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WHY so loyal to Ford Explorer?

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Mr. Alligator, November 15, 2016.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Mr. Alligator

    Mr. Alligator Elite Explorer

    Joined:
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    City, State:
    Tampa, Florida
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1997 XLT Explorer
    I was wondering why everyone has chosen the Ford Explorer class? Why the interest? There must be a number of different reasons... Reliable? Value? Simplicity? Find one cheap? One reason for the selection of the Explorer might even be the existence of this Forum!

    Myself: I was given my 1997 Explorer brand new as an extremely generous Christmas gift from my brother. I have kept the truck as a daily driver ever since, in no small part to honor that kindness. When I found this Forum ten years ago, my Ford had about 200,000 miles, and lots of deferred maintenance. The first project I did was to read up and figure out how to adjust my hood release so that I could get the hood open. Then, project after project, I caught up on maintenance, repairs, and minor modifications. Thanks to this Forum, my Truck is in much better mechanical condition now than it was 10 years ago. The Explorer seems very versatile: from use in Colorado mountains in Winter, to towing a boat to Lake Ontario in the Summer, to transporting my big German Shepards everywhere I travel, and daily driving in Florida Summers.

    There are so many Members on this Forum who contribute time, ingenuity, craftsmanship, and strong mechanical skills to keep these trucks running. Why the extraordinary patience? Why the devotion to keeping these trucks running?

    Let's hear your story....
     
    Last edited: November 16, 2016
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  3. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    My youngest daughter and her boyfriend bought a 2001 Explorer XLT SOHC five or six years ago (after he wrecked her 2002 PT Cruiser). I had nothing to do with the selection of this vehicle or it's purchase. The truck turned out to be a POS on an out-of-state salvaged title. I ended up doing quite a bit of work on it just so it could be registered and road worthy. During those repairs I drove the truck daily for about a month. I really liked it's size, ride and utility (but hated the rattling SOHC engine). A couple of years later I was looking for a used pickup for myself, but found the prices to be too high. Then I came across my '01 EB 5.0L RWD. It was a one owner vehicle, was fully optioned and other than a torn driver's seat bottom (which I replaced) it was in almost new condition. It has been one of the best vehicles I've ever driven. I've had no problems with it at all in 5 years.

    As I do all the vehicle repairs for my family, when the '01 XLT died I found my daughter a '00 5.0L RWD Mountaineer at a very good price, which needed a little work, but was also in very good condition and it has also turned out to be a very reliable vehicle. Then my eldest daughter needed a used vehicle and I found her a '00 Mountaineer 5.0L AWD and then I found my youngest daughter's boyfriend the '97 Sport. Maintaining a fleet of Explorers/Mountaineers makes life easier for me because once I learn how to repair something on one vehicle I know how to do the repair on the rest of them, plus I can swap parts to help diagnosis problems. I also find them easy to work on and most parts are cheap.

    The only bad Explorer purchase I've made was my '01 Sport Trac, which took a ton of work to get back on the road and continues to break down regularly. At least I didn't pay much for it, but I starting to think by the time I get it completely restored I could have bought a better one and saved myself a lot of labor. Oh well, I knew it was a gamble when I bought it (non running, sight unseen).

    Oh yeah, and this forum has been super helpful when I have questions.
     
    Last edited: November 15, 2016
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  4. RandomNerd2000

    RandomNerd2000 Well-Known Member

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    00 5.0, 01 4.0.
    To be fair, I ended up here after buying a 99 5.0 2WD last year with it's fair share of quirks, and fixing it up, and to be fair, I hated it when I bought it, but after driving it a bit, it was actually enjoyable, and it was totaled in June, so, had to figure out what to get, and decided on another Explorer, thus, finding my 01 Eddie Bauer 4.0 4WD for a tad more than $1K, and fixing it up. I've been hunting a good Eddie Bauer V8 body on the east US coast in the SC/NC/GA area to fix the V8 in the last little while, since the Eddie Bauer is an enjoyable vehicle, but isn't a V8, and I'd like a V8, plus fixing the other car is somewhat of a no-brainer since I know how to do the work. If anybody knows of a 99-01 body with a bad V8 motor/transmission in the places listed, PM me.
     
    Last edited: November 15, 2016
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  5. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    City, State:
    Albany, NY
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
    I find it to be quite reliable and reasonable to service. Sure I can get something newer but why replace something that meets all your needs? I came very close to getting a 2015 but it had a terrible smell (it is an issue on the forums). After that I just decided to keep mine, the dealer was actually interested in the trade because there were buyers who asked for loaded 90s Explorers in good condition.

    After adding coilovers, ES sway bushings, A torsion bars and reflex in the front and some other small mods the handling became sportier and rivals some new SUVs. I do worry about the transmission though.
     
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  6. Rhett

    Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    94 Sport 4x4
    You 2nd gen guys with your youthful trucks. You guys don't need devotion, just a can of oil and a funnel, right?

    I got into Ford's SUV's and trucks in my high school times (1988-1991 for me). Bronco II's, Rangers, and then in '91 when the Explorer came out, I thought, "Wow, there's an upgraded Bronco II, it has it all! 8.8, the 4.0, a little larger, but not as big as the full-size Bronco, etc. etc." -- unfortunately, I couldn't afford one at the time. By 1999, I was out in the real world, so I had money, and still *loved* the boxy 1st gen appearance, and had to have one before they disappeared or got ratty. I started looking for '94 models...Sports, with 4WD and preferably a manual T-case, the last year of the 1st gen, and I found one, with 70,000 miles. Unfortunately it had the electric t-case and auto hubs, but I bought it anyway, as it was local, and clean 1st gen Sports were getting less common.even at that time.

