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How Well Are 4th Gens Holding Up?


Glen4X4

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I’m curious as to how these newer versions of the 4.0 SOHC hold up with higher mileage. I just sold my pickup since it was getting in bad shape and found a couple of 4th gens. 2 around 150k and 1 around 117k and the prices vary per truck and back in the 2nd gen days I wouldn’t be afraid to buy an Explorer with 150k if it was a good price... there’s always risk buying used but I’m curious as to how well these are aging... I’ve only ever owned 1st and 2nd gens 8 Explorers Total.
 


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dacaur2

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2010 explorer XLT
Knowing what I know now, I dont think I would have bought the 4.0 4th gen I have now (2010) The one at 117k I would be a little scared of due to the terrible transmission that is notorious for going bad at 90-120k... Mine went at 112k. Im at 137k now and the transmission does not inspire confidence...
The engine, from what I have read, is decent except for the plastic timing guides, and from what I have read, timing replacement requires removing the engine (unless you just replace the guides?) Make sure you are able to start them cold to listen for timing chain rattle. As soon as I start to get that on mine, my first and last ford is going bye bye....
I highly recommend looking at a V8 instead....
 




Glen4X4

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Yeah, I had a 2000 Explorer with the SOHC and the timing chain got slop around 195k. The guides and tensioners were supposed to be better after 2003 but I’ve had no experience with them after 2000. Ford transmissions always have me skeptical even though mine weren’t bad but everyone else seemed to have trouble with them. The V8 option is actually a Mountaineer and those are awd but I’m going to see how much wiggle room they can do on their price, I’d rather be able to pay in full and not get a loan for an old truck. And every vehicle I look at I want it to be cold because I’ve had Fords and Chevys make noise when they’re cold.
 




JAWIT

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Well, I think that's a difficult question to answer. I haven't have my 4.0L V6 long enough to say, but I would think it should depend on how well a particular vehicle is taken care of since new. Buying a used car can be a gamble, even with a carfax. Are the transmissions just unreliable in general or is that coming from owners that either didn't maintain them since new or bought a used vehicle that saw fluid changes very infrequently? I have read that the 4.0 engines are good, provided they saw regular oil/filter changes.
 




Glen4X4

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Of course, buying used is a gamble... the Explorers I have owned in the past we’re known for transmission issues but I didn’t experience any with them even with over heating one at one time. I’m more knowledgeable on the 1st and 2nd gens... and maintenance is key for sure...
 




JAWIT

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I just hope mine holds up. It has 112K on it now, and right after I bought it I did the usual fluid changes (differential-front and back, transfer case, transmission too). Also oil/filter. I am supposed to have the coolant replaced tomorrow. I can't tell if the thermostat housing is original or not. It isn't leaking but I am going to have the shop replace both upper and lower parts and the radiator hoses, and bypass hose too.
 




digifoss

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The better a car is taken care of, the more trouble free it will be and the longer it will last without needing any kind of major repair - generally speaking of-course. That statement includes the way it is driven and kept clean as much as it means doing regular oil changes and other regular and preventative maintenance. When I first bought our 07 4.0L XLT right before Christmas, there was no question about how well the P O had cared for it and how carefully it had been driven. At first I thought he was going overboard doing oil and filter changes every 3 thousand miles, and transmission maintenance annually regardless of miles, but now that I've learned a little bit about the timing cassettes and the possible problems they can cause, and about the transmission problems some people have had, I myself plan to keep right doing oil changes every 3k miles as well as frequent transmission servicing. One change I probably will make is to start using full synthetic oil instead of the conventional oil the PO was using. The wife and I will probably not put more than 4k to 5k a year on the Explorer, so even using full Synthetic, oil changes are still a pretty cheap maintenance item.
 




Gorb

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I've only had problems with the cooling system leaking here and there. Nothing major.

It's starting to roll over more to start but that's probably just the intake gaskets and the fact that it's been -20c for the last 2 months here.

My transmission is a little slow to shift from R to D but it's been like that for 5 years and not gotten any worse.

It's a 2006, ive owned since 2014. Bought at 80k now has 120k miles.
 




dacaur2

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ive noticed that too... when I bought mine at 89k, it started after 3 cranks (revolutions?) every time, then it went to 4, now its around 5-6, sometimes 7 before it starts....
 




Arne52101

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Eddie bauer 06 4.0l
06 4.0l EB Explorer here, 173,000. miles on it now. Engine, Transmission, and all else is
original. Other then regular maintenance it is running like the it day was new. I only run all
Amsoil full Synthetic fluids and I replace any parts before they go.
 




Gorb

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ive noticed that too... when I bought mine at 89k, it started after 3 cranks (revolutions?) every time, then it went to 4, now its around 5-6, sometimes 7 before it starts....
I put new coils, plugs and wires in this summer and it helped in warmer weather. But now that it's cold its doing it again.

