"TURDLE" or " How to mess up a perfectly good truck" | Page 21 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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"TURDLE" or " How to mess up a perfectly good truck"

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Well, it is about time I do this
This is our 1998 Mountaineer.
We acquired it in late 2000, with 29 k on the odometer. Previously it prowled the Oklahoma turnpike as an unmarked police cruiser.

I would say it was about June-2001, when the initial madness set in, and I became obsessed with changing the looks.
I found Explorer Express, Where I scored the x-spec suspension.
After talking with John V., I learned of the Apten group buy here, and the rest is as they say, history.
In June of 2002, I acquired an exhaust leak. Being the expert I thought I was, I bought a header gasket set, went to fix it.
Well, in my thinking I didn't have the front bolt tight enough, I snapped it off into the head---ooops.
After pouting about this for awhile, I decided to really get into this site for answers.
The result--

347 cubic inch, stroked and bored engine

FMS sportsman block-bored .030 over and machined for stroke
Billet crankshaft with chev rod journals
H-beam ultra light rods
Probe PRS forged pistons -9cc dish ( slightly over 10:1 compression)
Melling stock volume oil pump
Edelbrock performer efi heads 2.02 intake, 1.60 ex valve 58cc chambers
Crane's roller lifters--billet aluminum lifter guides
Crane's roller rockers
comp cams pushrods
Cloyes true billet double timing set.
FMS X-303 camshaft, advanced 4 degrees
Professional products Typhoon intake and EGR elbow, with 1" phenolic spacer
FMS 42 lb injectors
Aeromotive fuel rails, boost reference regulator ( currently set to 43 psi.)
Walbro 255LPH fuel pump--return style 3402
Lightning MAF
Torquemonster headers--stock exhaust with rear cats removed--magnaflow dula in single out-Hooker Aerochamber stacked right behind, 3" mandrel bent MAC tailpipe.
Art Carr 3000 RPM flash lockup converter ( 10 " billet housing)
Art Carr built valvebody kit
Amsoil fluids in all otherwise stock components. ( since I change my oil early and often, I use the least expensive synthetic oil. Usually Amsoil, but sometimes I will use Mobil 1)

AWD IS OUT!! 4406 4X4 IS IN!


As of 2-17-08
I mentioned the truck being a poilice cruiser in it's first life-
well, this caused a little "glitch"
While the PCM says it is a NRT1 box code, somewhere along the line a police code was flashed into the PCM.
My original paperwork shows a dealer service call for a PCM reflash right before the title was signed over. I am assuming the police tune was recovered, and a stock tune re loaded.
they didn't mention they loaded it with a MC2O box code.
After 2 trials with the initial run tune, I actually read the box code with the XCAL2 and James deteremined This error.

Once this was figured out-the tuning was ON!!!

Baseline tuning is complete and all is well. I'm waiting on a new Innovate LM-1 wideband for WOT tuning.
Somehow mine took a dump,
I spent a whole day trying to figure it out. If it had been operating though it would have been a breeze.

James ( jah81592) is about the best help a guy could ask for in this area.


Tuning complete-after a few WOT pulls to 6000 rpm's
James has not only achieved a great tune in my truck, but totally eliminated the surging issues I was experiencing.


Truck now lifted for trip to Colorado Gold mine trails--page8

Update 4
colorado trip completed-Imogene pass and Black bear pass have been driven in this truck
woo hoo!!
picture of black bear pass-

update 5
On Sept 19, 2008 Went to KCIR and ran a 14.8 @ 90mph---2.002 60 ft time
I was snoozing and did everything wrong. It has more in it.

Update 6

After drooling over Mountaineergreen's extensive suspension mod list for years-

With a feeling of guilt, for not doing the actual work myself, I have acquired his

4" superlift suspension lift,
410 gears
aussie locker in rear
disconnect front diff--- http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=188359
double cardan front drive shaft ---http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185232

285-75-16" cooper discovery sst (33") tires


Exhaust Dumps installed 4-15-2009
These allow the exhaust to be opened right after the cats.

new pics as of 3-16 2009





update 8

Added another stock trans cooler beside original, installed hard lines and twin 10" cooling fans


They seemed to work just fine


Update 9

Sliders installed!!!



