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1999 Explorer Problems (Common Issues)

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Mazior R., April 17, 2018.

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    1. Mazior R.

      Mazior R. New Member

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      Issues with our Explorer that I sometimes see on other Explorer's from this generation is uneven tire wear. The tires in the front wear down from the inner part or (toe wear). It might be wearing down because the shocks are old and worn or the sway bar links are not connected anymore. Also I think the tie rods are bad because there is play in the steering wheel and it's not straight. Another thing is when I go over bumps, I can feel it clunk together or maybe that could be balljoints also that need to be replaced. The car tends to wallow most likely because it needs shocks. Are my theories and guesses about these problems right? If not, please correct me.
       
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    3. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Yes, every one of your theories are correct. Have the front end rebuilt or live with the bad tire wear and poor handling. Plus at some point it will become a safety issue. It's an old vehicle, it needs repairs. If you can't do them yourself it will be expensive to replace all those parts, but less expensive than a new vehicle. Personally I try to stay on top of repairs, because it hurts less to do one or two things rather than 10 all at once. I also do my own repairs, because it's sooo much less expensive than having to pay someone to do them for me (plus I know they're done right with quality parts). If your going to own a 20 year old vehicle, you really should be able do to at least some of own repairs.
       
      Last edited: April 17, 2018
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    4. XLTrunner

      XLTrunner Active Member

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      X2. I rebuilt my front end about 3 yrs ago for around $700 in parts from Rockauto. That included shocks, lower ball joints, upper control arms (with ball joints), inner/outer tie rods, both hub brgs, stabilizer links and brake pads. Used quality parts; i.e. Moog, Timken, Gabriel, Wagner Thermoquiets. Same parts would have been 40% higher if bought at local auto parts store...even after factoring in shipping. Figured I might as well do everything at once before having it aligned and putting on new Michelin tires. Can't even imagine what it would have cost to have all this work done at a shop.
       
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    5. Mazior R.

      Mazior R. New Member

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      Thank you
       
    6. Mazior R.

      Mazior R. New Member

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      That's something I should keep in Mind, thanks.
       
    7. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      OP - If you have to pay someone to rebuild your complete front end you're probably looking at a number (including tires and a wheel alignment) that will exceed the value of your vehicle. I rebuilt 3 front ends on 3 of my families Explorer's last spring. In my case this consisted of mostly upper control arms. lower ball joints, sway bar, wheel bearing and brake related parts (tie rod ends, lower control arms and shocks still ok).

      When your're putting major money into an older vehicle you need to keep in mind that it you get into a wreck shortly thereafter, that money will not be recouped, even if the wreck isn't your fault and If the wreck was your fault odds are you were no longer carrying collision insurance. My idiot ex son-in-law bought my elder daughter's old '00 AWD Mountaineer last spring, put over a $1,200 into fixing it up and recently totaled it (not his fault) and only got $1,850 for it.
       
    8. J_C

      J_C Well-Known Member

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      The theories are right but if you don't want to replace everything then you need to get it on jack stands and start prying on parts to see where there's excessive play.

      Personally I would start with the items that don't require a wheel alignment afterwards, unless you need new tires anyway and would go directly to get the tires and alignment after doing the work. Those items would include shocks, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, lower ball joints, and "maybe" the upper right ball joint if you get the two piece design instead of the whole upper arm 1 piece design, and mark the position before removal.

      Then again some of these might have been replaced already. With conservative driving many of the factory front suspension parts might have lasted till now but others like the shocks or sway bar links, probably needed replaced 10 years ago. Guess it can depend on the environment too, for example potholes will wreck lower ball joints and I imagine that Michigan gets their share and then some potholes.
       
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    9. Mazior R.

      Mazior R. New Member

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      Yeah that's true
       
    10. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      If you have over 100,000 miles on your Ex, odds are that you need BOTH lower ball joints and upper control arms (w/ball joints). I was shocked at how worn my upper ball joints were worn at 185K. They were loose/sloppy to the point of being dangerous.

      I'm not suggesting you spend money on parts you don't need, but with high miles front end parts wear out. All the front suspension parts can easily be inspected to determine which need replacement. If you don't know how to inspect the parts yourself, a wheel alignment shop can do an inspection for you. If you end up replacing ball joints, you WILL absolutely need to do an alignment.
       
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