Last post on May 05, 2013 at 7:47 AM
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Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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#5105 of 6385 Re: rear end problems [theturc]
Jun 27, 2006 (8:50 pm)
I feel bad for all you guys, these Ford rear end and transmission problems are really bad. I reiterate my post #5085, I think that about says it all. Note that I have a 97 and 2000 Ford Explorer, both 5.0L V8, and I said in that post that they would be my last Explorers. I won't own the 6 clyinder, way to much trouble with them too. The 2001 is the last good Explorer they made, because it was the last one with the cast iron straight axle rear end. 2002 was the begining of the serious problems with the "new" aluminum rear axle with the half shafts. I wish they would have made the "new" rear axle an option, and kept the cast iron straight rear axle as standard equipment. I don't know why they have so many problems with the seals leaking, and gears whining, but they do, must be some slop in the parts somewhere. The whole aluminum rear end is junk, and I won't own one. That's why I was talking about getting something else next time. It's my only choice now. I had a 99 Chevy Blazer before, but it had problems too, kept not wanting to start, something about the security in the computer. And the torque converter lock up did not work, it would chatter and slip. Looks like next time it's going to be a Honda, or Toyota, or Hunday, or Saturn, or whatever.
Good Luck guys, sorry about your problems.
#5106 of 6385 Re: rear end problems [electricdesign]
Jun 27, 2006 (9:09 pm)
you said, "I don't know why they have so many problems with the seals leaking, and gears whining, but they do, must be some slop in the parts somewhere. The whole aluminum rear end is junk, and I won't own one."
I have read somewhere on the net today that the new aluminum housing for the rear axle couldn't tolerate heat too well thus it would somehow change shape (expansion?) which cause the seals to leak. Terrible design in my opinion if that's the case. I'm going in on Thursday again to have them look at it one more time. Hopefully it's the seals again and nothing else. Just paid $500 last Friday for the seals work... if not, I will just have the fluid filled every 5k miles when I go in for an oil change until I find a good replacement SUV.
I have already started shopping today. Still doing my research. Currently looking at the Mercury Mariner (oh yeah... another Ford product...) and used Mercedes ML500.
By the way, does anyone know if the Mariner uses an aluminum housing for the rear axle? If yes, it's a no go.
#5107 of 6385 Re: rear end problems [alman08]
Jun 28, 2006 (8:30 pm)
This forum is for problems and solutions, unfortunately, the continuing problems with these axles and transmissions, does'nt leave much of a solution, other than taking it back to the dealer to get it fixed. If you are out of warranty, you are screwed. This company has been building cars for a hundred years, they know how to do it, but they are slipping badly, maybe due to the economic situation forcing them to use less quality parts and shabby labor practices. I don't think they make all the parts, but get the ring & pinion gears and other parts from other sources, and the other sources complete for selling for the lowest prices to Ford. Maybe an insider could enlighten us. Competition used to be a good thing, it kept the market and products strong, but now it seems to be backfiring for Ford. They can't be blind, they have to be able to see what is going on. Has the competition from the foriegn market beaten down Ford to where they can't complete in this mid sized SUV market? If nobody bought any more Fords, what would happen to Ford, to the market, to the USA? And what if that happens to other American companies like GM or Chrysler? I am sure hoping that they can get on the stick and start making quality products at competitive prices again. This junk of today is just not going to make it in todays market? Who wants a car that needs to be repaired often at great expense? Not anyone I know. You should be able to buy an Explorer and never have to worry about the rear axle. A rear axle should easily last well over 200,000, an only require to check the fluid level once in a great while, they should be basicly trouble free for the life of the vehicle. While a rear axle should be expected to last over 200K, maybe up to 300K or more, a transmission should be expected to last at least 150K, and a heavy duty one with a good reputation should last over well 200K with normal fluid and filter changes every 30k. Not all the Ford Explorers give all these problems, but far too many of them do. The obvious design flaws, like the timing chains and aluminum rear axles, make them doomed to unreliability in the long run.
Please do not assume that all aluminum parts are bad, some are very good, it all depends on the design. The Ford 4.6L V8 is an aluminum block that seems to be doing fairly well, and Chevrolet has their Straight 6 Aluminum engine that is doing well, and lots of these cars with the Front Wheel Drive Aluminum Engine and Aluminum transaxle are doing well. My daughter drove a 91 Saturn SC, small coup with an aluminum 1.9L and aluminum transaxle, and that thing ran forever, was still running perfect when it got totaled in 2004. The aluminum is not bad, it just needs good design and put together right, so don't write off another vehicle just because it has an aluminum axle or aluminum engine. Do your research and find out what kind of reputation it has and what it's weaknesses are. It is kind of hard to do that with the new models and new designs that come out. It takes time to see how well they do, and what the owners have to say about the cars, and how their service records look. That's why I buy used vehicles, and search for the tried and true designs. Well guys, Good Luck.