I used Smoked chrome powder coat on front and rear bumpers, sliders, and wheels make for a factory look match
Bumper pictures are before slider install-



Next up--Get rid of torsion bar drop brackets, and, the bars themselves.

I also have some mild white neon tube rock lights, some very bright 55w rock lights, and, 6 rock llight of death tubes ( to be shown later)

stay tuned!!


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It is hard to fathom the Turdle being kicked to the curb for a older chopped up broke down rig.

I think a tear is forming, I gotta go.........


I think you should stick with the TURDLE. It has proven it's worthiness over and over again. Besides after your last "pole dance" you put a lot of time into it, not to mention money, to keep it on the street. That other ex is nice, but I don't think it compares to the Turdle. Stick with what you know Jon.

I agree with all, but I'd keep it for towing just because you know the truck, and it can be done. I'd try to find a tow dollie if the other truck can always have two wheels on the ground. Towing with these should have much larger trans coolers, I'd guess about three times the OEM cooler in total size. Have a trans temp gauge, the right torque converter, and a well built trans. You are not far off from all that now.


A different wheel/tire combo could change your ride quality significantly, especially off-road. A smaller diameter wheel with the same height tire, running a lower air pressure would greatly ease the impacts.

On my truck in Colorado, I aired down to 25 psi - not bad, but I usually go down to 20 in the rough stuff.

On my truck in Colorado, I aired down to 25 psi - not bad, but I usually go down to 20 in the rough stuff.

20psi isn't aired down. you got at least another 5 to go. We run 15psi dry and 5psi in the snow.

Big, wide tires and good shocks but even then, a person with a 'condition' will still get jostled around.

Pick the right trail for you Jon, not us.

Good luck but I still hope to see you on a NW trail sometime:thumbsup:

You gotta do what you gotta do, which is why my explorer is headed your way...

Do what's best for you. :thumbsup:

Now I'm completely confused. What did I miss? What happened to Jello's chop-top?

Oh and the Walmarts out here do that stupid bollard post thing with the signs in the parking lot. Must be a lot cheaper that curb :rolleyes:

put the 347 in the 93? You could put the mounty clip on it too!!


Seriously I know how you feel man, its HARD to decide what to do when you have too many toys and something has to give, I have a similar problem, my 96 rides like CRAP and I rebuild the front end over and over....it runs amazing, looks great, needs paint, but the front end sucks, then I have this 98 with 93K miles on it needs oil pressure, rides like a dream.... hmmmm what do I do? swap 96 parts into a 98 = headache, I should be focused on my BII not that project. I have thought about towing my BII with the 96, but thats alot to ask for the 96.... Sometimes I wish I could just start over!!

I vote DRIVE the mounty for a while, jusst change the oil and thats it... for like a year or more, start working on your 93.

Since having my son and a prego wife, oil changes are about all I have had time for, so my 96 I just drive it. I did rotate the tires, and I did new caliper and pads, but for the last 14 months I have just driven it, no work, no body work, no paint prep, no engine mods, no new parts... just drive to work and back and for shopping... its been kinda nice!! I have used the time to re-do our house some more, get caught up at work and to rebuild two old Polaris ATV's. The 96 rides like crap, but it starts every day and has not needed a thing... amazing! I didnt know this was possible! I thought they needed at least $200 in parts a week just to keep going!

I plan to keep driving the 96, maybe clean it now and then, change the oil, and focus on my BII off road monster project instead... the 96/98 decision can wait :)

These are BIG decisions, so throw some time at it!
I HATE to think of selling my 96 or taking it apart, lots of blood and sweat in there as well as $$$$, I never part with anything mechanical, its my nature, but... like you said something has to give......

Lowered 1-2", and big swaybars, your explorer will tow better than a stocker. I know mine did (the 96 V8 i had back in the day).

Get a good brake controller with a decellerometer ?spl?, get a weight distribution hitch, use as light of a trailer as you can, and build the trail rig as light as you can. It can in fact be done safely. Mine pulled just as stable as a half ton Xcab pickup with all the above done.

The way yours is set up right now with the monster trans coolers and big motor its 90% of a tow rig already, it just needs a little suspension work. :)

I know what you're going through Jon, at one point I had 2 built trucks sitting at my house trying to figure out what to do. Not to mention an expensive tow rig and a 18 foot flatbed I bought strictly for this hobby. Make your decisions wise and stick to the plan. If you want to go trailer rig, I personally think there is a smarter vehicle than an Explorer to tow with (then agian, plenty of people think my tow rig is not very sensible either).

