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1997 Ford Explorer - V8 - 5.0 - AWD

Hello Explorer Fans.

I have been on the forums for some time and have extensively read many threads. I have enjoyed the forums so far. Now I have a question of opinion for you all.

I currently own 97' V6 SOHC Sport and I love it. I was going to SAS it, but Id rather do it to a V8 Explorer, plus, manual TC's are readily available for the swap.

To get to the point, I'm looking at a 97' 5.0 AWD Explorer (166,000 miles) (for a few hundred bucks). It's a solid vehicle, straight but its flashing a few codes. I looked up the codes here on the forums and it appears to be a "simple" fix. It idles well, but has an obvious 'lumpiness' to it. When you accelerate under load, you can sort of hear and feel it. The codes I got were P1132 - Lack of Oxygen Sensor indicates Rich and P1131 - Lack of Heater Oxygen Sensor indicates Lean. Both appear to be O2 sensor issues which may not be that big a deal. The trans seems to shift well with no obvious issues.

I'm very mechanical in nature (I work on my own cars/trucks) and fabrication of all I want to do...is what I do.

I just wanted a few opinions on the success of fixing this issue and any potential things I should look for before i pull the trigger and pick this thing up.

Thanks everyone.
 


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MAS Tequila

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I had those codes a few months ago.

A couple of new O2 sensors cured the problem.
 




Mbrooks420

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For a few hundred if it's not terribly rusty it's probably a good deal. Worst case is scrap it and recover most of your money.
 




geosnooker2000

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For a few hundred if it's not terribly rusty it's probably a good deal. Worst case is scrap it and recover most of your money.

I concur. I would not touch it if it is from the rust belt. Ohio, Michigan, etc. One trick I think I've figured out when looking at explorers for sale on line, if they show a pic of the engine, look at the hose clamps. the ones from the rust belt and up north all look rusty on the hose clamps. All the ones from the midwest and midsouth look grey.
 




Spudhut

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its a solid vehicle with potential. Not much rust at all. I did jump under it and look to confirm AWD since they were a little confused on what the drive train actually was. "4wd missing front driveshaft" but there was not selector switch on the dash. A perfect candidate to do Manual TC swap and suspension mods. 2 doors are not working/opening, but im sure its the rods internally and 2 windows are clicking but wont roll down (need 'new' regulators). For me...lots of easy fixes.

Thanks for the input guys...another Ex that's going to be saved :)
 




97-5.0

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Get it!!, give full tune up, look for cast exhaust manifolds, add ground to coil pack mount, do full trans fluid refresh and add larger external cooler and your good to go for a while!!
 








ImpactF0nt

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I've got the same one but it's one year ahead
 




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After a few hour trek - I got her home. Forrest Green with Grey interior. I'm certainly stoked and have already started to work out the bugs in this thing. You feel like a kid in a candy store. ;)

Here are a few things I found and am working on at the moment. I'm good at troubleshooting and enjoy looking for a fix, but please, if you have any input, please throw it down.

~Driver side front door not opening - Pulled door panel, interior handle was broke in the door - New handle needed
~Driver side rear door not opening - Pulled door panel with door shut (that was a bear!). I noticed latch assembly was real sticky on lock/unlock mechanism
- Its odd, the lock/unlock mechanism wont 'unlock' at the latch, even if I grabbed the lock knob. I may have to pull the mechanism to 'lube it' up and see if there are an obstructions. Once the latch locks, it sticks and needs alot help to unlock - should be easy to figure out once I have it out
~Front door windows not rolling down.
-They click when you try to roll them down...likely bad regulators.
~Rear window defroster electrical connector popped off window -
-Will try to re-solder back in place.
~Heater box dash/floor selector not switching box from floor/dash vents
-So I dove into this. First thing I checked was all the vacuum actuators. They all appear to be working as they should. (in and out; especially one on drivers side with long arm shaft) The air however was not blowing/moving very much or at all. What I did find was the fan only works on High speed only. The first 3 positions on the switch do not work. Oddly, I wanted to see how the fan was working while operating the switch so I manually pulled the flap behind the glove-box and I think the fan is moving in the opposite direction (sucking air). No air came blowing out of the port when I moved the flap. I'm wondering if it is a switch panel issue since the fan is only a 2 wire connection. I'm thinking of switching the Fan switch/heater control panel to see if that fixes the issue.
-Another slightly noticeable thing I found was the engine started to idle a little off when operating the vacuum switch for the floor/dash vents. May be a vacuum leak in there somewhere. I did check all the vacuum actuators and they are holding vacuum just fine. Has to be in another location in-line somewhere
~Engine
-Runs a little lumpy. It does have a hard time 'cold starting' (hold the key for 10 or more seconds just to get it to 'stumble' start. I read a few items indicating that it may be the IAC. I'm going to pull it and clean it to see if that helps fix the issue.
-I took it for a spin and jumped on the gas and it feels like its 'falling on its face'; bogging down on take off. It did smell like it was running very rich...vacuum leak maybe...
-I checked the air cleaner - it looked and felt like a toilet paper roll that got wet in the rain and dried up in the sun...rock hard. I pulled it for the time being and didn't see much of a change in idling.
-Checked firing order- wires were where they needed to be, a few were nicked pretty hard, no spark jumping. I'll eventually replace those.
-There were some codes pulled (mentioned above), but they cleared them after they checked with OBDII reader. I hooked mine up to it, nothing visible. For some reason I could not pull up 'running' data to look at O2 sensor(s) working...I'll figure that one out. It did show O2 Heater/Evap not registering even after heated up. More troubleshooting to follow.
-Temperature gauge is not working - (The sensor is located on top/front of engine; drivers side??) Ill be replacing that.


