Rough Start: Never Pass On A Properly Lifted Ford Explorer…They’re That Good!

Rough Start: Never Pass On A Properly Lifted Ford Explorer…They’re That Good!

Back in 2009 I had the opportunity to purchase a lifted Ford Explorer that had been passed around some of the guys I worked with in the Army. Forest green and tan, a mild lift kit and 33s, and packing the 4.0L V6 that Ford was jamming into near-everything, it was an amazing SUV and to this day, I regret that I didn’t follow through with the purchase plan. Sure, it had rocker rust…it had lived out in Virginia for years…but I had seven vehicles at my house and had other issues that kept me from biting the bullet. Even today, I kick myself for letting the truck slip through my fingers.

The first-generation Ford Explorers have long bottomed out in value. These were one of the most turned-in vehicles in the Cash For Clunkers program and today, seeing one of these outside of a viewing of Jurassic Park is pretty rare. They were used up and tossed aside for the next big thing to come along, criticized for being too truck-like in an age where soft-roaders are the normal. That’s why this 1991 Explorer stands out…it’s a later-model project that can be turned around and made better. It’s got good bones and just enough issues to fix, but not enough to be a royal headache. Build to be a nice rig or prepare it for work, but this one needs to remain on the road.

“For sale – My 1991 Explorer . I’ve owned this vehicle for 10 years . I will be sad to see it go but I no longer have the time for maintenance or repairs . Engine and transmission are strong . It has a dana 30 axle from a 1995 Jeep Cherokee. It has an Eaton electric locker in the rear . It has push button 4WD and 4L 4H function .

I’m not sure what the exact lift is but I can tell you it was done by professionals with heavy duty parts . None of that flimsy stuff you find in cheap lift kits online .

The D30 axle was rebuilt in 2016 with a new 4.56 ring & pinion . The rebuild included new pinion races & carrier bearings , new hub bearings, new bushings in the 4-link suspension , new ball joints , new axle seals , new cross drilled & slotted brake rotors , new tie rob ends , new front shocks & new steering stabilizers .

The vehicle also has a heavy duty 2″ inch hitch attachment for connecting a winch mount . It has a transmission fluid cooler . It has pacesetter headers .

Tires are 35″x15″ Mickey Thompson but they are very worn and would probably not pass inspection . There is a 5″ inch crack in the windshield that will not pass inspection .

Last year we had a storm that knocked a tree down onto the drivers fender and a small part of the hood . I have provided pictures to document the damage . There is also rust damage on the panels underneath both rear doors.”

Craigslist Link: 1991 Ford Explorer XLT

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3 thoughts on “Rough Start: Never Pass On A Properly Lifted Ford Explorer…They’re That Good!

  1. M

    I am currently in the process of building a 1995 5.0L Explorer basically just like this one. I swapped in a C6/NP 208 trans and transfer case for more control. it will get 1-ton axles later, but for now it will be cheap fun. These are all dirt cheap and decent trucks.

  2. IkE

    When my dad inherited my grandpas 93, we would use it for bird hunting, which usually involves finding some melting drifts and bottomless pits of slop along the way. I was thoroughly impressed with how it handled itself, bone stock, with decent tires. It stayed straight, kept forward momentum, and never left us walking. It was actually more controllable than my wrangler which also never leaves me walking but it’s a ditch to ditch affair lol

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