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Driving with a coolant leak from the timing cover

I've been following these posts and honestly think bouncing around from one mechanic to another has only compounded your issues (and most likely cost you money in the long run). I "get" wanting to pay the least amount of money for hired repairs, but you risk alienating any and all of them with this kind of practice. You mention your main mechanic has been good to you over the years. Don't jeopardize your relationship with him over a couple hundred bucks. If he starts feeling you are playing him against other shops all the time, he may be inclined to just let you walk. Or, at the very least, start charging you for all those free inspections, minor repairs, etc. Personally, I don't think his labor rate of $500 is completely outrageous given the rusty lower ball joints/control arms he has to contend with. It may be easy for those who live outside the Rust Belt to just bang those lower BJ's out...but with excessive rust involved, it's not uncommon to have to put a torch to them to break them free. He's probably just padding the labor a little to account for that possibility. Just my two cents worth......
Solid.
 



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Epic thread. I just went thru all 17 pages of it. One thing:
I play with my oil viscosity across the range of vehicles I own. As they grow older and leakier I increase viscosity to suit. Thicker oil will leak and burn more slowly.
In one of my trucks I use 5w40 in the winter, for instance. It leaks slower but isn't so thick that it doesn't pump in the cold. During the summer I use 15w50, a high zinc oil that takes up a little bit of the space between worn engine components. HM oil is always good for swelling up the old seals and making them work a little better for their age.

Good luck, man, you are tenacious. I hope you can sort this truck out. They are great trucks when working right.

Thanks. If the winters here weren't so bad I would run 10W-40 no problem. I know 5W-40 is not sold in stores here. Tried looking for it and 5W-30 is the thickest stuff to get unless you special order it. I may try to get 5W-40 HM on my next oil change. So far I'm only 2 weeks into my current switch to high mileage oil so I will need to give it more time to see if it will help with my leaks. I had good luck using high mileage oil on a previous car I had many years ago.
 






I've been following these posts and honestly think bouncing around from one mechanic to another has only compounded your issues (and most likely cost you money in the long run). I "get" wanting to pay the least amount of money for hired repairs, but you risk alienating any and all of them with this kind of practice. You mention your main mechanic has been good to you over the years. Don't jeopardize your relationship with him over a couple hundred bucks. If he starts feeling you are playing him against other shops all the time, he may be inclined to just let you walk. Or, at the very least, start charging you for all those free inspections, minor repairs, etc. Personally, I don't think his labor rate of $500 is completely outrageous given the rusty lower ball joints/control arms he has to contend with. It may be easy for those who live outside the Rust Belt to just bang those lower BJ's out...but with excessive rust involved, it's not uncommon to have to put a torch to them to break them free. He's probably just padding the labor a little to account for that possibility. Just my two cents worth......

After wasting my time with the two backyard mechs that I used this week to switch out the o2 sensors and diagnose the CEL, I am done with backyard mechanics. Both mechanics are complete jokes. Literally paid a guy to feed me nothing but BS saying how my truck is rotted and all suspension components are completely shot. Even though I acted like I was 100% sold and believed everything he said to me, I still walked out of his garage wanting a second opinion because I knew something wasn't right about his assessments.

I just dont trust them. To be honest, I have no idea why I'm still even considering using yet another back yard guy for the bj install. I wish I had just gone to my main mech (who I saw today) to put in the new o2 sensors. I wouldn't have had to make two trips across the opposite end of the city to get him to finish the job, or wait in the cold in the dark while he's fiddling around going back and getting tools while constantly saying how the sensor removal is "UNBELIEVABLE." It took him two hours to remove two sensors and I had to drive to him twice. My main mech is a bit limited in diagnosing stuff and that's okay so he isn't the guy that I go to for in-depth diagnosing and troubleshooting but he does the job right and I've never had issues with him in the 6+ years that I've known him. I 've never questioned his work and whether the repair was done properly because I know he does it properly every single time. That alone isn't easy to come by.

