Tjtheman007's 2001 Explorer Project - Rebuilding the Wreck - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 02-03-2012
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Tjtheman007's 2001 Explorer Project - Rebuilding the Wreck

So a few months ago I saw a deal on a vehicle that I could not refuse. Initially the thought was to part it out, but it runs great and i have an idea with replacing the top... so I think im going to build it. What its got:

2000 Ford Explorer XLT
5.0 V8 - 166,000 miles
AWD
Leather (Tan )
6-Disc CD Changer
Sunroof (Soon to be removable top)
Basically Fully Loaded



So the plans.... well, i'm pretty wide open, but here is what I have so far:
- trying to design as hybrid SAS/IFS suspension, something that can be switched with a few pins being removed/inputed
- 35" tires
- Retro-fit a removable 4-door jeep hard top (See picture below)
- Rock Sliders
- Full roll cage tied into the body
- "level II" Interior - Give it the Level II color scheme
- Front end swap - from 2000 Explorer to 2004+ Ranger Fiberglass front end. Like this: (Different Forum, I know, sorry) http://www.dezertrangers.com/vb/truck-talk/148635.htm
- I'm working to try and get the owner of the company to make Fiberglass Fenders that will keep that front end but conture to the different body lines of the explorer. If any one ones one, let me know, I can hit him up with some pre-orders so he can start on the mold.
- Repainting to Black in Color
- Open to any other suggestions


On to Pics!!!

Jeep Top


With my Ranger's Alcoas (I am using the ones that were on the explorer for the winter - Basically Brand new tires that the explorer had on it)




When I got it home:


























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Old 02-03-2012
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Have you ever done something like this before?

Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2012
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Nope! It will take time... tools... Money... etc
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Old 02-04-2012
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Looks fun. What happened to it?
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Old 02-04-2012
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Looks like a tree fell on it to me. Good luck with the project.... should be fun.
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Old 02-04-2012
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Sounds like a pretty cool project... good luck!
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Old 02-04-2012
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This is awesome, I am still not sure I understand the final product but rock on!
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Old 02-05-2012
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Yeah a tree hit it... hard. The person that was driving it got really lucky. Scared the crap out of her, but she was fine.

On a funny note, the sunroof glass is still in tact; looks like it was retracted when it was hit... anyone need a replacement?
Only glass that was shattered was the Driver's side rear glass.

It does need a new radiator (Has a tiny leak) and I need to figure out why the Tach and the MPH gauge dont work. Wierd issue... also the reverse backup sensor is doesnt work either... again, probably a short.


The end product will be similar to a 4-door jeep wrangler; removable top, roll cage, SAS, etc.

The goal of this project is to make something custom that if repairs need to be made, you can buy stock replacement parts cheaper that having the custom ones remade/re-created. I want to wheel this, so if I hit a tree and crack the jeep hard top, all I have to do is buy a new/used one and bolt it back on. THe trick is to not make it NOT look like a frankinstien type of vehicle.

If anyone has any additional thoughts/ideas, let me know! I'm open for suggestions.

Yeah, I am looking forwarded to it as well. It will be slow going, but thats alright.

Last edited by tjtheman007; 02-05-2012 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-05-2012
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this is going to be... different... but different can be good!
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Old 02-05-2012
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It'll look awsome when your done. I actually like the alcoas on an expo look
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Old 06-24-2012
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Update (not much of one, but nonetheless an update)

Started working, slowly, on removing some things. Windshield came first. It is almost out... the bottom is tricky. I didn't really care if i cracked it more, and i am replacing the roof, so there was no real process. Also started to remove the ceiling (No pics).



More to come later. Next I am going to take the doors off, start tearing out the interior seats and then dashboard. Once the dashboard is out I will figure out where to cut the "A" pillar, or if i need to cut the body at the firewall.

Heck, I may just get the windshield out and then cut the crushed top off and drive it around town without a windshield, lol. Yeah im somewhat redneck.

Anyway, enjoy!


On to pictures:






























In other news....

