Willcall's 1998 XLT- 'Wendy' | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Willcall's 1998 XLT- 'Wendy'

So one day, way back in 2009, I went out for a run. Being 15 and all, I had about one thing on my mind: I wanted a car. Fords were quite popular in my family, especially Explorers (92 XLT, 95 XLT, and an 02 XLS), so naturally I felt the connection when I saw Wendy sitting in front of a house with a small 'For Sale' sign in her windshield. It was getting close to twilight on a beautiful Padre Island day, so she looked beautiful against the colorful backdrop. I quickly wrote down the number and sprinted home (not even kidding about that part). The next morning, my dad and I took it for a test drive. It was then I noticed some things about her. Her gray paint was very weather beaten on one side. The roof has large rust spots on it. Her rims were in absolutely terrible condition. She had 186,000 miles. But besides those 'minor' problems, she had good tires, a straight body with no dents, decent shocks, good interior, and her engine and transmission felt strong. So for $2800, my ownership/partnership with Wendy (which is what my girlfriend named her) began.

Her specs as purchased:
1998 Ford Explorer XLT- purchased as base model
4.0L V6 OHV- 207,000 and still kickin'!
5R55E Automatic 4x2
3.73 gears with Towing Package
Power windows, locks, and mirrors.


Stock Keyless entry- https://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ad.php?t=84967
Overhead Temp Console- http://www.explorer4x4.com/overhead.htm
Automatic Headlights and AutoDim Mirror- https://www.explorerforum.com/forums...ad.php?t=84968
Explorer Sport Instrument Cluster- http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=203189
Full Length Center Console Install
Stock Power Mirrors with Puddle Lamps- http://explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291288
The chrome and plastic bumper from a 1999 XLT
JVC AVX-740: Bluetooth, AUX/DVD/CD/MP3/iPod/SiriusXM with Navigation and Rear Camera
Kicker KS-68 6x8 speakers with integrated tweeters
12" Kicker Subwoofer w/ Kenwood amp
Clear Headlights and Clear Corners
Power driver's seat, new passenger and 60/40 rear seats from a 99 (more comfy)
Message Center from a 98 Limited-http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...ad.php?t=80670
Driver's Side Airbag from a 2002 Sport
'Explorer' and 'XLT' emblems from a 2005 XLT
'FX4' emblem from the 03-06 Expeditions
2009 Ford Edge 17" Rims
Electric Fan from a 1st Gen Taurus 3.8L- http://www.mysporttrac.com/MySportTrac/projects/EFanInstall.pdf
Electronic Air Temperature Control- http://www.cardomain.com/ride/296394/2002-ford-ranger-regular-cab/page-14
Liftgate Glass with Intergrated Wiper from an 03 Sport.
Flowmaster Super 44: Single 3.0 in, Dual 2.5 out.
Westin Sportsman Grille Guard

Painted- Ford Paint Code UJ- Sterling Grey Metallic
Window tracts (they needed to be re-greased)
Door Lock Posts and calibration
Transmission- Completely rebuilt at 197,000 miles.
New Front ball joints
Used rear axle- 3.73 Limited Slip (mine died when four of my wheel studs on the driver side decided to give up and commit suicide at 65 mph)
Cruise Control Deactivation Switch

Future Additions:
LEDs inside and out with custom halos for front and back.
4x4- soon,soon, soon, but not soon enough



At the Present:






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I actually just rebagded the car with the emblems from an 2005 XLT. I'll get a pic real quick.


I wanted those badges because I was planning to put the FX4 emblem on the other side from an 03-06 Expedition or a 4x4 emblem from an 06-10 Explorer.
Still, Joe's looks really good... really good

Looks good. Those fx4 badges are pricy...but damn they are sweet.

I know, right? The garage quoted me $80... but I think that Tasca Ford Parts has it for somewhere around $40 or $50 dollars

looking good

Nice looking explorer. Im jealous. :D Wish my 98 looked that good.

Saw a deal I couldn't pass up... Now I have a Flowmaster Super 44 3.0 single in/ 2.5 dual out.

Some interior shots for y'all. Yes, I know she needs a cleaning.

Some interior shots for y'all. Yes, I know she needs a cleaning.

Something I noticed and must ask... Why does your 98 XLT have a different style steering wheel from my 98 XLT?
Your's appears to have a Ranger style steering wheel...

I'm jealous in all honesty. I want that steering wheel...

Haha yeah... I got the airbag out of an 01 Sport and painted it black to match the steering wheel. The only difference was that the Sport airbag has a guide on the plug, which I sanded down in order to fit the 98's socket. No airbag lights or codes so far and its been 8 months.

I love my Ranger airbag- it was already black and the "grips" or whatever they are are cool. I know it'll blow my hands off if I ever crash, but if I'm in that serious of an accident I won't be able to clean anything anymore so they're not needed. :D

I like the mods- looks killer!

Thanks yall!

And here is my next little project goodie that came in today at the Ford Garage...



Well, it looks like this may be the end of my beloved 2nd Gen:(. I was informed on Thursday that I possibly have a blown head gasket and that that is where all my coolant is going. This, a leaking rear diff, high speed front vibration, 13 mpg, and a hole in the intake caused by a failed DPFE has all happened with the last three months and as a working college student, I really don't have the time or location to wrench it and my parents have decided that since they have the title, they are going to try to sell it. I hope she doesn't. But we shall see.

Hope you get it sorted out, you have a very nice looking ex. Leaky diff is probably just a gasket or seal issue. If that head gasket has not been blown long there may not be much worn or damaged from the coolant leaking into the oil. If you sell it, pull that fx4 badge off;)

I guess I never updated this. Well I fixed up Wendy a couple months ago and my parents sold her to a friend who needed transportation badly. I hope she will serve them as well as she has served me. She was the best first car a 16 year old could ask for. I hope that her new owners treat her well and that she will live a long life.

UPDATE: I have now made my first vehicle purchase. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my new vehicle.


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