Need info/advice for my "new" '98 Explorer - Ford Explorer Forum - Forums for Ford Explorer Enthusiasts
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:11 PM   #1
ChristopherASA
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Location: Desert Center, CA
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Need info/advice for my "new" '98 Explorer

Hello:

I'm an older dude who has been, for the most part, a "sports car" guy. First car was a '55 T-bird (more a GT than a aports car). Have also owned an MG Midget, a SAAB Sonnet, and two Morgans: a 1966 +4 [left-hand drive], and a 1967 +4 Super Sport, no less. And now I own an ... SUV.

I just bought a 1998 Explorer (Eddie Bauer; 5L engine; 2WD) with 185.000 miles on it. Runs like a top. So, some questions, and any guidance you might want to offer would be great.

It did not come with the long doohicky with which to lower the spare tire. I've seen them on the Web (Home Depot where it is part of the "Spare time and jack tool kit"), but not yet found one for this vehicle. Where can I get one?

Don't have an Owner's manual: are they available?

How atrocious is the mileage?

And last, I hope, when the gas gauge gets down to what looks like empty, what is the gas reserve (if any)?

Thanks people!

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Old 10-15-2019, 10:56 PM   #2
CometHunter
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Hi - if the 'Explorer Lug Wrench Extensions Tire Tool' is not under the flip-up panel behind the rear seats, Amazon sells them.
Someone on eBay has an owner's manual for sale.
City mpg is 13 to 16; freeway mpg is 18 to 25.
The fill light comes on at about 2 gallons to go.
(This is almost funny - I've been driving pickups and SUVs for almost 40 years; my Dad just gave me his 1991 Chrysler TC Maserati - my first and likely only 'sports' car (not counting the 65 Mustang (but 4 door sedan) I had while living at home as a kid.)
Enjoy. My '98 Mountaineer (Mercury's version of the Explorer) was one of the best cars I ever had, though commuting and collisions took their toll. I've still got it, but only for errands - you can't find a 6 disc changer anymore.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:27 PM   #3
ChristopherASA
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CometHunter: Thanks for the reply, sir!

The Lug Wrench... tool isn't in the car, so am buying one (tomorrow) off of Amazon.
Good to know about the reserve two gallons: that almost assures me I won't get stuck in the middle of the Mojave Desert [not kidding ]

A Chrysler TC Maserati? Have I got this right: it's a Chrysler engine, and a Maserati BODY?? But you can legitimately call it a "sports car," or a "Gran Turismo [GT]" depending on who is sitting in the passenger seat or who you are trying to impress.

THANK YOU for your help, and drive safe!!!

Christopher Steele
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Old 10-22-2019, 06:01 PM   #4
J_C
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You can probably get the spare tire extension from a junkyard cheaper. They often pull those out and have them in storage instead of left in the vehicle.

Be aware that you need both that extension, and the lug wrench itself to turn it (a socket of the right size "might" work but is less convenient). The lug wrench should have been in the left rear cargo area side panel, snapped onto that panel. In a pinch you can operate the tire winch with a big long bladed screwdriver and vice grips, but it takes several dozens of turns to move the tire much, and ironically enough I recently had my tire winch seize up and I had to disassemble it, pop a plate back into position and grease everything to get it working again.

When you are truly down to 1-2 gallons of fuel, there will be a red light that comes on the dash to warn you, BUT remember this is a 22 year old vehicle and the fuel sender accuracy could be off, you really should not trust it till you see for yourself if it's accurate.

These vehicles are essentially bricks on wheels, fuel economy depends greatly on how much stop and go you're doing. In the city you could get under 10MPG for short trips. On the highway, 22MPG is typical if you keep it under 70MPH, depending on your rear differential ratio... anything above the 3.73 is going to have worse fuel economy and be revving high at 70MPH or higher, but I doubt you have above 3.73 with the 5.0L.

I never found a need for the paper owner's manual, EXCEPT that included with it would have been the key code for the door lock panel, if yours has it. That key code is also on a sticker on the remote entry module, in the same rear panel where the lug wrench is stored, but up in the cavity a bit deeper.

The PDF version of the manual is much faster to use, can be found by merely google searching 1998 Explorer Owner's Manual or input the info here:
https://owner.ford.com/tools/account...r-manuals.html

Direct link: http://www.fordservicecontent.com/Fo.../98expog1e.pdf
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:33 PM   #5
ChristopherASA
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J-C:

I've been meaning top get back to you to thank you for what seems like AGES. I beg your pardon, sir: I just seem to lack about five-more-needed hours a day to get everything done I need to get done. (I work on the internet and have little control over the number of hours I have to work to meet my "daily goal.")

I live in the middle of the Mojave Desert, fifty miles away from any junk yard or similar, so I found it easier to just buy one of the spare-tire tools from Amazon. $41. Not bad.

Good to know about the fuel sender accuracy. I'll keep the tank full (or near full) and probably carry a spare two gallons. It can be **deadly** to get stuck out here anywhere: it sometimes exceeds 120į F during summer and a few people who've had car problems then gotten lost looking for help have died from the heat.

The atrocious mileage is *another* reason to keep a close eye on how much gas I've got in the "brick." ( I may name it "The Brick. )

The .pdf is T R E M E N D O U S!!!!!!!! I owe you a six pack (at least).

You put a significant amount of time into answering my questions, and I thank you for that!!

Best possible regards to you, J_C!!!

Christopher A. Steele

ps. oops! I read the entire .pdf and didn't find the answer to one question. Underneath the steering wheel and just to the right of the hood release is a little "pull-out tab" (for lack of a better term) that obviously has some electrical/electronic function: it has six flat "contact points" on it. I assume it is storing some kind of vehicle data or some such. What the heck is it?

Have a grand rest-of-the day. J_C, and thanks again for all your assistance!!!!!
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:50 PM   #6
J_C
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The connector behind the pull-off cover under the steering column is the OBDII data link connector. I assume that is what you mean but it has 16 contacts, not 6.

You'll be needing to use that the next time you get a Check Engine light coming on. Many people find the Forscan app on a phone convenient, linked to a bluetooth (or wifi for apple phones) ELM327 OBDII dongle like the BAFX sold on Amazon.

That is a very nice setup for seeing realtime running data on the cheap, and if linked to windows device instead of an android or iOS phone, Forscan even has the capability of programming some things, though not nearly as much on a '98 as on newer generations. There's more info in the Forscan forum.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:10 PM   #7
ChristopherASA
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Either six or twelve contacts, depending on if one side"s contacts are also the other side's contacts. I measures about 1 1/4 inch wide; 3/4 deep without taking the contacts into account, just shy of 1 1/2 if you do take them into account. AH!, I just noticed it seems to have " S I V " embossed on one side. ... I may have to take a photo.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:19 PM   #8
J_C
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It has to either be the OBDII port, or the OBDII port is right next to it, OR someone has modified your vehicle in some bad way.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:04 PM   #9
ChristopherASA
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It's not the OBDII port: that's on the other side of the hood latch. When I get the time I'll get under stuff and see where "The Unknown Thing" leads! Thank you, J_C!

Christopher
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