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Ford didn't take advice from their own engineers - I will and YOU should too

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by ExploreHudson, July 10, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Roadrunner777

    Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

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    Well, ok. I appreciate the sentiment from the original poster. I can see where the mods suggested would improve the stability of any vehicle, not just an explorer. I'm not sure I am on-board with adding spacers to widen the track because it would put my tires pretty close to the wheel wells, and would add stress to the studs, which aren't that great to begin with.

    But, the real question is... is it worth doing? I'm in rural northern MN, and I test drive vehicles of all kinds, Dodge Rams, Jeeps, and the occasional Explorer. I have to dodge deer at least once a week. And, I have to drive these same roads in my '94 Explorer. Really, the suspension performance is very similar. In this regard, the worst was the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, with the 2.0L engine option. Very light, very tall. But, it was only slightly worse.

    Probably the safest thing an Explorer owner could do is get into a more recent model with airbags, which kind of defeats the spirit of this forum, obviously. The best moves, in my opinion, to retain a 1st generation Explorer, is to keep it maintained, buy the best tires you can afford, and this last one sucks, I know: Take a good hard critical look at brake lines and components. Original brake lines are now 25 years old.

    But, it is what it is. In my 40 years of driving in all kinds of places, I have never had to make a complete hard emergency J-turn. I have only seen one wreck because of this, it was a 70's Jeep, and that was a curiosity, he got around the turn and went another 200 feet before finally flipping. He must have got into some weird fishtail thing. Easiest way to flip a vehicle is to go off the highway into the snow or dirt. And no vehicle is immune from that hazard.

    Wear seat belts, avoid tired/distracted driving, blah blah blah.
     
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  3. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    What is a "J" turn? I am thinking of going out and practicing until I leave a nice J shape in the dirt

    This really should be posted all over the bronco II and Jeep forums...you think a Gen I Explorer rolls over east you should try a Bronco II or an old CJ!! Evasive maneuver and your gonna be glued to that drivers seat via your pucker real quick. I remember the first time the rear end got away from me in the BII...wow that was wild, after all those years of driving cars... Well I had to change the way I drive or end up on my lid!

    25 years plus or minus later....still driving that same truck
    All you gen I and Gen II drivers should be forced to do a J turn in a BII....it would make for a fun weekend and we can get BII's for like $3-500 each so plenty of crash dummies to mess with! Who's down?

    I wonder how a 2020 Explorer sport does in a "J turn" at speed? What about one of those new Wrangler pickups? Probably roll down the highway like a slinky!
     
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  4. Roadrunner777

    Roadrunner777 Well-Known Member

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    I have driven the Jeep pickup, the Gladiator, quite a bit. It has a very harsh suspension, and terrible steering. You can get similar specs in other vehicles that are better built and cheaper... it's a bit of a vanity vehicle, in my opinion. However, if I were driving trails for a living, I might look at the Rubicon model... it has a good suite of off-road features.

    But yeah. When they assign us vehicles to drive, nobody wants the Gladiator.
     
  5. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Where did all of those 5th and 6th wheel contraptions go that Consumer Reports installed onto Suzuki Samurai's? That made those safe didn't they, can we install those and then do stupid things?
     
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  6. kmack

    kmack Member

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    Forgive my ignorance here, but isn't a "J" turn where you start going in reverse and then spin the vehicle around to go forward without ever changing your original direction of travel?
    I don't see how that could be considered an "emergency maneuver at speed."

    Plus I doubt our Gen 1 transmissions would be up to that kind of task (at least not for long).
     
  7. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    that maneuver is officially called an "emergency bat turn"
    I still wanna try a J turn...I have several off road vehicles to attempt this with
     
  8. Mike65

    Mike65 Elite Explorer

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    My wife had a 1985 Bronco II 4x4, a 1994 Explorer Sport 4x4, & is now driving her second 99 Explorer Sport, & we never had a situation that would remotely come close to a rollover. As stated above if you drive a SUV like a car or like an idiot, & do not do the proper preventive maintenance what do you expect.
     
