To say the redesigned 2002 Ford Explorer is big is an understatement. It seems to be as tall as an Expedition, at least that was my estimation when passing one on the highway. But it's not just its higher stance that makes the Explorer stand out. For starters, the Explorer rides on a fully boxed frame with an independent-rear suspension (IRS) rather than a solid axle. Rear half-shafts fit through portholes in the frame rails instead of underneath, dropping the vehicle nearly 7 in. and freeing up enough space for a third-row seat (a $670 option). The IRS soaks up bumps in the road, improving ride quality and handling. Up front, a SLA suspension using a coil-over-shock design replaces torsion bars. According to Ford, switching from torsion bars to coil springs cuts rough-road steering-column shake and ride harshness by letting components absorb impact forces when wheels hit sharp bumps. Our test vehicle carried an optional aluminum 4.6-liter V8 which boasts 240 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. This powerplant replaces a 5.0-liter V8, and adds an extra 25 horses. The standard engine, a 4.0-liter V6, packs 210 hp with 250 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission transfers more torque through its wide gear ratios. For example, first gear has a 3.26 ratio compared to the previous 2.47. Control Trac four-wheel drive runs automatically or, with the push of a button on the dash, switches between high and low. As luck would have it, I got to try out high mode during a sudden snowstorm. The front and rear driveshafts lock together for better traction. The shift from auto to high was, as Ford engineers claim, undetectable, but the firmer grip on the slippery roads quickly became apparent. Because the Explorer is a family vehicle, I drove to Pennsylvania to borrow
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Vehicle upfitting services customize standard commercial vehicles for public safety, emergency response, and specialized transportation applications.
Helically wound springs that deflect torque rotationally, torsion springs express mechanical energy through the property of elasticity: the spring action happens when it is twisted rather than compressed or pulled. Despite the name, torsion springs are subject to bending stress--not torsion--as the torque is carried through the length of the wound material.
Industrial winches are pulling devices that use a wire, rope, cable, strap or web to move heavy loads. They typically use a drum or reel for line storage and are either manually operated or powered by an electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic motor.
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