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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • I think you just need to try both a V6 and a V8 back to back and make up your own mind. My test drives on the Explorers yielded that the V6 was very responsive with a 4x2, but less so with a 4x4. The V8 did very nicely with the 4x4. The V8 not only has more get up and go, but it's a bit quieter during acceleration. However, I liked the deep growl of the V6. Both engines loaf at a comfortable 2,100 RPM around 70mph.

    In the end, I decided on a V6 2x4 Eddie Bauer. Very happy with decision. V6 has been very responsive, even with a full load of 2 adults, 3 children, and a dog in the back with luggage.

    Good luck with your decision!
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    Has anyone tried their 4x2 on the snow yet?
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    I was talking to some people looking for a new Explorer and asked about stability control which Ford announced last Feb. would be a mid year option. Did they ever come through? I haven't heard anything about it since. Seems it would help keep the car on the road since leaving the road is where most rollover's occur. Any current input from buyers would be appreciated.
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    I'm not going to be much help, but...

    When I called Ford in September I was told November 5th for the stability control. When I called back a couple of weeks ago, I was told there was no information available on that feature. Either the second person was a moron, or they are continuing to push it out. Don't know which it is.
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    What are the better tires to get on the Explorer?
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    I don't believe you have a choice anymore. Early in the production run, you could get Michelin Cross Terrain or Firestone Wilderness AT on the XLS or XLT models, but the Firestone has since been eliminated since the Ford/ Firestone relationship ended. The Goodyear Wrangler AP is the sole choice for the EB and Limited models, which have a slightly larger tire (245/70-16 vs. 235/70-16).
    I've got over 6K on the Cross Terrains at this point, and they seem to be fine. Not for going fast on the winding roads, but, hey, this is a truck!
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    Well, I have been offered the following sales for 2002 Explorers EB/Limited at $500 below invoice or an XLT at invoice. Is it worth it to spend the extra money to get the EB/Limited?
  • cubescubes Posts: 29
    What's the real bottom line difference come to? I think we're back to how much you value all the extras that are standard in the Limited and the different color combos that are EB/LTD specific.

    For me personally, I don't really like to see myself "coming and going" and with a limited you'll see yourself alot less. We've got a '00 Millenia ME in red. It's 18 months old and I have yet to see another. It's a real nice near luxury (under rated)car and we love it.

    BTW, my wife and I picked up our '02 Merc Mountaineer on Monday. Did a Wedgewood Blue with Graphite interior. Loaded with every option, V6/RearAir instead of the moonroof. After driving both V6 and V8, for our needs (she'll put 75% of the miles on it) the power is just fine. Did X-Plan lease.

    I gotta go. Actually might be able to put some miles on it, unless she insists on driving!

    Post more specifics on your two choices. I'd like to see the differences..............Nick
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    Highland Green w/ Arizona Beige Accents
    Med Parchment leather luxury bucket
    3.73 LS Axle
    Running Boards
    Side Curtain
    Trailer Tow Package
    Steel Chromed Wheels
    Auxiliary Climate Control
    Reverse Sensing
    3rd row
    Price $34,300

    White Pearl
    Silver Frost Accent
    Med Parchment leather luxury bucket
    3.73 LS Axle
    Running Boards
    Trailer Tow Package
    Steel Chromed Wheels
    Auxiliary Climate Control
    Reverse Sensing
    3rd row
    Price $34,000

    What do ya think? No difference except the side-curtain.
  • cubescubes Posts: 29's a real tough call between those two. Both are excellent colors. Push come to shove I'd probably go with the Limited in the White Pearl, but it's close. I'd probably feel a teensy bit guilty about the side bags, for their "potenial" safety value. It's my understanding that side curtain bags are more effective in rollover situations. (that's what I've read) I honestly don't see too many of these new units rolling over. In the limited amount of seat time I've had in our Merc, this new platform is pretty stable.

    What's the deal on the XLT? Is that out of the running?

