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94 Explorer 150k miles, worth project?

Joined
October 29, 2006
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City, State
Arlington, VA
Hi,
I was considering buying a 1994 Ford Exlporer XLT with 150,000 miles. It has lots of body damage, but mechanically looks great. Its $1200. Would it be worthwhile as a project truck, meaning at that mileage will I need to start dumping a ton of money into engine, tranny, axle, transfer case, etc repairs? If I could get it cheap enough I want to put on a cheap lift and cheap mud radials, use it as a hunting truck and trail rides. What would it take for 31? If I went to 33's, I think the gearing would be too high.
Thanks
 
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ma96782

Explorer Addict
Joined
January 21, 2006
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City, State
Vancouver, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 XLT, 4dr
There are some KNOWN problems w/ first Gen Explorers.....among them: 4.0L ohv head crack, over heating, rear hatch closing on your head, radius arm bushings, shift motors, broken interior door handles and the weak trans. And, remember you're using older computer technology. The 4.0L ohv has only 160 HP.........IMHO, from climbing mountains (paved road)........it's a DOG.

The 2nd Gen had the OBDII and a better trans. But, they also come w/ KNOWN issues. Among them: 4.0 sohc (205 HP) timing chain cassette, the usual 4.0L ohv engine problems (if you got that engine), HVAC blend doors, torsion bar pads, and broken interior door handles.

So, depending on you $$$ situation.............IF you can research the work already done for big $$$ items or unless you just LOVE the 1st Gen body style...........I'd reconsider.

Not even mentioning your time and effort to fix the body work.


Aloha, Mark
 
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Joined
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Thank you for that...no Im a poor cop, not much money to spare at all living in the DC area. I just noticed this one, thought I might be able to bargain him down because the body is trashed. If I could get it cheap, I was hoping to spend $1k on a cheap lift and generic mud radials, and use it for a cheap wheeling machine on weekends or for hunting. If it is a dog, and could cost me a ton in repairs, I would be put way out. Just want to go wheeling again like I did growing up, city life getting me down. Do not have a big budget at all, actually would be using what little savings I have for this. Been on injury status for about a year on my job with another surgery coming up...so until then I get no overtime or SWAT pay....guess I should keep looking...

THanks, God Bless
 
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ma96782

Explorer Addict
Joined
January 21, 2006
Messages
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City, State
Vancouver, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 XLT, 4dr
I'm a retired LEO from HPD.....now living in WA......cause, it's too expensive to live in HI.

I feel your pain.....good luck w/the surgery.

Aloha, Mark
 
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LBarr2002

Explorer Addict
Joined
September 17, 2003
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City, State
Leesville, SC
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XLT 4x4, '92 XLT 4x4
You never know how any used truck will turn out. For $1000 you could definitely get a good bit of lift and 31's or 33's on it and have fun...or the transmission could go on the way home from buying it. Its a risk that you'll never be able to predict. My latest truck was very cheap because the motor was shot. Rebuilt it only to have the transmission fail in the next month...
 
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Joined
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Arlington, VA
THanks

Thank you both for your responses. Yea, as soon as I retire or if I have to go out on disability, Ill have to move out of this area. LEOs make next to poverty around here if you started the last few years...the average SMALL home is $500k PLUS, and thats to live an hour from work or if you do live by work, its by the people you are locking up!

As for a cheap project, Ill go look at it and if the guy drops the price significantly, it might be worth it. There just happens to be an abundance of used 91-94 Explorers around here, and I know they have not been beat on off road. Tons of used Jeeps, but the prices stay high because they are so popular..plus, many of them with lifts have been beat on big time and it shows.

Thanks!
 
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ma96782

Explorer Addict
Joined
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City, State
Vancouver, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 XLT, 4dr
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Joined
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figures like all the other costs around here...yea this one is hammered good, I mean major body damage on the side and smacked in rear end...DC is expensive, if I go back to Ohio or PA where I grew up, although they have more rust, used 4x4s are cheap...plenty of people here have lots of money, so I guess it keeps the prices high. Back home, economy is tough
 
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l1k2gadd

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September 23, 2006
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City, State
Summerfield, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 & '00 Explorers
Take a look at CraigsList free internet classifieds. You might find other Explorers for sale on there, in several cities around the DC area. You can pick and choose the areas of the country you want to look at advertisements in. I have also seen some cheap Explorers on E-Bay that look pretty good. You stand to find the same possible problems with any used Explorer. I have bought 3 Explorers for parts down here in Florida from $200.00 to $450.00, all 4x4s, all 4 DR vehicles, all run and drive. I am thinking about going to look at another for $500.00. Spare parts are spare parts too.
 
