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Explorer, Sport Trac, Mountaineer & Aviator 1991-1994, 1995-2001, 2002-2005, 2006-2010 Ford Explorer

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Old 01-24-2011, 05:26 PM
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Rico47635 Rico47635 is offline
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So, tell me about the Explorer

Let me first say that I don't own an Explorer and never have. I spend a lot of time looking at cars, trucks, and vans on Craigslist, and I've noticed that the mid-nineties Explorers are starting to get down into my price range. I am not really looking to buy one (not yet anyway), but I'd like to be educated on what they are known for in case I do decide to get one (I am about at my wits end with a certain truck I own). The only thing I have heard about them is that the 4.0L is known for lasting well over 300,000 miles and that the transmissions are known for going out with regularity. Any information y'all could give me about these very popular vehicles would be appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:26 PM
85e150six4mtod 85e150six4mtod is offline
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The mid-nineties will be OHV 4.0's and 4 speed automatics. Most are pretty long in the tooth at this point, so the normal high mile stuff applies.

The OHV 4.0 will run well past 200k, if treated right. Look for 150k on a trans, about that for the rear axle to start to whine. All the rest is on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. You just can't predict as there are so many variables.

I would expect a mid-90s to be pretty well worn out by this point, and if you are at your wits end with problems now, I would think a 16+ year old Explorer (or anything else, for that matter) will keep you there.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:37 PM
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The older they get, the more electrical problems they have. The older they get, the less money people spend fixing them.

Ford hasn't made a decent A/T since the C6 was cancelled.

Unless the Explorer has service records from day one, I wouldn't recommend buying one used. When the warranty runs out, most people historically take less and less care of them.

And by now, many have seen two, three, or how many new owners?
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:46 PM
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I don't know about that guys, the wifes 96 Limited has EVERYTHING available other than the 5.0 V-8........130,000 miles every bell and whistle from the air ride that raises the truck in increments in 4hi/4lo, to the now, not supported, analog Ford OEM cell phone, heated seats, etc. still works........No prob. with the 4.0 or the trans, either......runs like new! 24mpg on the highway...

Probably the exception at its age, most people do not take care of things like I do.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:45 PM
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Hmmmm. I was expecting to read posts of praise for the Explorer. I appreciate the honesty. Keep the opinions coming!
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
The mid-nineties will be OHV 4.0's and 4 speed automatics.
You can also get one with a 5 speed stick. If you get the automatic, put a transmission cooler on it.

If you like to go four-wheeling, get a 1994 or older; they have a better front axle.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Sock View Post
You can also get one with a 5 speed stick. If you get the automatic, put a transmission cooler on it.

If you like to go four-wheeling, get a 1994 or older; they have a better front axle.
A 91-94 Explorer with Dana 35 TTB front end, and 5spd manual is a capable off road rig, and more in line with the original spirit of a SUV..........Everything after is a soccer mom SUV.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:56 PM
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Here's one with more praise than regret. I'm the second owner of a 99 XLT with the 4.0 and 4spd trans. I've taken extremely good care of it and it's mostly been used to drive the kids back and forth to school, soccer, baseball, etc. You get the idea. It had 16k on it when we bought it in 2000 and it's been solid and reliable all this time. Of course little things always go wrong - wiper motor for the rear wiper, door handle spring for DS door, etc. The worst thing that went bad was the steering rack started leaking badly and had to be replaced. Other than that, the 4.0 runs like a stabbed rat. Never had any major trouble with it or the trans, but (and that's a BIG but) I've serviced everything regularly to include the trans every 30k and oil changes at least every 5k, sometimes 3k when I was feeling bored and/or generous. I'm hoping she lasts for a good bit longer because I hate having car payments. Hope this helps. I'm here if you have any specific questions.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:57 PM
heavyeddiebauer heavyeddiebauer is offline
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If you are looking for reliable transportation, go with a 1996-1997 2wd with 4.0 OHV. You cannot kill the motor and the trans will last forever if serviced. I would not be too scared of miles as long as it checks out good when you buy it. I owned one for 12 years and 186,000 miles. Will tow 3,000 lb trailer no problem. I think they are rated for 5,000 lbs with a receiver hitch.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:01 PM
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Mine had the 5 speed transmission. Great truck.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:39 PM
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What can I say? My 97 bought used at 93K that I had for 3 years was nothing but a money pit! The 4.0 ran fine, the tranny was great but that was it. Heat problem that I fixed thanks to this site, electrical problems to no end, 4 wheel problems, rear axel whine, steering,fuel etc! I gave it away for parts to a friend last fall with 97K who bought a 96 after I told him not to buy it in the first place as he cursed the day he bought it! Worst vehicle I've ever owned. I have 2 other Fords with no problems cept regular stuff.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:10 PM
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We have 4 Exploders in the family, 92A, 94S, 95S and 97A, all with the X engine which is bullet proof. The 92 has 460K and the 97 has 365k, none have been opened.