    BTW I downloaded the Explorer brochure and it shows the White Pearl only gets the grey interior. Is that wrong?
  • I ordered a EB & it was delivered with GY Wrangler AP's. I was never given the option as to what tires I wanted. I have noticed the XLS & XLT's come with the Michelins & the EB & Limited's come with the Wrangler AP's. I have also noticed GY Eagle LS on some Limiteds that have arrived recently. If I had a choice I would have chosen the GY Eagles.
  • allroyallroy Posts: 58
    cubes: Dont know, I noticed that too about the White Pearl, it sure wasnt grey though!! :P

    watchtower: I didnt even notice what tires were on these two...why GY Eagles?
  • This past weekend I received my new Estate Green 2002 4WD XLT with V8, leather, tow package, power windows/locks, single CD/cassette/radio, Michelin Cross Terrain tires, etc. ($30,340.00 plus tax, title). In short, I love this vehicle-- it's quiet, powerful, solid-feeling, and handles very well. I find the "metallic" estate green color to be stunningly attractive, yet elegant and understated. That said, I have a few questions:
    1) I dislike the three "blank" or "dummy" switches on the right side of the center control console, and would like to know if there are any useful accessories that can have their switches installed there, such as fog lamps? (The three corresponding switches on the left side of the center console are occupied by the 4WD, i.e., auto, 4-Hi, 4-Lo);
    2) I've ordered but not paid for Ford's color-keyed rubber "slush/mud" floor mats. Are these good enough, or would you recommend an (economy priced) set of aftermarket slush mats?
    3) I plan to change the oil at 1000, 4000, and 7500 miles, and also plan to use a synthetic oil such as Mobil 1, starting at 7500 miles. Are Ford's oil filters fine, or should I consider a different filter?
    4) I really wanted a leather wheel and the so-called "message center", but I couldn't afford any more than what I paid, so an EB was not an option. Can either of these options be added-on in the future? (My dealer said "Probably not"). If not, I'll survive...

  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    1. I don't think so. Ford sells an aftermarket fog lamp kit which I just finished installing. The switch mounts under the dash. The "dummy" switch blanks are not knock-outs, so Ford would have to include an entire surround piece in order to use it. I think you'll have to live with that one.
    2. Not familiar with the Ford mats, but had a set on my '95 and liked them. I now have Huskyliners and love them. The looks take a little getting used to but they offer great protection and can be wiped clean, unlike the ridged type mats. Check
    3. Ford's filters are fine for the short change intervals you are planning. Please note that Mobil 1 does not make a 5W-20 weight oil. The only full synthetic that I've heard of is Amsoil (and possibly Royal Purple?). I'm running Amsoil and will change at 7500 mile intervals. Use an Amsoil filter or a Mobil 1 filter for longer change intervals, though.
    4. I agree with the dealer. The wheel could be done without too much trouble, but the leather wheel will have the radio controls on it and your harness may not be able to make them functional. The message center will also involve huge wiring issues and be impractical.

    Congrats on your purchase. My XLT is similar except that it lacks leather and I am very happy with it.
  • gregb5
    I also have an '02 XLT with the V8 and I would like to add the fog lights. Could you provide some details regarding the fog light kit. Do the lights mount in the oval bumper covers like they do on the EB/LTD? Is the switch integrated into the headlight switch like the EB/LTD? What is the part number for the kit?

    Thanks for you help.
  • rkuehnrkuehn Posts: 120
    Spent some time inside a Mountaineer without sunroof & overhead climate control. Still, headroom is close (I'm rather tall).

    Most frustrating is the headliner which slopes into the passenger space right above the driver's head. Other vehicles have a vaulted roof with an arc away from the passenger space.

    Anyone know what's behind the headliner? Is there any reason it does this? Highlander & Rendezvous by comparison have smooth headliners, although they don't quite fit my self-image...
  • Hi Folks,

    We picked up our 2002 XLT beginning of October. So far we love it, but have two annoying problems/concerns: (Sorry if these have already been addressed. If so, please refer me to message number(s).)

    1.) When closing the moonroof, it is very difficult to know when it is fully closed. For example, if you hold in the button to close it, you would expect that it would fully close and then stop. But what it does is fully close and then go immediately into "tilt up" position. You have to catch it just right, otherwise it doesn't air-seal. So usually we end up going back and forth, back and forth, until it seems to be fully closed and sealed. (This is a fun game to play when you're driving in heavy traffic, trying to keep your eyes on the other cars in between glances at the roof mechanism as you press the switch back and forth.) The only real check we have found that works, to know that it is fully closed is by driving on the highway with all the windows closed and listening for air noise from the roof. Then we can adjust it closed through "audio feedback." This doesn't seem very high-tech. It seems it should have a definite locked close position with a detent in the switch or some other method to assure that it is air/rain-tight. Are we doing something wrong, is there something wrong with our moonroof, or is this just a really bad design?