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  9. Tech By Trade

    Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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    Parents had a 91 explorer that ended up on its roof driving back from work when we were kids. Doesn't take a J turn, just some black ice. They also had a 97 blazer that ended up on its roof, but that was after a couple chugs stole it and used it as a crack house for an evening while joy riding.
     
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  10. ibstang

    ibstang New Member

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    Y'all sure know how to get an old-dog up outta' his easy-chair...Having read countless opinions on the Ford SUV roll-over debacle, there seemed to be one constant common denominator in the tragedies- the Firestone radial tires. They were repeatedly proven to be the industry's most failure-prone product. Modest changes in PSI and MPH could combine to allow catastrophic tread separations.

    If any fault can be found with Ford, it would be their bean-counter suck-up choice to continue purchasing from a supplier with the most abysmal labor relations of its day. I'm not trying to start some sorta' union rant, I'm just saying the nice folks that made the tires that will take your kids to soccer practice hated their F'G jobs. Cue the attorneys...ADMIT NOTHING!!

    As a group, the in-house engineers at Ford had to be aware of the problem, and its obvious solution- throw the supplier to the wolves, and start buying top-shelf tires (hang the cost). That, of course, would imply culpable knowledge of a litigious practice. So, the engineers were under marching-orders to STFU, and the suits just hoped people would lose interest. The people didn't, and it 'twas what it 'twas....

    Just on the side...I used to build brat-racer SCCA Pintos. Easy to skinny-down to 1800#s, and the early OHC 2L could push 240hp with OTC box-parts. Holley even made a "1/2 4bbl" just for us. Power-to-wt ratio, we'd toe-up with 500hp, 3600# GT yokels but, for some reason, they wouldn't let us go play with 'em. One team owner I built for, all of his cars had air-horns...
    :burnout:
    Edit: Almost forgot...Re "exploding Pintos", our rally-cry was "Ya can't HIT what ya can't CATCH"...

    Re-edit: Pintos had to be the car they INVENTED hand-brakes for...
     
    Last edited: July 16, 2019
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  11. J_C

    J_C Well-Known Member

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    The thing is, I want mine the way it is. I don't do serious off-roading (as a sport) in it, so I don't have my '98 lifted, but at the same time, I do go off-road, I do take it out in several inches of snow, and do haul loads in back, so the last thing I want is a low riding truck with barely any tires on it. That defeats its purpose.

    There is no question in my mind that I could tip it over if I tried to. I was aware of that with a very similar GMC Jimmy (same as Chevy Blazer) I drove years ago in my wilder, younger days. That Jimmy, I once literally chose to brake while driving straight into a ditch, instead of trying to take an unexpectedly sharp turn at the speed I was going... freaked out my passenger when I casually announced "we're going in that ditch" right before doing so, but I had taken it off-road all the time and knew as long as I didn't hit anything, it was nothing to put it in 4WD and drive back out of the ditch.

    My #1 concern in it is deer avoidance maneuvers, but I simply drive slower where there is a likelihood of encountering any, and the same general strategy applies to any high center of gravity vehicle, that in any case where you can't be 100% sure you're going to be driving straight ahead for the next stretch of road (even if it is a straight road), slow down.
     
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  12. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I had a friend with a Cleveland Pinto once, it was pink and everyone knew it at the drag strip. I never got a ride in it, but it was quick, and that was about 1985.

    Ford's mistake was telling people to run low air pressure in the tires. That was for a softer ride, and they put it in writing on every door jamb. That was dumb, just like driving too fast in these tall trucks at excessive speeds. If you do something dumb, you should expect Murphy to slap you upside the head to teach you, "don't do that."
     
