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Paul Bredehoft's
1991 Explorer XLT
Pauls Explorer
Written by: Paul Bredehoft

I bought my Explorer back in May of 1990 as a 1991 model. I was one ofHeading down hill the first people to buy one of these great SUVs. After 8 years of use and with 88,000 miles on it, I think it is still one of the best SUVs out there. This Explorer is not used as an every day commuter, but for pure enjoyment in exploring the many off-road trails here in California. 

In the past 8 years, this Explorer has gone through 2 different suspension changes and other major modifications to make it really trail worthy and lots of fun to use.

Creeping through a tight squeezeI first started out with a 4" Trail Master lift kit since there were not to many kits in '91 to fit an Explorer. I found out shortly after a few trips out in the desert, that the present system wasn't going to work. I bottomed out once and put a hole the size of a quarter in my transfer case. After a $1,200 repair bill I sat down with the off-road company who installed the kit, and had a serious talk about how they could rebuild this Explorer strong enough so I could go just about anywhere I chose to go. I guess they took me serious enough. They had the Explorer for 8 months. Many of the changes had to be custom made and that takes time.

Rock CrawlingThe months of waiting really paid off. I have done the Rubicon trail twice and the Little Sluice without any problems. I also go out to the famous Truck Haven Hills near the Salton Sea in CA.; the Death Valley areas; and many trips done by Harry Lewellyn (aka. Silver Coyote) of the Ecological 4-Wheeling Adventures. He also drives a Ford Explorer on all of his trips

Taking the Explorer wadingAlthough I get great pleasure of driving this SUV there have been a few problem areas with some of the after market products. I have had to replace three Super-Runner steering systems in one year and one Super Lift Radius Arm. Also the Vortex Supercharger has been a great disappointment.

Tech Sheet

Engine: 4.0 Liter V6 EFI/with Vortex Supercharger 2 1/2" JBA headers; 2 1/2" FlowMaster exhaust system. A high flow catalytic converter; K&N airfilter.

Transmission: Automatic

Front Suspension: Superlift 5.5"; Super Lift radius arms; Super Lift coil springs with polyurethanedisc or donuts as some call them inside of the coil spring. Super-Runner steering system; Front quick dis-connects for the heavy duty sway bar; Rancho 9000 shocks.

Awesome view

Rear Suspension: Custom made National Springs; Custom made shock mounts; Rancho 9000 shocks; Rear quick disconnects for the heavy duty swaybar.

Front: Dana 35; 4:56 Gears; ARB Airlocker
Rear:  Ford 8.8" 4:56 Gears; ARB Airlocker

Brakes: Wilwood rear disc brakes; Stock Ford front brakes.

Tight squeeze

Tires/Wheels: BFG MT 33x12.50x15 on Center Line 15x8 rims.

Front: Custom made by Pro Zap Bumpers with a built in Super Winch 9,000.
Rear: Custom made by Rickard Eng & Mfg. Includes a tire carrier for a 33" & a dual 5 gal. gas  carrier. Also built into this heavy duty bumper is a storage area to carry tools, parts etc. There are four lockable areas on this bumper. 

Roof Rack: Confer rack with a Hi-Lift Jack mounted to it.

Kick'n up some dust

Air Supply: Underneath where the spare tire used to be are 2 NON-ACTIVE NITROGEN air tanks mounted in a custom built carrier. When needed to be refilled, the carrier is unlocked and drops down so that the tanks can be pulled out. The tanks are well protected when in place from any rocks, etc. these tanks have plenty of air supply to run air tools for repair work or for airing up tires. They will fill up a tire as fast as a gas station tank. Refilling cost is $11.00 per tank.

Interior: Leather seats; JBL audio system/ Pioneer CD changer; Alpine AM/FM stereo; Uniden SSB CB radio/Wilson 1000 antenna; Cellular phone; Security system plus tracking system.

Front Bumper
Pro-Zap Welding & Mfg.
18971 Industry Way
Sonora, CA 95370

Rear Bumper
Rickard Eng. & Mfg.
350 E. Orangethorpe, Unit 14
Placentia, CA 92670
(714) 524-5632

Darien Gagnon

Darien installed everything listed on the tech sheet except the Vortec Supercharger. He also designed & custom made the rear shock mounts, rear spring mounts & the air supply carrier. Darien can be reached by E-mail at: 

 E-mail Paul