1998 Ford Explorer

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This car is the second generation Explorer which was produced from ’95 to 2001. The first generation Ford Explorer was super-successful in the U.S. and it was the model that housewives liked to drive for shopping. This was a time when the era of crossovers had not yet arrived. Therefore, SUVs like the Explorer were the most versatile vehicles. It was chosen not because of its excessive good cross-country ability or prestige, but because of its attractive (by the standards of SUVs) price, large interior volume and convenience in daily use. Many people chose the Explorer as their, the first SUV, which got on from a passenger car. This car was produced at the same time as the Grand Cherokee ZJ, Toyota Land Cruiser 80 and Mitsubishi Pajero 2, but it was the Explorer that was becoming the best-selling SUV in the United States.

Technically, 1998 Ford Explorer is much like the car of the first generation. The U1 platform is used from it. In fact, this SUV is built on the chassis of the Ranger pickup. The first Explorer was good, but even in the first half of the 90s it seemed to many that the time of rectangular headlights and flat lines of the body is gone very soon. The time of cars with rounded body lines was coming, and in order to keep the leading sales figures, Explorer needed an upgrade. By the way – as time showed, the second generation stayed on the assembly line longer than the first, which means that it was more adapted to the realities of the market at the time.
The second-generation Ford Explorer had a body index of UN105 / 150 – for three- and five-door cars. From the previous generation, the truck received a frame, but for better handling on hard surfaces, the front suspension became independent. The levers of the latter are made of strong, forged steel. Such arms are able to withstand the shocks on off-road. The base vehicle had rear-wheel drive, but a very large number of off-roaders had all-wheel drive transmission. There were three all-wheel drive options available for the UN150, and we’ll talk about that a bit below, but this variation demonstrates Ford’s desire to provide the most comfortable vehicle possible for every customer. Three-door SUVs were available in three versions; – Sport, XL and Expedition. Five-door car was sold in 4 modifications – XL (XLS since 2000), XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited.

Sale and Price 1998 Ford Explorer.

The most affordable was a three-door Sport. The price tag for such a car started at $19,880. The price of the XL modification started at $21,560. XLT cost from $24,740. The most expensive modifications were Eddie Bauer and Limited. The cost of the latter started at $28,910 and $31,715, respectively.
Today, you can buy a 1998 Ford Explorer for as little as $1,000. Of course for that money you will get a car that is not well maintained and requires financial investment. The price for good units can even reach $20,000. On the market a lot of proposals for $ 10,000.

Appearance and Photos.

People who owned a previous generation Ford Explorer will probably notice that the side door and roof moldings here are from a first generation car. The very large glazing area and low window line contribute to good visibility, and hence the convenience of driving in the city.
Compared to the previous model, the five-door is 153mm longer. With a body length of 4,826mm, the wheelbase is 2,843mm. Wheelbase of the three-door car is 2585 mm. The latter was available in Sport modification.

Like other Ford of those years, Explorer could be equipped with a code lock on the driver’s door. With this device you can get into the cabin even if the door is closed, and the keys are left inside.
Roof rails also point to the versatility of Explorer. What you can not see at first glance are the plastic strips on the roof, on which you can put the load and pull it through the special rings that move along the body (I tried to show these elements in the photo).
As an option SUV was equipped with a trailer unit and plastic wheel arch extenders (on export cars extenders were in the base). Explorer was equipped with 235/75 R15 tires.
In ’98, the SUV received a new rear door with a larger manual. The latter has an interesting algorithm for opening / closing. When you turn the handle to the left, – the door glass opens, and when you turn it to the right, the door itself opens.
By American standards, this is not such a big SUV. Perhaps this is one of the components of the Explorer’s success among housewives. After all, most women don’t need the biggest car that can be difficult to park.

Equipment and interior.

In the American way, the gear lever is under the steering wheel (unlike the Grand Cherokee). The rim of the steering wheel by today’s standards is very thin, – it is a sign of the old, American school of automobile construction.

Unusual is the fact that the steering wheel is located slightly to the left relative to the driver’s seat. The emergency button is on the steering column. This solution has often been found in American cars before. Explorer was the first American SUV, which is equipped with two airbags.

The second Explorer performed well in frontal impact crashes. Leg and chest protection is at a high level, and head and neck protection at a satisfactory level. During the safety test, the driver’s side door opened in a frontal impact, causing the dummy’s head to leave the protected area inside the car.

