Last post on May 05, 2013 at 7:47 AM
You are in the Ford Explorer
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Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer
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Jun 23, 2001 (10:42 am)
Thanks for hte special request. I hope I can help.
I owned a 1994 Explorer (with the v6 OHV) and I now own a 2000 Explorer with the v6 SOHC. First, let me say that the 1997-1999 versions of the SOHC had many problems.. to the point that Ford had to extend the warranty to 72,000 miles on the cam tensioners (there are 3 in the SOHC - two in the front and one in the back) and the lower manifold gasket. To change the timing chains on the SOHC, you have to lift the engine out of the vehicle.. which is very involved and can get very expensive if not under warranty. The OHV engine, although less powerful (especially if you are towing) still got me several speeding tickets. The OHV was much simpler engine and easier to service. That's my two cents.
What I would look at when evaluating ANY vehicle: These are easy to do without getting really dirty:
1. If you are buying it from an invdividual, ask to see the repair and service history. If the person really took care of it, they would save all of the repair work receipts. That's the kind of person to buy a used car from.. somebody who cared to change the oil every 3,000 miles and kept good records of any problems. When was the radiator last flushed? Hoses changed? Spark plugs and wires changed? Air cleaner changed?
2. look at the fluid levels and smell them (especially the tranny fluid) to check for a burning smell. Are the fluids uniform in color with no oil floating in the top of the radiator reservoir bottle (this can mean tranny fluid has breached the barrier and is in your radiator, and consequently, coolant is in your tranny).
3. Are there any puddles under where the vehicle is parked?
4. Check the air cleaner element. If it is relatively clean, the owner cared to change it and probably did not drive it in sand or mud which can get into the lubrication points in the suspension as well as rot the brakes, whcih are not so easy to see.
5. Is there a tow hitch on the vehicle? If so, how heavy a trailer was towed, and was it towing a boat? Many times when you have to launch a boat, the rear wheels can go into the drink. The salt water can rust the chassis as well as the brakes if not washed off immediately. Also a very heay trailer can put a strain on the tranny. The max load on most explorers is about 2500 pounds trailer, and 300 pounds at the tongue, unless there were modifications done.
6. Check the interior and try to decide that the odometer reading makes sense based on the condition of the drivers seat and carpet.
6. Look for muck in the tailpipe. This can be a indicator of a gasket leak allowing coolant or oil through the system.
7. Get in the car and before starting the engine look around to see that everything looks uniform ... no new seats or new panels.
8. Before starting the engine, push down on the brake pedal until the master cylinder is discharged. The with your foot on the brake pedal (without touching the gas pedal), turn on the engine. If the brake booster comes alive under your foot as the engine is started and returns to normal function quickly, then the booster and master cylinder are in good shape.
9. Drive the car with the windows open and the radio off. Listen for noises from the engine, brakes and suspension. When you step on the brakes firmly, does it stop evenly without a shudder or pedal vibration (could be warped rotors). Does the engine choke a bit when you get heavy on the gas and does it hesistate on launch after a stop light?
10. Lastly, talk with the owner and ask him right out why he is selling the car and was it ever in an accident, stolen or submerged in water (many cars are sold after a flood storm). Be wary of guys that want cash that day or are not too knowledgeable about the vehicle. They may have just bought it, found out that there is something wrong and want to unload it.
#803 of 6385 Which tires are best?
Jun 24, 2001 (8:21 am)
My newly ordered '02 Explorer EB (with V8) should be arriving any day. They've got Goodyear Wrangler AP tires. Are these tires OK or should I ask the dealer to put Michelin Cross Terrain tires.? I need a tire that gives a quiet smooth ride but behaves in the snow.
#804 of 6385 thanks to mazman1
Jun 26, 2001 (4:34 am)
Thanks mazman for your quick answer !
This is really GREAT help...
Just let me bother you with one more question : does this mean you would totally stay away from 97 to 99 SOHC models (damn - that was exactly what I was looking at !) ?
Jun 26, 2001 (5:59 am)
I dont know whether I would definitely avoid a 97 vehicle, but like I said before, if you buy it from an individual that took maintenance seriously and took really good care of the vehicle, and replaced the timing chain tensioners, Firestone tires, for example, then its a good chance you will enjoy the vehicle for several years. Otherwise, you could be buying a migraine headache. The OHV engine has a simpler design than the SOHC, and is easier to service, although not as powerful if you need it for towing. I was able to acquire some speeding tickets with my 1994 OHV equipped vehicle.
Hope this helps.
#806 of 6385 Explorer Hesitation Problems Solved! (see msg# 756)
Jun 28, 2001 (2:14 pm)
I just wanted to post the solution the ford dealer found for my 98 explorer's hesitation problems. First, thanks to mazman1 and swschrad for their responses--I passed on your suggestions to the service shop.
Turns out that one of the ignition wires would generate static charge after heating up (after driving awhile) which caused one of the spark plugs to misfire. That caused the engine to run roughly after heating up. Go fig, huh.
Thanks again and good luck to all,
#807 of 6385 2000 explorer sport sohc-hesitation.....
Jun 28, 2001 (7:00 pm)
I have a 2000 explorer sport, sohc 13k miles. Recently I started having some problems. Under acceloration, the vehicle/engine will hesitate until you back of the accelorator and reapply. As it hesitates, I noticed a pinging/clanking coming from the vehicle, sound sort of like a back fire or engine misfire. I checked the eec for codes, shows nothing. Was brought to the dealer, they installed the timming chain update and replaced the intake gasket which cause simmilar characteristics when cold. This didn't solve the problem. The check engine light only came on once, the night before the update was complete, but hasn't come on since, but I'm still having the problem. It's going into the shop tomorrow for another try at it. Anyone have any ideas???
Jun 29, 2001 (5:50 am)
Maybe you have water in your gas tank, or you got some bad gas. I think a cheap solution would be to put some water remover ($1.99 at Autozone) or Gumout Xtra in the tank when half full and drive it.
You might also want to check the air filter and MAF sensor for a clog of dirt.
#810 of 6385 AC Problem on 98 XLT
Jun 29, 2001 (1:05 pm)
I just noticed a problem with my AC. When at idle (stop sign or light), the AC system cycles on and off. I can hear it kick in/out and can feel the air go between cold and warm. The fan runs continuously. When at speed (1000+ rpm), the system runs continuously and correctly. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?? If the coolant level gets low, would something like this happen before the system shuts down completely??
Any help would be great!
Jun 29, 2001 (6:22 pm)
what engine do you have, and is Ford still using a vacuum cut-out switch to turn the compressor off if the engine starts to get below a certain load point to insure it doesn't stumble when you have to get out of the way of a big old truck on the freeway, or die at idle? those two questions may well settle the case, and sounds like you have a v6 OHC and the a/c is cutting out because the vacuum is low enough to signal the engine is ready to choke. I don't notice it on my 2000 with the V8, but of course that's probably why....