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-   1998-2001 XP (https://saleenforums.soec.org/forumdisplay.php?f=65)
-   -   Long time Explorer owner, First time Saleen owner - 99-0023 XP8 (https://saleenforums.soec.org/showthread.php?t=20397)

nice59fordf100 04-01-2016 04:13 PM

Long time Explorer owner, First time Saleen owner - 99-0023 XP8
 
Hello all, and thank you for having me here! This is my first post, and thought i would share my newest truck, 1999 0023 XP8. First, a little about me:

My name is Russell, I own a business here in Austin, Tx called Bandit Customs. We specialize in Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury repair and modifications, but have a special interest in Explorers (and by extension Mountaineers, Aviators, Rangers, Navajo's, etc). Ive only ever driven Explorers since I was 16 and still have my first Explorer to this day. that was 14 years ago haha. My business partner shares a similar story and between us have owner somewhere around 35-50 explorers. Having said all that, we have always wanted our own XP8 vehicle, but never really could find one that needed the Bandit touch so to speak, until by chance we came across this one.

It was directed to us from a friend who said he saw it parked for a while and thought we might be interested in buying it. I went out to look at it, and knew I had to have it. The truck had been wrecked in a head on collision sometime in March 2015 and had been sitting since. the owner (who is the original owner by the way) wanted to get rid of it and we cut a deal and brought him home. Plan is to rebuild and restore it back to showroom quality. Granted i do not have much XP8 experience, but have loads of Explorer experiance, and seeing as how XP8's are really explorers in a track suit, i feel we can bring this truck back from the brink of death. So here yea go!


http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1506
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nice59fordf100 04-01-2016 04:14 PM

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nice59fordf100 04-01-2016 04:15 PM

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Dave 04-01-2016 09:33 PM

Enjoy your project and thanks for sharing your story! :smile:

nice59fordf100 04-01-2016 10:16 PM

Thanks dave! I've already got a couple pieces off the white xp8 on ebay to replace the damaged ones and new graphics. Only thing I'm having a hard time finding is a replacement China made Lemans wheel

jcar302 04-02-2016 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nice59fordf100 (Post 138540)
Thanks dave! I've already got a couple pieces off the white xp8 on ebay to replace the damaged ones and new graphics. Only thing I'm having a hard time finding is a replacement China made Lemans wheel

Don't get too caught up in finding the perfect matching wheel right away. I have 3 different versions of these wheels and honestly, without really taking a good look, you wouldn't know it.

Not saying give up finding the perfect match, but in the short term if you find one with the right offset, buy it and use it for now, while you find the perfect match.

The only set that is extremely different is the ones with the little kink in the spoke and unfortunately those are the easiest to come by.

my1stang 04-05-2016 03:29 PM

Best of luck with the restoration, great to see a wrecked XP getting restored.
I still have my first vehicle of 14 years also, a '95 Explorer Sport :cool:

nice59fordf100 04-06-2016 11:55 AM

some closer pictures of the wheel in question:

http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1531
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S351950023 05-03-2016 07:27 PM

Also glad to see it being restored. Best of luck and would like to see finished pics!

S351950023 08-31-2016 07:31 PM

Any progress on this?

nice59fordf100 05-12-2017 08:13 AM

Sorry for delay! Since last time I posted, I had moved to the new house and had to take the fleet along with me. But progess has resumed on the XP8!

Last we saw, i was stripping the explorer down:
http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1637
http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1638

Anywho, got the entire truck stripped down, gutted, and repaired and set on a spare frame i had to make it a roller chassis. Then got him sent over to paint where most of the dents were taken out and entire truck reshot:
http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1639
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and the obligitory hoot shot showing the paint:
http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1642

Next it to media blast the frame after the repairs and frame straightening to get it ready for paint and start reassembling everything back into the vehicle. Sorry progress has been fairly slow, but when trying to rebuild several other explorers at the same time as well as customer repairs..well, you know how it goes!

Dave 05-12-2017 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nice59fordf100 (Post 143922)
Next it to media blast the frame after the repairs and frame straightening to get it ready for paint and start reassembling everything back into the vehicle. Sorry progress has been fairly slow, but when trying to rebuild several other explorers at the same time as well as customer repairs..well, you know how it goes!

