"TURDLE" or " How to mess up a perfectly good truck" | Page 23 | 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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Having 2 4x4 rigs to maintain can be daunting. A real strain on the pocket book. Gas for both is a royal PITA. ...


And remembering which one has gas - and which one needs gas!

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Well, I am about as tired as you are, of me asking "what do I do? What do I do?

So,there comes a point when you just throw your hands up, and say What the heck.

This truck is going full width. This will make steering a bit easier to deal with from what I read so far.

Since we aren't doing hard core rock crawling, and, 35's are the tire size,

I would like to try maybe an f150 9" -d 44 combo. with 456 gearing. Definitely a coil sprung front.

The main reason, is to increase wheel travel for a smoother ride on the bumpy stuff.

Which truck gets full-width axles?

This one Scott

After seeing Brad--bronco2guy drive his full width in Colorado I am ok with it.

I'm pretty sure that his axles are not full width. I believe they are cut down a bit. I may eat crow here, but I'm thinking this is the case.

JT --> chat

Im running narrow axles, but would not be afraid at all of driving down black bear with full widths, would actually feel alot better and safer.
If it wasnt for the amount of parts I allready have for narrow axles, i recommend full witdh, the axle you need to use unless u go d60, is a 76 or 77 dana 44, then you can move wedges in on the axle and not have to space out coil bucket towers, also I think, not for sure with a oil filter relocation kit you should be able to run a Gen 1 steering box, which I think is the best setup. Unless u have gobbs of money. Also I would invest in Duff or Cage arms. use 5.5 lift coils. For right price I will put it on for yah :) j/k

I think you will be fine with full width axles - watch your height, however.

Raising your CG (and soft springs) is where you can get in trouble.

Well I have fallen into an opportunity.

Before I go on, I have the white 93 axles and stuffs to do a budget dana 44 swap and run 35" tires.

However, an intriguing option was thrown in front of me.

I have a friend with a 1993 full size--1/2 ton blazer, which has a pro comp 4" suspension lift kit installed.
We are cutting it all out for a dana 60 swap. ( amazing how many sas swap kits there are for this).

I was looking at this pro comp blazer lift setup, and wow, I think with a little narrowing and some tweaking here and there-it might actually work in the mounty. The control arms are much longer and beefier. The ball joint and hub area looks better suited for abuse also.

Looking at it, seems like a little narrowing is about it. The design is very similar to the explorer, just beefier.Even the sway bar-end link set up is identical.
The torsion bars are much longer, which would allow much more ground clearance, and, also allow tucking the mounts up higher-possibly on the outer frame rail. ( just thinking out loud at this point)
There is also a real nice bracing setup for the rear lower suspension box.

I know the front cv axle set up will need to be shortened, and, the internal axle will most likely need to be custom, but this would be at least 50 percent stronger, and keep the IFS. It definitely would add about 6" to the stock control arms travel.I reckon the blazer axle compares in strength to a dana 44, but I might be wrong. The blazer CV axles look very strong.
The most attractive of all, is, I may be able to use the stock steering rack.

This, with 35" tires would be plenty, and, looking at the design of the lift kit, the original front cross member would no longer be needed.
The front track would be widened a bit. This could be overcome with rear spacers, which will be needed anyway to match wheel lugs.

Can we build on this? I doubt anyone has looked this direction. Since the stuff will be free to me, I might as well give it a look.

Unless I am missing something?

I think either option would be doable with the right amount of time. But What would be your reasons for doing either option? IFS for daily driver, SAS for offroader?

I've just been following recently and you were all for going to solid axle and having two solid axle rigs. what changed your mind? i was under the assumption that you were of a very ill view on the torsion bars.


I think either option would be doable with the right amount of time. But What would be your reasons for doing either option? IFS for daily driver, SAS for offroader?

I've just been following recently and you were all for going to solid axle and having two solid axle rigs. what changed your mind? i was under the assumption that you were of a very ill view on the torsion bars.


I have an Ill view for torsion bar drop brackets. Ever seen a superlift'd explorer from the side?

I'm extremely aware, that's why i refuse to get a superlift and am trying to lift it in another way in hopes that i'll gain height but not have the brackets to get hung up on. I guess the question to ask yourself will be what is the option that is best suited to what you do, i'd assume that the IFS will be more aptly suited to on the road, where the SAS would be much more suited to the not road, so where will you spend most of your time?


I think adapting the GM IFS onto the Explorer will be just as much work as doing a SAS.

A properly done sas is fine on the road. Likley better than ifs, *reliability* that is if u do a little wheeling with ifs has greater chances of getting out of alignment.