    I found this forum when (I think) it was called 4x4 Central, or at least I think that's right.

    I'm glad I still have the Explorer. It now has 183,000 miles and i've had it at 11,000 feet at Loveland Pass/U.S. 6 in the Rockies, snow swirling and zero visibility, to diamond hunting in arkansas clay pits, to the Appalachians, to Michigan's north woods, to the Gulf coast. Currently it's getting some love (new suspension). I don't drive it every day anymore, but I can if need be. I like fixing things, and making things work.
     
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  7. lobo411

    lobo411 Active Member

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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1996 Explorer 4.0 OHV
    Easy to fix, has a lot of utility value, the styling ages well. Can't say the last bit about ANY vehicle produced in the 70s or 80s! :)
     
    Last edited: November 15, 2016
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  8. 97-5.0

    97-5.0 Member

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    City, State:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1997 5.0 AWD
    I was given mine from a family friend, it was sitting for 7 years,

    Right away I rebuilt the engine from the heads up, lasted a good year then the transmission went, parents owed me 3k so I got it rebuilt, replaced more things I'm will to list, the local part source knows me by name lol, it's never let me down, i never drive it without beating the snot out of it, it loves to be driven hard, 3Ed gear shifts at 150kph and it lives it!

    I'll never give up on it unless it can he replaced by something comparable..... 5.0 awd... can't beat that lol

    And my dad is a NASCAR guy and he bleeds Ford blue baby!!, every penny spent gives a solid reliable vehicle in return, new cars are plastic garbage

    Just need TMH so it doesn't drink so much! can I get a amen?!!
     
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  9. Bfausett84

    Bfausett84 New Member

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    City, State:
    Winder, GA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2000 Explorer XLT AWD 4.0
    About a month ago I bought my explorer from a girl in college, 3rd owner but she got it from her cousin who's dad bought it from hertz in '01 so he knew the whole history. Picked it up for $600 because it had a groan at driving speed that they said two mechanics couldn't figure out. So I came here looking for diagnosis and determined it was a wheel bearing. So thanks to this place I spent 50$ and a couple hours to fix a problem that I'm guessing they decided cost too much because I can't believe 2 mechanics couldn't diagnose a wheel bearing. She's a weird one, 4.0 AWD which parts places say don't exist, but there's only 169,000 on the clock so with the minor repairs I'm in for currently (now a bad lower ball joint and I'm thinking I'll just replace the whole lower control arm both sides) I'm still less than a grand in it and it drives great. I plan to buy a new wrangler soon, but I'm not sure I'd give up the explorer, might keep it up for my son to have down the road or let my nephew have it for now since his mom took his car after their excursion rolled down a hill and totaled itself on a tree.
    It's a great truck, I love driving it especially now that it's quiet. The wife likes it so much she's getting a '17 soon. Now if only I could fix the front bumper it'd be perfect.
     
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  10. koda2000

    koda2000 Explorer Addict

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    I think you'll find the upper ball joints are also worn out (I just went through this last week on my '01 ST). If you still have the OE upper control arms, you'll need to replace the upper control arms. I wouldn't replace the lower control arms unless you have to. Changing the lower ball joints is easy and cheap. I replaced my lower bj's and upper control arms with decent parts for about $100 + a wheel alignment.
     
  11. Tech By Trade

    Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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    City, State:
    Your mom's house
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    07 Sport Trac
    I bought my forever truck, ordered in a 2007 ranger in the fall of 06 from the factory with everything I ever wanted. Great little truck other then the fact I go married in 09 and we had our first child in the spring of 2010. Needed something with a back seat as the jumpers wont cut it with a baby seat. Traded my truck with 50000 kms on it for my pile of garbage explorer with 120000 kms on it. Worst mistake of the last decade. Last Ford I will ever own.
     
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  12. RangerXVX

    RangerXVX Elite Explorer

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    City, State:
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    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    99 Mounty/04 Ranger/93 Ex
    These trucks definitely have a cult following with good reason.

    First experience with an Ex was my brother's '93 Sport - the daily driver turned rock crawler. When it came time to look for my first car, I pretty much would have taken anything to get my ass on the road as a teenager, but an Ex was always a "want" due to my brother's obsession. Searched high and low for something after the mid-90's Sonoma that I originally was going to get was totaled (thanks bro! ;)) Ended up finding a 1997 5.0 AWD with around 180k. It had it's fair share of problems due to the lack of routine maintenance from its previous owners, but after help from my brother and father early on, that thing ran like a top and remained reliable.

    My Ranger and the two Explorers I've had have proven (in most cases) that if you're good to your vehicle, it'll be good to you. In addition, the versatility and potential of these trucks is something that I think fuels our commitment.
     
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  13. Prince_Polaris

    Prince_Polaris Active Member

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    City, State:
    Maryland
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    1998 Ford Explorer Sport
    I'll be honest, I'm just in love with my 1998 explorer sport because it's just a nice little SUV, it's got the 90s styling I love, it's 4 wheel drive so it can handle the roads and the snow where I live, and obviously it's my first car, I have to love it! I'm ignoring the timing chain rattle for now, it's not too loud and sometimes I can start the car, shut it off, and start it again and it's gone, so perhaps that will become my daily routine. It's got next to no rust and our family friend/mechanic says the bottom looks amazing, so I'll be visiting the carwash often to keep it nice and shiny!
     

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