Varsity's 2000 Explorer Sport | Page 11 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Varsity's 2000 Explorer Sport

I've been here awhile, just not a big poster and it made me jealous seeing everyone else's Explorer on here and mine unknown :(.
-2000 Explorer Sport
-4.0 OHV V6
-87k miles

Current Mods:

Under the Hood/Performance
-K&N Drop-in filter
-BBK 66mm throttle body
-Dynomax Super Turbo muffler w/ custom bent pipes
-PowerStop cross-drilled and slotted rotors
-DieHard Platinum battery
-Airbox silencer removed w/ "swiss cheese" mod
-OEM External trans cooler added

-Rebuilt 4.10 Limited Slip

-1st gen Sport emblem
-Explorer Forum license plate frames
-'99 Mountaineer side mirrors w/ puddle lights
-LED License Plate lights
-Black taillight covers
-Smoked Black headlight covers
-LED Puddle Lights
-20% Tint on side vents/quarter glass
-EXPLORER lettering on step cover painted gold
-1995 Limited grill
-Rusty rocker panels and other rust fixed
-Bug Shield w/ Sport emblem
-4" CREE LED Pods
-LED Reverse Lights
-Removed lower valance

-Monroe SensaTrac shocks
-Moog Polyurethane front sway bar links
-3" Body Lift
-4-door leaf springs
-1" TT
-Sway bar link quick connects/disconnects (

-33x12.50 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO
-15x8 American Racing AR 767 wheels

-Overhead Console
-LED Dome Lights
-LED Dash Lights
-LEDs in Cupholder
-LED Glovebox light
-LED headlight switch
-Painted airvents and jack cover black
-52W CDX-GT565UP Sony headunit
-7 1/4" Kicker Speakers in front
-6.5" Kenwood Speakers in back
-Ford Steering wheel cover
-Side door marker lights from early 2nd gen and converted to LED
-Husky Custom-fit Floorliners
-WeatherTech Custom-fit Cargo Liner
-Uniden Radar Detector
-Maglite mount in cargo area
-2.5lb. fire extinguisher mounted in cargo area
-'01 Sport gauges
-ScanGauge II

-Hella Optilux Extreme Yellow fog lights
-4" LED Pods in bumper

-Random outlining under the hood
-Smittybuilt hitch-mounted D-Ring
-Bedlined OEM gas tank skidplate

Events/Trails Attended
2013 Lucas Oil 4 Wheel and Off-Road Jamboree Participant (Indianapolis)
2014 Lucas Oil 4 Wheel and Off-Road Jamboree Participant (Indianapolis)
2015 Lucas Oil 4 Wheel and Off-Road Jamboree Participant (Lima)
2016 Lucas Oil 4 Wheel and Off-Road Jamboree Participant (Lima)
2017 Lucas Oil 4 Wheel and Off-Road Jamboree Participant (Lima)

The Cliffs Insane Terrain Off-Road Park (Marseilles, IL)
Badlands Off-Road Park (Attica, IN)

Taken not too long after I got the Explorer.


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WOW :eek: I knew the registry needed to be updated, but I didn't think it was THIS bad. I'll be fairly straightforward with my wording here. I was more concerned about getting an update out then being creative and artsy with my wording, :D

Now that winter and cold weather is gone (fingers crossed), its time to start focusing back on the truck. We've just hit 122k, and things seem to be well. A few things need to be worked on, such as the liftgate that doesn't want to lock with the rest of the doors, grumbling and rumbling from front end, and brakes, but that's all relatively normal and expected as routine maintenance. I replaced the front sway bar end links a week ago with Moog polyurethane replacements, and although the forum seems to have a mixed opinion on them, its what I went with and I hope they treat me well. My "swiss cheese mod" has been improved as well, although no pics. The holes are at least twice as big and I made one more vertical row. More than likely gonna leave it like that. The truck has been treating me well and its time for me to return the favor. It is still a blast to drive and I get attention wherever I go.

This past weekend, my pops and I went to the 4 Wheel Jamboree Nationals in Lima, OH like we've been doing the last couple of weeks. Definitely not surprised to be the only Explorer there, but several people showed interest in the truck and it grabbed alot of attention during the Cruise Route. Although I was surrounded by many trucks owned by people with blank checkbooks and private mechanics, its still basically a show about showing off what you got, impressive or not. From stock to modded, to rusty/beat up and pristine show condition, it's still a blast to show off what my dad and I worked so hard on. While I surely didn't make any magazine covers or win awards, we still had a blast.

Now that I have some more time on my hands, I'm beginning to work harder on sourcing parts for my 4x4 swap and MUCH MUCH needed bodywork. I've got a checklist of many of the things I need for the swap, and will begin collecting as soon as I can. I have also taken a class on welding basics and once I get a welding cart and gas, I can get to practicing my welding skills (which need A LOT of work) so when I come across some useful body panels, I can fix that up. Really don't have a priority as far as these two go, I'm just gonna go with whatever I can done first :)

So onto the pictures. First couple are from the Lima show this past weekend, and one is of an Explorer sales brochure from 2000 I got on eBay. Most people would scoff at something so stupid, but I find "nostalgic" things like that interesting. If only I could find a window sticker, I'd be complete :)


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Bit of an overdue update again...

