Expedition long-term ownership observations

OVERKILL

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Since 1997, my family has owned 3x "F-150" body style Expeditions: 1. 1998 Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4 5.4L 2V (non-PI) (had 3.73's) 2. 2000 Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4 5.4L 2V (PI) (current) 3. 2002 Expedition Eddie Bauer 4x4 5.4L 2V (PI) (current) The first one was a lease that my parents had for three years, put about 100,000Km on it, decided they wanted to own one and so they bought the 2000 in 2000. The 2nd one is the one my wife drives regularly that we picked up going on 6 years ago now with 150,000Km on it. We are in the process of rolling over 280,000KM (174,000 miles) on the '02 at this point, my parents are rolling over 270,000Km (167,000 miles) on theirs. They have been reliable vehicles; never leaving anybody stranded. That said, they love fuel and they have their what seem to be, from our sample size, common wear items, which I've observed and thought it might be useful to list here. Now, both trucks, which are now 14 and 12 years old respectively, are, as noted, trimmed the same. But they are not optioned the same. The '00 has air suspension and Captains Chairs in the front (no adjustable head rests) as well as the tow package. Tranny is the 4R100, it has 3.55's and the factory Reese hitch. The '02 has no air suspension, the "normal" EB front seats, rear entertainment, tow package, off-road package (skid plates for the front, T-case and fuel tank) and also has the 4R100 and 3.55's. The tow package IIRC gives you the 4R100 transmission, the hitch and wiring, the large external trans cooler, 4-row rad and probably some other goodies. The off-road package appears to just be skid plates shrug So, for the 2000: Surprisingly there has never been an issue with the air suspension, which is impressive for a 14 year old truck, however since new: 1. Starter failed suddenly. Replaced in the parking lot. This was after the terminal on the cable was replaced a few years earlier (they are known to rot off). 2. #8 coil failed 3. Passenger-side exhaust manifold began leaking. Replaced along with new studs (Motorcraft studs, manifold). Has been fine since. 4. Battery replaced once with Motorcraft OE Replacement. Alternator done at the same time. 5. Drivers-side rear axle seal began leaking. Replaced. This was also a few years ago. 6. Running board mounts rotted off (passenger side). This was last year. New running boards fitted, non-OE. 7. A/C stopped working, refilled last year. Stopped working again this year, not fixed yet. 8. Drivers-side seat heat stopped working. Never fixed. 9. Ball joints. Replaced with Moog, they've been fine since. 10. Tie-rod ends. Replaced with Moog, been fine since. 11. Sway-bar end-links. Problem point for this chassis, they have been replaced several times, they just break, does seem to matter the brand. For the 2002: 1. Starter cable end started to rot off, replaced. Starter is still OE. 2. #4 spark plug ejected. Replaced with lock-n-stitch insert at dealer 3. #4, #3, #8 and #5 coils have been replaced. 4. Passenger-side exhaust manifold began leaking. Replaced along with new studs (Dorman manifold, Motorcraft studs). It is leaking again at the gasket. Should have gone Motorcraft. 5. Drivers-side rear axle seal recently started leaking. 6. Radiator developed a pin-hole leak and was replaced last week. 7. ABS controller module failed and would run the pump when the truck was off. Bypassed temporarily. 8. Drivers-side seat heat stopped working. Never fixed. 9. Ball joints. Replaced with Moog. Fine since. (same as 00) 10. Tie-rod ends. Replaced with Moog. Fine since. (same as 00) 11. Sway bar end-links. Same as the 2000. Multiple failures, replaced with different brands (Motorcraft, Moog, TRW...etc), the truck just seems to be hard on them. It is north of 6,000lbs and so there's a lot of sway to control. I think this has a lot to do with the suspension being based on the F-150, which didn't have the added heft. And of course the F-150 had leafs out back and this has coils. 12. Shocks have all been replaced. 13. Alternator replaced two years ago 14. 3x batteries. OE lasted longest, Exide Nascar didn't give satisfactory life, has another OE-style battery in it now. 15. All brake calipers replaced two years ago, one was sticking and another seized. It is no surprise that a lot of the common stuff for the F-150 seems to carry over. They aren't overly hard on brakes or tires, they last a long time. The cooling system has a rather substantial capacity, so it is more expensive than your typical vehicle to change out due to the rear heat. Front-end stuff was par for the course for the F-150, so it is expected here. The Moog "Problem Solver" front end parts do as advertised and so the front ends of both trucks have only been into once, which is nice. No transmission or engine problems (aside from the plug ejection issue) with either vehicle. Both tow semi-regularly, I think the heaviest I've towed was around 6,000lbs with the 2002 and it handled it fine. They both required basically nothing for the first 100,000 miles of ownership. After that, the front suspension stuff starts to need replacement. The good thing is that parts aren't overly expensive and given the time-frame being discussed, they really haven't been "needy". The 2002 has had more things fail on it than the 2000. More coils have gone out, the rad...etc. It gets driven a lot harder though, which I feel is a contributing factor. The transmissions on both, as well as the transfer cases and diffs are holding up fine. Driveshafts, CV-shafts....etc. All still perfect. The powertrains are excellent IMHO. Although the 5.4L 2V isn't exactly what you'd call economical to operate. You can lay full sheets of drywall in them with the seats down, they seat 7 people (6 comfortably), are comfortable to take long trips in, are fantastic in snow and adverse weather conditions in general. Overall they have been excellent vehicles, which is why we still have them. I will post another update at around the 200,000 mile mark (320,000Km).
 
