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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair

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  • amber11amber11 Posts: 2
    I've read that vibrations are common in Explorers, but would still like to know if anyone can make a suggestion on how to fix ours.

    We've fixed the following (all needed fixing anyways):

    radial arm bushings
    front and rear bearings
    u-joints
    balanced the drive shaft (axle?)
    tires all ok & balanced
    new shocks

    The vibration was horrible starting at about 60mph. After the above repairs it's minimal, but still there. We've called Ford and they don't have a TSB for vibrations at the higher speeds and don't know what to suggest since we've repaired/replaced all that they would have.

    Funny thing is...the day after we bought this (a few weeks ago) the fuel pump went out and we just happened to 'die' in front of the Ford dealership. There was no vibration until after we picked it up after they replaced the pump. I'm not saying there's a connection...it's just REALLY aggravating!!

    The guy at the tire shop said the vibration started in the rear left when he put the hub back on (no tire).

    Any ideas other than just living with it??

    Thanks,
    Antonia
  • drshrinky1drshrinky1 Posts: 4
    Ford motors survived the Edsel, from 1958, and they will survive the Exploder too.
    I got rid of my Exploder and will never own another Ford product, as long as I live.
    What a pile of junk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They may be OK in 2002, just a window falling out once in a while. That's not a big thing to the
    "Blind leading the blind," as they walk into a dealership and see the sales staff salavating at the hunk a dough you will spend for the "Pile."
  • ketoketo Posts: 2
    I'm a proud owner of a '93 XLT W/leather, a great year it seems. It's been a great car and now has 82k miles. It has the V6 OH engine and any problems I had along the way were replaced,by the $50 deductible ESP. I'm now looking at a '99 Mercury Mountianier or '99 Explorer XLT/Limited, with similar features like leather, moon roof and running boards. After reading over half of the posts here I'm moving away from the SOHC and towards the V8 AWD. All I've seen for the most part is positive on this engine, and not much less in MPG. Anyone have any stories on the AWD/V8 combo (or positives on the SOHC)would be appreciated. I'm leaning towards the V8. Thanks.
  • smily1smily1 Posts: 104
    I have a 98 XLT V8 AWD with 42k. I have been very pleased with it (even with its off road abilities). No mechanical problems to speak of. MPG is about 13.5 mixed (mostly city with lead foot). Best highway was 18.9 on a 300 mile trip at about 90mph. I use full synthetic oil and a K&N air filter. I think we made the best choice by choosing the V8. After 30 years I think Ford worked out all the bugs in the old 302.
  • millerickmillerick Posts: 3
    My '98 SOHC engine just died with 60K on it, $5k for a rebuilt one. I went to Nat'l Highway Trans board, lots of complaints on engine problems with this engine, not the older ohc or v8. Knowing what I know now, I would only consider the V8 if I were to buy a Ford again, which I will not. (Their lack of response to my requests for assistance on replacing the engine leads me to believe that Ford doesn't care about keeping this formerly long time Ford guy a customer). Don't know if I had had the same problem with a Pathfinder if Nissan would have been any more responsive, hopefully, I never will find out, but I do know that Ford will never have the opportunity again. BTW, my dealership could not have handled the purchase of my Ford any better and their service manger is excellant. Dealer is Ray Seraphin Ford in Rockville CT (northern part of state). - I highly recommend them.
  • stewertstewert Posts: 18
    Millerick , Did your engine dying have anything to do with the timing chain or timing chain ten shiner? These parts have a extended warranty to what I believe is 5year 75,000 miles. I would fight ford on this if your engine dying does not have anything to do with neglect.
  • ace10ace10 Posts: 137
    could it be true??

    news sources are reporting that ford is going to make good on the firestone tire debacle.

    to this incredibly unsatisfied exploder owner, this would represent a pretty healthy step towards righting the incredible harm done to owners.

    we happened to have had the non-recalled at's. replaced them with michelin ltx ms' at our own expense.

    good job ford.

    ace
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    For all you guys still riding on Deathstone tires, please check out this news story about a recall of almost all Wilderness Tires:


    http://dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/Business/Firestone_Tire_Recall/

  • cberescberes Posts: 24
    to watch the Ford Explorer debacle contine to unfold . . . knowing how much they have riding on the 2002 model, it's amazing that they "forgot" and sliced up non-Firestone tires on some models by using a too-small conveyor . . . sad and inept.

    I think its a pretty bold move for Firestone to pull away from Ford--Ford is always looking to pin its Explorer safety problems on others . . . they must feel that the American public has a sheep mentality-- we'll just believe what they tell us and go along with the herd--

    Our 1993 XLT is now pushing 180K. It has been mostly kind to us. When it goes, so will we-- goodbye Ford!
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    for those Michelins. During the last recall, Ford & Firestone reimbursed owners who had already replaced the defective tires.

    Personally, I think we have to give Ford credit for doing the right thing on this recall. Firestone has strenuously resisted all recalls because they don't care about safety, just profits. Ford has already spent $500 million to recall Firestone's crappy tires.