So I did end up throwing a junkyard trans in the Explorer fairly quickly after the dreaded problem I had in the fall. Tried a few gaskets and parts, adjusted bands and did basically everything I could do and nothing helped. Ended up getting a unit with 99k on it at the time for a bargain price and after installing, shifting was back to normal, if not better than before. Its kinda funny how even when you think your vehicle is at its best, throw in some new/different parts and see what a difference it makes. It was an overall night and day difference in more ways than the flare. So I've been driving it like that and all has been basically well. I've been working the truck to the bone lately, driving to and from work, and immediately to school right after between several campuses, and any other running around that's needed to be done. With the exception of a few routine wear and tear parts, like new ball joints, sway bar bushings, thermostat and rad cap, the truck's been going great and doing what I needed it to, handling anything I threw at it.

With that being said...i found a replacement...

Just browsing online and various websites like I have a habit of doing, a 2014 F-150 caught my eye at a price I couldn't believe. Long story short, I jumped on it. I won't get into details, since I know this isn't the right place, but its a 2014 F-150 with the 5.0, 4x4, Regular Cab, short box, pretty sporty lil thing. I pretty much fell in love with it immediately and brought it home and plan to use it as my new DD. Its the first vehicle I've ever bought myself and I love it.

With all the praise I said before, the Explorer has been showing its age. With only 127k on the clock, its been alot of work lately. The transmission had awakened my eyes to the fact that the truck is at a point where I'm bound for some major repairs and I'm not prepared or in a place to deal with them. The transmission was bad enough. I had to keep borrowing rides and vehicles until I could get it fixed, and even then, its only a matter of time until the junkyard one gives up the ghost. Sure it could be years down the road, or the next day. Between working 45-50 hours a week, and going to school approximately 12 with only one day off, I couldn't give it the attention and care it needs. Now I'm chasing a fluctuating temperature problem, quite minor, but a problem nonetheless. Plus, the body is giving out too. The underside is getting rough and there's rust creeping out of every crevice and nook. All the minor things were starting to add up.

So what does this mean for the good ol' Explorer? Well, I still have it and plan to keep it for awhile. I want to keep this as a spare vehicle, and a fun weekend toy. I'm not gonna get squat as far as money for a 17 year old rusty 2wd Explorer, and none of the parts on the truck will transfer to the F-150. I also don't have the time, nor patience to try parting it out. So, i might as well keep it and see what I can do with it. Relieving it of DD duty should hopefully allow me to give it some much needed attention, and maybe even time to give her some goodies. I don't want to do much to the F-150, as its still got a warranty and is a nice truck, so Ill keep the modding and whatnot to the Explorer. Maybe I'll finally get around to 4WD swapping it, or practicing my welding skills and fixing up the body. I still have a trans cooler sitting in the garage that I want to put on the Explorer as I wouldn't be surprised if heat was the killer of my original trans. I've had the Explorer almost 7 years. Its done everything and anything I've asked of it quite reliably. Its been a great truck and got me into tinkering with cars, as well as introducing me to the off-roading world. Its hauled me to and from high school, college, work, activities and whatnot. I owe it to the truck to see it through.

I know I don't currently post as much as I should, but its probably gonna be even less now. But hopefully when I DO, it'll be of updates worth sharing, and cool stuff I couldn't have otherwise.

*** SPOILER ALERT *** No pictures...

Finally got around to doing something that's been sitting since last Labor Day, installed an OEM trans cooler to the truck. Don't know if I posted when I got it, but last Labor Day as part of the 1/2 off at the junkyard, I got the trans cooler from an Explorer. Judging by the trucks in the yard, looks like most already come with it. I don't know if it was just part of the tow package, but it seemed harder to find one without a cooler mounted on the header panel in front of the condenser. But, i grabbed one from a 2000 that had a little under 90k on it and looked in great shape! Hardly any of the fins were bent, no rust or discoloration on it, and the fluid that came out of it looked great! Also pulled one of the lower lines and the little clip that holds both the lines together.
The install went pretty easy with hardly any set-backs. Not too surprisingly, my truck had the mounting holes for it so bolting it up was a piece of cake. And the lines weren't too bad either, just sorta bent and modded my current lines to work, although that part was a bit tricky. Not sure how the body lift would've affected it, but the lines with the rubber hoses look to hang sorta low from factory, so we were able to lift em up a little bit higher out of the way without restricting flow or anything. All in all, it was a nice Saturday project and wasn't too hard to make it like factory, if not a little bit better. It'll be a while before I know if it helps or not, but it certainly can't hurt.

Just looked thru your thread here and WOW you did a lot with your EX. Would you have some pictures of where you mounted your Cup Holder LED's. That looks awesome. Really like how you accented your dash.

