What is this round indention in the passenger side inner fender? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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What is this round indention in the passenger side inner fender?

MuscleJunkie

Elite Explorer
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Ford Explorer LTD AWD
I noticed I have the same round intention on my truck on the inner fender. Anybody have any idea with the purpose of this is for? I’m sure that it was made like that for a reason but curious because it looks like something similar to where the mustang guys put a tube for their air filter.

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Just curious why they would’ve made a round indention there? Is this panel area used differently on the Ranger or on something else? Almost looks like it could be punched out and the air filter could be ran into that space similar to the way the mustang guys do.
 






Adds strength?

Maybe?
 












My guess is that it was to accommodate the older round style air boxes you see on some v6 rangers and 96 v8 trucks the air horn on those air boxes went right through that hole sucking air from the pass fender skirt
 






My guess is that it was to accommodate the older round style air boxes you see on some v6 rangers and 96 v8 trucks the air horn on those air boxes went right through that hole sucking air from the pass fender skirt
Oh that’s what I was thinking was the deal. I think some of the older mustangs did the same thing on their set up. I know I’ve seen some of the Vortech Supercharged mustangs have their inlet to going into a similar hole on the inner fender. Does anybody have any pictures of the older explorer set up that used this hole both with the box installed and removed? Just want to see how it was done by the factory. Thanks for the info on that.

I wonder why it was changed on the newer Explorers? Did they determine that sucking the air from the fender skirt area was not a good thing or something else?
 






My guess is that it was to accommodate the older round style air boxes you see on some v6 rangers and 96 v8 trucks the air horn on those air boxes went right through that hole sucking air from the pass fender skirt
This is what I've seen on older Ex's and Rangers in the salvage yard. The 96 and earlier trucks used the round filters and the round stamping was punched through to pull air in from the fender.

Every SOHC I've seen sucked air from behind the RH headlight though -- I'm guessing it was necessary for the SOHC intake design, or was just a coincidental rolling design change that began in 97.

It was surely easier (and cheaper) to pull the punch out of one section of the progressive stamping die and keep the rest intact than to rework the entire die. Since the bump was likely formed in an earlier progression than where the hole was punched, it stayed.
 






This is what I've seen on older Ex's and Rangers in the salvage yard. The 96 and earlier trucks used the round filters and the round stamping was punched through to pull air in from the fender.

Every SOHC I've seen sucked air from behind the RH headlight though -- I'm guessing it was necessary for the SOHC intake design, or was just a coincidental rolling design change that began in 97.

It was surely easier (and cheaper) to pull the punch out of one section of the progressive stamping die and keep the rest intact than to rework the entire die. Since the bump was likely formed in an earlier progression than where the hole was punched, it stayed.
This makes the most sense, as guesses go. In all such riddles with stampings, have to first think like a toolmaker.
 






I have a 96 5.0 outside w the round box I will get a pic of that fender area
 












I also would say it was a design like the Fox Mustangs to possibly have a hole there for air to come from the fender. That's where the older Fords had an air silencer box mounted, inside the fender of 86-92ish Mustangs, Thunderbirds, and Mark VII's. My 92 likely still has that silencer in it, original 53k miles.

The cooler air coming in from the front has a tough time getting into the fender, and the space behind the headlights isn't great either. Maybe testing for air pressure in those places may point to one being a better choice. I have a large Amsoil air filter to make a box to surround it with, and making a bigger hole for inlet air is part of the plan.
 






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