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Ford Explorer Sport Trac - IV



  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    My ST passed 10,000 miles and 9 months a little while back. The ST has been super reliable and very enjoyable to own. The only maintenance that has been performed has been oil changes and tire rotation. The vehicle has been thru 115 degree temps in Palm Springs, 20 degree temps in the mountains, has endured Los Angeles traffic jams and always comes back for more.

    The vehicle has been very enjoyable to own, very versitle and fun to drive.

    If you enjoyed the test drive, I think you will probably enjoy owning one too.
  • xsexse Posts: 66
    i test drove one tonight and was blown away. maybe i wasnt expecting that much but it is solid, smooth and really, really nice.
    the only downside is that a 4x4 is $30,000- which is alot for a pickup without alot of ground clearance. a few questions for you lucky owners:

    1. what do you owners use the bed for? one of my concerns is that the bed maybe too small to be really useful- how are you guys using them?

    2. i only sat in the leather ones, how is the fabric interior- durable or wears soon?

    3. has anyone changed out the tires? i said i did not want firestone tires and the dealer seemed reluctant to swap out.

    4. anything i should look out for when doing the 'test drive' and tire kicking?

    5. do any of you go off-road? how does it perform?

    6. is the tow pkg worth it or should i just get a hidden hitch-type aftermarket?

    7. it is very long (over 200 inches) do any of you find it difficult in shopping pkg, city pkg, etc?

    thank you in advance for responses!
  • I own a black 2WD ST.
    1. What do I use the bed for? First, I bought an after market fiberglass cover for it so that I can use it as a giant "trunk" - perfect for fitting all the "stuff" required by our baby when we travel. Also perfect for getting most large consumer purchases to the house - anything not longer than 5 feet or so (like trips to Sam's Club, etc.). I also use it for hauling yard items to and from the house. With the cargo cage I was able to fit 8 very large yard bags full of leaves.

    2. Fabric interior: have not had any wear on mine, and stains came out well. I've had mine for 6 months now.

    3. Tires: I bought my ST 3 days before the recall in August 99, and it had non-recalled Wilderness AT's. I complained in my Ford purchase survey and to the dealer about it and was put on a list in October. It took until today, but the dealer just put 5 Goodyear Wrangler HT's on it for no charge. I got 5000 free (but uneasy) miles out of the Firestones. Stick to your guns on the tires if you don't want Firestone.

    4. I did not have any of the defects mentioned in these postings. I did fail to notice a loose speaker wire on on speaker!

    7. I do not have any problem parking or going around town with it, and my prior car was a small Civic.

    I highly recommend the ST after 6 months of trouble free usage and counting.
  • I've had my Sport Trac since September and have had NO problems. I am VERY pleased with everything [4X4, Leather, Audio, Comfort, etc].

    Much to my surprise, I have never had a problem fitting anything into the bed. I recently bought a new kitchen table and 4 chairs; they all fit fine. Even moreso, I moved a queen mattress set just fine.

    Also, 4-wheel drive has been VERY beneficial this winter (in the midwest). But before winter came, I wanted to test it out myself. I drove down a very steep and muddle hillside on our property. I hadn't been down it in a while, and soon realized that the bottom of the hillside had been washed-out. I didn't have enough room to turn around and thought I was doomed. Of course 4-wheel drive was engaged the whole time. My only option was to go back up the wet, muddy hillside; BACKWARDS. I got out fine with no problems except for a heavily-mudded underside.

    Message #303 also mentioned a tow-package. I bought a nice Hidden Hitch over the web for around $125. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it looks great. I'll report on that later this Spring after a few fishing trips to the lake with my boat. I love my Sport Trac!
  • Because my fiance would not let me get the Sport Trac because she didn't like the bed (even though I explained to her there are covers for them) I now own a 2000 Explorer XLS. If you guys had to do it all again, would you get the Sport Trac or the traditional Explorer?
  • Definitely the Sport Trac. The styling is so fresh and it gets looks just about everywhere you go. Having the cargo area in the back is so nice, I've used it on numerous occasions to haul stuff a regular explorer never could. I definitely like the ST better, I used to have a 1997 Explorer (Eddie Bauer).
  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    I have never felt limited by the size of the bed. I have the cargo extender and have used that several times to extend the bed to 6 feet to carry misc. stuff from Home Depot.