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I'm surprised you'd write they never left anyone stranded if they've ejected a spark plug and had a starter replaced "in a parking lot". Still, for a large complex vehicle this list doesn't seem terrible. It probably is very convenient that you can use F150 parts and knowledge. Waiting for an aluminum body SUV based on the new F150?
 
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What condition made you aware that the manifold gaskets had gone bad? As the owner of a 02 F150 it definitely sounds like the added weight of the Expedition is largely to blame for certain problems. Its nice to see that the tow package and 4R100 have given you very good transmission life. Then again how hot does it get up in Ontario?
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: bepperb
I'm surprised you'd write they never left anyone stranded if they've ejected a spark plug and had a starter replaced "in a parking lot". Still, for a large complex vehicle this list doesn't seem terrible. It probably is very convenient that you can use F150 parts and knowledge. Waiting for an aluminum body SUV based on the new F150?
Starter could have been temporarily revived with a hammer I'm sure. It was a few blocks from the store so I just grabbed a starter from the parts store, brought it up and installed it for my dad. Only took a few minutes, as it is very accessible. The ejected plug, it popped, I pulled over, identified that it popped the plug, got back in and drove it up to the dealer. The ejection didn't make it unable to be driven, it just made it sound awful and resulted in a significant loss of power. I'm definitely interested in the new F-150 smile
 
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The one thing not to report is how many gallon expelled to travel those miles smile I have a fuel pig too in city (07 Acura MDX) that likes premium.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: Reddy45
What condition made you aware that the manifold gaskets had gone bad? As the owner of a 02 F150 it definitely sounds like the added weight of the Expedition is largely to blame for certain problems. Its nice to see that the tow package and 4R100 have given you very good transmission life. Then again how hot does it get up in Ontario?
We see 30+ degrees (C) in the summer, so we might see 90F for you American folks. Definitely not Arizona hot, but hot enough. You get a pronounced ticking when the gasket leaks or the manifold studs break. With the studs, it usually goes away when it warms up, with the gasket, it doesn't. And I'm getting visible carbon on the top of the manifold where it meets the block where the gasket is leaking above #4.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: rjundi
The one thing not to report is how many gallon expelled to travel those miles smile I have a fuel pig too in city (07 Acura MDX) that likes premium.
LOL! So true grin
 
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Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
We see 30+ degrees (C) in the summer, so we might see 90F for you American folks. Definitely not Arizona hot, but hot enough.
Except last year(or was it the year before) when I was there fishing and it was near 100F for 4 days without AC ugh.
 
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Originally Posted By: rjundi
The one thing not to report is how many gallon expelled to travel those miles smile
Probably could have justified acquiring his own small refinery. smile
 
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I've had the dreaded manifold issue in my 98 L/D 250 and my dad's 98 f150, i put dorman manifolds on both but i used fel-pro gaskets, haven't had any issues with them since. WI road salt is hard on stuff.
 
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I hear the manifold issue has been fixed. My sis has a 2012 Expedition 5.4 and it gets decent mpg considering what it is. It averages 16 and can do 20 on a trip.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: Silverado12
I hear the manifold issue has been fixed. My sis has a 2012 Expedition 5.4 and it gets decent mpg considering what it is. It averages 16 and can do 20 on a trip.
Yup, the updated studs fix the problem (stainless ones) but the issue I'm having now is the cheap gasket that came with the Dorman manifold frown The best we've averaged is 18.5 on long trips (to the east coast). In town it is as bad as you'd expect it to be.
 
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We have a 2001 Expedition EB 5.4 2V 2wd with 145,000 miles on it. Bought it 6 years ago with 80 something on it. To date we have only replaced the battery and a couple coil packs. I'm pretty sure the previous owner replaced some suspension components because ours is quiet and smooth. Other than that we have had no issues, it's been in Mississippi its whole life so the only rust on it is some surface rust on the rear diff pumpkin. We are intent on selling it soon though. Putting $40-50 a week in it for my less than 160 mile/week commute is getting old, considering the Jetta takes less than half that a week.
 
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Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
7. ABS controller module failed and would run the pump when the truck was off. Bypassed temporarily.
Look up Module Master if you want to have the ABS module rebuilt. The one on my '01 Silverado failed the same way at about four or five years old. They repaired it for a fraction of the cost of a new part, and it has been fine ever since.
 

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I'm amazed the air suspension is still all original in the '00. Lots down here are blown out, and people just ride on it that way. Expeditions/Navigators of this generation have an incredible ability to keep going despite numerous issues. Lots of wrecked ones running around here. Someone on the more hood side of my hood has a Navigator with at least three broken windows, crash damage, and a leaky air suspension. It gets driven, or at least moved daily since it is parked in different places. One of my coworkers at my old job has an '00ish XLT that came from up north. He lived in upstate NY previously. Running boards are falling off, and the trans started to shudder, but it's still driven daily and taken on trips with over 250K miles on it. He put some Lubegard red in the transmission to clear up the shudder and says all is well.
 

OVERKILL

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Originally Posted By: Rhymingmechanic
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
7. ABS controller module failed and would run the pump when the truck was off. Bypassed temporarily.
Look up Module Master if you want to have the ABS module rebuilt. The one on my '01 Silverado failed the same way at about four or five years old. They repaired it for a fraction of the cost of a new part, and it has been fine ever since.
I grabbed a reman from the wreckers (looked brand new) but the part # isn't identical (it was off an F-150 with 4-wheel disc) but my research showed it should work. I haven't put it on yet though.
 
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My boss had a '98 Expedition that he put 180k miles on and claims never to have had a major issue with it. He then rewarded Ford for all those years of reliable service by replacing it with a 4Runner. shrug
 
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