I've had my explorer for about 4 years and i love the hell out of it. i got it from my grandma, so it was babied its entire life until i got it. I race it, i four wheel it, and daily drive it. Stock motor, never touched, trans rebuilt about 75k ago. Shifts strong, and runs like a racecar. i hit rev limiter all the time in it and the engine never skips a beat. i would highly reccomend this as a first car... it can stand up to the abuse that even the most rambunxious teenager can throw at it. only started to rust this winter, living on the washington coast hasnt hurt it one bit.
I bought mine with 186k miles, 5 speed stick shift and everything worked great on her, and it kept on going for the 14 months i owned her, i live in Las Vegas where most cars can overheat, she never did (except for the time in which a 21 year old hose broke, replaced the hose and refilled the antifreeze, good as ever). Only malfunction it had was a alternator gone bad, and it took me 3 belts to figure it out... my bad...
We arrived in the US and owned absolutely nothing, except for her, so she pretty much hauled us and all of our belongings from our first apartment to the next one, she never left us hanging not even when the belts were broken because of the alternator's pulley getting stuck (bad bearings i was told). Parts were always available at any local auto shop, and they were also cheap, which is great too...
We changed the oil every 3k miles, and i changed the spark plugs a couple of times, i also did the front brakes when i got her. Only problem was the famous ford power steering leak, and a couple of noises here and there. It did pass the smog check when i had to register for the first time, and guess what, it did it again the next year without any hiccups, i saw my neighbors having to spend money on their newer flashier cars, and i did nothing to her, she passed without any effort, and the last tune up had been like 15k miles before.
A really comfortable ride, even for our family of four, of which 3 are taller than 6', a bit tight on the backseats but could easily go from Las Vegas to L.A. without having to stop and stretch the legs.
The best part is that i sold her for a profit of a 50%, so i can say i'm a happy customer, and needless to say i'm getting another ford, i'm sure i'll continue to be a happy customer for the years to come. Glad to keep up buying american instead of imports.
Bought it 3 years ago at an auction for $200 with a badly rebuilt engine. They the put the head gaskets in upside down. Replaced all the rings and the bearings on a fresh block and all new gaskets. Most of the outer engine parts where original. Since then we've replaced water pump, alternator, battery, plugs,plug wires,clutch fan,ball joints,tires,radius arm bushings,door panel,MAF,Fuel filter,and clutch. Much of this was because I wanted it to perform at it's best.Would have did just fine without it. The gas mileage on the 5speed manual 4.0V6 is 18/20 City /22/26 Highway. But for 200 bucks this was a deal. Makes it from Phoenix to Denver no problem. Reliable and fun! Great on gas and roomy!
Push Button 4X4. Roof Rack. Rear window and hatch open one or the other or both. Ground Clearance. Electric everything but seats. Cruise Control
Transmission. Don't have the flywheel turned get a new one! 2nd gear synthesizers hate people in general on all Fords. Goes in but not easily. Urethane radius arm bushings.
I bought my 1994 Ford Explorer Sport in May, 1994 and it has been pretty reliable over the years. I'd have to say it's weakest point has been its tranny, which required rebuilds in Jan '00, Dec '02 and another one now, as I write this. This is with the trailer towing package with the auxiliary tranny cooler, though I never towed anything with the truck. There have been other parts that have been changed over the years, but not at a faster rate than one would expect. I have to admit though, If I didn't have GEICO's mechanical breakdown coverage, I probably wouldn't have this truck still. I'm grandfathered in under the old plan that was offerred in NY with unlimited time and mileage (I pay the 1st $250 of any major repair). They will total the vehicle if the repair is over 75% of appraised value, which is around $2000 for my truck. All the talk of the repairs aside, this truck has been my companion for 17 years and I consider it a part of me. We've explored all over this country together and I'm determined to see its 250K mile "birthday" in the next couple of years, when I can tell people it's driven the distance to the moon (and not at the closest point in its orbit). At $223,500 now. I would also like to see my 14 y/o learn to drive in this truck when he turns 17.
Reliable workhorse of a truck. Lots of interior cargo space. Fold down rear seats.
Transmission, brakes, interior door handles.
When doing tune ups, one of the spark plugs is a real bear to get at due to the positioning of one of the A/C components.