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This is probably the last nail in the coffin

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by sehaare, August 1, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    98XLT 4WD SOHC,94XLT gone
    1998 XLT SOHC that I've had since the day it rolled off the showroom floor.

    It replaced the 1994 XLT that I bought new. It's got about 160K on it. it Survived: being t-boned (and totaled and then bought back), the last 15 years of Chicagoland Road salt, and a new driver (daughter). I've done 95% of all the maintenance on it from the first day including replacing all the suspension and steering components up front, differential and tranny fluids, coolant flushes, brakes, a front hub. I had the timing belt tensioner recall done on the SOHC back when it first came out and paid to have the rear end differential rebuilt a few years when I was out of town and my daughter needed to commute to college>

    I'm only home between jobs for a week and it had a noise up front. so ,I didn't have time to look at it myself and took it in to a local shop that I had used for alignments in the past. They diagnosed the noise as coming from the front differential and wanted just under $600 to look at it further to determine what need to be replaced. So I told them that the car is worth barely more than the $600 and to just leave it as is. It looks like I'll be saying goodbye to an old family friend. Hopefully my daughter can save up enough for another car before this one finally dies.
     
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  3. EB4X

    EB4X Active Member

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    Sorry to hear this.... yeah always sad to say goodbye to an ole' family friend...... sold my Ranger a couple years ago I had forever and served me very well....but it was to get this replacement Ford 4x4 so it just got replaced with it's 'brother' with same engine....so not so bad....
     
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  4. XLTrunner

    XLTrunner Active Member

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    That is unfortunate...but, it sounds like it has served you well over the years. I'm in a similar situation with my '04 Sable. It has 260K miles and runs great...but, is succumbing to the rigors of MN winters and is one major maintenance problem away from retirement. Best car I've ever owned. On the other hand, my '98 SOHC was brought up from AZ about 7 yrs ago and I've kept it off the roads during the winters. It is spotless and looks practically new; except for some sun fade on some of the exterior trim. Even so, with 180K miles on it, I'm really not sure what I'd do if one day it should require a significant repair that I can't do myself (i.e. engine work or tranny). Best of luck whatever you decide.
     
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  5. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    front differential takes an hour to replace working slow on these trucks and you can get one for like $50-100
    Not a good reason to scrap a good Gen II in my opinion
    Also the noise could be a wheel bearing or front driveshaft also?
     
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  6. XLTrunner

    XLTrunner Active Member

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    I agree with 410Fortune on the replacement of a front diff not being reason to scrap an otherwise good Explorer. But, I also can understand where the OP is coming from having driven vehicles up here in the Rust Belt my entire life. The damage from rust is something you have to see to believe. I'll stick with maintaining vehicles as long as they look decent. But, when rust takes over and they become an eyesore (if not downright unsafe), all it takes for me is a significant repair such as this and it's time to move on.
     
  7. masospaghetti

    masospaghetti Elite Explorer

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    I've had enough bad experiences with shops that I would take a careful look yourself before deciding to scrap the vehicle. Make sure it's actually the differential and not something else, like a wheel bearing or u-joint, or just low on fluid from a leaking seal. $600 for a diagnosis is ridiculous.

    I also agree that a front diff is not a good reason on its own to scrap the vehicle. there are so many used parts for these trucks that you should be able to readily find a replacement axle. I replaced the rear diff on mine and it took an afternoon but it wasn't that hard to do. I think the replacement axle was $200 and they normally include some kind of warranty.

    Sometimes getting another vehicle, especially a used one, is asking for more problems. At least with this one you know what you're dealing with. Even new cars can have a surprising number of problems.
     
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  8. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    If it wasn't a rust-belt vehicle I'd say verify where the noise is coming from and if it's the front diff (worst case scenario) look for a good used replacement diff. I grew up driving in the northeastern rust-belt and a 21 year old vehicle up there may not be worth the effort to save (assuming it's even still on the road). I've been living in GA since 1993 and all 3 of my 20 'ish year old vehicles with 200k-265k miles are almost a pleasure to work on because they have absolutely no rust to contend with. I do 99% of my own repairs. This makes it very economical for me to keep fixing/driving my old vehicles.

    To anyone out there driving, or considering, a Gen II Explorer who doesn't/can't do most of their own repairs, my advice is that you can't afford to be driving 20 year old vehicle. The labor and parts mark-up to make even simple repairs will cost you 10 times what it would cost you to fix it yourself.
     
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  9. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    I have never worked on a vehicle much until I got ambitious and started wrenching on my Explorer. I have a decent set of tools. My g/f’s dad would help me if I asked, and he could pretty much fix anything. G/f’s parents own a ready mix concrete business so he has tools, shop, and knowledge. I will only attempt things I think I can finish within my days off. If I think I might run into issues, I’ll have my local mechanic do the job. A ‘once in a while’ repair bill is easier than a monthly payment on a newer vehicle.
     
