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The Mighty Merc - '99 Mountaineer Family Hauler - Cilff Notes


Confused at best.
May 20, 2020
Member Number
St. Louis MO Area
So Not a fan of the new version of Pirate, and we need some content here! So I copied over the 'cliff note' version of my last build. I'll see if I can find my other build and dump its cliff notes over here as well.

Note: the links below dump you back to my site where all the content is as at. It was easier to store stuff there rather than have it scattered across the internet. If I have time, I might go back and grab some of the more important posts and dump them here as well.


How it looks right now (1/25/20):

Update: This has been sold to a nice gentleman in WI. I hope it treats it as well as it treated us!

While not really a hard core build, there are some interesting parts in this one that I hope will help some others if they want to try to do similar things with the 2nd gen Mountaineer/Explorer platform. I have lurked, and (very) occasionally posted around here for a while. During that time I have gleaned quite a bit of good information so I wanted to try to give something back with this build by documenting some of the things I found scattered throughout the web and sticking them in a condensed version.

This will be a bit of a trial and error documentation as I plan on dual posting information for the build on my site and keeping this build thread updated as I go along. I’ll keep this top post updated with links, but the links will go back to my site where it will hopefully be easier to maintain photo integrity in the future. It might backfire, but what the hey…

Project Goals

I’m shooting for a down and dirty ‘quick-ish’ build by taking the leftovers from my truck (The Lone Ranger) and jamming them under The Merc. My family and I have been without a wheeler since 7/4/15, and we’re itching to get back out into the woods again.

At the end of the day, this thing will need to haul myself, my wife, and two kids in comfort down the road, wheel all day, and run down the road back home. I lack the space for a trailer, so like every rig I have had in the past, this needs to be road worthy. This will also serve as our vacation vehicle for the westward trips we like to take.

Build version 1.0


- Stock 302 with 180k miles and counting

- M5OD conversion using a ’97 F150 4.2 V6 Donor transmission

- NWF 241/205 doubler (twin sticked) with a relocated VSS


- 14 Bolt SRW from an ’87 suburban left over from the truck (Link)

- Yukon Locker, 4.88’s Ruff Stuff dis brake stuff using 77k20 parts

- Modified GM 63 leaf pack from a 2000 Chevy 1500


- HP D60 from a ’78 F-350 also left over from the truck (Link)

- Spartan Locker, 4.88’s, Reid Knuckles, High Steer

- Grand Wagoneer leaf pack to get me up and running cheaper (Since I already have the leaves).


- 37x13.5xr17 Cooper STT Pro on 17x8 Soft 8’s with 4.5 BS

So that’s it, overall, nothing too crazy going on. I had originally hoped to hammer this thing out quickly to have it drivable by Memorial day 2016, but that turned out be a touch optimistic with two young kids running around. So that is to say, it’ll take a while to get it done, but I am hoping to have it on the road in 2016 and wheeling by 2017.

Post Index

Driveline Stuff:

- Shaving the NP205

- Building the NWF Doubler

- Shifting the Mess Part 1

- Plugging the NP205

- NP205 Mount

- HP60 and 14 Bolt Refresh

- M50D Maintenance

- 5 Gear Swap and Doubler Placement

- Trans/Doubler Cross Member Fun!

- Shifting the Mess Part 2

- Oil Filter Relocation

- Low Oil Pressure Warning Light

- Fueling The Beast

Rear Setup:

- Rear Leaf Mounts

- Shocks and bump stops

Front Setup:

- Making a Steering Box Fit

- Front Leaf Mounting

- Steering Shaft Hacking

- Power Steering Fun!

- Front shocks and bump stops


- Front Winch Bumper


- Intro-Boring Background

- Moving the VSS and Tone Ring Math

- Leaf Spring Refresh

- No IFS, ands, or Buts! Removing the IFS

- Rear Cargo Platform

- Crossing the 1,000 mile mark

- My how we’ve grown up!

- Rear Quater Window Replacment

- Front Locker Woes

- Tablet Mount

- DVD player Mount

- Overdue Refresh


- 1st ORT Flat Nasty NYE 2016

- 2nd ORT Flat Nasty 5/20/17

- 3rd ORT Flat Nasty 8/12/17

- Colorado 2017

- 4th ORT SMORR 10/14/17

- 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2/10/18

- 7th ORT Flat Nasty 7/28/18

- 2nd Colorado trip

- 8th ORT Flat Nasty 12/1/18

- 9th ORT The Badlands 4/6/19

- Colorado/Utah 2019

- 10th ORT at Flat Nasty 1/25/20

- 11th ORT at Mooonlight Racing 2/8/20

- On to it's new home
Thanks! I'm missing the thing at this point, and the itch to build another wheeler is quite strong right now. We'll see what happens in the future!
Thanks for posting this, this is the build I've wanted to do for years, just haven't yet. My first 5.0 explorer was the same color, then painted my EB similar, now I've got another red 5.0 awd stashed for a build:grinpimp:
I remember reading this build long ago. Sad to see it go, I really liked it. Hope to see you build something else.
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