Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

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shaunv8
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Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by shaunv8 » April 5th, 2011, 11:33 pm

Hi All,

Im thinking about buying a late model v8 explorer. Id be changing over from a 3l MK Triton 1998. The triton has served me well in the bush and on the beach.

Can anyone let me know how the explorers go offroad?? Are there many aftermarket parts available?? Suspension etc etc...

thanks shaun

ERASER
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by ERASER » April 6th, 2011, 9:35 pm

Forget off road, there not even very good onroad. Not called an exploder for nothing..............
my lux is only good for driving through puddles and i dont know anything.........
My Hilux

Lynchy WA
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by Lynchy WA » April 8th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Chuck on bigger rubber and a lift and she'll do alright. Only lift's I've seen in Australia (for 2002-2005)are by king spring's (claimed 2") Get your aftermarket part's from the states.

Taxman
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by Taxman » April 9th, 2011, 11:02 pm

I have a 96 Ltd Explorer and a Surf. I haven't had any problems getting the Explorer anywhere I have wanted to go. Having said that, I don't go bush bashing, rock hopping or chasing submarines up and down creeks. My brother has a Prado and I have on more than the odd occasion had to tow him out of situations that I have just driven straight through. Back in the early 90's they outsold Toyota 3 to 1 world wide. They fitted them with Firestone tyres that came from a factory with poor quality control. At speed the tyres let go resulting in rollovers causing fatalities - hence the nickname 'Exploder'. None of those Firestone tyres ever made it to Australia - the resultant court case found that the cause of the fatalities was the tyres and not the vehicle and the compensation sent Firestone to the wall.

I have put over 80,000km on the clock in 18 months, about 2/3 on country roads, dirt roads or tracks and I am more than happy with the comfort and performance.

Taxman

Peter Aawen
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by Peter Aawen » April 9th, 2011, 11:30 pm

Yeah Taxman, it's true they outsold Toyota 3 to 1 worldwide for a short while, but that was only cos the figure Ford used included all the millions of 2WD/soft road versions that got sold into the US domestic market & never even went over a kerb onto the grass to get washed!! It really wasn't for any other reason except that the US domestic market is so large by comparison to any one else's!!

That said, if you aren't into the rough or extreme stuff, they do manage fairly well with a reasonable degree of comfort; & if you don't mind spending a bit of money on modding one to suit the rougher/tougher stuff that we get off the beaten track here in Aust, they'll do pretty much everything that the majority of recreational/touring 4WD'ers here would ever ask of them - but the more 4WD committed you want one to go, the harder the terrain you want to tackle, then the more you'll need to spend to get it there & to keep it going out there with the all others. But there are some really nice examples of mild to wild modded Explorers out there that are still going strong & doing everything that's asked of them - just not so many un-modded but still in good nick examples of them that have seen much off roading or even much fire trail/dirt road work.

So it all comes back to what you want from it & how far you want to take it in the 4WD world (the further you want to go the deeper your pockets will need to be!) but then that's pretty much the case with everything to some extent, just a bit more so with these!
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

au futura
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by au futura » April 24th, 2011, 3:13 pm

Hey Shaun, my Mrs has a 2002 Explorer on Lpg & is a very comfortable vehicle to drive on road.Hasnt been offroad, & you dont see alot of Explorers offroad but thats not to say they arent a capable 4x4.If you want a website which is great for Explorer info goto http://www.explorerforum.com/ there are standard & modified Explorers & heaps of info & pics.Everyone in Aus is into Toyota or Nissan & thats ok i like both the Landcruiser & Patrol but love the look of the Ford Explorer.Would be nice to see one on the 4wd Action DVD one day.Good luck on whatever you purchase.Cheers mate Mark.

somethingwithletters
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by somethingwithletters » June 17th, 2011, 1:09 am

G'day Mate,
I've got an Exploder lol and I love it. It's a 98 xlt V6 lifted 2 inches with bald ATZs on it and it gets me everywhere i've asked it too. Apart from the kilos of mud collected under it i'm very happy with it. My step dad drives a diesel hilux with two inch lift and 31 inch mud tyres and i have got everywhere that he has. Except for deep puddles due to the fact he has a snorkel. I paid half as much for mine as he did for his and he is spewin! I drive mine to work and back every day then on weekends find some mud. With all the power options you can think of My Explorer is a real nice car to drive on and off road. I don't do any stupid stuff off road like big rock climbs but for what i want it for it's perfect. If i wanted to get more serious about rock climbing and mad body flexing stuff i would buy something like a patrol or toyota just so if i scratched it or rolled it it wouldn't bother me too much. I guess a little respect for your vehicle and picking the right line gets you a long way.
Might see ya on the tracks mate,
Ford Lover.
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FMANDE
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by FMANDE » June 17th, 2011, 9:21 am

When they were first imported to Australia I said to my wife that the diff seamed a bit narrow.
An Australian engineer in America had said for many years that they needed to widen the wheel track.Ford refused.

