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I need help with my new explorer

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by 97ExplorerXLTAWD, February 11, 2011.

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  1. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1997 Explorer XLT AWD 5.0
    I just bought a 97 explorer..awd..5.0 automatic.

    Anyways, there are a few things wrong with it
    and id rather not spend a bunch of money on diagnosis fee due to the fact i cant look at it my self due to living situation, etc.

    Anyways the list of problems

    1. My Tempature gauge does not work, it just stays all the way cold all the time,
    also, my heater does not blow warm, it blows semi half luke warm but its cold air by the time it gets you (it was a cold 81 miles today) All my vents are working etc. so any ideas on that would be great.

    2. Today was first time i drove it after dark, come to find out my instrument panel lights DONT work, i think its just a fuse? has this happened to anyone else? my blinker lights works, the cruise light works and check engine light works. And all the gauges work (except temp gauge as explained in number 1)
    any ideas?

    3. When i drive, the front end makes a loud humming noise. Now i done some research on this and lots of people are saying check balance and rotate tires, could need new hubs, etc. The vehicle drives great, but the steering wheel does wobble back and forth a little bit?

    4. This is so much of a mechanical problem, as it is an annoying problem, the driver door handel is like practically easy as pie to lift, but it opens the door fine, its ratther loose. Also, i think this is preventing my driver door lock to open right. All the locks work great, but it doesnt always want to make the driver door unlock?

    Any help with this would be great, but mainly i need ideas on the temp gauge and heater...its way to cold to have no heater.

    thanks
     
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  3. waskly

    waskly Well-Known Member

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    #1 check the thermostat.

    #2 probably a fuse, but something does blow a fuse.

    #3 check wheel bearings.

    #4 the handle its plastic and broken, it used to be sold as a paint to match now its just plain black need to be painted to match.
     
  4. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    will thermostat maybe fix the no heater problem?

    and yeah, i went to school for automotive, but ive never had an explorer or an AWD, and i dont have the tools i need or location to work on alot of this myself.

    So the all wheel drive does have wheel bearings? if thats the case ill just put new ones on it.

    thanks for the info and quick reply
     
  5. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    It doesn't have wheel bearings up front, you have to replace the whole hub. If the thermostat is bad it could effect the heat.
     
  6. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    thanks, i wasnt sure if it was bearings or hubs.
    I drove it 81 miles today, and the heater never blew warm enough to do any good. If a new thermostat doesnt fix it, what are my other options, heater core?

    thanks
     
  7. Joe Dirt

    Joe Dirt Explorer Addict

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    HERE is the info on the hubs/wheel bearings

    1Aauto.com and rock auto both sell the Timkens. Don't go cheap, the Chinese cheapies fail fast. You'll pay $100+/- plus shipping, each, for the good stuff.


    HERE is the door handle writeup
     
  8. G-96XLT

    G-96XLT Active Member

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    Yes the thermostat will fix your heat. $10 for the stat and $1 for the gasket. All of these are real easy but because you sound new you might want to get it done at a shop.
     
  9. OneLever

    OneLever Active Member

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    1. Definately the thermostat as others have said. If it stays open the coolant will take forever to reach operating temperature.

    2. Check your fuses. If all good its probably the instrument cluster illumination bulbs. Here's a link on getting to them: Link
    It's six style 194 bulbs if you want to stay with incandescent. You don't need the radio removal tool though, since it comes out with the center bezel as one piece.

    3. Can you visually look at how the tires are lined up? The alignment might be off too.
     
  10. Tastlikechikn

    Tastlikechikn Needs a new home

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    Is the heater core bypassed? Heater hoses re-routed? Coolant level full? Does it have a thermostat in it? The temperature may not come up to normal operation temp in cold weather if the coolant is low.(heater blows cold-Temp gauge on "C") Might be air in the cooling system. Not sure about these trucks but it may have a bleeder valve.
     
  11. Tastlikechikn

    Tastlikechikn Needs a new home

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    (Handle Problem) Mine flops too. The spring is broken or missing. "No Biggy". The door lock problem is probably unrelated as I have had to take all four doors apart on my 97' for various different lock, inside and outside handle/opening and locking problems. Pull the panel check it out, it may just need some lube. Mine still acts up oaccationally.
     
  12. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    As i was driving around today, at really low speed take off from a stop i can hear the hubs making a noise as the tires turn, then when the tires are spinng fast enough its just a general loud hum so to speak. Im poor and broke, so i ordered 2 new hubs, probably cheap as they get, probably replace em next year, but got em both for, free ship, 85$...also got a new t-stat and fluid, having them put on in about an hour of this post. will let yall know if that fixes heating.
     
  13. RomeovilleIL

    RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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    Cheap hubs will work for a while, but expect to replace them. That will fix the humming.

    You mentioned loose or wobbling steering. While you have everything apart, you should carefully check the tierod ends and the ball joints. These are the common culprits in the steering wobble & having one break while driving is seriously bad. They are extremely important but also very inexpensive items, especially bought online. Same disassembly for the hubs is required to replace ball joints so you can save a lot of labor doing it in one shot.
     
  14. waskly

    waskly Well-Known Member

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    its still a wheel bearing inside, sealed hubs or not, its still a bearing. how they come is a different story.

    check wheel end play to see which wheel it is.

    if its not the thermostat, you would have to see, if you have circulation, blockages, do heater lines get hot. is there actually a temp difference from upper to lower hose. i would say thermostat since they are cheap and are know for breaking.
     
  15. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    the old thermostat was stuck so far open it was broke...... lol heater and temp gauge work amazing.
     
  16. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    And that is a very true statement waskly, just many people, like me, refer to them as hub and or bearings because of how you replace them.
     
  17. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    thanks for all the tips and ideas and info.
    Ill let yall know if the new hubs fix the humming.

    till then..

    thanks
     
  18. tweety

    tweety New Member

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    must be something...

    when I picked up me Ex a few years back I also had to replace the thermostat within the first week...

    Welcome to the forum, lots of helpful info here. These trucks are great but do require some "tweaking" periodically. Stick around and you'll learn alot. This forum has helped me tackle numerous repairs I may not have had the confidence to do otherwise. Almost anything you may encounter has been done before and someone has posted detailed instructions for the next guy. Once you know what you're talking about, do your part and pay it forward.

    Good luck with your new truck.
     
  19. waskly

    waskly Well-Known Member

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    glad you got heat working!!!
     
  20. 97ExplorerXLTAWD

    97ExplorerXLTAWD Member

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    yea, it burns you out now, i like heat, but to much and i get that suffocating feeling. and my ex does that quick now.
     
  21. OneLever

    OneLever Active Member

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    It should be relatively warm. You should have put in a stock temperature thermostat. Lower than stock will take forever to warm up, higher than stock will overheat the engine.
     

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