First Gen Explorer Questions

gascapkevin

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May 9, 2023
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I have the opportunity to pick up a first gen explorer from a friend for pretty cheap. It's a beater, but with some love I think it could be decent.

The front has: drop brackets, radius arms, engine cage, 2.5 coilovers, and air bumps.

The back needs immediate attention, it's got the stock leaf pack with a deaver add a leaf, and an aftermarket shackle. It does not have any rear shocks at the moment.
Would like to get it back in the dirt fairly cheap and quickly and then slowly start building it up.
I've seen some people use Gen juan raptor shocks with the Cookcraft under the floor shock mount, and was also looking at Giant's under the floor shock mount kit.

@Giant Geoff and others... My questions are:
1) are under the floor shock mounts worth it or should I go with an in cab bed cage with some longer shocks right away?
2) if under the floor shock mounts are the move, could I run some take off raptor shocks with the Giant mount before going with the 3.0x13s recommended on Giants website?
3) if a in cab bed cage is the move, what size shocks do you recommend?
4) are G50E's the ultimate leaf pack for the explorer? My buddy that has the explorer told me G50E's are only recommended for 2 door explorers but I've also seen a lot of build threads with 4 door's running them

Explorer in question at KOH last year:
explorer.jpg
 
My Giant parts and my shocks work very well. Some guy's need to de-tune the shocks because they can be too progressive if you don't have enough weigh and if you drive it too slow. I have all the parts in stock if you need anything out of the kit?
 

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My Giant parts and my shocks work very well. Some guy's need to de-tune the shocks because they can be too progressive if you don't have enough weigh and if you drive it too slow. I have all the parts in stock if you need anything out of the kit?
Yeah I may be interested in just your shock hoop to start and then slowly do the whole kit. Would a raptor shock work with your shock hoop? My fiancée works at the desert bar in Parker so my initial goal is to just get it drivable for her to run back and forth to work for the winter and then start really building it over the summer.
 
Yeah I may be interested in just your shock hoop to start and then slowly do the whole kit. Would a raptor shock work with your shock hoop? My fiancée works at the desert bar in Parker so my initial goal is to just get it drivable for her to run back and forth to work for the winter and then start really building it over the summ.
The compressed length of my shock is 19.75". If you're a little shorter, it can work. I have 2 in stock and I'm in Temecula for pickup.
 
Under cab mount is THE ONLY way to go.

Cookcraft mount and raptor shocks can be had for under 1000$ if you find a deal on shocks and bolt in and be in the desert in an afternoon. He also offers the lower mount that bolts on for 12” 3.0 kings which is a great upgrade as well if you decide to move up from raptor shocks later.

You don’t gain much more droop going 16s through the floor and you loose all the cargo and sleeping area, making the explorer useless, plus you gotta build a bedcage!

G50e is the only explorer pack. I’ve heard some people ordering “upgraded” explorer springs from Deaver not sure what that is, but I do know, that on all three explorers I have had including my current one that I just put brand new deavers on, they are g50e.

This was my first explorer with a
Bedcage with 16s, g50e, and a drooped out shot.

My current explorer, same spring back, just shocks under the bed. Still droops out quite a bit. I never measured either set ups, but getting to keep the entire rear cargo area is a HUGE positive.
 

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My friend Jesse had a 1st gen exploder. It ran the 62" spring under deavers from a toyota. He ran them as is for a few years until they were sacked out. So drove explorer fully loaded to Deaver and they measured stuff and then rebuilt the spring pack for the added weight and it worked awesome. Also he had cantilever 3.0 shocks under the back. Keeping shocks out of the cabin is a win for sure.
 
Definetly vote for keeping everything under the bed as others have already mentioned. Cutting holes in an explorer or bronco cargo area for big shocks kinda kills the whole concept of it for me. Just my opinion. But my intended use may differ. I plan to sleep really warm and comfy in the back of my expo, so the Cookcraft under-bed shock mount with raptor take-offs is gonna do it for me. I really like that if I ever wanted to get more shock back there, I can just buy a new bolt-on lower shock mount from Cookcraft and bold in a 3.0x12" King. I don't plan to ever drive the Explorer the same way I do Blanca, but its always nice to leave a little room to upgrade later.

After riding in Ryan's explorer (Cookcraft guy) with his rear mount and Raptor take offs, I honestly have to say its pretty damn impressive. (we beat the absolute shit out of it for two days straight and didn't buck, break, or do anything weird in the rear. I was scared we were gonna taco it a couple times during testing.)
 
The g50s works really good for what they are. The gen 1 raptor shocks with some valving changes are pretty impressive. Kevin at Dialed knows what to put in them to get you scootin’. You can’t beat the price to performance ratio on them. If you’re at the next GFE meet up I can give you a ride in mine and see if you like it. I think the biggest benefit is the ground clearance gain by moving the lower shock mount and getting rid of that funky angle they have stock. Let me know if I can help you.
 
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