We have a 96, bought it new in May 96 and basically, we "over-maintain" it...meaning 3k mile oil/filter changes & lube, all filters changed before severe duty schedules, etc.
One of the most reliable daily drivers and beach run/light off road vehicles we'ever had (incl the ex 78).
Still, we had minor problems that we addressed quickly.
Besides the usual visual, driveability and leak checks, look for:
- oil pan rust - our's formed spots @ 62k miles - sand it down and prime/paint it w/Rust Bullet® Automotive) & high temp. paint - too time-consuming replacement for such a basic thing as not having better gauge and undercoat/paint by Ford!
- radiator plastic side seam leaks, esp. during engine cool-down period/overnight - our's leaked @ 50k miles - look for leaks after engine has cooled down, esp overnight
- auto tranny - E4OD had a lot of improvements made by 96 so look for good shifts and see the maintenance records; fluids/filter should have been changed every 30k miles and less if used for towing
- rust in inner rear fender lips and bottom of tailgate (fender lips was rusting due to beach sand wearing the paint & road salt) ...check tg drains for clogs/rust..check weather seals, esp the outer ws on glass - radius arm bushing deterioration (I sprayed em w/pure silicone, from day 1) but replaced at 80k miles w/Daystar polyurethane bushings
- ball joints..our's are ok, but costly if not DIY
- PSOM, make sure it works; look for a waver in the needle at highway speeds..costly to replace w/new; most get yard units for DIY; , a crooked dealer here in NJ has been caught for the 3rd time switching PSOMs!..there is also a device to roll-back odometers on PSOMs..so look for some maint records or contact a dealer to run an OASIS report to see what maint was done to it a Ford dealership... Car Fax is iffy..they do NOT list over $5k in single accident damages on 3 of our vehicles & our 92 Van had less mileage than when we sold it according to a CarFax report 2 years later... they did nothing after we contacted them.
- cracked exhaust manifold/Y, etc.
- roof/gutter area cracks (mostly appl. to earlier years)
- emissions air check valve & cat. converter (AIR) tubes..tends to rust early; as does the AIR tube - a source, buy locally or from PCI - A.I.R. Manifold Tubes check valves, exhaust hangers etc.by pciinc.com
- radiator supports, lower, it rusts mainly on passenger side PIA to replace
- E4OD Overdrive Cancel Light TCIL - It is easy to replace & under $12.00 from local Ford dealer or a FSB Sponsor; Jeff's:
E4OD Overdrive Cancel Light Button & Cap (replacement part) pic by broncograveyard.com -
be ready to catch the switch/LED assy when prying it off; it is spring loaded..not much force.
ck fuses too; I need to look for my notes on what fuse blew due to a harness short that affected the OD Cancel Light (it blinked randomly, no Trouble Codes or tranny malfunctions though) under steering column; think it was 6 or 7; but that's in a 96.
E4OD Overdrive Cancel Light pic by atcdg.com via web.archive.org http://web.archive.org/web/200302282...s/bull_135.htm
See if you can get it to a mechanic for a compression check, code checks (free at AutoZone, etc).and other inspections if you don't diy; neglected vehicles are costly to repair, esp. 4x4's.
- transfer case operation - electric push button motor/connector is a prob. area; usually usually a broken travel stop or the motor connector is fouled, etc.
Originally Posted by Gacknar
How to test Ford Auto locking hubs on all TTB aplications.
1. Place transfercase in 2HI or Neutrall.
2. Lying under vehicle, turn front drive shaft (one direction only).
3. Automatic hubs should lock after 1 to 5 turns of driveshaft (one direction only).
After step 3 the hubs should lock, youll know they are locked becouse you will hear a click from both hubs and you will no longer be able to turn the front drive shaft (in the same direction). If this is not the case then continue to step 4. If you can no longer turn the drive shaft (in the same direction) then skip to step 7.
4. If you can still turn the drive shaft (one direction only) then one or more of your Auto hubs is not working.
5. Continuing to turn the Drive shaft (one direction only).
6. Look at the u-joints for the front stub axles, if both are turning then both front hubs are malfunctioning, if only one is turning then the one that is not turning is locked and the one turning is malfuctioning.
Replace as necosary (preferably with manual hubs, Auto hubs have Yams in them)
7. To unlock the hubs, turn drive shaft in opisat direction untill you hear a click from the hubs.
To check for transfercase engagement.
1. Place pushbutton transfercase in either 4 HI or 4LO.
2. lie under vehicle.
3. You should not be able to turn front drive-shaft in either direction.
4. If you can turn the front drive shaft then your transfer case is not shifting properly
ours blew @ only 30 k miles despite freq. maint.)