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Best 2006-2010 explorer configuration to buy for long term use


3xowner

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Western US
Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 Explorer EB 4SOHC RWD
so, I have owned my 2000 EB 4.0 SOHC now for 11 years... it’s be great and have dealt with the t-stat issue often and more than I have liked to have. And really that’s been the worst and only pita issue. But really this suv has been great to have and really it was a great value in terms of total cost of ownership for 100k of own own use...

Now I need to move on as it’s just that time to get something newer, and worth maintaining myself and spending the investment to maintain it for say 8-10 years. Want to stay with an explorer but as I have always stayed away from the 2002-2005 simply because of the transmission issues of the servo bores wearing out I hear a few things about the 2006-2010 to be cautious about.

So I come to the forum experts for advice and opinions regarding the 2006-2010 generation to hear and understand what’s better and what’s had issues. I am limited in what I can maintain at home, I.e. I won’t be swapping an engine out or transmission my self in my lifetime, lol. I am looking for this range just as I like the rear wheel drive or and or 4wd aspects on a frame.

So I ask if you can give some great examples of which years, trims, and engine/trans/axels are the better in quality, reliability, and durability. I am ok with either the v6 4.0 sohc or v8 4.6 Triton as if I tow its usually just 2000 pounds but having the 4.6 for up to 5000 pounds would be nice to have in the back pocket. I am fortunate to live in the SOuthwest and cars here while in SoCal usually are less prone to issues and rust of course.

My thoughts over issues that I know of:
*The 2006 4.6 engine has spark plug concerns of breaking off... I am under the impression this was more corrected in 2007.
*not sure if the transmission issues were use for concern in the 2006+ models
*if the 4.0 sohc still had major concerns on the cam tensioner cassettes
*i am highly concerned about cars produced during the recession of late 2008 on... many parts suppliers had issues besides major changes at ford hence I fear a dip in the quality of builds pasted mid 2008 thru 2010.

Thanks in advance for any of your thoughts and advice to help me decide which configuration I may decide to concentrate on during my search.
 


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michael loibl

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City, State
maywood, new jersey
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 eddie bauer
2009-2010 V8 with 6R80 6 speed auto from F150’s and class 3 hitch. Preferably an Eddie Bauer
 




MotorCityFats13

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2007 Explorer XLT 4.0L
as for towing with the right hitch the 4.0 can tow more than 5000 and the 4.6 was like 7200, avoid any 3rd row explorers with power fold 3rd row they contain cheap plastic gears and you cant fix them for under a grand and the EB leather seats dont age well with the suede inserts, if you can find any 4.6 06-10 4wd buy it but be careful of the spark plugs, all 5r55's can be time bombs as sohc 4.0's from any year and the radiators like to explode the t-stat housings are a joke but can be made bullet proof using longer bolts and nuts at the bottom, the 4.0 alternators are swappable from 04-08 but they changed something for 09-10 and went with a Mitsubishi unit with a horribly low output and they are expensive and nobody offers a high output replacement this is really only an issue if you want to go crazy with off road lighting and or upgraded audio , they all love to eat front sway bar endlink bushings and offer only slight lifting options before they also eat ball joints, some of the roof racks leak and get your passenger wet.... take it for a test drive through the car wash before you buy.... I bought my 2007 back 4 years ago with 109k and now its around 175k and its been fairly worry free most issue was 1 wheel bearing and 3 t-stat housings before I did the bolt trick, changed the water pump thinking it was leaking but could of been the t-stat housing, there are many wire looms like the mass air meter and throttle body that the plastic cracks off causing problems that feel like transmission issues but are fairly easy to correct

I cant remember anything else at the moment but im sure others will fill in the holes
 




michael loibl

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2006 eddie bauer
That was quite thorough! Keep in mind 09-10 V8’s got the better transmission
 




MotorCityFats13

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2007 Explorer XLT 4.0L
That was quite thorough! Keep in mind 09-10 V8’s got the better transmission
i couldn't find a v8 so i didn't learn the differences but are they really that different or is it like changing the last letter on the 5r55 to make people feel its not the same garbage
 




MNgopher

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City, State
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Year, Model & Trim Level
'07 XLT V8
The 6R60 and 6R80 are very similar, with the 80 being upgraded to handle some additional torque. That bump was more for the other uses of the transmission (F150 being the big one) than for the power the Explorer puts out.

The biggest issue is that Ford got some of the teething problems out of the way over the years. The 6R60 in my '07 is substantially "clunkier" than the same transmission (6R80) in my 2016 F150. The programming and logic has been improved over the years. Plenty of '06 Explorers had weird things like hard 2-1 downshifts. I blew that off, then I test dove one that had the issue when I was buying. Darn near threw me through the windshield!

Long story short, the 6R60 and 6R80 are generally regarded as pretty solid units. Earlier models had some more quirks. The 6R60 units also use Mercon SP to this day - they were not back spec'd to the Mercon LV like the 6R80 was.
 




