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choice: repair 1999 V6 ~165K loose timing chain vs buy used 2000 XLS at ~175K miles

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by igotaford, May 22, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. igotaford

    igotaford New Member

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    (reposted from my new members post with more info since then)
    Hi all,

    I've read for advice on this website many times for guidance on issues with my truck. So I'm asking for advice on my scenario:

    I have a 1999 V6 Eddie Bauer ~165K miles been driving about 5-6 years. I'm not a proficient mechanic. It has a loose timing chain. Estimate is $3000 to repair. (Originally quoted $1500 but they had not correct engine id). On the other hand I see a used 2000 XLS at ~175K miles, claimed to be in good condition, seller is asking $1800 (it looks like a typical mileage from similar postings on craigslist).

    I'm contemplating buying the 2000 XLS and seeing about getting the timing chain repaired later, and keeping 1999 off road for time being. Shop says the vehicle is drivable but they have no forecast for when chain could go which I suppose would trash the engine. I've just put $600 into it this month for new muffler & brakes.

    If I tried to repair timing chains later as hobby project as newbie how likely am I to crash and burn? (I used to maintain my Bug but admittedly rather easy ...)

    Is it worth the money to fix timing chain now? I know of no other major issues on the vehicle.

    What questions should I ask about the 2000 XLS of the seller? I would plan on paying a mechanic to look at it.

    Thoughts ? If I'm going to spend about $2K is there an alternate sedan / SUV I should consider?
     
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  3. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    I personally would get a second opinion on the repair. AllData is showing the right cassette replacement to be 11.3hrs and the Jackshaft Chain to be 7hrs. So that's 18.3hrs total. An independent shop shouldn't be charging more then 105 an hour, and that totals out to $1,921. As far as I'm aware, parts aren't $1000. Hell, for 3 grand you can buy a used 06+ Mustang 4.0L and drop it in and have an engine with way less miles.

    Also, going from an Eddie to an XLS is a big drop off. I have an Eddie now and couldn't imagine going to an XLS.
     
  4. twiford

    twiford New Member

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    Is the xls 4.0 sohc? Is so and its never had the timing issue's fixed then u could have the same problem down the road i had a 01 sport and around 150,000 miles the timing chain tensioner failed i ended up selling it and buying an 01 eb v8 explorer i would fix what u got or find a v8:)
     
  5. igotaford

    igotaford New Member

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    Thanks, I'm reconsidering. Blue book value on mine seems to be about $1200 - $1600, it is really banged up. Anyway, my local shop normally provides good estimates. Rattle may have become more pronounced after oil change last week; used 5w30. Shop didn't think changing oil again right now would help. But I read on another forum about 10w40 oil reducing rattle. I am wondering now how they diagnosed as loose chain vs tensioner issue. I've had no tensioner repair done. Rattling noise persists after warmup.

    I am trying to decide on taking to dealer vs another independent shop.
     
  6. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    if $3,000 is the best price you can find to repair/replace your timing chain components, i wouldn't fix it. it isn't worth $3,000 (at least not in my part of the country).

    i'd take the $3,000 and look for a clean a V8 EB or Mountaineer with 150k or less on it. i bought two 2000 Mountaineers 2 years and paid around $2,000 apiece for them. 150k on and AWD V8 and 179k on a RWD V8 and the Mountaineer's are worth more than the EB's (i don't really understand why) and equipped just the same. IMO the SOHC V6's just aren't worth repairing once the chains start making noise.
     
  7. twiford

    twiford New Member

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    Yeah 3,000 to repair truck just isn't worth it.
     
  8. igotaford

    igotaford New Member

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    Thanks for the thoughts. I'm relocating soon and the SUV is decent for moving stuff around and hasn't been a bad vehicle.

    Honda Civic is frequently recommended alternative. Cheap ones don't seem to be easily findable. Seems like minimum $3k even for mid-nineties.

    I see at moment craigslist has a $1800 V8 1997 Mountaineer in adjacent county, 5.0L V8 AWD.

    Another one closer by for $2400 is a 2000 Mountaineer with 189K, "with more left in it", V8 4WD.
     
  9. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    there are no V8 4x4's, only AWD and RWD. the V8's should be good for 300k+ with regular maintenance.

    as far as used Hondas, i really don't get why they command such high prices used. i owned 5 of them (bought new) during the late 70's & 80's and they were okay (certainly better than any American cars of the period) but they really weren't all that special. i think people just believe they're better than any other brand, but a mid '90's anything is going to have it's share of problems.
     
