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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I'll use my engineering friends advice, ALWAYS go with the highest/largest possible engine. In the end, it'll last you longer (being it works much less), and fuel milage wise, the EALITY DATA: for the fuel mileage for the V6 will be the same with the V8, and this is from personal experience.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, I can tell ya, I sure miss the V-8's I had in our prior 2 Mountaineers. I got the six in the 02, only because we bought the first one the dealer took delivery of (right off his patio), and the 8's were not yet available at the time. Thought it would be ok. My wife doesn't care, and it's really her car, so it is ok, but when I drive, it, I hate it. Next one, if there is one, will have the 8.
  • fx4fx4 Posts: 72
    Thanks to all for the subsequent comments.
  • I got my Mountaineer stuck this weekend, and it surprised me that the 4X4 is the same drive train that is on the Explorer. I have an 02 Mountaineer and I used to own a 91 Explorer. When I got stuck the front wheel was no use, so the back wheel spun on the drivers side, and the front wheel on the passenger side spun (it was in the air, I was in a bad way). The dealer told me this was a different 4X4 system, fully automatic that would detect slippage on one side of the axle and engage the other side. That isn't how it works! In reverse the passenger side rear wheel and driver side front wheel are in gear, the other two don't provide any movement. In forward its the other two. It's the same as the Explorer without the control knobs. Has anyone else run into this? Is there something I could have done to make the wheel on the other side engage?
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I have heard the 02 mounties had an AWD/lockup-4WD drive system, it became an option this year on the exploder. still don't think it's 50/50 system, front I understand is still about 30% of max power and rears 100 to 70 % max power.

    if you were in lockup, you may have spun two wheels, front and rear, but the other two should have been pulling at the same rate.

    so either that was an optional drive on the 02, or I got suckered when I asked about it.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,781
    my new gen explorer with towing package, defaults to an awd system that is mostly rear drive. when the rear wheels spin the fronts kick in. there are 3 buttons: 4x4 auto, 4x4 high, 4x4 low.
    have v8 with 3.73 rear end, average between 15-18 mpg. don't think a v6 can get bewteen 19-22.
    nvbanker; am i interpreting wrong?
    vacation trips with thule box on the roof rack, four bicycles out back(didn't want to write 4 bikes, some would have thought 4 harleys), 4 people and all that stuff for a week, are a piece of cake at any speed you care to drive.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • I was told the rear had a lock up when one side spun. This isn't how it works. I don't know how to engage the lockup, but a spinning wheel on the other side would seem to be the perfect time to do it. Put the Explorer in auto drive and that's what the Mountaineer has, only no button to control it. Believe me, both of the rear tires don't spin before the front tires spin. One rear tire spins, then one front tire spins. I would love it both the back tires would engage. It's really a two wheel drive system, one wheel in back, if that one slips, it engages one wheel in front.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    just put straight gear oil in them. then you will be able to lay rubber until you shred your shift servoes, and spin on sand all day long.

    every vehicle I have seen or heard of, though, that has a locking diff also has a demand control to lock and unlock it. that's because you are creating a seriously different type of wheel geometry, and if you are locked up and taking turns, you are going to scrape rubber, hop the outer wheels and have control problems, or push the tire over the rim on the outside if you're going too fast, and roll overs result.

    the reason is that you cut different-diameter arcs during a turn with the inside and outside wheels. this makes the wheels run at different speeds. locked axles can't do that. before the differential, which was built to allow the outer wheel to slip against its drive force when it couldn't follow the same arc as the inside wheel, you had tire life issues from scrubbing as well as scummy rubber... as well as control issues at speed in turns. LS diffs allow some drive power to the "other" wheel when one of the wheels starts spinning freely. the half-shafts of the front drive should be on an LS diff if your backs are. I don't know if any of the front diffs are standard, not LS. I do know I had nasty fluid in both front and rear, and needed LS friction modifier in both of mine.

    if you don't have the extra switches, you have the standard AWD, I fear. limited-slip on the rear axle was an option on my 2000, and without that as well as the front drive, you can indeed get into a one-wheel pull situation with only one underpowered front wheel running some percentage of 30% of the max power of the drivetrain.

