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96 Eddie Bauer 5.0 Log


RandomNerd2000

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So I suppose I should go ahead and start the thread. I had no intentions of buying any more second gens since my 01 Eddie Bauer is finished and my 2000 is still going at 310K miles. I also have a 96 4.0 that I plan on selling with 100K or so miles. Apparently I'm back though and eventually will go Elite.

Anyhow, me and a best buddy started scrapping cars, and we do alright on the side, lots of parts for my stuff so I've been happy. We ran across this car a few weeks ago and I ended up keeping it. $250 for a running and driving V8 Explorer. It's a 96, 5.0 V8 2WD, 143K ACTUAL miles, Eddie Bauer car, it's dark green and *most* of a GREEN interior. It's a basket case, no cats on it, and one heck of a trans fluid leak I believe is front seal but I plan on fixing both. It's a beat and battered old car, but I like seeing the V8s live and ride down the road again.

The good is it's RUST FREE, clean as a pin and runs strong as the day it was new. it's got newer ball joints, it rides good and the power locks even work in all but one door, and all the power windows work.

The bad is the interior used to be leather and the guy had dogs so it's ragged inside, gotta take most all of that out, the alignment is visibly toe out, not sure there, most of the lights are broke (no big deal), grille is busted, it's loud, and it's probably got hidden problems galore besides the obvious. I ponder why I did this to myself but I like the old car somehow so yeah.
 


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CDW6212R

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I'll take the engine for a spare ..., no not really, I also have too much stuff. It's hard to pass up a good deal or what you like, good luck with that. I bought an 85 Continental 20 years ago on short notice, and ended up using most of my good spare parts from my prior Mark VII. I got about $300 more for it after a year of fixing it, but the parts and my labor were worth a lot more than the "profit."

I could use another late 97 Explorer engine/trans wiring harness, let me know if you get any spare things from a 97.5 model? I need the wiring and PCM for a conversion I plan for my 73 Ranchero, for an EFI 351 I will build.
 




RandomNerd2000

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I'll take the engine for a spare ..., no not really, I also have too much stuff. It's hard to pass up a good deal or what you like, good luck with that. I bought an 85 Continental 20 years ago on short notice, and ended up using most of my good spare parts from my prior Mark VII. I got about $300 more for it after a year of fixing it, but the parts and my labor were worth a lot more than the "profit."

I could use another late 97 Explorer engine/trans wiring harness, let me know if you get any spare things from a 97.5 model? I need the wiring and PCM for a conversion I plan for my 73 Ranchero, for an EFI 351 I will build.

I will, I knew where one was but the junkyard sent it through the crusher already, and it was cut in one place. It had 111K miles on the car too, such a waste, someone had snagged the heads though and trans. I think the transmission is in this car, it's got the normal markings that yard uses.

I scored on this though, I crawled underneath it earlier and it's not the front seal like the guy said leaking, it's the pan gasket because he used his original pan and gasket off his old transmission. Anybody got the part number for the OEM gasket that's reusable? Gonna drop the pan and service it and put a new OEM gasket on if I can get it. So far I think I scored on this car, despite not needing it.

*Edit* Everything I've tried to get rid of lately I've gotten more money than what I had invested and something worth more than the difference, and those are always the best deals IMO, despite the fact I'm swimming in stuff myself. Hate to sell my V6 96 but can't keep everything.
 




CDW6212R

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Excellent, fixing leaks are annoying, and the seals between engine/trans are the worst. Get the interior out the next time the weather is sunny and warm, to wash the rug and clean the floors. That will take care of most animal smells etc.
 




RandomNerd2000

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Excellent, fixing leaks are annoying, and the seals between engine/trans are the worst. Get the interior out the next time the weather is sunny and warm, to wash the rug and clean the floors. That will take care of most animal smells etc.

Yeah the next dry spell here I plan on getting it down to the bare essentials. Headliner looks reasonably clean and I haven't found any signs of smokers ever being in there, so I ponder if it's managed 24 years not smoked in. I don't smoke, nasty habit, so it'll be clean and stay clean. I think it's reasonably leak free despite the pan gasket and the normal rear main weeping they all do, I'm impressed honestly.
 




CDW6212R

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The dog smell is the one I hate the most, it can move to your clothes etc. My black 98 I found out the hard way, I kept a rain jacket just under the rear cargo rug flap(that metal flap with rug behind the seats). I had a terrible smell all over me the next time I used that rain jacket. The dogs someone had spent a lot of time back there, wet no doubt, and it was in the rug. I had "cleaned" the rug before, but a light cleaning based on the appearance of dirt etc. I cleaned it much better after that smell I found, but it didn't remove it. The smell is buried deep inside the rug, to remove it the rug has to come out. It has to be soaked, and soaped/cleaner, and then forced water can push the smell out. A water hose will do it, but the rug has to be soaked fully and scrubbed well with a cleaner. A pressure washer is the best way to be sure stuff like that gets pushed out.
 




