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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier

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  • i am considering a 02 XLT with a third row, running boards with 11k miles (was probably a rental). list is 22995. does this sound like a good deal/good idea? i am concerned about some of the early "issues" with the car (pre-Nov. 01 manufacturing date) and wonder whether that issue warrants spending more money (ugh) and getting a spanking new one...
  • jd150jd150 Posts: 13
    What differences are in the post Nov.'01 builds?
  • indierockmom-

    I think having the side curtain airbags are going to be of some benefit, even to the kids. When deployed they are supposed to cover something like 70% of the side glass. Depending on the accident this may be of no help or it could reduce the potential for injury by some degree. I don't think the side airbags will increase the risk of injury to the kids, so to me it's worth the money.
  • joeadpjoeadp Posts: 68
    The design of the build was changed to reinforce the structure so the mountaineer/explorer would fair better in the crash tests.

    The appearance has not changed.

    I had one built new to avoid the pre Nov lot.

    It was recently chrash tested the post Nov model and faired well in the tests.
  • td18td18 Posts: 1
    I'm continuing to receive conflicting information on the safety of the optional 1st and 2nd row side curtain airbags when having children in the second and 3rd row seats. Some of the remarks on here have indicated that they are safe for children while others have indicated that they are not. Additionally I believe that the editioral staff here at Edmunds is dead set against side curtain air bags when children will be sitting in the rows/seats near them.
    Can anyone provide me with information on this subject. My yound children will be sitting in the second and thrid row seats. One will be in a car seat and two will not. They are all under 10 years old. Are the optional side curtain airbags safe for children? Lastly can anyone tell me if full LATCH is implemented for both the second and 3rd row seats?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,296
    PBS' MotorWeek Announces 2002 Drivers' Choice Awards

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • jd150jd150 Posts: 13
    Does anyone know the difference between the 4WD Auto in the 2002 Control-Trac and the AWD offered in prior years and in the current Mountaineer? What are the percentages of front/rear power on the AWD? Is it rear only until needed? Does it change as conditions do? Up to what percent? For the 4WD Auto, I know it is rear only until front is needed...up to what percent can go to the front?
  • Overall, I continue to be quite happy with my 2002 XLT with V8, 4WD, power windows/locks, towing package, leather, etc. However, I've noticed that my vehicle's door windows seem to have poorly designed window strippings (if that's the right term). More specifically, as a SIDE window is raised or lowered, if either the window or this window stripping are wet, what I'm noticing is that the side windows are not being adequately "squeegeed" or stripped of water/moisture. For example, after washing and drying my truck (and windows) with towels, if I subsequently roll down any side windows, then roll them back up, the windows are not being tightly squeegeed by the door's window stripping, and these side windows then display a rather heavy, "stucco"-like film of water, and when this dries, it looks really cruddy. I actually had my dealer replace these parts on the driver's side door window, yet the problem persists for this window, and in fact, it might be worse. Is anyone else noticing this annoying problem? Please advise.

    Regarding the 2002 Mountaineer's AWD system, I did a lot of web reading on both vehicles (Ford and Mercury) before I decided on the 2002, 4WD, V8 Explorer XLT, and here's what I repeatedly read: The AWD of the Mountaineer is not regarded as being rugged, robust, truck-like, or suitable for more serious off-roading, pulling, etc. Rather, the Mountaineer's AWD system was evaluated as being designed to handle nothing more demanding than snowy suburban streets, or well-graded gravel roads "on the way to the mailbox". I repeatedly read that this AWD system is not designed to real "truck-like" standards; that it is more intended for use strictly as a "suburban shuttle", and that if one needs a more rugged SUV (more pulling power, etc.), then the more truck-like 4WD design of the Explorer may be a better choice than the AWD Mountaineer.
  • g159g159 Posts: 23
    AWD-Fixed torque split of about 33%f 66%r on 96-01 V8 explorers. Powers front and rear all of the time. I think it only locks the viscous coupling with slipping wheels, but that the torque split remains the same-could be wrong.
    Controltrac- I don't know. They rarely publish this info.
  • Anyone got any good info on the Sport Trac? I'm getting ready to purchase in the next few days, and would like to know of any problems with the vehicle.

