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Whats up with people hating the sohc

Flashflood

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I've read on this board of so many people hating the sohc especially in 2000 and 01 explorer why? I haven't had any issues with mine except a bad injector and mine has 180k miles on it. I know the v8 are technically are the stronger engine but those things usually have upwards of almost 300k miles I don't get near the bog down that I did with 91 ohv or the 98 ohv
 


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J_C

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There is little power difference between the two.

The difference is that once you're DIY repairing a 20+ year old vehicle, you're fairly dug-in to it, and want it to last as long as possible, particularly in this case since parts are so abundant, most repairs are relatively easy once you know how, and there's such a huge support knowledgebase out there.

The problem is, the SOHC makes for a shorter finite lifespan. If you consider the average miles a US citizen drives per year, by 20 years, the average SOHC Explorer "might" have succumb to timing chain issues. It's hard to speculate about like that because of cash for clunkers and collision accidents that total vehicles out, but it's essentially a ticking time bomb that will happen eventually to every SOHC engine if something else doesn't take the vehicle out of service first.

Plus, the 5R55 tranny is weaker. These are the two big ticket items that tend to put vehicles with low bluebook value in the grave, if not for massive (frame) rust. On the other hand, any vehicle has it's weakest links and what will fail first or send it to the graveyard, but most of us don't want the engine or tranny to go first, could live with other non-safety related problems as long as it still gets from point A to B in a utilitarian sense.

If you already own one it is anecdotal, drive it till the wheels fall off or some major repair you can't DIY, exceeds the vehicle book value. Even then, if it exceeded the book value a little on mine, I'd still repair it because the book value is so low and any vehicle, even just out of warranty can incur repairs more expensive than the book value of a 2nd gen explorer, and there's something to be said for "the devil you know".

On the other hand I won't cry too many tears when my 2nd gen gets retired. The handling is abysmal even after upgrades that improved it, always a tradoff between handling and ride quality, more significant where I'm located because it's mostly hills and curves. It wasn't unreasonable handling for something in '98, and the design lends itself to durability, but even a next gen explorer with independent rear suspension, is far better in the handling category.

Granted, a significant crowd wants solid axles for offroading. I go offroad to get to where i want to be on a fairly frequent basis, but not as a sport where I push my luck, so for my purposes, I don't need solid axles, but with salted winter roads here, I do benefit a lot from a frame instead of rear strunts on a unibody upper mount which would have had rust-through failure by now.
 




Flashflood

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There is little power difference between the two.

The difference is that once you're DIY repairing a 20+ year old vehicle, you're fairly dug-in to it, and want it to last as long as possible, particularly in this case since parts are so abundant, most repairs are relatively easy once you know how, and there's such a huge support knowledgebase out there.

The problem is, the SOHC makes for a shorter finite lifespan. If you consider the average miles a US citizen drives per year, by 20 years, the average SOHC Explorer "might" have succumb to timing chain issues. It's hard to speculate about like that because of cash for clunkers and collision accidents that total vehicles out, but it's essentially a ticking time bomb that will happen eventually to every SOHC engine if something else doesn't take the vehicle out of service first.

Plus, the 5R55 tranny is weaker. These are the two big ticket items that tend to put vehicles with low bluebook value in the grave, if not for massive (frame) rust.

If you already own one it is anecdotal, drive it till the wheels fall off or some major repair you can't DIY, exceeds the vehicle book value. Even then, if it exceeded the book value a little on mine, I'd still repair it because the book value is so low and any vehicle, even just out of warranty can incur repairs more expensive than the book value of a 2nd gen explorer, and there's something to be said for "the devil you know".

On the other hand I won't cry too many tears when my 2nd get gets retired. The handling is abysmal even after upgrades that improved it, always a tradoff between handling and ride quality, more significant where I'm located because it's mostly hills and curves. It wasn't unreasonable handling for something in '98, and the design lends itself to durability, but even a next gen explorer with independent rear suspension, is far better in the handling category.

Granted, a significant crowd wants solid axles for offroading. I go offroad to get to where i want to be on a fairly frequent basis, but not as a sport where I push my luck, so for my purposes, I don't need solid axles, but with salted winter roads here, I do benefit a lot from a frame instead of rear strunts on a unibody upper mount which would have had rust-through failure by now.
Are 5r55e weaker then the older 4 speed autos that came with the ohv I don't feel they are but
 




C420sailor

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Not sure but they are definitely weaker than the 4R70W behind the V8. That box is built like a brick shit house in comparison.

I own both the SOHC and the V8. I maintain my vehicles meticulously, and I generally drive like an old man. My SOHC started making chain noise at 120k and by 202k sounded like someone dropped a bag of marbles in it. Pre-emptively replaced it with a low mileage 2010 Ranger SOHC long block. Found broken guide material in the oil pan, tensioner fully extended...engine was itching to jump time before I swapped it.

