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most reliable engine for 3rd gen explorer


May 25, 2010
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City, State
Honolulu, HI
Hi, Thanks so much again.

Next option is engine. There are 3 options for 2003 through 2004 these are

V6, 4.0 Liter
V6, Flex Fuel, 4.0 Liter
V8, 4.6 Liter

The options for 2005 are

V6, 4.0 Liter
V8, 4.6 Liter

So I am wondering which is the most reliable. I will not be driving it alot so fuel economy although important falls behind the need for it to be reliable. Also I will not be 4x4ing much, Here on Oahu there isn:t that much need but sometimes I will be using it so power is not super important. I may be towing with it but it will most likely not be anything heavy.

Thanks again everybody.

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I'm real happy with my 05 V6. I haul a bass boat and it has plenty of power and good fuel ecomony. I haven't had any trouble at all but I only have 73000 on it.

I second that, 4.0's good enough for your needs!

I've heard in a few places that the 4.6's may last a little longer on average. Also, from what I have seen fuel economy will only vary by a couple mpg between the two engines, if at all.

so basically it doesn:t really matter about the engine. I was just wondering if there is something I should be looking out for when I seriously begin my search for 03-05 explorer.

Looks like it may be a 03 with whatever engine and 4x4.

I've always had the best luck when I go with the biggest engine available in any vehicle.

Both great engines.
I also would go for the 4.6. I've had 4 explorers (two 6s and two 8s) and the V8s don't work as hard. Although I had a catastrophic failure with my current 4.6 I'd probably still go with another.
The MPG were basically in the same ballpark, however, I'd give the edge to the V8.

I would also give a vote for the V8 engine. The MPG difference is only about 1mpg, but you'll get a whole lot more power. And, for a 6,000 lb. truck, the engine will work much easier to haul that heavy rig.

+1 on the 4.6L. I had an 02 V6 that went to 200k miles, but the V8 in my 08 doesn't work nearly as hard to do the same work. Gas mileage difference between the two is negligible. IMO, both gets lousy mileage. Although I have gotten a personal best 22 MPG HWY in my 4.6L. Price difference shouldn't be too bad either. Go for the V8 if you can.

Roger that, thanks everybody for the useful info. Like I said earlier this truck is a luxury rather than a necessity so I will wait to find a v8 and go with that.