    2.) We deliberately stipulated that we did not want a model with the third row seat because we were given to understand that with the third row seat, the rear seats will not fold down to a flat surface, but rather with an incline at the front. (Edmunds review) We didn't want that. Well, our model without the third row seat still doesn't provide a flat cargo surface when the rear seat is folded down. The front edge (against the back of the front seats) doesn't go all the way down, even with the front seats moved forward and the rear headrests lowered all the way down. Again, are we doing something wrong or is this inherent?

    Finally, on the matter of fog lights. This was the only feature we really wanted on the Limited, but figured for $3,000 extra we could get some pretty nice foglights and have money left over. There seem to be two rectangular removable panels just above the bottom edge of the air dam in the front. Does anyone know if that is what these are for? Also, is there an aftermarket (Hella, PIAA) manufacturer that makes a driving/fog lamp to go in these openings?

    Sorry for the long post. Appreciate any feedback.

  • I have a 2002 XLT 4.0L, 4WD and a 5-speed auto (four plus overdrive) with just over 1000 miles. I like it a lot, but I've noticed an unusual shift sequence that I’d like to ask about. It seems as though on the shift from first to second, it doesn’t actually shift into second - but stays in first. (The RPM’s and sound are what leads me to believe it’s staying in first.) Then it shifts through the three other gears then overdrive. Yes, I count five shifts as though it is a 6-speed! There should be four shifts including overdrive on a 5-speed auto. I’ve driven two other 02’s and they seem the same so it must be “normal”. In fact, on one test drive before buying the vehicle, the first shift (staying in first) was so abrupt that I thought there was a transmission problem so I mentioned it to the sales person. He looked at me like, “So?” Has anyone else experienced this and have any knowledge of what’s up? Thanks.
  • pnewbypnewby Posts: 277
    I don't have the Moonroof on my 02 EB, but if it works like my 00 LS, the switch is a multi function control. Push it to the rear to open, holding it longer than a couple of seconds will allow it to open completely after released. Push it forward to close. Push it up to raise. When it is open, pushing it up will cause it to close then raise. See if yours works like this.
  • I have an 02 XLT 4WD with the V-8. So far (it has 3500 miles on it) my wife and I really like it except for one thing. There is a strange noise that seems to be coming from under the drivers side of the dash. This noise is like a low pitched whinning noise. The XLT typically only does this noise when it is cold. This noise goes away if either I let off the gas, hit the gas hard, or just let it run it's course (the noise goes away after about 20-40 seconds). It seems to start making this noise under acceleration. Has anyone else heard this noise? Any ideas what this noise could be? I took it to the dealer last week and of course it didn't to it for them.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    Sounds like speedometer cable is either loose or not properly lubed.

    BTW: Better get used to the rattles, creaks, pops, whines, bangs and other associated noises... starts to happen after 8K.
  • Mazman1 thanks for the reply to my post. However, the speedometer (and the tach)in the Explorer is electronic therefore there is no speedo cable. You are right, the noise does sound a lot like a loose cable and, in fact, that is what I initially thought it was too.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    The 5-speed auto in the Explorer is just that; a 5-speed with overdrive. It was introduced in the '97 model year along with the 4.0L SOHC engine.

    My '00 Explorer has the 5-spd auto. You will definitely notice 5 shifts, plus the overdrive.

    I believe, however, that the perceived 5th gear is programmed into the software. Ford took an electronically controlled 4-spd auto and "programmed" it to have 5 speeds. Not sure if this has changed in the past couple of years, though.