You are right though and you have a good point. I should for sure get him to do the repair even with his quote being double. This way I can continue to keep taking the truck to him and having him do all the oil changes on it. Though I will admit, I think he's sick of seeing my truck by now in his shop (4 times now in the past 2 weeks). Next week when I book him to do the bj install, it will be another trip there.
 






Thanks. If the winters here weren't so bad I would run 10W-40 no problem. I know 5W-40 is not sold in stores here. Tried looking for it and 5W-30 is the thickest stuff to get unless you special order it. I may try to get 5W-40 HM on my next oil change. So far I'm only 2 weeks into my current switch to high mileage oil so I will need to give it more time to see if it will help with my leaks. I had good luck using high mileage oil on a previous car I had many years ago.
the HM stuff seems to help. And you are probably considerably north of me, me being in S. New Jersey. With the advent of synthetic oils which go so much farther in change interval, I have gone from a mileage-based approach to changing oil to a seasonally-based approach. I rarely get near the 5k mile baseline oil change interval that I use as a point of reference, in any of my vehicles. (My employer gives me a truck for work, so I luck out in that regard)
 






After wasting my time with the two backyard mechs that I used this week to switch out the o2 sensors and diagnose the CEL, I am done with backyard mechanics. Both mechanics are complete jokes. Literally paid a guy to feed me nothing but BS saying how my truck is rotted and all suspension components are completely shot. Even though I acted like I was 100% sold and believed everything he said to me, I still walked out of his garage wanting a second opinion because I knew something wasn't right about his assessments.

I just dont trust them. To be honest, I have no idea why I'm still even considering using yet another back yard guy for the bj install. I wish I had just gone to my main mech (who I saw today) to put in the new o2 sensors. I wouldn't have had to make two trips across the opposite end of the city to get him to finish the job, or wait in the cold in the dark while he's fiddling around going back and getting tools while constantly saying how the sensor removal is "UNBELIEVABLE." It took him two hours to remove two sensors and I had to drive to him twice. My main mech is a bit limited in diagnosing stuff and that's okay so he isn't the guy that I go to for in-depth diagnosing and troubleshooting but he does the job right and I've never had issues with him in the 6+ years that I've known him. I 've never questioned his work and whether the repair was done properly because I know he does it properly every single time. That alone isn't easy to come by.

You are right though and you have a good point. I should for sure get him to do the repair even with his quote being double. This way I can continue to keep taking the truck to him and having him do all the oil changes on it. Though I will admit, I think he's sick of seeing my truck by now in his shop (4 times now in the past 2 weeks). Next week when I book him to do the bj install, it will be another trip there.
Have you considered, or are you able, to do your own oil changes? I've found that if I do my own, it defrays the extra cost of synthetic or otherwise 'premium' oil and filter, and therefore results in fewer oil changes. The tools to do it are probably $30, and a set of old clothes that you can afford to trash if things turn ugly :)
 






I'm wondering if I should just sell the truck. Why? Because I noticed the other day when I was at the mech that my engine knocks. The mech said it's not good and not normal. Is it super loud? No but I know that engine knocking of any kind, hot or cold is not good. Would you drive a truck that knocks? Is it pretty much a death wish for the motor? I would say that it's been knocking for awhile but was most noticable during the -30 to -45c days in the past 2 weeks.

I get the knock when I cold start the motor and I also get it when I start it hot. But from what I know when I drive, you don't hear it so I mostly hear it when at idle. If you can hear it when you drive, it means that knock is much louder.

My other big concern is that my cat is failing but just overridden by the o2 sensor CEL codes right now.

I'm really wondering if I should change out that 25 year old idley pulley. However it makes no noise. Read online that it fixed the engine knocking on another Explorer when he replaced the idler pulley.

Right now I am leaning towards just selling this because I would so upset if I spend more to do the bj's and then get shocks done later this year and new tires and then have the motor die. And get $0 for the truck.
 






