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Thinking of purchasing 00'-01' explorer... Things to look for?

dewjustin

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December 29, 2011
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City, State
Lynnwood, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Audi A4
Hey guys, I just signed up so this is my first post... Seems like a good forum ;)

I'm on the market for a used SUV and the 2000-2001 explorers are the most appealing to me thus far, due to price and styling.

I have about $5,000 cash to spend and was mainly curious on common issues with the 2000-2001 explorers; so when I go to check them out I know what service records to look for and/or what issues to look for on the test drive.

I'm 21 and this will be the first time I've purchased my own vehicle, I've been driving the same car since I turned 16 and it's time for something different :thumbsup: .

So any tips and advice is greatly appreciated :D

Also, which engine is the best or most reliable, if any? (6 or 8 cylinder)

Thank you guys!
 



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Look for a V8.
The gas mileage will be about the same for the v8 or v6.
The v8 has a MUCH better trans.
The 5.0l is the best motor that you can get (from the factory) in an Explorer.
 






Look for a V8.
The gas mileage will be about the same for the v8 or v6.
The v8 has a MUCH better trans.
The 5.0l is the best motor that you can get (from the factory) in an Explorer.

Thanks for the info, I was wondering how much of a gas mileage drop the V8 would have over the V6 but it sounds like not much if any :p:

The V8 and transmission in the XLT would be the same as the Eddie Bauer or Limited right?

$5k is my budget and it's hard to find the Eddie Bauers or Limited models with under 150k miles on them, there are lots of XLT models for under $5k though.
 






If you get a 4.0L check out the transmission and make sure it's ok. Make sure it shifts into 4Low, the shift motors go bad. Check the rear wiper. If it has the 4.0L SOHC engine and not the OHV make sure the timing chain recall has been performed on it. The 2001 SOHCs should be ok from the factory. I believe that is the year they were redesigned. The V8 and transmission is the same across all of the trims.
 






They had a recall on the SOHC timing chain ? What years did it effect ?
 






Since I'm bored at work... :D

If you're looking for a solid ride, I'd seriously consider an XLT. Not a knock against the Limited's, but you won't have to deal with the air ride and some other stuff: The XLT's ride fine, and aside from the seats, (which I prefer the support of the XLT seats, actually, the Limited seats after 1994 are flat to me) the trucks are pretty much the same- The auto climate control is nice, but, eh, I like the manual controls, less to go wrong. :)

More stuff:

If you get the steering wheel controls for the audio and HVAC, if the wheel goes to crap, it's hard to find a replacement sometimes. The black leather wheel on the XLT is nice and fairly easy to find a replacement for at least in my experiences- there are a lot more of them around int he yards, and the Ranger used it also.

Limited/EB:

$(KGrHqV,!h0E69GEjPHrBO6LbNZ2Sg~~_4.jpg


XLT:

1FMZU73E81ZA64615-6c.jpg


The message center is the other issue, and if you like to store things like a phone, etc., in the center console in easy view, you lose the cubbies if you have that.

Limited/EB:

$(KGrHqJHJCwE7BcvhB1HBO6LbeCv(g~~_4.jpg


XLT:

$(KGrHqV,!pME7Bcvh31-BO9iC7grfg~~_4.jpg


Really, all of the other cool options you can get on the XLT anyhow, and parts like body and trim panels are a lot easier to find, especially vs. the Limited. Interior panels too- the Limited uses special door panels, etc., and that stuff is hard to find if anything needs to be replaced, so if you're looking Limited, make sure yours are in good shape.

So, if it were me, I'd take an XLT with a moonroof, and if I can find one, and XLT Sport 4-door, if you really want the fender flares too. Watch the step bars to make sure they're not rusted out. The running boards on teh Eddies and Limiteds are specific to them, and painted to match. The regular XLT (non 4-door sport) boards (not the bars) i.e. these:

$(KGrHqF,!ikE7CsY5zNhBO7SSVUZp!~~_4.jpg


...are all common to the XLT, same color. Only difference was the Mounty and later Ex (I think 98+ used a slightly darker gray, but they match fine)

XLT Sport 4-door with factory nerf bars:

$(KGrHqNHJBEE7))HtcwUBO9h96(5Yw~~_4.jpg



You can always add a subwoofer, per my thread HERE, and the homelink visors. ;)
 






They had a recall on the SOHC timing chain ? What years did it effect ?

I think they started putting the SOHC in some Explorers in '97 up to '00. I believe they were redesigned from the factory in '01.
 






Thanks for all of the replies, I definitely like the look of the Eddie Bauer and Limited over the XLT but I'll just have to see what's out there.

And it seems as though the V8 is less problematic than the V6 so i'll also look for the V8...

AWD, 4WD, there is a difference? I take it the AWD does not have any options for Lo or Hi, etc...

This one looks nice.

http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/cto/2767764109.html
 












V8's were available in 2wd or AWD.

V6's were available in 2wd or Auto 4wd (control trac).
 






So any particular service records to look for when looking at the V8's?

Anything particularly important that should have been done for sure.

Thanks all and happy new year!
 