  13. ibstang

    ibstang New Member

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    For my newly acquired 'ought-five X, I'm still pickin' apart some of the gee-whiz goodies, and one that is up the list is the tire pressure monitor system. The spare tire bay is empty, and I have a mutt steel rim starboard-aft (right/rear). So I'm looking for a matching factory alloy rim, while studying on Y/T how to synch new sensors. Saw 5x sensor replacement kits on Amazon, and that seems to be the way to go.

    I'm due for tires in the near future, leaning towards Michelin roadies (v. mudders), and expecting primarily interstate & light towing duty. I've also been searching strut choices, and cleaning-up the squeaky bits (@170k mls). Before I spring for the new rugs, it just makes sense to give them a welcome home. The TPS input would probably be one of the best gizmos on the dash. It gets really interesting when the shopping-list starts to add-up to more than what you paid for the DAMN truck...
     
  14. JonathanZ

    JonathanZ New Member

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    I still own a 1994 Ford Explorer I purchased new in 1993. From the very beginning the Explorer occasionally had unexpected lurches and rumbles that made it unsteady. It also had consistent rumble at speed that would go into and out of phase -- like the tires were out of balance. They weren't. I took it back to Bob Turner Ford in Albuquerque and they said it was the Firestone tires out of round and to take it to the Firestone dealer, which I did. The Firestone store insisted the tires were fine. So back to Ford and they installed heavy duty motor mounts under warranty. Didn't help. Back to Firestone -- "it's not the tires." Back to Ford for an anti-vibration kit. Didn't help. This went back and forth for 30,000 miles until I read about how good Michelin tires were for the then new SUV type vehicles, junked the Firestones, and purchased Michelins. The Michelin dealer called me into the shop and showed me where all four (ALL FOUR!) Firestone tires had slipped belts. The Michelins solved the problem and I've been driving on Michelin tires ever since.

    In short, it WAS the tires. So no more Firestone tires for me. Ever.

    Bob Turner Ford was great. They did everything they could to help solve the problem and I'd buy from them again. I've got 196K on the Explorer and it's been a good vehicle. I just used it in 4WD Low Range to tow some heavy equipment up a steep and slippery hill and it worked perfectly.
     
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  15. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes it was proven that certain batches of firestone tires were defective from the factory, they can even tell you what factory and what days they were built. yet Ford took the big blame in the courtroom
     
  16. smegun

    smegun Active Member

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    dam new firestone A/T destinations part of the reason im doing this job the rear has locked up and spun round on me it didn't feel like a tilt what about toe in anti toe in force the tire to stay out and burn more road and tire bad effect full gainer over the curb im looking at a cop type performance tire from mich at least a broader side wall for a coup I got
     
  17. 410Fortune

    410Fortune River season Staff Member Moderator

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    wow!! Wait, what?
     
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  18. ibstang

    ibstang New Member

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    Sounds like another classic case of trailing throttle over-steer into the inter-dimensional hay-bales...:confused:...
     
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  19. shran

    shran Elite Explorer

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    I have a like new Firestone from 1993 if anyone wants some nostalgia... was a spare on a parts truck... :D:D:D

    I'm not much of a Firestone fan either. Had a Transforce AT split open halfway around on my F250... discovered it when I got back home from a 150 mile trip with a trailer in tow. Sure glad it didn't blow up on the interstate. It was an old worn out tire anyway so I don't know if I can really place blame anywhere but they were kinda shitty all around - no traction anywhere off road... they wear like iron though.
     
  20. MrQ

    MrQ Fuel Pump Replacer Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow you hit some nerves with this one. Sufficed this is not something most people will implement. I have driven nearly every combination of first gen and 2nd gen explorers. The only time I felt like I was going to tip was hitting the downward trail of "Top of the World", but I think it was going to be more end over end than anything... haha.

    Granted they sway like a hula dancer at a luau when lifted, but you if don't drive like a maniac they are quite safe vehicles.
     
  21. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    IMO the OP didn't do anything wrong and I didn't get the "holier than thou" impression either. Not sure why everyone is getting so fired up about this.
     

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