small-list-digest Monday, November 16 1998 Volume 02 : Number 318



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Ford Truck Enthusiasts - Ranger, Explorer, Bronco 2 and Aerostar
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In this issue:

FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer
FTE Small - Re: U-Joints
Re: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer
Re: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer
Re: FTE Small - Re: U-Joints
Re: FTE Small - 1998 EXPLORER DEFECTS
Re: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer
FTE Small - K&N air filter
FTE Small - '95 Ford Explorer

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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:47:41 -0500
From: Robert Bowen
Subject: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer

This is from 2 combined e-mails posted to another list. The order of the questions may
be off.

Hello,
I am a owner of a recently purchased 1996 Ford Explorer 2 door. When
I purchased the truck used, it had 27,000 miles on it. I am having a
series of problems with it, and would like some advice.

The truck has gone through 2 oxygen sensors in 1500 miles. The dealer
told me that it is probably because the previous owned used Premium
gasoline instead of the 87 octane that the truck is designed for.

The exhaust is very loud. Louder than when I test drove it, and louder
than any other explorer I have come in contact with.

The 4 wheel drive clunks. It almost feels the same way that my old FWD
- - Pontiac Grand Prix felt when the CV joint went bad.

My Questions are - Could the dealer be correct about the gas quality
that was used in the truck before I owned it? Has anyone ever had this
problem on either an Explorer or any other Ford Trucks?

Any hints on the exhaust?

Anyone ever experience this with a 4wd? I was told this morning by the
dealership that 4wd is not designed for sharp turns and that might be
why it is clunking. (Although they couldn't tell me why it was
happening in very mild curves and when I stop and start from a dead
stop).

Also my last question, is there any way that anyone knows of to get this
vehicles complete maintenance history. I would like to know if the
previous owner (Leasee) had any similiar problems.

I really love this truck and would like to be able to enjoy it rather
than curse it every time I get in it.


Also, It has the black paint. My question is - There seems to be something under the
paint. There was some
bird-doo on it, that I didn't get off right away. (It sat for about 8 hours or so).
Now it appears to have eaten through the paint. This has happened in a number of
spots. Is something like this natural? Shouldn't clear-coat prevent this? I am
just wondering if the original owner had it re-painted with a sub-standard paint. If
someone could give me some insight, I would appreciate it.

My other question is, how many oxygen sensors should this truck have? The dealer is
telling me three, but I am only finding one in my parts book at work.

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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:53:42 -0500
From: "Lou Guerriero"
Subject: FTE Small - Re: U-Joints

Hi,

I have an 88 bronco II... I recently had it in the shop to fix a leaking pwr
steering hose, and the mechanic
inspected the wheels, tie rods, etc, to make sure there was no problem down
there causing extra pressure
on the steering unit.

Well, everything was ok, but he said that he did find a "loose inner
U-joint".

My question is: How serious a problem is this??? Winter is coming, and I'll
probably need
to use 4wd a lot... They don't plow very well in my area. Can I risk
serious damage/problems
if I don't replace it???? How much should something like that cost???

Thanks in advance...

Lou.

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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 14:16:32 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer

Robert Bowen wrote:
>
> The truck has gone through 2 oxygen sensors in 1500 miles. The dealer
> told me that it is probably because the previous owned used Premium
> gasoline instead of the 87 octane that the truck is designed for.
>
> The exhaust is very loud. Louder than when I test drove it, and louder
> than any other explorer I have come in contact with.

An exhaust leak anywhere in the vicinity of one of the O2 sensors will
trigger a code for the sensor being lean due to extra air (oxygen) beign
drawn into the exhaust; there was probably nothing wrong with ANY of the
sensors replaced, just that someone pulled the code(s) and replaced
parts rather than diagnosing the problem fully. (One of the reasons I
think paying techs LESS time for warranty work is idiotic!)

> My Questions are - Could the dealer be correct about the gas quality
> that was used in the truck before I owned it?

No.

The only result of using the higher octane fuel would be accelerated
valve deposits from the extra additives; Ford's own TSB's will tell you
to use the proper fuel. Interesting line of BS though! In 14 years of
specialising in engine performance I havent heard that cover-up
before... I'll print this out so the guys at work'll get a chuckle
Monday. (And respond with any additional insight they may have.)

>
> Any hints on the exhaust?

Possibly a cracked manifold or bad donut gasket; either of those would
drive the O2's into seeing a false lean condition

> why it is clunking. (Although they couldn't tell me why it was
> happening in very mild curves and when I stop and start from a dead
> stop).

I dont know if it applies to '96 or not but the earlier Explorers had
LOTS of problems with the radius arm bushing due to the catalytic
converter being so close. Come to think of it if you have an exhaust
leak upstream from the converter it'll run hotter than normal. Hmm...

>
> Also my last question, is there any way that anyone knows of to get this
> vehicles complete maintenance history. I would like to know if the
> previous owner (Leasee) had any similiar problems.