    As for me, I am going to exchange my Wilderness tires for some new Michelins, which I understand provide better gas mileage and a smoother highway ride.
  • tgraves1tgraves1 Posts: 3
    With the price of gas going up I would like to use the cheapest 85 octane here in Denver. The manual for my 2001 Sport for the 4.0L SOHC V6 says to use the regular grade of gas with a rating of 87 or higher. That is for sea level and, from what I have read elsewhere, is the equivalent of 85 octane at high altitude. However, the manual goes on to say "We do not recommend the use of gasolines labeled as 'Regular' that are sold with octane retings of 86 or lower in high altitude areas." Does anyone know why they would say this and if it is still OK to use 85 octane here in Denver? Thanks a lot for any info.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Check out the www.ford.com website.

    Ford has a list of acceptable reimbursable tires and dealers(unfortunately they are only reimbursing $110 per 15" and 16" tire)... and the Michelins will run you about $125-$145 each. Also they will not reimburse for Michelin Crossterrains in the 255/70 R16 size, just the Michelin LTX MS. I bought crossterrains last year and they are great, but expensive $145 each.
  • scootyscooty Posts: 10
    According to a report from blueovalnews.com , Ford has extended the warranty on the front cam chain guide assembly from 6 yr/72000 to 7 yr/100000 on the 4.0L SOHC engines in 1997 and 1998 Explorers and Mountaineers.The report was dated 4/18/01.I believe it is still on their main page as of today.
  • jefferiesjefferies Posts: 1
    Mazman or any other knowledgable person,

    I need to make a quick decision on either the Cross Terrains or LTX M/S. Could you give me you impressions on the Cross Terrains (noise, ride, wet traction, snow traction, cornering, perceived treadlife) and the differences between the 2 models? I've had the Wilderness ATs so obviously anything will be an improvement but it strikes me that the Cross Terrains are extremely expensive, so i want to make sure that its worth it. If you live in such a climate, I'd be interested in your thoughts on the traction in snow. Some winters I regularly drive in 6-18 inches of unplowed snow although I never take the explorer off road. I especially appreciate your input as I can't seem to find any reviews on the Cross Terrains on the internet.

    Thank you.
    Jeff
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    I bought Michelin Crossterrains (cost me $149 each), and I dont know what LTX's drive like. The CTX is much quieter than the Deathstones and I get about 1-2 mpg better. The Michelins are of a softer rubber, so the tread will probably wear out in about 40K miles. The cornering is good and the most noticeable thing is the softer and quieter ride. All in all.. no complaints with the Crossterrains.

    I think that you might want to consider the LTX AT, which has a but more aggressive tread than both the LTX MS (cost $125 each) and the Cross terrain. Both the CTX and LTX MS are for people who mostly drive on paved roads and do only some driving in light snow (1"-5").. For deeper snow or off road, you might want to look at a more aggressive tread. I think Michelin LTX AT might be there for you. Check out michelin's website www.michelin.com.

    GoodYear also makes a very good Wrangler AT tire.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    I got a set of Cross Terrain tires on my truck in January. Although I got them 2 weeks after our biggest snowfall of the year here in NJ, I did drive them in some snowfalls of about 6 inches and icy conditions. No problems whatsoever.

    I looked really hard as to what type of tire to get. I do virtually no offroading, but we do get some heavy weather here from time to time. The LTX ATs were described to me by some dealers as offering no difference in ride quality or mileage as compared to the Wilderness ATs, just some better handling. The LTX M/S are a good tire for the occasional off roader or for someone who lives where there are frequent, heavy snow use. Their qualities are lie somewhere between the Cross Terrain and the AT, but offering far superior traction to an all season radial.

    My Cross Terrains have served me well. Road noise is nearly gone, the highway ride is improved, better wet traction than the Wilderness AT (in my opinion I thought I always hydroplaned on those tires), and slight improvement in mileage.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    Has anyone contacted their dealers yet about the tire recall? I contacted a few in my area and they were still unsure of whats going on, one dealership told me to call back in 10 days, although ford is saying to take you're truck in and have the tires replaced, does anyone know when this starts or if i should go elsewhere and get my tires replaced and just have ford reimburse me for them?
  • rysterryster Posts: 517
    You may want to wait before replacing yours out of pocket and asking for a reimbursement.