Ford eventually increased the wheel track and the problems of the vehicle rolling was reduced.

I never was convinced about the tyres being the problem.

There was an investigation by an American program that supported this theory.

I could be wrong but that was my recollection,

regards David

98fex
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by 98fex » June 18th, 2011, 9:27 pm

somethingwithletters, love your work. My is my work car my play car and every day driver

Aussie_1959
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by Aussie_1959 » August 4th, 2011, 8:50 pm

ERASER wrote:Forget off road, there not even very good onroad. Not called an exploder for nothing..............

Will eat your hilux any day of the week !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Drive one then ull see how good they are ive ownwd an explorer since 97
did 180k in it and the only repair was an o2 sensor
nor have an 04 since new with 155k on it

unless u drive one you have no idea what your talkin about there great on the road and mine has done off road too its the wifes car so its not moddified as she need to get into carparks in the city for meetings and such
and its a great towing car .. tow a 2ton ski boat with it

bush ninja
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by bush ninja » November 29th, 2011, 10:01 pm

they can go all the places my 99 patrol could go as long as the person behind the wheel knows what they are doin. the good thing you can get s/charger kits and all sorts of goodies for them over the net from the states. im a mechenic and i dont think people like them because they either dont understand them or people who know nothing about them bag them for some unknowen reason only knowen to them self :crazy:

Taxman
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by Taxman » December 9th, 2011, 9:35 am

^^Perhaps the most sensible comments I have heard in a long time. There was an old bloke in the Bushfire Brigade who could get a 2 wheel drive old Holden ute into places that less experienced drivers in 4x4's either had extreme difficulty or just couldn't do it. After 28 years experience driving bushfire tankers I can get my Explorer into places my brother can't or won't even try in his Pajero, and that is without risking damage to the vehicle - no point damaging a vehicle and having a loooong walk home.

Taxman

steelo
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by steelo » March 28th, 2012, 9:45 am

I've had a 98 & 2000 both XLT's, I modded both with just after-market suspension & off-road tyres & that was all they needed to keep up with any other IFS 4wd similarly done. The 4L petrol motor is strong in low & high ends but that said the series ll (96 to 2001) motors have one major drawback - they have TWO timing belts, front & back of motor, which is expensive every 100 000 to 140 000klm's. 1 lesser draw back is their air intake is behind the driver-side h/light & UNDER that is the relay box that controls a few important things like the alarm lock-up which when it gets wet just freeze's your car up completely e.g. steering lock, auto box gear change, ignition etc. This can be fixed by moving this relay box, standing it vertical (so any water drains out) & wrapping in plastic bags as I did.

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All these pics I managed to get threw without help
I now own a Patrol but the X's are a VERY VERY underrated 4wd
1999 WJ Grand Cherokee Laredo Jeep - no mods as yet but.......

cmar
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by cmar » May 7th, 2012, 8:49 pm

The 4L petrol motor is strong in low & high ends but that said the series ll (96 to 2001) motors have one major drawback - they have TWO timing belts, front & back of motor, which is expensive every 100 000 to 140 000klm's.
Agree with most of the rest you have said but they are not belts they are timing chains, and the engines in fact have 4 of them, crank to balance shaft, crank to jackshaft, jackshaft to right hand cam, and (at the back) jackshaft to left hand cam. This because Ford cheaped out and uses the same casting for both heads. The reason they fail is because of pooly designed tensioners that fall apart and allow the chains to jump teeth on the timing gears, often destroying the valves or heads.
Once they are replaced once with the later design tensioners they tend to last a long time.
Haven't owned a 2WD since 1982.

tonkas84
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Re: Explorer - Good Offroader or not??

Unread post by tonkas84 » July 13th, 2012, 8:26 pm

agree with most, the 96-2001 explorers had two types of engines, a 4lt ohv and 4lt sohc, the manuals ran the ohv which is a bit less powerful but holds together alot better than the auto which ran the sohc which as cmar said have timing chains with poorly designed tensioners which let go mainly around the 200 000 if never changed from factory costing a lot to fix. i have a 2000 explorer manual ohv with 240 000 on the clock and it hasn't giving me any trouble yet, mine has a lift 32 muddies custom front and rear bar and it goes pretty well, but as steelo has mentioned just sometimes needs a bit more right foot to get you there.

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