To Buy or Not to Buy? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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To Buy or Not to Buy?

7A Ranch

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December 13, 2010
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Hello Explorer Forum Members,

I'm looking for some help. I am looking at a 2001 Explorer Sport with a 5 speed manual that has 66k miles on it. I checked the carfax and they guarantee the mileage and the title to be clear but they also list it as a one owner and the guy i'm talking to is the second owner. Anyway the vehicle runs well, shifts well etc. The body mount bushings are shot, needs tires and the rear brake discs are going to need to be turned when the brakes need to be replaced. It also has a substantial ding in the right front fender.
Beyond that it looks like the vehicle mileage is correct, no leaks or even seepage anywhere that I could find.

The guy is asking 5600.00 for it but I'm sure will negotiate down. My question is does this sound like pretty good deal or at least fair? It will be for my son that is starting paramedic school in Jan, his old '95 F-150 with 230K mi probably won't make it another 2 yrs that's why i'm looking at the Explorer.

Sorry for the long post and thanks is advance for any help you can provide.



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While the miles seem good and low it seems a little steep for a 2WD, in my opinion.
While not gospel I think kelly blue book ( is an excellent resource to find a good starting price. It at least gives a fair ballpark figure, although in my experience KBB seems to value things a little higher than the market does.
If you want to get a replacement fender cheap try I just got a bunch of my panels there and they were hands down the best price I could find.
Lastly, I wouldn't lend too much creedence to autocheck or carfax. I found out that if something was repaired by a shade tree mechanic it oftentimes never makes it on to the carfax. Carfax only reports repairs made by authorized mechanics. My wife bought a Ford Escort with a clean Carfax only for us to later find out the air bag had been deployed. Someone just threw a new steering wheel in, replaced the body panels and called it a day. The steering column wasn't even put back together correctly. We never found it out till we got it up on a lift. So a carfax is only worth so much...
My 2 cents. Good luck & atta boy helping your son getting a car.

Thanks for the input, what's been hard at establishing a value is that none of the sites (KBB, Edmunds etc) allow for a a standard transmission to be entered. Some of the sites I've looked at say that the standard transmission went away in 2000, so that has caused me some confusion.

Some people would probably think a manual transmission devalues a vehicle since it was the "cheaper" option from factory. I'm sure it's just a model carryover if they offered it the year before yours. Ford just probably wanted to get rid of some extra ones so they put them in some 01s to get rid of stock.
From what I've seen though on used vehicles a manual doesn't really affect the value. As long as you are comfortable driving stick they usually seem to sell for about the same as autos. Really, they give you a little better mileage and are less expensive to fix (as a general rule of thumb) so I wouldn't let that alone affect your research. It's probably worth about as much as the auto, so you can at least use the value of an automatic as a gauge.

Dont buy any 4.0 SOHC or if you want to just look at the timing chain problems and go from there.
That old F150 wrote some nice miles. A 4.0 sohc is lucky to do half that mileage.
If you need a 6 cylinder for the kid look at a Jeep 4.0 or Chevy 4.3, both capable of being problem free and going 200k.

No sense in buying junk when you can get known good stuff.

While it's a bit steep on price, I wouldn't call it junk. Plenty of SOHC Explorers are well over 115k. :rolleyes:

If you want tough- find a 4.0L V6 OHV.

While it's a bit steep on price, I wouldn't call it junk. Plenty of SOHC Explorers are well over 115k. :rolleyes:

If you want tough- find a 4.0L V6 OHV.

Possibly a bit harsh and some do go for awhile, but scary to have that possibility IMO. Yes get the good one before they jacked it all up, cam in block 4.0. Tried and true.

I'll go further- I'd take a 4.0L OHV Control Trac over a V8 AWD any day, and I own a V8 AWD. I wish I could go back... :)

Plus if you do have to replace the engine in an OHV you can post a wanted listing on craigslist and they are a pretty cheap motor to replace. Just make sure the engine is good

Thanks for the input, I didn't know there was a timing chain issue with the 4.0L SOHC, that's why i'm on the forum. I may keep looking since the reason for buying the low mileage vehicle is that I don't want the midnight ph call when he's getting off a training shift telling me his truck won't start. I'm not as thrilled about repairing stuff as I used to be, must be age.

It's a matter of the timing chain tensioners breaking up- there was a recall, so the tensioners may have been replaced. If so, you're fine.

It isn't anything that will happen overnight, it does it mainly over lots of miles, where you'll notice a light tapping. Lots of trucks run with the tapping for tens of thousands of miles, even though it isn't advised. It can be fixed with a kit that you could have put in if it's a nice clean Ex. With 60k I wouldn't be afraid of it if it sounds good. You can look at the "00M12" recall for info.