You dont HAVE to spend 30+k........

IveofIone

Active Member
#1
After my old '93 Explorer was totaled a few years ago the insurance company sold it back to me for $300. It only had minor cosmetic damage on one side and with $700 worth of new tires it was quite a steal. I drove it for 2 more years while keeping my eyes open for a later model. Then during the Cash For Clunkers mania a couple of years ago when everyone was bailing out of their older paid for rigs and getting new loans of 60 to 84 months of payments I found this beauty for $5700. A one owner with low miles driven by an old maid school teacher and I'm sure it had probably never been off road much less in low range.

I made a guy a great deal on my old one for $1,000 and then did my usual preventive maintenance on the 2000 model. It got new Pirelli Scorpion ATR load range D tires, KYB gas shocks, new battery, stainless thermostat and fresh antifreeze, new hoses, drive belt, plug wires and plugs, a K&N air filter, new wipers front and rear, Mobil 1 synthetic oil with the proper Motorcraft filter, the torque converter flushed and the bands adjusted(they were near perfect) and had it laser aligned. After 2 years of use it appears to be perfect with no oil use, runs quiet, starts easily in 0 degree temps and drives straight and true with no driveability issues.

The old one was 4wd with manual hubs and the newer AWD with 4wd and low range is a vast improvement. Low range has only been needed on a couple of the more severe lake roads I use in summer. I built the custom roof rack to hold my South Fork and it works far better than the factory setup.

So far so good and all this for under $7k---90% of a new rig for around 25% of the cost and no payments. I have a record of every gallon of gas that has gone through it and the past 4 tanks have been 20mpg even, 15.7, 18.1 and 18.7. Not bad given the extent of mountain driving I do.

There are so many nice rigs of this vintage out there and damned few of them have ever even been off road. That 5 or 6 thousand dollars that some people are putting out a year in monthly payments might buy a complete paid for rig this year and next year you can use the extra cash on something fun. Well, that's how I do it anyway.....

Ive
 
#2
Very nice. Most people don't put the money into their rigs as far as servicing all the moving parts on a regular basis like they should. If you take care of a vehicle it will last a lot longer and will have less problems.
 

Josh

dead in the water
#5
I was actually looking seriously at old Explorers a few years back, but then I got lucky and bought my father in laws extremely well cared for '98 4runner. Hell of a deal in my book.

That having been said, there are plenty of people in the world who don't mind spending $30k or more on a new rig. They have the money and want the vehicle. Case in point was my father in law. The reason he sold the 4runner was that he decided that he'd worked long and hard enough and finally deserved the brand new tricked out pickup that he'd never been able to own in the past. So he bought a new Tundra. Fine by me, guy's worked his ass off supporting his family and raised two wonderful daughters (one far more wonderful than the other in my book). He wants a new truck, then he should get one.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#6
Ive,

Yer just plain anti-American with your lack of consumptive spending. The American economy survives only if people buy shit they don't need and dispose of perfectly good stuff. Haven't you seen the video about "Stuff?" If everyone had spending habits like yours, Ford would stop manufacturing Explorers, and then where would you be? See? In order for your strategy of economic living to succeed, you depend on the profligate spendthrift habits of the majority of red-blooded up-to-their-neck-in-debt-Americans.

I confess, I usually buy new, but then I drive it for 10 or more years. Click & Clack said that strategy makes the initial purchase price pretty much irrelevant.

Sg
 
#11
I'm with you. Can't understand buying a new car. The economics just don't pencil out.

But, I've got to agree with Old Man, it looks too dam clean to be a fishing vehicle!
 

papafsh

Piscatorial predilection
#12
Ive,
I totally agree with your principle on vehicle ownership. My ol' 1995 Explorer, not as sorted out as your rig, suits me just fine. That's a real nice vheicle you have there.

LB
 
#13
Ford Explorers/ Rangers are great rigs. A number of my family members own either one or the other, and usually use them as a work truck. After looking at Toyotas for a year, I found this baby, sitting for sale at the Ford Lot in town. The guy was asking $2k. She had 202k miles, and $1600 in brand new parts. I told my grandpa (45 year auto body man for Ford) and he talked to the owner, who is a mechanic at the Ford Lot, and one of my Gramp's old friends.

So we ended up buying it for $1800 bucks. The only thing I've done is my preventative maintenece (oil, filters, thermo, etc). And I also bought Cooper Discoverer STT tires for it, along with new wheels. We just replaced the clutch not too long ago, and I run Castrol Syntec Blend in it. 224k miles and still running strong.

Toyota trucks that are in half this condition and older, go for $4k or more. Doesn't make sense to me when you can make any rig last a long time.

When I bought it-


Picked up a canopy for free-


And she has been a ton of places, including this mud hole I shouldn't have hit.


Ive, I agree with you 100%
 

Josh

dead in the water
#14
Ford Explorers/ Rangers are great rigs. A number of my family members own either one or the other, and usually use them as a work truck. After looking at Toyotas for a year, I found this baby, sitting for sale at the Ford Lot in town. The guy was asking $2k. She had 202k miles, and $1600 in brand new parts. I told my grandpa (45 year auto body man for Ford) and he talked to the owner, who is a mechanic at the Ford Lot, and one of my Gramp's old friends.

So we ended up buying it for $1800 bucks. The only thing I've done is my preventative maintenece (oil, filters, thermo, etc). And I also bought Cooper Discoverer STT tires for it, along with new wheels. We just replaced the clutch not too long ago, and I run Castrol Syntec Blend in it. 224k miles and still running strong.
I've got essentially the exact same truck that I also bought used a few years back. I will say that I'm really jealous of you having a canopy with side opening windows. I frequently wish my canopy (which is a nice canopy) had them.
 

skyrise

Active Member
#15
just a few FYI's for you Explorer guys.
i have 2, a 91 & 98. Keep a close eye on your transmissions. they are a known problem for Fords.
Do a complete tranny flush every 60,000 if possible. and totally agree on the stainless thermostat. trust me. went down when i was fishing the Spokane and limped back to a repair shop on that one.
If for some reason it just wont start and you cant figure whats wrong, check your Crank Sensor.
that one cost me over 500$ once.
if you get a little noise in the timing chain area, have the tensioner looked at.
i could go on and on but those are the major ones.