As I find more, Ill post it and the resolve to the issues. I hope it helps someone out in the future.

Explorer.jpg

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Mbrooks420

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I’d pull the camshaft sync drive sensor Off to make sure the magnet didn’t break off.

I wouldn’t run it at all without an air cleaner.
 




Spudhut

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I’d pull the camshaft sync drive sensor Off to make sure the magnet didn’t break off.

I wouldn’t run it at all without an air cleaner.

Ill check the camshaft sync drive sensor - it was also a possible culprit. I spent an hour or more reading about these last night.

Thanks for input on air cleaner, ill pick up a new one and drop it in right away. :chug:
 




Mbrooks420

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Better safe than sorry :).

Does it have the external egr tube coming off of the passenger side manifold?
 




Spudhut

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Better safe than sorry :).

Does it have the external egr tube coming off of the passenger side manifold?

I will check and post what I find.
 




Mbrooks420

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If you have one they are prone to cracking and leaking air. I believe this messes with the air/fuel ratio
 




CDW6212R

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Congrats, I like it. That's the green I plan to paint my 99 next year. It sound like it's just been ignored, and needs a lot of TLC. Keep at it, just replace fluids, filters, and everything that seems untouched.

FYI, the inside door handles are the same front and back, you can use the rear one on the front until you buy some new ones. Those aren't expensive, just plastic and break easily. Lubricate all of the latches etc, that will help a lot. Have fun,
 




Spudhut

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Did some poking around, This is what I found.

Valve1.jpg

Valve1.jpg

A few questions. This is on the back side of motor on passenger side.
1. What is black vacuum valve? (red arrow)
2. This hose was cracked, so I replaced (blue arrow)
3. What is this valve on back side of intake? I'm guessing EGR? (yellow arrow) It looks like the hose to this has been off for a long time, the nipple leading into it had some rust on it



Sensor.jpg

My temperature gauge is not working - this sensor has only one wire. is this not the correct temperature sensor or is there another elsewhere on the block?

I pulled my IAC to see if the inside was dirty. It was blackened like normal. I was not aware that you could do an ohm test on it till now (put meter on it to check for 7-13 ohms), but did apply 12v power to it and the plunger did not move - I could hear the solenoid energize. I'm going to pick up another, my gut feeling is that this is not working as it should.

Engine is still running 'lumpy'. I'm going to pull spark plugs tonight and inspect/clean them just to make sure they are not the cause to faulty cylinder firings.
 




CDW6212R

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The IAC solenoid is a major part, if it isn't working the idle will be erratic or too low etc. Those are very reliable generally, and can be cleaned. Just don't get harsh cleaners up inside the end with the solenoid, there's a rubber cover/plunger in there sealing the electrics. The other vacuum items behind are for the EGR valve, which is mounted to the back of the intake elbow.

If that intake elbow is flat on top, then you have an early 97 with the GT40 heads. P heads have the EGR pipe going below the EGR, to the manifold.

That single wire connector is fine, Ford often doesn't use all of the terminal holes in connectors.
 




Mbrooks420

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I wouldn’t bother cleaning the plugs. For the price I’d just replace them. You can’t clean use inside of them anyways. If the wires are ugly I’d replace those too.
 




Spudhut

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If that intake elbow is flat on top, then you have an early 97 with the GT40 heads. P heads have the EGR pipe going below the EGR, to the manifold.

Thank you, I believe that intake is flat. With the GT40 heads, is there any good things that can be made of it? :)

Im going to pick up a 'used' IAC valve from pull-it yard to see if it helps.
 


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Spudhut

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