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Discussion Starter #421
new ride height looks great and will be way better ride for sure :smokin:
Thanks!

I've always loved this thing so nice to see the little refresh. Truck looks good, not too tall. The silver lining of replacing the front leaves instead of the link setup you want - its back on the road faster!
That's no joke! I had hoped to do this refresh back in November of 2018. Here we are nearly 5 months later and I'm just getting around to finishing up the simple refresh :homer:

Kids are an awesome time suck though, so I don't mind :D
 

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Nice update. Ran into the same issue with my ranger suspension, keeping it super low has it's down side.

Recently picked up a 1997 mercury 5.0 for a mild build... full width 44/9 inch, 4.56s, np205, Nissan steering get box etc.
 

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Ride height looks awesome! I hate looking at this thing because it makes me almost wish I had done my Explorer instead of my Ranger.
 

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Don't feel bad about leaf springs. I've given up even thinking about linking my truck in the near future. Leafs are just simple and easy to maintain. One day.

How do you like/dislike the shackle up front on the front leaf springs? I've only noticed them on Jeeps or lightweight vehicles. Only seen it once on a fullsize, and the guy said he hated it, BUT that truck was beaten very hard.

Sent you a message regarding your upcoming Badlands trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #425
Nice update. Ran into the same issue with my ranger suspension, keeping it super low has it's down side.

Recently picked up a 1997 mercury 5.0 for a mild build... full width 44/9 inch, 4.56s, np205, Nissan steering get box etc.
The biggest thing on this one for keeping it low was the clearance issues between the panhard bar/D60/Oil Pan. They all want to live in roughly the same place, and that just wasn't happening :laughing:

Nissan box eh? That's a new one on me. For what its worth, I'm very happy with the ford box, other than it was a bitch to package. Though I do think some sort of outside the frame mounted box would help out greatly with making steering linkages fit.

Ride height looks awesome! I hate looking at this thing because it makes me almost wish I had done my Explorer instead of my Ranger.
Everything's for sale! :D

Don't feel bad about leaf springs. I've given up even thinking about linking my truck in the near future. Leafs are just simple and easy to maintain. One day.

How do you like/dislike the shackle up front on the front leaf springs? I've only noticed them on Jeeps or lightweight vehicles. Only seen it once on a fullsize, and the guy said he hated it, BUT that truck was beaten very hard.

Sent you a message regarding your upcoming Badlands trip.
I'm perfectly fine with the shackle up front. Since I am running "nearly" flat leaf springs, having the shackle up front acts similar to having a rear mounted shackle with more arched springs. So it rides nice, and behaves itself well when climbing (I hate how rear shackles let the front "crawl out" from under the truck while climbing.

The only real downsides are:
- The front shackles can wind up getting in the way when trying to climb things (this was more of an issue on my truck than the Merc).
- You have a higher likely hood of bending leafs if you're not paying attention
- It is nearly necessary to run a track/Panhard bar, otherwise steering gets extremely vague. Not a big deal for slow speed off-road, kind of crappy for street time. I would like to think that Hydro assist would solve this issue, but I am not convinced it would

Responded to the message.
 

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Nissan box eh? That's a new one on me. For what its worth, I'm very happy with the ford box, other than it was a bitch to package. Though I do think some sort of outside the frame mounted box would help out greatly with making steering linkages fit.
Nissan box is very similar to a IFS Toyota box however I'm highly against putting Toyota parts on any of my Fords. Ok, they are probably made at the same factory but its my thing. No toy box.

Plumbing will be pretty easy too. 16mm banjo to JIC6 adapter at the box then have a JIC6 crimped on the factory 5.0 hose - box side. Could also get a JIC6 adapter for the pump and get a factory crimped hose (JIC6 to JIC6) from Surplus Center. Decide when I get there.
 

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Discussion Starter #427
The Mighty Merc - 9th ORT At The Badlands 4/6/19

We’ve been a bit overdue for a weekend trip, so when the option for a trip out to the Badlands came up, the opportunity was seized to make a long weekend out of it. Coming off the high of finally starting to get lots of the worn out bits replaced on the truck, we were eager to put a few miles on it. I can safely say that this is the nicest thing has run down the road in quite some time.

We loaded up and rolled east on a dreary Friday Morning:


Crossing into Indiana, we starts seeing out the covered bridges and Mills of Parke County to get some exploring in. I grabbed a few good shots of the truck while the wife did her photography thing. There were also more than a few stops to let the kids get out and wiggle:












I managed to recreate a couple of shots (kind of) from our past trips in the area, like when we took the Mustang out here in 2012:


 

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Discussion Starter #428
And when we were out there with the truck in 2013:





At one of our stops, I was walking back to the truck with my daughter when she let out a piercing scream. She was crying and sobbing that “The Lobster” tried to get her. Once I figured out what she was upset about, I found the offender:

The evil Crawdad :lol:

After lunch, and a brief truck nap, we ran over to Turkey Run state park for some afternoon hiking and dinner. The kids managed to knock out 2 miles better than I thought they would:






The boy even did me proud by climbing the ladders by himself! But I did have to carry my Daughter as she wasn't having anything to do with climbing the muddy ladder:

Sadly, he managed to fall into the creek at the top, which meant I had to carry him on my shoulders the rest of the way out.