At 130k, the 5R55E broke a band and ate the torque converter. Had to have it rebuilt.

The SOHC is a solid engine, minus the cam chain system. The bottom end is solid as a rock. Good maintenance, coupled with some really good luck can get you some good mileage. My second engine has 160k on it and it runs great. The rebuilt trans has the same mileage since rebuild. I will say the 5R trans is smoother. The 4R shifts like a truck auto.

The V8 is just simpler. Easier to work on. Not as finicky. Smooth. Better aftermarket support. The 4R trans is far more durable.
 




donalds

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I've read on this board of so many people hating the sohc especially
You will get used to it

All engines have their own unique faults

Example the new engines will leak coolant into the oil
 




Flashflood

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Not sure but they are definitely weaker than the 4R70W behind the V8. That box is built like a brick shit house in comparison.

I own both the SOHC and the V8. I maintain my vehicles meticulously, and I generally drive like an old man. My SOHC started making chain noise at 120k and by 202k sounded like someone dropped a bag of marbles in it. Pre-emptively replaced it with a low mileage 2010 Ranger SOHC long block. Found broken guide material in the oil pan, tensioner fully extended...engine was itching to jump time before I swapped it.

At 130k, the 5R55E broke a band and ate the torque converter. Had to have it rebuilt.

The SOHC is a solid engine, minus the cam chain system. The bottom end is solid as a rock. Good maintenance, coupled with some really good luck can get you some good mileage. My second engine has 160k on it and it runs great. The rebuilt trans has the same mileage since rebuild. I will say the 5R trans is smoother. The 4R shifts like a truck auto.

The V8 is just simpler. Easier to work on. Not as finicky. Smooth. Better aftermarket support. The 4R trans is far more durable.
Alot of v8s are that way. But I'm sorry the 5r55e is so much smoother except for a really rough reverse but I think that's just 2nd gens in general I don't feel this one shift from 2nd to 3rd as rough as even the rebuilt one we had in our last automatic
You will get used to it
But I'm Sorry guess I'm still used to the 1st gen board lol
 




94Eddie

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I've read on this board of so many people hating the sohc especially in 2000 and 01 explorer why? I haven't had any issues with mine except a bad injector and mine has 180k miles on it. I know the v8 are technically are the stronger engine but those things usually have upwards of almost 300k miles I don't get near the bog down that I did with 91 ohv or the 98 ohv
I base my opinion about the SOHC engine from what I read in the forums here. While I don't have specific numbers, I would say for every person here who states they have 200k plus trouble free miles from their SOHC there are at least two, maybe three, who do not. I wish I had a dollar every time I read the "death rattle" posts or "How much does it cost to replace the SOHC engine?" I don't hate the SOHC engine. I just warn people about buying any Ford vehicle that uses them. As JC stated, the one two punch for these vehicles is the 5R55 transmission. Odds are these transmissions will need to be replaced between 100k-200k miles and typically before 150k if they aren't maintained religiously. I replaced one in my 3rd gen Mountaineer and got rid of my 3rd gen Explorer before it took a dive. Between the SOHC and 5R55 these vehicles are ticking major repair time bombs.

I had two Explorers with the 4.0L pushrod engines. Neither one gave me a minute of trouble and I racked up some serious miles on them. Every Explorer/Mountaineer I bought after them had a V8 because I did not want to live with the SOHC curse. At least with the V8 my major repair possibility was limited to the 5R55. The straight fact is that anyone who buys a SOHC vehicle (especially with a lot of miles on it) is rolling the dice on two major repair bills. The SOHC engine is very good in many respects but it has a fatal flaw that justifies its reputation, IMO.
 




donalds

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Alot of v8s are that way. But I'm sorry the 5r55e is so much smoother except for a really rough reverse but I think that's just 2nd gens in general I don't feel this one shift from 2nd to 3rd as rough as even the rebuilt one we had in our last automatic

But I'm Sorry guess I'm still used to the 1st gen board lol
I run a sohc
Just change the oil often ... I change mine every 3-4k no matter what...
Change the trans fluid often ....I suck a gallon out of the dipstick tube once a year and replace it with a gallon of motorcraft fluid ...
let it warm up idle down on its own then drive it most important on cold days and cold starts
I installed a preoiler to help with this engines timing tensioner startup oil delivery problem

Fixing a timing job in a sohc is a big deal so when someone does it they look for advice
Where do they look they look here
Then when someone asks about this engine
Everyone is happy to tell about their bad experiences
This has created a bad name for this engine
Believe me there are lot of old sock engines running around just fine

Just my opinions
 




C420sailor

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Yeah 5R is def smoother, but I’ll take not-as-smooth and durable as hell over smooth and ticking time bomb any day of the week.

It’s pretty rare someone comes on here with a blown out 4R70W. My parents have one in their 98 Expedition. It’s behind a 2V 5.4L Triton and has literally never had the fluid changed. Ever. 250k and going strong. I don’t endorse this behavior, but it’s a testament to how stout the trans is.

