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21 ST in the CLE

I Bleed Ford Blue

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21 Atlas Blue Explorer ST
#1
Someone asked for my build thread, and since I didn't have one, here it is. Back in December of 2018 I was driving my wifes old 16 edge and the lease was almost up. The local ford dealers around Cleveland were running really good deals on leftover 18 explorers and I stumbled across a loaded 18 sport.

20181223_163105.jpg

So I leased it as a stopgap until I could get an ST as I knew the 20+ explorers were coming and they went back to a RWD platform. Fast forward to May of 21 and the same dealer offered me 32.5K to get out of the lease and I found a 21 ST in atlas blue with no sunroof or roof rails. My 18 had the rails replaced under warranty 3 times and they still kept coming apart, so when I found out ford made the rails optional on 21 ST I knew that when I finally got an ST it would be w/o roof rails. Besides, every SUV/CUV me and the wife have had in the last 20 years that had rails never got used. The sunroof I was adamant that I did not want it, Living in northern Ohio we only get maybe 3 months a year that a sunroof could be useful, and if I want sunshine in my face and wind in my hair, I have a convertible for that.

So, enough of the history of how I got the ST. Here it is when I brought it home.

20210521_100230.jpg

Within a few days I added a JLT catch can and redline tuning hood struts.

20210610_133803.jpg

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I found a company that makes vinyl overlays for the explorer letters on the tailgate https://tvdvinyldecals.com

20210602_112658.jpg

I don't have any pics of it but I have an autostop eliminator that I installed at the dealership while they were getting the paperwork ready. I then later found out you can have the A.S.S. turned off thru a tune. In June of 21 I bought a set of tunes from 5 star for my ST and have been running their 91 performance tune since then and have been happy with it.
 

Blue Beast

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#2
Welcome to the forum. Love the Atlas Blue LOL.
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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Messages
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Location
Ohio
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21 Atlas Blue Explorer ST
Thread Starter #4
Later in 21 I discovered this site and joined. I began reading up on all that can be done to the 20+ explorers and found out about ZFG racing. When I got my covid money (the company I work for paid me $1500 to get the vax) I bought a set of steeda springs and rear sway bar, but I only managed to get the springs installed before the weather turned bad for the winter. When I got my tax return I bought a whipple I/C and it took about 5 weeks to get it. Also with the tax return I bought a tune from ZFG and a dragy to track my progress. My best run with just the 5 star tune only was a 12.72@109.50

Screenshot 12.72 dragy.jpg

After I got the I/C installed

20220417_113338.jpg

I updated the tune and ran 2 more runs and ran a 12.60@110.48 and a 12.59@110.12

Screenshot 12.60 dragy.jpg

Screenshot 12.59 dragy.jpg

Anyway, I always liked the look of factory wheels and I loved the 13-14 edge sport wheel

edge sport 22.jpg

I found a set of ebay and they were already powdercoated in gloss black

20220402_140931.jpg

I had the hub bore opened up to 70.5mm to fit the 20+ explorers and after looking for a month I finally found a set of tires in the size I wanted.

20220417_113327.jpg

I had tire rack send their mobile truck to my house to mount and balance them and they look real good on a 20+ explorer

20220420_152445.jpg
 
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#5
Agreed! The Atlas blue is such a nice color. Unfortunately, the Platinum didn't have that as an option.
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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21 Atlas Blue Explorer ST
Thread Starter #6
Welcome to the forum. Love the Atlas Blue LOL.
I've been here for about 6 months now and you have commented on my posts before. Anyway atlas blue was the only color I would even consider, yeah, I like blue. My other toy, the convertible I mentioned is also blue.

20170616_154426.jpg

My wife has an Edge ST, also in blue.

20210522_102127.jpg

Before I found the 22" wheels on ebay, I bought a set of bora wheel spacers 1.25" F/1.5" R because the factory 20's that came on my ST are too narrow and tucked in too far for my liking. After I got the 22's installed the bora spacers gave me just the right amount of poke.

20220420_172720.jpg

20220420_172740.jpg

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I have the ZFG 93 performance tune ready to go and plan to load it soon. I want to run it as a DD for a week or so before I do a data log and then Ill try a dragy run and see if I get any improvement in my 0-60 and 1/4 mile times.
 

STFan

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#7
Now your username makes even more sense lol. Great to see this thread created.
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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Thread Starter #8
Actually it's a coincidence. I chose the name because I grew up within walking distance from the Cleveland engine plant and as a kid my dad owned nothing but fords.
 
Last edited:
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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Thread Starter #10
It's not a mod, but I thought I would post it anyway. About a week after returning from Asheville, I received this in the mail

20220512_165610.jpg

If you know, you know. I'll wait a day or two before I say what it is.
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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Thread Starter #11
I got revision 1 of my ZFG tune last night and loaded it today. Adam wants me to do a 3rd or 4th gear pull from 2500-6000 rpm and a 0-60 and a 1/4 mile run on my next datalog. I can't wait to see what kind of times I can get. My previous best was 4.34 0-60, and a 12.59@110.12mph with the whipple installed and a 5 star 91 performance tune.
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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Thread Starter #14
BINGO! we have a winner. It's a map of the tail of the dragon.
 

STFan

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#15
It's not a mod, but I thought I would post it anyway. About a week after returning from Asheville, I received this in the mail

View attachment 12231

If you know, you know. I'll wait a day or two before I say what it is.
your EKG chart during the autocross portion of ST SUV Experience?;)
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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U.S. Navy Veteran
Messages
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Points
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Location
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21 Atlas Blue Explorer ST
Thread Starter #18
I just did my second set of data logs for Adam. It ran a 12.92@104.94 and a 4.53 0-60. To be fair the D/A was high at 2175 ft and it was 72 degrees F and I also have the heavy 22's on the ST right now.
Also, it previously ran a 4.34 0-60 and a 12.59@110.12 with the 5 star tune, but it was also 40 degrees that day and the D/A was -618 ft and I had the lighter stock 20's on it. I told Adam all this when I submitted the data log files.
 
OP
I Bleed Ford Blue

I Bleed Ford Blue

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Location
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21 Atlas Blue Explorer ST
Thread Starter #19
Adam contacted me and said my tune looks good and is now complete. Also since I heard you could run up to E30 on his tune and it will be fine so I asked him about it. He replied and said yes that is true I can run up to an E30 mix on his tune and be fine. So I think on my next fill up I might try it and see what it runs 0-60 and 1/4 mile.
 


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