Just looked thru your thread here and WOW you did a lot with your EX. Would you have some pictures of where you mounted your Cup Holder LED's. That looks awesome. Really like how you accented your dash.
Thanks for the compliment! Yep, she sure has changed since I got her, mostly for the better, hehe.

I did take a few pics of the cupholder lights. Its a pretty basic install, nothing fancy or impressive, as we didn't think much of it and it was an idea I had a while back. Thinking about it now, there's a few different ways to go about it but it ended up working well so I left it.

I got a pack of what I think was 3 LEDs with two wires coming of each one from Pepboys, although I assume any parts store should have something similar, wired em together to the parking lights and ran the wires under the console, under the carpet up to behind the dash/foot area. Drilled a little hole until they fit in and put a little hot glue on the back to hold em in place. I grounded the wires to a screw that attaches the armrest to the console. Here are the pictures I have, I can try to get better ones if you'd like. And also what lights I used.

And sorry the cupholders look gross, I swear I usually keep em spotless!!





Looks good. I like that Idea a lot. Some times I do night wheeling and putting a cup back into a Dark Cup holder sucks. Once I get mine I will post pics in my thread. I saw on Amazone that they have a TON of lights for like next to nothing and that is what I will be ordering. Thank you for posting pic of it.

I posted in the "what did you do today" thread, but I'll add it here too. Couple weeks ago, I took the Explorer to Badlands Off Road Park to participate in their "Christmas in Attica" parade. Basically, people dress up their ATVs, UTVs, Jeeps, 4x4, etc. and drive through the town in a parade with fire trucks, police, etc and throw candy to the kids. It goes for a nice cause too, as they ask for toy donations for local kids. And surprisingly for December, we had beautiful weather too. It was a ton of fun seeing kids run out to see the decorated vehicles and grab the candy and whatnot and being able to put a smile on their faces. I ended up taking home a trophy for "Best Decorated Jeep/SUV/Truck/4x4 so that was awesome too. All in all, super fun day and gave me the warm fuzzy feeling and stuff.

Super disappointed Badlands didn't post action shots of the parade like they did last year. All I have are the pictures after I was just about done decorating.





Let's catch up, haha.

So not sure if it's been mentioned in here before, sorry if it has, but I decided once I got my F-150 and retired the Explorer from Daily Driver status, I would put it away for the winter. Being almost 20 years old, the Midwest winters have really started taking a toll on the body. I know I can't do too much for the existing damage, but I figured keeping it out of the salt and muck should buy me a few more years. So it basically sat all winter with the occasional start up, but that's it. The problem was that this past winter never quite seemed to end, as once we thought Spring was here, we'd get more snow, cold weather and salt... and then BAM, spring/almost summer. So the Explorer hadn't really seen the light of day til late late April, early May.

When Winter finally did leave, it was time to bring the Explorer out and prep it for the 4-Wheel Jamboree in Lima, Ohio that I go to every year. This year they moved it to June as opposed to early May as it usually was. It's a few hundred mile drive and I wanted to make sure the truck was ready after sitting for so many months. Well, its a long story, but basically we noticed and decided the valve cover gaskets could stand to be changed, especially since we've been putting it off for so long, and after snapping a bolt tightening it down, it definitely had to be done, haha. While in there, we ended up changing the DPFE hoses and throwing on a new PCV valve. Expecting the worst, we took off the valve covers to see nothing but sparkling clean inside. Phew.. But after all that and an oil change, she was ready to rock n roll. After turning 130k, the trip went flawlessly while there and the drive to and from just as great. The Explorer never ceases to amaze.

I've had a lot of projects planned for this summer, but as always, life seems to happen and the struggle for time and funds seem to take over. She needs a new driver side rocker panel, inner and outer, the junkyard Limited grille on it has seen better days, the exhaust is squeaking and needs to be changed, and the fat fender flares I got last year still need to be put on. And I still haven't forgotten about the 4x4 swap. Can't say what will end up getting done in the end, but I assure everyone, I am trying my best. Right now, I've just been pulling it out of the garage on nice days and making random road trips with it enjoying it as it is.

I DID have a beautiful weekend last weekend though. Weather was warm, and not hot, so I figured it was as good as any time to paint the flares I bought. I washed them really well with dish soap and water and then a quick wipe-down with mineral spirits to get 20 years of crap off. Then a couple light coats of bonding primer, then 3-4ish coats of Herculiner spray bedliner. The pics really suck, but words will never express how impressed I am and how excited I am to put these on eventually. Its got a gorgeous satin black sheen, with a perfectly rough texture to it. It'll be a process putting em on though. Need to take the skinny flares off, treat and fix what I can of the cancer behind em, drill holes for the top mounting clips, treat those holes so they don't cause rust, then install. Will probably end up being a multi-weekend project, as I plan to take my time and do my best so I don't butcher it up somehow. When I don't mind giving her up for a few weekends, I'll get right on it.

So the pics; first is at the Jamboree, the last two are the flares.




Fixed all the duplicate photos.