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Verse

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May 16, 2014
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 Mountaineer
Whats going on yall, my name is Verse

Today i just picked up a 2000 Mountaineer with 110K on the clock to be my primary means of transportation. I have owned several big body cars over the years, including 3 Lincoln towncars, 2 crown vics, and 2 chevy silverados. That being said,this Mountaineer is the smallest vehicle I've ever owned lol. Im pretty familiar with fords from doing my own maintenance on the town cars and crown vics, but know nothing about explorers/mountaineers.

Let me start by saying the truck rides pretty good, but I want to know about the durability of these trucks… The 4.6 v8's in the panther platform cars i had were bulletproof (almost.. one lincoln died at 175K from extreme neglect from the previous owner) but I was told there is a 5.0 v8 in the Mountaineer, correct? I want to know how long these engines usually last when maintained.. At 110 on the clock the truck is in surprisingly good shape but i have no idea what kind of abuse the truck has been thru. Cranks on the first try and the body is in good condition. Seems pretty powerful but i have yet to open her up on the interstate.

Actually the interior is the roughest part, the leather is ripped up (no big deal for now) the passenger side door will not lock, the electric display in the overhead console does not work. The electric mirrors do not work. The fuel gauge starts off empty but gradually rises to the correct amount while the truck is running. electrical is my absolute weakest link when it comes to working on cars (or anything) and I'm worried they will be expensive fixes.

Also i can tell that it will need an alignment and probably some new tie rods in the near future.. Cosmetic things are nothing to me, i used to be a regular at the u-pull it yard lol.


sorry if this is a lot of crap to read.. but would like some explorer gurus to give me some honest info on the durability of these trucks. I bought it to be a beater.. but this truck is growing on me, and FAST.. like as soon as I signed the papers. I am in a financial hard spot and i want to know how long i have before i have to start investing serious money on it.. because the way its looking, ill be fixing it up and keeping it as my permanent vehicle.


thanks,

-v
 



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Welcome aboard!! :salute:

I have moved your thread to the 2nd Gen Sub Forum for better exposure.

Good luck getting it sorted. :thumbsup:

Please keep us posted as feedback helps others reading this post looking for a fix to the same or similar issue!
 






the 5.0 V8 is at least as bullet-proof as the 4.6. with regular oil changes 300k+ should be easily obtainable. the V8 transmission is also very reliable.

the overhead console is a common problem. it caused by 2 resistors getting hot and melting/cracking their solder joints. there's a STICKY on how to repair this, or you can look on ebay for a replacement.

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187953

you don't indicate whether your truck is 2wd or AWD, so i'll assume it's 2wd for now. regarding whether you need an alignment... if you don't know how to check ball joints and tie rod ends, i suggest you take it to an alignment shop and have it checked. odds are good your ball joints and outer tie-rod ends need replacement, unless the PO already had these components replaced. to check these components yourself, after driving the vehicle (to warm up the front wheel bearings) jack up each side of the front end using the jack points on the lower control arms. grab the tire at 6 and 12 and wiggle it. any movement indicates ball joint wear. if play is detected, have someone watch the ball joints while you wiggle to see where the play is (upper, lower, or both). then grab the tire at 3 and 9 and wiggle it. any movement indicates tie-rod end (inner or outer) wear. i do all my own repairs and i don't consider changing these parts a big deal. odds are good your front sway bar end links are also broken - cheap easy fix.

the slow fuel gauge is probably due to a worn sender in the fuel tank, or the gauge itself.

in general, the V8 Explorers/Mountaineers are very reliable vehicles. i have 2 with near 200k on them and one with 175k on it and they all function like new. like any high mileage vehicle, there are typical repairs needed, but at only 110k you should have many miles left in yours.

i have no idea regarding your mirrors. start by check your fuses.

door lock and window problems are often caused by broken wires in the driver's door wire bundle. the easiest way to check the wires is to remove the driver's door (which is very easy to do) to get access to the wires just before they enter the body. they typically break right at the connector plug.

depending where the truck spent it's life, rust can be a problem. check your rear spring shackles for rust.

if your truck is AWD, there are other areas of concern. front hubs, axle seals, front drive shaft (or absence of), t-case & viscous coupling.

i've owned a lot of vehicles over the years (mostly new) of all makes and i find the V8 Explorer/Mountaineer to be very good vehicles overall. i guess that's why my entire family is currently driving them. this forum is a great resource in keeping them on the road, as the collective knowledge found here far exceeds what any single mechanic or dealership knows about 14-17 year old vehicles (and it's free).
 






