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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • rysterryster Posts: 564

    I have the factory foglights on my '00 Explorer. The '97 was the last year of the rectangular fogs, with '98 - '01 models having the larger round units. The round units are superb. I find them very effective in rain and snow. They are also very useful during deer season as they illuminate the shoulder of the road very well and make deer that may be crossing the road show up much better at night. Mine operate with just the parking lights on, as do my parents '00 Mountaineer, which still has the rectangular units; Mercury kept those through the '01 model year. They are very good as well.

    My goal is to swap the headlight bulbs for the brighter halogen bulbs that are available (not the HID's or those cool blue/bluevision things, just the 30% brighter 9007 bulbs). The stock bulbs are OK but they could stand to be a little brighter.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    The post 97 explorers and mountaineers have fog lamps that are brighter and operate independently of the headlights.. but you do need the parking lights on.

    One thing to keep in mind, and I leaned this the hard way, is that installing brighter bulbs in Ford factory fixtures can cause them to melt, because the brighter bulbs put out more heat. I ruined my taillamp lenses when I replaced the stock backup lights with brighter ones.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    That's rather disturbing that doing something as routine as installing brighter bulbs can cause melting of the fixtures! I had planned on installing the Sylvania hi-Visibility halogens (9007HV), but now I am somewhat reluctant if it means I would have to eventually buy new headight fixtures due to melting. Ford needs to get their act together. These are things that we, as the vehicle owners, should not have to worry about. If I want brighter bulbs I should be able to install them wih no problems. Oh well, thanks for the warning!
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    It really isn't a problemn with Ford, but most/all manufacturers. The harnesses are design to work with certain wattage bulbs. I know of several people that have melted harnesses by upping the wattage of the bulbs, not just Ford customers.

    This doesn't help you at all, but don't only blame Ford. A Toyota or Honda would/may do the same thing.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    PIAA lamps (9007) in my 2000 Sable...the light sure improved, but am I in danger of melting the system???...the stock bulbs, for the first time, were so inadequate that it was difficult to see at Intrepid stock lamps are I throw out the PIAAs and my $80?????
  • zman3zman3 Posts: 857
    Do you know what the wattage is of the old bulbs and new bulbs?
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    Both a standard 9007 halogen and the HiVisibility 9007HV bulbs are rated at 110W. I assume there would be no problems if that is the case. Even the BlueVision/Cool Blue (9007 BV/CB)bulbs are rated at 110W.

