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Explorer VS. Tahoe

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by jujaku, May 5, 2016.

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  1. jujaku

    jujaku New Member

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    2014 hyundai veloster
    Hello all.

    my very first thread here.
    recently i am eyeing on some cheap SUV for next couple of year to use.

    1. reliability (budget is $4K and don't want to spend extra [MENTION=46902]2K[/MENTION] for repair)
    2. cold A/C (i'm in texas)
    3. enough power for 85 mph (again, i'm in texas)

    2003 Explorer(V6,V8)/Tahoe(V8) and Jeep Grand Cherokee(V8) are within budget, with 150K+ miles on odometer.

    @ Explorer: widely available, known to have timing chain guide issue and it is $$$ to replace
    @ Tahoe: less available then Explorer, bit pricey, but proven engine. Tranny may need overhaul?
    @ Grand Cherokee: smaller than the other two? not sure it is reliable as the other two.
    @ anything else?


    i want to hear your opinion between tahoe and timing chain job done explorer.
    and if you guys have any other suggestion, please share with me.

    thanks!
     
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  3. colintrax

    colintrax Elite Explorer

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    Skip the Jeep, V8 explorer or chebby
     
  4. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    if you are considering a tahoe just go for a suburban. They get the exact same mpg and handle far better thanks to the long wheel base.

    stay away from V6 in Explorer.

    But if really between Tahoe and Explorer. Tahoe all the way. Explorer only gets an itty bit better mpg (and I mean, barely an itty bit) than our 2007 Suburban. Suburban is far smoother ride (explorer rides like a heavy duty truck!). Suburban quieter on highway by far too. Also, much better handling, Suburban has lower center of gravity.

    We have had a 1st gen Explorer Limited (best Explorer ever, parents still miss it), 2nd Gen Mountaineer (road like a truck, hated it), 2002 Suburban LT Auto Ride (best SUV ever owned, better than the 1st gen Explorer), currently 2007 Suburban LTZ (sucks compared to the 2002!), and currently 2002 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer V8 (rides rough like 2nd gen moutiaineer, loud, low mpg, etc.)

    My explorer is rated to tow 7,000 lbs. Our Suburban just a bit higher. No way would I ever trust that behind my explorer. 1st, the tranny will blow up, 2nd brakes will melt down, 3rd it will be unstable due to short wheel base. But it will ride nice with a good tongue weight on it :p (we have towed 8,000 + with our Suburban and it did fine)

    Explorer: ~240 HP ~280 fl lb torque with a trans made for a V6 (prone to blowing up in many ways)
    Tahoe (of early 2000s): ~290 HP ~340 ft lb of torque with 4L60e tried and true transmission

    We honestly wish we had just bought another 2000 to 2002 Suburban instead of the Explorer...
     
  5. Sweersa

    Sweersa Active Member

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    I love my Explorer, but if you don't want to put $2,000 into a $4,000 2005 XLT 4x4 V6 4.0 like I did, I wouldn't get an Explorer. And I didn't even address my timing chains (yet). Mine had many other issues. Big and small.
     
  6. shadowless127

    shadowless127 Well-Known Member

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    At that mileage I'm going to suggest a Tahoe. The 5.3L LS-based V8 is a bit more stout than the 2v 4.6L and that hunk of crap 4.0L V6, and I trust the transmission in the Tahoe WAY more at high mileage than a 5r55 that I don't have the service records for.

    A Jeep at that mileage will be a money pit, I know this from experience. You will have to worry about transmission failure, transfer case failure if it has ANYTHING except Selec-Trac 4wd (NP242/NV242), differential failure, electronics failing (Radio, trip computer, etc.), head issues with the 4.0L, and general engine issues with the 4.7L if it wasn't properly maintained as per Jeep's specs (the wrong coolant will eventually grenade the engine).
     
  7. 2000co

    2000co Active Member

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    I don't recommend buying explorer v6 or v8 same crap engineering. I regret buying mine nothing but big and small problems.
     
  8. dla

    dla Active Member

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    Why do you own an Explorer? All you do is bad mouth them. I dont think you know your butt from a hole in the ground when it comes to Explorers or towing.
     
  9. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    I bought an Explorer because I thought it was what I wanted. Turns out it is far less than what I was wanting and expecting.

    Just today I towed 5,000 lbs on a tandem trailer for 2 hours. Holy crap the trans held to over 4,000 rpm in each gear on LIGHT throttle! And refused to lock the TC even on a flat straight! I used the brakes twice, and they smelled hot immediately after using them... (The brakes honestly are the same size as the brakes on my dads 2014 Optima. That is bad for a 7,000+lb tow rating!)

    The 7,000+ lb tow rating is far too high for these cars.