#5108 of 6385 Re: rear end problems [electricdesign]
Jun 29, 2006 (5:22 pm)
my '02 explorer has had the popular problems. funny thing looking back on it is, i didn't want to buy an '03 expedition, because it was a new design. i bought in august of '02.
my brother in law has an '03 same power train as i do, 4.6 v8 with towing package.
he is more than willing to push it to the limit.
coming back to ct from florida, he said he decided to follow a mercedes 500. he said he kept it floored to keep up until he had to fill up with gas. i believe him, i have been on a trip like that with him in an '85 tbird (5.0 btw). his explorer has no drivetrain problems.
the other day my oldest child(daughter, hs senior next september) asked me to save the explorer for her until she gets out of college. when i ask why?, she says she won't need a vehicle until graduates. i went to pick her up from a voluntary sports practice in my '91 mustang gt convertible today, she wasn't interested in driving! kids today.
all i am saying is, don't rule it out.
Jun 30, 2006 (12:08 pm)
I have a 99, V8, AWD, 4-door that has about 80,000 miles. I just got new tires today to hopefully correct an existing road-noise issue that I thought was coming from the old tires. The noise sounds like your running with large off-road tires. The noise begins at about 25mph. The noise lessens when making a left-turn. It's really quite loud at interstate speeds. My thoughts are at this time that this might be a wheel-bearing or CV-joint problem. I have the feeling it will be expensive. Any thoughts?
#5110 of 6385 Re: Front-end Noise [mynewalias]
Jul 01, 2006 (9:46 am)
My thoughts are, what did the place that you bought the tires from have to say about it? That's the first place to check. Then take it to a dealer or good front end shop to have the problem diagnosed.
E.D. In Sunny Florida
#5111 of 6385 98 Explorer Sport Vibration
Jul 03, 2006 (12:55 am)
Hello I am the not very pleased owner of a 1998 Explorer sport which has had a numerous of problems. My most recent problem that has me puzzled is a vibration that occurs at about 70 mph, this vibration is minor enough that a passenger might barely feel it, but is annoying to the driver of the vehicle since it can be especially felt in the steering wheel and gear shifter(Manual transmission). I have taken the truck to numerous shops around town and have received a different explanation every time. I have been told to replace the shocks (which i did). I have been told to have the drive shaft serviced (which i had the u joints replaced) . I have been told I had 3 bent rims (purchased new rims). One shop actually said there was nothing they could do about the vibration because its a problem with the design of the truck frame, I think they actually used the word flawed in reference to the design. After that I decided to just try my luck and change the tires switching from light truck tires to passenger car tires, and oddly enough the truck rode fine for about a month then the annoying vibration came back. So i'm wondering. What might be the source of my problem? If anyone might be able to help or has any info on this possible flaw in the frame it would be greatly appreciated.
The unhappy Fixed Or Repaired Daily owner
#5112 of 6385 Re: 98 Explorer Sport Vibration [antiford]
Jul 03, 2006 (4:13 am)
It sounds like the tires, since the vibration went away when you put new tires on. One of them might have went out of balance by throwing a weight off. It is possible for a perfectly balanced tire to instantly become unbalanced by a weight coming loose and flying off. Take it back to where you got the tires and have them check and rebalance the tires, let us know how it goes.
#5113 of 6385 Re: 98 Explorer Sport Vibration [antiford]
Jul 03, 2006 (7:36 am)
My guess based on your symptoms, is that you have a worn suspension part somewhere. I had a similar problem with my Suburban, which front tires would go out of balance. Make a long story short, it had a bad lower ball joint. Truck would be aligned, tires all balanced and rotated. Within a period of time, the tires would go out of balance again. What was really happening, is that the worn ball joint would throw the front end out of alignment, the out of alignment would cause a scrubbing (wear) on the tires, that abnormal wear would throw the tires out of balance, the vibration would come back.
So I'd look beyond the tire balance, and see if you find worn suspension components. Could be ball joints, steering arm joints, bushings, etc. Anything that effects the three geometric angles of the front tire (caster, camber, toe-in).
Jul 03, 2006 (5:44 pm)
I have a '98 Explorer, V6 SOHC, with 107k miles. Last week I noticed a really bad leak, that I just wrote off as the A/C letting out some water. Later however, I noticed there was no cold air coming out of the vents.
I took it to any old place to get a verdict on what was wrong, just hoping it was freon that needed to be replaced. The shop told me it was the compressor leaking; which I suppose makes sense considering what I said a moment ago.
Can you do a patch job on a leaking compressor? The $575 estimate I got seems unreal. Are they difficult to install yourself? I never got into maintaining this truck myself since I need it for work and figured it would be best to let a pro do it. But screwing up an A/C installation won't affect the way it runs right?