    Not sure what the PIAA's are rated at...
  • I picked up my new 2002 explorer on 10-22-2001. The day we bought it the left rear hatch door striker was out of alignment and the arm popped off. They had to reset the left side brackets and it worked fine for a month and on 11-26-01 I had to take it back in for the same thing. It worked fine for a month and on Christmas day the whole rear window broke into a million pieces. My Ford dealer is refusing to fix it saying that they are not responsible for broken glass. Although my insurance company is taking care of it, I still feel this is a Ford issue and would like to know if anyone else is have this type of problem?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    they are rated at 110/100 watts (not 100/110, but 110/100)...the store guy said they put out about 1.5 to 2 times the light of standard bulbs...never said anything about the heat, though, and I never considered the possibility of anything melting or 110W too much??? ...I have no idea what the standard bulb wattage or heat may be...any thoughts???
  • I have owned my 02 Mountaineer for about 6 mo. I always play the stereo and have not noticed a strange noise until recently. When the stereo is off I can hear a click noise coming from the glove box area everytime a step on the brakes. The click takes place everytime the brake ights come on and clicks again when I remove my foot off the brake. It is pretty noticeable. I don't want to waste time going to dealer if this is occuring on all vehicles. Anyone else experience?
  • My guess is that a relay is being actuated by the brake switch to operate lights, etc. Mine makes similar noises.
  • Thanks for the advice. I am familiar with a few truck shops. I'll see if they carry the PIAA lamps.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Posts: 386
    eweygrin - I don't a answer to your question but I do know what your saying. I get the same clicking sound when I step on the brakes off my Ford Contour, especially on very cold days.
  • I am getting ready to order a '02 XLT and because of all the publicity about rollovers, etc. have been wondering whether a wider than normal tire would be of any benefit. Any thoughts?
  • There was a technical service bulletin a few months back concerning improperly aligned latches causing the tailgate glass to shatter.Sounds to me like your dealer is trying to feed you B.S. .I would mention the TSB to your dealer and if they still refuse to replace the glass under warranty I would go to the regional Ford rep. Turning this in to your insurance may cause your rates to go up.And you may have to pay a deductable.All because of a defect by Ford. You shouldn't have to pay!! good luck!!!
  • The changes is suspension, stance, and increasing the tires to 16" from 15" have all made the Explorer more steady on its feet. The Explorer, though, was really not that rollover prone to begin with. This has been shown in studies of rollover statistics among SUVs (per capita). Of course there will probably be more TOTAL Explorer rollovers, because for the last 7 years there have been over 300,000 sold per year.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Wider tires will not change the Center of Gravity. So although it may provide a little heavier base the handling may be an offset to any improvement that provides. Back in February Ford said they would put stability control into the mid year 2002 Explorer, but still don't see them talking about release, might want to get a dealer to send in an inquiry about availabilty. This provides yaw control, skid prevention using the antilock brake system. If you don't skid, it is less likely you will leave the roadway which is where the rollover issue begins in most cases. Good luck.
  • jayp4jayp4 Posts: 2
    Ordered a 2002 Merc Mountaineer,V-6, 2WD, fully loaded exc moon roof back in mid May. Vehicle arrived early Sept, approx 2 mos later than projected.Here are my observations after 4500 mi and 3 mos of operation. My previous vehicle (& frame of reference) was a 95 Grand Cherokee,4x4, V-8 which I greatly enjoyed owning exc for the horrible reliability.
    My special requirement is towing a 3500 lb boat/trailer rig.The V-6 has ample power for pulling the rig on the flatlands of central fla and there has not been any problem hauling the boat out of a very steep ramp( ordered the lim slip differential with a 3.73 axle). However, if the boat was much heavier or if I trailing in hilly or mountainous terrain then the V-8 would be better. In the meantime, I'm enjoying 14-15 mpg hauling the rig and 18-20 mpg on the highway w/o the rig.That's more than a 20% improvement over my Grand Cherokee.
    There's lots more space than the G. C. and the ride is considerably better. An unexpected bonus is the turning radius is smaller than the G. C. despite a 8" longer wheelbase. Have not had any of those strange transmission sounds previously reported on this board. Engine is incredibly smooth and quiet and has plenty of power for accelerating w/o the rig.The exterior finish is nearly flawless, only 1 tiny blemish that's real hard to find. The interior quality and layout is almost on par with the G.C. Main 2 shortfalls which need improvement are: when all the back seats are folded down,the rear cargo area slopes to the rear and large holes exist betw the seats which swallow up grocery bags.Sort of a minor inconvenience which can be easily corrected. The message center/display is somewhat small and difficult to read when sunlight is coming from over your shoulder.The vehicle when equipped with luxury package and the upgraded stereo is extremely rich in features. As best I can tell it's the eqivalent of the Eddie Bauer Explorer, only $1500-2000 less for the same stuff.The vehicle has not had any problems and overall the performance has been great. Only hope the reliability holds up.
    Bought the vehicle from Pompano Lincoln Mercury in Pompano Beach because they had the best price in Fla. What I didn't know was that their service would be so good, simply outstanding. They did exactly what they promised, no games, highly professional, reliable, thorough,etc. Quite a contrast to my experience in central fla. The 2 1/2 hour drive was more than worth it.THe LM zone manager was also very helpful in dealing with the 2 month delay. A final thanks to the hosts of this message board. I heavily relied on info from this site and board to make my decisions and I'm obviously happy with the results!
  • In regards to the large holes between the 2nd and 3rd rows when folded, there should be a sliding panel on the back of the third row seat. Slide it forward when the seat is folded and it very effectively covers the holes. If yours is missing this panel then you need to talk to your dealer.
  • I received the Mountaineer I described in message 419 yesterday. Very happy so far. Took just under 9 weeks for delivery. Just have a few minor things for the dealer to take care of. Very happy with the V6. I had read in some reviews that it is noisy, but I haven't found that to be the case in the day we've had it.
  • As you may recall from my previous posts, in mid-November I purchased a new 2002 4WD XLT with V8, leather, towing package, single CD/cassette, etc. I've since put >3000 miles on this vehicle, and I'm happy to report that to date, this vehicle has simply been a gem to own and drive. I've not yet had ANY problems to bring to my dealer's attention, i.e., I don't have a legal pad in the truck which I'm filling up with bitches and complaints that need attention from my dealer-- glory-be! Indeed, my biggest problem is thinking-up more weekend road-trips in order to spend more time in my vehicle, as well as wishing for some heavy snow to play in!

