Early 2000s Ford Explorer

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Been thinking about selling my ride, and picking up a 2002 or 2003 Explorer 4.6L V8. They are running in the 5-6k range right now, which is pretty cheap, and I'd get double that if I sold mine.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with these models and if there is anything I should look out for. 2002 was a new model year so I wasn't sure if there were any problems in that model. I do want the 4.6L V8 though, I'm done with 6's.
 

BO TIE SS

Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,497
DenaliHD66 said:
I do want the 4.6L V8 though, I'm done with 6's.
Ummm, OK. :confused:
2002–2005 Ford Explorer 4.6 V8, 239 hp (178 kW) and 282 lb·ft (382 N·m) 13MPG City, 18MPG HWY
2003–2005 GM 4.2 I6 - 275 hp (205 kW), 275 lb·ft (373 N·m) 13 MPG City, 18MPG HWY (4X4 XL)
 

STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
Owned and driven early 2000 explorer, As BO TIE said there V8s are ford V8s your i6 crushes it and they dont make up for it in torque. Transmission has a worse failure rate then the 4l70e with a LS2 infront of it. Other than that im going to be honest engine pretty dependable but its useless when your tranny is shot. Interior is nice kinda plain jane but TBs are nothing exquisite either. 6x8 speakers SUCK lol But IMHO as a previous owner go test drive one Its not the same they are a nice truck but if your looking for power your at the wrong dealership. Your money Your Truck Your Choice
http://www.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Explorer/2003/
Always interesting site to use
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Power numbers dont really care about, just want a bang-around vehicle. I just was surprised how cheap they were going for. I was concerned with the transmission though, and it seems like that is a fairly widespread topic about the tranny. I love mine, great power, the I6 sound does get on my nerves sometimes, but its more a money thing. Probably going to end up buying a high mileage work truck at this point.
 

STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
ANy good prices on any F series my dad has the 00 f250 tritonV8 at 214k pretty tough trucks
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Just looking at prices on ebay, type in what you wanna find. Usually the top few are a bit overpriced, but as you go down you'll see reasonably priced ones.
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,159
Brighton, CO
As mentioned above, Ford has not been able to build a transmission for years now.. Also, as their vehicles age, the interior simple electronics fail. Turn signal switches, wiper switches, window, etc.

For the money, and if you really hate the 4.2, why not search for a V8 powered 360? Loving mine, and rode in a SS today.. I am so glad I did not get an Aero like I had originally planned. I would have been in jail months ago... For who knows what all charges..

Maybe I just need to put 410 gears in my XUV...??
 

STLtrailbSS

Member
Dec 4, 2011
1,617
TollKeeper said:
For the money, and if you really hate the 4.2, why not search for a V8 powered 360? Loving mine, and rode in a SS today.. I am so glad I did not get an Aero like I had originally planned. I would have been in jail months ago... For who knows what all charges..

Maybe I just need to put 410 gears in my XUV...??

I don't know ,that's what lawyers are for right , saving LS owners since 97.

:rotfl:
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
In my honest opinion, I really don't think you can bang a Ford Exploder around to much without having some major issues...and if not major issues you will still likely have issues. My friend has an 03 Ford Exploder V8...My Envoy has the I6 and I have more horsepower than she does in her V8. Also, I have never NOT seen that truck on jacks. She uses it as a daily driver, is a good driver and she isn't hard on her vehicles, but it just can't keep up. I test drove an exploder before the Envoy...and it scared me, I literally thought it was going to shake apart when I jumped on the gas. We hit 50mph and I had to let off because it scared me, and I don't scare easily.

I mean ultimately it is your choice, but I think the Ford Explorer is the LAST truck I would get for a bang around vehicle. I just wouldn't trust it. I bang up my Envoy all the time and I feel 100% safe in it, and I have not had ANY issues. Regulator bangs his around a lot more than I bang up mine, and his truck is still driving....or it is in the pictures anyways lol.

I think the Envoy and TB is one of the only universal SUV platforms out there that are as safe as these platforms are, which is a lot safer than most of the running SUV's, even safer than their current brothers GMC Acadia and Chevy Traverse. But I wouldn't put my dog in a Ford Explorer.....just not safe.
 

MichEnvoyGuy

Member
Dec 3, 2011
522
I like how its not OK for a 10 year old Explorer to have stuff like switches start to fail (from age) but there is no mention here about the widespread ignition switch failure (sometimes multiple times!) at LOW mileage on our platform! Yeah, no manufacturer is perfect but maybe one should have clean hands before we throw stones.

