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Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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#1274 of 6400 About Engines & Transmissions
Feb 20, 2002 (9:35 pm)
I seldom post here because I simply don't have the time, but I do read the posts.
nickm2 & vtburg - I had to respond due to so many posts concerning engines and transmissions. I've got 3 Explorers, a 1991, a 1993 and a 1997, all do very well. The 91 and 93 have the 4.0L V6 pushrod engine, both with 152K miles, VERY reliable engines. The A4LD trannys in the 91 and 93 are weak, the 91 being replaced at 100K miles and the 93 still original, but may fail within two or three years, from old age. The 97 has the 5.0L V8 and is VERY RELIABLE at 101K miles, as is the strong and VERY RELIABLE 4R70W Transmission. I expect the 97 to have NO engine or transmission problems until WELL AFTER 200K miles. One big secret is careful, thorough service. Nobody touches it but me! I use Mobil One Synthetic Oil in Engine every 6000 miles, with a Mobil One or Pure One Synthetic Oil Filter at each oil change. NO synthetic in the Transmission, BUT do a complete transmission flush with filter and oil change EVERY YEAR, don't wait 2 years, the Fords can't take it! Use the recommended dextron fluid in the ranny. Change the lube in the Differential (Rear End) every 2 years (pull off the back cover and clean it out)Use synthetic gear lube for a regular rear end, and regular gear lube for a limited slip rear end. Big secret to making them last is to keep them COOL and CLEAN, inside and out. Keep radiator, fans, thermostat, hoses and cooling system in good shape. Do your services on time.
I would recommend buying the V8 engine over the V6. The V8 comes with the better transmission, the v6's come with the weaker transmission. NEVER buy a V6 SOHC Engine, nothing but trouble. Do your research well before you buy, your best friend and ally is your good knowledge. The more you know, the better off you are.
About the transmission shifing and overdrive, that depends largely on what rear end ratio is in your vehicle. The 3.73 limited slips are good,have to get up to about 45 to get overdrive and converter lockup, but some vehicles have the 3.08, which have to get up to about 55 to get to overdrive and converter lockup. Keeping it out of overdrive saves the wear on the O/D overrunning sprag clutch, which has these little metal pieces called "dogbones" that wear out and cause the transmission to fail in two ways, first they create microscopic metal particles that circulate in the fluid, sticking valves and wearing out other parts, and second the sprag itself will give out and cause the transmission to not move. You can simply avoid all this hassle by buying the V8 engine with the stronger transmission, and service transmission with a COMPLETE fluid flush, new filter & new fluid once a year.
#1275 of 6400 intake manifold gaskets
Feb 20, 2002 (10:10 pm)
I have 96 explorer with 4.0 DOHC engine about 70 thousand miles on it.Yesterday I had to replace intake manifold gaskets, engine was loosing coolant. anyone else with the same problem? Is this a common problem? Please advise.
Feb 21, 2002 (6:09 am)
You probably have a SOHC, not a DOHC.
Feb 21, 2002 (6:19 am)
Well said, and I agree with everything you said, although I think ALL of the Ford trannys are poorly made.
#1278 of 6400 To mazman ~ re Ford Transmissions
Feb 21, 2002 (8:36 pm)
That wasn't always the case. The C-6 would pull stumps for you. It is the desire to reduce weight and mass that has lead to weaker trannys IMO. That plus the manufacturers desire to tout the best gas mileage, therefore they shift the thing into O/D at every opportunity. IMO, O/D should be a manual selected mode, made by the driver. Further O/D should not engage, regardless of driver selection, below 60MPH. If I had my druthers, I would sooner have a 3 or 4 speed manual tranny with a two speed rear end. That would be an ideal setup IMO.
Feb 21, 2002 (9:05 pm)
i used rislone in my 2000 explorer and whoa it sounds like corvette VERY fast also i used chevron and mo power so if you got a 98 or 99 on up use rislone and chevron you will get alot horses believe me chevron fuel injector treatment that is.
Feb 22, 2002 (6:13 am)
True. But GM is under the same pressure to reduce weight and their trannys are almost bulletproof! They even make the auto tranny for the BMW! Why cant Ford get their Tranny's to perform and be reliable?
#1281 of 6400 ahhh, the old transmission trick
Feb 22, 2002 (5:20 pm)
Ford has always had a rep as having paper transmissions, ever since they got away from Borg transmissions and made their own. GM and Chrysler started out to make solid trannies, and reluctantly decided to machine the blocks so there were moving parts
everybody is shaving tenths of a penny on every part, so expect a lot more tranny problems.
Feb 22, 2002 (7:33 pm)
I just read in Consumer Reports a study about oil treatments. They ran a fleet of cabs for 60,000 miles and did various things to the oil. Some got synthetic, some get regular, some they went a long time without changing, some got oil treatments, etc. They found no difference in how the engine performed on diagnostics or how the cars acted among any of the cars who had the oil changed regularly. They also seemed to go out of their way to report that oil treatments did nothing and were pretty much a waste of money.
Feb 22, 2002 (10:42 pm)
guess what? that was consumer reports and what you and me got is a ford. and you may not think it works but trust me ive seen a big difference. even though ive had this truck it was horrible still is. well its still holding up how long is the question. but all i would say is it works will i still use it until nov? yep. now im not going to use it in my honda nope no way.