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Ford Explorer Mercury Mountaineer 2005 and earlier



  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I'm enjoying the discourse even though the owners may be getting bored stiff (and we are pushing the edge of being on topic).

    Personally, I just like to see more in the way of back up than "based on input from engineers." Not that I don't believe you, and just because it's on the net doesn't mean it's true, but I'd like to see some more in the way of back-up documentation or explanation. So feel free to offer it up, and we'll wrap it up in time to return to the usual commentary in here when the regulars and would be owners get back from holiday.

    And I am a bit confused - are you ok that some transmissions do adapt for different drivers, just not the ones in the Explorer?

    Steve, Host
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    Ordering a new Explorer/Mountaineer now is one of the worst financial decisions you can make. By December they will be rebated up the wazzoo. You'll be paying THOUSANDS of dollars MORE to have one of the first ones. Not to mention the "bugs" that early vehicles of a major revision tend to incur.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    It's very easy to obtain back up. ANT, with his insider knowledge of FOMOCO, only has to pick up the phone & call Transmission Engineering in Livonia. I look forward to his report on the call.

    It does appear that some transmissions adapt for different drivers. I've been addressing the false claim that Explorer transmissions do.

    Unless more misinformation appears, I'm done with this topic.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    hmmm, you're the one disputing the claim. Contrary evidence has been raised. The ball's back in your court to put your position forward - you can't expect others to do that work for you.

    Steve, Host
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Maybe lateralg is not differentiating between the transmission itself and the transmission controls. The mechanical box does not have any ability to adjust, but the software in the control computer apparently does.
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    "but the software in the control computer apparently does."

    The software does adjust, but NOT to the driver. It leaves the plant with optimal shift duration data stored in memory. As the computer experiences shifts, it compares the actual duration of the shift with optimum. It adjusts engagement and release timing and pressures to bring the shift duration closer to optimum. This can take several occurrences of a given shift before optimum timing is achieved. Note that a "given shift" is much more than a 1-2 shift. It's a 1-2 shift at various throttle openings and RPM. Same is true for the 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-4,4-3,3-2,2-1, N-D, R-D shifts.

    A big reason for this strategy is that the transmission automatically adjusts for clutch and band wear as the vehicle ages.

    Please do not attempt to twist the above into any resemblance of adapting to DRIVER habits. It simply does not!

    Steve, the only way I know to do what you propose is to post the name and number of an engineer at Transmission Engineering in Livonia. That isn't appropriate.

    If ANT14 has the inside track that's implied in his posts, then he can get the correct information with no more than 3 phone calls.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "Steve, the only way I know to do what you propose is to post the name and number of an engineer at Transmission Engineering in Livonia. That isn't appropriate."

    Considering Ford monitors these boards (and I know that as a fact). I wouldn't recommend posting such information. Fords legal representatives will get the information, issue a "John Doe" search and discovery towards Edmunds to release the IP of the person posting the claim, then file another search and discovery towards the IP provider, track down the informants stating such claims, and they can actually lose their jobs and face legal recourse for stating such claim which otherwise they wouldn't be able to release because it's considered insider espionage.

    Specially considering it's information that can be detrimental over an issue in technnology Ford has claimed for many years to have offered, has included information over it to the media and boasted over it, mention it in the owner's manual, etc.... which could lead to private lawsuits on the side of Explorer owners. And all this because one or 2 engineers conclude otherwise.

    So it's best to let the issue rest at this point without opening Pandora's Box....
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    This seems to be getting bogged down a bit in semantics. The transmission won't shift period without a driver putting the Explorer in gear and driving off. I suppose you could link to the applicable patents, but those things are too dense to figure out anyway.

    Ok, if I take my tranny in for a reflash, the optimal shift duration data will get changed and the tranny will take a while to adjust. If I disconnect the battery to cause the tranny to relearn, aggressive or mild driving will just affect the time it takes for the tranny to figure out the optimal shift duration, based on throttle and rpm stuff. Or am I putting words in your mouth?

    I think we're about done here...

    Steve, Host
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929

    You nailed it, Steve.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    Today I was riding as a front passenger in our 2003 Mountaineer. I noticed about ankle level there is a groove in the plastic kick panel that says "Fuel Reset" or something like that. What the heck is it?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    I believe that is the reset for a sensor that turns the fuel off from the gas tank in the event of a accident or rollover. I have heard cases where it "trips" if you go over a "washboard dirt road".
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    What Chuck said.

    Although I haven't heard of rough road tripping.
  • Neither have I.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Theoretically, I have heard of it, but I've never heard of it actually happening to anybody. I've only seen one trip after a collision or rollover
  • The fuel reset is on the fuel shut off switch, it is an interia switch that activates on impact or roll over, very much like an airbag sensor. Vibration should never set it off.
  • kc_flynnkc_flynn Posts: 45
    We just cracked the 10,000 mile mark on our 2004 Explorer XLS Sport 4x4. We've had it since September. Both my wife and I are HUGE fans of the Explorer. Roomy, nice ride, good power, easy to access dashboard buttons and controls.