    Were the Explorer modifications of Nov 01 incorporated into the Sport Trac also?
  • jd150jd150 Posts: 13
    Anyone know exactly what changes were made as of Nov.'01?
    What is the disadvantage of the pre Nov. builds? Anything significant?
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I don't exactly what they changed, but they were changes that were meant to improve performance in crash tests, specifically the IIHS frontal offset crash test, I believe. Ford requested a delay in testing so they could incorporate some type of change, structural I assume.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    The '02 Explorer and Sport Trac have very little in common; only the 4.0 SOHC engine. The frame and chassis are not the same. It's not possible to compare the Explorer with the Sport Trac in the areas of frame, suspension, ride, etc.

    You might try the Sport Trac forum to see what's new for '02.
  • does anyone know if it's possible to install shoulder seatbelts for the middle seat in the second row?
  • nickm2nickm2 Posts: 11
    If I'm not mistaken, the production changes were effective 10/1, not November- at least that's what the IIHS website says, and there was something a couple pages ago about that. Anyone know how to find out the manf. date of a vehicle from the VIN #? I know if you look at the doorjamb its on there, but I'm reviewing dealer inventory on the web, and I'd like to know if the dealer has a post 10/01 vehicle on the lot before I trek all the way down there. Thanks!
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Try this web address. I don't know if it is accurate, but it is a place to start. I don't see anything mentioning specific dates of manufacture. You should be able to decipher which vehicles are the newest ones, however.


    http://www.autoinsurancetips.com/vin.htm


    Hope it helps.

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    http://isuzu-suvs.com/events/pb02-17-01/index.html


    A Light off-road event in Southern New Jersey! Come enjoy the trails!


    -mike

  • nickm2nickm2 Posts: 11
    OK- I've been all over just about all the boards trying to figure out the deal with the V6 vs. the V8. I've seen some places that the type of V6 that Ford uses has historically had problems, but I thought I saw the same thing about the V8 on another board. HELP!! I don't really care that much about better acceleration or MPG or the extra 800 bucks or whatever for the V8- I just want to get the engine that's LEAST likely to have problems- anyone have a definitive answer on this? Thanks in advance. By the way, it seems at least in the Phoenix area, if you want a post-October build (to get the better safety build as dicsussed earlier)- you're putting in an order to the manufacturer, which stinks because you lose the rebates they have going right now.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,296
    "The data does not support Firestone's contention that Explorers stand out from other SUVs with respect to its handling characteristics following a tread separation,"

    link

    and a slightly different version of the story:

    NHTSA denies request for investigation into Explorer

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    Go with the V8.
    The V6 block that's used was designed as an OHV engine and adapted to be an OHC one. That means more complexity and compromises from an optimal design. The problems seem to be in the past, but I wouldn't take a chance.
    The V8 has been around for approx 10 years and is proven. It has an all-new block in the Explorer application (it's aluminum versus iron) but I've not heard of any problems so far.
    The V8 will also do the job better and more quietly, with only a small sacrifice in mileage.
  • I'm a little confused (some say more than a little) and would like some opinions regarding the use of overdrive on the 2002 Explorer. I read a number of posts stating that the use of OD in low speed conditions can increase the risk of premature transmission failure (lugging, I think, was the culprit). The explanation made sense so I’ve been diligent about disabling OD except in open highway and expressway driving. Then Monday, I read a post on Perpetual Ford Explorer Woes (post 1197) where the author was suggesting that the cause of another person’s 3rd gear being ripped up on their 2000 Explorer was perhaps due to turning off the OD. Aaack! Can anyone clear this up for me? I would be grateful.
  • I wanted to provide a quick update on my experience to date with my 2002 XLT, 4X4, V-6, with the 3.73 rear end. Based on what I’ve read, I may be a little higher mileage driver than some so this could be of use to someone. This is my first Ford product of any kind and I have to admit that I’m still impressed. I have about 7,000 miles on it now (took delivery 10/31) and have little to complain about. I have had a minor problem with engine stalling or hard starting under certain conditions, but it has never failed to start. And I do have an odd and occasional rattle that seems to be coming from the front end or under the hood, but nothing to write home about. It accelerates and handles very well, and it seems very stable. It went through what little snow and ice we’ve had here in Detroit extremely well and is fun to drive. Right now, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this vehicle to anyone. I’ll write if anything happens to change that, of course.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    I'd leave the shift selector in "D" as Ford suggests. The only time they recommend disabling it is under towing conditions, which will help keep the transmission cooler by eliminating the frequent shifts necessary under those conditions.
    Excessive heat is what you're trying to avoid here. So, unless you find that it's bouncing back and forth between fourth and OD, leave it in "D" and take advantage of the fuel economy that the OD gives you.
  • I'm driving a 2002 V8 XLT with tow package, and for normal driving (not towing, etc.) I leave it in O.D., but when driving (for example) on one-lane roads in hilly or mountainous areas, toggling or "playing" the O.D. on/off switch (depending on the terrain and grades) often makes sense, because this not only eliminates excessive and unwanted shifting in/out of O.D., but it also provides for some degree of engine braking on descents, when needed (such as when encountering a stop sign at the bottom of a steep grade). Indeed, I don't hesitate to push the O.D. button to "off" when I need some engine braking, and in my opinion we shouldn't forget that this is another reason why the conveniently located O.D. button/switch is so useful. In short, the O.D. on/off button is a very useful feature for those who enjoy a more dynamic driving experience under certain road and/or load conditions, and who want to keep the engine RPMs more in the "sweet-spot" of its power envelope.
  • I purchased my first 2002 Mountaineer and the rear window broke twice hitting me in the head. The transmission shifts so sporadic, rear end/drive assembly vibrate at 60 to 70 & the air noise problems were some reasons I made Ford take back the vehicle. We liked the size and the look so we now have the same model but with the V8.