    Ford is only reimbursing those who replaced their tires before May 22, 2001. After the 22nd, the tires must be done at a Ford dealer. Ford is apparently sending letters to all owners with a "certificate" of sorts indicating you are eligible for replacement tires. Or so, that is what I have heard...
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    In addition to my 2000 XLS loosing its coolant to an unknown site (reservoir was completely empty about a month ago, refilled, today was about halfway below fill line) and someone generously putting a large dent in my left rear quarter panel, it is a good weekend.
  • wh23fdctwh23fdct Posts: 18
    Hello all, those of you wondering about LTX A/T'S out there, I have a 99 XLT V8 W/AWD with them on it. I originally had Firestones but through a deal at my local Sam's club I got them replaced for no charge even though they weren't the recall ones. I have had them for aprox. 7000 miles and Im happy with them. I am in CT. and with the snow we had this past winter they did really well. Alot quieter than the deathstones at highway speed too. I drive them pretty hard and only a minimal rounding of the edges at 7000 miles. I think price was $109 per tire for the 15" jobs. Hope this helps. Keep the shiny side up and the greasy side down.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Have your mechanic check your oil. I will bet you will find your coolant in your oil as I have seen with my 2000 xls that has had the same issue with three 4.0 ohv engines. I believe Ford checks these sites often and my attorney has requested that I not post anything at this time. Sorry to hear about your dent, but that's small compared to what your in for with Ford and your engines. I will soon post my entire story start to finish. Ford has lost a loyal fan.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I was in for scheduled 15k service checks at my dealer at 7 am two days after Ford announced the non-recall "customer satisfaction adjustment" on gravestone ATs. put me right on the tire list. they are offering free road hazard for those of us who can wait so Ford gets the older tires replaced first (this is obviously this one dealer's project, but other large dealers may also be doing something similar, if not by default, maybe on request.) got a double-check call yesterday to insure they had the right size on my tire list form. I've got a 2000 Limited, and no cracks or roughness yet, so I'm not hammering on the garage door yet for mine.

    with the hooey that gravestone started slinging Thursday about testing with two Explorers, one Jeep, and one Blazer showing the Explorers supposedly roll over when you whistle and beg for a bone, perhaps we ought to change our sly puns on their brand name. The old logo for Bridgestone used to be the outline of a keystone, like on the top of an arch, with the BS letters inside. perhaps BullStone is more appropriate than Gravestone??
  • I have a 91 ford explorer wtih 140K miles. Withing the last 6 months, I notice the engine starts to race and heat up. This is a symptom when the antifreeze is low. I fill it up and it runs just fine. The problem is that I can't figure out where the antifreeze is going. It doesn't appear to be leaking and when I check the oil, it does not appear to be anything except oil there. Anyone have this problem or any ideas? Thanks.
  • masonmimasonmi Posts: 148
    I don't see many people posting about the Tire recall, has anyone had their tires replaced yet? i'm still on a waiting list.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    I have made an appt for this Sat morning at Discount Tire to get my tires replaced. I'm getting the Michelin LTX M/S 255/70/16 and they were about $120 a piece. I called my dealer and he was out of tires but said Ford will reimburse up to $130 a tire. I'm pretty sure balancing and all that other good stuff is also covered. My only concern is that would Ford be reimbursing for 5 tires or just 4. I'm assuming 5 tires so my total came out to about $713 and some change for everything. I would have to take my receipt and my old tires back to my dealer so he can do the paperwork for getting reimbursed. And that should be about 4-6 weeks. I think you can go to your dealer and have your tires replaced (assuming he has some in stock). Reason why I didn't go to my dealer was because I wanted the Michelin's. Hope this helps....

    Good Luck...
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    you need to find the leak. if the engine is getting hot, it's serious. if you don't see any drips on a cardboard or newspaper spread under the radiator and engine compartment, have a shop test for exhaust gas in the radiator.. if it's there, you have a head gasket problem, and will have to have the heads pulled, possibly planed, and the gaskets replaced. at 140K miles, they should probably be rebuilt. if that isn't it, likely issues would include rotting hose ends, radiator core or end bell leaks, leaky draincock, water pump and gasket, bad radiator cap allowing steam to wisp into either the overflow tank or directly into the air, etc. the fluid is going someplace, and if it's not onto the ground, you have a big problem possible... find out what it is, and then figure out whether you want to fix or trade.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the plant idling continues, at least at St. Paul Highland, if not at Edison and Louisville, so there are several truckloads of current production tires, mostly Goodyears and Michelin, availiable a day for replacement. these should be getting into the parts flow Real Soon Now.
  • gkl12gkl12 Posts: 2
    I have a loud screeching noise when I apply the brakes on my '96 explorer. I have had the brakes checked by two different mechanics and each say they are fine. But the noise continues. Any suggestions...
  • enforcerenforcer Posts: 40
    I have the same problem with my 1997 explorer. One day the antifreeze is fine, next day it's gone. However, this only happens when I am driving on long trips of 200+ miles per day. Can't find any leaks at all.

    Best thing to do is check the oil and antifreeze every time you fill up. Never had to do this with my BMWs, guess it's just Ford quality.
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    My '95 was losing some anti-freeze, too, and I occasionally got a whiff of it in the garage. Like yours, no visible evidence of where it was leaking from. I had over 90K on it at the time, so I changed the thermostat and put new upper and lower hoses on it. No leaks after that. It may not be your problem, but it's a cheap attempt at a fix!
    Good luck!
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