I'm wondering if I should just sell the truck. Why? Because I noticed the other day when I was at the mech that my engine knocks. The mech said it's not good and not normal. Is it super loud? No but I know that engine knocking of any kind, hot or cold is not good. Would you drive a truck that knocks? Is it pretty much a death wish for the motor? I would say that it's been knocking for awhile but was most noticable during the -30 to -45c days in the past 2 weeks.

I get the knock when I cold start the motor and I also get it when I start it hot. But from what I know when I drive, you don't hear it so I mostly hear it when at idle. If you can hear it when you drive, it means that knock is much louder.

My other big concern is that my cat is failing but just overridden by the o2 sensor CEL codes right now.

I'm really wondering if I should change out that 25 year old idley pulley. However it makes no noise. Read online that it fixed the engine knocking on another Explorer when he replaced the idler pulley.

Right now I am leaning towards just selling this because I would so upset if I spend more to do the bj's and then get shocks done later this year and new tires and then have the motor die. And get $0 for the truck.
If that is the case, just keep it full of fluids, check bi-weekly, and run it till the wheels fall off. It will go for a while still. My motor has been knocking from wrist pins since 2015. I use synthetic oil, and don't beat on it. These really are tough trucks in that regard.
 






the HM stuff seems to help. And you are probably considerably north of me, me being in S. New Jersey. With the advent of synthetic oils which go so much farther in change interval, I have gone from a mileage-based approach to changing oil to a seasonally-based approach. I rarely get near the 5k mile baseline oil change interval that I use as a point of reference, in any of my vehicles. (My employer gives me a truck for work, so I luck out in that regard)

Do you have any leaks? Any I am guessing the HM oil has slowed it? That is true that HM oil lets you go a bit further for OCI.

"Have you considered, or are you able, to do your own oil changes? I've found that if I do my own, it defrays the extra cost of synthetic or otherwise 'premium' oil and filter, and therefore results in fewer oil changes. The tools to do it are probably $30, and a set of old clothes that you can afford to trash if things turn ugly :)"

I actually used to do my oil changes and all fluid changes on my previous car like 7 years ago but I started having neighbours report me working on the street since I don't have a garage so I had to do it all in public eye. I eventually did them in the back of supermarket parking lots in the early hours but then I had staff report me and complain about me.

I hated the time involved. I am definitely not a wrencher. A ATF change would take me 2 hours to do because it would take me forever just to undo the bolt and then clean up was another story. I hated having to dispose of everything and be so careful not to leave a drop of oil on any public property. I still have oil pans, ratchets and sockets. For me, paying the $20 for my main mech to change it while he can glance over other stuff at the same time and him only being a 5 min drive from my place is well worth. There was no going back.

If that is the case, just keep it full of fluids, check bi-weekly, and run it till the wheels fall off. It will go for a while still. My motor has been knocking from wrist pins since 2015. I use synthetic oil, and don't beat on it. These really are tough trucks in that regard.

Thanks for the vote of confidence. How were you able to tell your motor knock is from wrist pins?

I just did a check, and I am a bit off. My motor doesn't knock all the time, hot or cold. It seems to be on occasion and it just happened to knock for a bit when the mech 2 days ago started the car with it hot. I always listen to the motor so I notice this stuff and I can confidently say that almost always the motor has no knock. Sounds very very nice and mechs have commented on how nice it sounds when running.
 






Do you have any leaks? Any I am guessing the HM oil has slowed it? That is true that HM oil lets you go a bit further for OCI.

"Have you considered, or are you able, to do your own oil changes? I've found that if I do my own, it defrays the extra cost of synthetic or otherwise 'premium' oil and filter, and therefore results in fewer oil changes. The tools to do it are probably $30, and a set of old clothes that you can afford to trash if things turn ugly :)"

I actually used to do my oil changes and all fluid changes on my previous car like 7 years ago but I started having neighbours report me working on the street since I don't have a garage so I had to do it all in public eye. I eventually did them in the back of supermarket parking lots in the early hours but then I had staff report me and complain about me.