Nice progress. Thank you for sharing! :smile:

nice59fordf100 05-16-2017 07:52 AM

Well, a little bit of a setback last night. Got the 5.0 on the test stand last night to get it fired up and listen to it for the first time since i bought the truck. It was then that I discovered a crack in the oil filter caused from the frame bending into it meaning after the wreck the engine was probably still running puking oil everywhere. I swapped it out and put fresh oil in it and started it up and sure enough, motor is knocking. I suspect a spun bearing as the noise is coming form the lower end. Its not as bad as ive heard before, howver, engine will need a full rebuild now. :frown:

nice59fordf100 05-29-2017 10:17 AM

Ok, so more updates. After finding out the motor is knocking and needa a full tear down and rebuild, i decided to change plans a bit with the truck. My original goal was to keey everything original (as much as possible considering the collision) and rebuild the truck exactly as Saleen did. However, after the revelation of a (currently) useless 5.0, i decided to change that. I had a 2000 Limited 5.0 AWD i bought as a donor for another project (my 1992 Mazda Navajo) however, considering i need to get this truck running by end of june, and a motor rebuild would knock that goal in the trash, we are now using the Limited donor drivetrain, as well as converting the this XP8 not only to AWD (originally 2wd) but also doing a Limited trim out - meaning the XP8 is now getting the following features:

Automatic Temp Control (digital HVAC)
Message Center
Memory Seats
Heated Seats
Redunadant Audio Controls (not at first, since i will have to have a steering wheel made that has the carbon fiber inlays)
Heated Side mirrors (while still using the carbon fiber overlays)

We will still use the factory XLT leather seats, however, we will simply move over the memory seat trac and heated functions and install them into the original seats.

Now that i have a game plan going on, i can now move forward with installing more of the body. Last you saw, we had just got the truck back from paint

http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1643

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nice59fordf100 05-29-2017 10:19 AM

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Dave 05-29-2017 11:28 AM

This should be a very nice XP when complete! Congrats. :smile:

nice59fordf100 06-20-2017 04:31 PM

Got some more progress on the Saleen. Since last post, a new carlite windshield has been installed, got the rear hatch all buttoned up and painted, and also ordered brand new (from Ford) OEM carpet that was sitting collecting dust at a dealer in kansas. Also got the headliner reinstalled and most of the upper body trim on the interior. With the limited conversion, I am also gaining the rear subwoofer assembly and since the stock sub is usually always blown on these Explorers, i replaced it with a pioneer shallow mount sub along with a new 1ch pioneer amp. It will be installed onto the factory enclosure. Also pictured is the replacement drivetrain from the limited donor to facilitate the awd conversion. The engine will be torned down and resealed along with some minor parts getting powdercoated, and the transmission is being rebuilt professionally as i type this. Next step is to remove the body so i can start wirewheeling the frame and axle in order to get it ready for paint and to install the drivetrain (hopefully by next weekend) so the body can go back on it.

http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1669

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todds89 06-23-2017 01:09 PM

Nice work!

WheelsXP8 06-26-2017 05:47 PM

Wow, you all are doing a great job with this one! This is going to be a very nice XP8 when it's all done.

nice59fordf100 06-29-2017 10:15 AM

Some more updates:

Got the body popped off last weekend and brought the frame back to the house for stripping, wirewheeling, primer, and then paint. Will also clean up the axle so it can be bolted back into place and the engine tear down began last night so we can start resealing the engine. shooting for painting the frame sunday and getting it all put back together over next week

http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1680
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nice59fordf100 07-02-2017 10:47 PM

Got the chassis completed! Spent all weekend getting it sanded and painted, along with installing all the original Saleen specific bits to the chassis. The rest of the week shall now be focused on getting the drivetrain back together and installed into the chassis so hopefully I can drop the body back on by the end of the week. also in the pictures you can see where I converted the factory 2wd truck into an AWD truck by adding the front diff, cv axles, knuckles, and hub assemblies along with new rotors. we re-used the powdercoated calipers and brackets because they cleaned up nice.

http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1690
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nice59fordf100 07-05-2017 10:31 AM

Got more done this weekend and on the 4th. Now that the chassis is pretty much completed, attention moved over to the drivetrain. The donor motor ran fine, just needed a hella cleaning, but the transmission was completely junked up - the trans cooler inside the radiator cracked, which caused coolant to mix inside the trans, completely destroying all the soft parts. So when we had the drivetrain pulled out of the donor, i had the trans rebuilt professionally with new clutchs, bands, solenoid pack, gaskets and seals, and new pump. when i got it back, i wirewheeled it and cleaned it up and just painted it with some aluminum style paint to look good and prevent oxidation. Next, was simply resealing the engine with new gaskets, new water pump, and new seals all around. Due to texas heat and working outside, work does move slow, but steady. also got the (new to me) torque monster headers installed and ready to go. tonight, should be installing the new flex plate, rear main seal, and hopefully stab the transmission in behind the motor. after that, its a matter of cleaning and painting the transfer case, drive shafts, exhaust system, and fuel tank and the body should be ready to go back on to the frame by sunday-ish. Anyway, more pictures:


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nice59fordf100 07-07-2017 11:22 AM

Some updates:

Got the rest of the frame put together - one of the acc brackets got cleaned up and painted and installed, got the rear sway bar installed, high pressure power steering line, and the motor mounts / torque monster headers installed and torque down. Also gound the flexplate was bent somehow, so we replaced that and after that, it was the fuel tank and next the transmission along with the cooler lines.

