It's been a while since this truck was featured on our forum. Today I was reading my copy of Petersen's 4 Wheel and Offroad Magazine. I was looking in the reader's rides section when I noticed a picture with the caption, "Severe Duty Sport Trac. I read the information and found out that it belonged to John. Congrats to you John :thumbsup:
 




John_Rock

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SoBeLover said:
It's been a while since this truck was featured on our forum. Today I was reading my copy of Petersen's 4 Wheel and Offroad Magazine. I was looking in the reader's rides section when I noticed a picture with the caption, "Severe Duty Sport Trac. I read the information and found out that it belonged to John. Congrats to you John :thumbsup:
I know I emailed a photo in a long time ago. I can't even remember when I did that or what photo I sent. I guess, I'm heading to the stores to check it out. :D
 




SoBeLover

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Oops, forgot that some of you that may be interested in this may pick it up in a store instead of having a subscription like I do. Since I have a subscription, I guess I get them earlier than the stores do

So just keep an eye out. It's in the August issue. The cover will have a yellow truck climbing rocks and the feature article is "Trail Survival: Keep On Wheeling. What To Bring & How To Use It."
 




Rick

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Johnstone said:
I guess, I'm heading to the stores to check it out. :D

I'll have to do the same. Congrats:chug:
 




ExplorerDMB

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I saw it in the magazine as well. Congrats :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 




Lost216

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thats a beautiful truck and it's amazing that you put it to such use looking that good.
 




huntman58

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Just wanted to bring this back up so that we all can see it again or for some the first time. RIP John and thanks for the awesome look at your truck
 




corkey

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THE LIRA

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Awesome progression photos. Nice rig.
 








ATanner

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This truck is awesome it is definitely the inspiration behind mine and everything I want to do to my ST. Great looking truck.
 




97cherbal

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John why did you go with a drum 8.8 instead of the original disc 8.8? What all was done to the front to make it as level as the rear being as you did a perch flip to the rear? Was there a LSD in the 8.8 originally prior to the Powertrax Lockright? Any clearance issues near front original fenders when turning with the 35s?
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




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