I am one of the last people here that would know if you are missing something.... But I believe if it can be done you will be able to do it. I agree on the aftermarket for Blazers, its out there. Must be the fact the Explorer being the best selling SUV really turned the aftermarket away.... Makes no sense to me. Looking forward to watching the progress if you take on this project though! Been amazed at all the things you have done.

Damn Jon,

Your worse than a woman. :D

Why not sell the chop top and other miscellaneous parts and go with a Dixon Brothers set up if you want to stay IFS. Putting Chevy parts on a FORD just isn't right.

Well, isn't this all about trying things, ???

I hear a lot of grief-" Chevy parts on the mounty? absurd!!!"
I see all kinds of parts taken from other vehicles and fitted into out trucks, So what?

Let us not forget, one of the meanest rigs being built on our forum uses a chebbie rear axle. Well, it will if it is ever complete--:p:

Ever complete, that is the point. When will it ever be complete?

Let's please discuss possibilities here. I would like this to be an open minded discussion. Nothing has been cut, nothing in stone, just pure discussion.

I would like at this time to point out some things I have observed, and measured.

Looking at my stock suspension front plow, I see about 6" of good ground clearance. This could be increased to a whopping 8" maybe.

Now, moving to the front 1/2 ton suspension box on the blazer with only 35" tires, I measure a whopping 14" or more of ground clearance.

Comparing the stock dana 35 1/4 ton components to the blazer 1/2 ton components, I see a huge advantage.

I have been told, but need verification, the stock blazer IFS front is a dana 44, in fact stronger than because of the use of CV axles.

OK, moving on, looking around the design is similar. I feel if it can be fitted it will equal the Dixon brothers long arm kit. In fact, comparing the Dixon components, and their use of the stock hub and knuckle, I feel this blazer alternative to be stronger. Not to mention the replacement parts are all off the shelf , common items.
The front disc brake system has an ABS sensor incorporated.

I know it sounds confusing, but in a nutshell, the parts which need narrowing ( approx 5") are 2 drop bracket cross members made of flat stock, which can be plated, The trac bar support bracket tube, the passenger IFS inner axle and passenger side tube extension.

The lift kit will be free to me. The donor truck will be getting a solid axle. This gives me even the cut off bracketry from the blazer to use.

Yes it will be an effort. But think about it. A dana 44 pig tucked way high, and the extra strong cv axles, hubs and 35's on IFS!!!!!

Also, a very important factor, is, the use of the stock explorer steering rack, and, possibility of hydro assist to it due to being able to attach a drag link from all the added clearance.

This really could work you know. The more I think about it, the more I want to try it. Just to be different.
They make no harmonic balancer with crank trigger for 347 engine, yet I tracked one down.
There are no headers made to fit Edelbrock heads in an explorer, yet I got some.
There is no egr tube to fit these headers, and aftermarket intake, yet, I was able to work that out also.
Yeahm those are little things, yet,
I see a lot of things being made on this forum. Now it is my turn to try the big stuff.

Okay the other side of fence,in the solid axle's back yard now. And as I see it,,,

think of what a good dana 44 would cost-in fact, if I was to go the route of a solid axle, then, a 60 would be in order. This will require a lot of fabrication either way. The cost of adding a solid axle can really add up. After mounting and linking, I will still need to figure out how to hold it all up. Might as well do coilovers if you go to the effort--

In summary--

Trying to fit in the free to me suspension lift will be a low cost experiment, until I go to shortening the front axle. However, I think I will know if this will have a chance at success before I get to that point. I will have lost nothing but time, as, I will need to strip the frame for whatever ends up steering this thing.

Anyone have a good idea where to check about getting custon axle tube and axle work performed?

I haven't been reading this thread lately, but here is my opinion on your last post. :)

Your solid axle (D44 like the chevy IFS)/radius arms/trac bar mount/trac bar/brakes/wheels and tires (35s)/lift kit (ie: coils) are all free to you since you already have it, right?

In other words, replacing an IFS for a bigger IFS to gain a few inches in ground clearance and a little strength seems like much more work, time and money, than the parts you can swap for just time. Then parting out the white 1st gen will get you some money back from it's original purchase price.

All of the SASed trucks (including the one you rode in all weekend) you saw in Truckhaven are running your same front axle with 35s - 37s.

I apologize if I missed something else that was previously posted and will discredit my post, so please put me in my place if I did. :)

EDIT: Oh and the articulation/flexation/travel of the Chevy IFS will be no better than your current IFS. The solid axle will do that stuff much better. :)

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I think Jon is after much more structural strength of the suspension, the framing, ball joints etc, than ground clearance. I don't think the ground clearance difference is that much, the diff, determines that.

I would also avoid Chevy parts, fabricating IFS parts to do the same thing. But I completely understand free parts and testing with them. Go for it Jon, I'd do it too.

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