X6StringerX's Explorers! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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X6StringerX's Explorers!

Having been a member here for quite a while and having just recently acquired my 4th 2nd Gen Explorer along with an elite membership, I've decided it is time to keep a well organized progress thread.

I'll begin with Explorer #1, which was a 1997 4-door XLT 4.0ohv 4x4. Even with the underpowered 4.0ohv and the notoriously weak transmission, my love for Explorers started here. I purchased it with nearly 130k on the clock and parted with it when it had around 155k. Other than upgrading to some 30x9.50 Kumho KL78 ATs, I only performed routine maintanence and it purred like a kitten the day we parted. During a rainstorm, a large Sycamore tree on our property fell on top of the Explorer, crushing the rear hatch and causing some 1/4 panel damage as well as taking out a tail light and popping out a side glass. Remarkably, I was able to engage the 4x4 and drive out from under the 60'+ tree. I bought the replacement parts from a salvage yard, installed them myself, and later traded it in on a more economical, but very boring, 2001 Dodge Stratus after I put another 10k or so miles on it. After driving the Stratus for a week, I realized my error.

Explorer #2, a 1998 4-door XLT 5.0 AWD, along with this message board inspired me to take modding a little further. At this point, I still wasn't comfortable with making suspension adjustments or anything of that nature, but I did break out the tools and remove the running boards as well as install a custom exhaust. My '97 wouldn't clear 31x10.50 tires, but I figured I would give it another shot with this one and it worked without having to trim. This Explorer sparked my love for the 5.0/4r70w combo. With the aid of the 31s, I also developed a love for trail riding as pictured below.

Explorer #3 was also a 1998 4-door XLT 5.0 AWD, but this time, I found a diamond in the rough. I snagged this beauty for $3200 with only 76k on the clock. It was a one-owner trade-in on a new Buick (yuck). Foolishly, I modded it to suite my tastes and then sold it when I was offered a good price. For the next several months, I tried to buy it back to no avail. As recently as 2 weeks ago, I was still trying to buy it back. If I had the cash and the owner pulled in my driveway right now saying it was for sale, it would once again be mine. This was the first time I tried to do "real" mods. I did a 1.5" torsion twist, installed 1.5" Pro-Comp AALs, a custom exhaust, upgraded shocks, aftermarket wheels with 31x10.50 tires, painted some trim, etc. By the forum's standards, these aren't significant, but it was a learning process for me and I wouldn't consider trading the experiences.

Explorer #4(current) is a 2001 4-door XLT 5.0 AWD with 128k miles, which I purchased from Mentor Kia/Mitsubishi right outside of Cleveland, OH. It was definitely worth the drive. The purchase even included an aftermarket hitch by HiddenHitch. Sadly, I don't have any before pictures, but I'll keep the thread updated with the progress from this point.


Progress Report:




Pro Comp Add-A-Leaf


Magnaflow XL 3-Chamber Dual 2.5" Inlet/Single 3" Outlet


Firestone Destination A/T 31"x10.50"x15"


Shaved Side Moldings
Shaved Badges
Painted Trim


D-Ring Insert

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Gotta love the 2nd gen. Nice stable. :)

I don't currently have plans for a 4406 swap, but when the X is demoted from DD to recreation use only, I'm sure I'll be tempted to ditch the AWD.

It's been a while since I've done anything to the X. Winter was really harsh this year and made it difficult to make any progress. I was originally planning to keep the 235s a little longer, but due to a little incident with snow and a hole (Details Here), I ended up moving up to 31s earlier than I wanted. Today, being the first day of Spring and all, I figured I would treat the X to a day of fun in the sun with a relaxing bath for salt removal purposes as well as a frest coat of wax. If you scroll up to the first post, the "Phase 2" picture shows what it has looked like for the last 4 months. Here's a pic after today's detailing session.


For fun, I snapped a pic of the whole Ford family as well.


nice x u got