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3rd Gen AWD vs. 4x4 - Owners Chime In

X6StringerX

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 19, 2006
Messages
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2011 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost
I recently sold my 2nd Gen 5.0 AWD and decided to move up to a 4.6 3rd Gen. My area gets a lot of rain and some pretty nasty storms in the winter and I came to love AWD once I tried it. Now, I'm looking at my 3rd Gen possibilities. I've found 1 AWD Explorer and about 6 4x4 Explorers. I was wondering if owners of each could chime in with what they know about 3rd gen drivetrains. Are the AWD Explorers extremely sensitive to tire size? Do they chew through tires like mad? Are the 4x4 shift motors reliable? Are there any parts of either system that are notorious for malfunctioning.

I feel confident in my knowledge of 2nd Gens, but I feel like I know nothing about 3rd Gens.

Also, if you were buying a 4.6 3rd Gen, at what point would you say, "no thanks, that thing has too many miles".
 
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jrford

Explorer Addict
Joined
March 1, 2005
Messages
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City, State
Birmingham, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
'10 Sport Trac
Are the AWD Explorers extremely sensitive to tire size? Do they chew through tires like mad?

I don't think no more than normal, i haven't heard specifics for the Ex. but others have said no more than a 1/2" variance. My OEM BF Goodrich's, i got 60,000mi on them with 4,000mi tire rotations, not bad. I just replaced them last week. Living in a snow state, lots of rain and dirt roads I won't get anything else . . .imo. Wife usually drives the Ex before that she had a heep and that lever, after 10 years she still dosn't know when to use it . . .:scratch:

One thing that AWD would not be good at is heavy duty off-roading or going to Moab, there that 4wdLow is important.
 
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fyrfyter612

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 22, 2007
Messages
340
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City, State
Portage Lakes, OH
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Ford Explorer Sport
My ex-wife had a 2nd gen 5.0 AWD when we were married and I now have a 3rd gen 4.6 4X4. The tires should do good as long as they are all similiar tread depth and u keep them balanced and rotated. As far as which one I like better...I like the one I have now...4X4 with auto 4WD. I'm sure there's better MPG than with AWD...and when the rear wheels slip then it engages. Plus less wear on the drivetrain parts that aren't moving.
 
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therealblinky

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Joined
October 7, 2008
Messages
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City, State
Red deer Alberta
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLS
i like the 4x4 because it still reacts like an awd sort of. but you have the added comfort of 4x4 lock and 4x4 low. i wish their was a 2wd setting tho. anyone know why they didnt add that in their?
 
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