http://saleenforums.soec.org/picture...pictureid=1709
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nice59fordf100 07-09-2017 11:50 AM

got the body back on Friday night! So here you see that the chassis got its little bits installed, and all was ready to drop everything back in place. now its just a matter of hooking everything back up and buying some of the last needed parts (a/c compressor, radiator, condenser, accumulator, little interior brackets here and there, fluids) and we should be able to get it running under its own power in the next few weeks. will be taking a couple weeks of as we have a couple of customer paid engine swaps to do.

gbrittenum 03-28-2018 09:13 PM

How is the XP-8 coming? Any pictures posted somewhere of the final product?

nice59fordf100 03-29-2018 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gbrittenum (Post 146039)
How is the XP-8 coming? Any pictures posted somewhere of the final product?

Progress is being made! I apologize for no updates, I reached the maximum allowed 100 photos in the photo album and couldn't upload any more. But suffice to say the truck is running and working as designed. only things left to do is charge the a/c and get the front and rear bumpers repaired and painted and then the truck is basically done.

gbrittenum 04-16-2018 08:27 AM

Would you consider doing another one? Any guesses on the cost to restore one not wrecked?

nice59fordf100 04-16-2018 12:38 PM

We would do another XP8 restoration. One of our hopes with #23 would be to gauge interest in the XP8 community for such an endeavor. Typically for a normal explorer we charge around 10k for a full body off restore (exactly like #23). For the XP8 I would venture another 3k to 5k on top of that depending on condition of the Saleen specific parts that need reconditioning and the extra labor and care needed to handle these parts. Shoot me a pm if interested :)

todds89 04-16-2018 12:54 PM

Man, this is really nice work!

redsaleen417 04-16-2018 03:23 PM

I actually saw a white one yesterday, havenít seen one for years in my area.

todds89 04-17-2018 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nice59fordf100 (Post 146157)
Shoot me a pm if interested :)

PM sent! Thanks

gbrittenum 05-27-2018 12:44 PM

I just spend the day with Kris and Russell, these guys are the Gods of Explorer. Their knowledge of Explorers is mind boggling. What they have done with all the Explorers they have is amazing and trust me they have lots of Explorers. I was able to ride around in their Saleen Explorer #99-23. The Limited conversion they did is very cool, you get the message center, climate control AC, memory and heated seats. They also converted it from 2wd to awd. The lights insider the Explorer had been converted to LEDs and the look was incredible, it changed the instrument cluster from just illuminated to bright, crisp, and modern looking. They plan to upgrade the brakes with a trick they know from their vast Explorer knowledge, but I will let them tell you about it, Saleen Explorer #99-23 is almost ready for the show circuit, They just have to finish the bumper covers, refinish the carbon fiber mirror covers, and reproduce the elusive rear bumper cover.

I plan to get a list together and head back up to Bandit Customs in the near future with my Saleen Explorer. If you need work on your Saleen Explorer, I would highly recommend Kris and Russell, they are friendly and personable guys. Actually, if you need any work done on any Explorer, I would drive to Austin, Texas for them to do the work.

nice59fordf100 07-10-2018 06:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gbrittenum (Post 146365)
I just spend the day with Kris and Russell, these guys are the Gods of Explorer. Their knowledge of Explorers is mind boggling. What they have done with all the Explorers they have is amazing and trust me they have lots of Explorers. I was able to ride around in their Saleen Explorer #99-23. The Limited conversion they did is very cool, you get the message center, climate control AC, memory and heated seats. They also converted it from 2wd to awd. The lights insider the Explorer had been converted to LEDs and the look was incredible, it changed the instrument cluster from just illuminated to bright, crisp, and modern looking. They plan to upgrade the brakes with a trick they know from their vast Explorer knowledge, but I will let them tell you about it, Saleen Explorer #99-23 is almost ready for the show circuit, They just have to finish the bumper covers, refinish the carbon fiber mirror covers, and reproduce the elusive rear bumper cover.

I plan to get a list together and head back up to Bandit Customs in the near future with my Saleen Explorer. If you need work on your Saleen Explorer, I would highly recommend Kris and Russell, they are friendly and personable guys. Actually, if you need any work done on any Explorer, I would drive to Austin, Texas for them to do the work.


Thank you so much for the kind words! we really enjoyed having you here with us for the day and appreciated the chance to fix a couple of things on your truck as well!

I am sorry I haven't posted much here lately, I suffered a head injury at work so I have been on leave until I feel I can go back, which also means I haven't been on computers or working on the trucks as much. Good news though 99-0023 has about 800 miles on it since we started driving it and it is running perfectly and feels great to drive as well! Greenlee is right, we got just a few items left to work on and it's completely done!

MuscleJunkie 09-08-2018 03:53 PM

Great project. Thank You for posting!!!


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