The autos generally last 130-140k, then time for a rebuild.

I might add, 2 of these vehicles have seen many yrs service with the Local Dive Rescue (Volunteer), carrying several full sets of equipment over rough terrain and cold fast runs..(no time to warm up). The added load required the addition of airlift on the rear axle. Always ran with "C" rated tires and never a failure.

Even with the extra load on the electrical system (extra lights, winch, radio transmitters), Batteries (1000CCA) last 5-7yrs, have only replaced 1 alternator. The electrical harness (power windows/locks) has been an issue (driver door accordion).
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:14 PM
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My 96 XLT 4.0L pushrod, 4 spd A/T had a head gasket let go at 220,000. Thats the only gripe I've had with it. 4WD has always worked great, good heater, just normal maintenance stuff is all I've really had to do.

Never was a Ford guy before, but I really like this truck.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:51 PM
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I bought my '96 Explorer on 3/31/2001 w/86,832 miles on it. 4.0 pushrod (I believe the pushrod engines were much better than the OHV (started in 97)) automatic 4x4. At the time I was a little concerned with the mileage but it looked good and I could tell the previous owner took care of it. Almost 10 years later and exactly an additional 100,000 miles, I love it as much today as when I bought it. I've never had it in a shop for anything. When the exhaust went out at 139,000 miles I went to the Ford dealer and bought the whole assemble and installed it myself, piece-of-cake. Altenator went out at 160,000, again, went to Ford (paid less than trashauto/Advance Auto) and replaced it myself. Oil changes every 3,000 miles. Trans had only 1 service at 130,000 and that was drain the pan, replace the filter and refill. Last year I bought an '04 EB to replace the '96... couldn't do it. Decided to keep both. If you can find any mid-ninties with under 100,000 miles and it looks good, go for it, you won't be disappointed. Good Luck!
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:11 PM
97 Mountain Man 97 Mountain Man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan8052 View Post
I bought my '96 Explorer on 3/31/2001 w/86,832 miles on it. 4.0 pushrod (I believe the pushrod engines were much better than the OHV (started in 97)) automatic 4x4. At the time I was a little concerned with the mileage but it looked good and I could tell the previous owner took care of it. Almost 10 years later and exactly an additional 100,000 miles, I love it as much today as when I bought it. I've never had it in a shop for anything. When the exhaust went out at 139,000 miles I went to the Ford dealer and bought the whole assemble and installed it myself, piece-of-cake. Altenator went out at 160,000, again, went to Ford (paid less than trashauto/Advance Auto) and replaced it myself. Oil changes every 3,000 miles. Trans had only 1 service at 130,000 and that was drain the pan, replace the filter and refill. Last year I bought an '04 EB to replace the '96... couldn't do it. Decided to keep both. If you can find any mid-ninties with under 100,000 miles and it looks good, go for it, you won't be disappointed. Good Luck!
The push rod engine is the OHV. It's the SOHC that had timing chain/cassette issues.

For darn near indestructible go with a 5.0 AWD or 2wd. I have a '97 Mountaineer 5.0 AWD with 250k miles and the transmission has never been touched nor the engine other than routine maintenance. The 4r70w is a great transmission and look how long the Windsor engines have been around.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:11 PM
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