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Old 04-04-2005, 12:01   #1 (permalink)
David J Burns
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best model year 1997-2000?

I live in the Greater Toronto Area, looking at buying my first SUV.
After monitoring used car listings extensively over the last 6 weeks
I've decided that an Explorer, with an outside chance of a Pathfinder,
is my best bet give my $10,000 CAD limit. 4Runners, Xterras and CR-Vs
depreciate too slowly, and with the exception of the 4Runner I'm not
expecting either of the later models to have the storage capacity I
require. 1994 4Runners are running for $10k, where I can find some
good Explorers as late as model year 2000 in that range.

I anticipate the Explorers to have less quality and higher maintenance
costs over the long term, but given their residual purchase value
(plus what I perceive to be biased knocks against the vehicles
quality) I think an Explorer is my best bet. Two close friends have
late 90s Explorers (one a 1997 XLT w/ 250,000km on it!) with the worse
repair being a water pump, a good sign to me. I'm aiming for a 4-door,
automatic, 4x4, XLS/XLT/Eddie Bauer.

My question is, I've narrowed my search range down to four years. I
know 1997 is a new model year (with the new V6 engine), so I figure a
1998 or 1999 is my best bet since the 'bugs' would be ironed out. Is
this a safe bet? What would people recommend based on their
experience? is there a 'lemon' model year?
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Old 04-04-2005, 19:01   #2 (permalink)
Fred 2
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Re: best model year 1997-2000?


I would recommend the 5.0 V8 for durablity over any of the V6 engines
(V6 OHV or V6 SOHC)

On 4 Apr 2005 10:53:42 -0700, burnsdavidj@yahoo.com (David J Burns)
wrote:


>know 1997 is a new model year (with the new V6 engine), so I figure a
>1998 or 1999 is my best bet since the 'bugs' would be ironed out. Is
>this a safe bet? What would people recommend based on their
>experience? is there a 'lemon' model year?


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Old 04-04-2005, 19:01   #3 (permalink)
Vic Klein
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Re: best model year 1997-2000?

OK, I know everyone will be a bit biased by their own experience, but I
would say the 1997 Explorer with the original 4.0 pushrod engine (not the
SOHC) is the absolute peak of reliability. That engine has a little less
power, but is absolutely bulletproof and delivers close to 20 mpg all the
time. This was the 3rd model year for this body style, and problems from the
1995 year, that were just being identified in 1996, had fixes imlemented in
1997. Things like repositioning the intake to be above minor flood waters,
adding a "lock up" 4WD option to the Control Trac system, and still keeping
all the little things like underhood lights, door-mounted puddle and entry
lights, poassenger side 6-way power seatiing, a radio that doesn't lose its
display, etc. etc. To be the really the top of the best, find one with the
5-speed manual transmission, the last year that was offered on an XLT model.
Mine, ordered before they were even on the lots in 1996, has given me
195,000 absolutely reliable and trouble free miles...by FAR the most
reliable vehicle I have owned since my 1st new car in 1970. Flaws? Only the
heater blend door problem, which didn't really show up for a couple of more
years, just as the series was being replaced. If you'rte lucky, you'll find
one where that has been taken care of already, or take advantage of some of
the shortcuts people have come up with in later years. Of course, YMMV
<grin>

=Vic==
Bear Gap, PA

"David J Burns" <burnsdavidj@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:7dbae00d.0504040953.6cb84165@posting.google.com...
>I live in the Greater Toronto Area, looking at buying my first SUV.
> After monitoring used car listings extensively over the last 6 weeks
> I've decided that an Explorer, with an outside chance of a Pathfinder,
> is my best bet give my $10,000 CAD limit. 4Runners, Xterras and CR-Vs
> depreciate too slowly, and with the exception of the 4Runner I'm not
> expecting either of the later models to have the storage capacity I
> require. 1994 4Runners are running for $10k, where I can find some
> good Explorers as late as model year 2000 in that range.
>
> I anticipate the Explorers to have less quality and higher maintenance
> costs over the long term, but given their residual purchase value
> (plus what I perceive to be biased knocks against the vehicles
> quality) I think an Explorer is my best bet. Two close friends have
> late 90s Explorers (one a 1997 XLT w/ 250,000km on it!) with the worse
> repair being a water pump, a good sign to me. I'm aiming for a 4-door,
> automatic, 4x4, XLS/XLT/Eddie Bauer.
>
> My question is, I've narrowed my search range down to four years. I
> know 1997 is a new model year (with the new V6 engine), so I figure a
> 1998 or 1999 is my best bet since the 'bugs' would be ironed out. Is
> this a safe bet? What would people recommend based on their
> experience? is there a 'lemon' model year?



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Old 04-05-2005, 11:01   #4 (permalink)
Mikepier
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Posts: n/a
Re: best model year 1997-2000?

I have a 99 SOHC and so far no problems. I would agree if you are going
to get a 97 or 98, try to get the pushrod V6 or the V8.
The only differences body wise between 97-2000 is that in 98 they
started using the different tailgate, plus in 99 I think they started
using round foglights instead of square.

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Old 04-05-2005, 17:01   #5 (permalink)
Lenny via CarKB.com
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Re: best model year 1997-2000?

Definately get one with either the V8 or PUSHROD OHV V6. I personally would
not buy the SOHC, even new. The chain tensioner issue is scary and $$$$$-
especially on older ones. I see lots of OHV explorers on ebay with 200K+
miles.

--
Message posted via http://www.carkb.com
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:01   #6 (permalink)
stevie
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Re: best model year 1997-2000?

I've had 2000 V8 for about 5 years. After some initial problems (most
worked out under warranty), it has been a pretty good car. The mileage is
good, not great.

