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Yet another Explorer recall

Paul Gagnon

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Funny thing is that I had this problem on my '98 within the first couple of months of driving it.





Ford recalls some Explorers

By The Associated Press
Last Update: 7:33 PM ET Nov 30, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is recalling 876,413 Explorers
and Mercury Mountaineers to replace faulty parts on the suspension
system. Thousands of the Explorers, the world's best-selling sport utility
vehicle, already are under recall in connection with the Firestone tire
problem.

The recall affects 1995 through 1997 models of the Explorer and the
1997 Mountaineer, which have sway bar links that can break off,
especially in cold climates. The sway bar connects the left and right front
wheel control arms and helps control the pitch of the vehicle in turns.

The recall covers 846,591 Explorers and 29,822 Mountaineers.

Ford (F: news, msgs) will notify owners by mail and its dealers will
provide free replacement links that are wider. The recall ends an
investigation by the government's auto safety agency.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary
investigation into the problem on Sept. 20 after an agency employee
having handling problems discovered a broken link on his vehicle. The
employee's dealer told him that he had sold many replacement links for
other drivers with similar problems.

NHTSA investigators went to their parking garage at the Transportation
Department and examined 28 Explorers. Seven of the SUVs, all either
1995 or 1996 models, had repaired or broken links, so the agency
opened an investigation to assess the scope of the problem.

At the time, a Ford spokesman said the company did not believe it was a
safety problem, but further testing showed it could affect handling and
safety, Ford spokesman Mike Vaughn said Thursday.

"We went back and we decided that, yes, there is a small risk at the
extreme limits," Vaughn said. "We felt the right thing to do is administer it
as a safety recall."

NHTSA has collected 13 complaints from owners who said that stability
was reduced during a lane change or turn, especially at speeds above 40
mph. Ford received 262 owner and field reports of the problem, including
two reports of minor accidents that may be related, Vaughn said.

He said most of the reports came from New England and Canada.

NHTSA officials say the sway bar problem did not cause tread
separations on Firestone tires that were used on the Explorer.
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has recalled 6.5 million of its ATX, ATX II
and Wilderness AT tires, which reportedly have been involved in
accidents that have killed at least 119 people and injured more than 500.
Most of the accidents involved the Explorer.

Some observers point out that the broken links had the potential to
increase the severity of an accident during a tire tread loss.

"Any situation where a driver is going to have to make an emergency
maneuver after a tire failure, a broken sway bar is only going to make
handling more difficult," said Sean Kane, president of Strategic Safety, an
Arlington, Va.-based firm involved in litigation against Ford and
Bridgestone/Firestone.

Ford shares fell $1.69 Thursday to close at $22.75
 
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EMStaxi

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Thanks for the update. I have noticed clicking noises when the front end absorbs bumps and changes in the road. First I thought it was the shock bushings, they are fine. Then several people (from here of course :)) suggested that it might be the swaybar links. I was planning on changing them but now I will wait until I get my recall notice.
 

LazyDay

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Two weeks ago I first realized my driver side swar bar link was broken so I fixed it myself. Three days later I was pulling into my driveway and heard a pop up front so I looked underneath and saw that my passanger side had broken. I fixed it and now I find out that they are recalling them. Figures!
 

Stephen

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The one on my 97 broke during a really bad snowstorm last year. I took it to a Texaco (one of the only places open, couldn't get an appointment at the dealer) and ran to the dealer to get all the parts they needed. The guy I bought the parts from was telling me that they get calls about them from service stations and the like all the time. He also told me that the kit I was buying was an updated kit with thicker metal. This was last year, and that means Ford knew about the problem back then enough to update the kit.

Thanks Ford
 

DarkFox1

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ok, I just drove on a peice of dirt off my pavement when I pulled into my driveway, when I did, something made a sort of cliking/knocking/grinding sound around my front driverside suspension, I could feel it in my floorboar.. perhaps this has something to do with it? I have not been in for a suspension problem *knock on wood*
 

Stephen

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Might have been it giving way. Look for a piece of the link somewhere in your driveway. Mine gave way when I turned in during a bad ice storm, slid a little into one of the planters I have at the base of my driveway, the jolt of driving over the stonework knocked it out. It was just lying there.
 

kps36

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I have a question, I replaced both links on my 95 about 6 months ago when the pass side broke. To my amazement (sarcasm meant) when I got the replacement part it was a full 1/8" dia thicker. So, I decided to replace the driver side just to be 'safe' (again sarcasm meant).
If I can find my reciepts, which I think I can, can I get a refund @$66 from Ford. What would be the process.
Any one know?
Please reply.
thanx
 

Stephen

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I just mentioned this to my wife, she said the same thing. You might be able to. However, the effort and hassle will probably not be worth the $66.
 

Phantom

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Does the recall cover just the front endlinks or front and rear?
 

DarkFox1

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nope

nothing on the ground.. the car still drives like normal *kocking on wood again* I hate to say things like that.. it almost always means I'm going to curse it.... I looked under the car right after I heard the noise.. nothing seemed out of place from the usual, I dunno, all these recalls and problems ford keeps having is making me nervous..

Fortunatley theres places like car and driver I beleive it is? that did the test of the sudden rear flat? that was re-assuring to watch.
 

Stephen

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On mine the change wasn't apparent in around town driving. However when you hit a highway expansion joint there was a VERY pronounced rebound. The truck would sway right front corner to left rear corner.
 

DarkFox1

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hrmm, well, right now my only difference is a creaking noise when I go over speed bumps and such..
 

DarkFox1

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good, ya, its kinda cold here.. for Georgia anyway.. I guess I won't worry aobut this then until I get some recall info. from the factory.
 

Stephen

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Nah, I wouldn't. Trust me if one was broken you'd know it. For one, they're in plain sight so you'd have noticed it when you looked under your truck.
 

kps36

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Stephen, can you post the link on otherwise tell me where I can get to a copy of the recall on the Sway Bar links. I found my receipts and I AM GONNA GIVE IT A SHOT...In all my best legalese speak, you know 'pursuant to the recall dated ...enclosed are reciepts...expect attention to ...and when you're done with this we can talk about the Idle Air Control on the Ford Rangers..
I also kept all of the broken parts, mine sheared off, only missing the poly cover for the inital breakage.
Please respond...eMail if necessary.
Thnx.
 

Stephen

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I haven't seen the recall notice myself. There should be informaton posted on AllData.com. What I would suggest to you is that you wait for the recall notice to come, then mail a photocopy of it and a photocopy of your repair invoice to Ford Customer Service. Its probably your best shot. Good luck and be sure to let us know how you make out.
 

drmoore71

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should i just go ahead and take the trucks in to the dealer, or should i wait for the notices to come to the house? as i recall, it took about a month and a half for the recall notices to come from firestone and FORD on the tire recall. i would hate for something bad to happen while waiting for a recall notice.
 
Join the Elite Explorers for $20.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.


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