    Thus far, I'm highly impressed with my new XLT, and I've especially fallen in love with the performance of the V8, 4-wheel disc brakes, Michelin Cross Terrains, suspension, transmission, handling, cruise control, power accessories, audio system, etc., as well as the quality fit-and-finish and comfort of the interior (and exterior). (You'll find no cheap-feeling, hollow-plastic, GM-like crap in this vehicle). It seems clear to me that the Ford design team spent a great deal of time thinking and re-thinking almost every nuance of this vehicle, and it shows. Furthermore, this vehicle is quite handsome, and I just keep getting genuinely nice comments from bystanders and passengers alike. And indeed, this is precisely the sort of experience that we as consumers should be enjoying for our hard-earned money-- that is, for what these vehicles cost, they SHOULD be of a quality and reliability that allows us to focus on simply enjoying and driving them with great satisfaction and peace-of-mind, rather than being forever dissatisfied and worried by them. I happen to be very finicky and "neurotic" (I'm a resident physician...), and thus far, my vehicle has been a jewel, and I would recommend this SUV most highly.

    In the past, I've had extensive time behind the wheels of a Honda Accord (awesome quality for the $$); a '95 Grand Cherokee (over-priced, small payload, notoriously unreliable, and an annoying in-out-in-out shifting of overdrive on up/down grades such as encountered on the acid-test-track of I-77 through West Virginia); as well as a '97 Explorer Sport, and for those of you who may still be undecided about this new Explorer, here's my arm-chair analysis of the Explorer:

    1) Past incarnations of the Explorer have been a cash-cow for Ford, and in the wake of the Firestone tire/?rollover problem, Ford surely recognized that even if the design of their older Explorers was not at fault in most cases, they could not risk endangering the ongoing sales of one of their main cash-cows, and thus, they redesigned this 2002 vehicle with a vengeance. Indeed, I suspect that with the totally redesigned 2002 Explorer, its current and prospective buyers may well be the beneficiaries of a sort of temporary windfall in which this SUV may currently be priced somewhat below what it's really worth in terms of the quality of its redesign. (In fact, I was initially planning on buying a $45,000.00 Toyota Sequoia Limited, but when I happened to inspect and test-drive a loaded 2002 Explorer XLT, I began to come to my senses...) At any rate, it would not surprise me if the prices for this new Explorer tend to go up as time goes on, IF there proves to be an ever-greater demand for this new vehicle once the word really gets out, if the market will then support higher asking prices;

    2) After owning a Honda Accord for many years, I often felt that American vehicles simply lacked the quality feel, and the fit-and-finish, of the better Japanese vehicles. To this day, I dislike GM products, and for a long time I held most American vehicles in contempt (very common for Honda and Toyota owners), but then later, my girlfriend's '97 Explorer began to change my mind. And more recently, when I inspected and drove the 2002 Explorer XLT (after having my heart set on a Sequoia), I was very impressed, so much so that I soon decided to opt for the loaded Explorer XLT, saving $15,000.00 over the Sequoia in the process, and lo' and behold, I still have money left over to continue to live well in other areas of life!

    3) Within two weeks of taking delivery of my new 2002 Explorer, I drove her down-and-back to Zionville, NC., and this included a long stretch of I-77 through WVa., and let me tell you, while traveling through the mountains of WVa, I never once had to take my V8 Explorer out of overdrive due to excessive shifting; in fact, the V8 pretty much "walked" up those steep grades without breaking a sweat, and the 5-speed automatic transmission rarely shifted down to a lower gear, and when it did, our coffee never spilled due to lurching;

