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ZWilson07's Build

ZWilson07

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2000 Ford Explorer
Well guys I have finally decided that I would post up about this one. I am usually not one to post up build threads, especially long term ones, but I figured why not finally do one.

I have been wanting to do this one for awhile now, especially ever since I got rid of my 2006 White Ford Ranger. I have quite the soft spot for white Ford vehicles especially a 4x4 that I have a lot of previous experience with and shares a ton of parts from my Ranger as well.

I am hoping progress will not be to slow, but I am also just trying to enjoy this though and not let it turn into a burden like they often times can.

To start its on my 2000 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0 AWD.

I picked it up from a family member with 200,000 on the clock and needing a lot of love. Immediate plans are to put in a used lower mile 5.0 as I really want to make this nice and do some overland trips with this. I am not one to just go out in the middle of nowhere for weeks and months, but I do want to make it somewhat capable. 31s or 32s will be about the biggest it sees for the time being as I still want to be able to daily drive it and keep the ease n comfort of everything. With my Ranger, it seemed like once I went up to 33s and bigger, it just really started to take away from the stock drivability and normal usefulness of the vehicle so I am hoping to find the perfect middle ground between it all. As well as newer interior to make it feel like an updated vehicle.

Some of the photos will just be for other's enjoyment, others will be to help guide through where maybe some haven't been before, and other pictures to help me keep track of everything. Like many of you, a lot of times when you are working especially with big projects, we tend to work and not stop to take to a lot of pictures but I will try my best.


To start, this is kind of what I am working with.

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Yes I realize that the floor of my garage is in fact thick wood. It has been really cold here in KY so it has not really warmed up to where I can have my concrete floor done as well as the fact that it is going to cost me a few grand to have it done. Having the wood over the dense grade does still let me work about as good as having a concrete floor for what I am doing and it is certainly better than having no garage.

Normally I actually have carpet down over the wood to where you cant even see it but I was cleaning it and letting it dry out this past weekend with the warm temperatures finally starting to come back in along with some spring cleaning of the garage and tools. Sorry I didn't get better pictures but I already put the explorer in, pulled the interior and battery, etc before getting pictures of it outside.

First things to note were broken fog lights up front.

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Broken passenger mirror

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Broken negative battery clamp, serp belt hanging off, numerous exhaust and vacuum leaks, etc.

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Among these I also had some gauge cluster backlighting out, oil pressure gauge pointer spun around the opposite way, and uninstall aftermarket stereo setup to go back to stock. I personally like the clean look of stock radio setups and this also will allow me to pull the seats, carpet, etc to clean or replace.

To be continued.
 


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ZWilson07

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Build List.

Im sure a few things might change as we go, but a brief overview.

-Lower mile used 5.0 and misc. items for it
-04 V6 mustang tranny (maybe)
-Coilovers up front
-New springs in the rear as well as going SOA (require custom springs most likely)
-Rancho XL9000 shocks
-31x10.5 or 32x11.5 BFG AT on 15x8 wheels
-New sideview mirrors (maybe heated, dimming, and/or 06+ square ones)
-Newer updated interior
-New backlighting and interior lights
-Clean cluster and new plastic cover
-New brakes all around and everything else that goes with it
-Some type of rustproofing, either eastwood or por15
-Amsoil fluids all around
-New radiator
-New headlights and other front end lights.
-New taillights (maybe)
-New front bumper and foglights (maybe something from 04/05 ranger)
-Electric fan setup (maybe)
-New coolant/brake/windshield fluid containers
-New coolant hoses and misc things
-Lots of new wiring
-New exhaust
-Repaint interior pieces
-4406 swap and manual hubs
-Sport Rear Window (maybe)
-GPS and Weather software/computers
-Backup camera
-RTT
-RTA
-More camping/outdoor equipment, misc, etc
-Dual batteries
-Solar Setup
-Fridge
-Shower

As you can see I have completed some stuff already and not to bad for only starting 2 days ago on it. Im sure the list will continue to grow. I am in no rush per se and have other vehicles to drive but my goal is to have this finished by the end of the year and ready to go for camping next year.
 




