Last post on May 05, 2013 at 7:47 AM
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Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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#74 of 6385 Ford is horrible...do not buy Exploder
Jul 05, 2000 (6:28 pm)
Just a word of caution to anyone considering the purchase of a Ford Exploder. DO NOT DO IT!!!
I owned a 1997 Explorer XLT for two years. Because of some family changes that were forthcoming (buying a house, marriage) I decided to trade in this excellent vehicle and purchase a 1999 model of the same. My rationale was to have a safe, reliable car for even more years to come.
Boy, I could not have made a more incorrect decision. This 1999 model has been in the shop 14 times since April 1999. I have gone as far as filed a lemon law complaint with Ford because of a recurring pinion seal problem (this was finally repaired). This vehicle has had the following work done in this time...
-a replaced windshield (factory defect)
-horn replaced (broke after 4 months)
-pinion seals x3 repairs
-front brake rotors replaced (warped at 12,000 miles)
-rear suspension assembly replaced (one of the components was completely split in two...and this vehicle has never been driven off road!)
-ball joints and support arms in front end (broken at 10,000 miles!)
It will return to it's second home this coming week to have the engine "dieseling" looked at, as well as engine hesitancy.
I have spoken to both my Ford sales manager at Dayton Ford (South Brunswick NJ) and the Ford district rep. They claim these are not "driveability problems", and that if it were the case of a bad engine or transmission they might be able to help me. The only consolation they could offer is $1,000 off the purchase of a new one. I could do better myself.
As for me, I will fight until Ford does something or my warranty runs out. I am not getting $32,000 worth of a vehicle and certainly not the customer service you would expect for having made such an investment. DO NOT BUY AN EXPLORER OR FORD MOTOR COMPANY PRODUCT. THEY WILL GLADLY TAKE YOUR MONEY, BUT THEN TURN AROUND AND SHRUG OFF YOUR PROBLEMS, OFFERING LITTLE ASSISTANCE TO YOU, THEIR CUSTOMER.
#75 of 6385 superchip
Jul 06, 2000 (7:53 pm)
Has anyone added one of these? If so, is it worth it?
#76 of 6385 Chips Yes
Jul 07, 2000 (5:46 am)
There are performance chips available but they
are only part of a package to get results. You
have to modify the intake and exhaust system too.
It's not cheap and may not be legal.When I got
my Explorer I thought just get a chip and I'll
have more power.The people selling the chips
may tell you it makes a difference but unbiased
3rd parties say different.
#77 of 6385 Chips yes
Jul 07, 2000 (2:19 pm)
The one manufacturer I spoke with said 10% more
horsepower and about 25-30 more lbs ft of torque.
I guess this coupled witha K&N filter might yield
better results. I certainly don't want to put
in a whole new exhaust system, too much money. So your chip made no difference at all?
#78 of 6385 superchips
Jul 11, 2000 (2:13 am)
I installed a K&N air filter, Motorsport headers and Flowmaster cat-back system on my F-150 4x4. These modifications did not make a lot of difference in performance (I tow a 4000# trailer). I contacted Hypertech and the guy told me what module to ask for (they won't sell direct to the public). I ordered it from Summit Racing and it made a considerable difference in performance when coupled with the other modifications. Gas mileage went up about a mile per gallon in town. The only drawback is you have to run at least 92 octane gasoline. The truck has passed Pennsylvania's emissions test 2 years in a row (they also check for modifications to the vehicle) with equal to or better results than when the truck was stock.
#79 of 6385 rattle in engine SOHC
Jul 18, 2000 (12:12 am)
I have a 97 Explorer with 61,000 of which it has been back to the dealer once. I have the SOHC engine with the rattle in the timeing chain is what I was told. Has anyone gottten Ford to fix it? I really love the truck. It is the first thing I have owned with that kind of mileage that I have spent nothing on inculing brakes. I just put my first set of tires on the thing. I have a friend who still has a 91 that went through two male teenage drives and has 130,000 miles on it.
#81 of 6385 To teacher51 Rattle in Engine
Jul 18, 2000 (4:24 pm)
The rattle that you are hearing is definitely your timing belt tensioners. Your Explorer probably sounds like a diesel truck. The Ford service departments are aware of this problem and don't let them tell you otherwise. I went to three Ford service departments before I finally got this fixed. The first two said they fixed it but the noise kept coming back. The third service department said the others put broken parts on my engine, pretty scary. I currently have my 1997 XLT for sale and as soon as I sell it, that will be it for me and Ford. It only has 58,000 miles on it and has been in the shop at least 20 times. Mostly for the "diesel sound". I was smart and did purchase the extended warranty. Good Luck and stick to your guns when it comes to Ford service departments.
#82 of 6385 Seal Squeals
Jul 22, 2000 (4:41 am)
I bought a 2000 Explorer XLT in Jan. 2000. Three weeks after we bought it my wife told me it had a strange squeal in the front end that went away after a few miles. I asked her if the squeal went away after braking she said no. A few days later it did it while I was with her. Took it to the dealer 3 times for he same problem. The said it was the "excluder seals" and that Ford was working on a fix because their current fix did not work. I found that out after my third trip. So they lubricated the seal each time with Lithium grease and sent me on my way. Normally this problem occurs during cool weather, which happens quite a bit in Illinois,but mine started again this summer also. I had read a posting on Edmunds and someone had said where to lubricate the seals. So instead of lithium grease I used a marine lubricant since it could handle water and was a bit more tacky than Lithium I have since put 2000 miles on it with no more squeals. We will wait to see how it handle the Illinois winter.
