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Early 4L VS Later 4L VS 5L

lucasford

New Member
Joined
July 9, 2012
Messages
3
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0
City, State
Oklahoma City
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer
My son in law really likes my 2003 Explorer (4.6 V8) and wants to buy one. His budget puts him in the 1995 to 2001 price range. Local mechanics say the earlier 4L is a better motor because of on the 1999 and on 4L motors have the nylon tensioners. Is this true? We are looking at Explorers in the 120K to 150K mile range. My son and I have had many 5L Mustangs and really like the old 5.0. The 5L Explorers are far and few between where we live. I did find one, but it sold quick. Is the 5L the best choice? The MPG is not a big issue to him. Most 5L's I have seen in the past were Mountianeers, not many Explorers. Any comments are appreciated.
 




Joined
October 13, 2010
Messages
23
Reaction score
0
City, State
Boston, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'96 Eddie Bauer
The 4L sohc has some timing chain issues that can usually be identified by a rattling sound on a cold startup, but are othewise decent engines. The ohv 4L (earlier model 95-97) and the 5L are considered to be almost "bulletproof" by enthusiasts and mechanics alike. Gas mileage is barely a noticeable difference between the two, as both engines are forced to power a 2 ton truck shaped like a giant shoebox, but most will tell you if you can get the 5L. It has the most power, and the 4r70w transmission which is a bit stronger than the 4L transmissions. If 5L are that few and far between the 4L ohv is just fine, I have owned both a 4L ohv and 5L and both lasted well over 180k miles and are still in the family.
 




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