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Ford Explorer Maintenance and Repair



  • Try the computer module located behind your glove box. I had same issue.. Worked then didn't. Ford dealter said would cost $500 to fix. I ordered a 4x4 computer module online. Cost $152... Easy fix.. 2 screws, 2 wire harnesses and problem fixed. Online parts dealer said original part would go bad after a battery failure (I had battery disconnect due to another problem). The new part is an updated part.. Works great....
  • You will need to change the computer too, keep the 1997 computer with the 1997 engine. The computers are programed specifically for each year engine. Carefully check all computer and electrial cables and connections to be sure everything will match up.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • It appears that the 96 is an OHC and the 97 came with an SOHC and I can see the difference there since one is 160hp and the other is 205hp. But it looks like the 97 also came with the 160hp OHC. Could I still use the 96 computer with the 97 engine if it is the 160hp OHC? Sorry to get so technical but funds are short and I think the guy I am buying the eng from already sold the computer.
  • In your original messege you said the 96 had a V6 and the 97 had a V6, BUT you did not say that they where different engines. Forget about swapping the 96 V6 OHV with the 97 V6 SOHC engines, the electrical wiring is all different, the computers are different, the transmissions are different, the mounts are different, the radiator/fan is different, the exhaust system is different, and the driveshaft is different. I only suggested that the swap may be feasible if both engines were the same, but now knowing that the engines are different, I'd say to scrap the whole idea. The only way to replace the engine in the 96 with the V6 4.0L OHV, is to replace it with the SAME ENGINE. I would make this same suggestion for any vehicle. The only exception to this would be a custom made vehicle, done by someone with the knowledge, skill and tools to do it, and it would be expensive and time comsuming, not what I think that you are looking for.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • Thanks, the voice of reason. Although the OHC was also available in 97 it would not be a good idea to even attempt it if the 97 I am considering has the OHC engine, which I doubt. Thanks for the kick in the A........
  • Just a clairification on these engines, as you reffered to the 96 engine as the OHC engine and the 97 engine as the SOHC engine. Both engines are 4.0L V6 engines, the early engine, the 4.0L V6 OHV (Over Head Valve) 160hp, has the camshaft in the engine block, down in the vally of the Vee, like the old V engines were designed, for a total of one camshaft in the engine.
    The newer 4.0L V6 SOHC (Single Over Head Cam) 205hp, has a single camshaft in each head, for a total of two camshafts in the engine.
    E.D. ISF
  • 1999 SOHC, V6, 72,000 miles. Maintenance up to date.

    I had a thermostat replaced Nov 11 and 1 month later it was replaced again. Now 3 weeks after the 2nd thermostat, it starting to fail again.

    I start the Explorer, and let the temp gauge go to its usual position (I do not have the heat on). It hits the normal spot (right on the temp gauge icon), and then it starts going down. If I turn on the heat, the gauge "floats". Exact same thing as the previous 2 times.

    I'm starting to worry this is just not a case of a bad thermostat but something worse. Any advice would be great.