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l1k2gadd

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Summerfield, Florida
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'93 & '00 Explorers
If you need a link to CraigsList pm or email me, I'll send you the one I use to get on their main site. You might find something in NJ, Penn, or who knows where?
 
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Joined
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Thanks, I usually check out Craigs list just in DC..I never tried another city but I will. I wish I could rack up a few vehicles and have a big project, but another problem with city living is traffic...I have my own 04 Grand Cherokee, and HOPEFULLY I recover from surgery and get my take home car for SWAT...if i do buy a 4x4, its going to have to be parked at the station and used only on weekends. Someday Im moving back to the country!
 
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l1k2gadd

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City, State
Summerfield, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 & '00 Explorers
My daughter just started out of High School at the MCSO in Ocala Florida. She intends to be a K-9 officer and before K-9 Deputy Brian Litz was Signal-35'd a couple of years ago, and is now gone, he gave my daughter a lot of support and encouragement when she was a Cadet with the same agency. She has started in the Comm Center but is on Ride-a-Longs on just about every day off she has. She was actually the Major (over all of the Cadets) for a couple of years of her 4 years as a Cadet and gained a lot of respect from a bunch of Deputies and now has a lot of friends that are Deputies from her time as a Cadet.
I have a yard full of toys / PROJECTS. I have done without a lot of things as a single parent and have "creative financed" a bunch of toys for my daughter and for myself. She just purchased a 1993 Explorer Limited 4x4 that she has had second thoughts about. After driving my 1993 XLT 4x4 a while she "impulsive purchased" a 1993 Limited 4x4 Explorer. It is a re-e-eal nice Explorer, but it does have a rebuilt title. I cannot find any evidence of an MAJOR work being done on the truck but the grille and bumper have been repainted and the grille is incorrect for a Limited model. She has been trying to give it to me but I have a 1993 XLT 4x4 and the parts trucks. I haven't ruled trading her something else for it though. She is trying to get my 1989 Mustang GT Convertible.
The Limited does have a 1st-2nd gear shifting problem (automatic) that I haven't attempted to look into yet. I was going to drop a transmission out of the 1993 Eddie Bauer parts truck and put it in the Limited for her but it will be a while before I get to that.
She paid $900.00 for it. I can talk to her and see if she'd be interested in reselling it for what she has in it. I can send you some pictures of it. It's white with the fancy gray leather interior and is in almost perfect condition. What will cost you the most would probably be the transmission work, if it isn't a simple repair.
 
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stang99x

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City, State
Cumming, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 4.6 limited 4x4
Gen 1's are cheap nowadays. I buy them regularly here in North Atlanta for about $800 in good running condition. The last one I bought looked like this:
P5100155.jpg



and it only cost me $835 at auction. I sold it three weeks (and $435 in parts later) for $3500. I have another I just bought that is the same color and year (1992) without all the added aftermarket parts for $750 two weeks ago. You can get one on the cheap if you look long and hard enough. Shipping accross country is usually less than $1000, so you can get a deal even shipped to you. I'd look on ebay, as prices are always depressed on there except for classics anyway.

And as for OBDI vs OBDII, I'd take OBDI anyday. OBDII is a bitch to get to pass emissions sometimes.
 
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Xplorer1992

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October 19, 2006
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City, State
Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 explorer xlt
yea i just bought a 1992 xlt model 4 speed with od only major issue was rusted rockers it had 87,000 miles on it after about four hours of cleaning it(under all that dirt it now looks brandspanking new ) i decided it was worth the money to put into as it was originally a winter beater....but since replacing the frozen ebrake cables and rear shoes ...and soon to be replacing with a new clutch my full blown plan is to completely restore this vehicle theres something about a 1st gen body style that is unmatched by its predecesors.....besides if your going to spend money on a used restore at least u know whats been done or not i was 2 days away from signing a 9000 dollar car payment for a newer explorer im much happier with my decision if i was you i would look on ebay ive seen quite a few and buy someone elses trash to become your treasure
 
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stang99x

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City, State
Cumming, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 4.6 limited 4x4
I don't even really like the newer ones. I drove my 92 252000 miles without a hitch. My 95 had the sway bar linkage problems, a speed governor, and various other things I didn't like, like torsion bars. The 91-94 are just so versitale and they can take a hellatious beating.:thumbsup:
 