    Also, I have carried 10 foot long rain gutters without a problem. I just lowered the power rear window and slid the excess length into the cab.

    I used to have a compact pickup with a 6 foot bed and I feel the ST is much more useful and versitle.
  • Received a recall notice from the dealer today without any explanation of the problem. Does anyone know what recall 00545 is concerning?

  • My truck needs have changed, currently driving a '96 Dodge 2500 extra cab with Cummins turbo diesel and a full size bed. I just don't need this kind of truck anymore since (kids are bigger, moved into the city, not pulling a 5th wheel or racing motocross anymore) and am considering the Sport Trac.

    I have tried to read most of the posts on this discussion board and have seen a lot of enthusiasm and some disappointment. I live in the "triangle" area of NC and don't see any "dealing" on them, yet. Should I wait, order or deal with the dealers that have them in stock now. I tried to look at the "" website but it seems to be down or unavailable, so I couldn't access some of the other feedback from other owners.

    I'm looking for some honest feedback regarding mpg with the manual and the "feel good" owners got after they bought theirs. I feel that all the technical information helps you buy the truck but it's all the little stuff that makes you love one.
  • For Bongodad...I live in Central NJ. Local Ford dealer (I don't shop there because their customer service is horrible, but they always seem to have good prices) was advertising Sport Trac 4WD w/auto, AC, PW, PL, PS, AM/FM w/CD for $22,900.

    4 Door Explorer XLT (similarly equipped) for $25,000.

    Expedition XLT $29,000.

    These were all new vehicles. Just shows you what the mark-up is on these things, as they all sticker for about $6000 more than what they are offering.
  • kdaroskdaros Posts: 19

    You need to try again. It will give all you need to know and more.
  • I must have been adding the www to, I found it now and it looks very helpful. Thanks
  • kdaroskdaros Posts: 19
    This is for wskbear

    I just received the safety recall notice but it fully explains that it is for the hood latch striker. It has been reported that the latch for the engine hood could crack and fail causing the hood to fly open during high speeds. Ford advises that you make an appointment and have it replaced free of charge. It should only take half a day or less. The part might have to be ordered, which might take a week to come in.
  • melvin7melvin7 Posts: 32
    st is in shop now for paint under 1 door and clicking noise on the radio when you operate the window or heater control. great vehicle. I have enjoyed it very much. Mel
  • Hi , I'm new to this page and very happy I found it. I'm looking into purchasing a 2001 ST. Is there anything good about this suv. I'm scared with all the things I read. Thank god you are all honest. Please fill me in on what to look for. Also how do I know what is a good price for one ? I'm confused, I drove 2. One rode so bad I felt every bump in the road. The other road like a car. A very expensive car. It was a good riding ST. What is the difference ? Please help give me some tips. I need the help since you guys are so honest.
  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    I have had my ST since May and have more than 11,000 trouble-free miles. This vehicle has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. It is very comfortable, extremely versatile and well built.

    I especially like the 6 disc in dash CD, the electric rear window and the tonneau cover. I am very satisfied with the purchase. I even like my dealer, they were professional during the sale and the service department even washes the vehicle after being serviced. The new Blue Oval certifcation standards seems to be working. The dealer has spruced up the place and they seem very customer-focused.

    As for the ride you experienced, the hard-riding vehicle may have had overly inflated tires. The factory usually fills them over the recommended amount to keep the tires from getting flat spots while they sit around during shipping.
  • Don't ST until you've test driven the Dakota Quad Cab. The 4.7L hemi V8 will give you more excitement than any V6, with comparable mpg.
  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    A hassle-free way of buying a new ST is to call your favorite dealer and ask for the Fleet Manager. They will typically quote you a price over the phone and you avoid all the haggling. The price they quote you is usually given as a set amount over dealer invoice. They also have a good idea about what is currently in inventory and what is arriving soon from the factory.
  • I bought my ST from a dealer list provided by my Credit Union. They gave me names of fleet sales managers at each dealer. Traction you are right it was a no haggle experience. I bought mine @ $100 over invoice. Several dealers would match and a couple would not come down below $300 over invoice.
  • I am a 2-time Explorer owner. First one was a 4dr w/ the 4.0 liter engine that had great power. I loved that truck, but couldn't afford to buy it off lease. In consolation, leased a 2dr Sport with the SAME EXACT engine. 400 lbs. lighter, and it can't get out of its own way. I've read that the ST has this same engine, so I'm curious: which truck does it take after? Does it have any trouble with acceleration, especially with a change in road grade when you're already at speed? Any opinions are greatly appreciated, since this lease is up in 60 days. Thanks!
  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    There have been two types of 4.0L engines used in older Explorers, the overhead (205+ HP)cam version and the pushrod version (160 HP).

