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Electrical gremlins

JohnH55

Elite Explorer
Joined
January 11, 2020
Messages
122
Reaction score
31
City, State
Perry, Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
I had an unusual issue with my 2001 Explorer sport today. I got in the truck and started it from cold, I waited a minute for it to idle down then took off. I hit a small bump and the radio shut off, then on then off, then on till the next bump. My abs light also started flashing, and didn't stop. My speedo was sitting about 5 mph higher than it should have. I then go into a parking lot turned the truck off, then turned it back on. No lights and everything was back to normal, I hit a big bump at 20 mph, and it did absolutely nothing. I've had this issue with the abs light coming on and giving me a harness mismatch code, but the speed and radio are new. What is the problem here? It's been awhile since I fixed anything on the truck, does it just want more attention?
 
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J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,956
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756
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
Intermittent faults are difficult to troubleshoot. I'd start with unplugging, inspecting and replugging the two bulk wire connectors under the hood.

Considering the speedo and the ABS are related to getting a good signal from the rear diff speed sensor, I'd look into that if either of those faults happens again, but it happening due to a bump suggests to me a chaffed wire shorting or maybe corroded fuse box contacts, so removing and replugging the related fuses might help.

Of course it wants more attention! It's getting older, age related issues start to pop up. Nickel and dime you they claim, but at least if you DIY it isn't cost prohibitive to continue ownership.
 
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JohnH55

Elite Explorer
Joined
January 11, 2020
Messages
122
Reaction score
31
City, State
Perry, Kansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
Intermittent faults are difficult to troubleshoot. I'd start with unplugging, inspecting and replugging the two bulk wire connectors under the hood.

Considering the speedo and the ABS are related to getting a good signal from the rear diff speed sensor, I'd look into that if either of those faults happens again, but it happening due to a bump suggests to me a chaffed wire shorting or maybe corroded fuse box contacts, so removing and replugging the related fuses might help.

Of course it wants more attention! It's getting older, age related issues start to pop up. Nickel and dime you they claim, but at least if you DIY it isn't cost prohibitive to continue ownership.
I did recently have the engine engine harness out, and I didn't spot any bad wires on it. Would it be fine using dielectric grease in those two bulk head connectors? I'll look at the diff sensor, and start unplugging and replugging fuses
 
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J_C

Explorer Addict
Joined
July 30, 2009
Messages
3,956
Reaction score
756
City, State
Florence, KY
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 XLT 4WD 4.0L SOHC
^ Yes a "little" dielectric grease can help but mostly it's useful where the connectors join, the perimeter. If one of the contacts itself is getting corroded, I would unplug and replug it a few times before any dielectric grease on the contacts so the friction helps to clean the contacts. You might also be able to remove the block in the connector that holds the contacts in for individually cleaning them - not sure, haven't looked that closely at those two but many of Ford's connectors are like this, able to be opened to extract contacts.
 
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