IF the previous owner always went to the dealer you *might* be able to
see them, but given their story on the O2's I doubt it.

>
> I really love this truck and would like to be able to enjoy it rather
> than curse it every time I get in it.

They are nice trucks; persevere and it'll be fixed. ;-)

>
> Also, It has the black paint.

Enough said right there! Ford and GM both have had their share of
problems with the darker colors 'popping off' prematurely. Raise enough
Hell about it and they should repaint it for you.

> My other question is, how many oxygen sensors should this truck have? The dealer is
> telling me three, but I am only finding one in my parts book at work.
>

I'm not at work so I cant say for sure but 3 or 4 sounds right; probably
one in each manifold and then one or two before/after the converter
depending on the fuel strategy used on the '96. They might all be the
same part number and that's why only one is listed.

Find a good independent shop in your area; prferably one that advertises
a 'free exhaust check' and take a copy of your original letter (and this
reply if you want) and ask for a little advice and a second opinion.
Make sure they'll SHOW you the problem(s) they find and not do repairs
without asking first. I know.. a rarity among shops but I'm spoiled; I
work in that environment! Try looking at the iATN website and locating
a member shop in your area; no guarantee that they'll be any better than
another, but like ASE certification it at least shows interest/intent on
doing things properly.

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
manic1 bellsouth.net
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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:05:54 EST
From: PRODRVR11 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer

Tim Turner is right on everything. Check exhuast for cracks. In 15 years of
working with Fords I've never come across the low octane bull. Have an
independant driveline or 4WD shop check out the drivetrain, they are
specialists. I had a very strange drivetrain problem in one of my Rangers and
two Ford dealers could not find it but a driveline shop found it in less than
30 seconds. And yes all auto manufacturers have a problem with bad batches of
paint every so often. Also don't rule out the hard to swallow fact that this
vehicle might have been wrecked in the past. Missouri is famous for the
cheap, backyard, buy them junked and repair them for resale shops. Maybe
someone slapped on some very cheap paint without prepping the surface
properly. There is also the simple fact that every once in a while, from
every manufacturer, for whatever reason a vehicle comes off the assembly line
with a string of problems (a lemon). Like Tim I say stick with it, even
though it may cost more than you want, and you will end up with a vehicle
better than those around you.

Best of Luck,
Robert
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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:09:12 EST
From: PRODRVR11 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Re: U-Joints

Fix it before it becomes a bigger, more costly problem. If it snaps things
have a tendency to fly around and break other parts.

Like the old saying, a little now or a lot later.

Robert
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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 18:45:13 EST
From: Ding060297 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - 1998 EXPLORER DEFECTS

My 96 explorers the same way if i leave it facing down hill when i start it up
it says i have next to no gas and then either driving ten minutes or so it
goes back to normal or if i turn off the truck on flat land and restart it it
goes right back to normal....ding
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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 18:49:53 EST
From: Ding060297 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Some questions about my 96 Explorer

Tim turner........I also have a 96 explorer and the exhaust is now a lot
louder than normal with about 50,000 miles on it ...In the morning i have a
slight leak and then as it warms up it goes away completly i believe its the
donut......ding
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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 19:56:09 PST
From: "Joe Mitchell"
Subject: FTE Small - K&N air filter

Hi once again. i was wondering about how much is one of these is? I've
seen about 12 different K&N air products ranging from 50-200 bucks, and
for use on different engines and exhaust. Which one is the air filter
that most people upgrade to? I just have a stock 2.3 and stock
exhaust... I'm not sure which one I need... Thanks in advance.
- --
Joe
- --
I'd push a Ford before I drove a Chevy, but I don't need to.
- --
http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.angelfire.com/tx/tru2datank/index.html


______________________________________________________
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Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 20:10:34 -0800
From: admin
Subject: FTE Small - '95 Ford Explorer

ford-trucks group,

I recently picked a '95 Ford Explorer XLT and a have a few
problems I thought I'd pose to the group. First, I notice
the accelerator pedal sits a bit low to the floor is there a
way to adjust this? This may also lead to my second problem.
I notice when driving at a steady speed, especially when
driving on the highway, I feel a heat source on my
right foot (gas pedal area) when the pedal is depressed down.
When I pull the carpet back I do feel heat in that area I'm
guessing that's normal. So either my accelerator pedal is
sitting to close to the heat source or I'm missing some sort
of heat shield. There is absolutely no evidence that the
truck is overheating either. Anybody ever experience this?

I was thinking about picking up one of those premium consoles
you find on the eddie baurer/limited models with the message
center display. Does the XLT model come pre-equipped for that
option, does it have the necessary wire harness?

This may be a common problem. I notice that my keyless entry
keypad illuminates and sometimes it doesn't. I understand any
fix will require removing the interior door panel. Does the
keypad need replacing, is there a short in the wire, bulb going
on the blink?

Thanks a bunch for any suggestions.....


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