Last post on Feb 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM
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Ford Expedition, SUV
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#394 of 1934 2003 Expedition FX4, rattles in front doors
Aug 20, 2003 (10:54 am)
At interstate speeds, both front doors have very noticeable rattles. Dealer cannot find anything via osasis or whatever it is they do. zman3 and maybe others have posted on this. I need something such as a TSB, Ford part number for the kit mentioned. Techs just do not seem to be able to tie into anything to help them.
Had the same front diff problem as mentioned in several posts. My unit was B50000 production that was some 6-7 months after the problem was given a TSB on the NHTSA website. There is no excuse for Ford continuing to build defective vehicles that the dealers have to fix and the customers get stuck with.
My overall worst complaint by far is the excessive weight of the FX4. Weighed 5,840 lb. with a full tank on a certified scale versus 5,720 with a full tank for a 5.4L, 4wd in the regular XLT. Shipping weight on my invoice was 5,393 or 5,396 with I assume standard 6 gallons of fuel. Got sandbagged big time by Blue Oval. The FX4 feels like a 3/4 to 1-ton 4wd truck in day-in day-out driving. The FX4 tows really well(except for pulling power) and gets about 10% mileage better than my 2000 Expy with 5.4L, 4wd. FX4 handles very well in mountains on interstate. However, FX4 has annoying amount of weight in front on rack and pinion steering a lower speeds around town. FX4 quieter than most other 2003 model Exp due to skid plates killing road noise.
Odometer records miles traveled some 2.5% to 3.0% low compared to interstate mile makers in TN,. GA, SC, NC. Still same cheapo OEM tires.
Per other comments, brakes much better than previous Expedition. Black dust. Owners need to "practice" having new Electronic Brake Assist feature. Surprised me at first despite 42 years driving experience, 8 previous new Ford suvs owned (Bronco, Expedition, Explorer), lots of towing and off-road experience. EBA may need some additional engineering by Ford--driver has to learn to get off the pedal completely to return to normal braking, learn to deal with "fright factor" when EDA comes on. Very different emergency braking with EBA that may not be for all drivers.
Hate the way the 44U, 4R70W tranny takes its good sweet time about changing down when turning at an intersection. Heavy duty 44E, 4R100 never had this problem in 2000 Expedition, Broncos.
That's about it--2003 has many good features including trusty 5.4L Trition, but overall the FX4 is near the bottom of satisfaction scale due to excessive weight that ruins the suv driving experience.
P.s. zman3, please post on door seals issue above.
Aug 20, 2003 (11:51 am)
It is a shame that 120lbs, or 2% of the total vehicle weight has ruined your driving experience. You should be happy from half a tank on down since that will have shaved off the extra weight. Did your lighter weight Expy have skid plates?
#396 of 1934 Post 258
Aug 20, 2003 (12:30 pm)
No, the regular XLT, 5.4L, 4wd did not have skid plates. Also keep in mind the FX4
has the heavier steel wheels and tubular steel step bars with steel braces which probably
make up some of the 120 lbs. difference.
The weight comparison comments were more in relation to the weight of say a 2002 Expedition,
4wd, 5.4L or any other 4wd 1500 series suv from GM. According to weights past and present suvs I have been able to come up with from sources such as the Michigan Hwy Patrol Police Vehicle Tests or Trailer Boats magazine, the FX4 seems to come some 350-500 lbs. heavier than most any 1500 series GM product now in production including the 4wd Suburban/Yukon XL and/or earlier Exp.
The FX4 stops like a very heavy vehicle too--even with the advanced brakes you could run right over something or someone. It's got to be in the massive frame. The hood and rear liftgate for the 2003 models are aluminum.
During an at home tire rotation, the vehicle pushed one of my jack stands down into the driveway pavement--that's heavy.
While the FX4 5.4L pulls good on moderate grades on the interstate at 70 mph, it struggles up through the gears starting out up a grade empty, loaded, towing, etc. When new, the FX4 would often shift down two gears in situations my 2000 5.4L, 4wd would have easily handled in drive or maybe in O/D.
...still looking for information on front doors rattle at hwy speeds.
