Varsity's 2000 Explorer Sport | Page 6 | 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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Nice mod. I need to pick up a set on my next trip, are they plug and play or did you need to wire the puddle lights into something?

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Thanks for the compliment. Umm as far as plug and play, unfortunately mine were not so I would imagine it would be the same for others. We basically tied into the dome lights to make it seem original rather than tying into a door ajar switch or anything. Although mine was a little different because I had some different wiring for when I added the overhead console and its domelight. The wiring wasn't TOO bad, just tricky at times. With a day or two of free time and some patience, it can be done. I drove around without a door panel while working on it. The results are totally worth it.

I gotcha. Maybe, if i do this, I will tie into the light on the inside of the door (not sure if yours had one of those or no) that way the wiring will stay in the door behind the panel. I would be interested to see good night pics of the leds if you can snag them, I was decently impressed by stock puddle lights when them at first saw it at first.

Yeah I would imagine having those side marker lights would make everything waaaaaaaaaaay easier and doable. I wish mine had those but some genius at Ford decided '98+ didn't need them. I read somewhere on here that they introduced puddle lights to compensate for the lack of the lights in the door but I don't know much about that. That may be my next project after fixing my rockers.
And I'm looking into better pictures. My camera refuses to take any decent night pictures. No matter what setting(s) I choose I just get black. Its a cheap camera but should be able to get some nice pictures. I'll poke around tomorrow and within a day or two I'll try and get some good shots of how nice these things really are.

Ooh, looks like a nice side project. I replaced the side marker lights with 194 leds and they're pretty bright. But I always find myself wanting those puddle lights... Night shots are difficult with point and shoot cameras. If you really want to be able to take good pictures at night you should get a DSLR, but I'm sure there are some better point and shoots.

Ok, I think I got some better nighttime pictures. I wish I could've gotten more distance, but it's pouring outside so I was limited to the garage space. These doesn't really do them justice, but until it clears up, this'll have to do. Sorry about being blurry, still learning the fancy settings on the camera.

Hopefully these pictures give a rough idea. It's really neat.

That's pretty decent light output. What did the mirrors cost you at the yard?

$10 a mirror. It was 1/2 of the Pick N Pull.

Threw a couple of recent pics in the first post.

A little update is appropriate I think. The Explorer is nearing 93k miles, not far off from when I got it, haha. It's been running great and no problems, although I am battling with a CEL now, code showing for the cam sensor. I replaced the synchronizer awhile ago, but it came with the wrong sensor, so I just threw the old one back on and I think its a little past due now. I'll eventually take care of that, but it's not really a priority now.

And actually as of a couple of weeks ago, the Ex is done with its high school duty with me. Maybe the tassle gives it away, but after two years of driving me, friends and any other passengers to and from school and anywhere else needed, the Ex can take a break now. And I'm really thankful too because I have needed the truck ALOT this year, and actually one of my grades relied on this truck getting me and my group to the volunteer site. I'd feel awful if something went wrong on the truck and affected other people's grades. Fortunately, aside from loving gas, the Ex hasn't asked for anything and has been stone cold reliable in getting me and anyone else where we needed to go. Now it can look forward to college-duty.

Most likely no new projects or mods coming soon, because my biggest and most important thing now is taking care of the rocker panels. I don't know how that's gonna go, but I want to take care of it before anything else or before they get worse or to the point of no repair. Should be fun and exciting.

Very cool... Another happy Explorer experience! :)

You know, you can get the bulb harness/socket, and the housings from a pre 98 and put them on the the 99+ panels... Hook the wiring into your puddle lights and you have footwell lights again. ;)

Very cool... Another happy Explorer experience! :)

You know, you can get the bulb harness/socket, and the housings from a pre 98 and put them on the the 99+ panels... Hook the wiring into your puddle lights and you have footwell lights again. ;)

Haha you got that right.

Yeah I'm going back and forth on those footwell lights, but its definitely a possibility. I've been on a hunt for a decent message center/full length console at the local junkyards but really to no avail. Wrong colors and the only decent ones looked like they were run over by a truck and sat outside for 10 years. Next trip I have to get a new center bezel since this one is busted in one too many places and I'll keep an eye out for those lights. They are pretty neat...

Haha fixed the stupid cam sensor issue for now I think... Who would've guessed a cam sensor from an '06 Taurus would work...

Ok, finally got around to something that's been bugging me since day 1 with the Explorer... rust. Really, compared to most Sports around here and even some four-doors, the rust really wasn't THAT bad but as most people know, rust only gets worse so I figured to attempt a shot at more rust removal before it got out of hand. Some before pics with the trim on:

Without the trim:

Honestly not too bad. I don't really have any pictures of the lower underside of the rockers, but they were so bad that I just got a can of rust reformer and just sprayed the crap outta the rockers and backsides underneath. In the last pic you can see my accidental overspray towards the front of the door. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of the process because it is a very dirty sticky process making it hard to stop and grab a camera. So at this point I have most of it sanded down and the big holes covered with the fiberglass and body filler applied. In a couple of hours I'll go spray a quick coat of primer and call it a day. I don't really have a problem driving around like that.

Alright, really not TOO much progress for today since it's been in the high 90's today but I did manage to get a coat of primer on everything else I didn't have time for yesterday. Maybe tomorrow if it isn't too bad out, I'll be able to sand down some of the bondo on the rocker holes.

And I never believed people when they said they liked their trucks without the plastic "tupperware" around the wheels and doors. Found out that I totally agree, but in my case I would need to do a considerable amount of work to make it look decent. Soooo I'm gonna do the next best thing, paint all the trim black again with Krylon Fusion. Not sure if it'll make a big difference but its worth a shot. I think that's it for now...

And if you notice the huge bubble in the third pic above the rocker, I did sand that down and primed over it just to be clear. Like I said this is a very rough stage 1, just to get some body filler down and a coat of primer where needed. Once the weather chills out a bit, I'll go over and do more precise work, especially to ^^^ pic. It's got the hardened fiberglass and resin over the big rust spot.

Good luck with the repairs! I did mine 2 years ago, still holding up. Somewhere I have all my pics from my body work if you wanted to check it out i can find it. My drivers side was totally shot.

Sport, I have that thread bookmarked :) Your thread actually kinda inspired to give this a shot. I wanted to try fiberglassing first and see how that goes, if not I'll go the way you went next.

Keeper, thanks I'm really trying. There's rust by you? Didn't think you guys would really be affected. I'll keep trying to take pictures whenever I can even though it can be difficult. This really is just a little rust here little rust there kinda thing so may get kinda boring. I do not by any means expect professional results sort of just a learning experience above all.

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Hmm, that's pretty odd but I suppose anything can happen. I just never associate any Cali vehicles with rust.

And not much progress today, I've hit the most labor-intensive and repetitive process of sanding down bondo and adding more and repeating just so I get a nice smooth surface again. That'll probably take another day or two so I probably won't have any updates for a couple of days.

However I did manage to add more stuff to my list of things to do on the truck.

Yep, two 7 1/4" Kicker door speakers, a box and a 12" Rockford Fosgate sub. Only half of what I need to make functional but it was an offer I would be stupid to refuse. I really was going after the door speakers and hopefully within a weekend or two I'll put em in and swap out the JVCs I have up front. Dunno what I'm going to do with the box and sub, probably nothing anywhere close to the near future but something to think about and get around to installing.