Last post on May 27, 2013 at 6:07 PM
You are in the Ford Explorer
What is this discussion about?
Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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#2595 of 6386 Be careful of what you buy, do lots of research
Apr 17, 2004 (9:39 pm)
I have owned 3 explorers, a 1991, a 1993, and a 1997, now driving a 1999 Chev Blazer.
The 1991 to 1994 where all very much the same, all have the same 4.0L V6 OHV engine, if you had the automatic, they all had the same sorry problematic transmission (A4LD).
I would be VERY VERY DISAPOINTED with my explorer if it "Gave up the ghost" with ONLY 128K miles on it. I want all of my vehicles to make it to beyond 200K miles.
I bought the 1991 with 120K miles, ran perfect until I sold it with 165K miles. I bought the 1993 with 112K miles on it and drove it until it had 176K miles on it, when it got totaled by an idiot driver who crashed into the side of it. The engines in both of those ran flawlessly and smooth. They both needed transmissions.
The 1997, bought at 99K miles, now at 125K miles, is much MUCH better, really a teriffic SUV, BECAUSE I bought the right engine because of the research I did. I got the 5.0L V8 OHV, with cast iron engine block and cast iron cylinder heads. It has the reputation of being an extremely reliable engine, AND it comes with an extremely strong and reliable transmission behind it, the AODE. I still have the 1997, it is my wifes car, and she loves it. I agree with opera_house_wk that the SOHC engines are a good thing to stay away from. Driving a vehicle with THREE timing chains is just asking for trouble, especially with one timing chain on the backside of the engine, that can only be serviced by removing the engine! I can not live with an engine design like that and expect to make it to MORE than 200K without having to touch the engine. I target my research to achieve the most reliable and trouble free vehicle.
I think opera_house_wk did not mean he was steering clear of overhead cams, many of those designs are reliable and long lasting. I think he was referring to a TIMING CHAIN that is inaccessable because it is on the backside of the engine, and requires engine removal to get to it. Correct me if I am wrong opera, but that was the way I read it.
My Blazer is doing very well, not quite as roomy as the Explorer was, but it is very peppy for a V6. Next time I'll have to decide between getting a V8 Explorer or another Blazer. The new Ford V8's have Aluminum cylinder heads, and that worries me some with them sitting on a cast iron engine block. But if these gas prices keep going up, I might be forced into something smaller.
#2596 of 6386 Hey, Big Al.....
Apr 18, 2004 (10:26 am)
I'd be disappointed too, except this Explorer has been neglected and abused most of its life, including infrequent service, and off road tricks it was never built to do. I was actually astonished at how tough it is. Many a time it was towed back home because the two front tires had been blown. Put new rubber underneath, and off she went again, not even needing an alignment. No, 130,000 trouble free miles on this baby would be like 300,000 miles on a pampered truck.
Why do you ask, was it mistreated so badly? You know how family is, right? It was the kids toy for most of its life.
#2597 of 6386 Possible transfer case problem
Apr 18, 2004 (3:12 pm)
Recently I had to take my '02 XLT into the dealership to have some stablizer-bar bushings replaced because they began to squeak. While they had the vehicle on the lift they noticed that the brake pads were pretty thin, so they replaced those too. A few days later I noticed a grinding or pulsating sensation when taking tight, slow turns. I noticed the front-left rotor has a couple grooves worn in it. Seeing this I decided to take it back assuming this and the noise I am hearing are somehow connected. The dealership says that it's not the brake pad replacement causing the problem, but the transfer case probabley needs some kit that will cost around $900 to replace. I'm wondering if the fluid needs to be refilled.
Has anyone experienced this problem? I have become extremley disillusioned with Ford since buying this vehicle. I had always owned Hondas and Toyotas and the most I ever had to do with them is replace brake pads and air filters. I have had this truck in the shop for belt/pulley squeaks, the stablizer-bar bushings, and now possibly the transfer case. The particular dealership has been a hassle as well. When I have to take the truck in for something it takes them at least a few times to get the problem right. The service manager says he will contact Ford in my behalf to see if they will pay for part of the repair if it has to be done. It looks as if this may be my first an last Ford.
#2598 of 6386 Not that you don't have other problems.....
Apr 18, 2004 (3:41 pm)
But transfer cases are often ignored, rear seals are prone to leaking, and low fluid will cause the transfer case wet clutch to stick. This will cause a funky grabbing on low speed turns. If rear flange has play, the rear half of the case may have a worn flange that holds the rear bearing.
#2599 of 6386 Now I see..........
Apr 18, 2004 (4:36 pm)
Now I see.......why it only lasted 130K. Well, I guess that IS pretty good for a vehicle that gets a lot of abuse.
