Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Building a Reliable 2005 3rd Gen

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by bener, February 18, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





Tags:
  1. Phisherman

    Phisherman Member

    Joined:
    April 5, 2014
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    City, State:
    Phoenix
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2005 Explorer 4.0 4x4
    Love my Ex! At 218,000 miles now. Needed transfer case but did it myself and parts are cheap! Runs great for me
     
  2. Support EF

    Join the Elite Explorers for $20

    Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.



  3. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    June 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,517
    Media:
    5
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,090
    Trophy Points:
    143
    City, State:
    Knoxville, TN
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Limited AWD
    I believe you would be satisfied with a 2005(not the early 02/03's) from what you sound like taking care of a vehicle.

    Most cars with poor reputations have issues reported by poor owners, people who don't fix anything until it fails. Bad maintenance methods are worse for any vehicle than the inherent quality of the vehicle. I have had lots of coworkers who are constantly working on their cars, either when something fails, or they keep taking it to a mechanic. I'm talking about low oil issues, broken tie rod ends, BJ's that wear out tires fast, over heating from electric fans not working etc, things that were let go for weeks or months at a time, until the failure. The cars themselves were fine vehicles, but hearing about them would make most people condemn every one(it's the vehicle's fault, bad vehicle).

    This forum is a treasure if information about any Explorer, the great things, and the bad, what to watch out for, and what to fix(replace or upgrade) now. Example, to all owners of a 3rd gen Explorer, don't wait until the rear hub bearings and BJ's go out, replace them now(mileage does not matter, do it now).

    If you can learn about your vehicle and what it will most likely need sooner, then you can choose to replace or service those things when you first buy the vehicle. Then you can keep a record of what you've done, and know how long those things should go before worrying about them again.

    The SOHC 4.0 V6 for example, that has a very bad reputation. Most people know about it, and most people do nothing about it. They worry about it, they posts comments about it, and still they wait until the engine stops running due to the valvetrain issues, or it blows up, or they give up and sell, still having done nothing about it. The SOHC is a fine engine, when taken care of. That doesn't mean having the oil changed regularly, it means replacing the timing chain cassettes, and all tensioners, regularly(every 75-100k miles).

    It's all about vehicle care. If you can take care of a vehicle, you can handle anything, and almost any vehicle can be reliable. Yes there are lemons with inherent problems. Some things can be managed, some cannot. I think from what I read of the 3rd gen Explorers, they can do well in the right hands. I'm not thrilled with the body style, or interior, of hardly any Fords of the 2000-2011 models. But I really like the newest Fords since about 2011. I buy what I like first, and take care of it for a long long time. Good luck,
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. XLTyler83

    XLTyler83 Member

    Joined:
    April 15, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    8
    City, State:
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2004 XLT 4x4 Loaded
    Got 238,000 miles out of my 2002 on a stock transmission wrecked and still ran, the transmission will also last according to how you treat it as far as trans fluid changes and etc. my of now has 136,000 miles and I’ve had it for 3 years. Aside from a harmonic balancer and a new thermostat housing nothing has really broken down and both occurrences listed before I drove the truck to the shop she has never been towed my past 2 explorers have stood tall but I do my own service from oil to diff fluid to trans fluid spark plugs etc, if you keep up with it it will last 250-300k miles before she’s ready to give, this is from experience with a 4.0 V6 with your 4.6 V8 possibly longer life or shorter depending on how it’s treated
     
  5. XLTyler83

    XLTyler83 Member

    Joined:
    April 15, 2016
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    8
    City, State:
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2004 XLT 4x4 Loaded
    Got 238,000 miles out of my 2002 on a stock transmission wrecked and still ran, the transmission will also last according to how you treat it as far as trans fluid changes and etc. my of now has 136,000 miles and I’ve had it for 3 years. Aside from a harmonic balancer and a new thermostat housing nothing has really broken down and both occurrences listed before I drove the truck to the shop she has never been towed my past 2 explorers have stood tall but I do my own service from oil to diff fluid to trans fluid spark plugs etc, if you keep up with it it will last 250-300k miles before she’s ready to give, this is from experience with a 4.0 V6 with your 4.6 V8 possibly longer life or shorter depending on how it’s treated. Some people in America beat the crap out of these trucks and use them for work vehicles and they refuse to die. A 3rd gen is a cheap truck So it’s not the best In the world but I like them
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. firefly1246

    firefly1246 Active Member

    Joined:
    November 23, 2010
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    18
    City, State:
    Greenville, SC
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    '04 EB
    I had an 04 v8 4x4 and had it for 160k. Absolutely loved it (until a guy pulled out in front of me and totaled it last year). My wife and I loved cruising in it on trips. Had the perfect amount of space, handled well, decent storage, loved the look of it, seats were super comfy.

    All vehicles have common issues, even the Almighty Toyota 4Runner is not immune. The v6 has common head gasket issues. 2 friends both had issues with them.

    These vehicles have a couple known items that these forums have tons of info on how to fix, but all vehicles do. When mileages starts getting high (175k+) other common issues come up just like all other cars.