I have no beef if you want a Ford Explorer. I love my Envoy, it gives me grief, I give it grief back, w/e. I have a friend with a 2002 Explorer Sport with 250,000 miles on it. Hes on the original transmission and the engine (whatever small v8 they used) has never been opened up. Last summer the A/C stopped working and it cost $800 to get it fixed, he questioned dropping the dimes at first but went ahead and did it.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
MichEnvoyGuy said:
I like how its not OK for a 10 year old Explorer to have stuff like switches start to fail (from age) but there is no mention here about the widespread ignition switch failure (sometimes multiple times!) at LOW mileage on our platform! Yeah, no manufacturer is perfect but maybe one should have clean hands before we throw stones.

I have no beef if you want a Ford Explorer. I love my Envoy, it gives me grief, I give it grief back, w/e. I have a friend with a 2002 Explorer Sport with 250,000 miles on it. Hes on the original transmission and the engine (whatever small v8 they used) has never been opened up. Last summer the A/C stopped working and it cost $800 to get it fixed, he questioned dropping the dimes at first but went ahead and did it.

Your right, every vehicle has it's issues and every Manufacturer can have their issues too, but Ford has not been a strong competitor in MY OPINION for SUV's. But I have also grown up with Chevy/GMC and my vehicle history has been mainly foreign's, the Envoy is only my 2nd American made vehicle. I was raised on Ford having a bad reputation for many issues. But I have found that ANY car/truck/SUV can have issues, my last vehicle and first American Made vehicle was a Buick Rendezvous which was a sorry POS...major, major, major issues. But I know some people who can't live without theirs.

I guess the decision is ultimately yours, and like many other topics that are and could be posted, your going to get a mixed review as everyone has their own opinions. But beware like with ANY vehicle before buying one, do your research, lots of test drives and "window" shopping before really getting serious. And remember that New off the lot can have the same issues as used, new stuff can break just as easily as used stuff can. Good luck!
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
Never bought a used vehicle before, let alone one that is already a questionable piece as far as maintenance. I do like my Envoy a lot. I can bang it around, go off roading, hit 115 on the highway, and still feel safe. I have all the suspension upgrades to make it handle better, and I hit the turns and corners pretty fast for an SUV that is far from being known as a good road handler, and I've never lost control (yet ;o). Thats why it's bittersweet... its had its share of issues, but its confident and I think it will last a long time. Comparing the shape mine is in compared to my friend's old explorer at the same mileage... his was in beat up shape at that point, and was having transmission issues...

Guess that shoots down this idea, but that was the point of this thread so thanks!

Speaking of Ford trannys, how do you guys like the new ones in their F150s and Super Dutys? I want to say they are finally good, but I haven't heard either way how they have been.
 

Voymom

Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
DenaliHD66 said:
Never bought a used vehicle before, let alone one that is already a questionable piece as far as maintenance. I do like my Envoy a lot. I can bang it around, go off roading, hit 115 on the highway, and still feel safe. I have all the suspension upgrades to make it handle better, and I hit the turns and corners pretty fast for an SUV that is far from being known as a good road handler, and I've never lost control (yet ;o). Thats why it's bittersweet... its had its share of issues, but its confident and I think it will last a long time. Comparing the shape mine is in compared to my friend's old explorer at the same mileage... his was in beat up shape at that point, and was having transmission issues...

Guess that shoots down this idea, but that was the point of this thread so thanks!

Speaking of Ford trannys, how do you guys like the new ones in their F150s and Super Dutys? I want to say they are finally good, but I haven't heard either way how they have been.

Don't be scared to buy used! I have only owned 1 brand new vehicle, which was my Mazda 3 S Sport Touring 2008. It was a great and fun little car, and nothing was wrong with it at all. But from there I have only ever owned used vehicles, and so far the only vehicle I have had an issue with was my Rendezvous....Total LEMON!!! lol. I bought my Envoy used, obviously and have owned it for a month now, no major issues so far, just normal wear and tear/maintenance. My Toyota was new/used....My ex husband bought it brand new before we met, and I ended up with it in our divorce...when I traded it in for the Buick it was having slight issues, but I did not maintain it at all.

You can get a GREAT used vehicle almost anywhere, I personally would stay away from stealerships as they are over priced, and overrated. I would also stay away from small used car dealers...they will try and rape you most of the time. Private is the best way to go with any vehicle, but even some private sellers can be butt's about selling their vehicle. Trust me, I tried selling my Buick for WAY more than what it was worth especially with all the issues it had. I know a few friends who bought showroom vehicles from dealerships and had to have it towed back as they broke down on the way home, so new stuff can be just as bad as used. Determine what kind of maintenance and money you want to put into a vehicle. Don't do what I did when I bought my Buick lol.