    The quality is junk, junk and quality and responsiveness forget it.

    The transmission has been taken apart at least three times and now they were going to replace it but there is not one in the US? The new suspension has been worked four times for repeated noise and incorrect assembly. The moon roof was also not installed correctly, some of the leather was looking like my 84 SVO seats. If you go to the following site you will find that the transmission has problems and Ford is not saying a word. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/Index.cfm

    I want all of my money back and I do not want another Ford and lies about service, quality and the customer come first. Oh the new all wheel drive Jag has the same transmission so Ford truck has the same transmission in six cylinder, V8 and Jag cars use the same transmission and all are having problems.

    The head mechanic as was frustrated because Ford headquarters does not listen when issues are sent to them. Hum! Enron Do not waste your money on this product.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    Strange, I went to the listed site, and only found the liftgate cylinder and tire sidewall items. I have 9k on my 02 EB, and have been very pleased with the vehicle and Ford's concern for my satisfaction.
  • I am sorry for the misunderstanding on what you would find on the site. The site while good does not seem to group all like complaints however there have been many complaints not a recall on the new transmission designed in Europe. The recall was on the rear window as you noted. My new 2nd work of art is now been the shop four times and today is 2 ½ weeks because there is not a replacement transmission available or corrective parts. The squeaks that have plagued this car have not been corrected for more than 500 miles after each visit. The other issues with replacing the leather, adjusting the moon roof, have been reworked but this was a new car and it is the second one like this. The transmission has a shifting problem, which the Ford standard response is that it will correct itself, as it is a programming problem. I have had two now and both have had the same conditions. The VP of the distributorship has one and I was told it also shifts less than smooth. The shop foreman has taken rides in my second (replacement) vehicle and is the one explaining that this is the transmission in the new four wheel jaguar they have seen back in for complaints.
    I am working with the east coast rep. And the distributorship and will let you know how they treat me.
    Currently they have said they would call me back several times since last Friday and I have received 0 calls back. Customer Service is not like I get from Cadillac.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Sounds to me like the problem is with the dealer.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,109
    Check this out!


    Spin Around Town: 2002 Mercury Mountaineer


    Mercury's Mountaineer proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that badge engineering is alive and well in today's auto industry. Want a Ford Explorer but prefer a more elegant look and fake satin aluminum cabin trim? This is your ride.


    tidester

    Host

    SUVs

  • I had the "oil switch" replaced on my 02' 6cyl rear wheel drive(@10,000 mi.) as it was triggering a "low oil pressure warning" on my message center and on the oil gauge itself during cold morning starts until the vehicle warmed up a bit. Anybody know what the difference between an oil sensor and an oil switch and /or an oil pressure sender may be? Rollier
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