I hated the time involved. I am definitely not a wrencher. A ATF change would take me 2 hours to do because it would take me forever just to undo the bolt and then clean up was another story. I hated having to dispose of everything and be so careful not to leave a drop of oil on any public property. I still have oil pans, ratchets and sockets. For me, paying the $20 for my main mech to change it while he can glance over other stuff at the same time and him only being a 5 min drive from my place is well worth. There was no going back.



Thanks for the vote of confidence. How were you able to tell your motor knock is from wrist pins?

I just did a check, and I am a bit off. My motor doesn't knock all the time, hot or cold. It seems to be on occasion and it just happened to knock for a bit when the mech 2 days ago started the car with it hot. I always listen to the motor so I notice this stuff and I can confidently say that almost always the motor has no knock. Sounds very very nice and mechs have commented on how nice it sounds when running.
Not trying to be negative, but you indicated that at some point you expected to throw in the towel on the truck in a couple of years. This would make sense if you wind up spending more on the repairs than the truck is worth...to you, at least. It's a pretty simple calculus. I love my 97, for instance, and it doesn't owe me a cent. But, at some point, I anticipate that any repairs that I make will not be worth the utility I get out of the truck; if one is dropping 2k a month to keep it running, it may be more cost-effective to consider other alternatives.
In my situation, once the realized utility of my truck becomes less than the money I spend to keep it running, then I will sell the parts I find superfluous and keep the parts I have to use for my other 2 trucks. This maximizes value, and as a not-rich-man, this is good. At this point, I feel that I will be comfortable doing the clutch on this truck, cost--idk---350? (That's me doing labor), and maybe throwing the occasional brake pads on. Anything else major (> idk. $80?) will cause the retirement of my truck, as I don't think that I will realize much of a benefit from blowing a couple hundred bucks on it, just to have something else go next month. She has almost 400k on her.
Wrist pin knock does not ring thru the entire block the way a big end knock does, by virtue of the degree of separation gained from the impact energy having to work its way from the connecting rod journal, up thru the crankshaft to the big end journal. The knock loses a lot of its acoustic energy that way. It sounds like the difference between a snare drum and a floor tom, but more subtle.
I had a cop write me a ticket for $80 for changing my oil in the street in front of my apartment lol. I feel you on that. I didn't dump it in the street, mind you; it went right to the recycling center in a jug. If you don't have the facilities to do such things, it often isn't worth it to try lol

-be me, bad transmission
-save money by removing transmission myself
-throw out back horribly because I tried to do it on jackstands, and because I forgot I am not 23 anymore
-put parts back on and send to trans shop, throw back out again. Chiropractor on vacation.

Good times!!!
 






Do you have any leaks? Any I am guessing the HM oil has slowed it? That is true that HM oil lets you go a bit further for OCI.

"Have you considered, or are you able, to do your own oil changes? I've found that if I do my own, it defrays the extra cost of synthetic or otherwise 'premium' oil and filter, and therefore results in fewer oil changes. The tools to do it are probably $30, and a set of old clothes that you can afford to trash if things turn ugly :)"

I actually used to do my oil changes and all fluid changes on my previous car like 7 years ago but I started having neighbours report me working on the street since I don't have a garage so I had to do it all in public eye. I eventually did them in the back of supermarket parking lots in the early hours but then I had staff report me and complain about me.

I hated the time involved. I am definitely not a wrencher. A ATF change would take me 2 hours to do because it would take me forever just to undo the bolt and then clean up was another story. I hated having to dispose of everything and be so careful not to leave a drop of oil on any public property. I still have oil pans, ratchets and sockets. For me, paying the $20 for my main mech to change it while he can glance over other stuff at the same time and him only being a 5 min drive from my place is well worth. There was no going back.



Thanks for the vote of confidence. How were you able to tell your motor knock is from wrist pins?

I just did a check, and I am a bit off. My motor doesn't knock all the time, hot or cold. It seems to be on occasion and it just happened to knock for a bit when the mech 2 days ago started the car with it hot. I always listen to the motor so I notice this stuff and I can confidently say that almost always the motor has no knock. Sounds very very nice and mechs have commented on how nice it sounds when running.
>I am definitely not a wrencher
I hear you.

