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Debating getting rid of my Explorer :/

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Alexjordan22, August 4, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Alexjordan22

    Alexjordan22 New Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Ford Explorer
    My wife and I used to use the Explorer to haul the kids (3 kids under 5 years) and it worked ok. However whenever we had someone come from out of town to visit we didn’t have any room. So we made the jump and bought an older minivan which has been excellent for us.

    We have the explorer which is a 2000 XL Fleet 4.0 OHV 5R55E 4X4. I’ve rebuilt the trans and fixed its issues and it’s solid as a rock now. The truck has 176k but drives fine. Vinyl seats, no center console, no overhead computer, door locks barely work, etc. it’s pretty bare bones and not very comfortable to drive long distances.

    We also have a 2007 Infiniti G35X with 197k on it which also runs great and I love driving it, but all my kids and their car seats don’t fit in it. I’m considering selling the G35 and the Explorer and getting something else but not sure if I should bother.

    I want a similarly sized suv as the explorer cause I use it for work sometimes carrying tools and a ladder. I also need it to seat at least 5 people. A 3rd row would be great but not necessary now that we have the van.

    I’ve been looking at the 2001-2004 Pathfinder (and QX4), 1st gen Durango 4.7, 3rd gen 4Runners, etc. stuff like that. I figure if I can sell both vehicles I should get something that is a mix of the G35 and Explorer and have it be comfortable with a few options and whatnot. I would shoot for a 5.0 Explorer/Mountaineer but I feel like I already have an explorer that works fine...so why not keep it?

    What are your thoughts? The truck I have is reliable, but sluggish and uncomfortable. I love the color. I suppose if I put some cool wheels and tires on it, got some tint, and swapped out the seats for some Eddie Bauer ones from the JY I may like the truck more. Just not sure what to do.
     
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  3. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    City, State:
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    See what you can find in a 98-01 high option Explorer or Mountaineer. If you do locate one that you like a lot, and with the 302, then I'd try to get that as a replacement.

    You could move to a 10-15 year newer SUV's and gain some mileage and technology items, but the reliability and serviceability will be less.

    Now is about the last good time to hunt these trucks. They will be harder to find as time goes on, and in poorer condition too.
     
  4. EB4X

    EB4X Active Member

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    Go for a 3rd Gen bulletproof 5.0 4x4.... more modern / more room ...probably a few more gizmos---this assuming you were referring to getting a second gen 5.0..... Stay away from the Dodge 4.7 engines ...they're known to drop valve seats starting at 150K and up....
    If you popped in a K&N air filter in your current you will notice obvious improvement in responsiveness and slight h.p. gain. Don't over-oil filter though otherwise will mess up MAF sensor..
     
    Last edited: August 5, 2019
  5. Alexjordan22

    Alexjordan22 New Member

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    Yeah, there are a couple around me with ~100k for like $3500 which I think is pretty good. Just unsure if I want to stick with the 2nd gen because of the ride quality and other stuff. I prefer cars from the early 2000s because they had enough technology to give them decent power and fuel economy without all the crap new cars have. Just wanted some opinions on whether it maybe time to look elsewhere since the 3rd and 4th gen explorers have quite a list of known issues as well.
     
  6. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The 2002-2010's have some engine and transmission issues, less as the years went by, as Ford worked out new model transmission woes. I've wondered about those and the rear suspension issues, seem to be common and expensive to deal with.

    If the truck like ride of the early Explorers is a problem, you'll have to look away to find better. The older 95-98 Limited's and Eddie Bauer's had the softest springs, because they came with air shocks standard. Those will give the best ride of 1st/2nd gens, but you have to maintain that air ride system(ARC), and they aren't made to work with altered ride heights.
     
  7. Alexjordan22

    Alexjordan22 New Member

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    Yeah, I really like the 4th gens because they’re still fairly small like the 2nd gens. I know hey have the spark plug issue and I think some transmission issues, however the 4.6 3v is a great engine and would be awesome to have.

    I think the truck like ride wouldn’t be so bad if the seats in mine were better. My seats are flat slippery vinyl with no lumbar or side support...and with no center console to lean on it’s awkward. I’ve considered getting a long console and seats from the jy but I really would prefer a limited 2nd gen 5.0.

    I have a friend with a 4.7 durango and loves it. He does almost no maintenance on it and it keeps going. He did have to replace nearly the whole cooling system though when he first got it. Plus the fold flat 3rd row is a plus.

    I’ll keep looking and see what will work, I think my top choices would be a 99-01 Limited 5.0 or a 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 at this point.
     
  8. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Check out any earlier Explorer with the nicer seats, the ones with side support and leather. The Eddie Bauer's were all like that, as well as all of the Mountaineers. The Limited began to have a flat seat in 1998 I believe, I really don't like those flat seats.

    Below are two good pics of those types of seats. The first is my 99 Limited with my old 93 Limited seats in it.
    The second one is my 98 Mountaineer with the stock left seat, and a 99 Limited right seat in it.

    Projectthread102.JPG

    99Limitedseat003.JPG
     
  9. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I think the Mountaineers used softer springs/torsion bars than the Explorers. I may be wrong, but our 2000 Mountaineer has the most comfortable ride off all our gen II's. I wish my '01 Explorer EB rode as well.
     
  10. XLTrunner

    XLTrunner Active Member

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    Agree that swapping seats from a Limited or E.B. is a big improvement. Just did this a couple months ago on my '98 with std cloth seats. Found a '96 Limited with mint leather seats at the local U Pull. Paid a whopping $22/seat; including the power seat tracks.
     