    The ST only comes with the higher output Overhead Cam version. That ST 4.0L engine rocks! The 5 speed automatic also assures that the gearing is always right for good acceleration and 5th gear overdrive is great for low rpm cruising and better mileage.
  • dpb54dpb54 Posts: 6
    I would appreciate owners comments on the comfort sitting in the rear seats. Two adults? Two kids?
    Three people? How does it compare to an Explorer, or Montero, or van, or car? Thanks for your time and input.
  • Plastic Wheel Well Parts Rattle.


    A rattle coming from the right and/or left wheel wells could be heard from inside the cab. The problem is caused by two pieces of plastic hitting each other. The force of the wind causes the plastic parts to vibrate against each other. The fix may vary from dealer to dealer but usually involve cutting or gluing the plastic pieces.

    Sun Roof Leaks.


    A roof leak could occur if the drain tubes become disconnected. The leak appears at the rear seat directly over the passenger door. Owners can mistakenly believe the leak is in the door. It is necessary to lower the headliner and reconnect and secure the drain tubes.

    Gas Door Rubs.


    9476 fuel door rubs fender or tab does not fit in the slot

    Some 2001 explorer sport trac vehicles may exhibit a fuel door rubbing the fender opening near the hinge position or the fuel door tab not fitting into the housing slot. This may be due to insufficient clearances between the fuel door & fender opening. If a vehicle comes in for this condition, install a revised fuel door housing assembly per the following color applications:

    HARVEST GOLD 1L5Z-99405A26-BAA
    TOREADOR RED 1L5Z-99405A26-BAC
    WHITE 1L5Z-99405A26-BAH
    DARK TEAL 1L5Z-99405A26-BAE
    ESTATE GREEN 1L5Z-99405A26-BAJ
    EBONY 1L5Z-99405A26-BAF

    Refer to section 501-04 of the 2001 explorer sport/sport trac workshop manual for installation instructions.

    Extended Warranty 6 Years, 72,000 Miles.


    Exclusive Report
    Ford to extend warranty on Explorer, Mountaineer
    Published: 01 December 2000
    Robert Lane
    Date of revision:

    Ford Motor Company has decided to extend the warranty on 1997-2000 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer models produced at their St. Louis assembly plant that are equipped with the 4.0L SOHC engine. The free extended warranty also applies to 2001 Explorer Sport and Sport Trac models with the 4.0L SOHC engine as well. The extended warranty will only cover the engines camshaft, timing chain tensioner and lower intake manifold gasket for six (6) years of 72,000 miles. If the vehicle already has 72,000 miles than the warranty will be extended to 01 April 2001.

    Ford will also authorize dealers to replace all three parts should a vehicle come into the service department for any one of the problems. If you would like to contribute or comment about this article, please contact Robert Lane or comment about it on our message board

    Rattle in Dash.


    Rattle is a loose bracket behind the lower center console (one with the cup holders and the tray for holding miscellaneous items). You will need an offset wrench to tighten the bolt. Locate the bolt by contorting into the driver's side space below the steering column and finding it behind the center console. Alternatively, you can feel for it by sitting at the driver's seat and using your right hand to feel directly to the right of the panel below the steering assembly. Find the single metal bracket that runs from the center console to the chassis. The bolt closer to the center console should be marginally loose. It should require 3 to 4 full turns to tighten.

    Some electric seats squeak and/or wobble slightly.


