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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • dave111dave111 Posts: 3
    I'm having problems on my 2003. apparently the previous owner took it in at 31,000 miles for a ring and pinion job. Now I have to pay some $700 for some problem in the rear end.
    I think we Ford owners have a recall situation. I think ford knows it to.
  • In Response to messages #5077 by ad1329, #5082 by theturc, #5082 & #5084 by dave111, it really saddens me to hear all this bad news about the Ford rear axles and automatic transmissions. I've been reading and following this bulletin board for over 6 or 7 years now, and I have heard over and over about all these SAME problems that the Fords have. I know there are many that don't give problems, but way too many do. I've owned 4 explorers, a 91, a 93, a 97 and a 2000. I still have the 97 and the 2000, 97 is my wife's, 2000 is mine. The first two where ok, EXCEPT for the crappy automatic transmissions. 91 to 94 all had the same A4LD auto tranny, and the LD means Light Duty, and believe me they are, they never should have put such a light C3 tranny in a SUV, it is a small car transmission. I had to rebuild both of the trannys in both those vehicles more than once. After those two, believe me I did a LOT of homework before deciding on my next vehicles. I DID NOT want to do any more engine or tranny work, that's why I bought the 97 and 2000 Explorers, both with the V8 5.0L and the AODE auto transmission, and the 8.8 Ford Straight Rear Axle, the most reliable powertrain that Ford has ever made. No problems with these at all, other than a few minor common problems, like replacing the multifunction switch that works your headlights, turn signals and wipers, and replacing the cruise control buttons and one seat belt, and they suck down gas like crazy, 13 to 14 MPG in town, 16 to 17 on the road, most my driving is in town. On the 97, I did have to take the rear axle apart to put in New Pinion Bearings, New Carrier Bearings, New Shims and New seals, but the SAME 3.73 Ring and Pinion Gears on a limited slip carrier. That's been over three years ago, 47,000 miles ago, it now has 147,000 miles, and still runs perfectly quiet to this day. I found that putting Carbon Metallic Brake Pads on the front and rear gives perfect braking for the longest time. I love driving my current Explorers, but sadly they will be my last Explorers, for several reasons, mostly because the long term reliablity of the newer ones is so bad. I need to drive almost trouble free for 200,000 miles. My current Explorers are doing a good job of that so far. But since 2002 they changed to the "new" aluminum rear axle with the half shafts, they are more trouble than they are worth, and I ain't looking for trouble, I'm getting too old for that stuff now. And the transmissions seemed to get worst along with the "new" rear axle. Another reason for me to not get another Explorer is I need really good gas mileage, with the price of gas so high, I still need an SUV, so maybe a Honda Element or Saturn Vue or Hyundai Santa Fe might fill the bill next time. I've been studying them all for over a year now. The Ford Escape is not so reliable either, not like the others I mentioned, it may be better than the Explorer, but not reliable in the long run of 200,000 miles. It would be nice not having to worry about fixing the car or having to get it fixed, or having to put up with whiny rear axles and trannys that won't shift, and always having to tell people the same thing over and over again about whats wrong with their cars and what to do about it. Well, one thing good about the Explorers, they sure do keep the service departments busy, the service writers busy and the mechanics busy. But that's all coming to an end before long, as the sales of the Explorers drops off. Ford was a Great car company, an American tradition, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison worked very hard at building the American Dream through the Industrial Revolution of the Twentith Century, it so hard watching Ford making so many mistakes, knowing they were so good for so long.
    E.D. ISF
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 371
    I have been loving and enjoying my 2004 Mountaineer V8 AWD for about 2.5 years now. All of the sudden about three weeks ago I noticed a metallic like hissing or like a sound of metal plates lightly rubbing against each other. I only hear it when the vehicle is moving less the 30 miles per hour. Any faster road and tire noise drown it out if it's there at all. It seems to be getting slowly louder, but still pretty low. It's really tough to describe the sound, but it's definitely coming from the outside of the vehicle and doesn't seem to be coming from the engine compartment. I'm concerned this is related to the transmission difficulties I've been reading about. I had the Additive put in that was not in the original trans axle fluid at 6000 miles. They also replaced the selanoid because a hard shifting when shifting from reverse to drive. Does anyone have any thoughts out there about this? I have an appointment to leave it at the dealership next Wednesday.