    I would ask the dealer 'zactly what's up on this. if you're supposed to have the LS axle, drain and refill with the correct 4-ounce tube of friction modifier added, and have the front diff and transfer case checked as well.
  • I got an excellent deal on my mountaineer. Got roughly 10,500-11,500k in rebates with a fixed rate. Ended up paying somewhere to the tune of 26-27k out the door for a V8 premier. <<

    Can you elaborate? How's does the 10-11K in rebates break down? I qualify for GM supplier and have a $1000 Olds owner rebate. If I can get one at the prices you are saying, I'll go down there tomorrow.
  • Greetings,

    Was just quoted $36,5XX (MSRP is $41,XXX)for a 2K3 Explorer Limited with:

    Entertainment system

    Pretty much fully loaded. Will be taking the 0% financing. Color is pearl white. Is this a good deal?

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    almost got it, but there was rail rash on top of the drivers door on the one I looked at, and didn't want to play in that sandbox. also, pearl touch-ups are the devil if you get scratches and chips, it's a directional paint.

    sounds like a standard no-discounts deal to me, IMHO, but that's the modern price of what I paid in 2000 because of some extras that came with the dealer I bought from... lifetime loaners, no-screw policies, competent help, and a good service and parts operation. with the 0 percent, that's acceptable. for June. I would expect another couple thousand off at least for EOY.

    on the other hand, the V8 is a good engine and not stocked in depth by dealers, and the factory entertainment system is probably also a limited option... they figure this one's a cream puff and may not move on the price.

    depends on how much you like it, I guess... there are better deals, but maybe you won't find an equivalent car in your area.

    one thought... the other reason I didn't take the pearl 2000 was that it had the auto-leveling suspension. that's a cool option if you carry loads... until it breaks. it's way pricey to fix, and that's while the parts are availiable for the first few years. after that, you ride funny forever, or you refit it to the non-auto suspension. figure 3 to 5 years and if the parts are still there, you are in for over a thousand bucks on this gizmo. upwards of 500 dollars if you have to backfit it.
  • jcat707jcat707 Posts: 168
    I'm going to look at some Explorers tomorrow. Are there any pros or cons for the explorer? What should I look out for?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    No cons to look for. Get the V-8 if you want to have some fun driving it.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if you figure on ever towing, also get the factory trailering package. great car, best I've had (mine's a 2000 limited)
  • My 17 year old son purchased a 2000 Mountaineer this weekend as it fits his interests of snowboarding and mountain biking.

    Yesterday my wife was speaking to someone who highly recommended that he should not have made the purchase because of the following issues:

    Differential leaks; Transmission slippage; Front suspension linkages weak and tank issues. Can anyone give an opinion as to whether we should be worried? We can BUY a 3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty from Ford for $1500, should we?


  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Which engine, is it 4x4?
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    What kind of mileage?
  • It has the V8 and is an AWD with less than 39,000.

  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    You shouldn't have any issues. Typically someone's advice pertaining to a specific vehicle is based on common sense. Example: SUV + towing + rough work + AWD = Strain on AWD and Tranny. This is like someone buying an Econoline van to transport people, can easily warn them about tranny, high fuel consumption, etc. Because it's the most common items that will be overused.

    Since it's AWD, it puts more strain onto the drivetrain, but in reality the Explorer/Mounty's aren't known for such issues. And are quite reliable compared to the competition. I would say a "KNOWN" issue would be like Ford's 3.8L V6 with the head-gasket issues of years ago, or the Aerostar's nasty sounding power steering pump. But as Explorer's/Mounty's go, you should be ok.

    Of course peace of mind always helps, and if you wish to purchase an extended warranty through Ford, it'll pay itself after the first issue. I personally would NOT because the vehicle is troublesome, but because it's pre-owned and I would have NO idea what the previous owner did to it. As for my vehicles I get rid of, I pitty the person since I over abuse my vehicles.

