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1996 Explorer XLT

47 Packard

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July 22, 2020
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City, State
Napa, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 explorer XLT
I just purchased a 1996 explorer with 35,600 miles on it from the original owner. It's white with grey leather interior and has spent most of it's life in an airplane hanger in the Napa Valley. Needless to say this vehicle is still like brand new inside and out and underneath. So far I have replaced the transmission fluid (with Valvoline MaxLife and engine oil with synthetic 5W30. I also put a set of Cooper all - Terrain tires on it before I took off for the Sierras last week. Two things I have questions about : I ) I noticed after the 4 hour drive to Tahoe that both rear wheels where noticeably warmer that the 2 front wheels. After letting the rotors cool off over night and driving a short distance the rear rotors are warmer than the fronts. I checked the brakes out when the new tires were being put on and it has all new Rotors and pads all around confirming what the original owner had told me. I know that typically 80% of the braking is up front. Has anybody experienced this before? It could be a caliper sticking but, since both rear wheels were equally warm maybe something else is going on. The brakes work great and they never got warm enough to smell. 2) The owner told me that a mouse got in the heater system and made a nest when it was in the hanger . He took it the ford dealer in Napa and they took the dash out and cleaned everything up. I noticed that the vacuum line that comes out of the heater valve located on the right side of the engine is not connected to anything. Does anybody know where that vacuum line is supposed to connect to?
I have to say I really love this vehicle. My driver car is a Mercedes E350 and the explorer seats are more comfortable than the Benz. It handles great and has amazing visibility.
Thank you for any insight.
Tab Borge
 



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For the hotter rear brakes problem, make sure the Emergency brake is not applied, or sticking "ON". If the e-brake is ok, check all the steel and rubber lines going to the rear brakes for kinks, and severe bends. You could also lift the rear of the truck off the ground and see if takes much effort to actually turn the tires, which it should not.
Or, it is possible that is is normal for the rear disks to be hotter than the front if it is not a "vented" disk like the front are for improved cooling.
 






Its pretty common for the rear discs on 95-01 explorers to drag a little
You can try cleaning and lubing the caliper slide pins

36,000 miles on a 96 oh baby, what a gem! 96 is my favorite year of the Gen II explorer
Is yours a 4.0 V6?
 






Its pretty common for the rear discs on 95-01 explorers to drag a little
You can try cleaning and lubing the caliper slide pins

36,000 miles on a 96 oh baby, what a gem! 96 is my favorite year of the Gen II explorer
Is yours a 4.0 V6?

I'll take any 2nd gen year, but a 95. To hell with that OBD 1.5 system.
 






I just purchased a 1996 explorer with 35,600 miles on it from the original owner. It's white with grey leather interior and has spent most of it's life in an airplane hanger in the Napa Valley. Needless to say this vehicle is still like brand new inside and out and underneath. So far I have replaced the transmission fluid (with Valvoline MaxLife and engine oil with synthetic 5W30. I also put a set of Cooper all - Terrain tires on it before I took off for the Sierras last week. Two things I have questions about : I ) I noticed after the 4 hour drive to Tahoe that both rear wheels where noticeably warmer that the 2 front wheels. After letting the rotors cool off over night and driving a short distance the rear rotors are warmer than the fronts. I checked the brakes out when the new tires were being put on and it has all new Rotors and pads all around confirming what the original owner had told me. I know that typically 80% of the braking is up front. Has anybody experienced this before? It could be a caliper sticking but, since both rear wheels were equally warm maybe something else is going on. The brakes work great and they never got warm enough to smell. 2) The owner told me that a mouse got in the heater system and made a nest when it was in the hanger . He took it the ford dealer in Napa and they took the dash out and cleaned everything up. I noticed that the vacuum line that comes out of the heater valve located on the right side of the engine is not connected to anything. Does anybody know where that vacuum line is supposed to connect to?
I have to say I really love this vehicle. My driver car is a Mercedes E350 and the explorer seats are more comfortable than the Benz. It handles great and has amazing visibility.
Thank you for any insight.
Tab Borge
Wow, a rust free 96 wow. It will certainly be on the road a very long time! It is possible the emergency brake is binding. On your rust free truck it will be very easy to check and work on. These trucks are amazing and you can add a few creature comforts to modernize it.

We would need pics for the vac line.

If you have the 4.0L Cologne V6, I suggest changing the idler pulley (the one at the top near the alternator). They have a possibility of failing. Inexpensive insurance.
 






For the hotter rear brakes problem, make sure the Emergency brake is not applied, or sticking "ON". If the e-brake is ok, check all the steel and rubber lines going to the rear brakes for kinks, and severe bends. You could also lift the rear of the truck off the ground and see if takes much effort to actually turn the tires, which it should not.
Or, it is possible that is is normal for the rear disks to be hotter than the front if it is not a "vented" disk like the front are for improved cooling.
Thank you for the feedback. I checked the emergency brake and it's definitely off
Wow, a rust free 96 wow. It will certainly be on the road a very long time! It is possible the emergency brake is binding. On your rust free truck it will be very easy to check and work on. These trucks are amazing and you can add a few creature comforts to modernize it.

We would need pics for the vac line.

If you have the 4.0L Cologne V6, I suggest changing the idler pulley (the one at the top near the alternator). They have a possibility of failing. Inexpensive insurance.