Also one of my 100,000 mile Platinum plugs went cold after 17,000 miles. It made the engine hesitate when it was cold. I swear who ever the engineer was that made it to where you had to get under the vehicle to replace a spark plug ought to be the poor fella that has to replace it.
This was my first Ford product and it has been in the shop more than all of my other GM products combined. This will probably be my last.
#83 of 6385 Fixes for Ford Explorer
Jul 23, 2000 (2:53 pm)
I own a 98 Explorer XLT SOHC V-6 2WD Loaded including leather and moonroof. It is pretty obvious to me that the overwhelming problem is not the vehicle, it is the service departments that most of you have. There are some flaws in design of this vehicle. I have done a lot of research on these problems and a lot of this info comes form my service writer, the best I have dealt with.
91-current Explorers use a 4.0 OHV (overhead valve) V-6. It was the sole V-6 engine until 97 when the SOHC (single overhead cam) version arrived. They are the same engine only the SOHC uses different heads. They are based on the old 2.9 V-6 used in the Ford Ranger from 86-92. They are built in Cologne, Germany and are a very good design. Both engines are still offered, the OHV is on low-line XLS, XL models from 97-current. XLT and above gets the SOHC or the 5.0 V-8 (96-current).
Problems with the OHV are most commonly dieseling sounds. Most of the time this is due to "piston slap". The pistons slap on the insides of the piston skirts. It can be caused by a simple manufacturing defect in a wrist pin/connecting rod of very little tolerance. Piston slap is very rare and engine failure due to it is extremely rare. It normally will not damage the engine any more than everyday use. It is more annoying than anything. Overall this is an extrememly reliable engine and is good for more than 200K of service or more without incident. Early models also had EGR problems if equipped with an EGR valve.
Problems with the SOHC are stalling, vibrations while turning and knocking sounds on startup or hard acceleration. Stalling can be due to a bad program in the ECC (engine control computer) or a warped intake manifold/bad intake gasket. It can also be caused by fuel with high alcohol content or a loose gas cap. The ECC can be reflashed with an updated program, the intake is usually solved with a new gasket and sometimes a new intake manifold. The manifold leak causes a vacuum leak in the cylinders causing it to stall. Try different brands of gas and always tighten the gas cap. Especially the twist and click type. Vibrations while turning are caused by the power steering hose/exhaust vibrating under steering pump load on the engine. There is an update for the hoses and an exhaust bracket that makes those noises completely disappear and makes the steering smooth as silk. The knocking noise is the timing chain tensioners, specifically the tensioners. The original design had the tensioners mounted to the engine block with nylon anchors. They would break and cause the timing chain to rattle against the timing covers. After several redesigns, they have finally made them steel and should solve the problem without further incident. This noise usually starts around 20K and worsens. It normally will not cause any engine damage but is not good for the engine either. I've had all three of these problems with my 98 and all three are fixed for good. It is smooth as silk.
Other problems are phantom wipers, premature transmission failure, premature rotor warpage, rear wiper failure and rear suspension noises.
Phanotm wipers is caused by a defective multi-function switch. Some corrode and some were bad from the supplier. It makes the wipers activate themselves when turning the signals on or making turns. It has been updated and should not cause any more problems once replaced. 97 and newer Explorers have speed dependent intermittent wipers. The faster you drive the faster the intermittent wipers wipe (the shorter the intervals). This is a conveniece and can be turned off (see owners manual) don't confuse it with phantom wipers.
Premature transmission failure is most often a result of lack of maintenance. The tranny should be serviced every 15-30K miles depending on towing, driving habits, etc. I think the owners manual is far to lax on freqency of this service. I think it says 50K. I do mine every 15K, I tow a lot and do a lot of city driving.
REar wiper failure is a lot of times due to the rear wiper getting stuck in it's holder on the hatch. Try turning it on and freeing it by hand (be careful). I've done this a couple of times and it has never failed since. The holder is a little tight and needs to be loosened up. It helps to use it more often too.
Rotor warpage is present on almost all newer vehicles and is mostly due to driving habits. The brakes get hot and something as simple as driving through a mud puddle or a car wash quick cools the rotors and they will warp. The tires and suspension on Explorers help amplify the problem. Just living with it seems to be the best. Mine are slightly warped on both my F-150 and my Explorer and it comes and goes with weather and brake usage. Don't ride the brakes, brake hard, and do your best not to get hot brakes too wet. Also, air wrenches can warp rotors too. Always request hand torquing of lug nuts whe you have service performed.
There is an update on the rear suspension bushings that will solve the bed spring sound some of you have.
that's about all I know about the Explorer. when I get time I will dig out my invoices and post part numbers and any others TSB numbers I have. I do not work for a dealer but I am lucky enough to have a good service department. Ford has designed many updates to parts and worked to correct some of these problems. I think that many of you aren't hearing of them for some reason. My Explorer has had almost every problem I mentioned except for the tranny problem. All of this was fixed in one trip and four days sooner than projected. Ford sells almost half a million of these a year. Most folks I know haven't had any problems with Explorers but for as many as they build there are bound to be some problems (many times supplier problems not Ford). Sometimes it's common sense problems (rotor warpage) that folks aren't aware of. I love mine. I drive the hell out of it and the great service department has made the problems seam minor. I hope this info helps. Take it to the dealer with you. I will post part/TSB numbers ASAP. Good luck.