Many Explorer drivers noted that the gas pedal is slightly higher than the brake pedal. Drivers get used to this feature, but to move your foot from the gas to the brake, you have to pull your foot toward you. Unlike the premium SUVs from Lincoln and Cadillac, the Explorer doesn’t have pedal adjustment. But the Ford SUV has an adjustment for the front seat cushion roll (I tried to show it in the photo). This adjustment is very useful when driving a car on cruise control, and you can take a semi-recumbent position and steer the car with the steering wheel. In addition the buttons of cruise control are placed on the steering wheel. Due to this it is possible to increase or decrease speed simply with buttons on a steering wheel, without touching pedals.

Unlike many SUVs, switching of four-wheel drive modes is made here not with a lever, but with the switch on the right side of the steering wheel. In order to switch to 4WD LOW mode (permanent four-wheel drive with downshift), it is necessary to switch neutral gear, to press the brake pedal, then to switch to 4WD AUTO mode, and only after that to 4WD LOW. In this case, even after the light indication lights up, it is better to wait for the mechanical sound, which will testify that the downshift gear is engaged.

In the XL configuration, the 1998 Ford Explorer was equipped with a mechanically adjustable driver’s seat. The more expensive XLT, Limited, and Eddie Bauer versions received six-way electric driver’s seat adjustment. In more expensive versions, Ford SUV is equipped with an electric and heated mirrors. Limited and Eddie Bauer models are equipped with climate control.
In ’97, as an option, third row of seats appeared on the five-door Explorer. These cars can accommodate 7 people, including the driver.

In the luggage compartment of expensive versions can be present a button on the on / off the rear air suspension. If you fold the second row of seats on the five-door version, then you get a sleeping place with a length of about 2 meters. The trunk door on the inside is equipped with a special hinge, pulling which you can close the door from the inside. The trunk of the three-door Explorer has a capacity of 925 to 1,965 liters, five-door – from 1,205 to 2,310 liters.

Engine and specifications 1998 Ford Explorer.

The base engine for the Ford Explorer was the Cologne engine, which with some modifications is produced since ’65. This cast iron V6 had a cubic capacity of 4.0 and a compression ratio of 9.0:1. This engine was one of the first mass produced V6s. The engine Cologne develops 156 horsepower at 4,200 rpm and torque of 298Nm. Thus, if on the exhaust camshaft the chain is on the front, on the intake camshaft it is on the rear. For the Explorer, the engine received an all-plastic, intake manifold.

Three all-wheel drive options were available for the second-generation Explorer. Part Time, Control Trac 4WD and Full-Time AWD. Vehicles equipped with the Part Time system have a hard front axle connection and are not equipped with an inter-axle differential. The vehicles are equipped with a transfer case BM-1354 and have a reduced gear ratio of 2.48:1. The Explorer with the Control Trac 4WD all-wheel drive system has an automatically detachable front axle. The front wheels receive from 4% to 98% of torque, depending on the situation. The Explorer with the Control Trac system is equipped with a transfer case BW4405. This system was standard for Limited models. The Explorer with Full Time AWD routinely redistributes torque in a 65:35% rear-to-front ratio.

The larger Windsor engine was 302 cubic inch, initially rated at 210 horsepower and 380 Nm. In ’97, the Windsor V8 was increased to 215 horsepower and 395 Nm. The compression ratio of the engine was 8.8:1. This unit was equipped with hydro-compensators, so it is more sensitive to oil quality and timing of oil changes.
In ’97 the new V6 with overhead camshaft was introduced. This engine had a fairly high compression ratio of 9.7:1 and produced a solid power of 210 horsepower at 5,200 rpm. In terms of power this V6 was comparable to the V8 Windsor. This engine was the base for the Explorer in Eddie Bauer and Limited, in ’98 it became available for poorer options. The timing chainrings and chain tensioners on this engine last from 120,000 to 160,000 miles, and need to be periodically replaced.
Two four-speed, automatic transmissions were available for the second-generation Explorer; one five-speed automatic; and one manual transmission from Mazda.
The base SUV got disc brakes on all wheels. The front suspension was a torsion bar and the rear was a spring suspension. A self-locking, rear differential was available as an option. Steering was rack and pinion, with hydraulic power steering.

The second-generation Explorer was not blessed with an aura of luxury like the Lincoln, or Cadillac SUVs. But this car was very comfortable, and that’s why it became mass-market. Ford SUV buyers didn’t get the most powerful engine, or the most equipped interior. But they got a practical car for every day. At that time, such a car was the Explorer.

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