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Looking to buy a 91-94 explorer in the near future

NHarris

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So I currently have a 05 explorer and want a project car to work on over the winter and summer. I am trying to keep it on the cheap and go for a $400-800 explorer. I have no idea on what to look for in this generation of explorer. I assume the mileage will be about 125k +

What should I look for, and any problems to be expected?

Thanks for any input,
Nate
 
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Burns

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It would be a great project vehicle. First gens are pretty easy to work on and easy to mod in the offroad direction.

Try to pry into the transmission history. That is really there big weak link. If it has been rebuilt in the last 4 to 6 years then it is most likely in good shape. Look for rust but that is a usual standard on a truck or car of that age.
 
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NHarris

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--Most X's I've looked at all seem to have rebuilt transmissions. Your comment about the transmissions answered my question there. I am trying to get a X cheap so I do expect problems on which ever one I buy.
--A few months ago I was about to buy a 93 explorer, a two owner, the last guy had it for all but 3 years. Only a few things wrong with it was the transmission oil cooler was busted and leaked transmission fluid everywhere. Other than that it was just fixing the body panels up. I could have got it for $400, but the deal fell through. I've been kicking myself since... :(
 
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rhauf

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personally, i'd find the nicest one you can that already has a blown transmission. that way you'll be getting one in really nice condition for you're money. then you can get a rebuilt trans with some upgrades (mine came out to about $1200 with a shift kit, upgraded torque converter, and upgraded clutches/bands). yeah it's extra money, but think of it this way, if you buy one with a good trans, you may end up replacing it anyway. this way you're insured a good one and you get a nice vehicle to go with it

other than that, i'd just say find one that's not too rusty or whatever.. to me (personally) mechanical condition is not a high factor in an old car, i'd just as well rebuild and replace everything right away than constantly be changing this and that for years until everything is done.

btw: the engines, axles, steering etc on the first gens is really solid.
 
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rhauf

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except the throwout bearings in those always goes bad, and it's integrated with the hydraulic slave cylinder. it costs about half as much to fix this problem as it does to buy a rebuilt a4ld (clutch kit and slave cylinder/throw out bearing cost around $600) just food for thought (nothing is perfect). labor is about the same for a clutch replacement as for an auto trans swap.

the auto transmissions do well if they have an external cooler on them. without it they tend to run hot because they have a relatively high stall.
 
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NHarris

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Well the search is on. I went up to $2000 for my max and found a great condition 1996 explorer. Don't know the details yet. It has 170k miles. They want around 1400 dollars for it.
 
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NHarris

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Well I'm still looking. I'm leaning towards an extended cab F150 currently, but am keeping my mind open to other vehicles (explorer and ranger).
 
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rhauf

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ahh you're all over the place on you're options.. not that that's a bad thing by any means.

if gas mileage isn't a concern, you should consider a full size bronco (they're awesome)

a note about the second gens (you mentioned a '96 you were looking at) and reliability is the OHC engines tend to have some issues with timing chains (by some, i mean quite a bit) other than that they're pretty strong engines and make good power though.

and little X is right about the first gens and offroad.. they beat the heck out of all other explorer years for offroad (in stock or nearly stock form) strong axles (no CV junk), non-rack steering, beefy frame, coil and leaf suspension (no torsion bar crap or struts) etc.
 
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huntman58

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get a bronco II drop in a v8 and have all the power you want with the sharp turning of a CJ2A jeep they make great off readers of the short wheel based kind I do miss mine. You can also fit easily a 4.0 OHV in it if you want also lots of ways to go and they have almost all of the advantages of the 1st gen X's just shorter IMPO.
 
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CraigRK

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icecube498

I've just been where you seem to be at, and I both agree and disagree with huntman58. IMHO Bronco II's are cooler, especially if you are building an off-road machine. But based on my experience, it might be difficult to find a decent BII vehicle for a project base. After searching for about a year to find a decent, reasonably priced replacement for my Bronco II (rear-ended by an idiot), I switched over to looking for a Gen1 Explorer.


5063990141_a65495db6c_b.jpg



Took me about another year to find a nice Gen1 at a reasonable price ($1700 - see pix). The Explorer will have a better engine (4.0's fit nicely into BII's though), and also significantly more interior space. And it also won't necessarily be a insurance write-off if you suffer any damage in an accident. Insurance companies just won't pay to repair your damaged restored BII, as the book value is too low.

Again, IMHO, Gen1 Explorers are much cooler than later generation Explorers, with much stronger and more MANLY styling, and likely much easier to work on. If you take your time and have cash ready, you'll be able to find a decent Gen1. What I look for is a decent body (I don't do bodywork), and mechanicals in reasonably good condition. Mine had just had transmission servicing, but I expect to have to replace the tranny at some point in the future.

So far, I'm very happy with my 94 Sport.
Good Luck!

CraigK
 
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NHarris

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Well fellas I'm bringing back an old thread of mine. This would be my first car that I bought myself. I want a good off-roader and I think the 91-94 Explorer can provide this for me. So I know of the transmission trouble of the A4LD, are the rebuilt ones much stronger and better than the original ford ones, and how hard is it to get parts for these ones?
I'm probably going to buy a first gen over a second gen. I just don't like the fully independent front that the 2nd gen has. The TTB offers more "flex" than an torsion bar IFS. So the search is on. I will let you all know what I find.

-Nate
 
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alakers

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i may know of one, that someone might want to sell. i'll pm you soon as i find out.
 
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huntman58

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Hey NHarris I got a 94 that is perfect for a project off roader or 4x4 as its needs a motor so you pick what you want go with a V8 and run a better tranny and go right for the gold with a SAS and SOA It’s 2x4 (OEM) now with a working A4ld.
It is kind of my parts truck now. I kind of got left with it when my Nephew decided not to fix it. I have pulled some parts from it but almost every thing I pulled it still has or will as I replace my parts with its parts being it as some that are better /nicer/ or going to be modded before they get put in. so not a time have to get ride of it right now thing so if looking for a winter project that’s easy to handle

Pm me if your interested in it as I would love to see it go to some one for some thing like this then were its headed for now.

The truck is in Fresno Calif. Area and that’s the bad point but PM me it may be worth your time.
You get first shot but after you its open
 
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