    4) Let's face it, most truck-like SUVs have a much higher center-of-gravity than cars, and if we've spent most of our driving time in only a car, our driving habits had better change when we get behind the wheel of an SUV. I've had to learn this by experience with the Jeep GC and '97 Explorer (fortunately, none of which resulted in roll-overs, but damn-near...) It's as simple as this: Among those of us who grow-up driving only CARS, and who are often otherwise good drivers from a technical and instinctual standpoint, when faced with a sudden obstacle in our path, those many years of experience behind the wheel of a CAR may tend to instinctively prevail, and we may tend to instinctively JERK the wheel in order to avoid and steer out of the hazard, but if you apply those same reflexes while driving an SUV or truck (reflexes which often serve us well in a car), you may very well cause even the most stable, wide-stanced, and sure-footed SUV or truck, to teeter, or even to flip-over. In my opinion, when driving an SUV or pick-up truck, one must really revise their good driving skills, and this should especially include a renewed commitment to watching, reading, and ANTICIPATING the not only the road and traffic AHEAD, but also a constant and frequent checking of the REARVIEW mirrors. With SUVs, one must learn to constantly READ and MONITOR the fluidity of the surrounding traffic (rather like motorcyclists who wish to stay alive). If, while driving an SUV, you happen to be a foolish and aggressive driver who likes to tailgate and intimidate those in front of you who aren't going fast enough to suit you, AND you've recently acquired an SUV or truck, then you are an accident and possible felony just waiting to happen, and you are very likely to kill yourself and/or others. In my opinion, the safety reputation of the Explorer (and other SUVs) has been tarnished in part by the fact that too many of its drivers don't really have a clue as to how to best handle and drive such vehicles, since these vehicles are NOT cars, and too many SUV drivers seem unfortunately to be morons who like to tailgate, and seem to have no understanding of the concept of "maintaining a safe and clear distance ahead".
  • smith53smith53 Posts: 72
    if you install wider tires on both sides(surely you will) and use the same rims you will widen the track of the vehicle and lessen the chance of rollover provided these tires are not taller than the original tires
  • dcddcd Posts: 25
    I have only noticed positive comments about the V8 here, but if you read MT's SUV of the Year issue (where they chose the GMC Envoy), you would think the Explorer/Mountaineer's V8 was puny. It is listed as a "weak" point. Interestingly, the 3.5L V6 engine on the Isuzu Axiom is listed as a strong point. Also, the 0-60, 1/4 mi. times for the Explorer was on par with the Envoy and its inline 6 engine that MT raves about. Go figure.
  • I agree fully with the last couple of post's. I came from the Ford Windstar which felt very fast right off the line and fairly good passing. The V-8 X does feel slower at take off (it weigh's over 2 tons) but you get it spooled up and it will really hunker's down and goes! Passing and in the mountains of Colo. it just flat out moves!
    So MT has just not spent enough time in the seat of the X to fully appreciate the V-8.
  • In another discussion, kendall69 provided a link to a site that explains 4X4 systems. Being pretty unfamiliar with drive mechanics, I found it interesting and helpful. My question is, does anyone know what type of system Ford uses on the 2002? I have the 4.0L XLT with the 3.73 limited-slip axle.
  • I've been a happy EB 2002 owner for four months. I finally got around to turning the annoying autolock feature off. But now I notice the "THEFT" indicator light blinks whenever the ignition is off. Doesn't matter if the key is in or out or the doors are locked. It's possible it's been doing this all along and I just never noticed it. Anybody know anything about this?
  • Yep, mind always has.
  • mazman1mazman1 Posts: 229
    It relates to the PATS system for the ignition key. When the ignition key is out of the receptacle, the 'theft' light will blink.
  • Pretty much in agreement with you. Our 2002 XLT is our first Explorer or SUV for that matter. I don't know what past models were like but I'm extremely disapointed about the cheap front seat backs. I can't beleive you have to upgrade to a Limited or an EB to get adjustable head rests( I beleive I'm correct in saying this). I'm 5'10" and my head nearly clears the seat back. I hope I'm never hit from the rear in this truck. I have no beef with paying up for luxary, but in my opinion this is a simple safety feature. You will find this feature in 9 out of 10 vehicles on the road no matter how many extras are on the vehicle.
  • I must admit, when I entered the above response I had not completly read your last entry. I apologize. As a first time SUV owner your comments have and will continue to be very helpful. Thank you for the good advice.
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