Truck of the Week JoshC 3/15/04 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Truck of the Week JoshC 3/15/04

I'm Josh Cassell and here is my picture: Dead Link Removed

My Explorer is an XL 4door 4wd, but here are somethings i have added:

-JVC CD player
-replace all 4 5x7's
-Changed the seats out with 2000 model seats
-first aid kit
-"custom" rear cargo storage space
-added 2 front power supplies and a CB
-rear power supply and fire extinquisher
-Garmin etrexDead Link Removed

-Dead Link Removed with Hi Lift mount
-Steel Horse Roof rack
-2 Hella 500 lights on front of rack
-2 Hella 530 lights on brush guard
-manik brush guard
-manik tail light guards
-2 Blazer lights on the back of rack
-Home made nerf bars
-fender flares (forgot what brand)
-front tow hooks
-Dead Link Removed
-Reese roof mount bike rack

-Front--2" TT
-Rear--Monroe Air shocks, ad-a-leaf, shackles
-removed rear sway bar

My motor, which is the 4.0 OHV is stock. I don't know a thing about motors so i don't work on them. It has been a great motor, 123,000 miles on it now and does not burn any oil. The truck came to me as an automatic but when the second tranny kicked the bucket i changed it over to a manual 5-speed. Took a lot of time and about $2000 but it was worth it. Here is the thread and write up on my conversion: Dead Link Removed. I have changed the exhaust for a Flowmaster series too. Just about every thing no the truck as been replaced, literally. I call it my "lifetime warrenty truck!" The gears came as 3:73 open, so for the rear i added a Dead Link Removed and i love it! Since the 97's came out with the "no 2wd" option, with a little help from KMak, another member, we figured out how to disable this option with an inline switch, which now gives me 2wd. With the switch off i can still use the tcase and actually put it in low range, and be in 2wd low. It is great, i do use this a lot when i'll pulling up really steep hill here in WV. Here is my thread and write up on it: Dead Link Removed

My tires and wheels in the pictures below are ARE Bajas with 31" BFG AT's. I also have the cheapo grey wheels that came on it stock. I added 31" BFG MT's to them, i run them if i'm going out for a big trip or i know i'll be using my truck for off road work during a weekend, but both tires are awesome for off road and on road.

In the Process:
Dana 30 off of a 95 XJ with 4.56 gears, Dead Link Removed in it. Work is being done by Cory at CRL Customs. I've got all 5 35's. They are Dead Link Removed. Here is the Dead Link Removed to the thread for the work.

I absolutly love my truck and would not get rid of it for the world.

Here is my photo gallery: Elite Photo Gallery
A couple more sites with misc. pictures:
webshots more pictures

Happy trails!!


This is courtesy of Spas:
Dead Link Removed

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Here is the build up of my Explorer for a SFA.

The axle I used is a Dana 30 off of a Jeep.


I bought the axle in December, so I had plenty of time work on it. I had it regeared to 4.56's. I also installed a Dead Link Removed. I've already got a Dead Link Removed in the 8.8.


I put these diff guards on the front and rear too.


Cory uses some pretty tough stuff. All of the links on the front axle use Hiem joints for the connections.


The links are all customs made by Cory. All of his tubing used on the axle is 1 1/2" OD, 1/8" wall (I think).



The coil buckets we used came from a race car magazine. They are adjustable for ride height.



After 3 months of having the truck, he finally gets to test his work.




While Cory had the truck, I also had him build a proto type bumper that he designed, hoping people would like it so he could start to sell these too.


The truck turned out well. It is HUGE! I love it. When I got it back I got up the next morning and started to work on it. I had to replace all the brake lines up front, removed the ABS unit from under the hood, and bought a new PS caliper for the front.

I finally got everything put back together and painted. Here are pics of the bumper after i added two pieces of 3/8" diamond plate.



After I got it all done, it was my turn to try it out a little bit. I didn't want to flex it to hard because i don't have my limiting straps on yet.




Here is the link to the whole build up process: Dead Link Removed

My tire choice was 35" Dead Link Removed

Please let me know what you think, good or bad! I'll answer an question that I can. If you want some pricing on the work, email Cory at

Congrats on TOTW Josh and thanks for your service to our country! To anyone who may not know, Josh is stationed in Kuwait right now with his National Guard unit.:us:

Congradulations Josh! Nice truck!
THANK YOU for serving our country!!! Best to you!


way to go!!!! unfortunately it will be a while till you see this. Tell him congrats travis!

Congrats and come home safe.

One of these days maybe I'll to a auto to manual swap so I can be as cool as you. Aweome truck!

Congrats and thank you for serving our country! :chug:

To those who don't know, Josh has indeed finished his SAS w/CRL customs.... maybe someone has a newer photo of his rig to post in this thread?

Congrats and we cant wait to have you back on the boards.

Very nice ride.


Awesome!! I know Josh is going to be pumped up when he sees this. He's currently in Kuwait training to go to Iraq. He should be leaving for Iraq shortly. He's out to the range and should be back in a few days. I'll make sure to email him and let him know!

Yes Josh has completed a SAS along with custom front bumper with a winch. Here's an updated picture.


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wow i'm jealous,

thats a sweet looking SAS Ride!!

awesome truck mand but how come no update on the solid axle swap. sick anyway though

Congrats rig :D

Stay safe over there, ok? :)

:D Congrats Josh. Hurry up and get back so you can enjoy your TOTW :)

i really like the color of your truck, could use a little brown though!



I updated this thread with his SAS info.

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Congrats! Very Nice Truck. Thanks Josh. - U.S.A.