I owned a second gen explorer from 97 until I shipped it to the boneyard last year.
My advice - if you want a commuter car, buy a 4-cylinder Toyota. If you need a truck, an F-150 will get the same mileage, be far better at hauling and towing, and hold better resale value.
You should be able to narrow it down if you poke around with a mechanic's stethoscope http://amzn.to/1On0PhI , or just pull the valve covers and take a look.
Sounds to me like a tensioner exploded and the chain is grinding on something.
The timing setup on the 4.0 SOHC is a ridiculously flawed design.
What other manufacturer ever produced an engine with timing chains on the back of the motor? And plastic guides made so cheaply that they tended to grenade and destroy the engine?
The 4.0 SOHC should have never made it off...
Gotta be honest, I would suggest you pass on the 2nd gen Explorer and look for an F150 instead.
You'll get about the same gas mileage, but the F150 will hold resale value a heck of a lot better, especially if you put a lift kit and big tires on it.
Could fail tomorrow, or could last another 75k.
Take the valve cover off and visually inspect the cassette. If it's missing chunks of plastic or the chain is eating into the mounting post, the engine is close to done.
9005 and 9006 can be safely replaced with 9011 / 9012 HIR bulbs that are ~70% brighter with the same power consumption and an identical beam pattern.
That'd be a great reason to ditch the 9007 housing.
The coil-over shocks will get you an inch or two, and stiffen up the ride a bit.
If you need more, Pro Comp Add-A-Leafs replacing the stock overload leaf are good for a couple inches, but a much harsher ride.
Ford never changed the specifications for the 4.0 SOHC or 4.0 OHV engines.
The 5.0 was back-spec'd to 5w-20.
If you don't want to dump the 5w-20, I would put a bottle of STP oil treatment in to thicken it up.
Not worth risking the fragile timing system components on a 4.0 SOHC, IMHO.
The intake manifold is pretty easy to take off. It's held on by a bunch of torx-headed wood screws. Fortunately coolant does not flow through the manifold, and taking it off does not expose the inside of the crank case, so you won't have a big mess to clean up when you take it apart (one of the...
The gauge isn't really a gauge, it's more of a dummy light.
Did you change the oil and filter?
I'd do that, then pull the plugs, pull the fuel pump relay, and use the starter to turn the engine over for a bit and see if the gauge indicates oil pressure coming up.
It could a take a...
Sorry, doesn't work - when I try to view your albums I get
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You might try a flickr or photobucket instead.
Depends on your climate... down here, I've found that 15w-40 is too heavy even during the summer (increases chain noise), while 5w-30 with a bottle of STP oil treatment, and 10w-40, are both about right.