Explorer_PL

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06EB V8
6R trannies have nothing to do with 5R55. 6R's are derived from German ZF transmissions used also in BMW 750's

But n case of 5R, yes, they took one of the old 4R designs and squeezed one more gear. Then they tool the old 4.0 OVH engine and added 2 camshafts and created a toss-away engine for most people - thank you Ford.
Based on my sole example, I can't really complaint about 6R60 being inferior to 6R80 although the 80 is for sure more capable.
 




dacaur2

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eagle mountain
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2010 explorer XLT
Stay away from the v6's. Not because the v6 is a bad engine, but because the tranny that comes with it is crap. Show me a v6 explorer that hasen't had a tranny rebuild, and ill show you one with under 120k miles (they will be the same one...)
back when I bought mine, I read the servo bore issue had been corrected by 2008. Nope, still there, as I found at 112k.....
My best piece of advice for buying a 06-10 explorer, is don't. There are way better trucks out there for the same or not much more money. If you dont need the third row, I get a 6-10 jeep grand cherokee. Way more comfortable and you can get a hemi, plus find one with quadra drive II and you have the most off road capable stock vehicle available short of a wrangler rubicon... If you do need the third row, a commander with quadra drive II is as capable off road, though not as comfortable on road, but is available with more add ons than a 4th gen explorer, and you can stil get a hemi....
 




MNgopher

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'07 XLT V8
I'll just respond to the Commander idea. We've got one in the family, and it is universally hated. It drives bigger than it is, feels smaller inside than it is, and can't pass a gas station for the life of it (combination of the 5.7 Hemi and 21 gallon gas tank). The fuel mileage sticker says 13 MPG City/19 Highway, and you better believe the 13 MPG number, since the one our family struggles to deliver that in the City.

I'm not saying the Explorer is perfect, but the Commander would be low on my list of potential replacements!
 




michael loibl

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maywood, new jersey
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2006 eddie bauer
138,000 miles on my V6 5R55 trans, all original other than fluid and filter twice. Tows the 3,000 pound camper a few times per year, but not far.
Ginx Ginx Ginx. Soon she will pop
 




digifoss

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07 Explorer XLT
...
Ginx Ginx Ginx. Soon she will pop
I wouldn't say that. A neighbor has one, V6 / 5speed. 190k with no major repair. That, or more, is what I'm hoping to do with mine..
 




Explorer_PL

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06EB V8
In 2006 I bought a brand new 2006 Ram Megacab with Hemi, the first year they came out with that cab. The gas was about $4 a gallon, and they were giving those things away. I got mine off the showroom floor for 27k while the sticker was 40k. Two years later I came to conclusion that that was too much truck for my needs and while the room inside was enormous, overall the truck was not that practical as a family vehicle. So I shopped. I always liked Tahoe, but they were very expensive, even the used ones. I looked at Commanders and it was not really a truck on frame style that I needed to mount the plow for my personal use. And it had almost the same dash layout as my Ram - the most boring and simple as it can be. I think in the mid 2000's they gave some guy fresh out of college, at Chrysler design studio, a straight edge and carpenter square, gave him 30 minutes and told him to come up with new interiors for Dodge trucks and SUVs. They are hideous. Then I looked at Explorers, and found mine. It is showing age, I am biased, but I still believe it is one of the most versatile vehicles in its class. Show me an SUV or CUV that has the rear glass that pops independently from the entire hatch, has still the traditional body on frame construction, has decent towing power, huge cargo space, etc...
Yes, they are not for everyone, they have many problems, but they all do; GMs, Chrysler. Honda, Acura. Don't think you'll be problem free if you switch brands. The only question is how expensive are the replacement parts and the labor costs. As of now I still don't see a replacement for ours.
 




mgmgmg

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'94 LTD '10 LTD V8




MotorCityFats13

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2007 Explorer XLT 4.0L
my family has had quite a few 5r55's...

1995 explorer no transmissions issues truck rolled on an icy road and scrapped might of had 150k
1997 ranger trans slipping truck sent to scrap only had like 120k
1998 explorer trans lost reverse and then started slipping sent to scrap at 205k... trans started having issues around 150k
2004 explorer trans rebuilt I think under 100k my brother still has it
then I have my 2007 180k and all is good right now and I can have some hope maybe the trans was rebuilt before I bought it at 109k but seems unlikely

all in all I would trust a stripper girlfriend with a drug habbit making her way home after work on time before a 5r55!
 




naiku

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2008 Ford Explorer Ltd V8
avoid any 3rd row explorers with power fold 3rd row they contain cheap plastic gears and you cant fix them for under a grand
That's not true, while the power fold rear seats do fail, it's more like around $200-$250 per side and a couple hours of time to fix it. Remove seat, remove old motor and replace with new, reinstall seat and done.

I'd avoid the power running boards, or if you get one with them, be prepared to either have to constantly clean / grease the motors or swap them for fixed running boards.
 




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