I change my trans fluid religiously every 30k though...fresh, clean, cool fluid goes a long way in these things, especially the 5R
 




94Eddie

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You will get used to it

All engines have their own unique faults

Example the new engines will leak coolant into the oil
I am living with the timebomb internal water pump in our 2015 Edge. It is getting close to 100k miles and it makes me twitchy. I add in all these turbocharged engines to those that will repair total a lot of cars in the future. My sister had an ecoboost Escape that wouldn't run right and no one could fix it. I kept trying to tell her the intake valves were carboned up to hell and back. She ended up trading it in on a RAV4. It seems like many newer vehicles these days have obsolescence designed into them.
 




94Eddie

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I run a sohc
Just change the oil often ... I change mine every 3-4k no matter what...
Change the trans fluid often ....I suck a gallon out of the dipstick tube once a year and replace it with a gallon of motorcraft fluid ...
let it warm up idle down on its own then drive it most important on cold days and cold starts
I installed a preoiler to help with this engines timing tensioner startup oil delivery problem
You are one of the very few who mitigate the issues with this drive train in a meaningful way. I mean this as a high compliment.
 




donalds

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You are one of the very few who mitigate the issues with this drive train in a meaningful way. I mean this as a high compliment.
Thanks I work with what I got
The result is basically a new truck for my wife to drive took like 4-5 years to do but.....
My wife put the smack down on a teen in a charger today
I was so proud
 




94Eddie

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Thanks I work with what I got
The result is basically a new truck for my wife to drive took like 4-5 years to do but.....
My wife put the smack down on a teen in a charger today
I was so proud
I bet that teen had a hard time wondering how a soccer mom in a 2nd gen Explorer just ate his lunch. o_O I worked to keep my LX looking bone stock to see the shocked faces when the Vette, Porsche, Firechicken etc. drivers realized the race was over before 60 mph was reached.
 




donalds

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I bet that teen had a hard time wondering how a soccer mom in a 2nd gen Explorer just ate his lunch. o_O I worked to keep my LX looking bone stock to see the shocked faces when the Vette, Porsche, Firechicken etc. drivers realized the race was over before 60 mph was reached.
It was so funny
He was like I got this
the look on his face When the blower wine passed his driver window
As she's ran him down ruthlessly lmao
 




Flashflood

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You are one of the very few who mitigate the issues with this drive train in a meaningful way. I mean this as a high compliment.
I do the same as soon as my computer says change oil soon or now I go get fresh oil and filter and check the transmission dipstick quite often
 




Mbrooks420

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Alot of v8s are that way. But I'm sorry the 5r55e is so much smoother except for a really rough reverse but I think that's just 2nd gens in general I don't feel this one shift from 2nd to 3rd as rough as even the rebuilt one we had in our last automatic

But I'm Sorry guess I'm still used to the 1st gen board lol
Smooth doesn’t matter much when your truck is waiting for it’s chance to get a $2,500 rebuild. I bet the 4r70w is light years smoother dragging 4,000 pounds.
 




joney

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I run a sohc
Just change the oil often ... I change mine every 3-4k no matter what...
Change the trans fluid often ....I suck a gallon out of the dipstick tube once a year and replace it with a gallon of motorcraft fluid ...
let it warm up idle down on its own then drive it most important on cold days and cold starts
I installed a preoiler to help with this engines timing tensioner startup oil delivery problem

Fixing a timing job in a sohc is a big deal so when someone does it they look for advice
Where do they look they look here
Then when someone asks about this engine
Everyone is happy to tell about their bad experiences
This has created a bad name for this engine
Believe me there are lot of old sock engines running around just fine

Just my opinions
How often do you change the transmission filter?
 




Mbrooks420

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Depends on how hard your service is. Filters are probably fine changing at fairly long intervals. I surely wouldn’t change them more than every 60k.
 




donalds

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How often do you change the transmission filter?
I installed a motorcraft gasket and filter
I also installed a https://magnefinefilters.com/NEW-Ma...ine-Power-Steering-Filter-R038M-P-3810000.htm
I Change every two years
I also use this stuff
1620134197725.png
 


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joney

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I installed a motorcraft gasket and filter
I also installed a https://magnefinefilters.com/NEW-Ma...ine-Power-Steering-Filter-R038M-P-3810000.htm
I Change every two years
I also use this stuff
View attachment 330155
Sounds like a plan! I guess I'd have a shop do it, soon, as I've no recent service records from the seller - and I've never changed a trans filter, how expert do you have to be to change trans filters oneself? Mercon V, I've read, is what to use. Is that synthetic? Will get the Lube Guard also. I do mostly short trips in town, 2-11 miles but hope to take longer trips when I'm sure the Explorer is up to snuff on maintenance.
 




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