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Discussion Starter #1
Reading through the Ford manual that came with our new (to us) truck, Ford makes it sound like our Explorer is just jet set for off-road use.

Not that I totally doubt the capabilities. It has okay ground clearance, better than anything else I've owned. I don't plan on mud pitting with it, but if I can find a few novice trails, do you think it's up to the task? Will I need a transmission cooler or anything else, or should I just stick to the pavement and gravel roads?

Setup:
'03 Explorer XLS, 4.0L, Automatic 4x4 Auto/Hi/Low Transmission.
 

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:hy: :hy: :hy:
your explorer should have no problems handling the rough stuff
my 2003 4.0 v6 handles pretty well in the rough
the australian country side can be pretty rugged
the best way is to start with something easy
something that you feel confident driving through then proceed from there
this way you will learn your cars capabilities and limitations
in oz the explorer is considered a reasonable performer in the 4x4 world
hope you have fun and enjoy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input. I've already been doing the math on it's ground clearance versus wheelbase. It looks like I could have some fun. I was more worried if the transfer case, suspension and automatic transmission had the bullocks to really go offroad.

My wife is going to be the one using it most often, because she lives very close to work. I have a 30 mile commute every day, so I'll stick to using my Focus or Escort. Somehow, my Escort's been averaging under 6L/100 km (over 40mpg) lately. That saves me quite a bit of money over driving the Explorer every day!

My wife and I enjoy going out into the wilderness on occasion, as well as backpacking and camping. Also, winters here in Kansas can become a little harsh (photo below) so it will be nice to have 4x4 Auto once the ice and snow return.



I'll make sure to get some good offroad pictures when the time comes. Thanks again!
 

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i have a 2004 4.0 4x4, here in southern calif., we take it out to the desert or mountains once a month or so. although it has limited clearance, (due to lack of supension lift avail) i've had a lot of fun discovering new places. got
to remember its not a rock crawler so there are times i have to get out to
spot my line, walk the trail ahead and sometimes pick a different road/trail.
don't forget to bring the supplies you may need in case you get stuck. good luck to you and enjoy.
 
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