ZWilson07

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As you can see from before, I already pulled the hood. I will try and only include specific details and pictures on things I think people might need help on. A lot of things are either really basic that you can already find, or the type of work that if you don't know, than it might not be the best thing to do the work until you learn. The hood is simple, two ~8mm bolts per side as well as removing the hood struts via the clip. The hood is light enough you can muscle it off by yourself.

Gauge cluster and associated interior parts removed for that work as well as removing the front seats. I find it best to remove the front bolts first, then slide the seat all the way forward to remove the rear bolts as well as unplugging the connectors. Still have to pull the rear seats, vacuum, pull the carpet, etc.

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Seats really weren't in to bad of shape considering the outside. Driver is obviously a little worn but I have definitely seen worse.

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To be continued..
 




2TimingTom

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Subscribed.

I just got done pulling my seats and carpet as well. I power washed my carpet- it was gross. Now it's fairly clean (for 18 year old carpet).
 




2TimingTom

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This guy has built some cool RBVs. On his Explorer, he went with 31s:
http://www.safaripacific.com/vehicle/mx3/
At least I'm assuming they are 31s since I don't know if I can trust it- his front and rear axles don't match so who knows.

He did a cool overland trip by himself in a Ranger with a custom extended cab. He basically went from Key West to Prudhoe Bay.
 




ZWilson07

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This guy has built some cool RBVs. On his Explorer, he went with 31s:
http://www.safaripacific.com/vehicle/mx3/
At least I'm assuming they are 31s since I don't know if I can trust it- his front and rear axles don't match so who knows.

He did a cool overland trip by himself in a Ranger with a custom extended cab. He basically went from Key West to Prudhoe Bay.

Thanks for the week. I guess I shouldn't say a true Overland build in the truest sense as I don't really see myself getting out by myself in the absolute middle of nowhere for a super long time. To be honest I don't need to break down or break a part and be stuck in a bad situation nowhere near civilization but I also don't want to just go stay in a plain ole campground around tons of people you know.

So like most things in life, I am just trying to keep it relative and find a good balance between it all.
 




ZWilson07

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Pulled the top cover. This is pretty basic so no need to go into a ton of detail.

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Next in order to pull the chrome/grill surround, you must pull out the front light assemblies to gain access to certain screws. Just takes 2 screws at the top, and then the top and bottom corner have a notice that peg goes into.

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You can see wheres the pegs go in here.

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All out and of course the other side is the same.

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Surround has screws at the top as well as screws along with sides behind the lights with clips that run around it also.

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Clips. Only ended up breaking one clip which wasn't to bad for them being original.

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Don't forget the clips that the screws went into.

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Should end up with this

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vroomzoomboom

Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS!
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for your seat, what i didnt know until a year ago when another member told me this, the seat foam is the same for both seats for the bottom. find another passengers seat, and use the foam from it for the drivers side. i did this with my truck last year, and fixed some of the stringers, and it felt like a brand new seat when i was done
 




2TimingTom

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To be honest I don't need to break down or break a part and be stuck in a bad situation nowhere near civilization but I also don't want to just go stay in a plain ole campground around tons of people you know.

This is exactly why my truck is built the way it is. I went with SAS for greater front end strength. I still enjoy those same trails that I was doing with IFS, now I just don't worry as much when I need a little wheel spin to get over something. And really now, if I am getting wheel spin now, I should rethink my line or start pulling winch line.

And now I can get to those places that are a little more remote. I too don't like camping in campgrounds.
 




ZWilson07

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This is exactly why my truck is built the way it is. I went with SAS for greater front end strength. I still enjoy those same trails that I was doing with IFS, now I just don't worry as much when I need a little wheel spin to get over something. And really now, if I am getting wheel spin now, I should rethink my line or start pulling winch line.

And now I can get to those places that are a little more remote. I too don't like camping in campgrounds.

VROOM: Thanks for the post about the seats, I don't know why the post quote didn't show up correctly. I was aware of that but it was a nice reminder. I honestly still haven't decided if I am going to go back with them or not. I got a few ideas in the head but that will come at a later date.

2Tim: I will eventually go SAS up front, just not at this time. I know if I start a SAS swap and all this at the same time, it is just not going to get done this year and like mentioned before I don't want this to turn into another one of those projects that ends up being down for years. I want to be able to take my time and enjoy this but still be done by the end of the year, as well as that fact that I don't have an unlimited supply of money lol. All in due time.
 