  11. EB4X

    EB4X Active Member

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    Yep.... no complaints with my E.B. seats.....very supportive feeling seats...
    And on the tranny issues on the 3rd Gen's there's an aftermarket rebuild kit and improved case sleeve kit that makes them way better (longevity) than OEM.
     
  12. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    You can still find low mileage 2nd gens around occasionally, if you were going to do this, I would wait until a clean 5.0 model came around. These typically were loaded with creature comforts too, and the most reliable. There was a 97 Mountaineer around here I just saw with 82K miles at a dealer asking $2700 that looked almost brand new.

    If you're going with something more modern, a 4th gen Explorer is a good choice (The 3-valve 4.6 is solid, and the 6R transmission seems to be a big improvement over the 5R55W they used in the 3rd gen) and prices are really reasonable. I've always liked the 1st gen Lexus GX series too and they have a reputation for being extremely reliable. They are similar in size to the Explorer and based off of the 4-Runner platform. The later generations of the GX are probably reliable too, but boy are they ugly.
     
  13. Alexjordan22

    Alexjordan22 New Member

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    I forgot about the GX. That’s a good point about those. They are rock solid in reliability.

    I like the look of the 4th gens and like you said, the 3v and 6r seem like a good combo. Plus the 3rd row seat doesn’t hurt either. That would ultimately be my first choice.

    I think I’ll end up checking out the junkyard for some different seats and a center console. I’m sure any seat will bolt to my manual seat track which is fine, as I don’t care enough to get the wiring and relays/fuses hooked up properly for a power seat. A friend had a 92 Ranger with cloth buckets that were always pretty comfortable I remember. I’ll see what I can do. I think if I can just make it a little better for long days in the truck then I can be fine with it. I do agree though that if a low mile 5.0 pops up I might have to grab it. Just hard to justify getting rid of my perfectly fine explorer for another one the same bodystyle.
     
  14. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    If you're looking to swap your seats, the cloth seats seem to wear very well, even better than the leather seats. You can replace the leather if it's coming apart, but it's around $400 to do the top and bottom. I've replaced two bottoms, one leather and one in vinyl (which is less expensive). It's not too hard to do.

    I've also read that you can install newer Ford seats (maybe up to 2010 seats) on your Gen II seat bases. IDK how true that is, but there's just 4 bolts that hold the seat to the base.

    I'd avoid the '98-'01 Limited seats. They look plush but they don't have any lateral support. If you can find '97 Limited seats in good condition they're a good choice, though you may have problems with the air-bladder adjustable lumbar supports. I have I pair of '97 Limited seats in my '54 F100 that were brand new (still had the protective plastic on them) when I found them at a swap meet back in '98.
     
  15. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    My 2000 Sport had the base cloth seats and I agree they were extremely uncomfortable, no support at all. I haven't tried the Limited seats, they look like they would be comfortable, but I have tried the powered cloth seats from a 96 XLT and also a 98 XLT. The later cloth seats are more comfortable and look better IMO. These were the seats with the lumbar wheel on the side instead of the air bladders. They can be tricky to find in good condition but I do see them occasionally at the salvage yards.

    The passenger seat on these is not powered at all so no wiring to mess with. For the driver's side, I think there's a power plug under the carpet even if your truck came with manual seats? (I can't remember, it's been so long.) Even if there was no plug, you just have to run a single +12v line which you can find from under the dash to get the power working.
     
  16. shadow460

    shadow460 New Member

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    I'm in the same situation. The repairs are getting to be more and more often on my 98 Sport. Currently the fuel trims are spiking and causing issues, plug/wires are new and no vacuum leaks. I don't know how to fix that.
    I bought a 2013 F-150 STX to replace to Explorer but haven't sold the X yet.
    It's been a great ride, but the time to switch has come. I probably won't buy another Explorer, I prefer full size trucks or full size SUV's.
    By the way, the 6R transmissions from 2011 to 2013 have their own issues. My new to me pickup has had to go in for transmission trouble but the repair was covered by a recall.
     
  17. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The Explorer seats from about 1992 to 2005 are interchangeable, 2006+ I hadn't read about.

    If you need any height adjustment of the seats, the power seats do get much higher than the manual tracks.
     
  18. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    Do the third gen 2002-2005 seats bolt in to the 2nd gens? This is the first I've heard, and I bet the third gen seats are more comfortable.
     
  19. Alexjordan22

    Alexjordan22 New Member

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    Interesting about the plug potentially being under the carpet. Can anyone confirm that? That would make it much easier to swap in a power seat and not have to mess with much.

    Interesting about the 6R in your truck. Just when you think Ford has a decent thing going...

    Mine has the intake manifold leaking coolant into a couple cylinders which is fouling plugs. I haven’t actually fixed it yet as I’ve just replaced the plugs every couple months when it starts misfiring again. Just haven’t been sure if I care enough to do the work or not.
     
  20. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Yes many years ago there were several forum members who put 3rd gen seats into a 2nd gen. It's been so long I don't recall who or which models. Basically the four bolt seat pattern is the same, which is probably similar on a bunch of other seats.
     
  21. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The manual seat trucks aren't likely to have any power seat wiring built into them, but it only takes two wires to make it work.

    The 6R six speeds are evidently a very strong and reliable trans, but like all Ford new models, the early years have growing pains, issues that it takes several years to get figured out. The 6R80 is a go to automatic now, if it's applicable. The 6R60 is a similar but lighter duty model, hopefully both have upgrades possible for each model year of them.
     

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