Showroom clean 97 explorer, but with a few problems... | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Showroom clean 97 explorer, but with a few problems...

michaeltatarjr

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City, State
nashvegas (love the rhinestones...)
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 explorer eddie bauer
Hey guys;

First time posting. Just bought me a 97 explorer, Eddie Bauer model that is clean, (like off the showroom floor clean!) inside and out. The thing only's got 87k on it. It has the 4.0, with Awd and “control trac”. Unfortunately, like most used cars, I've inherited a couple of problems, and was hoping that the car genius's I've seen lurking around in the forums here could give me some pointers. (I've actually already solved one just by reading through different forum posts. Thanks!)

1.The only thing that really is worrisome is some sort of possible transmission/transfer case issue. I will be driving, usually at slow speeds, and I will begin to hear a rubbing sound, almost as if a wheel isn't on correctly or something, similar to the sounds I would hear when the rotors and pads on my old jeep were totally worn out. Other times, the vehicle acts as if it's trying to shift into 4wd but it's not quite there. It will go down the road and it's as if some part of the drive train is not fully engaged or something.

2.Possibly related to it, is 4lo, when I shift into 4lo from a standstill, it shifts into gear real hard. The two might be connected, but I don't know enough about this particular vehicle to be sure.

3.I took it to a mechanic shop to read the codes, and to be honest he was a real jerk. You pay someone for their time to diagnose problems, not to prepare a dissertation on how much they don't like fords...Some of what he told me was the following:
1. Brake pedal circuit fault
2. 4wd circuit clutch fault
3. key circuit fault.

4. possible emission control issues (I don't worry about this one as much, because I live waaayyy out in the country and don't have to have the car smogged, though I probably need to replace the egr valve and do a few other things.)
4.Finally, for some reason, a previous owner did a partial rewiring of the headlights. I haven't looked close, but he tapped the box and then wired em in series. When I turn the lights on, a "check headlights" message is displayed, even at night. Was wondering if anyone had any guesses as to known issues on why he'd need to do that.

5.Tires. I need a set of treads. Anyone got any recommendations as to “best” for mostly road and a tiny bit of farm driving?

Thanks a ton in advance for your help. I know there's a lot there, but I'm real excited as to getting this all ironed out and having a really nice car for relatively cheap.

holler back ya'll
 



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rubbing sound was a hub on mine, do you have matching tires? if not, that might mess with the awd system (don't know much about this but searching for this might give you more info) good luck!
 






rubbing sound was a hub on mine, do you have matching tires? if not, that might mess with the awd system (don't know much about this but searching for this might give you more info) good luck!

thanks man. I don't believe it is the hub, because it's intermittent, and sometimes there's a "catching" kind of thing going on at speeds approx 1-40 mph. It's as if the car's trying to shift into 4.

Gonna search the forums some more on this...somebody has to have had this problem before...:rolleyes:
 






if it is not a 5.0L, then you have 4wd not AWD.
 






if it is not a 5.0L, then you have 4wd not AWD.

well I went out and checked. It's a 4.0L. I'm alittle confused, cause there's an "auto-hi-lo" switch, which I assumed was awd. Is that not the case? The literature that came with the car was rather lacking.

Thanks for the possible clarification!
 






well I went out and checked. It's a 4.0L. I'm alittle confused, cause there's an "auto-hi-lo" switch, which I assumed was awd. Is that not the case? The literature that came with the car was rather lacking.

Thanks for the possible clarification!

ha. color me retarded. I misunderstood the whole tranny/tranfer case situation of explorers on how awd vs. 4wd works. it's 4wd.

at any rate. Im pretty sure the transfer case is messed up...
 






The AWD/4WD thing helps with searches too- I wonder if something isn't fully disengaging when it is turned to 2WD...

Have you tried running it on jackstands to see what the transfer case does in each mode?
 






The AWD/4WD thing helps with searches too- I wonder if something isn't fully disengaging when it is turned to 2WD...

Have you tried running it on jackstands to see what the transfer case does in each mode?


Good suggestion. :thumbsup:

I will try that. Got a friend of mine who was a mechanic in the caribbean who learned the way most mechanics in third world countries learn...Fool with it until it works, but until then you walk! Gifted would be a good word for his diagnostic skills.
Have'nt had much time to work on it the last 48 hours, but plan on doing so here tomorrow or monday night.

Worst case scenario is the transfer case needs a rebuild, and I just found the rebuild diary. Forgive me for not remembering the authors name, but it's exquisite. I work at a home for at risk youth and the steps are so detailed one of my loony teenage girl students could follow it...ok thats alittle much, but you get the point.

Is it true you have to cut the catalytic converter off with a torch? Some guy I was talking about at the local parts house while sourcing stuff for another project told me that you did. I've never replaced one or anything, so I don't know...
 






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