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Total vs. Fix My 2000 Ex

sarahsdaddy

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Ashland, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT
I'll have to make a decision shortly on what to do about my Ex that got rear-ended last week, as the guy who hit me's insurance company has finally come through and declared it totaled. Estimate of repair were in the $3100+ range from their recommended shop, and he said it could go higher when he gets into it. Kelly Blue Book for private sale in good condition, given mileage, features, etc. is $3800. Insurance co. offering me roughly $3500, plus option of buying back the Ex for $250. I explained my position re KBB and all that I'll have to go through to find a good equivalent Ex, and risks of getting burned even with checking them out good. She is supposedly looking into what they can do about upping the offer and am waiting to hear back.

IMAG0090_zpsdbcd1368.jpg


It's a SOHC 4WD, with an interior in unusually nice condition compared to others I've seen. Exterior average. It does seem to have the timing chain death rattle but have driven it for years without problem. Also needs front rotors, and tires and battery are well along.

The body shop told me they can match color no problem but said it will be obvious it's had body work due to much newer clear coat. Also, if I repair with the insurance money the risk is all on me if the body work goes higher, and I'll wind up with a truck that looks like it's repaired, and does have some issues that will cost some money, like rotors, tires, battery, and possibly major engine work.

I'd been reading my options on upgrading to the next gen Ex, starting in 2002, but have read all the horror stories about them. I suppose at this age hopefully I can find one that's already had it's tranny replaced/rebuilt, rear springs replaced, etc. I guess with either a 2nd or 3rd gen I should stick with the V8 as the more solid engine/tranny.

Do I repair, buy it back and part it out, or what? Am I likely to find someone local who’ll pay me some decent money ($500+) to take it as is and repair themselves? I’d kind of like to stick with some year Explorer, and would have to start a whole other area of research to see what other makes of vehicles might be equivalent. I just don’t like GM so would need to learn about Jap options. Ugh!
 
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koda2000

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if it was a V8 i might consider fixing it, but a rattling V6 SOCH... i think i'd take the money and look for a V8. if your smashed truck has a bunch of new/good parts on it (and you have the room to store it) you could put the better parts on whatever you buy, or part it out. it wouldn't take many parts sold to exceed $250. heck, the salvage value will be more than $250.
 
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Joe Dirt

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I agree with koda. I would take the money, buy it back, and think about it for a few days. If you don't feel like venturing down the path after thinking about it a little bit (clarity comes with time), you can find a nice 2003+ V8 for nearly that money (skip the 2002 model year) that would be as reliable as a rattling SOHC... Or, even a really nice decent mileage 2001 V8 and swap some of your parts over and keep the change.
 
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sarahsdaddy

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I'm tending to agree that I can't go wrong buying it back for parts, which buys me some time. I'd love to step up a generation rather than another 2nd Gen, which was old when I bought it and more so now. I'm not sure I can buy a new enough 3rd Gen to hopefully skip past some of the 1st or 2nd year problems. I was hoping to not be out any net money. This wasn't my daily driver so I can survive without an immediate replacement, though I kind of do need to tow my trailer with something. Thanks.
 
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Joe Dirt

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Age is but a number... :)

If it is an accessory vehicle, I'd take a decent 120k mile 2001 before a nice 120k mile 2004... Especially if it isn't a daily driver- spend less on it that way.
 
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koda2000

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yeah, do yourself a big favor and stay away from the 2002's. the transmissions are junk. i don't know when/if Ford got that straightened out, but the 2001 V8's (if you can find a clean well maintained one) are hard to beat. pretty much bullet proof. i'm hunting a good one as we speak (that will make 4 Gen II's for my family and 3 V8's). i hate my POS rattling SOHC, but then again it started me down this road two years ago and it's still running with only a few minor repairs having been made to it.
 
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IAmTodd

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Buy back for parts, get a truck with a bad engine or trans and swap it all over. I wouldn't bother with the body work on that truck. That's looking pretty intense.
 
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koda2000

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Buy back for parts, get a truck with a bad engine or trans and swap it all over. I wouldn't bother with the body work on that truck. That's looking pretty intense.

OP has said his engine's making noise. why bother with the problem-prone SOHC when you can get the bullet proof V8, and much stronger V8 auto trans, while still getting abount the same fuel mileage.
 
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obie

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Anything 98 to 01 with the V8 in good shape with 100-150k miles can be had for 35-4000 so you wouldn't be out much.
 
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sarahsdaddy

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2000 XLT
I seem to remember reading that in 2002 they went with a different, less good V8. I'd really like a little more modern look of 3rd Gen. Are those V8s okay? Were all the 3rd Gen tranny problems confined to the V6?

One thing I'd love to get in a replacement Ex, regardless of year, is a limited slip differential. They seem to be rare. I've gotten stuck twice in mud at my hunt club where the only wheels spinning were the ones in the muck and I would've made it out on my own if the other wheels turned. How embarrassing. I think finding an Ex in good condition and with LSD would be like finding a needle in a haystack.
 
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koda2000

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Anything 98 to 01 with the V8 in good shape with 100-150k miles can be had for 35-4000 so you wouldn't be out much.

don't know about VA (OP's state), but in GA they can be had for quite a bit less. i only gave about $2,200 for my '00 2WD Mountaineer (with 5 new Michelin XLT tires on it) w/179K and it's turned out to be a great vehicle, needing only a fuel pump, rear wiper motor and some light bulbs. (check out my current profile picture). i plan on putting in a new 2-row radiator in the spring, but other than that the main thing it needed was a good cleaning and some TLC.
 
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kevinspann

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There's too many for sale for me to want to fix that one. Hatch, 1/4, bumper, bumper brackets, internal structure....nah.

If mine got hit like that, I'd buy it back, part it and crush it.
 
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$250? Look around the junkyards near you, i know slightly north in md, going rate is $400 for any car push pull or drag, buy it back for 250, an sell it again for 400 haha
 
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