The Mule's resurrection

A few months ago my wife and I bought a new High Country and decided to retire our beloved Mule. Our 99 Explorer was purchased with 130,000 miles when my son began to drive a few years ago. I drove it 100 miles a day to work and back and took care of it like any beater anyone of you has ever had.


I figured I would keep it around after I bought a Prius to use for fishing and hunting and it worked out well in stock form for a while.

...yes I drive a Prius

A few months ago we bought a 2018 Chevy High Country. It's awesome and we decided the adult thing to do was sell the Mule and reduce our insurance spend now that our two kids were in college.

Then I saw an article on the Gambler 500. We also talked about seeing the mountains and doing some road trips. That would be too easy and reliable in our shiny new truck. Where is the adventure in that?

So we yanked the for sale signs off the Mule and began converting it to an expedition style off roader.

I did a roof rack first, you know to be all expeditiony.

OK, I really did TT and Shackle first and then the rack. All to make room for bigger tires.
You may have notice that I live in the midwest. You may have also notice that 99 Explorer Sports from the Midwest don't have rocker panels....ever.

So I cut all the rust off and began the next phase of the restoration
IMG_0401.jpg IMG_0400.jpg
The goal is to patch in some repair panels and then build rock sliders off of what's there. I'm targetting this weekend for this....stay tuned. Now let go to the interior.

I added a new head unit, satellite radio, and a CB.

IMG_0389.jpg yes the console door closes with the handset plugged in, it's been tested.

That's all for now but I'll keep posting as I make progress. Also, this isn't my first rodeo off road. I've been doing this in one form or another for my whole life. Right before the explorer I had this.
I really miss that truck but I have about half of the money in the Explorer. Besides who needs plentiful bolt on parts and lift kits when you can buy a vehicle with virtually no aftermarket support. Am I right??
The rockers were on deck for this weekend but the transmission had other ideas. Sourcing a reman unit will now be next up, then A/C, then rockers...