  • I have a 94 Explorer that has a 4.0, 6 cylinder in it. The problem I am having has caused a "no start" situation. The first thing that I found was that there is no spark between the coil and the spark plug wires. After diagnosing everything I can think of, I discovered that when the key is in the "ON" position, There is no power going to the crankshaft sensor. I tested the sensor and it appears to be working fine. What should I do? I can't see where the wires are going from the sensor.
    Thanks,
    Chuck
  • tazsp2tazsp2 Posts: 4
    I had the plastic rocker arm and tenioner replaced ran fine for a couple of days now there is a loud ticking noise seemingly coming from the same place before work was done.

    Please Help!!!!!!
  • You did not say how many miles on the vehicle, date and miles at the time of repair, and how many miles and time since then. In other words, was this a recent repair? If so, take it back where you got it fixed and see what they have to say about it. They should warrenty their work for a certain amount of miles/time per your paperwork. If out of warrenty, if you talk nice and reasonable to them, they might give you a good deal on taking care of it. The word you said that caught my attenion was "LOUD". Let us know how you fare.
    E.D. ISF
  • And by the way, that was the most important thing that I learned about the Explorers in my research in 2001 and 2002, before I bought the 1997 V8 Explorer and my 2000 V8 Explorer, to NOT buy an Explorer with the 4.0L engine, because of all the problems with the timing chain and tensioners. It was a BAD design of the Chain Drive system using a THREE CHAINS in the engine, the FIRST CHAIN from the crankshaft to the Jackshaft (a fake shaft in place of the in-block camshaft used to transmit power at two locations to the cam shafts in the heads) the SECOND CHAIN on the front of the engine from the Jackshaft to a camshaft in one of the heads, and the THIRD CHAIN on the rear of the engine from the Jackshaft to a camshaft in one of the heads. This design is so utterly rediculous, just begging for trouble and lack of reliablity, a chain should NEVER have been put on the backside of the engine, that requires the engine to be removed to service or replace the chain. Just an absurd design, I find it unbelieveable that they would ever have even entertained the idea, much less put it in production. It just spells "UNRELIABLE". Common sense and standard design dictate a single timing chain and tensioner and guide on the front of the engine like so many other manufacturer's are doing. Ford really slipped and fell on this one. I feel so very sorry for all of you who have fell into buying one of these engines. These are doomed to fail in early life, you will never see one of these make it from 0 to 200,000 miles untouched. I am confident that each of my V8 Explorers will make it to 200,000 miles with no engine problems. Of course, I am using really good motor oil, Mobile One Synthetic and Synthetic oil filter, changed every 7,500 miles. Believe me, it REALLY pays to do your research, and do it in depth, WELL worth your time, and much easier now with the Internet.
    E.D. ISF
  • I thought about your problem, but I don't have a wiring diagram for that vehicle anymore. Your best bet is to get a wiring diagram to help you trace the problem. You can get a subscription at alldatadiy.com that has all the information about your vehicle.
    Good Luck.
    E.D. ISF
  • tazsp2tazsp2 Posts: 4
    The repair work is less than two weeks old. The guy that worked on my vehicle came after I informed him of the noise and added the new tenisioner kit that ford reluctantly forgot to tell him about when repaired the first chain problem. The truck had 98990 when happend, I have driven less than 50 miles since. Once you get up to 40 mph the noise quites down. Could it be the second chain and if so is it as easy to repair as the first witout removing the engine?
  • I would assume he replaced the front chain. You said the sound is coming from the same place. It sounds like your mechanic is not experienced enough to know about this repair. Is he at a local shop, or a friend or what? This is NO ordinary timing chain repair, it takes someone with the specific Knowledge and Skill to perform this task, not a beginner, shade tree, or apprentice, it takes a qualified mechanic to properly diagnose and repair this. You need all the correct information to know the right parts to use and how to install them propery. I can't do that from here. Seems to me that you should get a second opinion from a more qualified source. I hate to say it, but all the best repair can't make up for FORD's lousy engine design. First chance your get, get rid of the thing and try to make a better choice on the next vehicle.