-buddy of mine has a sweet suzuki samurai with lousy gearing
-buys new gear carriers with locking diffs, loaded and ready to go
-asks to use my shop to do the work
-"No problem, just don't get gear oil on you or your clothes"
-lays under differential while removing it
-gear oil in hair, eyes, all over
-he stinks like gear oil for a month and never picks up a wrench again

can't say I really blame him lol
 






Do you have any leaks? Any I am guessing the HM oil has slowed it? That is true that HM oil lets you go a bit further for OCI.

"Have you considered, or are you able, to do your own oil changes? I've found that if I do my own, it defrays the extra cost of synthetic or otherwise 'premium' oil and filter, and therefore results in fewer oil changes. The tools to do it are probably $30, and a set of old clothes that you can afford to trash if things turn ugly :)"

I actually used to do my oil changes and all fluid changes on my previous car like 7 years ago but I started having neighbours report me working on the street since I don't have a garage so I had to do it all in public eye. I eventually did them in the back of supermarket parking lots in the early hours but then I had staff report me and complain about me.

I hated the time involved. I am definitely not a wrencher. A ATF change would take me 2 hours to do because it would take me forever just to undo the bolt and then clean up was another story. I hated having to dispose of everything and be so careful not to leave a drop of oil on any public property. I still have oil pans, ratchets and sockets. For me, paying the $20 for my main mech to change it while he can glance over other stuff at the same time and him only being a 5 min drive from my place is well worth. There was no going back.



Thanks for the vote of confidence. How were you able to tell your motor knock is from wrist pins?

I just did a check, and I am a bit off. My motor doesn't knock all the time, hot or cold. It seems to be on occasion and it just happened to knock for a bit when the mech 2 days ago started the car with it hot. I always listen to the motor so I notice this stuff and I can confidently say that almost always the motor has no knock. Sounds very very nice and mechs have commented on how nice it sounds when running.
This motor has a very strong bottom end. Unless you drove 50 miles without oil, I doubt there is an issue. Go try to find a total failure of this engine on the internet. I mean, if you had the SOHC version of it, my first reply to this thread would be to junk it.

I mean, here they put liquid glass in the oil...They had a program in America where they would destroy older cars...No car even lasted close to this-usually 30 seconds and they are done.





What you may hear are the rockers - they could make noise. The pushrods have poor lubrication at the top and wear slightly.

Not a big deal.
 






Not trying to be negative, but you indicated that at some point you expected to throw in the towel on the truck in a couple of years. This would make sense if you wind up spending more on the repairs than the truck is worth...to you, at least. It's a pretty simple calculus. I love my 97, for instance, and it doesn't owe me a cent. But, at some point, I anticipate that any repairs that I make will not be worth the utility I get out of the truck; if one is dropping 2k a month to keep it running, it may be more cost-effective to consider other alternatives.
In my situation, once the realized utility of my truck becomes less than the money I spend to keep it running, then I will sell the parts I find superfluous and keep the parts I have to use for my other 2 trucks. This maximizes value, and as a not-rich-man, this is good. At this point, I feel that I will be comfortable doing the clutch on this truck, cost--idk---350? (That's me doing labor), and maybe throwing the occasional brake pads on. Anything else major (> idk. $80?) will cause the retirement of my truck, as I don't think that I will realize much of a benefit from blowing a couple hundred bucks on it, just to have something else go next month. She has almost 400k on her.
Wrist pin knock does not ring thru the entire block the way a big end knock does, by virtue of the degree of separation gained from the impact energy having to work its way from the connecting rod journal, up thru the crankshaft to the big end journal. The knock loses a lot of its acoustic energy that way. It sounds like the difference between a snare drum and a floor tom, but more subtle.
I had a cop write me a ticket for $80 for changing my oil in the street in front of my apartment lol. I feel you on that. I didn't dump it in the street, mind you; it went right to the recycling center in a jug. If you don't have the facilities to do such things, it often isn't worth it to try lol

-be me, bad transmission
-save money by removing transmission myself
-throw out back horribly because I tried to do it on jackstands, and because I forgot I am not 23 anymore
-put parts back on and send to trans shop, throw back out again. Chiropractor on vacation.

