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Planning Phases of a Trail Rig


4.0B2

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92 Explorer, stripped... it's sitting on the frame rails. No motor, no trans, no t/case, no axles.

I'm thinking of a "budget" junkyard build to run 35's to 37's. I want low-ish COG so a lot of cutting will be in order. No it won't be pretty, that's what my Mall Crawler B2 is for. It will be a beater and it will attempt to conquer all of Superlift, Hawk Pride, and SMORR and the other parks in TN.

I'm looking for input from those that have built explorer's and what you are happy with and what you'd change about it or stuff you would have never done. Plans are to NOT chop the top...for now. That might change later.

My thoughts/questions;

4.0 or 302? It has no motor, no wiring, or anything...seems like it's asking for a 302 right? But how much more will a 302 swap cost me? I have a 302 Boss block that needs parts to be completed... I have a 4.0 block also.

Axles?
Full width fo sho!
Rear-- as much as I'd like to just 14 bolt it... seems like that will cause an dragging effect on 35's. If I do a 14 bolt I'd have to shave it and do 37's. d60, well I really don't know much about rear d60's... Fullwidth 9"? I need to look and see what these will handle, no one in my local club uses a 9".
Front-- well, Idk.... IF Charlie is selling his full width 44 by then, He'll make me a killer deal on a 44 that's geared, locked, trussed, with high steer.... otherwise a junkyard 60 or something will be in order.
Gearing will be lowest possible since it's a crawler.

transmission and t/case?
this will depend on the motor. Ideally I'd do a doubler, but thats WAY down the line! lol. Money only goes so far.

This is just a public planning session for now... Input is needed. :icon_thumby:


it's ugly already! and I HATE that red interior...but hey, it's a beater.
this pic was taken before I stole the d35 out of it for the B2.
 


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9" are just as plenty as a 14 bolt, but since you are in planning stages go as big as budget will allow. I say look through pick-n-pulls and see what you can find.

Go with a propane powered 302 and whatever trans/case will mate to it.

I recommend a cage or Exo cage for sure...just to be safe.

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Robert_1967

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302 for sure, it will give a better bottom end and just looks much nicer when you open the hood.

I'd use a 9" / 60, and if possible the same up front.


first thing it to rip out the insides, and do a bed liner on the inside, that way you can water hose it out when you get mud on the inside.

also, this is just me, don't chop it, it looks way better unchopped, but that is just me.

Robert



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kris97ranger

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302 for sure on propane no shitty carb no efi wiring. Use a np435 1st gear is nice and low. One tons its headed there anywyays. Get a 10.25 rear they were used forever and arnt boat anchors. Then any dana 60 front even a super duty one, not gonna see road miles so unit bearings arnt a huge deal and as i understand it the shafts are stronger then a kp 60. Get good rocker protection and say screw the body
 

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302 on propane. Hmmm. Nice.
 

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also, this is just me, don't chop it, it looks way better unchopped, but that is just me.
I agree, it will also greatly help the structual strength of the vehicle.

302 on propane. Hmmm. Nice.
It would be neat, won't care at all about orientation and it runs scary clean. In 100k miles if you get bored and rip it apart it will look like you just put it together.

If it has potential selling the Boss block would help fund your project. They don't exactly grow on trees... find the lowest mile Explorer 5.0 you can find and go with that. Ironic that one of the best 302's built was put into a SUV.
 
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4.0B2

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I agree, it will also greatly help the structual strength of the vehicle.



It would be neat, won't care at all about orientation and it runs scary clean. In 100k miles if you get bored and rip it apart it will look like you just put it together.

If it has potential selling the Boss block would help fund your project. They don't exactly grow on trees... find the lowest mile Explorer 5.0 you can find and go with that. Ironic that one of the best 302's built was put into a SUV.
doubt I'll chop it... Slo-Vo's kinda makes me want to..but nah.
the boss block is ugly, but hey..they are getting pretty rare. Might try to sell it. Idk, I know a guy that wants it.

Guess I need to make a pull a part run... looks like engine block with heads will run about $100. Complete motor I could probably get about $150 if I use the one lady that doesn't nickel and dime.
 

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I wouldnt chop it. Untill it rolls a few times then itd be a firewall buggy lol
 

Robert_1967

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There is a guy at the "Hot Rod Barn" in Knoxville, TN. that said if I took my 1975 302 and add the the 351C heads, intake and pistons, then I would have a 302 boss engine.

I would do a exo cage to help protect the body as much as possible.



Robert




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4.0B2

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exo is def a plan... even if its just something simple like tubes over fenders, sliders, top rail, and "sliders" for the rear quarter panels.
 

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Ill be watching :icon_thumby:

How much more work would a 351 be? Would be a neat factor, 302's are a bit over done lol (i should speak, putting one in my B2 :icon_rofl:)
 

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hmm. if I were to turn my explore into a trailer wheelr (which I could never do due to the trail structure up here and no parks)

I would start by removing all of the interior, skip the bedliner and just run bare metal (what ive allways done and never regret) . remove all the doors, put in two seat up front. build a small insturment cluster to hold the esentials. chop the top either make or have made a soft top to keep some weather out. build an interior cage, close in the doors using tube and tin/plastic reinforcing the rockers make them unopenion . build in foot steps to the old door opening build a nice tube front and rear bumper that wrap around the corner of the fenders and ties into the cage (lightly). front 8k winch. good recovery points.

stock 5.0 with propane simple wiring. v-8 not for the power but for the better options of trans's and t'cases(Im very partial to manual trans) get a leak in a manual and add bout anything for lube to get ya home. have fun with the auto. 44/9 axles chromoly or rcv front, stock rear until they start to twist im still waiting. locked front and rear 37" tire range and just wheel SMART.

thats Just my opinion
 
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4.0B2

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Trans will be auto. Promised my gf that if we do this trail rig it'd be auto... playing on the trails is enjoyable for both of us. I want her to be able to drive it to.
that's one thing I already know and won't be talked out of... it will be Auto.
 

kroussinoffroad

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hey ya wanted my 2cents right thats a what ya got hahaha.
 

4.0B2

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hey ya wanted my 2cents right thats a what ya got hahaha.
:thefinger::thefinger:I'm not saying you're wrong. I don't have anything against a manual. She can drive a manual, she's just not comfortable with it...she'll never be comfortable on the trail with it... I want her to enjoy this to, so she's not just always mad that I'm working on an Explorer instead of spending time with her :icon_rofl::yahoo:
 


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