    When I shop for a vehicle, I look for one that is known to be reliable, stay away from vehicles with known problems, like bad timing chains, bad trannys, bad rear axles. You at least want a reliable drivetrain. The forums here and elsewhere can help guide you. I'm not meaning to pick on you or your vehicle, just trying to help. Too late to help much with this one, maybe the next one will be better.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • tazsp2tazsp2 Posts: 4
    The guy was refered to me by a friend who said that he did excellent work. Of course you know Ford wanted $3500.00 dollars. Which I do not have. So if you know of any web sites that I can go and do more research on the problem let me know. In the mean time I am stuck with the piece of $%^#. I still owe a few payments on it and trading it in with the noise that it is making not sure what the out-come of that will be. Thanks for the help and advice it was greatly appreciated.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    sigh... the rear axle on my 02 is leaking again... :sick:
    had both left and right rear axle seals replaced just 20k miles ago. I thought the seals should last a tad longer than that. Service advisor at the dealer said the axle seal isn't a common problem with the explorers... blah blah blah.. and now my car is out of warranty (has 70k miles on it). Anyway, you think I should let the dealer perform the repair on this or can I trust independent shops over this matter. Dealer gave me an est. of $550. :(
  • A second opinion wouldn't hurt, they might even be able to give you some insight on why the axle seals were so short lived. Myself, I think they should have lasted way longer. I think the repair was flawed, it is possible that they did not put lubricant on the inside of the new seals, or the surface on the half shaft that the seal contacts was not smooth, or was worn.
    Good Luck.
    E.D. ISF
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    Thanks... I'm out of luck with the dealer which fixed it 20k miles ago. They said it's too long ago and they couldn't and wouldn't warrant it. I'm taking it to another Ford dealer this time for a fix. Hopefully it will get the job done right this time. Part is cheap, labor is @#$$%$$@#!#$% :(
  • davidzetadavidzeta Posts: 1
    I have the same car. It came up with a noise that sounded more like a valve tapping. Turns out the rocker arm on the #1 cyl intake valve had shifted forward, due to a spring clip breaking on the front of the rocker shaft. 165K miles. Pretty simple fix.
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    hey electricdesign, I have a question for you and hope you can understand what I'm talking about...

    So I got my car back from the dealer, leak was fixed (replaced both seals again) and when I got home, I looked at the side of the car (drive side) and noticed the rear brake wire or cable was kind of hanging low in a clip (a pin like holder). I didn't remember seeing it that way before and when I compared it to the passenger side, the brake cable's also held by the same pin accept it's hanging high. For the longest time, I couldn't figure out how that happened, and then I noticed that someone had actucally bent that clip. Fortunately, the cable isn't touching the rear wheel (has a gap of about 1/2 inch). My question is, when they worked on the axle seals, you think they have to remove the brake cable and stuff?? I want to make sure before I go back and demand a new clip for that cable if the tech had bent it. Thanks.
  • Yes, I'm sure that stuff was taken loose, as both right and left halfshafts have to be removed to replace the seals. There just may be some slack that is not taken up in the cable. Try setting and releasing your emergency brake a few times to see if that tightens it up. If no change take it back and ask them to look at it.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • tazsp2tazsp2 Posts: 4
    Hey davidzeta, I will investagate it and see if it is that. thank you
  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    I feel so bad luck about my truck... after 20k trouble free miles the rear end started to leak again, which it's fixed last Friday. Saturday, didn't see a drop of oil on the garage floor, great. Sunday, didnt' see a drop of oil on the garage floor, excellent! Monday, there it went again with a leak, HELL! sooooo bad luck. Am I the only one having axle seals problems?? :sick:
    I remember last year when they fixed the seals the first time, they had to do it twice after the first repair. Maybe it will be fixed and good for another 20k miles after I bring it back for another repair next week. :confuse: :lemon:
    Now when is Ford going to issue a recall on that so I can claim my $$$$$$$$$ :mad: :surprise:
  • dave111dave111 Posts: 3
    We bought a 2002 from someone at 45k miles it was making some serious noises.Had it taken care of for $600. Come to find out previous owner had ring and pinion work done under warranty at 31k miles.Someone else has said that Ford changed to aluminum rear axles with half shafts starting in 2002. We may get rid of what we have and get a Chevy? Ford screwed up! They should do a recall!
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