Good times!!!

Do you mean 2k a year? Right now when I do the numbers, this truck has basically costed me $2000cdn a year to drive it. A new truck I would be paying triple that on payments. Plus insurance would be much higher, like 4x the amount and maintenance would be more. This year maybe a bit more since I will get the shocks done later this year. Yes if I can get two solid years out of it, this year and next year with relatively nothing serious coming from it then I am more than happy. If I can get 3 years, even better. Also remember my truck only has 199,999km on it.

I didn't mind changing my fluids but eventually I just didn't have the time for it and time is also money too. Unless it's just checking and topping up fluids, I would rather just take it to my mech 5mins away and get him to do it. I always buy the oil and filters for it anyways.

>I am definitely not a wrencher
I hear you.

-buddy of mine has a sweet suzuki samurai with lousy gearing
-buys new gear carriers with locking diffs, loaded and ready to go
-asks to use my shop to do the work
-"No problem, just don't get gear oil on you or your clothes"
-lays under differential while removing it
-gear oil in hair, eyes, all over
-he stinks like gear oil for a month and never picks up a wrench again
can't say I really blame him lol

That's totally it. And even when I was doing light fluid changes on my previous car, I was always super cautious and uncomfortable about who sees me and may be watching me.

I know here you can get tickets and in trouble if seen changing fluids on public streets because you are suppose to have a garage for it.

Sure I saved money from paying a mechanic to do it but I paid for the price in time so it evened out. I even still have the 3 ton jack for it sitting around.
 






This motor has a very strong bottom end. Unless you drove 50 miles without oil, I doubt there is an issue. Go try to find a total failure of this engine on the internet. I mean, if you had the SOHC version of it, my first reply to this thread would be to junk it.

I mean, here they put liquid glass in the oil...They had a program in America where they would destroy older cars...No car even lasted close to this-usually 30 seconds and they are done.





What you may hear are the rockers - they could make noise. The pushrods have poor lubrication at the top and wear slightly.

Not a big deal.

Good to hear this thanks.

The OHV motor sounds much stronger and better than the SOHC.

Like I said, over time many have commented on how nice the truck sounds when it runs. I feel it's still a very healthy motor will lots of life left.

Just saw the video, that is impressive. Indeed a very tough motor. Most modern day motors wouldn't be able to replicate that.

Is this the main set of wire that everyone is talking about going from the PCM to the sensors?

20210227_211420.jpg
 






Good to hear this thanks.

The OHV motor sounds much stronger and better than the SOHC.

Like I said, over time many have commented on how nice the truck sounds when it runs. I feel it's still a very healthy motor will lots of life left.

Just saw the video, that is impressive. Indeed a very tough motor. Most modern day motors wouldn't be able to replicate that.

Is this the main set of wire that everyone is talking about going from the PCM to the sensors?

View attachment 328044


No those are your wipers. The harness would be more toward the passenger side. When you take off valve covers, that crappy mechanic could have damaged it. It runs very close to the passenger valve cover.
 






Do you mean 2k a year? Right now when I do the numbers, this truck has basically costed me $2000cdn a year to drive it. A new truck I would be paying triple that on payments. Plus insurance would be much higher, like 4x the amount and maintenance would be more. This year maybe a bit more since I will get the shocks done later this year. Yes if I can get two solid years out of it, this year and next year with relatively nothing serious coming from it then I am more than happy. If I can get 3 years, even better. Also remember my truck only has 199,999km on it.

I didn't mind changing my fluids but eventually I just didn't have the time for it and time is also money too. Unless it's just checking and topping up fluids, I would rather just take it to my mech 5mins away and get him to do it. I always buy the oil and filters for it anyways.