V8 doesn't need much, only problem I know of with them is the leaky headers.
V6 ohv isn't a terrible choice either, I love mine. Just stay away from the sohc, to many people have problems with it and it's really not a truck engine (in my opinion)
With any vehicle make sure it's had regular maintenance, look for rust, listen for squeaks, squeals, ect. If you're not mechanically inclined, take it to a mechanic.
If you plan to put big tires on it or tow try to get the 4:10 or 3:73 gear ratio.
Check ball joints/tie rods. Those tend to be the biggest problems.
Can't think of much, way to tired right now :bdrunk:
 






V8 doesn't need much, only problem I know of with them is the leaky headers.
V6 ohv isn't a terrible choice either, I love mine.

Yup, the OHVs are pretty much as bullet proof as the V8s, although the automatic transmissions behind them aren't. They don't quite get up and go as well as the SOHCs but not much difference really. You're probably not real likely to find a '98 or newer XLT, EB or Limited with a OHV and not the SOHC.
 






Unless you are just crazy for the 00-01 model I would suggest driving/looking at a 02 model(gen-3) the interior is alot nicer with more room and the exterior got a whole new look as well, if you shop around you can find one in your price range. I have had every generation of explorers and trust me every time a new generation is born Ford is moving forward,contrary to what the old explorer guys are saying like the sohc 4.0 is not as good as the ohv 4.0 that's BS. for example I have a 190k on my 03 sohc 4.0 and have never changed anything but the oil and plugs. I had a 89 ohv 4.0 with 100k on it and to replace the timing chain. The v8 explorer is the way to fly but will be harder to find in your price range. Don't be scared to drive 2 or 300miles to get that good deal, I live in VA and drove to chicago last year to pick up a 06 v8 limited 4x4 with 69k for only 14,000 it still books for 18,000 right now. Honestly the only big downfall with the explorer has been tranny problems from day 1,I think is was 02 when ford went to a all roller bearing trannny and canned the brass solid bearing design,but other than that most of the other mechanical items on the explorer's are pretty damn solid! Good luck with your purchase.
 






Unless you are just crazy for the 00-01 model I would suggest driving/looking at a 02 model(gen-3) the interior is alot nicer with more room and the exterior got a whole new look as well, if you shop around you can find one in your price range. I have had every generation of explorers and trust me every time a new generation is born Ford is moving forward,contrary to what the old explorer guys are saying like the sohc 4.0 is not as good as the ohv 4.0 that's BS. for example I have a 190k on my 03 sohc 4.0 and have never changed anything but the oil and plugs. I had a 89 ohv 4.0 with 100k on it and to replace the timing chain. The v8 explorer is the way to fly but will be harder to find in your price range. Don't be scared to drive 2 or 300miles to get that good deal, I live in VA and drove to chicago last year to pick up a 06 v8 limited 4x4 with 69k for only 14,000 it still books for 18,000 right now. Honestly the only big downfall with the explorer has been tranny problems from day 1,I think is was 02 when ford went to a all roller bearing trannny and canned the brass solid bearing design,but other than that most of the other mechanical items on the explorer's are pretty damn solid! Good luck with your purchase.


You going by the couple of Explorers that you owned, or are you an auto technician by trade?
I've been working on vehicles for almost 20 years professionally and the SOHC timing chain system is one of the worst designed POS I have ever worked on. Its a half-assed adaptation of an OHV engine to an OHC engine.

Ford "fixed" the timing chain problems in '01 or '02. I say "fixed" because they didnt really fix anything, they threw some band-aids on it that made it a little better.
 












I have a '00 XLT with AWD. It currently has 152k on it. I had to have the tranny rebuilt last year because it was starting to slip when going uphill from a standing start. Nothing too bad with it just needed new friction discs and steels, but I had it completely rebuilt with a new torque converter and whatnot, and it cost me just over 1200 with labor.

One thing to look for though, climb under it or take it to a mech and ask about oil leaks. The rear main seals do tend to have problems on the 5.0's. Its not a bad leak but it is enough to anger you. I had to add about a quart between oil changes but other than that, I haven't had any other problems.

I would recommend that you change all fluids after you find the truck you want. Especially the transfer case and diffs. Doing so can and should help with fuel milage. As I said, mine is AWD only so gas milage comes at a premium. Also, keep in mind, and some may not know this, the 5.0's that Ford put in these, atleast on mine I know for a fact, has the Ford GT40 heads and intake. Which means that it makes plenty of power and torque, and from my experience, tows quite nicely. I moved all of my household appliances along with solid oak dressers, tv stand, and computer desk, and then maybe 20 boxes, all on a 16ft trailer, and I could barely even tell that it was there. Even uphill in an alley, i didnt have to give hardly any gas to get it moving and from there it idled itself up without any help from me.

Goodluck on your hunt for the new truck.
 






I used to have an '01 XLS 4x4 with the SOHC 4.0. Worst Explorer I've had. Engine and tranny were both suspect, and the fit, finish and quality weren't that good.

If you're set on that vintage, definitely get the 5.0 AWD version. Much better motor and transmission than the V6 models.
 






Keep your eye out for a 1999 also. They look just like the 2000-2001s. From personal experience, I would hold out for a V8 AWD. Also, and this is just a personal opinion, the 1998s are the prettiest of the 1995-2001 Explorers. They are a transitional year and have a combination of the 1995-1997 and 1999-2001 styling features.
 



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