ZWilson07

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Headlights.

They are really simple. I think around 3 clips and they just have some push clips that you squeeze together and push in to release the headlight.

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What it looks like once the headlights are removed. You cna also easily see the adjuster and how it works here.

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Just a quick idea of the tools I used to remove parts so far from the front end.

Drill, flathead screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, interior clip removal tool, flashlight, extendable magnet tool, 3/8 ratchet with 10mm socket, and need nose pliers.

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To be continued.
 




ZWilson07

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Got the headlights out and stored away for the night. Next up is the rest of the front end.

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Bagging and Labeling each set of bolts/nuts/clips will make it much easier when going back together and to ensure nothing is lost. It's to easy for that to happen when doing this kind of a build that becomes so in depth.
 




ZWilson07

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Pulled out the last back piece of the grill section.

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Pulled out the front light section bracing. This isn't the actual core support itself but rather braces in front of the core support so I don't know what its actual name is. As well as the front bumper.

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Looks like rust has developed at the bottom the center brace for the hood release latch. Not sure if I should look into getting another core support or try to patch this once back together. Hmm

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Lastly, finished up here for the day. Haven't decided if I am going to leave it like this or pull the core support and fenders together.

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ZWilson07

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Well decided to change some things up and mess with the interior some.

The cluster bulbs are just standard 194 bulbs but make sure when you order them that they come with the bulbs and sockets, not just the bulbs themselves. I ordered mine through Rockauto as I was ordering some other parts but with the small price difference, I will probably be going with factory ones next time. Cluster had 6 of them.

Factory part number: C2AZ-13466-C

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Also for those who are following, (probably not many since I haven't seen hardly any posts lol, I decided to throw a nugget out)

I ended up buying a new oem plastic face for the gauge cluster. Surprisingly you can actually still get these from the factory and they are not discontinued at this time which was a big shocker. Also the price on them is very good in my opinion. I had plenty of forum members actually trying to sell me an old used cluster for the same price if not more than I got the brand new one for. I ended up buying 2 just in case, to keep one in storage for the day that they are discontinued.

Part number: XL2Z-10890-BA

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Also cleaned up the gauges a little bit. Mine were in good shape even after 200,000 miles so just gave it a good wiping.

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These are the little things that definitely make driving an older vehicle feel much newer again and more pleasant to drive.

I also got a set of 06+ square ranger side view mirrors in for mockup. They won't be the final ones I will be using but get me one step closer to finalizing the plan. Also a look at the chrome covers, if I am going to go standard all black, or painted to match. The covers are obviously just resting on to get an idea. We'll see.

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To be continued.
 




ZWilson07

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Alright guys I am back after almost exactly 2 months. I started doing a lot of lawncare and purchased a brand new zero turn and trailer, so that took up most of my money as well as the time to work on this especially with my standard job at nights.

I ended up getting a new job that I am supposed to start shortly which is a much better job and a lot more career oriented, which obviously came with much better pay as well. So I decided to jump back on this and worked on it 2 or 3 afternoons.

Decided to switch things up and get back to the interior as I am not wanting to unhook anymore from the front as I still want to be able to start and move the vehicle outside of the garage for one last cleaning before I remove the motor and start that long process.

Started with the rear seats. Everything just comes out with a 15mm and 18mm socket.

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Bolts/Nuts left. As you can see I only had one broken nut but I figure after 15 years and 200,000 miles, that ain't to bad.

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Seats out. This thing has definitely seen some kids in the back seats through the years. The seats themselves are in pretty dang good shape, just underneath and the carpet.

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Worked on getting the rear cargo carpet/mat out. 8mm and a screw.

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Moved to the rear. Pop the cover off, 2 black x-mas treepins, then the carpet just pulls out from underneath the side panels and you can just work them around the 4 rear cargo hooks.

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Out. Might have a tiny bit of rust bubbling up, I might be able to just clean it up and put rust encapsulator on it. I will have to get underneath to really tell. All and all not to bad for 15 years and 200,000 miles. My working partner decided he had a better use for it :D

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Pulled the center consle and started working on rolling the middle/front carpet section up. Again all and all not to bad just plenty of coke and candy stains through the years.

