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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of buying a Ford Sport Trac for general use and to haul my Tdub around. I think with the tailgate down it is about 73" or so. The Sport Trac is a great little truck - basically an explorer with a bed. Kind of suits my needs since I don't need a full size truck. Hoping for some input before I pull the trigger on it. I understand I will need to keep the gate down if my bike is in the back. Thanks for your advice
 

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I liked the idea of those for when an actual truck bed is not needed. My bro in law did too and bought one once. He sold it 2 months later because it got the same bad gas mileage as a normal truck but couldn't carry as much. Maybe his was worse than average.
 

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I bought a used 2004 4WD Sport Trac in 2007 and put another 200,000 miles on it mostly hauling a 16' tandem axle work trailer. Great small truck for my purposes and would have bought another but production ended in 2010.

I also pulled my camp trailer and gear. My present camp trailer in my avatar and below also carries my TW200 I pull with a Jeep Liberty which is about the same size as the Sport Trac.

1203 sm.jpg

8386 sm.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your input. A trailer would be a great alternative but for several reasons is not an option at this time. I loaded my tdub in my friends Sport Trac bed and it fits well but the tailgate needs to be down which is not a problem. Thanks again for all the advice. I have a few other smaller trucks to check out. Keep you posted...
 

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Most tailgates seem pretty strong. I wouldn't worry but would be aware the the center of gravity of TW behind Sport Trac axle will effect handling and headlight alignment a bit.
If concerned about weight bearing capacity of tailgate and tailgate cables you are not alone. How Much Weight Can My Truck's Tailgate Cables Support ...


https://www.discountramps.com/truck-tailgate-capacity/a/b79/
ttps://www.explorerforum.com › ... › 2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac


However if concerned a section of 3/4 ply or stiffer affixed from front of bed to end of tailgate could support some of weight otherwise bearing just on tailgate. Lock it in place when in use so it stays put, remove once done hauling TW
 

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I have an 02 Ranger 4 cyl 5 speed RWD which I believe is the same platform as Explorer. Very happy with mpg and ability to load and haul my TWs. Some of the engineering has me scratching my head. For example, to replace the clutch slave cylinder, you have to pull the trans bell housing. Then, I found a great deal on a 96 Tacoma (also 4 cyl 5 speed RWD) which I feel is on the opposite end of the engineering spectrum. I kept the Ranger as a bike hauler/winter beater/backup vehicle, but I cringe every time I need to work on it. Both good little trucks, but I park the Tacoma for the winter to avoid our rust belt problems because I intend to keep it forever. There are lots of other good little trucks out there. Just my opinion - YMMV.
 

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My wife has had a Sport Trac since 2004. She absolutely loves it! In fact, she just recently put in a brand new engine. She couldn't find a replacement that was more cost effective and because everything else but the engine was in great shape she gave it a transplant. It is awesome in the snow. An impressive little truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I locked up the deal and I got it. I really appreciate everyone's advice and links. I'm definitely going to do the plywood in the bed to take some of the strain off the tailgate. I will probably build two wheel tracks in to help keeping the bikes from moving around. I will post some pics in the near future. Thanks again !
 

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Congrats of the Sport Trac.

Good idea about the wheel tracks. My trailer set-up is a bit different than your open bed will be but here is what I did.

The TW is a tight fit in the trailer with storage boxes on either side at the front and a swing out chuck box and ice chest at the rear. That and the 4 foot celling prevent me from walking the bike all the way in plus my current ramp is only 10 inches wide. I have a self locking chock at the front, a pair of guides made from 3/4 inch EMT midways and a pair of wood blocks at the rear to allow the chuck box to clear.

I can walk the bike up the ramp until the front wheel crosses the rear of the trailer and the front tire is between the two wood blocks. From there, still standing on the ground, I can push the bike the rest of the way with the Cyclerack. The guides keep the front wheel straight and once the self locking chock engages the bike will stand by itself while I attach the tie downs.

Unloading just requires a hand pull on the Cyclerack.

You should be able to mount all the track and chock to the plywood. When I used an open trailer the wood chock was made from 2 pieces of 2x6 in an L with 2 2x4 at 45 degree angle along each side which also kept the bike upright while I applied the tie downs.

7670 guides and chock.jpg
 

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Wish I could give BC Toyer two "likes" for his well engineered trailer. Two thumbs up instead.:icon_thumleft::icon_thumleft:

Congrats on the SportTrac purchase.
I wonder if a small cleat on the underside of the plywood could drop into the gap between bed and tailgate effectively preventing plywood from sliding out the back. That way ply could be securely installed and/or removed without need for fasteners.
 

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They're decent trucks. Used to have an '07 Explorer, virtually the same thing just without the bed. Ultimately it was reliable well past the 100k mark when I ended up selling it, never had any major issues. The 4.0 v-6 wasn't particularly spunky, or smooth, or quiet, or economical, but it always started and didn't cause problems, so can't complain too much. I dont think I ever even had to do somewhat common stuff like starter, alternator, or water pump in the time I had it. In the Exploder version I could get maybe 20mpg taking it easy on the freeway. Average was more like 15-16. I towed a boat that weighed around 3000lbs with it, handled it OK but wouldn't want to do it regularly.
 
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