    PS. I've recently had O2 and IAC valve replaced for a stalling/no start issue. Not sure if that helps or not.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The other thing that would cause this phenomenon to happen, and after 3 thermostats, I'm betting it's not that, would be low water flow. This can be due to inadequate pumping from a loose belt, or bad water pump, to a restriction somewhere in the cooling system. This engine is kind of famous for this 'running cold' syndrome. Low water levelor an air bubble restriction somewhere is likely your problem. When the Thermostat was replaced, did the mechanic bleed the cooling system for air? There used to be a bolt in the intake manifold that would let out the air high in the engine that needed to be bled when the system was flushed or evacuated. If not, the guage and flow is affected....
  • does anyone know how to fix a broken handle in the rear hatch on a 1993 ford explorer?
    yesterday it was frozen so i really reaped on it an broke it. not off, jsut not its very loose and wont turn back to the normal position, or open anything.
    is there a way to get into the back door to fix it?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Take off the inside interior panel. There are some holes in the door you can get to it from.
  • sissiesissie Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 ford explorer It doesn't want to go in reverse. It feels like my brakes may be locked. I have to smoke my tires to back up. Help.....
  • Does it roll forward normally? Be sure the parking brake is released. Be sure the parking brake cables are not binding or jammed. The parking brake shoes may be jammed or stuck. You may have to pull off the rear brake rotor/drums and inspect the brakes. The rear brake disc has a small drum built into it for the smaller emergency brake shoes. I had to replace my emergency brake shoes and rear rotors on my 97 Explorer because the brake linings came unglued from the emergency brake shoes.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • how do i do that when the back door doesnt open and its one big peice of plastic?
  • is it normal for a 1993 ford explorer to warp brand new rodors at only 5000 miles, and shred brake pads? the brake pads were cracked in the middle with a 1cm gap, and on one of the pads, half of the pad itself fell off. when i brake, the thing shimmeys and shudders. is there something wrong with my calipers or something?
    and i have to say, the pads and rodors were the most expensive, proven, and tested ones i could i dont think its the materials...
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    It could be your calipers are shot. What happens (particularly if brake fluid is not regularly changed), is that small particles and/or moisture-rust can get behind the piston. Since the piston is constantly moving outward as the brake pad is wearing down, those particles don't cause a problem......until brake pads are replaced.

    When one changes the brake pads, you need to push the pistons back in to the caliper, so the new wider pads will fit. If there are particles/rust, when the piston is forced back on top of that it tends to bind the piston. The resultant situation is that when the brakes are applied the piston is forced out to brake the rotor, but the piston doesn't float back since it is bound when the brakes are released. The brake pads wear down very quickly, the rotor can become warped with the heat (brakes applied all the time), you usually can smell the brakes, and you usually see a lot of brake dust on the rims.

    So when a brake job is done replacing the pads, you must check that the pistons are free to float and are able to be easily pushed back. If they can't, replace the calipers at the same time you are replacing the pads. If you could push the pistons back with your hands, they are probably okay. If you had to use a c-clamp or vise grips to force them back....they are probably all bound up. With most common model vehicles, these are usually very reasonably priced and worth it to replace if in doubt.

    I find I can usually get 2 sets of brake pad replacements for each set of caliper replacements on our vehicles, and the easiest time to replace them is while you are doing the brake job. Your situation would obviously vary depending upon your driving habits and annual mileage.