That's totally it. And even when I was doing light fluid changes on my previous car, I was always super cautious and uncomfortable about who sees me and may be watching me.

I know here you can get tickets and in trouble if seen changing fluids on public streets because you are suppose to have a garage for it.

Sure I saved money from paying a mechanic to do it but I paid for the price in time so it evened out. I even still have the 3 ton jack for it sitting around.
If you break down the expenses per month it's not too bad; if you like the truck and can handle the repair costs it's all good. Having to have full insurance coverage is tough when you have a financed vehicle, that's for sure. I have a tenant on my property who just went and bought some little Mitsubishi SUV and failed to consider that her insurance was going to go up 80 dollars a month. She isn't well off, and I know it hurts her a little.

199,000 km=~120k miles I guess. I didn't notice the 'km' lol. If you were to straighten the remaining issues out, even if you didn't sink another dime into the truck after it's done (other than routine maintenance) it could probably go for 3 years easy. That's what keeps me buying these...only the strong trucks are left, the weak and abused ones have long since passed on.

A couple of years ago I lived in an apartment over a commercial building next to a busy highway...it was cheap and I was trying to save up for a house. That stunk. Every time I went to do anything to the trucks, people would roll up...there was an intersection with a traffic light right there...and they'd pull up to the red light and just sit there and stare at me in my ****ty mechanics clothes, working on my truck in the parking lot. Just sit...and stare...ugh lol
 






No those are your wipers. The harness would be more toward the passenger side. When you take off valve covers, that crappy mechanic could have damaged it. It runs very close to the passenger valve cover.
Ok thanks, it's deep down inside by the passenger valve cover? Not sure if I can find it but I will try. What color is the wire?

Just realized I can't pull codes on it today because I need to drive the truck to my local parts shop and with a loose ball joint, its too dangerous too.
 






Just saw that you are having an issue with your coolant temp all over the place?

If your PCM is also getting wild coolant temp readings, the FI system could be introducing the wrong air/fuel ratio...which can cause some cat issues. An excessively rich mixture won’t burn completely, the cat won’t be able to convert all the NOx, and the second sensor will read it as a cat issue.

What’s your live data saying about ECT when the needle is doing a dance?
 






If you break down the expenses per month it's not too bad; if you like the truck and can handle the repair costs it's all good. Having to have full insurance coverage is tough when you have a financed vehicle, that's for sure. I have a tenant on my property who just went and bought some little Mitsubishi SUV and failed to consider that her insurance was going to go up 80 dollars a month. She isn't well off, and I know it hurts her a little.

199,000 km=~120k miles I guess. I didn't notice the 'km' lol. If you were to straighten the remaining issues out, even if you didn't sink another dime into the truck after it's done (other than routine maintenance) it could probably go for 3 years easy. That's what keeps me buying these...only the strong trucks are left, the weak and abused ones have long since passed on.

A couple of years ago I lived in an apartment over a commercial building next to a busy highway...it was cheap and I was trying to save up for a house. That stunk. Every time I went to do anything to the trucks, people would roll up...there was an intersection with a traffic light right there...and they'd pull up to the red light and just sit there and stare at me in my ****ty mechanics clothes, working on my truck in the parking lot. Just sit...and stare...ugh lol

Yes if I view it month to month, the costs are very reasonable IMO. Buying a truck for $2000 and expecting not to put any money into repairs for it over 2 years is not realistic.

I think a lot of people overlook just how expensive insurance is on brand new cars, it's very expensive especially since people want full coverage on it with the smallest deductible. Hail and vandalism coverage for windows and even sunroof. I have no coverage so my insurance is like $22 a month (but because I got two cars and combined insurance). Won't ever get insurance that cheap on any new truck.

Just saw that you are having an issue with your coolant temp all over the place?

If your PCM is also getting wild coolant temp readings, the FI system could be introducing the wrong air/fuel ratio...which can cause some cat issues. An excessively rich mixture won’t burn completely, the cat won’t be able to convert all the NOx, and the second sensor will read it as a cat issue.