    After driving Hondas and Toyotas, this was our first Ford, and we have been very impressed.
  • KC, LOVE your post! My wife and I feel the same way, we LOVE our Explorers!
    1997 Ford Explorer XLT 137,000 miles
    2000 Ford Explorer XLT 101,000 miles
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Said it before, will repeat it again - IMO, the Explorer has been, and continues to be the best SUV in its class all around. Others may specialize and excel in those specialties, but Explorer does everything quite well for a good value. And I've had great performance from all of mine. A 94, 97, 98, 02, & 04. I recently helped my neighbor buy a 4Runner. I test drove it. Sadly, I wouldn't trade it for my Mountaineer. It's way too trucky, too hard to steer, the floor is too high, you can't see over the hood, the controls are very hard to understand, and it's expensive. :confuse:
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Nvbanker - the 4Runner also lacks many of the interior lights on switches and so forth which the Explorer and other Ford vehicles have. The 4Runner is quiet, but expensive, and the solid rear axle is primitive and rough-riding. The 2006 Explorer will be even further ahead of the Toyota / Lexus products.

    Toyota is vulnerable due to their cheapness - the solid axle is cheaper than an independent rear suspension. If Ford would step up and use the same tool which has helped Hyundai - a 10 year / 100,000 mile warranty, I think they could easily take customers away from Toyota and Honda in segments such as SUVs where they have good products.

    For those who are interested in my attempt to sell my '02 Mountaineer, an update: I have had one low baller who thought my '02 Mountaineer would only be worth $8,000 to $9,000, and one caller who offered $10,000 sight unseen, but wanted to pay with a check. Other than that, just three or four callers who saw the signs on it when we were driving and who were disinterested after finding out it has 93,000 one-owner high way miles. I will give it time, but if it does not sell, try to go to a swap meet, or just keep it several more years and use it to drive to demolition sites and other places where the minivan might be too low.
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    That will never happen. Can you imagine Ford having to repair for free all the stuff that happens to their vehicles after 36,000 miles. They'd be broke in a year (or at least a year sooner than they are already going broke). I own a 2003 Mountaineer and LOVE the vehicle. So I am not a Ford basher per se. But let's be real folks, the initial quality may have improved slightly, but Fords are no competition for Toyota and Honda, who are eating it's lunch. And as for long term durability, most Fords disintegrate between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles...or will cost the owner two arms and two legs to keep going beyond that. Sure, you'll post exceptions but in the real world most Hondas and Toyotas go 150,000 to 200,000 miles without too much hassle while Fords, in general, only go half as far with no hassle.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    As an owner of a '02 Explorer--As much as I hate to, I have to agree with you. My '02 has been a pretty good vehicle. But the transmission solenoid has been replaced, the power window motor replaced, various squeaks and rattles, (some fixed-some not "found") the leather is terrible. And I have a axle whine that the dealer says "he has heard much worse" between 55mph and 65mph. This made it necessary for me to purchase the 75,000 miles "Basic Care Ford Warranty". I have told all who are considering a purchase of one of these vehicles to at least get the "extended power train warranty" that will cover the rear end. Of course, there is no-way I am going to keep this car past the 75,000 mile warranty. You would have to be crazy to! Why do American car makers settle for mediocrity?
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    The question is why do WE CONSUMERS settle? And the answer is that more and more we are not. Why do you think GM and FORD are teetering on the edge while Toyota and Honda have record profits? Again, I own a Ford and felt that the DESIGN of the current bodystyle Explorer/Mountaineer was superior than anything around. And at 36000 miles I have to admit that this Mountaineer has not had the defects that we saw in our old 1999 Explorer. But if it does fall apart after the warranty (just went over 36K), I'll buy a Honda Pilot next time as the design is very close. GM and FORD (and DCX although diluted since Daimler bot it) don't have the corporate culture to fix the problems it seems. And it's a downward spiral as losses mount, there is less and less money for development and quality improvement, thus leading to yet more sales losses. I hope for the sake of the American economy that things turn around, but it looks grim for both Ford and GM. Meantime, keep on truckin!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,855
    what kind of maintenance schedule do you use? my fords are pretty good if you keep up with it.i have to agree with you that the explorer/mounty is just a terrific design. i have an '02 explorer with 44k on it. still original tires and brakes, axle hum at 50-52 mph. if you have a good vehicle, quit hoping it's going to fail!
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Wow! I can't believe my eyes!

    "And as for long term durability, most Fords disintegrate between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles..."