Aug 20, 2003 (1:11 pm)
Unfortunately I am not going to be of much assistance. When I first complained about the noise in my drivers door the tech was not able to reproduce it but there was an internal Ford document (Don't know if it was a TSB or what) that mentioned a new door gasket kit, so he ordered it and installed it. Yours should have been build with the new gasketing. I was under the impression that mine was one of the later ones built with the old design and my VIN is AXXXXX. Anyway, my wife drives the Expy but I have driven it the last couple of days and I can say without a shadow of doubt that my doors still rattle like crazy. I will be taking it in when convenient and have it checked again. If they fix it I will let you know.
#398 of 1934 FX4 Additional Comments
Aug 20, 2003 (2:10 pm)
I meant to post about headlights not being nearly as good on the 2003 Expedtion on dim or regular setting as previous 2000 Expedition and/or 92 and 95 Broncos. It is unbelievable that a modern day suv would have such marginal headlights? On bright they come on strong enough to burn the leaves off the trees--that's no help in 90% of the driving. Almost always supplement the dim/normal driving headlights with fog lights just to make do. Pitiful really. Wonder if Navigator high intensity lights would fit Expedition without modification?
#399 of 1934 Headlights
Aug 20, 2003 (3:55 pm)
Wow. I have actually commented that I feel that the headlights on our 03 EB are excellent. Much better than our old 95 Explorer and also much better than my 98 Outback.
#400 of 1934 03 EXPD Wheeel Dust - Front End Vibration and Noise
Aug 21, 2003 (9:10 am)
I guess we all have the same problem with wheel dust. There is a simple solution dust shields for your wheels. Just pull off the tire insert them into the rim and your problem will be solved. If you don't want to do it a tire shop will for about $10 a wheel. They are manufactured by Kleen Wheels and are sold Retail or on the web at Kleenwheels.com. I spoke to the Service mgr. at my local dealership about warranty issues. They said it wouldn't effect the warranty in any way. I also have had my Rack and pinion changed due to noises and vibrations. I have been in contact with Ford about the front end vibration and noises. I have been told that they havent received any calls regarding this problem. Maybe if enough owners call Ford at 1 800 392 FORD they will take this problem a little more seriously.
#401 of 1934 Child Safety Lock Problem
Sep 02, 2003 (8:25 pm)
I have a 2000 Expedition XLT with 70K miles. The child safety lock on the right rear door engages by itself. I see that this problem has been posted earlier on this site. Has anyone found a fix for this? My Ford dealer has replaced the lock switch, but the problem keeps coming back...now they say there is no fix for this issue and they cannot disable the feature. Any suggestions?
#402 of 1934 FX4 DOOR RATTLE SOLVED
Sep 04, 2003 (4:42 pm)
THE FX4 HAS BODY SIDE CLADING THAT RATTLES AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS. TAKE A PIECE OF TAPE AND COVER THE GAP BETWEEN THE BOTTOM OF THE DOOR AND THE PLASTIC BODY CLADING. NOW I HAVE TO GET THE DEALER TO MAKE IT PERMANENT!
#403 of 1934 Post 265, FX4 Rattle
Sep 10, 2003 (1:30 pm)
Thanks for the information.
Exactly where does the tape go? Outside, inside, etc.?
Sorry I didn't catch up with your post earlier. I've cancelled two appointments at my Ford dealer dreading additional wild goose chases, blank looks, etc.
With reference to post 261 above regarding dim or regular driving headlights, I am happy to share very good success going to the enhanced halogen Sylvannia 9006XV. Per their web site,
the XV halogen is fairly new capsule that provides 20% additional light and up to 3 times additional seeing/light in the foreground. Hey, they actually shine on the road without help from the fog lights or the high beams. Cost is only $9-10 each, twice the life of regular 9006 halogens. Color is very compatable with OEM 9005 in high beams. Headlight bulb changing for the 2003 Expedition is very difficult, but can be done at home with some fuss, close reading of the owner's manual, 10MM socket with rachet and extension.
Sylvannia makes the 4000 color Silver Star in the 9006 low beam and 9005 high beam. Cost is about $20 each. Again difficult to install and about only one year life for Silver Star per the website, versus very long life for the above XV. With the Expedition's large refectors, I thought it might not be too feasible to go to the Silver Star bulbs on our road.
In summary, the 9006XV replacement a no-brainer given the results, low cost, longer bulb life.
You can see on dim or regular and the other guys are not flashing.