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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1996 Explorer 2DR Sport Utility with sun roof, white, we purchased used from a local ford dealer in 1998. It is in service and, while it has issues, it is reasonably reliable. It starts, runs, goes through all the gears. However, at 200,000 miles I was thinking it might be time to do some real re-work.

Oh, I forgot to say the brakes, on occasion, make a funny sound. It sort of comes and goes and is not predictable. The rear brakes I believe.

I was considering taking it to a local mechanic and asking him to sort of give it a once over. Maybe rebuild the engine, transmission, service all the major items, rework the brakes, oh and work on the door closure mechanism, especially the rear door/lift.... Oh and I did have an issue with the right door which a local "mechanic" sort of fixed which will need to be redone (has a different key for that door alone, claimed he could not get the correct part to fix the door lock).

So the question is, keep it and do the work (don't know the price yet) or purchase a replacement (used similar but newer).

The newer vehicle would have many unknowns which would, maybe make it more or less reliable.

Anyway, the question is, what is the possibility of finding a local mechanic that might be able to do what I want and get a reliable outcome.
 

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Keep your Xplorer for sure, you already know the car, spend the money to do what it needs. If the motor is good( not smoking and rattling) why rebuild it, only fix what is wrong. I also have a 96 xlt and I have spent money on the things it needs, it's a great car and you've had it along time. Don't get rid of it, fix what's wrong and besides, if you get another one, you'll have a whole bunch of other problems to fix, why start over? Fix her up and keep her happy, she'll treat you well for many more years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks AA7KN,

I have decided to do just that and have a list of things I want the local mechanic to look at. Will start in the next week or so.

And just in case I got it right - DE KI4KZ
 

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I have a 1996 Explorer 2DR Sport Utility with sun roof, white, we purchased used from a local ford dealer in 1998. It is in service and, while it has issues, it is reasonably reliable. It starts, runs, goes through all the gears. However, at 200,000 miles I was thinking it might be time to do some real re-work.

Oh, I forgot to say the brakes, on occasion, make a funny sound. It sort of comes and goes and is not predictable. The rear brakes I believe.

I was considering taking it to a local mechanic and asking him to sort of give it a once over. Maybe rebuild the engine, transmission, service all the major items, rework the brakes, oh and work on the door closure mechanism, especially the rear door/lift.... Oh and I did have an issue with the right door which a local "mechanic" sort of fixed which will need to be redone (has a different key for that door alone, claimed he could not get the correct part to fix the door lock).

So the question is, keep it and do the work (don't know the price yet) or purchase a replacement (used similar but newer).

The newer vehicle would have many unknowns which would, maybe make it more or less reliable.

Anyway, the question is, what is the possibility of finding a local mechanic that might be able to do what I want and get a reliable outcome.
I have a 1997 Ford Explorer that has 235,000 miles on it....spent a lot on it in the past few years and am having problems again with the engine, starter. I'm wondering if this current issue is worth repairing (not sure of the cost yet), or to say goodbye to it. I love the vehicle, standard transmission and has taken me all over the place, but I have to be practical. Any suggestions as to it's potential in terms of life left?
 

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I have a 1997 Ford Explorer that has 235,000 miles on it....spent a lot on it in the past few years and am having problems again with the engine, starter. I'm wondering if this current issue is worth repairing (not sure of the cost yet), or to say goodbye to it. I love the vehicle, standard transmission and has taken me all over the place, but I have to be practical. Any suggestions as to it's potential in terms of life left?
What shape is the rest of the truck in? Starters aren't that big a deal. Right now used cars are at an inflated price. If it's structurally sound, engine and trans ok, consider the cost to replace (and the unknown problems in the replacement truck) vs. your repairs. Previous poster had a good idea - have a mechanic go over the whole vehicle to evaluate what's right/wrong with it mechanically.
 

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I have a 1997 Ford Explorer that has 235,000 miles on it....spent a lot on it in the past few years and am having problems again with the engine, starter. I'm wondering if this current issue is worth repairing (not sure of the cost yet), or to say goodbye to it. I love the vehicle, standard transmission and has taken me all over the place, but I have to be practical. Any suggestions as to it's potential in terms of life left?
What type of problem are you having with the engine?
 

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Just joined, didn't know there was a forum for 2nd generation Explorers, so posted a similar question in the general forum. I have a 98 Explorer Sport XLT, manual transmission. Love the car, only new car I've ever bought, but it now has 258,000 miles and I need a car that I can trust to drive 500 miles at a time.

I can give you some ideas of weird things that have broken on mine- weird as in things that don't happen to a car with less than 150,000 miles.
158,000 miles- the synchronizers in the transmission started to go, so had the tranny rebuilt.
180,000 miles- the spot welds that hold the gas pedal bracket to the firewall broke and the whole pedal assembly fell to the floor. Fortunately I was 5 miles from home. Rigged up a bungee cord to the gas cable and was able to drive it home.
225,000- The plastic valve that opens/closes on one of the heater hoses to let water into the heater core split and started blowing steam everywhere. Outside temp was 20 below zero. Again, I was 5 miles from home so was able to drive home before it overheated.
240,000 miles- Plastic electrical connector for the headlight switch melted a little so that I no longer had headlights. Cut and spliced a new connector.
240,000 miles- Noticed that the clutch pedal was feeling spongy. Realized that I hadn't checked the fluid level in years; found the reservoir was practically empty and I was running on mostly a pneumatic clutch. Took about half an hour to bleed it thoroughly, now it's fine. My point is that it's real easy to overlook the clutch reservoir.

I change the oil every 5,000 miles and only use full synthetic. Engine seems to be solid.

The noise in your rear brakes could be the parking brakes. Mine made a noise years ago; I just took them off. I live in northern Indiana where it's flat, so usually don't have to use a parking brake.

I really love the car and don't want to sell it. What does everyone think- maybe just buy AAA for the towing insurance if I get stuck 200 miles from home?
 

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Thought of a few more things after re-reading your post.

Both right and left power lock actuators went out. I was able to replace them, but it's a real b*tch to do. Four hours, a lot of swearing, etc, but now it's done. The rear hatch actuator went out years ago. Every time I look at it, thinking I'll fix it, I realize how much worse it will be than the door actuators so I've never fixed it. Cars like these, with +200,000 miles- weird things are going to break, sooner or later. I don't think that a mechanic will find/fix all of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just for the record, I had some "work" done by a local shop. Appears to be good work. Replaced brakes and discs and pads, did some work on the thermostat (replacement), replaced plugs and wires and an oil change of course.

Also, had the transmission pulled to replace some gaskets and seals. That seems to have solved the transmission problem.

The only things that are not working or not 100% are the odometer does not move and the A/C needs some additional refrigerant. Wish I knew how to determine what refrigerant is actually in there since I do have some stuff I purchases many years ago just in case.
 

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On the ignition side, in addition to plugs and wires, I replaced the distributor cap and rotor, the plug wires, and also the "black box" electronic control module. Essentially replaced the entire electrical system except for the distributor assembly.

Hard to believe but my original AC still works; I've never done anything to it.
 
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