I sounds to me like that dealer is ripping you off. He must have saw you coming and committed highway robbery on you. I don't know what condition your stabilizer bushings were in, but I have never seen any "wear out". The only time I have ever seen any replaced is when the car has been wrecked or they were physically damaged. The squeeking you hear is perfectly normal if they are not kept lubricated. A simple shot of WD40 on them will stop the squeeking, no need to replace them. I service my vehicle and I first squirt WD40 on ALL friction points under the vehicle, including bushings, springs, etc. and then I squirt some spray white grease on the same fiction points. The WD40 Penetrates the point to quickly lubricate right to the point of the friction, but can dry out after a few miles. The white grease gives long lasting lubrication to those friction points. Only a small amount of lube is required at each point. The WD40 is also excellent to lube the electric window channels, don't use white grease on them, because it is too messy.
I am also suspicious of the "transfer case kit", I would have the dealer tell you EXACTLY what the problem is, WHAT the KIT consists of, and WHY you need it. Then come and post that info back here.
You may not have a FORD problem, but a DEALER problem instead. If I were you, I think I would try another dealership, and see what they say.
Beside all the research you do when trying to decide on what vehicle to buy, the DEALER also pays an important role in that decision.
Apr 18, 2004 (8:44 pm)
Thanks for the comments. I have to defend the old girl. She is 10 years old, and the window lifts all work, the transmission is original, the alternator, compressor, and even water pump are all o/e. So is the engine, however, it now has issues. And the 04 Mountaineer we just took delivery of seems to be the most solid and refined yet. A true joy to drive.
Apr 18, 2004 (11:50 pm)
Yup, I feel the same about my 04 Explorer, much more refined and solid than my 94 or 97. Turned 10k miles 2 days ago, its not quite 4 months old yet.
#2602 of 6386 The whine has arrived...
Apr 19, 2004 (7:45 am)
I purchased a new 04 Explorer and was aware of the rear-end whine problem. (I have a co-worker that forced Ford to repurchase an 03 Aviator as a result of their repeated inability to correct the whine) I went on a long test drive and there was NO whine at any speed ... NONE. The whine did not appear until the vehicle turned 1,000 miles and it was so faint that it was barely perceptible with the A/C and radio off. In the past 500 miles the whine has gone from barely perceptible to significant (I can hear it through the radio and A/C easily and it is a significant annoyance) It is the "classic" whine that is most noticeable from 25-30 and 50-60 while accelerating or cruising but it is not as audible above and below these "harmonic" speeds. I have the towing package with the 373 gear ratio. The dealer has confirmed that there is no current fix available and engineering is working on the problem. If the problem continues to deteriorate I will be selling the radio and CD player...
Apr 19, 2004 (8:41 am)
Sorry to hear you got a *whiney* one. My 04 Explorer just turned 10k and has been so far pretty good. Its got its share of quirks, but thankfully no whine.........I would have killed it, lol. Good luck, hopefully they resolve it soon.
#2604 of 6386 And Some more on that and that
Apr 19, 2004 (9:30 am)
I have owned 3 Explorers, all with V6 engines. The first, being a 96 Sport had the OHV engine in it, and while it was very reliable, it was gutless in certain situations. The next two were 2000's. A leased XLT 4.0L SOHC V6 that has been turned in for about 2 years now, and my wife's current vehicle, a 2000 Limited 4.0L SOHC V6. Both of the 2000's needed the timing chain tensioner replaced because of the noise at start-up. My wife's truck only has about 60,000 miles on it, but other than a bad thermostat, it has been a good little motor. The leased Explorer only had 30,000 miles when I turned it in back to Ford, so my experience stops there with that vehicle. The pre 2002 Explorer's have 100,000K coverage from Ford if the motor fails due to timing chain failure. From what I have heard, the reason for the engine failure has to due with the timing chain cassette failing at the rear of the engine (mentioned above as being in accessible unless the engine is taken out). The 2002+ Explorers have this problem remedied, so any purchasers of those models won't have to worry about timing chain failure due to that particular problem.
I guess I could be mad or worried about it, but I'm not. I have others in the family that own Explorers with the same motor, and they haven't had any problems (theirs are closer to 100K than mine as well). My dealer also mentioned that failure is very rare for them to see (back in 2000, they only had 1 engine that needed to be pulled for timing cassette replacement, not engine failure)
As for the 4.6L comments. The 4.6L V8 used in the 2002+ Explorer is a slightly different design than those used in the Crown Vics and Lincoln Towncars. The main difference being that the 2002+ Explorer motor is now ALL aluminum. My sons 96 T-bird has the Cast Iron block and Aluminum head combo which has been very reliable. Rest assured, these are EXCELLENT motors. Taxis with 300K+ on them, Police with 200K+, my sons with 130K on it, and my good friend has 120K on his. The all aluminum motors haven't built up a reputation yet, but seeing as how the chemistry is similar, I don't see why their reputation would be any less stellar.