I am thinking about buying a 95-01 Explorer. Are there any years I should watch out for? Hows the reliability? I am also trying to decide between the 6cyl or the 8cyl. Gas milage is not a factor. Which engine is easier to work on, more trouble free?
"....go 97 or up. 95 and 96 do not have 4wd HIGH...."
????? I'd sure hate to have to drive around in low range any time I wanted to use 4wd.
I had a '97 Explorer XLT, recently traded on an '06 F250. The Explorer had 160,000 miles on it when traded. There were 3 significant problems with it.
1) The blend door on the heater; a 39-cent part fails, and you have no temp control on the heater/AC. The fix is $125 or so if you do it yourself; you tear the whole dash apart and install a whole new heater plenum with the re-designed blend door. Check to be sure this has been done if it's a '98 or older.
2) I had the optional 6-way power sport bucket seats... the latch handle for the seatback angle adjustment breaks off. The new (redesigned) assembly is about $75
3) At about 130,000 miles, the pressure plate went south.... the diaphragm cracked. I since learned that it's pretty common on the Ranger/Explorer manual trans. My clutch disc was only about 1/2 gone, but as long as it was open, I replaced the clutch disc, release bearing, and slave cylinder. About $300 in parts, about $700 if you have it done.
Depending on how you intend to use it, I'd recommend the old pushrod V6 (available up to '97). At your typical 2,000 to 2,500 RPM operation, it has more torque than the OHC V6, and will get better mileage. The OHC has a few more horsepower, but only if you're cranking 3,500 RPM or better. The V8 is only necessary if you're going to tow a pretty fair size trailer. My Explorer had the pushrod V6 with a 5-speed manual, and I towed a 2,700 lb boat with it.... no problem.
Any 2003 2x4 up would be a good ideal for a used Explorer. Therefore, stay away from the 4x4 because Explorer has never made a good transfer case. Most of the Explorers 4x4 broke the transfer case when they hit to 140k miles.
How about the 2001 Sport?
I am looking at one for $10,999 with 42,000 miles and I'll be trading in my GA for it and I am also looking at a 1999 Rodeo with 74,000...and other SUV's in this category.
I see that someone complained about the transfer case, how is the 4.0L V-6 with reliability? I will want to have the car for a while (4-5 years) and want something I can trust.
The newer Grand Am 6's are known for Headgasket failures and Lower Intake Manifold leaks, luckily I have the I-4.
Anything like that for the 01 Explorer?
I have a '94 Sport and I've had a few problems with it. It does, however, have 240,000 miles on it! Since buying it, I had to replace the two outer hubs (cheap from a junkyard), wheel bearings (no biggie), heater core, Clutch slave, and most recently the intake manifold gasket (took me 14 hours). The 4.0 L gives me enough umph to get up to speed, but I wouldn't even try to tow a boat with it. The motor was rebuilt at about 200k or so and runs fantastically, but lacks some power and the throttle has some hesitation. I'm guessing I've got a sensor out of whack somewhere. Transfer case is good, though.
Id say the most relible explorers are the 1995 to 2001 with the pushrod 4.0 ford made the pushrod 4.0 all the way to 2001. I own a 1995 and it does have 4x4 high the advanced system weren't that smart so its pretty much always in 4x4 high. The SOHC is also a very good engine but beware if the previous owner slacked on the oil changes, this engine has a lot of plastic parts for the timming changes anf they don't like sludge. The v8 explores are more know for transfer case issuses than the v6 explores. the 02 and up explorers seem to have a little more problems with transmissions, wheel bearings and rear end problems. but they are also very good vehicles. so do some reaserch on the truck you like and check its previous history hope this helps.
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