1997 Explorer Sport

I have a 1997 Explorer Sport with about 137,000 miles on it. Up until 125,000, the truck was a gem: hardly any maintenance issues outside of yearly upkeep (oil changes, filters, tires, etc.). However, since 125,000 I’ve been hit by problems with the stabilizers and suspension. I’m now going to need to replace one of the front upper ball joints and wouldn’t be surprised if the other followed suit.

Several folks have kicked up rumors that the transmissions of Explorers go south around 150k. So, before I send this one to the shop for further replacements, is it worth the time? Or am I looking at an engine teetering on its last legs?

In short, what are your thoughts on the lives of Explorers?

What kind of service has it seen. Off road and highway are far different for any vehicle.

Wear of steering and suspension parts is considered normal. Some people go in and replace most of the steering gear and suspension that tends to wear when the first thing goes after 100 K. I don’t agree with that approach, but some people do it. It saves some money in multiple alignments that is incurred in the piecemeal approach.

It has been through both rough terrain (for three months out of the year) and highway use. However, currently the primary use is highway.

The Explorer is worth fixing. You can sell it and get a newer one, but I would fix it and hope for the best and get an alignment done, which you are doing now anyway.