Wondering what mods would be best suited for mudding and daily driving. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Wondering what mods would be best suited for mudding and daily driving.


Active Member
April 16, 2013
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 X xlt
I have recently purchased a 1991 xlt that i saw sitting in someones drive way covered in snow. It made an awful noise which was the reason i was able to beat him down to 600$ from 1900$, it turns out it was an air hose that was disconnected and the minute i put the hose back on the noise went away and so did the message from the ECU. Since owning this Ex since january i have done a few things to it ( all from which i learned from on this site thanks to everyone on here ! ) Some things done are

- Replaced thermostat
- Tires for the harsh winters we have.
- New gatorback serpentine belt
- Warn manual hubs from pick n pull ( which somehow only cost me 20$ )
- new stereo
- New brake lines
- New brake pads, front disks and rear drums.
- New fuel injectors.
- I have a MAF adapter and K&N filter in the mail somewhere lol




I was hoping some of you veterans could point me in the right direction of things that would be very good for both city and mudding, Engine rebuild will be done but since this one only has 208 k on it and runs extremely well i want to get some more km out of this one. A lift and new tires are in the near future. I dont know much about vehicles but i am good with my hands and havent had any troubles so far. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated in regards to what are good lifts and all that stuff that makes off roading a true pleasure.

Thanks again , this site efn rocks. :salute:

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well, unfortunately mods made to increase mudding performance often negatively impact daily driver ability. the good news is if you are willing to deal with certain DD inconveniences, it can be done. first and foremost, a great set of mud tires is the biggest pound for pound change you can make. you wont need top notch suspension for mudding like you do when rock crawling, but you will need to lift accordingly in relation to any increase in tire size you make. lockers are the next must do. trail communications is another helpful mod you can make, and then there's recovery like getting yourself quality tow straps, d rings, and even a winch. there are lots of threads on all of these mods here on the forum. some of my favorite tires personally that ive run are the pro comp mud tires, goodyear duratracs, and aussie lockers. oh yeah, and make sure you buy a good hose nozzle for cleaning up right after trips. dont get lazy with that or you'll pay for it in the long run. have fun!

Thanks alot for the info on your favourite tires. I have been shopping around and they will be the next purchase for sure. I was kinda at a loss for which are reliable and which ones just sell due to how they look. Can i mount a ram bar and then a winch to it or do u usually need a winch/bumper combo. i know there are prob threads on all this but i start to look and end up 10 threads onto something else because everything is so helpful on here or i get sucked into someones rebuilds and cant stop haha.

p.s what main dd inconvienences would there be, i can think of a bumpier ride, lower gas milage..

Good mud tires are going to make for horrible winter tires. Have a second set of tires (and wheels ideally) to switch between duties.

And a winch to what Lono said.

Most of the mods done on this site work pretty well for any type of wheeling- lift, bigger tires, lockers, bumpers, sliders, lights...... Personally I hate mudding. I like getting my truck dirty, but mud is just nasty.

and what are lockers? sorry im a newb to 4x4 vehicles, i just live by alot of wicked trails and want be able to do that on my time off since ive enjoyed it so much with bikes and quads

They install in the differentials and lock the 2 axles shafts together so that the tires on both sides get equal amounts of power. In an "open" differential, they are not locked together and more often than not the tire with the least amount of traction gets all the power and you end up spinning your wheels.

thanks, i was aware of that option but didnt understand the term lockers. Limited slip diffs must only do half of what those do? these i probably could not do myself, do you know how expensive they tend to get done in a shop?

The "lunch box" style lockers are a "drop in" install into your existing diff. No fancy set up required, just a bit of attention to detail. The Aussie lockers are going to be my next "build" items.

Are the "lunch box" style diffs good for street and offroading.? do they offer a mechanical locking system that lets u do both?

Lunchbox lockers unlock when you aren't on the gas pedal allowing you to make a tight turn with your diff open but you will hear a ratcheting sound and tight turns do take a little more effort to make. Air lockers or e lockers can be switched on and off which is awesome because you can turn your lockers off when on the road and on when you need them, but they cost exponentially more and require either an air compressor or electricity to power them. Mudding can get messy (no pun intended) if you don't make the effort to take care of the fundamentals like keeping your rig clean, and not investing in good recovery gear. Good luck and have fun!

On top of what has been mentioned already (great job guys) I would like to add a high lift and a nice long tow rope as well. Here is an example of one from Harbor Freight.


High Lift jacks are very versatile in the woods and can be used for winching out, along with jacking up your truck, etc. There are a bunch of videos out there that can explain how to properly use it and what they can do.

By the way, your truck is coming along nice. Good buy for $600 I'd say! :thumbsup:

Thanks alot guys for the information on the lockers! i have decided to take my truck in more available direction for off roading and daily driving.

I recently found a bumper at the junkyard off a 91 ranger and ordered a winch for it.

The bumper only cost me 32 bucks ( being friends with the guys at pick n pull cuz im there so much has started to pay off.

I also got some aux lights for now while i look around for the best ones and deals ( prob leaning towards hellas but these will do for now and they are only 25 bucks.

Things i have planned for the near future ( 6 months ) or so depending on saving habbits.
- kkm intake ( in the mail as we speak )
- james duff 4 inch lift.
- Gear ratio change and e -locker ( thanks to the info u guys provided i figure its best for a beginnner to lockers and fairly inexpensive compared to others.
- crager 15x8 and pro comps.

I am hoping to find some 15x8s kickin around the junkyard since id like to do this build as cheap as possible. if anyones had any luck or advice towards lifts as to whats worked for them or not worked let me know. i also only want to go to tires around 32s so im not sure if i even need the 4 inch lift, does anyone know if the 2.5 lift would be enough with the wider rims?

i know there are alot of threads out there with lift and tire info and i have looked but no such thing as too much information

and i really wanna get rid of this red stripe..
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The stripe can be removed in a couple of ways: 1) chemically- go find some sticker/decal remover at a large truck service center, like a Penske or such. This is a spray on, peel off deal. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. 2) A high powered hairdryer/heatgun. As for wheels, I tend to use the later model Heep Cherokee steelies. Cheap, good offset, and will take a "10.5" tire with no issues.

If you really want to go muddin id look at a snorkel instead of a intake. Ive killed my truck before by going about 15-20 through a puddle