Koda, thanks for the detailed and in-depth reply !


The truck is a 4-door 2WD, so no worries about transfer case and etc. when driving in a straight line, the steering wheel is sliiiightly ****ed to the side, which is why i say it probably needs an alignment. I can't afford to have the front end rebuilt now but you have pretty much reinforced my thoughts that this is a good truck, so as long as it can get me around for a few months ill be able to save and replace all parts that need replacing to get in near perfect condition. Along with a new front end ill replace the fuel/water pumps, belts, hoses, fuel filter and air filter, alternator, battery,etc.

I have an appointment to bring her into the one shop i trust monday, so it will be looked over by a professional who won't rip me off money-wise and if he says its as solid as i think it is then it's all going to be good. Like i said before I've never even so much as blinked twice at an explorer/mountaineer before but this truck grew on me faster than i thought it would. Bought it to be a beater but, looks like its going to be my baby LOL!

Its a south Louisiana truck, so as far as rust goes, there is little to none. No road salt but extreme humidity so its got a few very small rust spots around but they are very light and could probably be wire-brushed off. I checked the panels and frame underneath and it seems pretty clear. Nothing that would eat a hole thru the metal tho.

One more thing, is there a write-up on the replacement of the power window motors/regulators on this particular truck? All 4 windows work at the moment, but from owning 5 fords i can tell you that in my experience, ford power windows SUCK. Im pretty sure those will be one of the first things to go and going to the dealer to replace them would probably cost more than i paid for the truck itself!

Again Koda thanks for the in-depth reply and thanks for the link to the overhead console fix!

-v
 






you're welcome. of the things you mentioned wanting to replace, the only thing that could give you some problems is the water pump. this is because there are long bolts that go through the timing cover (it's a 5.0 thing). these bolts tend to become rusty and then break when you're trying to remove them. as far as the power window motors, i haven't had any problems with the window motors on any on the 5 Explorers/Mountaineers i've owned. i know jremington59 just replaced a rear window motor, which probably wasn't even bad (broken wire) so he knows how to go about it. i don't recall anyone writing about changing a front window motor, but all you'd have to do is ask the forum for help if you need it.

i've found this site has some helpful DIY video's as well:

http://www.youtube.com/user/1aauto

regarding the steering wheel being crooked, it could be due to worn tie-rod ends, or it could just be the tie-rod ends were replaced and the steering wheel not centered. check your front tire wear. i wouldn't bother getting a wheel alignment until you find out whether you need to replace front end parts.

here's a picture of my baby:

100_0317.jpg
 






OK thanks for the heads up Koda!

Here's mine

Untitled_zps3f8ba0d5.jpg
 






nice looking truck. worth fixing up. here's a pic of my wife's 2000 Mounty. frankly i think the Mountaineer is a better looking truck than the Explorer:

109_0117.jpg
 






Clean ! I agree too, it's the subtle differences, like the grille and headlights. Still, the explorer you posted first is pretty damn clean too.

Mind posting pics of the other trucks ?
 






Clean ! I agree too, it's the subtle differences, like the grille and headlights. Still, the explorer you posted first is pretty damn clean too.

Mind posting pics of the other trucks ?

no problem:

black 2000 Mountaineer daughter 1, green 1997 Sport son-in-law, white 2001 Explorer daughter 2

100_0316.jpg


109_0136.jpg


101_2140.jpg
 






Nice collection you got man. Love the mountaineers and the 2-door is cool too. Does the two door have passenger seats or is it strictly cargo?
 






Nice collection you got man. Love the mountaineers and the 2-door is cool too. Does the two door have passenger seats or is it strictly cargo?

thanks. the 2 door has rear seats too. i look for clean trucks, buy them cheap and fix whatever needs fix'in.
 






a little update:

a few days and about 150 miles later I've noticed the following things: The truck runs and drives perfect but there is a small coolant leak that i cannot figure out where its coming from.

