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Old 06-09-2009, 07:52   #1 (permalink)
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1998-1999 Explorer or Mountaineer for first car?

Hey guys hows it going? Im 17 years old and will be getting my license in a few months. Ive been thinking about a '98-'99 Explorer/ Mountaineer for my first car. Ive been learning how to drive on my moms 2009 Explorer, so I feel comfortable driving an SUV. I was wondering if anyone else thought one of these would be a good first car? The only thing Im worried about is gas mileage, but I guess thats something that Id have to deal with, with any SUV. And I know Explorers and Mountaineers are pretty much the same vehicle, but are there any aspects of one that would make it a better first car than the other? What do you all recommend?

Oh one more question, it seems like both of these cars are pretty reliable, but how reliable are they? My goal is to put some nice rims/wheels on the car, get a nice front bumper, upgrade the sound system, and put in subwoofers. All that will take time, and I want to make sure I get everything done before the car either dies, or I have to trade it in because its "on its last leg".
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:05   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1998-1999 Explorer or Mountaineer for first car?

Welcome to the site, both the Explorer and Mountaineer are great first trucks. Might be a little harsh on gas for you,but not sure.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:15   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1998-1999 Explorer or Mountaineer for first car?

I would stay away from the 1997 models. There were problems with the chain tensioners or something in the engine. Ford extended the engine warranty on the 97 I had for that reason. 1998 and on are OK. I have had 4 explorers and a mountaineer and all have been very dependable. The gas mileage can be a problem. At 65 to 75 mph don't expect more than 18 mpg and stop and go city will be less than that. If that doesn't bother you go for it. They are excellent vehicles.
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Old 06-14-2009, 07:17   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1998-1999 Explorer or Mountaineer for first car?

As mentioned, either one will work fine. Explorer might be less on insurance than the Mountaineer, it's something to look into as the Mercury is more of an 'upscale' SUV, so to say. I'm not positive that it is higher, but it'd be one of the first things I'd check into.

If I'm not mistaken there were two versions of the V6, a 150hp unit and a 205hp unit, both 4.0L. I can't recall if the OHV or the OHC was the 205hp unit, but the 205 unit is more efficient at moving around 2+tons of SUV and you'll be able to better keep up with traffic once you add the larger rims, some older friends, and a couple of beer kegs in the back!

Parts are also widely available, and are reasonably priced. Your mom lucked out in getting an '09, as the Explorer will go to a uni-body platform in 2010 or early 2011 to keep up with the times.... It's a shame really, but I can see Fords case with that one.

For reliability, same goes for any vehicle here; keep up with the scheduled maintenance and you'll easily get 200K out of the vehicle before any major problems. A lot of people overlook basic fluid changes, more so, in the axles, transfercase, coolant and brake & power steering fluid. If you can't get the previous maintenance records of the vehicle you want to buy, be sure to spend a few hundred bucks and get all the fluids changed out. It'll be one of the better investments you'll make on the vehicle for the long term.
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