  10. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    I think like most shops they have a book that list the time it should take and it showed 4.5 hours of labor to drop the differential to inspect it. Labor $$ add up fast.
     
  11. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    This one just rusted through this year at the top of both rear wheel arches. Pretty common up here. I just got done doing what should have been a quick sway bar link replacement on my 2013 VW and what should have taken an hour or so got finished after midnight due to rust frozen nuts and bolts. It took a combination of Kroil, Vice grips, big-ass impact wrench, sawall and dremel to get the old ones out.
     
  12. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    Yeah, and if the flat rate book says 8 hours labor and they do the job in 4 hour, guess how many hours labor you get charged for?

    I really can't think of too many many shop/dealership experiences I've had that I was happy with (cost aside).
     
  13. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    Front driveshaft and seal were replace less than 2 years ago, I replaced both half shafts a little while before that. I'm going to drain and fill the differential this weekend and see how the old fluid looks. I've never done a differential before, maybe I need to break out the manual and see what all is involved. If it does need to be replaced then I'm not really hurting anything to keep driving it while I decide. The noise is not that bad, I hear it the most at low speeds.
     
  14. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    I have a log book of every single thing that I've ever done to the XLT and I was looking though it last night saw all the new parts that i've put into it over the last few years. part of me is now saying that there ain't much more that could go wrong if I fixed the differential..................
     
    Last edited: August 2, 2019
  15. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @koda2000 "I do 99% of my own repairs."

    Just curious, what might be included in the remaining 1%? Thanks! imp
     
  16. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    LOL, I do not rebuild transmissions or fool with exhaust work. Anything else I'll tackle.

    Oh, I'm not that fond of 5.0L water pumps either.
     
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  17. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    front diff:
    remove front D shaft at the diff (U bolt straps Torx 30)
    Remove both front tires
    remove the large CV axle retainer nuts
    remove the upper ball joint pinch bolts

    Swing hammer until both upper ball joints are loose, let the suspension hang.
    Now you can pull the CV axles out of the diff on both sides.
    Small pry bar will help you defeat the half shaft Cir clips
    After that there are 3 bolts that hold the front diff in
    Now the front diff is out you can set it aside and drain it.

    Takes 45 minutes to remove front diff working slowly if you are in a hurry you can swap the whole she bang in less than two hours and that's with cleaning up the mess and filling the new diff with fluid. I know because I had to do this once for a stubborn customer who showed up at my shop at 7:30 am when he was supposed to come the next day..I made him ride with me to take my kid to school then hauled ass back home to replace his front diff before I had to go to work.......long story short my stepson installed a front diff in his truck that was defective and I told him I would take care of him....he forced the issue and when I opened the door that AM he was STANDING THERE!! My stepson still owes me for that one....the 4.10 diff they installed had a hairline crack in it and was leaking, so I replaced it with a 4.1 diff I had lying around. I always have my families back and take care of "OUR" customers...so operation less then two hour front diff swap in the grass was a GO
     
    Last edited: August 3, 2019
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  18. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    I've replace the CV axles before and was surprised how easy it was. (On VW's the axles are bolted to the transmission cups with 6 Triple square bolts that like to strip out). I'm working on draining the fluid and saw the 3 bolt that you mention they looked to be in pretty good shape (you can find some bolts that have their heads almost rusted away up here in Chicagoland. That just leave disconnecting the front D shaft. that was replaced a few years back so I should be able to bust loose the Torx 30 bolts.

    Now the question is how to find a used front differential that will be in better shape than the one that I have.
     
  19. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    so, to finish out this thread, I sucked out the gear oil from differential (no drain plug) and there was only about 700ML in there, should have been about twice that. It was pretty black but I didn't get any metal flakes in it. Admittedly the metal could have all sunk to the bottom of the differential and didn't come out when I siphoned out the gear oil.

    I refilled it with synthetic gear oil and got pretty close to the full fill volume in there before it started running out the fill hole (indicating that all the oil did siphon out and that I didn't leave a lot in there.

    Still has the grinding noise, so no I'm looking for a replacement differential and have started a new thread on that.

    thanks for the help
     
  20. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Could the grinding noise actually be caused by a worn cv joint at the transfer case end of the front drive shaft? ( prop shaft) You might take a look at the tiny rubber boot in it, check it for cracks, then give the driveshaft a tug or 2 while under there. You might just see something the mechanic missed



    The cv joint is available seprately as a kit, and more likely of failure than the front differential which is rarely under "use"

    Just a suggestion.
    Item 1 here

    1998 FORD EXPLORER 4.0L V6 SOHC CV Joint | RockAuto
     
  21. sehaare

    sehaare Active Member

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    Thanks, I'll check it out.
     

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