RandomNerd2000

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The dog smell is the one I hate the most, it can move to your clothes etc. My black 98 I found out the hard way, I kept a rain jacket just under the rear cargo rug flap(that metal flap with rug behind the seats). I had a terrible smell all over me the next time I used that rain jacket. The dogs someone had spent a lot of time back there, wet no doubt, and it was in the rug. I had "cleaned" the rug before, but a light cleaning based on the appearance of dirt etc. I cleaned it much better after that smell I found, but it didn't remove it. The smell is buried deep inside the rug, to remove it the rug has to come out. It has to be soaked, and soaped/cleaner, and then forced water can push the smell out. A water hose will do it, but the rug has to be soaked fully and scrubbed well with a cleaner. A pressure washer is the best way to be sure stuff like that gets pushed out.

Yeah I've been through the cleaning carpet ordeal before, I have a pressure washer and generally clean most of the interiors I get I care about now, helps with how much I like whatever vehicle it is I found. Safe to say this wasn't owned by a 90 year old man like my V6 96 was.

It's remarkable how clean it is underneath, I was actually impressed to see how much OEM Motorcraft there is, down to the original starter. Mechanically I think it's A1 mostly, just needs some mild TLC and it'll be good to roll, and a good thorough tuneup to change out the original plugs and wires. I see some aftermarket but not much. Think I did alright all in all.
 




RandomNerd2000

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So it's definitely the pan leaking, bolts weren't tight so I tightened them and still leaking. Oh well, I found an OEM gasket online so when that comes in I'll tackle that. I looked the truck over, it's got a fresh oil change with Motorcraft filter, and I pulled the oil filler and slipped a bore cam in to see how neglected looking it is, it's clean as a pin inside.

I gotta do a full tuneup on it though, everything on it is Motorcraft, down to the plug wires and plugs, fuel filter, even the air filter is dated 1996. I've come to like the truck all in all, despite wondering why I even bought it still. It's a 3:73 LS rear so that's a bonus. It's really similar to my white 2000 with a lot less miles and no rust. Hmmm
 




410Fortune

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96's are tanks
The rear hatch is much heavier then the 98-01, but they hold up better IMO
The gt40 engine is tough as nails and the computer is not picky
The one thing I like to do to the 96-97 is upgrade the inside of the transmission with the 98+ style solenoids and wiring harness....but that is only for when you drop the pan to change fluid and filter
All 5.0 trucks are 3.73 ls rear just FYI
 




CDW6212R

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96's are tanks
The rear hatch is much heavier then the 98-01, but they hold up better IMO
The gt40 engine is tough as nails and the computer is not picky
The one thing I like to do to the 96-97 is upgrade the inside of the transmission with the 98+ style solenoids and wiring harness....but that is only for when you drop the pan to change fluid and filter
All 5.0 trucks are 3.73 ls rear just FYI

Ditto, and I didn't know the older hatches were heavier. The 93 hatch on my 99 I had to man handle myself a lot when the quarter panel was being replaced, I did the fitting myself(hammer and 2x4 to beat down the top edge(hinges were adjusted without making the holes bigger, and the hatch was still a little high at the center)).

All the LS rears will act like an open rear at this age, it's time to replace those clutches.
 




410Fortune

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dude the old style hatch is like 250# the newer ones I swear they are like under 100#...... guess which one has all the hinge, wiper motor, and alignment issues?
I like the old 96 tanks
 




RandomNerd2000

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dude the old style hatch is like 250# the newer ones I swear they are like under 100#...... guess which one has all the hinge, wiper motor, and alignment issues?
I like the old 96 tanks

I'd never given much thought to the hatch weight, I am aware the later style hatch is some problematic. I've gotten good at working on them. I think everything still works on this one so I'm happy there, I haven't got much experience with the old style hatch.

I'll look into the upgrades on the transmission, especially since I'm going to drop the pan anyhow to replace the gasket.

The rear axles in these I've always been impressed with, sold a couple of them recently I've acquired in the side hustle me and a good friend started. I plan on going through the truck entirely before driving it since it's in need of a lot of TLC but all in all I really like it. I'm familiar with the durability of these 5.0 Explorers, my 2000 has well over 300K on it and still goes down the road just fine
 




RandomNerd2000

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So updates. I ran across a 97 5.0 that's been sitting that is SUPPOSED to have a full exhaust on it, old woman's car that was parked when she passed years ago or something, motor knocks in it. Can't say I've ever seen a 5.0 Explorer with a bad engine, I'd be curious what's actually knocking, might be the flex plate, been there done that.

Also found the OEM pan gaskets, on Facebook Marketplace, $20 for two of em, the guy I got them from used to work at the Ford dealer and had them for an Explorer he had years ago. The production date was July of 2000 but they look good to me. Heck of a note that my 2000 was new on a dealership lot then and my 01 Eddie Bauer I V8 swapped didn't even exist yet.