Keep in mind that Consumer Reports does not recommend the 2000 Explorer.
But mine has been OK.

"David J Burns" <burnsdavidj@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:7dbae00d.0504040953.6cb84165@posting.google.com...
I live in the Greater Toronto Area, looking at buying my first SUV.
After monitoring used car listings extensively over the last 6 weeks
I've decided that an Explorer, with an outside chance of a Pathfinder,
is my best bet give my $10,000 CAD limit. 4Runners, Xterras and CR-Vs
depreciate too slowly, and with the exception of the 4Runner I'm not
expecting either of the later models to have the storage capacity I
require. 1994 4Runners are running for $10k, where I can find some
good Explorers as late as model year 2000 in that range.

I anticipate the Explorers to have less quality and higher maintenance
costs over the long term, but given their residual purchase value
(plus what I perceive to be biased knocks against the vehicles
quality) I think an Explorer is my best bet. Two close friends have
late 90s Explorers (one a 1997 XLT w/ 250,000km on it!) with the worse
repair being a water pump, a good sign to me. I'm aiming for a 4-door,
automatic, 4x4, XLS/XLT/Eddie Bauer.

My question is, I've narrowed my search range down to four years. I
know 1997 is a new model year (with the new V6 engine), so I figure a
1998 or 1999 is my best bet since the 'bugs' would be ironed out. Is
this a safe bet? What would people recommend based on their
experience? is there a 'lemon' model year?


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Old 04-06-2005, 15:01   #7 (permalink)
burnsdavidj@yahoo.com
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Posts: n/a
Re: best model year 1997-2000?

Thanks for your reply. I think I'll be targeting a 99 SOHC V6 as I will
not be needing the power of a V8 (including the worse mileage), and in
the 3rd year I suspect alot of design faults of the v6 SOHC would have
been worked out. My cousin-in-law has a 97 SOHC (the one with
250,000km+) and he's never had a problem, although anecdotes are long
about how problematic SOHC was in that model year.

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Old 04-07-2005, 17:01   #8 (permalink)
Beeper
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Re: best model year 1997-2000?

You guys are scaring me. I have a 98 xlt SOHC 6 for about 1.5 years now. So
Far so good. I am knocking on wood while I type that. Picked it up for
10,000. with 64000 on it.
"stevie" <sf@dum.org> wrote in message news:4%R4e.6537$nH5.3141@fe03.lga...
> I've had 2000 V8 for about 5 years. After some initial problems (most
> worked out under warranty), it has been a pretty good car. The mileage is
> good, not great.
>
> Keep in mind that Consumer Reports does not recommend the 2000 Explorer.
> But mine has been OK.
>
> "David J Burns" <burnsdavidj@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:7dbae00d.0504040953.6cb84165@posting.google.com...
> I live in the Greater Toronto Area, looking at buying my first SUV.
> After monitoring used car listings extensively over the last 6 weeks
> I've decided that an Explorer, with an outside chance of a Pathfinder,
> is my best bet give my $10,000 CAD limit. 4Runners, Xterras and CR-Vs
> depreciate too slowly, and with the exception of the 4Runner I'm not
> expecting either of the later models to have the storage capacity I
> require. 1994 4Runners are running for $10k, where I can find some
> good Explorers as late as model year 2000 in that range.
>
> I anticipate the Explorers to have less quality and higher maintenance
> costs over the long term, but given their residual purchase value
> (plus what I perceive to be biased knocks against the vehicles
> quality) I think an Explorer is my best bet. Two close friends have
> late 90s Explorers (one a 1997 XLT w/ 250,000km on it!) with the worse
> repair being a water pump, a good sign to me. I'm aiming for a 4-door,
> automatic, 4x4, XLS/XLT/Eddie Bauer.
>
> My question is, I've narrowed my search range down to four years. I
> know 1997 is a new model year (with the new V6 engine), so I figure a
> 1998 or 1999 is my best bet since the 'bugs' would be ironed out. Is
> this a safe bet? What would people recommend based on their
> experience? is there a 'lemon' model year?
>
>



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Old 04-08-2005, 11:02   #9 (permalink)
burnsdavidj@yahoo.com
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Posts: n/a
Re: best model year 1997-2000?

Hey Beeper,
Assuming you're American and its 64,000 miles (not km) you're probably
in the clear. If your SOHC 6 hasn't been a problem to this point you
probably can run your engine indefinitely. As I mentioned my
cousin-in-law has a 97 SOHC V6 -- supposedly the worst year -- and he's
got 250,000kms on it with no incident. Remember the inverse bell-curve
of engineering faults...the vast majority of failures will happen in
the first 10% or the last 10% of service life.

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Old 04-08-2005, 12:01   #10 (permalink)
I'm_a_dreamer
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Posts: n/a
Re: best model year 1997-2000?

Not trying to scare you, but I bought a '98 XLT with 29k mi on it in
'2000 for $18k. It was spotless, and we loved it. Luckily we had a
7yr/100k Ford extended warrenty on it, because before we had 60k on it
we had to replace all the ball joints, and suffered a cracked block. It
was all covered, but it would have set me back between $2-3k. Since
then no problems, but after this I swore off american cars, and just
purchased an '05 Honda Accord. 30 mi./gallon, Honda lemons are an
oxymoron, the same with Toyota, Nissan and their upscale counterparts.

I used to be a con******t for Sony, and personally designed their
defect tracking database systems, I know all about Japanese quality
control, they wrote the book on it, and it's the best in the world.

The Honda is giving me 30+ mi/gallon, the Explorer cost me $48 to fill
up yesterday, and I'll probably get 16-18 mi/gal on it. No more!!!

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