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Tips on Buying '03 Sport?

Lazzman

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 27, 2005
Messages
1,398
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2
City, State
Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport 4wd- V6 Sohc
Well the time has come to upgrade my 1998 Sport to a newer 2003 Sport.

Still love my '98 and it runs like a beast, but with 180k mi on the clock, rust eating its way up the rocker panels, an exhaust leak, needing rear brakes and the broken timing chain tensioner- it is time to move on. Sure, for about $1500 it would be mint again, but I would like something newer- so I can start a fresh build up again.

Saw an awesome black, 2002 Sport with 66K mi on the clock, very sharp, XLT pkg, lthr, garage kept asking price $7995. Seemed a bit high but the truck was very clean.

Looking for tips from my brothers on the board on what issues to look out for, when looking for a used 2002-2003 Sport, problems, concerns etc... :D

Also what is a fair price for something in that range? The one above was a bit over NADA book value.

Thanks for the help
 


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Lazzman

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 27, 2005
Messages
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City, State
Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport 4wd- V6 Sohc
Nothing? No comments?

There must be some things to look out for, I know the transmissions are a trouble spot.

Any help is appreciated- I don't want to get screwed with a lemon.
 




VORTMAX_99

Member
Joined
January 13, 2006
Messages
34
Reaction score
1
City, State
Gorham ME
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Sport
Lazzman,

We own a 2003 Sport 4WD XLT. We purchased it new and it now has
aprox 33,000 miles in it. No major problems so far. Minor problems
include the following:

1) Front Heater/AC blower switch crapped out. Thought it was the
resistor pack which I replaced and didn't fix the problem. Installed
a new switch and has worked fine. The problem with the original
switch is that it would only work in positions 2 and 4.

2) Fuel cover door spring broke which allowed fuel door cover to
flop around. Ford doesn't sell just the spring so they wanted
to sell me the whole fuel door for aprox 70 dollars. Found a
torsional spring over at NAPA for less than 2 dollars and fixed it.

3) Being we're located where they use quite a bit of salt/sand during
the winter months...we always noticed quite a bit of sand/salt
mixture collecting just below the fuel filler tube (located just
behind the fuel filler cover door). When I replaced the spring
mentioned above, I used roofing caulk to seal the compartment.
No more appreciable collection of salt/sand noted.

4) Replaced front brake pads/hardware apox 24,000 miles. Noticed
that driver side inside pad was wearing more than the others.

5) Recently noticed that the front differential pinion seal looks like
it may be leaking. Will continue to watch it and need be will
replace it later this summer when I service the transmission.
(It's easier to drop the transmission pan with the front drive
shaft disonnected which I will have to do to replace the pinion
seal.)

6) Only time I had to take it back to Ford was that the front
differential was puking out axle grease over the driver side
outside cv joint. There's a TSB out on it and they replaced
the front differential cover under warranty. ( We had the
exact same thing happen to our 2001 Sport which was also
repaired under warranty).

Only other things done to it have been normal maintainance items
including oil/filters. Also replace the battery this past winter
as it was over 5 years old and didn't want the wife getting
stranded on one of those 20 below nights. Also, I'm a firm believer
of draining off a gallon of anti freeze and installing a new gallon
every season. I don't bother with flushing the cooling system and
have never had any cooling problems to speak of. Plan on doing this
with the transmission fluid also...hoping it will avert any transmission
problems in the future.
Regards,
George
 




Lazzman

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 27, 2005
Messages
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City, State
Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport 4wd- V6 Sohc
Thanks Vortmax this is excellent information :biggthump

I will consider these area's of the explorer I look at carefully.

Also thanks for the maintenance tips...

Lazz
 








kabukie

Well-Known Member
Joined
February 14, 2006
Messages
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City, State
Columbus, Oh
Year, Model & Trim Level
02 Explorer Sport
I love mine. I wouldnt be selling it if I didnt get a new DD. ;) (for a lot cheaper than the one your looking at)
I dont have any big complaints. Ive tried to keep up with maitenece. only thing that every acted up was the relays for the intermittent wipers and then occassionally the rear wiper will get off track.
 




Robsbrd99

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Joined
March 15, 2009
Messages
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City, State
lynchburg VA.
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 Explorer Xlt 4.0
I do believe its all on how you drive and mantain the vehicle. Just keep some money set aside in case the trans. lets go.
I have really enjoyed mine so far. Rides soooooo nice. Not the first problem in 6 months of driving. Did an oil change and replaced the belt. Going 6 hours away and didnt feel like taking a chance.
 




Lazzman

Explorer Addict
Joined
June 27, 2005
Messages
1,398
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City, State
Massachusetts
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Sport 4wd- V6 Sohc
Overall not bad info...

I know on my '98 Sport I had the dreaded 5R55E transimission problem at 150k mi. Had the valve body replaced for $500 with a performance one- new solenoids, stiffer springs, and larger journals made it shift firm and fast.

Also had the timing chain tensioner break off, which is why I am getting a newer Explorer. I am thinking those are going to be the two biggest issues to watch out for in the '03.

Looked at a nice green '03 that had 55k mi on it for $7500, loaded and good looking but no leather.

Thanks for the updates.
 




Robsbrd99

Well-Known Member
Joined
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Messages
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City, State
lynchburg VA.
Year, Model & Trim Level
05 Explorer Xlt 4.0
Do you know how long the 5r55 has been around? I cant understand why they dont update the trans or come up with a new one.
 




Beano

Member
Joined
April 26, 2007
Messages
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City, State
North Haven, CT
Year, Model & Trim Level
'01 Sport
vortmax 99- could you tell me how you were able to replace the spring for your fuel filler door? Mine just broke a few minutes ago, and flapped all about on my drive home.
 




VORTMAX_99

Member
Joined
January 13, 2006
Messages
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City, State
Gorham ME
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Sport
Beano,

If I remember correctly...you open the fuel filler door and as you're
looking at the fill pipe...you'll see 3 hex headed bolts around the
outside of the fill pipe. (One I believe had the fuel cap tether
attached to it). Remove those bolts and you have to work the
fuel door assembly out from the quarter panel. The assembly
contains the fuel door itself as well as what appears to be
a rectangular box (the piece that goes around the fuel pipe).
I also believe that there was a vent pipe or hose hooked to
the bottom of the rectangular box which I believe just slid off
the fitting. (You have to lie on your back and look up underneath
where the fuel door assembly is to do this). I went to the dealer
to see if I could just get the spring...but they wanted to sell me
the whole fuel door assembly for 60 or 70 dollars. They told me
you couldn't buy the spring separately...but I found out later on
that if you look up some of the on line ford parts vendors...they
do show that a spring is available. (It's listed under 'quarter panel and
components" on the ftepartsguy.com page.)

Not knowing that the spring was indeed available separately...
I finally ended up doing was going down to NAPA and picking
up one of their torsion springs...part # 770-2126 for $1.69.
Had to put a couple of 90 degree bends in the legs of the
spring...and it worked like a charm. Sure beats the more than sixty
dollars the dealer wanted for the whole fuel door housing assembly.

It took me a while to figure out how to bend the NAPA spring to
get it to work correctly...so you actually may be better off with
the original spring if you can get it.

Geo.
 




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