My 97 was real bad. It would start but you had to keep your foot on the gas for a few minutes to get it to stay running on it's own. Only happened in extreme cold though Never fixed it since the body was just too far gone to justify putting any money into it
 




katsov

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I've had my 06 4.0 for 7 years and just hit 200k miles, still runs good. Regular full synthetic oil changes, transmission service and about $1k in parts over the years.
 




digifoss

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It's been noted before, for every Explorer 4.0L owner here that experiences a transmission failure or engine timing cassette failure, there are a thousand, or thousands of others that will never experience either of those two issues. We only see the ones that have those problems here and never hear from those that don't.
 




Drewmcg

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2002 XLS 2WD
I own an '02 (2wd) and a '10 XLT (4wd), each with 4.0 SOHC V6.

I bought the '02 (169k miles) with a bad engine for $500, and swapped a used engine (116k miles) in. Had to replace both front wheel hubs/bearings, front struts, and lots more. Developed trans issues around 180k, which I fixed with the kit that replaced the Overdrive Piston (from Wisconsin). (I also had a '97 Explorer, which me son rolled and we won't talk about.)

The 2010 runs like a dream. However, I bought it after the previous owner had the trans rebuilt (116k miles). I even spoke with the shop to make sure they replaced the torque converter with new and bored out/sleeved the OD and 3rd gear piston bores. The mileage is worse (due to 4WD), but gotta love that 4WD high in Michigan winters, and the ability to tow a boat out of a lake or tackle a steep incline with the 4WD low. You wouldn't get that on the Mountaineer AWD.

Hard to find V8 4th Gen Explorers. There must be 6 or 7 of the SOHCs to every V8 out there.

In short, that 4th gens built were a refinement to a very established truck that Ford had been building for years. I don't believe that they are any less reliable than the 3rd gens. If anything, they may have beefed up either the front or rear hubs/bearings, which were failure prone. At least Rockauto shows different parts numbers for one or the other. The fronts aren't too tough to replace, but the backs are a bear . . . .

Other than that, Ford has a history of discrete, unanticipated faults in the first model year or two of a new model. So the '06 and early '07 Explorers had some radiator issues and maybe some drive-by-wire anomalies that Ford eventually worked out.
____
p.s. Tons of info in the 3rd gen forum on the timing cassette issues on the 4.0 SOHC. I've done that job twice; very tricky, and need a few special tools. Good maintenance (oil changes) with high quality filter (Motorcraft or Wix) is key.
 
Last edited:




MotorCityFats13

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I bought my 07 in November of 2014 at like 103k its now at 183k.... untouched transmission with no towing and I use mobile 1 extended performance 10w30 and change my oil 1 time a year in the spring and do 3-5k filter changes and add 1 qt other than a cold start chatter when its under 15f no problems so far

if you have a transmission that has old fluid you can uncover some bad things by changing it.... i try not to poke sleeping bears because ive had 2 transmissions that started to slip 1st gear right after doing a filter and fluid change
 




CharlieK9

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I bought my 2010 XLT 4.0 SOHC in 2014 with 110k miles. It had been fleet maintained most of that time and was very clean. Records showed a rear axle and seals replaced.
As soon as I got it I replaced transfer case fluid and front differential fluid, Replaced transmission filter and 6 quarts Mercon V with a bottle of LubeGuard Red.
I have replaced a front wheel bearing, and recently the radiator and thermostat housing(as maintenance). After I removed the TC housing I saw that the bypass hose tube was failing and heading for a leak. I also changed the fuel pump as maintenance and to fix the level sensor.
I now have 148k miles and it still runs great. I plan to do that transmission filter again this summer and replace the hydraulic TC tensioners. I ususally use Ford Motorcraft Synthetic blend.
Knowing what to watch for, I would buy another one if it was clean.
 




MotorCityFats13

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I bought my 2010 XLT 4.0 SOHC in 2014 with 110k miles. It had been fleet maintained most of that time and was very clean. Records showed a rear axle and seals replaced.
As soon as I got it I replaced transfer case fluid and front differential fluid, Replaced transmission filter and 6 quarts Mercon V with a bottle of LubeGuard Red.
I have replaced a front wheel bearing, and recently the radiator and thermostat housing(as maintenance). After I removed the TC housing I saw that the bypass hose tube was failing and heading for a leak. I also changed the fuel pump as maintenance and to fix the level sensor.
I now have 148k miles and it still runs great. I plan to do that transmission filter again this summer and replace the hydraulic TC tensioners. I ususally use Ford Motorcraft Synthetic blend.
Knowing what to watch for, I would buy another one if it was clean.
Mercon V in the trans? I hope you meant transfer case because V will damage the 5r55s
 




digifoss

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Glen4X4

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Well it is difficult to find a 4th gen Explorer with the 4.6 and I would rather have a regular part time 4wd system over the awd system. I found an EB with 120k miles on it. I checked the Carfax through my Geico app and found that the transmission was overhauled. I’m hoping to get off of work tomorrow to go look at it and buy it if it’s worth while. I went to obtain an EB on Saturday and the dealer sold it before I got there.

45B82F0B-1F97-420C-B8E5-20F803E6A7C8.png
 


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Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.








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