Falls at the park:
 

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Discussion Starter #429
The next day we started off having breakfast that shared my namesake before heading off to the park. Good food, service, and price so I recommend the place if you’re in the area:


We made a quick side trip to Williamsport Falls before heading into the park:

Throughout the course of the day we covered a hair over 10 miles wandering around the park with some old friends. I was a bit worried that a large part of the park might be flooded due to all the rain that has been happening and all the flood warnings, but it turnd out to be not an issue:


We played around on the dunes and generally payed tourist for the first part of the morning while waiting for some other folks to arrive:










 

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Discussion Starter #430
After lunch, we met up with a few more familiar faces and went back to run some of the bigger high lights of the part. Such as the tubes, quarry, and the V notch:


Turns out this pig fits!












After getting our fill of the water, we moved on to the quarry to play a bit. This is where the Merc started showing its bi-polar climbing ability. It either went right up something, of flatly refused. It looks like I could stand to lose some weight out of the thing as well as do something with the rear bumper to get a touch more clearance out back:




 

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Discussion Starter #431








After getting our fill in the quarry, we wandered over to another trail with a Notch on it:






 

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Discussion Starter #432 (Edited)
While no one made it up the notch (not without a good effort!), the kids enjoyed the show:




And rolling rocks down the hill:


As the we wound down the afternoon, the kids were starting to get over riding in the truck. Thankfully JD gave us a break when the rear U joint let go climbing a ledge. Trail repairs are the best repairs I hear:


Kids got some wiggles out:


And yes, my daughter needed to wear her princess hat around most of the day:


After that, we wound up bailing on the group to head home as the kids were pretty tired. We did make a quick pit stop at a rest area to get a few more wiggles out, but for the most part they were passed out on the drive back:




Great trip all in all, Very happy with how well the truck did this time out as it was very comfy riding to and from the park, and continued to do very well off-road for what it is. We did cross paths briefly with Grohe, but the kids were being fussy enough that we didn’t really get a chance to catch up and shoot the breeze for a bit. Next time!
 

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awesome.



my truck is a bi polar climber out there too. things i think it will do, it wont...things i think it can not...it does.


i have only been there twice with the diesel. ....7 years or so now.. too long.
 

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Discussion Starter #435
I grew up hiking and camping at Turkey Run! Keep coming with these updates man.
Will do! Still shooting on working out the 'bugs' on this in prep for the trip west this year, so I don't know how exciting they'll be. But I am hoping to sneak a few more trip off road than I did last year.

awesome.

my truck is a bi polar climber out there too. things i think it will do, it wont...things i think it can not...it does.

i have only been there twice with the diesel. ....7 years or so now.. too long.
It had been awhile since we were out there last as well. A little over 6 years if my notes are right (The Lone Ranger Trip). I"d like to sneak back out there again sometime this winter to explore it a bit more.
 

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its cool to see the pic of the ranger and ex in the same spot.



i remember when you were first undertaking the ranger project.


time is moving waaaay tooo faasstt.
 

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Discussion Starter #437
its cool to see the pic of the ranger and ex in the same spot.
i remember when you were first undertaking the ranger project.
time is moving waaaay tooo faasstt.

That's no Joke! It all seems like it all just happened 'yesterday' and then I start looking at time stamps and realize things happened years ago :shocked:
 

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Looks like a blast. Even though it's my go-to park being the closest, I rarely get tired of it because there's just so much to do there.

Hit me up the next time you go and I'll try and make it down.
 

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Discussion Starter #439
Long time no posty, so I figured I would do a quick review of how this thing is doing these days.

Since the last time I posted, this thing has Gone to Colorado and Utah (Click Me). We also recently made a trip to Flat nasty (Click Me). And also over to Moonlight Racing (Click Me).

Not much action in 2019, but 2020 is starting pretty good! Here’s some random photos form those trips:




















The truck overall is still running around just fine and is currently the most sorted that it has been since its inception.

What’s 2020 going to bring for it? Well either a lot more wheeling…. Or sold! Since this is the time of year folks are flush with their tax refund cash, I’ll be putting it up for sale this weekend. I also fully expect it not to sell (which is fine). Right now we have our sights on a South West trip in 2021 and we’re not sure if we want to take the Merc, or something “More Mild” to do that type of a trip.

So either stay tuned for a wrap up of the thing once I sell it, or more wheeling trips with some ‘refresh’ posts as well!
 

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Awesome build!

One question though, do you ever get hassled by the cops for the tires sticking out so far?

I have pretty much the same build on a 98 explorer that has been on hold for a bit now but want to get it on the road this year.
 
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