    With the symptoms you now describe, I believe you'll find you need new calipers because the pistons are stuck, new pads because they're worn down, and new rotors because they are warped. Be sure to replace and flush out all the old brake fluid.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Pull that plastic off, it snaps off. You'll have to do it from the inside, crawl inside the back. Sorry - it's your only choice.....
  • Exactly what PADs and Rotors did you use? I had a 91, 93, 97 & 2000 Ford Explorers, and never had a single rotor warp. and they were the stock rotors. I use only the Permormance Friction CARBON METALLIC Brake Pads. I find that they last a long time (60,000 miles or more) and they make the rotors last a long time.
    From what you have said, replace both the front Caliphers now, and flush the brake lines, and put in all new brake fluid. You will not have this problem if you bleed out your brakes real good every 30,000 miles, same time that you should be flushing your transmission fluid.
    Good Luck,
  • ceramic reinforced pads and rodors. they're supposed to be heat resistent and all that jazz. it only started warping them the last time i put rotors on.
  • it pops off? well that explains it i was looking for screw holes and things like that. where on it should i pull? from the sides or under the rear window?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    anywhere you can.
  • ok...just so long as it really pops off!
    if i break it, oh well
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    You don't have much choice - but there is a way, because the dealer will do the same.
  • The rear panel is held on the same way as the door panels are. Carefully pry under it on the sides and lower edges. The plastic fasteners "pop" off. Since you can't get the rear hatch open, this may be very difficult. It might bend enough to come off, but I think it will be tough. You might be able to figure out a way to grab hold of it and pull it off at the outer edges. The fasteners are usually about 2 inches in from the outer edges. I think it has some screws in the center part, I seem to remember it has a strap or something like that. Let us know how it goes.
    Good Luck,
  • I had a trip to NW last couple weeks and came back to TX on Dec 31st night. Lost power when drived up the ramp into my garage, checked and found transmission serious leakage, had the truck towed to dealer yesterday and dealer found a hose loosed. They refilled transmission and test drive, told me it's fixed. I just want to know if I should ask them to check anything else or how I know transmission is not damaged.Thanks.
  • definatly.
    If you dont, you may be back at the dealer sooner than you expected. If not, its always better to be safe than sorry, and its worth the 60-80 dollars to have it checked again, especially if it fails again.
    and also, if they cannot give you any assurances that the transmission is not damaged, this might be a clue as to whether or not it is actually fixed. ive had plenty of dealer experiences where it was, "if you dont ask, they dont tell." costly and painstaking
  • -the brakes
    a few days ago i replaced the front and rear drum brakes, and starting yesterday, the rear driver drum locks up, even if i barely hit the brakes, therefore i have to start braking waaaayyy away from a suspected stop. and because its only that one brake, i fishtail immediatly. i have adjusted the rear drums, so they're all the way in. also, since it has been doing this, it shakes every time i hit the brakes.
    -the broken rear handle
    a tried your suggestion on removing the rear interior panel, but it wont budge. i've tried every position and placement, but it wont move! is there maybe a tool i can buy to make this easier, or should i just take it to the dealer?
  • I would go back and check your work on the rear drum brakes. Remove both rear drums and look carefully at each side, comparing them to each other, to be sure that all the parts are put together the same. Check the installed position of the brake shoes, to be sure they are in the correct positions. Note that one brake shoe on each side has longer brake lining than the other. This shoe with the longer lining is the primary brake shoe, and always goes towards the REAR of the car. The other shoe has the shorter lining and is called the secondary brake shoe, and always installs towards the FRONT of the car. Check the emergency brake linkage and the emergency brake cables to be sure it is all installed correctly and that the emergency brake cable has some slack, so that the emergency brake is released one ach wheel. After checking and correcting everything, put the drums and wheels back on, leave rear wheel off the ground, apply the emergency brake and see if they hold. You can block the front wheels, put the car in gear, and the rear wheels should not turn. Then release the emergency brake and watch to be sure that both wheels turn. Try this several times to be sure the emergency brakes and cables do not stick.
    Good Luck,
    E.D. ISF
  • I have the same problem with my 2005 explorer (along with many others!) I have taken it in for this problem at least twice if not three times. They all tell me that "clunking is normal". We are currently in contact with Ford itself who also told us that clunking is normal. I DO NOT in any way, shape pr form think that the noise I hear while backing up slowly is normal. It sounds like I have hit something every time. I think they just cant seem to fix there products. This is the 4th problem I have had with my car in the year and a half I have owned it and they can only seem to fix 2! Ford just told me to try another Ford dealer to try and repair it! How is that for fixing a problem?!!!!!?
  • I was just wondering if anyone who owns a Ford Explorer 2005 and newer is having problems with their Advantrak. My almost since day 1 has stopped working intermittently and the light comes on saying check advantrak, advantrak off but the button says its on. I have brought my car in atleast 7-9 times for this problem and all they do is reset the computer and say there is no code showing for it. We escalated it to Ford customer care and were getting some results and we thought they had finally fixed it (twice now) and a week later the light starts coming on again. We actually had to try and deliver it to them while the light was turned on so they could read the code. Of course it would never turn when I was in the area of the dealer or it was open. Finally they got it to duplicate and said they fixed it and a week later again it turned on. Now they wont return our calls and Ford customer care has told us to try another ford dealer. Has any one else had a similar problem???????
  • After jumping my sons car, my DH checked my battery charge and saw it was low so charged it up. When he took off the charger cables, the alarm system started up with horn blaring, etc. I don't have a key fob to disarm it and tried the suggestions in the owners manual (turn key to accessory, etc.) but they didn't work. Can anyone help to restore our sanity and the sanity of our neighbors?
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