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Brought it back from the dead! High Mileage, but want to make it healthy

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Garkham13, December 6, 2018 at 10:14 PM.

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    1. Garkham13

      Garkham13 New Member

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      Laredo, TX
      City, State:
      Laredo, TX
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      Hey guys, so I have brought back this '03 Ford Explorer with roughly a little over 165k miles on that had been parked for two years back to life due to the fact that my wife got a job and she needs to be driving herself to work now (we have this 2016 Honda H-RV which is our daily driver and she'll be using that, i'll keep the Explorer.) The poor thing was left parked in the blazing hot Texas sun, the top of the hood is all faded and it feels very VERY rough to the touch, with some crackling of the clear coat on some parts and probably removed on some others altogether.

      So I changed the spark plugs, changed the oil and oil filter, changed the fuel filter and the fuel pump assembly (it was built after 10/01/2002, 04/2003 to be precise) and lastly swapped the battery out (luckily it was under warranty still!), filled the tires with air to the spec on the door sticker, and since it had been sitting for so long i had to take it to a shop to change the suspension (just the front if I remember correctly it was completely rotten.) They swapped the parts with Moog suspension parts. At first it was running rather bumpy and at one point the steering wheel was shaking really really bad due to probably the tires being flat-spotted I guess? but right now it runs way better and smoother than I ever remember it running with awesome fuel efficiency (the old fuel pump assembly was busted from the top so I'm guessing the fuel was leaking out).

      I had mentioned earlier that we have this other car and the reason for that was because there is something wrong with the A/C and you can't have a car without A/C in the south Texas desert. What happens to it is that it cools but there's something stuck behind the board panel that is clogging up the airway. I took it to a pep boys and they said that something broke on the inside but they couldn't get me the part and that part was ridiculously expensive, more than the car was worth actually.

      But my main concern is that I want to get this SUV in the best shape of it's life, But I want to know what to do to it next? flush the radiator maybe? transmission fluid flush/change (i don't have any issues with rough gear changing or anything)? the timing chain (haven't had any issues with it but I read somewhere that it should be done after some time?)

      What are some recommendations/suggestions? what modifications did you guys do to your explorers to make it more powerful and more fuel efficient? I'm all ears/eyes!
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    3. gtyates

      gtyates Active Member

      September 24, 2002
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      City, State:
      Goodlettsville Tennessee
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '04 XLT & '05 Sport Trac
      The a/c problem you mentioned is a common problem. Basically the fresh air/max a/c door falls off and ends up sitting on top of your blower, restricting air flow. I just had to do this "repair" on my son's '04. Here is a thread that explains this: How to: - Cold air in glove box -OR- No air flow from vents on Max AC - Here's a workaround

      The only thing I did different was that I used a utility knife and cut an opening in the housing to help me pull the door out. Either way, you will have to remove the blower motor to do this, which is relatively easy. If a dealer does this they will remove entire dash, which gets expensive.. If you decide to go the dealer route, make sure you replace the main HVAC plenum as well as the temperature blend door actuator. If you do this it will save you labor cost as you will only have to have the dash pulled once. On my son's truck the defrost door is broken, another common problem. I have it propped open by running some metal strapping down the defrost ducts.. BAD DESIGN!!

      For now I have not tried to re-attach it, but by next spring/summer I will so that he can have max a/c again. At a minimum , at least he has good air flow now, which is not only helping with cooling but is also helping the defroster work better to clear his windshield since our "global warming" is causing temps in the 20's in the Nashville area here in early December (very unusually cold).
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