What’s your live data saying about ECT when the needle is doing a dance?

I'm curious as well. I just ordered an OBDII scanner off Amazon and it will be here tomorrow, I will do the scan then. I figure it is a super handy tool to have in the truck at all times.

Yes my coolant temp needle goes from 1/4 cold to the middle and fluctuates constantly all the time. It doesn't go past the middle mark though but when it does, it doesn't stay in the middle for more than a few seconds. For the most part, the needle stays on the colder end 95% of the time. Replaced the thermostat twice and the sensor once, very often it hovers around 80-90 towards the cold side even though my heat does not drop.

I am 99% confident this is the issue. But the issue is, I've had this issue with my coolant temp since the day I got the truck. The CEL has never come on until now. If this is the cause, why would it take 2 years for it to show up now?
 






Yes if I view it month to month, the costs are very reasonable IMO. Buying a truck for $2000 and expecting not to put any money into repairs for it over 2 years is not realistic.

I think a lot of people overlook just how expensive insurance is on brand new cars, it's very expensive especially since people want full coverage on it with the smallest deductible. Hail and vandalism coverage for windows and even sunroof. I have no coverage so my insurance is like $22 a month (but because I got two cars and combined insurance). Won't ever get insurance that cheap on any new truck.



I'm curious as well. I just ordered an OBDII scanner off Amazon and it will be here tomorrow, I will do the scan then. I figure it is a super handy tool to have in the truck at all times.

Yes my coolant temp needle goes from 1/4 cold to the middle and fluctuates constantly all the time. It doesn't go past the middle mark though but when it does, it doesn't stay in the middle for more than a few seconds. For the most part, the needle stays on the colder end 95% of the time. Replaced the thermostat twice and the sensor once, very often it hovers around 80-90 towards the cold side even though my heat does not drop.

I am 99% confident this is the issue. But the issue is, I've had this issue with my coolant temp since the day I got the truck. The CEL has never come on until now. If this is the cause, why would it take 2 years for it to show up now?
New cars are very expensive and lose a lot of value before they touch your driveway. Especially a midsize or larger SUV. Not all cars are candidates to keep for the long haul. This explorer happens to be one(in my opinion).

I would suggest a forscan obd scanner (they are in the 20-40 range). Forscan is free and can read a lot of computers on the truck. It is an app special for Ford and runs on your PC. I was able to troubleshoot a problem with the 4wd system. Most OBD readers are a joke.

The fluctuating needle is sort of a known issue with these trucks and a TSB was issued. Did you replace the ONE WIRE coolant sender on the intake? There are two coolant sensors, one for the computer, and one for the dash. Today everything would come from the computer.
 



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New cars are very expensive and lose a lot of value before they touch your driveway. Especially a midsize or larger SUV. Not all cars are candidates to keep for the long haul. This explorer happens to be one(in my opinion).

I would suggest a forscan obd scanner (they are in the 20-40 range). Forscan is free and can read a lot of computers on the truck. It is an app special for Ford and runs on your PC. I was able to troubleshoot a problem with the 4wd system. Most OBD readers are a joke.

The fluctuating needle is sort of a known issue with these trucks and a TSB was issued. Did you replace the ONE WIRE coolant sender on the intake? There are two coolant sensors, one for the computer, and one for the dash. Today everything would come from the computer.

Thanks. I just ordered a Forscan one instead. It says adaptor but it looks like one end plugs into the truck OBD port and the other to our computers USB. I'm guessing the Forescan is much more specific and in depth for Ford trucks and cars.

Does your thermo needle fluctuate too? What is the cause? I didn't know it's a common occurence for these trucks. From what I know the one wire coolant sender was not replaced. Is this located near the thermostat and thermo housing? The mechanic just replaced the thermo sensor, new thermostat and that's it as he said the wiring was still good.

I need to find a map of the 96 engine bay.
 






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