  10. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    I'd trust an American Small Block V8 over any of those jap econoboxes with VVT and VTEC as far as longevity. My dad had an 01 corolla he purchased used with 3K miles from a dealer as a commuter car, had it meticulously dealer maintained and it started burning oil at 60K miles (car was 10yrs old at this point), the interior was falling apart, and the clear coat on the hood all but pealed off and the paint faded terribly. The car was not beat on, and was well taken care of. This has made my dad never want to buy another Toyota product; he won't even look at Lexus lol.
     
  11. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    yeah, i started buying American again in the late eighty's and never looked back. i've owned GM's, Chrysler's and a Jeep, but more Fords than any other make. i'm not a Ford purist, but i just like the way Fords are put together and how durable the paint & interiors are compared to GM. don't even get me started on Chrysler & Jeep... they're crap on every scoreboard.
     
  12. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    My dad gave the corolla to my brother in 2009 and got a brand new Cadillac CTS, and within the next few weeks will be replacing that with either a CLA250 or ATS. He's been more or less happy with the CTS sans a few issues.

    My mom had 2 Grand Caravans (96 & 2000) and 1 Town and Country (2004) and they all had issues that lead to her getting rid of them (96 had door lock actuator issues, engine used to eat belts, 2000 developed an oil leak after 4 years, 2004 had power steering issues but that was a lease. She replaced the 04 T&C with a leftover 05 Pacifica which was actually trouble free, I don't think she ever had to take it in for work sans maintenance. She totaled that and then I showed her a used 04 Aviator the local Audi dealer had and she fell in love. It has 112K miles on it now and she still loves it and says it's the best vehicle she's ever owned.
     
  13. drdoom

    drdoom Well-Known Member

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    If you can't decide do both.
     
  14. igotaford

    igotaford New Member

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    This is interesting, the 1997 Mercury Mountaineer I mentioned before is now reduced to $1200. I am very tempted ... What top #3 questions should I ask? I suppose mileage would be one if it is not around 300k already and is less.... it's described as well maintained with a number of updates. I had inquired about the 2000 also but not heard back from seller.

    I have suspicion maybe this one has a timing chain problem too :) !
     
  15. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    Make sure the vehicles drives as it should, and that the AWD is functioning. 97's are notorious for having the VC in the transfer case go. Make sure the torque converter locks up as it should with no shudder, make sure it shifts good up and down through all gears. Besides that, it's the same as any other X; check for rust, check color of all fluids, check and listen for bad CV joints, bad Hubs/bearings, creaking suspension parts, etc.
     
  16. igotaford

    igotaford New Member

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    The Eddie Bauer is now owned by my mother. I ended up with a 2012 Ford Fiesta.

    Her 2002 Explorer died; as I was out of town, I couldn't help her deal with the situation, and all I heard about it was the vague description 'engine seized'. So it got donated to the veterans I think. She got estimate of around $5k to replace the engine, IIRC. I believe it didn't have any more than 135K or so miles on it. I had driven it a fair amount myself and it totally sounded smooth, no such noises as were coming from my 1999. Anyway it kinda drives me nuts to see a vehicle pass away so young.

    The Eddie Bauer has now acquired a blown head gasket, worked around by using some of the head gasket fixit beads poured into the radiator. The radiator thermostat doesn't seem to work right. I'm still convinced the vehicle may not last much longer, but it does still drive. Is it worth $150-200 to go ahead and have the radiator sensor replaced?
     
  17. 1997XLTRollover

    1997XLTRollover Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't put 3 grand into it in your situation unless you think the rest of the truck is really solid. I put probably 3-4k into my 96 5.0 that had 145k on it, but that included a brand new 306 with TM headers, EE sway bars, all new shocks, brake lines and all new fluids.

    Looking back it may not have been the best decision, but I did it and I love my truck and am hoping it will last me a long time. I of course built the engine myself and did all the work myself. A shop would have probably charged 6-7 grand for that.
     
  18. igotaford

    igotaford New Member

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    I was just asking whether it was worth trying to go ahead and fix the thermostat... in the summer, has to drive with the heat on to make sure the engine stays cool. It's not being driven a lot. My mother keeps buying little decorative knickknacks for the truck and was talking about getting a tuneup done. I'm just afraid money spent would go to waste. (She might get the tune up done whether I agree with her or not).
     

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