I have 2 great candidates for half doors


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  #12  
Old 07-03-2012
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i like where this is going......
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2012
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here is a similar thread which gave some fire to my ideas even before i bought the explorer.

No it wasn't the main reason (wanted to buy a 04-05 sport trac and put the v8 in that... wife wont let me buy any more vehicles... says I'm starting to run a junk yard), but now that I have been figuring out a game plan for this and with the help of this thread it has been a big help!


Before and after pics-Chop top, Atlas, SAS v8 and more! - Ford Explorer Ranger Enthusiasts "Serious Explorations"


Just a little sneak preview below:











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Old 07-09-2012
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I've seen that yellow one before. That's sweet.
Is the Jeep hardtop the right width?

Cool project....
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  #15  
Old 07-09-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDirigible View Post
I've seen that yellow one before. That's sweet.
Is the Jeep hardtop the right width?

Cool project....
The Jeep hardtop is basically exactly the right width!!

I have found a couple on Craigslist, but when I find them my cash has already been allocated :(

The tricky think with the jeep hardtop is getting it to fit with the upper portion of the doors and the upper windshield. I think what I may do is just keep an eye out at my local junk yards for 2007+ jeep jk tubs, doors, and windshield assemblies. then just cut and weld the pieces as needed to the locations on the explorer. This way I have the lip needed if i every want to run a soft top.

It will take some work and fabrication, but the end goal is to create a custom rig that can use stock parts if replacements are needed. I want to use jeep tops so that a custom one does not have to be made each time a custom made soft top is ripped - I want this to be my trail rig.


Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2012
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That yellow explorer is sweet!
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2012
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Scribed. This is gonna be a sweet build.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2012
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Well... Here are some updates. Not much, but have done some work.

Windshield is out, most of the plastic trim pieces are out, headliner is out.

Priced out a replacement roof - about $200 if I cut it myself.



Anyway, on to the pictures:





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Old 11-24-2012
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So, I have updates... lots and lots of updates.

I know its been a while since I have been on and a while since I have updated this thread.

I have a new top and I have started chopping the old top to get ready to weld in the new top.
The game plan for now is to make it back to stock, then find a good deal on a tube bender and start making a role cage for this.

I am still on the hunt for a 4-Door Jeep Top, but first priority is to make this stock again so I can use it.

I will post pictures tomorrow.
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Old 11-25-2012
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a sweet exo cage, solid axle swap and wheel the **** out this thing! tie the cage into the frame to make it nice and strong and pull off the doors!
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  #21  
Old 12-05-2012
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***Update: Topless***

Update

Some pics

Finished removing all of the interior:






Found out it had some body work done to it before....








Drilling out the pinch weld to remove the Sunroof Drain (It was caught on a rivet and pinched in the corner of the roof)




Starting to cut





NEW TOP!!!! From Donor Mountaineer at my local junkyard. Same year! almost same color. $200



***DONOR***




















and top is cut!!








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  #22  
Old 12-06-2012
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Looks like some good progress!
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  #23  
Old 12-06-2012
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grabbed the doors too?
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  #24  
Old 12-10-2012
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Doors, no. Not yet anyway. The doors that we in good condition had been picked over already (Locks removed, windows taken out, interior panels broken, etc) and some that were good had some rust on the bottom. I am trying to avoid rust as my doors didn't have any.

**Update, pulled the Vinyl floor out of a 2003 or so Sport Trac and the Junk Yard along with the white gauges :) The gauges will look sweet after I paint the dash and interior panels black. $30 for both :)


Things needed/wanted yet:
- Sport Trac 4x4 radio bezel -OR- Explorer 4x4 radio bezel with fog lamp and defrost button to paint grey
- 2 doors at least for drivers side, maybe all 4 new ones depending on price
- Windshield
- new radiator (original one has tiny pin hole leak)
- Front a-arms sway bar link - both sides
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Old 12-12-2012
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I may have the bezel you're looking for. I have a couple. Did you need the switches to go with it too? If you're interested.
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