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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    just curious, why do you think idntnvu is wasting his money replacing the ball joints?
  • I have a 2004 Explorer (Eddie Bauer) - have filed a civil suit against Ford for multiple failures (Lemon Law). Transmission, Rear end and 4WD problems...


    One issue that baffles me - when going down the highway at normal speeds 40 to 60 mph - the vehicle stays straight on the road. Upon acceleration - the vehicle does a hard veer to the left. Been to the Dealer 3 times, and they have checked with the Ford Engineers, and they say this is "normal torque steer". Does anyone have an opinion if this is right? In all my years of driving - I've never known a car to do this?
  • Where do you think the waste was, buying the ball joints, or buying the truck?

    I think he paid a little too much for the upper ball joints, but the $100 labor is excellent if that is for replacing all 4 of them. It sounds like the price is right, and the peace of mind will be priceless!
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    It's more common on front drive cars. Is your Explorer AWD or 4WD? Does this occur with the front drive engaged?
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Yes nvbanker, I'm curious on that myself ;)

    I'm wondering if maybe you're saying I wasted my money on the truck in the first place.


    I was told that both lowers NEED to be replaced, and one of the uppers, so they said why not replace both of them while they were at it. The ones I got are TRW from Advance, with a lifetime warranty. So I seriously doubt I'll have ball joint problems again.


    I was told that my front end was out of alignment now because of the bad joints, and would require at least half a shim to get it back in line, possibly a whole shim. Do you think I still need it?
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    This is what the guy quoted me, and I have to say I admire you for doing it yourself. I wish I could have, but I'm just not that mechanically inclined. Whenever myself, my dad, or even my grandpa (it's genetic) attempt to tackle a big job like that, it ends up taking 3 times as long because a bunch of other crap goes wrong in the process. I just leave it to the pros.


    As for paying too much for the parts, I had heard the TRW front end stuff was really good, that coming from my boss at the bus garage, who's had plenty of experience in this kind of thing. I also wanted something with a lifetime warranty, and Advance is about the only place that offers that. It's not too late to take them back, haven't had it done yet. What would you guys have done different?
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    "What would you guys have done different?"


    Nothing, but I would go for the allignment, couldn't hurt:)
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    This is what the guy quoted me, and I have to say I admire you for doing it yourself. I wish I could have, but I'm just not that mechanically inclined. Whenever myself, my dad, or even my grandpa (it's genetic) attempt to tackle a big job like that, it ends up taking 3 times as long because a bunch of other crap goes wrong in the process. I just leave it to the pros.


    I have always drawn the line at suspension and exhaust systems. Mainly because I never had the correct tools to do the job right. All other aspects of cars I have no problem with.


    I think you got a great price for what you are having done.


    BTW....nvbanker, from what I recall, thought you were crazy for buying the vehicle.


    We have all made's what we learn from those mistakes that makes us stupid or not.

  • Yup, you guys nailed it- just got a call from my service advisor; they replaced one insulator bushing, fixing the squeaking. Only took them about an hour and a half, they must keep those parts in stock as well. I'm interested to see how much they would have charged for one out of warranty.


    Unfortunately she said they could not duplicate the distortion noise I am getting from some of my speakers (sounds like I blew out one or two of them, lol). But speakers are cheap, right? Maybe I should just throw some nice aftermarket ones in there. Experiences or suggestions?
  • Maybe he said $100 per side or is this a good friend that needs money too. This is a job where you have to be comfortable with beating on things. I bought a ball joint press for $30 and still had to make some adaptors to get it off. Mine is 4WD and you need to get creative if you don't take the half shafts out, like having two jacks. Definitely one of the harder jobs to do and more than standard tools are needed.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    If the guy actually working on the truck says it needs alignment, then it does. We're just guessing here, but he actually sees and touches it.

    As far as TRW parts, they're good for the price. I'm pretty sure they used to be an OEM supplier for Ford but were dropped in the early 90s. That said, I use them too because I'm cheap.
  • "Time is Limited - Program Ends March 31, 2005 Regardless of mileage. 2004 and 2005 Explorer equipped with 5R55S, 5R55E, or 5R44E transmissions."

    "Your vehicle was filled at the assembly plant with tranny fluid, that may cause delayed/harsh reverse engagements etc etc. They are going to FOC install a bottle of 5R55S/E & 5R44E additive.

    Customer satisfaction program, 04B22."

    I recently had the solenoid replaced deal. Not sure how this effects me. I have call into the dealer.


  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    Actually, the guy quoted me $50 per side, so $100 total. Taking it tomorrow to drop it off. I'll be drivin a Toyota til it's fixed :).
  • Thanks for your reply! My truck has the Auto 4WD, but then has the buttons to manually engage high/low as well.


    In your opinion a hard pull to the left is "normal", and this would also be considered safe. The Dealer said I just need to be sure to "tightly hold on to the steering wheel".
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,444
    just a thought, try going into 4 high and accelerating(not on a dry road). maybe one of the axles is engaging.

    i don't think the pull is normal. it is the front that is pulling left, not the back?
  • I'm getting a bit discouraged and have lost alot of my enthusiasm with my 04 Mountie.


    I also received the letter from Ford about the tranny fluid. There was an article posted in the money and investing section on's website that addressed this more than 6 weeks prior. It was because of this article that I called my Mercury Dealership to schedule an appointment because I indeed had the problem of the harsh reverse engagements. Service department told me it was a solenoid problem. They never mentioned anything about the fluid. Brought it in Saturday after Thanksgiving and they replaced the solenoid. Guess what? Problem reared it's ugly head again. Brought it in 12/27/04 and I was told the replacement solenoid that was put in was defective. They replaced it again. It is now 2 plus weeks since and I am still experiencing this problem. Looks like I will have to arrange a third visit for the same problem.


    For some reason, I cannot get this to hyperlink, but this is the link to the article.

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    Yes, there are a few "ongoing issues" with the Explorer and Mountie. Make sure you buy an exteneded warranty for the vehicle. You can save a lot of money on the web on these. I bought mine form Lombard Ford over the net!

    Good luck!
  • I had the exact same issues with my 2004 Explorer purchased in Dec 03. Repeated trips to dealership - and still doing same thing with transmission hesitation/slipping. I have hired an attorney as in my State this vehicle qualifies as a "lemon". The Manufacturer has 3 reapir attempts to remedy - before it is called a "lemon". I gave Ford 4+++ attempts...


    Check your States lemon laws...


    Ford should be ashamed of this product!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    There is the issue that I advised not to buy this particular truck. But mainly, I don't think ball joints are that bad, I think this truck has bad abuse history.
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