I'm jealous you have a truck that can drive 2000 miles on an offroad trip and make it home but I agree, with that IFS you're gambling on those trips. If you want to do Expedition style wheeling and see some amazing parts of America (easier on your back), your Mounty is perfect for that. If you want to get hard core, your chop top is the vehicle of choice.

2K wil get you a flatbed plus it sounds like a few hundred bucks more for a tow rig requirements, then double insurance, maintainence etc etc. All the sudden spending 4K on a dixon bros. racing front end to make your already pimp truck one that will soak up the trails and bombproof enough to drive home is looking a lot more attractive.

Remember, that GEN 1 needs an engine, but the tranny in those things are nothing to be driving without some funds ready for a rebuild as well.

toys at my house (its a small house, 2 car garage, 2 car driveway)

1988 Bronco II
1996 Exploder
1998 Exploder
2007 FJ cruiser
1999 GMC 2500HD POS
2009 Polaris Rzr S
2000 Polaris Sportsman 500 4x4 RSE
1993 Polaris Trail Boss 250 4x4
2001 Bayliner 19'
2001 kawasaki 1200 Jet ski
1998 kawasaki 1100 Jet Ski
2005 Polaris RMK 900 159"
2005 Polaris RMK 900 159"
1996 Polaris 600 tripple 136"

Something HAS TO GIVE!! we are only two drivers, well until Baylee is 4-5

I need more land or less vehicles, but you NEVER get back what you put into them, so its real tough to part with them. I am still amazed we were able to sell the Sport Trac and I actually gave the guy the keys without punching him in the face!!

Like I said, sometimes I wish I could start over and Danny your tow rig is ridiculous, but so are the boats it hauls LOL

no way I am towing my BII with a Explorer, well use the GMC for that
GMC needs tires, window motor, shocks, brakes, power steering leak fixed, body work, tailgate, interior work....

trades welcome LOL looking for a 347 drivetrain

I am always thinking man I NEED a BTF or Dixon front end for my 96 because it doesnt need a SAS for a trail rig but I would love to be able to beat it up a bit more, but then that $3000+ would go nicely as coilovers/smoothies and deavers for the BII
Do I build both? drive the 96 till it falls apart and focus on the BII? play lotto and quit my job? sell everything and buy another Rzr? its tough to decide, and no we are not RICH we are just way into off road and good deals.....

Until i had a son I seemed to have time to build, maintain and detail all of our vehicles, now I hardly have time for an oil change... LOL but thats okay hes worth it. This gives me time to PLAN my next move and save $$$$

time for some real careful planning, then STICK TO IT!! no hasty decisions here

thinking list:
1. boat/jet skis has sat for two seasons now, but we have a lake house and Baylee will be big enough for boating next summer
2. 96 explorer needs stuff to be better, but works as it is
3. 98 explorer I hate, I built it to sell it, it has no oil pressure, I need to get back to it, but I hate it
4. 2000 GMC we use for hauling/towing, Loaned it to my bro in law for 10 months, tires are bald, window broken, headliner sagging, etc. Runs great, has miles left in it, can haul a house
5. 88 Bronco II needs about $15K in parts for me to be happy, this is the main focus
6. Wifes 900 RMK is too big snowmobile for her, going to sell our old 600 and get a smaller sled for her, her old 900 becomes my backup/guest sled
7. Jetskis I married into, they are okay but I would rather wakebaord then jetski so I am usually in the boat, wife on the ski, keeping all 3, we sold our 3rd jetski last summer, needed a new pump
8. ATV's and Rzr are the summer fun toys!! but then why do you need a BII? Hmmm......

its NOT EASY TO DECIDE and I didnt even touch on trailers, we always buy bigger and then they are too small, it never ends

The turdle is never going to be a good tow rig with that 347 in it. It's just plain not built to tow. It's built to scream at high rpm, not pull loads at low rpm. It would need at least a cam, torque converter and valve body just to start.

I don't mean to nit pick... but aren't the last two in the trans? not discounting anything you say, i remember from the build that it was build for a street truck. But at the same time, isn't towing capacity more in the cooling system and transmission more so then the actual motor?

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