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Finally worked on removing the rest of the rear plastics, door panels, seat belts, headliner, etc.

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This is where I stopped for the night. I have the entire harness removed all the way up to the dash. I did it mainly for cleaning purposes so I wouldn't have to try and work around it all or step on the connnectors. Haven't decided if I am going to pull the dash or not. I have literally removed everything else inside the vehicle so I might as well. I will be putting some type of sound deadening/insulation down, more than likely from second skin. Started on removing the "factory stuff" but as we all know it certainly doesn't do much. Most of the time people have to use a heat skin and scrap it all up but mine has actually hardened so long over time, it is breaking away like plaster when scraping underneath it.

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To be continued.
 




johnny499

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Look's like a fun project. I am interested in your plan's for the side mirrors. I don't like the stock ones and as you know i'm not afraid to modify things if i think they will fit or can be made to fit. Like the dodge towing mirrors on my f350.
 




ZWilson07

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Look's like a fun project. I am interested in your plan's for the side mirrors. I don't like the stock ones and as you know i'm not afraid to modify things if i think they will fit or can be made to fit. Like the dodge towing mirrors on my f350.

Thanks for the kind words, I was beginning to think not many were interested lol but I know a lot of the "fun" stuff hasn't began.

Right now the mirror project is on the back burner. I could have swore that the rangers and 2nd gen explorer/mt use the same doors but it looks like that the door is actually a different shape and layout up by the mirrors. I wish I still had an extra 98+ ranger door laying around but I got rid of most of my ranger stuff since ever since I sold it :(

I definitely know you are no stranger to modifying and making things work so if I come even half as close to getting it looking nice as you usually do, I will be happy. As you know most anything is possible given enough time, work, and money. Right now I am in the tear down part which of course isn't to much money, it is just the time and hard work. Putting it back together with brand new parts is a lot easier work and enjoyment wise, but that is when the big money part shows up.

I am wanting this done within a year. I know every time we set a project date, it usually never gets hit but I am hoping with this new job opening up a lot more funds, that I can hit that mark. The hard part will be getting the hours to put into it. Last week I put about 15 hours in, so I figure if I can do my best to keep that up, it should be doable. :D
 




ZWilson07

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Well finally got a free day without it raining to pull it out of the garage and pressure wash it before starting to pull the motor/tranny, etc.

I figure once that starts this thing probably won't move out of the garage for a long while so I wanted to get this done before going any farther. Nothing crazy but just a few pictures.

My helper working real hard again!

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I started resizing all my pictures from here on out so hopefully it will create a better layout of the thread. On my computer the pictures in the thread are so large that you have to scroll over to view it all and it causes the sentences to go way over to the side as well.

I don't like having the pictures setup as thumbnails where you have to click on each one just to view it, especially on a build thread but than again I don't want them so large that it makes it difficult to follow the thread. Hopefully from here on out it gets better.

Thanks
 




ZWilson07

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After washing, got her back in the garage and started the tear down.

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I tell you what, 15 years and 200,000 miles is hard on fasteners that have never been touched in that entire time. I had a rough time with a lot of them. I ended up making it work but not with out a few broken connector clips and actually even a broken throttle body :sawzall:. I had planned to replace it all anyways but still, I would rather not anything break just in case.

Goes with the territory though I guess.

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Here's how I ended for the night, I am whooped. Doesn't look like to much got done but there were a ton of little things in there as well as the fact that I take pictures of every bolt/part removal and bag/label each one which takes up a lot of time. I will be glad I did though when I put this thing back together.

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Thanks
 


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ZWilson07

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Ok finally an update.

With this new job I have been so busy and exhausted that I haven't been able to do anything but work, sleep, and eat for this entire work week (Sun-Thurs) so today I wanted to finally get some work done on the explorer.

Not many pictures to show as there really wasn't a lot of "fun" stuff to show but just getting closer and closer to pulling the motor.

I am waiting on my fan removal tool to show up so I wanted to get as much done as I could before pulling the motor. Many of things I removed, I didn't "have" to for removal of the motor but it all has to come out eventually and like mentioned I wanted to keep progress going forward until the tool shows up.

Removed battery tray, tons of wiring, vacuum lines, power steering pump, abs, alternator, some of the ac stuff, etc.

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Thanks
 




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