Reliablity of AWD V8? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Reliablity of AWD V8?


December 4, 2007
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City, State
B'ville GA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 V8 & 04 Limited V8 4x4
My 20 year old son is looking at an AWD 2001 V8 Eddie Baurer Explorer. I don't know much about the AWD. How reliable is it? What are the typical problems and what to look for on a used truck? Can/should it be lifted a little? It only has 77,000 miles and is a one owner. Can you get a standard 4x4 in the 98 to 2001 V8's instead of AWD? If so should we look for that instead. I currently have a 98 2wd V8 with mods and we also have a 2004 limited with the 4x4 auto select. It seems to work fine and have not had any issues. The 2001 is super clean and I would hate to pass it up if the AWD is good to go.

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The v8 was only offered as awd or 2wd. The v8 have good drivetrains and i would not worry to much about problems. Not sure about common problems but i dont think anything major like the sohc and its timing chain curse. If its a good deal i would go for it.

I wouldn't think twice about it. Mine has been fantastic for 108k. The AWD is second to none for mostly on road driving.

180,000 miles on my AWD V8

Agree with previous posts. The V8 AWD is a good setup. Gas mileage between the v8 and 4.0 will be negligable.

I picked up my ex last winter just before the snow. Awd v8 168k miles and its still runnin strong. If its a good deal i would not pass it up. Ive had a couple problems here and there but notin too major. I had an idler pulley freeze up about a month ago and right now im in the middle of replacing the cv axles. Other than that its been smooth sailing :)


The only 'problems' that my dads 99 mounty V8 AWD has had in its lifetime have been plug wires, thermostat and front swaybar endlink. It has almost 80k on it now. Other than those problems, if you can even call them that, it has just needed standard maintenance like bulbs, fluid changes, brake service. It will be getting new tires soon. The original recall replacement tires are on it now. It also had the mach head unit display problem but I fixed that (not drivetrain related though).

Mine has been problem free as well and has about 60k on it. I have not owned the engine through its entire life though and replaced a lot of stuff when I did my engine swap just as a preventative measure.

i love my 1997 v8 awd it has almost 200,000 miles on it and it runs like a champ. nothing major done to it just simpel ware and tare

5.0 AWD ex = Tank.

Check out my vids for whats been done to mine.

The 2wd trucks are better, awd is for sissies and rally cars

The only *common* issues with the V-8 AWD drivetrain are transfer case and front driveshaft issues, and they're not all that common. The CV head on the front driveshaft tends to go bad, and a new shaft is a couple hundred dollars. The viscous coupling in the transfer case tends to either lock-up solid or fail to engage, but both of those situations are pretty rare. For every one you read about here, there are literally tens of thousands of them running around out there.

Engine and trans are darn-near bullet-proof. They run the same combo in trucks that are larger and haul more (F-150) without a problem, so I trust it. Rear axle is a Ford 8.8 that they used to use under the full size trucks as well... almost bullet-proof in the Explorer.

Overally, it shouldn't pose an issue. If it's a deal, go for it! (If you opt to pass on it, let me know where to find it! I'm in the market for one!)

Love my AWD V8, rock solid with 188K on it

I've had 4 2nd gen Explorers, 3 of which were 5.0 AWD, and I haven't had any notable problems with any of them. I've replaced a switch here, a door handle there, etc. I just recently bought my current 5.0 AWD over the weekend. It's an '01 with 127k on the clock and it purrs like a kitten.

Aside from the normal things you should check on any vehicle, here's a list of some of the other things I consider when shopping for a 5.0 Explorer:

-'98-'01 have better heads
-Later years have cast manifolds instead of the tubular manifolds that are prone to leaking
-Is there any binding when turning sharply (for AWD models)
-Inspect the balljoints
-On an uneven surface, do you feel thumping under your feet? (torsion bar pads)
-Is the rear driver's side sagging more? (gas tank is on that side)
-Check all door handles (inner and outer) and lock actuators on all doors
-Check leaf spring shackles for rust (common if you live in an area that uses salt in the winter)
-Does the rear wiper function properly? (easy fix)
-Do all of the switches work? (particularly the lock/unlock on the driver's door... common problem)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some. Make a checklist when you go to look at the vehicle again and point out any issues. It gives you a better position on price negotiation if the seller knows you're familiar with what will need to be fixed. Keep an idea in your head of what it will cost you to fix the problems. Keep in mind that excluding the transfer case, none of the things on my list are considered major. However, 10 little fixes can be just as expensive as one large one.

GET IT especially if it only has 77 k and has only had 1 owner. I absolutely love this truck (this site makes you love your truck even more)it is extremely reliable for everything you would need. I wouldn't give mine up for anything. The newyork winter can be harsh it has got me through three so far. As far as lifting it a couple of inches it it simple like many on the site torsion twist and shackles cost you really cheap.

2001 5.0L GT-40p V8 is one of the best engines Ford ever built
This is the old 289/302, in its last year of production

The 2001 Explorer got the 4r70w automatic transmission, its bomb proof, in stock form they can handle 500 HP at the drag strip, its the same auto used in the expedition and F-150

the awd t case is a full time transfer case, no shifting, its always sending power up front and to the back, its considered to be a 60/40 split on this forum, 60% power to the rear

2001 was the last year of the Gen II explorer, they had it NAILED by then

I would not think twice about owning this truck
It is a truck, based on the ranger, rear leaf springs and a live rear axle

I personally would remove the AWD and install a 4406 manual transfer case so you have 2wd, 4hi and 4 low... that really makes these V8 trucks into a monster.

Also seriously consider Torque Monster headers.......27HP just for bolting them on (dont quote me I think its 27)

Buy it and DONT LOOK BACK these are well built trucks with a wonderful drivetrain

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As far as the reliability of an awd v8 explorer there is no comparison, I own a 96 5.0 with 104,000 miles on it and no major repairs since I bought the truck used 5years ago, just regular maintanence, tires ect, my fuel milage is fantastic 27 hwy at 69 miles an hour. 18 city regardless of speed , yes it is an expensive truck to maintain for me ,plugs are $65.00 dollars for all eight , brake pads are 210.00 but the reliability is worth it. great in the snow, as far as only being offered in awd or 2 wd that info is wrong you can find them in the xlt models that are 4wd and with stick they are rare but out there. my buddy owns a 2000 xlt 4wd with 5.0 stick nice ride.