    The 5-spd was designed to be smoother and more efficient than the standard 4-spd transmission.
  • Thanks! It does seem to shift smoothly, but I was surprised at how many times it shifted. I thought the 4-Spd or 5-Spd label included overdrive. Thanks for your input.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    that the Mountaineer is "different" from the Explorer on the front half (sort of) of the vehicle, can anyone who has driven both describe the differences (both cosmetic and functional) the Moun and the Exp Eddie Bauer/Limited vehicles?...thanks...
  • First, my comments:

    1) I recently had Husky custom-fitted, front and rear wheel mudflaps installed, as well as Husky's custom-fitted and color-keyed floor trays, and both products are outstanding, and look great as well;

    2) For this new truck (Estate Green), I invested in $140.00 worth of Zaino Bros. ( exterior and interior car/truck finish products. [Zaino: car wash soap; polish pre-lock; show car polish (two coats); gloss enhancer spray was frequently applied to their polish applicators during applications of their show car polish (as recommended); leather treatment and conditioner; tire dressing, etc.] Last weekend I detailed my new truck in a heated garage, using the above mentioned Zaino products, and in my opinion, the results are simply gorgeous-- high gloss, deep-looking finish, as well as an ultra smooth, silky feel when touching the finish. The Zaino products are quite easy to manually apply and buff off. Unlike many other products, Zaino products do not cake and powder at hard-to-reach seams, nooks and crannies; and they do not leave an unsightly residue on exterior plastic surfaces, but rather these products should be applied to those exterior surfaces, as they offer UV and finish protection, and they wipe-off with complete ease. In summary, it's hard for me to imagine better exterior and interior finish products than those offered by Zaino Bros., of which I have no affiliation other than being a highly satisfied, 1st time customer;

    3) I purchased the single CD/cassette/radio with stock speakers, and quite frankly, this stock audio system sounds fantastic. It is bright, tight, crisp, and powerful; it invites one to push the volume even further, and it puts the stock audio system of the Toyota Sequoia to shame! Indeed, I've been so taken with my new Explorer's audio system that I've spent a small fortune on CDs for this new truck;

    Now for my question:

    In your opinion, which *after-market* manufacturer is currently offering the finest set of high intensity fog lamps? Based on my Internet readings, it seems that Hella and PIAA are the most highly regarded, with PIAA seeming to be the favorite. What do you recommend, including specific model numbers (and why)?
  • joeadpjoeadp Posts: 68
    Good to hear the news on the radio.

    Just order a loaded mountaineer with stock radio.

    Went for the V8 instead of the upgraded radio.

    I looked at the MDX and Sequoia. The Mountaineer seemed like a better value. This is my first american car in 15 years.

    The MDX I could not seem paying list and waiting for months.

    The Sequoia I only would have been happy with the limited. The 10K extra over a Mountaineer did not seem justified for a third vehicle.

    Best of luck with your vehicle.
  • jairojairo Posts: 1
    Does anybody knows when the Explorer/Mountaineer 2003 models will be coming out.
    I will be buying one of them next February but I am not sure if the 03 models will be available
    for that time.


  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    Sorry for the late response regarding the fog lamps for the XLT.
    I don't have the part number available right now, but the dealer parts folks should be able to find it. The lamps fit into the same place as they do on the EB and Limited. The plastic fillers come out and are replaced with a new piece and the lamps mount into them. They look just like the factory installed ones. The switch mount is a different story, though. For simplicity (I guess), Ford has designed it so the switch mounts at the bottom edge of the lower dash panel, next to the parking brake release. Not very custom looking. The kit does include relays so that the lights don't work unless the parking lamps or headlamps are on and will ot work with the high beams on. I did not attach the relay for the high beam "kill", so mine work as long as any other lamps are lit.
    Installation was not easy. The factory harness does not have any of the needed wiring in it. The kit contains two harnesses and all the necessary stuff, but you'll need some knowledge to do-it-yourself. Took me about 6 hours total; I could do the next one in about four, though.
    The kit should cost you around $200.
    Good luck!
  • gregb5gregb5 Posts: 82
    The place you describe as a possible fog lamp installation location is designed for tow hooks, which the dealer sells as an accesory.
    See my earlier post regarding a kit available from the delaer to install the fog lights that are standard on the EB and Limited models.
    It's possible that you could mount fog lamps in the lower tow hook location, but you'd probably have to fabricate a bracket to mount them to. The frame is there and there are holes pre-drilled for the tow hooks so it shouldn't be too difficult if you're good at that sort of thing.
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