I went to go grocery shopping one morning, seen the Buick sitting on the small used car lot. I stopped...peeked inside and seen it had 3rd row seats which was a MUST with 6 children, heated seats, heads up display, all the bells and whistles!!! I walked up to the sales man and said I will do a even trade no cash involved swap for your 02 Buick Rendezvous on my 04 Toyota Camry....dude bit the hook in an instant!!! He was asking 7k for the Buick. My Toyota was KBB and NADA at over 10k. I got raped.....I knew it going into the trade though, but needed the 3rd row seats!! So I made a sacrifice. My dad said "Oh Buick is a product of GM so you did good" in less than 2hrs of owning the thing....I had it at the mechanics :redface:

I went to go grocery shopping, but bought a truck instead. The whole thing took less than an hour to trade. But I paid a crap ton of money into that thing for it to just keep breaking down. I finally quit doing stuff to it including oil changes....HATED the thing!!! I ended up gettin 4k on it for a trade on my Envoy....the dealership is asking 10k for it after it took them a little over 3 weeks to fix everything that was wrong with it:biggrin: Or at least they made it look like they fixed everything. Just be careful when buying used...but remember one mans trash is another man's gold! You could buy a used vehicle and love it more than anything! And yes, even a used car still feels new when you get in it, despite any possible blemishes!!
 

Juicy K

Member
Feb 14, 2012
433
Indianapolis, Indiana
If you like the way they drive that is all I feel matters. There are plenty of cars that have a better rep. than ours. But we still stick by them. I tried talking the wife into anything other than her 3000GT, but she loves it. Yet I am still the one who gets to work on it. LMAO Ive got the Bravada thats had a few problems but I love it.
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
When it comes to used cars, I'm only really picky about trucks. Usually the condition of the interior is a giveaway as to how the truck was used. If the leather is excessively cracked, or the cloth faded, you know it was a work truck that was probably beat up pretty good. Cars are different because you know they most likely were on the road, and weren't subject to towing anything. That said, that's why I'm being picky in getting something cheap that won't necessarily need a new tranny or big engine job a couple months later.

But the topic of this thread was to ask about a similar platform to ours. I liked the, now old, explorers (new one is garbage), and I think they had some better design elements than ours, but there are things ours has that I wouldn't trade for. That is the ride, the power/reliability of powertrain, and solid rear axle.

If they originally combined the regular and XL versions of these trucks, gave them a roomy 2nd row, 3rd row or extra large cargo area optional, they would have been much better. The 3rd row is useless for me, and it won't seat tall adults, and the 2nd row is cramped. Probably why the extended versions didn't last as long, but whatever, its all hindsight at this point. I also like knowing my truck already inside and out, knowing what maintenance its due for, whats been replaced, etc.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
I once owned an '02 Explorer, but with the 4.0L 6 cylinder engine. Woefully lacking in power and acceleration compared to the TrailBlazer. Both of these vehicles feel a little plasticy in the interior trim department., but neither were bought as Lexus alternatives so no harm no foul here.

The big advantage I feel the Explorer has is the 3rd row seat without the need to extend the vehicle length. Better for Ford's development and manufacturing costs, and better for me in terms of getting the vehicle in the garage. I don't offroad the TrailBlazer (that hardship is passed along to my long suffering TJ) and so the IS rear on the Explorer and solid axle on the TrailBlazer mean nothing to me, and even less to the wife who drives the thing 99% of the time.

The only V8 I've owned was a Ford Mustang, and it too was woefully down on power, but big on torque. The engine was tough and so was the tranny behind it, despite what everyone says / thinks about Ford trannys. The thing could handle a LOT of power before it needed to be beefed up.
 

NewfieEnvoy

Member
Jan 25, 2012
525
DenaliHD66 said:
Power numbers dont really care about, just want a bang-around vehicle. I just was surprised how cheap they were going for. I was concerned with the transmission though, and it seems like that is a fairly widespread topic about the tranny. I love mine, great power, the I6 sound does get on my nerves sometimes, but its more a money thing. Probably going to end up buying a high mileage work truck at this point.

I always look at it this way; without doing any research, if they're cheap and not holding their value its cause no ones wants to drive it, for one reason or another. Probably the same reason I'm not going to want to drive it.
 

03envoy

Member
Dec 25, 2011
537
I always noticed with the old ford explorers the rear sits lower than the front? Almost all of them Is that way, is that just bad leaf's? or what?
 

DenaliHD66

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
597
03envoy said:
I always noticed with the old ford explorers the rear sits lower than the front? Almost all of them Is that way, is that just bad leaf's? or what?

they have independent rear suspension with coils, unless you mean the 2001 and earlier explorers. they dont have a natural "rake" forward like our trucks or other towing vehicles. Also with the IRS, there is noticeable rocking between front and rear, which makes it less ideal for towing in my opinion. they handle slightly better than our trucks, but are not nearly as well planted when putting power down or handling rough terrain.

here's an example:
[video=youtube;dPjni8yyP9w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPjni8yyP9w[/video]
 

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