    A few reports of wobbly and/or squeaky seats have been reported. None have reported anything serious and the problem appears to be isolated to a few vehicles.

    That Dam Ringing Sound.


    The shape of the transfer case front flange (bell shaped) amplifies the transfer case noises. A coating was applied. It seemed to have worked, but two days later the ringing came back.

    Missing Paint on Doors.


    The bottoms of some doors are not completely painted with the body color paint. Most of the owners reporting the problem indicated the paint was missing on one to three doors. One or more doors were fully painted. All owners reported that the clear coat was present. You must look under the door to see the problem. It is not visible from any other angle. The fix is simply to have the doors painted

    Steering Vibration/Shudder


    The shudder problem is noticeable only at low speeds in 2WD when the steering wheel is fully or almost fully turned such as when entering a paring space. A slight shudder is felt in the steering wheel. This occurs on 2x4 and 4x4 models. Most users report the problem diminishes over time. Others reported that bleeding the power steering lines solved the problem.

    Your ST should never be in 4WD on dry pavement, especially during tight turns. Tight maneuvering while in 4WD will always cause a steering shudder.

    Paint chipping/scratching on inside door handles.


    The problem is related to poor materials. The interior door handles are painted with a very thin coat of paint and do not have a sealing coat of any kind. The handles should have been made from a solid color materials instead of painted. There is no known resolution at this time.

    Recall of Hood Assembly.


    NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 00V394000
    Manufacturer: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
    Mfg. Campaign #: 00S45
    Year: 2001
    Make: FORD TRUCK
    Potential Number of Units Affected: 137700
    Manufactured From: SEP 1999 To: OCT 2000
    Year of Recall: '00
    Type of Report: Vehicle

    Summary: Vehicle Description: Sport utility vehicles with steel hoods and certain pickup trucks equipped with sheet molding compound hoods. A wire formed hood striker could be susceptible to fatigue fractures. If the hood striker fractures, the hood could fly open while the vehicle is being driven.

    A hood fly-up while the vehicle is being operated could result in reduced driver visibility.

    Dealers will replace the hood striker. Owner notification is expected to begin during December 2000. Owners who take their vehicles to an authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Ford at 1-800-392-3673. Also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).
  • tractiontraction Posts: 141
    The rear seat has the same dimensions as the regular Explorer. I have had three adults in the back for short drives and two adults for longer drives.

    The rear seats fold down (60/40) and there are two covered storage places behind the rear seats.
  • I received my recall notice for the hood assembly. I also received notice #00B58.

    This states that, "it is possible for the affected vehicles to exceed design maximum speed."

    It goes on to say, "Owners who are affected by this owner notification are asked to return their vehicles to their dealer for powertrain calibration update. The updated calibration will insure that the vehicle operates within the design maximum speed."

    Does anyone know what the design maximum speed is? If I have them to do this, I'm concerned that I will lose some performance. If anyone has more info on this, please post.

  • karzzkarzz Posts: 151
    Unless you plan on driving at 120mph you shouldn't notice a difference. A vehicle's top speed is usually electronically limited by the speed rating of the tires. What that speed is for the ST I do not know, I would expect somewhere less than 112 mph. The vehicle would accelerate normally up to its limited speed then not accelerate past that speed.
  • Check the site; this issue is discussed at length there. I believe the top speed on the ST is set at 97 mph after it is calibrated, but I'm not sure.
  • I noticed the ST front-end does not have grease fittings. Do the front-end joints not require maintenance?
  • A simple fix for this is to have the dealer correct the problem before you take ownership of the car. It's amazing how fast the service dept will overcome an issue to make a sale. It took the dealer I bought from all of 2 hours to fix the problem and detail the vehicle. I took a long lunch, came back and picked it up.
  • I'm getting a consistent 15-18 mpg. It is my guess, and only a guess that the poor mpg is due to a combination of the gearing of the transmission when leaving from a full stop, the vehicles weight and its lack of aerodynamics. I've attempted to increase the mpg by intentionally starting out slowwwww, accelerating in a slow fashion and using the cruise control whenever possible, I might have noticed an increase of 2 mpg. To me it's not worth the hassle so I've stopped worrying about it and simply enjoy the ride.
This discussion has been closed.