Last post on Oct 31, 2011 at 3:14 PM
You are in the Ford Explorer
What is this discussion about?
Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer, SUV
#1593 of 3348 Question for nvbanker
Oct 07, 2003 (3:18 pm)
I have a 2003 Expedition FX4 which weighs in at somewhere around 5,800 lbs. with a full tank of gas. It does well towing and travel, etc. and it gets very good fuel mileage given its weight.
My question is why does the vehicle feel so "heavy" to me day in day out? Am I feeling the FX4 off road shocks or maybe the variable rate power steering assist? Or is it as I suspect just an over weight suv that I am never going to get used to. I just came out of 87,000 miles in a 4wd, 5.4 L, 2000 Expedition and prior to that 4 new Broncos ranging from 1981 to 1995 year models. I am a very high skill driver with 42+ years now as licensed driver. Approaching a million miles in Ford suvs? Overall exterior size of the vehicle not a problem at all. Again, very high experience level on and off road, towing, urban communting, parking garages, etc.
As a Navigator owner, do you have the feeling that the 2003 model Navigator is an absolute heavyweight like I am describing? I don't ever read posts on this subject and never got a response when I mentioned it earlier. The dealer just looks at me like I'm nuts when I tell him I just cannot get used to the 5,800 pounds no matter what. Picky driver he says. Looking to go to lighter 2wd Expedition or Explorer/Mountaineer, or something?
P.s. I've got the sinking feeling that Ford has set in motion this overweight problem with their
new 2004 F-150 models and may regret it soon.
#1594 of 3348 I thought the excursion handled nicely for a full size
Oct 07, 2003 (6:51 pm)
and the 2002 nav also felt OK when I tested one a couple years ago.
rent a dump truck, and see if that doesn't make the nav feel better
nothing discussed on this thread is going to handle like a miata or a Z-car.
Oct 07, 2003 (6:58 pm)
There's a few factors that contribute to the feeling your experiencing. Weight equals solidity which the vehicle gained during it's redesign. So your probably feeling the vehicle be ponderous because of it's overall solidity and increased NVH
You could try filling half your tank and see if this perception improves any. I've always have had a habit of feeling my gas tanks of any vehicle, half way mainly to remove some of the dead weight. BUT keep it full only during raining season, for added traction over the rear drive wheels.
#1596 of 3348 Post 1595
Oct 08, 2003 (7:21 am)
Thanks for the reply. Ponderous. Good usage.
That would be increased attention to NVH and decreased NVH?
As I mentioned before on some post, the FX4 is almost too quiet for its own good. A noticeable general whine underneath the FX4 is dominant when the radio is off. In other words other parts the vehicle do not match up to a super quiet environment the FX4 starts to have versus regular XLT in say 2wd. Bottom line is the olde Expedition ain't no Lexus. Ha! The quieter interior of the FX4 (this is post duct tape at the bottom of the doors to keep cladding quiet) seems to be from the skid plate package, the 4X4 works that shields road noise, and even the cloth seats. The 2wd 2003 model XLT Expeditions that I tried had much more general road noise mixed in with wind noise off the mirrors at speed (all do) and some of the above general whine. There is a considerable difference in inside quietness inside between the FX4 and 2wd XLT. XLT in 4wd is somewhere in between. Assume E/B models are quieter than the FX4 or XLT models? Dont know.
Thanks again for your post.
P.s. Waiting on the ultimate insight from nvbanker. Ha!
#1598 of 3348 Off-road and Ground Clearance?
Oct 08, 2003 (9:31 am)
I've owned two previous Explorer XLTs, the 1992, and the 1998. We are looking to replace the 1998 with another Explorer, but we are concerned about the ground clearance. We take these cars on the beach, so need to be able to avoid getting bogged down in deep sand (and need 4Lo), and also to the mountains skiing, so need good traction and ground clearance there too. I am not a soccer mom, and use the Explorer like it was originally meant to be used, for hauling, carrying, and getting where we need to go when the going gets bad. Has anyone out there been on beach in one of these newer models? How about deep snow? Thanks a lot.
#1599 of 3348 Re: Off-road and Ground Clearance?
Oct 08, 2003 (10:36 am)
Check the specs here on Edmunds site as for ground clearance info........go to New Cars and select the make and model, then click the `specs' bar. It usually lists all that type of stuff.
#1600 of 3348 RE: off road & ground clearance
Oct 09, 2003 (11:21 am)
The Explorer was never meant to be a true off road vehicle but rather an alternative to the station wagon.
Having said that,` the current Explorer has 8.5 inches of ground clearance and should be plenty on the beach. I have a 96 Explorer with AWD and was down on the OUterBanks in NC 5 years ago and got around fine on the beach.
Oct 09, 2003 (7:07 pm)
fx4 - it will never be a drag racer, but how many miles do you have on it? my 2k expy took a long time to loosen up. 8, 10, 12K? can't remember.
jcarpi - the new explorer is about the same size and weight as the original design, better 4wd system. tires can make a big difference.
#1602 of 3348 tie rod end/ball joint
Oct 10, 2003 (11:06 am)
I took our 2000 Mt'neer V8 AWD(30k miles) to Ford dealer 10 days ago for the recall.
I have "the Works" job also.
They said we need new brakes, $210.
I called Mercury dealer, they say brake job is $150.
So I made an appointment for next Monday.
My husband noticed the awful squeaks sound from front end and back seat area.
Sound like the Suspension is going bad.
I took the car back to Ford, they think either tie rod end or ball joint is bad.
Have ever anyone need new tie rod end or ball joint at 30k miles?
How they get bad?
How much for replacement?
(We don't have extend warranty)
We have/had other cars, we never need to get new tie rod end or ball joint before.
Our other cars never needed new brakes before hit 60K.
My husband thinks the Ford dealer damaged it,
so we will let Mercury dealer to fix it when we get new brakes.
Is it norm for AWD?
Any input will be appreciated.
P.S. We move from OK to NY...
We are shock to see high gas price here.
We only get 15.8 mpg, mostly on highway.
Anyone use the engine treatment to improve the mileage?