    Two things I look at in a vehicle:
    1) cost and availability of replacement parts -> explorer is super cheap and super easy to find parts (wife and I were serious about buying a BMW X5 to replace my totaled explorer, until I looked at part prices, they are 5-15x the cost of the same part for an explorer).
    2) Good forum/internet support -> explorer forum has really good support to fix nearly every known issue. Use the search function has been extremely helpful for me.


    A couple Common issues: Blend door actuator (cheap to fix) but mine never had an issue. Upper ball joint boots -> put a new Moog ball joint and good to go.

    4.0 v6 common weak spot is the timing chains, however my 03 sport Trac they lasted 245k. Other then that they are really good. The 4.6 v8 is good, only issue is blowing spark plugs threads. I had 2 go at 145k, check the torque on them regularly and you should be good.

    Yes the tranny has a known weak spot, the aluminum servo bores wear out which leads to premature band wear. But there is a fix for that, buy the kit with the o rings and swap them every 50k and tranny is good to go. I did my 04 explorer. The tranny on the sport Trac (nearly same tranny with different gears and a dipstick) did 227k before it wore out.

    The v8 with the 3.73 gears is decently quick. But at the end of the day it is no sports car and can’t keep up with a new suv.


    At the end of the day these trucks have some common known problems but all vehicles do.
    My recommendation, take one for a test drive. See if you like it.

    A lot of people must like them and they must be decently reliable and cheap to repair cause everyday on the road I see a TON of them. Probably not a day in my life I haven’t seen another explorer on the road.

    -Scott
     
    Last edited: March 10, 2019
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  7. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    June 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,517
    Media:
    5
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,090
    Trophy Points:
    143
    City, State:
    Knoxville, TN
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Limited AWD
    Well said. If you learn about the vehicles and what it takes to deal with anything you learn, you'll be fine.
     
  8. _R700_

    _R700_ New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Perth
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    Jeep WJGrand Cherokee v8
    Thanks for the info in this thread. I am in a similar boat to the OP. Living in Western Australia, the only Ford Explorer's ever sold here were 2nd and 3rd Gen's.

    Currently have a growing family and need the space and the Ford Explorer seems to fit the bill (have always liked the look of them, and like the v8), mostly because of my budget. 3rd Gens sell for anywhere between $1k-$6k here depending on condition etc. I would be looking to spend around $5k, hopefully for a later model one that runs well and decent service history. They are cheap because of the bad reputation for trans failures. Note: any Toyota or Jap vehicle that is in this price range is total junk, funnily enough we have 3rd Gen Toyota Surf's/4Runners like the OP here for around $5k (which I have considered buying) but they're just complete buckets of crap (rust everywhere, interiors falling apart, been molested by 100 prev owners), the only good point about them is if you can find one with the 3L turbo diesel, but then that is such a slow and weak motor and is prone to head gasket failure (but its the best engine offered in them).

    I've owned x5 Jeeps so far, who also have a bad reputation for reliability in Aust, but I have always found that the Aussies can be quite passionate and they only love Toyota LandCruisers and Nissan Patrols, and if there is another 4wd on the market, they will hate on it. So I've always taken their opinions with a pinch of salt. It has worked out for me because of the Aussie's feeling towards Jeeps, they are always cheap in comparison to buy, and so far I have had nothing but reliable running from all of my Jeeps.

    I am however a DIY person, I have done all my own servicing and am a strong believer in preventative maintenance. I am very appreciative to forums like this that help me to address known weak points on a vehicle.

    I have been looking at buying a 3rd Gen Explorer 4.6 with the plan to do the o-ring servos kit on the trans, ideally install a dipstick while I'm down there, probably a shift kit and thermostat bypass (only warm weather where I live), fit a trans cooler and I am hoping that will mean I will have a trouble free 5R55 for some time. Also regular service of the trans and the whole vehicle in general. The other common probs like timing chain, blend door, balljoints etc don't seem like a big issue to me, I mean ideally you would rather not have these issues, but for a $5k vehicle that has a v8 and plenty of space and can go offroad I feel they are small prices to pay.

    Other mods I'd like to do are the brown wire mod for 2wd goodness and a Powertrax no-slip rear locker, Rancho struts, and 32" tyres. I figure then I should have a pretty decent all round rig for camping, overlanding, and taking the family around.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

    Joined:
    June 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,517
    Media:
    5
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,090
    Trophy Points:
    143
    City, State:
    Knoxville, TN
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    98 Limited AWD
    The rear suspension and trans seem to be the toughest things to deal with in 3rd/4th gens. Keep ahead of those things, the rear BJ's and bearings, the trans Sonnax upgrade parts, the solenoids, accumulators etc. Don't forget the rear diff, Ford had not figured out how to get good lifespan from an AL housing yet. I don't know if a rebuild fixes anything about that, but I'd regularly replace the gear oil(Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-140). Skip the 4.0 SOHC if you can, the V8 timing tensioners are more reliable and less trouble when they do need attention.

    I wish you had access to the 302/4R70W stuff(96-01) over there, those would be the highest demand older SUV's in Australia. I want to find a 99-01 RHD(import) Explorer from someplace, Japan etc. I need the firewall, dash and everything attached to the firewall, for a new project. Who does cheap shipping?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. _R700_

    _R700_ New Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    City, State:
    Perth
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    Jeep WJGrand Cherokee v8
    Thanks for the advice.
     

Share This Page







We Support Our Troops!