"Dose" the ultra cheap offroad race Explorer


Shran

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So I have always wanted to build an Explorer to race, Baja style, and with that goal in mind I have been saving parts since I got into RBVs in 2008. It seems like such a good platform to build off of - throw some D44 knuckles out on the D35, redo the 8.8 for 5x5.5 bolt pattern, ditch the interior and glass, cage it, more shocks, and make it fly!

I finally found the perfect one to build, it was cheap ($220,) blue, absolute junk body, but it runs really well! Cut the cats off, scrap value $65. Misc parts - $95, into it $250 now.

M5OD was in good shape but prefer auto for this build and throwout bearing was totally melted. Removed.

Installed C5 trans from 85 Bronco II. Fluid changes, flywheel spacer, straight pipe exhaust, redo drivelines to fit, trans cooler from 94 F150, more junkyard bits and pieces here and there.

The interior gone now except the front seats and dash. Still need a shifter, cage, seat belts and window nets, and remove the AC, heater, ABS, and a lot more crap. And bumpers, recover points, etc. But it runs and drives, I drove it out of my shop under its own power tonight! Planning to race it next year at the offroad race in Sturgis SD.

The twins (It's called "Dose" because it's the second blue Explorer I have acquired, thus "dos" or "dose" as in get some :D)


Rear bumper and sheet metal removal


Interior removal


Trans installed, drove under its own power today!


More to come!
 
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Shran

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As promised, more updates.

The local offroad race appears to be out of the question at this point and the next closest ones are 6+ hours away so it is unlikely that I will attend. Thus I have decided to go another route with this build - more or less just a utility vehicle for around the house. I built basic bumper front and rear and a push bar for moving junk around my yard. I may cut the back off eventually and make some sort of super short pickup with a gin pole ... I don't know, could become my next rock crawler build too. In any case it runs and drives and is super useful so I will keep it around until I figure out what to do with it.





 

Shran

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Side note, I'm not sure why this got posted in the Ranger section but it can certainly be moved into the Explorer area
 

Shran

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Update: truck's working good as a push rig, but not running right. Feels like it has a miss. No big thing, will figure it out, just is weird and started after I borrowed the evap purge solenoid. May have damaged something when I removed it.

I am also gathering parts to convert the front axle to D44 spindles out using GM brakes. I will not be racing this Explorer anytime soon as there is another project happening right now that is much better suited to that purpose, but I may still run it in tough truck events and having better lockout hubs is my #1 priority for that purpose.
 

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Exciting new development: I drove this little guy forward and backward a couple weeks ago. It still runs.

In all seriousness, my plan was to race it the last two years but we ended up doing a team effort on a F150 instead since it already had a roll cage. That got us through three races - first of which I took 2nd place, did not finish the second race, and finished but did not place in the third. It needs a lot of work to race again and changes in the race team resulted in more of a solo effort which is a little beyond what I have available for time right now and I have decided to not race this truck either for the same reason.

That said, I have acquired a set of axles that are going under it - a pre-78 Dana 44 with weld on wedges, 5.38 gears and an Auburn limited slip, and a 9" with 5.38s and a spool.

So the new plan is to do a 4 link and coilovers in the front, a small lift and sprung over in the rear, and 36" TSL swampers... probably with a selectable locker in the front... and I'm going to round up a rear seat/seat belts. The goal now is a more family friendly rock crawler. It is a bummer that my '86 only has two seats... four or five would be better.

I will probably start working on this after I get the 4 door Explorer axle conversion done, the high rider/stepside truck done, and my '86 fixed from last year's Labor day carnage... so probably like after all the kids are gone off to college and I only need two seats. :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 


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