With a leak free trans and exhaust I think I'll be well on the way to a nice ride. It runs out strong despite waking the whole community. Still gotta tackle all the hoses and such, and at least the fuel pump sounds new.

I also noticed finally it's the only V8 that came out the factory that way I've ever had that didn't have the moon roof. I never open them and they always leak so I'm happier without it.
 




CDW6212R

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Good finds, nice old parts are treasures at this age.

FYI, the sunroofs are prone to leaking from something I have discovered, and no one else has mentioned this. The glass itself on all of those up to 2005, it has the seal bonded to the perimeter, and that will let go. I have two that leak that way a lot, and one just began, all of these are 98's. My 99 I clipped the truck so it's got the old 93 body and moon roof, and those are much worse. I still have the old 99 sunroof that could be used. I bought spare a 2005 sunroof many years ago.

The deal is the water goes under the seal of the glass, gets down and drips from the bottom of the glass/seal, and that is above the headliner, not the drain pan. So you have a wet headliner first, and then it drips onto you and the interior, depending on where the leak is. I found this after six months of changing what I was covering with tape, and after RTV'ing the entire gap around the sunroof.

It's the glass seal itself, not the drain pan. I spread the RTV out and over the seal and its seam. That fixed the leak, but now I have to cut through the RTV to be able to open the sunroof. My Mountaineer I taped of the seam of the glass/seal, and RTV'd that fully. That stopped the minor leak in that one, which had stained the rug.
 




masospaghetti

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geez, where do you find these running-driving vehicles for $250? On craigslist anything that moves, no matter how nasty, seems to get almost $1000 these days.

(of course I say that, but my ex-GF was driving my 96 V8 AWD Explorer for awhile and ended up trading it in for $300 to the dealer. Still hurts to think about it.)
 




RandomNerd2000

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So the parts truck didn't pan out, guy said he was "near the state border" and was four hours away, and then got mad that I didn't go. So the exhaust I found I guess is *probably* the go plan. I want the truck being this low mile to look roughly OEM underneath. That or I'll end up down a rabbit hole. I hate I missed the parts truck, but in other news best I can tell so far the trans is now leak free.

As for how I get these things for so cheap, one is blessings and two is I'm down south so rust free doesn't bother people.
 




410Fortune

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I have seen PLENTY of 5.0 trucks with a KNOCK, usually a spun bearing on the crankshaft or a broken/bad lifter
Almost always these 5.0 have seen little to no maintenance OR were run WITHOUT OIL
As much as I do not like to see this I am happy to because it means I get a parts donor for CHEAP CHEAP
 




CDW6212R

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Ditto, they are super reliable when taken care of. But it's amazing how bad most people are at changing fluids, or bothering with any symptoms. My Mercury had a hard miss the last time I was driving it. I discovered not much before then that the gas tank had corrosion in it that filled the fuel filter. It made the engine run lean, but never threw any codes. So I suspect it needs valve work done, or best case the cats might be clogged a lot. I haven't had time to work on it, I was planning to swap cat pipes first(and a gas tank).
 




RandomNerd2000

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Yeah I've fixed the trans leak and done some tuneup stuff on this. I saved a TON of new stuff off a V6 95 I stripped down so freebies for a lot of it. It fires right off and runs out strong, it's just really loud. Since me and my buddy buy junk cars I figure I'll run across a set of cat pipes for it soon.

I've also been working through the cosmetics of it, it's got horrid paint and needed some love. The best part of it was the V8. The motor is basically leak free, the oil is brand new, and I peeped down the oil filler with the bore cam and it's as clean as my 01 Eddie Bauer. If I get a car that's nice put back around it, I'll be accomplished enough.
 


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RandomNerd2000

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So the exhaust is apparently gonna be the main hiccup, I'd like to get a stock exhaust to at least have just for the fact of having it, off a 96 or 97 with the GT40 heads, even if I go with something loud and fun and shelf the OEM stuff, and I swear nobody has one except for one guy who wants $400 for his three hours away. He's dead set on $400 too. Everybody here is bent on being a scrapper with a sawzall as soon as the trucks retire and that's no fun to me.

Other than that bump in the road, the trans is leak free now, the grille and most of the lights are replaced. Every single exterior bulb on it but the high beams were blown. I programmed a keyless entry remote and the locks work, only attention is to the door handles all being broken, the right rear doesn't open, and the left front actuator is grinding. The keypad on the door even worked the one time I used it. I looked and I don't think anybody's ever touched the doors, so SCORE.

Total side note but I had someone run a carfax on it, and it's been local to the area since brand new, just like my 01.

*Edit* On a whim if anybody has a cheap OEM set of the cat downpipes from the manifolds to the muffler they'd like to part with, feel free to mention it. I'm hoping to avoid buying an entire vehicle just for an exhaust.
 




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