    Overall it was a smart purchase (specially the V8) so don't be too concerned.
  • okmomokmom Posts: 37
    I have less than 30,000 miles on this 2000 suv.
    They are non-city normal suburban/highway miles.
    We were told we need new ones.
    Is this normal for 30k miles?
    what is the typical RANGE of miles before new ones?
  • As far as the warranty goes, I would definately purchase it! I did and between 40-50,000 it came in handy. My front transfer/differential/bearings needed to be replaced and was all covered by the extended warranty. you can pay $1500 like you stated or you can purchase it direct for as little as $800-$900. The web site is, it lets you choose your deductable options...Hope this helped!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Ford ESP is a very good warranty service, I say go with that one.

    OKMOM: As for brake pads, I would say yes it's time for them to be replaced. My pads wear out on my LS at 20-25K only because I'm an aggresive driver. Obviously if your dealing with hills, or aggresive situations, it tends to wear down. But from what I see in other friends vehicles (non-Ford related) it's usually around the 30-35K mark as well.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    if you don't, it didn't cost more than a few car washes a year (assuming you own 'em 6 to 10 years like I do.) alternative is to save an "awshucks" fund of 5000 to 8000 dollars as fast as you can, and if you don't dip into it, that plus your trade goes a long way towards a new car. for me, the warranty was my security blanket.

    it should be a good truck, my 2000 limited exploder has been a solid performer with a couple tows on it.

    as for brakes... I had to do 'em around 22K, and I'm going to have to do 'em again before 50K even with the ceramic pads. that's just life, I'm not that aggressive a driver (I do leave witnesses alive behind me,) but brakes wear. beats having the famous old-time GM brakes that "never die, but just fade away...."
  • Hey guys:
    I now own a 2003 Ford explorer xlt it haves 20k miles so far no problems to report. I used to have a 2002 which i totaled and im alive thanks to the explorer. That 2002 had 42k miles and i never replaced the pads. dont know why they lasted so long because i do a lot of city driving wich means lot of breaking. im 20 k on the new one and brakes dont show age either.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    I'm kind of dictatorish on brakes and steering... ACHTUNG! Zhere Vill Be Nein Raum Fur Errrrorrr Mit Ze Brakes, JA! I could get oil changes for fourteen bucks, but I keep going to the dealer's quick lane, where they have color-coded width gauges to judge the pad thickness with. that way, every yutz who started this week is going to be able to warn me if my pads are getting dangerous, and most techs will accurately let me know when they're starting to thin out into that marginal area.

    the small extra cost is marginal compared to being uninformed.

    any good competent mechanic should be doing this, so if you've found one by now, ask to be sure he's checking each time.

    glad the car sacrificed itself for you. exploders really are nicely built, and I wish my 2000 had the curtain air bags the new ones offer.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    As I've posted many times on many boards, we're on our 3rd Mountaineer, so obviously, we like 'em. I think they're the best mid-sized SUV on the road, and I especially like the V-8.

    I agree with ANT on both getting the warranty because it is used, and on getting the Ford ESP. I have had great experience with it.

    These trucks aren't "known" for specific weaknesses. They are machines, and they break occasionally, but the majority in my experience, will run for a couple hundred thousand miles with routine maintenance and little else.

    Your mileage may vary.....
  • I just bought a 2003 Explorer XLT with the single CD stereo system. One thing I've noticed is that every time I get in the car, the radio station displays rather than the current time. This is annoying to me and I was wondering if there is a way to default it to display the time? I looked in the manual but didn't see anything. Can anyone help me? Thank you!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That isn't normal, so some display default has been overridden inadvertantly, I'd guess. BUT, I have not idea how to de-program them.
  • It is normal for the station to display for a short time after startup, then it should switch to the clock. If it doesn't, try pushing the button marked "clock". That will switch it, maybe for good!
  • okmomokmom Posts: 37
    Thanks guys for your opinions.
    Okay, we are getting new brake pads.
    Do we have to go to the dealer?
    How about the local mechanic who seems honest or how about the national chain brake shops?

    Is there any brake pads better than others?
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