    If I had known what an Explorer was like, no way would I have considered buying one. It is just far under my expectations and I believe far under it's ratings. It has been reliable so far. But not even 80,000 miles yet.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  10. Sweersa

    Sweersa Active Member

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    I bought my 2005 XLT Explorer because it had 4x4, and looked like a nice modern vehicle for the money.

    I enjoy driving it a lot more than I thought, but I also have to put a lot more work and money into it than I imagined. It's constantly requiring repairs, I can do about half of it myself, which is fine, and I'm good about PM too, so some of what I have done to it may not have been 100% necessary. My 1997 2.3l Ford Ranger was many more times reliable, but it sucks in winter driving conditions. To be fair, it also has far less miles than the Exploder.

    I like my Explorer so much, that when the engine finally blows (my timing chains are making not so nice sounds, and it's getting worse) I'll probably have a new one put in.
     
  11. BrianDye

    BrianDye I'll have another...

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    Honestly, from a Ford guy, I would go with a Tahoe, (or Suburban, as mentioned above)

    I have had a 1st, 2nd, and 4th gen Explorer (actually, three 2nd gens), and all have had their fare share of issues. Mostly normal wear and tear, but compared to other vehicles ive worked on, these seem like every simple task is twice as hard.

    I would also stay away from the V6 in any of your mentioned interests. The V6 is plenty capable of 85mph, but you'll be pushing it so much harder, and most likely getting worse, or very similar MPG's than if you had gotten the V8.

    A few coworkers, friends, friends parents (etc) have Tahoes, or Suburbans, and love them. I like how much bigger they are, its a very common Chevy platform, seem fairly easy to work on, and a couple of them are nearing 200k miles without any major issues aside from normal wear and tear parts.

    The risk of the timing chains on the 4.0 is terrible. I have a 4th gen, which is less prone, but it still crosses my mind every single time I turn that key. The 3rd gens are also notorious for transfer case issues, someone correct me if im wrong, but they seem to whine and then eventually just explode or something? (Not like BOOM/fire explode)
     
  12. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    Actually, I would suggest you look at Trailblazer and Envoys. They have either a straight 6 or a 5.3 V8. The 1500 4L60e and Suburban/Tahoe brakes.

    The I6 goes forever. They never die. My Ford loving mechanic uncle wanted me to have a Trailblazer above all else. But my Explorer came up cheap.

    People say that the 5.3L V8 gets the same MPG as the straight 6 so there is that... But both get better MPG than the Explorers.

    Just some more thoughts for ya
     
  13. dla

    dla Active Member

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    Confirmed my suspicion. You put 5000lbs on a 2000lb trailer, without eletric brakes, hit 4krpms which means you were trying to hit 75mph in 4th gear. And then you complain about the tow rating? So either you left out a lot of info or you dont know squat about towing.

    The Explorer is perfectly capable of handing 7000lbs if you know what you doing. Are there better tow vehicles? Of course. But within the full-size suv category, the V8 Explorer with the tow package (does yours have the tow package?) is pretty good.
     
  14. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    Um how about a 3,500 lb on its own tandem trailer (~1,500 lbs). 1989 Correct Craft Martinique Open Bow with a 351W on a Correct Craft Tandem trailer. If you know anything about boats, you know 90% of boat trailers don't have working brakes. They are hydraulic surge brakes. Only work brand new.

    Also, I knew this was going to be a task, I was trying to maintain 68 MPH. The suburban does 75 with out even trying with the boat. Hell yes I have the tow package. I have all the options an early build 2002 could get.

    I was lightly speeding up to 68 and it was holding to 4k rpm. In O/D at 68 MPH I could only get it lock the TC going down hill... The trans was just killing itself by doing that..

    The explorers look great, I like my explorer, but it is very over rated.
     
  15. TechGuru

    TechGuru Well-Known Member

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    As for the mention of Jeep, the 2008 or newer Liberty is most Explorer like to me.

    If you're considering a Tahoe/Suburban why not a 5.4L Expedition?
     
  16. extra-medium

    extra-medium Active Member

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    Those have one of the biggest rates of power steering pump failures in any car I have ever seen. The 4.2 striaght 6 is a good motor but doesn't feel like you get much acceleration because of the poweband in them. The 5.3 would be a beast motor in them, but you have to get the extended trailblazer, so imo you might as well get a tahoe. You could always go with a Trailblazer SS and get the 6.0.
     
  17. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    Ah ok. The 4.2 straight 6 makes more power than the 4.6 V8.. Also, Isuzu helped make that gas job I6. GM quit making it because it won't ever die! Not enough profit! :thumbdwn:

    Well power steering pump is no where near as bad as highest rate for exploding engines and transmissions! haha

    OP, check this out too: #1 worst car, 2002 Ford Explorer!

    http://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2002/

    My uncle services several trailblazers with over 200k miles on them. The only thing he ever does is oil, brakes, and rarely other wear and tear items. He says you can't beat them. This is the die hard Ford loving mechanic...
     

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