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93TwotoneXLT

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March 2, 2006
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City, State
Evansville, In
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 XLT4x4
Mine has 124,000 miles on it now and still looks and runs great. As someone said earlier, be patient and find one that has been babied by an older gentleman(no offense to the ladies, but men tend to become more emotionally attached to thier vehicles) as was mine. The gentleman never towed with it and it has spent its entire life in South Carolina, so no rust issues to deal with. Anyway, if you find a nice one that has not been thrashed they can run for a LONG time, and repairs are mostly easy to do(especially with this site in your corner) As far as getting one worth having for only $800-1000, good luck. Speaking as a man with over 7 years experience in the automobile industry, most older vehicles sold at auction are usually sleds not worth having. However you can sometimes find a diamond in the rough. Happy Hunting
 
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Joined
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Arlington, VA
Thanks everyone! Im keeping my eyes open and searching all the local classified pages on the internet...lots of Explorers, Jeep Grand Cherokees and XJs, TJs...i bet the older types who do not use the internet have some nice sleeper somewhere sitting in the driveway with just a for sale sign!
 
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l1k2gadd

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Joined
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City, State
Summerfield, Florida
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 & '00 Explorers
Yes, that's for sure. They're out there. We got two of ours from older guys. My 1993 XLT 4x4 4D was one that the former owner was running along and went "bang" as the older gentleman told me. When I finally got to that project (after a year and a half of sitting in the yard waiting to be worked on) I found the flexplate (flywheel) had split in a few places. The repair cost to me was $40.00, plus a couplle of new rear and input shaft seals for the engine transmission and transfer case and it is on the road. I have about $650.00 in it now with the recent front brake job and will invest a little more when I do the rear brakes next weekend.
 
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stang99x

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Joined
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Messages
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City, State
Cumming, GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 4.6 limited 4x4
The one I showed pictured had no issues, I was actually going to keep it for a while so I did shocks, plugs, wires, radius arm bushings, and lots of little basic maintenence things, then I posted it on craigs list overpriced because sometimes, people are just willing to pay more than its worth. This latest one I bought, had the slowest 2-3 shift on earth, and I found the servo arm laying the bottom of the pan. $450 for the tranny, I installed it, and boom, back in the saddle. Check this out, I actually added 1997 Limited edition leather seating to it.
exp2.jpg

exp1.jpg




I need a center console if anyone has a good one too.
 
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niteshooter

Member
Joined
January 12, 2002
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City, State
Toronto Ontario Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 XLT 5spd 4DR 4x4
Atlanta, yeah you guys are lucky you don't have salt on the roads as that speeds up the rot considerably.

I have a 91 that I bought new in 90, unless you kept up with oil spraying the body it will rot out which is what is happening to mine now. I slacked, big mistake.

Paint delaminated on all horizontal surfaces, body rusts out just in front of the rear wheels where there is a joint. Ford got cute and put a plastic trim piece over this but if you look for the seam and see rust it could be fully rotted out underneath. Front of hood rots out from stone chips so if the one you are looking at has a bug deflector it should be good. Front fenders rot on tops of wheels and at the door where salt/ice/snow collects.

I've got 400,000 km on mine which is a 5 spd manual. Clutch seems to last just over 200,000 km if you are looking at standards. Just replaced the stock rad last year. The exhaust seems to last about 200,000 km as I just put the second one on.

Listen to the motor, most older OHV motors have collapsed valves so sound like diesel motors.....fix online here as well btw.

The electric transfer case shifting motor has the problem documented on here which is an easy fix but you don't have to tell the seller this.

Replaced the stock factory autolocking hubs with manual warns several years ago, wish I had ordered the manual transfer case instead of electronically shifted.

If you can find the factory articulated sport seats your back will really appreciate them!

Otherwise it looks like several places sell replacement body panels for many of the areas that rot out on this generation of Explorer for reasonable cost as long as you can weld....

Have done all the Ford recalls including the tailgate struts, tires and spare tire mount. ***Note that one is important as your tire can drop off if the bracket holding it on rots out!

Also check for the smell of gas around the rear drivers side rear door. There is an NTSE recall on this generation Exploder because of two problems one where the plastic gas tank can be damaged by heat from the exhaust and a second where there is a weld on the top of the tank which fails. Mine has had the weld go once (not under warranty though am going to argue the fact this time around with the recall notice in hand) and has gone again.

Kevin
 
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