    I am sorry to say that I sorely disagree with you guys. I've never had a Ford "Disinigrate". Every Ford Explorer that I have bought has had over 100,000 miles or almost 100,000 miles on them, and they were and are excellent vehicles. I also drive the vehicles hard, with a heavy foot, so they have to be strong.

    1991 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L V6 - Great vehicle - the only problem was weak auto transmission. Bought at 100,000 miles, Sold at 160,000 miles

    1993 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L V6- Great vehicle - the only problem was weak auto transmission. Bought at 112,000 miles, Totaled at 176,000 miles.

    1997 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8 - Great vehicle - No problems. Bought at 98,000 miles 2/2002, drives great, will continue to drive it until 2006.

    2000 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0L V8 - Great vehicle - No problems. Bought at 99,000 miles 3/2005, drives great, will continue to drive it until 2011.

    These are superb vehicles, but the trick is you have to do lots of intense research to understand the pro and cons of each vehicle, I shop for what I need and what is the most reliable vehicle with the most reliable powertrain. It is mostly a matter of researching for what NOT to buy. Also, I am not like most of you guys, as I am a little out of place here, being a mechanic and I do my own work. Most of you have to deal with the hassle of having to argue with the dealer to get your cars fixed. I can't waste my time arguing with anybody or waiting on anybody. If my car has a problem, a squeak, a knock, a thump, or whatever, I just fix it and it is done, no hassle. If you buy the RIGHT vehicle, you don't have to repair the major items like engines and transmissions. I use only the best synthetic lubricants, and perform and keep all maintenance up to date. Preventive maintenance is your best defense against unwanted breakdowns and repairs. I'm not scared of a 100,000 mile car, if fact, that is what I prefer. But I can understand your fear of the unknown, you are thinking, Will this thing get me to where I want to go? Or will this thing cost me an arm and a leg down the road? I believe the answer is that a well researched and well maintained vehicle will get you where you want to go and NOT cost you an arm and a leg down the road. But it helps a lot if you can do you own work, at least the light stuff anyway, like spark plugs, batteries, alternators, starters, brakes and general service. Leave the A/C and engine diagnosis to the Pros. I keep my eye on all the new developments, I hear of problems with the sprockets going bad on the V8's with the variable valve timing, at least I read that on the F150 site. Who knows, maybe my next car will be a hybrid! It just depends on what my needs are and what is the best thing out there the next time I'm ready to buy, but I've got a long time to do that research.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "And as for long term durability, most Fords disintegrate between 75,000 miles and 100,000 miles..."

    Hey Daryl,
    You know you could very well be correct. Maybe they won't fall apart long term. But Ford continues to do "cost cutting" and some of the initial and widespread problem(s) (the rear-ends for example) don't bode well for having long-term confidence in this vehicle. I really like my '02. However, I have doubts with long-term realiabiltiy! Don't forget, all of the vehicles you have listed above are a different "animal" from the redesign '02 on up. I have not had any trouble (41K miles) with the SOHC V6, but man that motor is LOUD and CRUDE! :)
  • daryll44daryll44 Posts: 307
    is age in months/years. A vehicle that is driven 100,000 miles in 3 years will probably be in better shape than a vehicle driven 100,000 over 10 years. Certain parts deteriorate as a function of use (shocks, for instance) and other parts deteroriate primarily as a function of time (seals and battery for instance). I think for purposes of discussion, however, normally we are referring to vehicles that are driven the "normal" 10,000 to 15,000 miles per year.
  • Just lost the second rear window in my new mountaineer (3400 mi) while parked over night in a fenced parking lot. Any one else having problems with the lift gate window shattering for no appearent reason. My only guess is the temperature change (50 at night and 90 during the day). I have heard of this before but twice in the last two months is unreal. So far the insurance co and the dealer have been of no help. I have no reason to suspect vandleism
  • lateralglateralg Posts: 929
    Tempered glass is intolerant of even tiny nicks in the edges, as well as moderate impacts by very sharp, small objects. When you get this one replaced, carefully inspect all the edges & the mounts. I suspect damage during installation of the second one.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    My 2002 Mountaineer came from the factory with three defects - a pinched fuel tank vent hose, a mark in the paint, and a rear differential which had been improperly assembled (it was singing loundly after just a few thousand miles). All were corrected promptly, and all would have been covered under any warranty. Since then, one small $25 idler pully on the front of the engine was replaced at 90-some thousand miles. That is it. It is radically more reliable than the 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS it replaced, and is significantly better than the 1994 Thunderbird we had.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    My 2002 Mountaineer came from the factory with three defects - a pinched fuel tank vent hose, a mark in the paint, and a rear differential which had been improperly assembled (it was singing loundly after just a few thousand miles).

    It's really amazing what we as owners settle for. We all know about the rear differential. I don't think the other two items should have ever gotten past the"QC" at the point of assembly! Just my thoughts......
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