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'04 Ford Explorer - Worst Case


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tillthedoorsfalloff
New User

Nov 14, 2016, 11:03 PM

Post #1 of 5 (110 views)
'04 Ford Explorer - Worst Case Sign In

I have an '04 Ford Explorer that I'd ideally like to drive until....the doors fall off. I'm at 160,000 miles currently (bought questionably used) and due to current issues racking up, I'm starting to think the repairs may not be worth the squeeze.

Rear main seal, rack&pinion, rear differential cover gasket leaks (visible, likely more).

I'm here to ask, worst case scenario, if it is safe to continue driving this vehicle with cylinder head/gasket damage. I don't mind spending some time on the side of the road should something fail, but the possibility of the wheels locking up would obviously not be okay.


tillthedoorsfalloff
New User

Nov 14, 2016, 11:07 PM

Post #2 of 5 (109 views)
Re: '04 Ford Explorer - Worst Case Sign In

I should clarify: body work and other factors are at play before this becomes a sell/keep discussion. I'm just trying to get an idea of whether I'm looking at smoke from the hood and a tow truck or potentially worse


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 15, 2016, 3:10 AM

Post #3 of 5 (99 views)
Re: '04 Ford Explorer - Worst Case Sign In

Quote from top post ">>
Rear main seal, rack&pinion, rear differential cover gasket leaks (visible, likely more). <<"


You listed those things then mentioned continuing to drive with a bad head gasket type issue?
How to you know all these things are what you say?
* You can be fooled by a rear main not being that but dripping down to that area.
* Rack and pinion may not be bad and again leak (if that) from elsewhere.)
* Differential case? Need to clean it off and find would where it's really leaking. Case cover may or may not be the issue. Many will jack a rear end up by that and can damage the cover and really the diff is fine till run too low on gear oil.


Keep fluid, oils full at least. Many rear differential covers do NOT use a gasket yet gaskets are available - ask but rather use a sealer known to me by brand "Permatex Gasket Maker/Sealer" when cover is totally clean and checked out can apply that and it seals. I prefer a gasket when at all possible. It too may not be the leak and may be bent or something?


It's probably worth some serious diagnosing to make a choice on fix or limp along as long as you can do so safely for as much as you can know. Things usually give a last wild warning but not always and repairs can easily exceed realistic worth of a vehicle vs what it's worth just the way it is which you should find out.


You make the call to invest or sell.


The short of it: Pay for an hour or two of some professional help to really know what it would take to make this dependable with an good idea of costs to do so,


T



tillthedoorsfalloff
New User

Nov 15, 2016, 6:23 AM

Post #4 of 5 (95 views)
Re: '04 Ford Explorer - Worst Case Sign In

Thanks Dr. Greenleaf,

I think I've made up my mind to limp along as I shop around for a replacement, but what is the real worst case scenario if it doesn't give a "wild last warning," as you mentioned?

-doors


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 15, 2016, 6:47 AM

Post #5 of 5 (93 views)
Re: '04 Ford Explorer - Worst Case Sign In

Last warnings: Wild vibrations or noises.
If you keep things that leak full you can keep them full if daily. If the problem with rack and pinion is worn and unsafe that you could suddenly lose loose steering control so not acceptable nor an assortment of things.


Check engine oil by dipstick not relying on warning lights of any kind. Carry spare fluids. Still stay safe with the thing and you choose repair stuff or not always.


I'm not one to believe in most rear main seals if real is caused by a bad seal but rather a bad motor worn to the point it's beating up that seal and will beat up a new one too if what I think the cause is.


Do note what this thing is worth for parts if you give up. If 4X4 especially.


Ahhhh - have a good motor club that includes towing if worried enough BEFORE an incident. Hope you do get a warning so if it quits moving you can be out of the way safely.


Ha, ha - yours truly, Dr. Greenleaf!







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