When i checked the reservoir the first time it had almost no coolant in it !:eek: So i filled it just above the fill line and drove it around all night. The next morning, i noticed that it was exactly at the fill line. I continued to drive it and today i noticed that it was slightly below the fill line. It's probably dropped less than an eighth of an inch - a very small difference but I've been keeping my eye on it. Anything I should be prepared for? I haven't physically seen it leak any out which is why i don't know if it's a hose/gasket or what.

Also, i've noticed a little bit (and seriously just a LITTLE) bit of oil on the filter, been keeping my eyes and the oil level is not dropping nor is the oil pressure light coming on (I understand this usually only happens with serious problems) but it is seeping onto the filter a little and i want to address these problems until they turn into something serious

and one more thing, the steering wheel shakes pretty bad at speed above 60 MPH. Lower than 60 it is fine but once i get to 60 it shakes pretty bad, a sign of much needed front end work correct? I checked the lugs and they are tight, i don't have access to the proper tools/jacks right now to do work on it myself..


Other than that, truck is great ! :salute:
 






You might want to consider getting a used oil analysis (or better yet, several -- once every time the oil is changed). Not only will it give you a general idea of the wear levels in the engine, but it will detect markers for antifreeze in the oil. That will at least narrow it down -- it can be hard to pinpoint external coolant leaks.
 






coolant leak - i would start by removing the plastic box under the radiator (easy - four 10mm bolts) and check it for signs of coolant residue. if you find any your radiator is probably leaking and will need to be replaced. also examine the side tanks of the radiator for green residue. that's where they tend to start leaking from. if you don't find any there (and all your hoses look good) it could be a water pump leak. the 5.0's will sometimes also develop leaks from around the timing chain cover.

steering wheel shaking - get your tires balanced and check for bend rims.

oil filter - it is not uncommon for there to be a little oil on the 5.0 oil filter. this can be left over from changing the filter. it is very difficult to get all the spilled oil off the area where the filter mounts and i doubt an oil change place would even try. this can leave some oil to drip/run onto the new filter. if you wipe it off and it reappears, the filter may be leaking. if so, don't bother trying to tighten it, as that may make it worse. change your oil and install a new filter (Motorcraft brand or better). i always use full synthetic oil as it's about the same price as Motorcraft syn-blend. if you can, buy your oil at WalMart as you can save $10-$12 over what the auto parts stores charge for a 5 qt jug. with as many vehicles as i maintain, ive started using Mobil 1 Extended Performance oil. this is supposed to be good for 15,000 miles between changes. i wont let it go that long, but this allows me to not worry about having to change oil on something every month.
 






I had the same problem finding a coolant leak on my 00 5.0 Mounty.

It turned out to be the goose neck. It would only leak when the engine was hot. The metal would expand and you could see the crack. But it looked fine when cool.

MT
 






Most auto parts stores will rent you a pressure tester for free (with a refundable deposit). Hook it up to the radiator neck, pump to about 12psi, wait for a while, grab a flashlight and carefully look around. Don't forget the area behind the top of the timing cover, on both sides (a common problem spot for this engine) -- it's hard to see between all the pipes, but you will find the right angle.

a little update:
...
a few days and about 150 miles later I've noticed the following things: The truck runs and drives perfect but there is a small coolant leak that i cannot figure out where its coming from.
...
 






Sorry for such a long time to reply.. I've been very busy lately


Anyways I sent her into the shop to have the front end rebuilt.. man this thing rides so much better now, almost as smooth as the town cars I've had. I also found the source of the coolant leak, apparently the gasket or whatever you want to call it that connected to the water pump was completely rotted, obviously neglected before but it has been replaced and now no leaks! I really love this truck and at 110K it runs very strong.

I wanted to thank everyone here for their knowledge and willingness to help others and share advice. (I am not exactly mechanically inclined and am pretty much only skilled in basic maintanence) When I got the truck back from having the front end rebuilt, they got air in the PS system, creating a bad shake any time i turned. Thanks to a thread i read here a few weeks ago when i first joined, i knew to take it straight to a parking lot and turn in circles with the wheels completely ****ed to the side. Like magic, the shake went away and the truck turns fine ! :)

(also would like to add it was NOT leaking oil, i wiped it down and noticed a bit of oil again which had me thinking it was, but after a second wipe down no oil ever appeared again)


THANKS ALL!

-v
 






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