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Old 04-07-2009, 08:22   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Newport Beach, CA
Posts: 8
2004 Explorer Rear End Problems (X6)

Text of letter sent to Ford Customer Relationship Center 4-7-09 regarding the rear end on my 2004 Explorer XLT with 93K miles.........

Took my Explorer in for service today and was informed that the Rear End is in need of a rebuild, again. They apparently heard the howl again from the rear end during a test drive.

This will be the SIXTH (6th) time that the rear end of this 2004 Explorer Ltd has been rebuilt.

I have been fortunate that all rebuilds have either been under Extended Warranty or under the 12000 mile warranty for the repair itself. Now that I am nearing the end of my Extended Warranty period I am not going to be able to afford any repairs on the rear end that occur after the warranty period is over. I need something done that will fix this reoccurring problem for good. The rear end should not require a rebuild this many times.

Question - What seems to be the problem with the rear end on this year/model vehicle?

I do not do any towing nor any off-road driving. There seems to be an inherent problem with either the design the parts or the installation of the parts.

Here is a history of the repairs that have been done-

1. 6-1-06 37742 miles Ring gear & Pinion, Replace clutch pack

2. 12-13-06 49076 miles Ring gear & Pinion, Rear axle differential bearings

3. 7-20-07 60618 miles Ring gear & Pinion, Replace clutch pack

4. 10-4-07 64419 miles Ring gear & Pinion, Rear wheel bearings

5. 3-27-08 71925 miles Replace clutch pack

11-5-08 83724 miles Rear wheel bearings replaced due to play in bearings

6. Current replacement at 93724 miles.

3 Clutch Packs and 4 Ring gear and pinion replacements so far.

Anyone else having the same problems and if so what has Ford done about it?
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:56   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Newport Beach, CA
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Re: 2004 Explorer Rear End Problems (X6)

Here is an update on this situation. I went to the dealer and got to see the rear end totally disassembled and all the new parts.

The rear end is going to be completely replaced, this time with a new housing as well. They found a broken retaining clamp this time. Not sure of the exact name of the part, but I would describe it as a retaining clamp in two parts held together by two bolts through one half of it. It is about 3" circular and is in two parts normally, an upper 1/2 circle with two bolts on each end and a lower 1/2 circle that receive the bolts. The part that broke is right near one of the top bolts. Being that the part is aluminum, they are blaming it on a bad casting. All new bearings are also being installed.

A couple of interesting notes.

The same repair was done on another Explorer the day before. Service writer said that with this type of major repair under Extended Warranty, Ford ususally sends out an inspector but they now just authorize the repair. Tells me that it is a re-occuring problem at best.

I hope if it is going to fail again it does so in the next 7000 miles so it is covered under the Extended Warranty or will be covered under the 12mo/12,000 mile warranty.

I am surprised that with all the Explorers on the road that there are not more reports of this problem. ??

I got a response from the Ford Customer Relations Center from my email to them detailing the saga of 6 repairs/replacements of the rear end on the same Explorer. Here is their response (or non-response as I consider it). Can hardly wait for the call from the Service Manager to see what he has to say.


I am documenting your concerns and your information will be sent to your Dealership. Your Service Manager is in the best position to assist and should contact you within 4 business days.

Sometimes e-mail communication does not allow us to gain additional information that may be helpful in responding to your inquiry. Should you feel that we have not adequately addressed your questions, please feel free to contact us via telephone at (800)392-3673 between the hours of 8am and 5pm, local time, Monday through Friday. Hearing-impaired callers with access to a TDD may contact 1-800-232-5952. Please provide your 10 digit reference number - 0422042757.

Sincerely,
Jay-R
Customer Relationship Center
Ford Motor Company
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