Thank you for the heads up on the idler pulley.I do have the 4.0L If I take it on any more long trips It might be wise to change out the alternator, starter, pulley tensioner and maybe the water pump and thermostat. What would you say about the top and bottom radiator hoses. Even though they have only 36,00 miles they are 24 years old.
The vacuum line coming out of the heater valve is grey and about 2.5 feet long with a 5 inch rubber end ...I have looked all over the engine compartment to see where it goes and can't find a vacuum port that doesn't have anything attached.

Thank you for any input.
 






Its pretty common for the rear discs on 95-01 explorers to drag a little
You can try cleaning and lubing the caliper slide pins

36,000 miles on a 96 oh baby, what a gem! 96 is my favorite year of the Gen II explorer
Is yours a 4.0 V6?
I just checked the brakes and the fronts turn slightly easier than the rears. The emergency brake is definitely not on. Thank you for your feed back.
 






Thank you for the feedback. I checked the emergency brake and it's definitely off


Thank you for the heads up on the idler pulley.I do have the 4.0L If I take it on any more long trips It might be wise to change out the alternator, starter, pulley tensioner and maybe the water pump and thermostat. What would you say about the top and bottom radiator hoses. Even though they have only 36,00 miles they are 24 years old.
The vacuum line coming out of the heater valve is grey and about 2.5 feet long with a 5 inch rubber end ...I have looked all over the engine compartment to see where it goes and can't find a vacuum port that doesn't have anything attached.

Thank you for any input.
Sure! Honestly, I'm at 170K and I had ford heater hoses in my cart to buy and I'm hesitating to pull the trigger. The OEM ones look very good. At about 140K I replaced the upper and lower hoses for PM, but honestly they were ok. I don't know though if heat in CA can age hoses. Here the big problem is RUST!!! Rust ate thru every metal tube, except the SS fuel lines. What a shame.

If you do replace, I would spend a few bucks more and get the Motorcraft ones. They are all available, not expensive. My starter lasted till 150K, but rust did the brush wire in. It was good otherwise. Alternator, again, high mileage. Unless it is a very high quality reman, keep what you have. Parts store is hit an miss. "New" alternators are built in some basement in China. Ford did not scrimp on these parts. The pulley though, used to fail often. Probably not for another 50K at least though.

The fuel pump, usually they last to high mileage but they eventually fail. I would only buy a Ford one. Not cheap.

These trucks had a recall on the sway bar bushings. If those weren't done, you should replace them with Ford ones.
Also the cruise control switch. You will see a harness by the brakes with a label and fuse.

I looked for the grey line from the HCV. It it seems to disappear under the truck. The HCV is controlled by the front A/C controls I believe. Try turning A/C max then heat, see if it moves. I remember a junction behind the glovebox, maybe check around there. I'll look again later.
 






Have the brakes been serviced? They might just be dragging a bit, try removing the pads and greasing the slides + pins. Make sure the clips are in good shape and the pads float when you are done, and move easily. Corrosion on the pins or clips will cause the pads to bind and drag.

On replacing belts and hoses, normally I would say you should replace them at that age. But if they aren't soft, bulging, or cracking, they are probably fine. Modern (I use "modern" loosely to include 90's era vehicles) belts and hoses last a long time. Check the radiator tank and radiator fan for hairline cracks, both are known to happen.
 






Have the brakes been serviced? They might just be dragging a bit, try removing the pads and greasing the slides + pins. Make sure the clips are in good shape and the pads float when you are done, and move easily. Corrosion on the pins or clips will cause the pads to bind and drag.

On replacing belts and hoses, normally I would say you should replace them at that age. But if they aren't soft, bulging, or cracking, they are probably fine. Modern (I use "modern" loosely to include 90's era vehicles) belts and hoses last a long time. Check the radiator tank and radiator fan for hairline cracks, both are known to happen.
Thank you so much for your input. It's hard to find any surface rust anywhere on this vehicle. I was thinking the same thing, that the original ford starter and alternator are still probably better than the best reman ones.
 






I got a 95 with 200K+ miles. Original hoses. They seem fine, but if I were heading out on long treks with no auto parts stores for miles, I'd probably change them.

+1 on the idler pulley, prone to premature failure. Keep an eye on rear leaf shackles. Your probably ok with how it was stored, but they are prone to rust out. I fabbed some steel ones to lift a bit and installed some 32" tires.
pic.JPG
 






I noticed that the vacuum line coming out of the heater valve located on the right side of the engine is not connected to anything. Does anyone know what this vacuum line should be connected to?

Look, you should have a sticker under the hood. The gray line returns from the passenger compartment from the climate control unit to the stove tap.
 

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I noticed that the vacuum line coming out of the heater valve located on the right side of the engine is not connected to anything. Does anyone know what this vacuum line should be connected to?

Look, you should have a sticker under the hood. The gray line returns from the passenger compartment from the climate control unit to the stove tap.
96 has a vacuum disconnect system for 4x4. 97 does not.

I wonder if the guy posting has a 4x4 truck? They may have left a line going to nowhere.
 






Well, sorry, the first time I answered a question in the forum I made a mistake with the answer input field. Now in essence; There are 4x4s, but there was no question about this, the vacuum system on the right side of the intake in two lines (red) comes to the fuel pressure regulator and the vacuum receiver. From the receiver, a pair of red and black goes to the on / off valves of the front axle, and a single black goes into the cabin to the block EATC. Gray returns from there and comes to the stove tap. The receiver is located on the right fender, almost under the air filter can. The photo was like a sample where to look.

Why doubt my 4x4? the person asked specifically about the unconnected heater valve line
sorry for the grammar(Google Translate)
 






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