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Thread: Ford Explorer (2nd gen - UN105/UN150) 1995–2003

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    Ford Explorer (2nd gen - UN105/UN150) 1995–2003

    Second generation (UN105/UN150) 1995–2003 #1
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    Second generation (UN105/150; 1995 - 2003)
    For the 1995 model year, Ford released a second generation of the Explorer. Following the success of the first generation, the redesign of the exterior was largely evolutionary, with the model line receiving front bodywork distinct from the Ranger. Rear-wheel drive remained standard, with four-wheel drive offered as an option; all-wheel drive was also introduced as an option.

    To better compete against the Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 4.9 litres (302 cu in) V8 was introduced as an optional engine. The Explorer went from lacking airbags to having dual airbags (a first for an American-brand SUV).

    For 1997, the Lincoln-Mercury division introduced its first SUV, the Mercury Mountaineer; in contrast to the Mazda Navajo, the Mountaineer was sold only as a five-door. For 2001, Ford introduced the Ford Explorer Sport Trac mid-size crew-cab pickup truck based on the five-door Explorer. Following the introduction of the third-generation Explorer for 2002, the three-door used the second-generation bodystyle through the 2003 model year.

    Chassis
    The second-generation Ford Explorer is based upon the Ford U1 platform shared with its predecessor, adopting the UN105/UN150 model codes. Introducing key chassis upgrades that were also shared with the 1998 Ford Ranger, the long-running Twin I-Beam/Twin Traction Beam front suspension was retired in favor of a short/long-arm (SLA) wishbone front suspension configuration. Along with more compact packaging of front suspension components (allowing for a lower hoodline), the design allowed for improved on-road handling/feel. In line with the Ranger and F-Series trucks, the rear suspension remained a leaf-sprung live rear axle.

    The standard four-wheel ABS of the previous generation returned; the rear drum brakes were replaced by disc brakes. As with the first generation, rear-wheel drive remained standard with part-time four-wheel drive as an option; all-wheel drive became an option for the first time.

    Powertrain
    The second generation Explorer carried over its 160 hp 4.0 L V6 from the previous generation (shared with the Ranger and Aerostar). For 1996, largely to match the V8 engine offerings of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Land Rover Discovery, a 210 hp (157 kW) 4.9 litres (302 cu in) V8 (marketed as 5.0 L) was introduced as an option for rear-wheel drive XLT five-doors. By 1997, the V8 was offered with nearly all trims (except XL[11]) and was paired with all-wheel drive; output was increased to 215 hp (160 kW) (from revised cylinder heads).

    For 1997, a third engine was added to the model line, as Ford introduced an overhead-cam version of the 4.0 L Cologne V6. Differing from its predecessor primarily by its single overhead-cam drivetrain, the 210 hp engine rivaled the V8 in output. Introduced as standard equipment for Eddie Bauer and Limited trims, by 1998, the engine became offered on all non-XL trims.[11] For 2001, the overhead-valve version of the 4.0 L V6 was discontinued, with the SOHC engine becoming standard (and the only engine of the Explorer Sport).

    Following the introduction of the overhead-cam Triton-series V8s for the 1997 Ford F-Series and E-Series, the 2001 Explorer would be the final Ford Motor Company vehicle in North America sold with an overhead-valve gasoline-powered V8 engine for nearly two decades (until the 2020 introduction of the 7.3 L Godzilla V8 for Super Duty trucks).

    For 2000, Ford added flex-fuel capability to the Explorer for the first time.

    A Mazda-produced 5-speed manual was standard with the 4.0 L OHV V6 engine; the SOHC V6 was not offered with a manual transmission until 2000, receiving a heavier-duty version of the Mazda-sourced 5-speed. The V6 Explorers initially received a 4-speed automatic, shared with the Ranger and Aerostar, adopting a 5-speed automatic for 1997. The 4.9 litres (302 cu in) V8 was paired only with a 4-speed heavy-duty automatic (shared with the F-150, Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Mark VIII).

    For the second-generation Explorer, the four-wheel drive system underwent a redesign. The previous Touch-Drive system (electrically-operated) was retired and replaced by ControlTrac, an electronically controlled full-time four-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfer case; in place of a center differential, software-controlled a multi-disc clutch. Similar to the previous push-button Touch-Drive system, a rotary dash selector was used for driver input, selecting two-wheel drive (rear wheels), and four-wheel drive (high and low range). As an intermediate mode, "Auto" mode allowed software to control the torque sent to the front wheels; if the front axle began to spin, torque was shifted from the rear wheels to the front wheels until traction is achieved. As a result of low demand from the first generation, manual hubs and manual transfer cases were withdrawn as an option.

    Similar to the system used on the Aerostar van, the V8 Explorer used a full-time all-wheel drive system without separate high or low ranges. The all-wheel drive required no driver input; torque distribution was entirely managed by a viscous clutch with a 40/60 split.

    Body
    While bearing an evolutionary resemblance to the previous generation, nearly the entire body underwent a change, with only the roof and the side door stampings carried over. Coinciding with the lower hoodline allowed by the redesigned front suspension, much of the body was distinguished by a restyled front fascia, introducing a styling theme used by several other Ford light trucks during the late 1990s. The Ford Blue Oval was centered in a now-oval grille, joined by oval headlamp clusters wrapping into the fenders. In contrast to the front fascia, the rear body saw relatively few changes, receiving mildly restyled taillamps (with amber turn signals). In a functional change, the Explorer received a neon CHMSL (center brake light), adopted from the Lincoln Mark VIII.[12]

    While again directly sharing its dashboard with the Ranger, the interior of the Ranger underwent a complete redesign (allowing for the fitment of dual airbags). To improve driver ergonomics, the instrument panel received larger gauges, rotary-style climate controls, and a double-DIN radio panel.

    For 1997, export-market Explorers received a third-row seat as an option (expanding seating to seven passengers).

    For 1998, Ford gave the exterior of the model line a mid-cycle revision. Distinguished by body-color rear D-pillars and larger taillamps, the rear license plate was relocated from the rear bumper to the liftgate (to better accommodate export); the neon CHMSL was replaced by an LED version. In another change, 16-inch wheels were introduced.

    The interior received redesigned front and rear seats; alongside second-generation dual airbags, side airbags were introduced (as an option). Other options included load-leveling air suspension (on Eddie Bauer and Limited) and a reverse-sensing warning system. The rarely-specified 60/40 front bench seat was restricted to fleet vehicles after 1998 and was discontinued for 2000.

    For 1999, the front bumper underwent a second revision, adding a larger cooling inlet and standard fog lights.

    For 2001, the three-door Explorer Sport underwent an additional revision, adopting the front fascia of the Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck.

    Trim
    At its launch, the second-generation Ford Explorer retained the use of the previous trim nomenclature; the standard trim was the XL, with the XLT serving as the primary model upgrade. Along with the two-tone Eddie Bauer trim, the highest trim Explorer was the monochromatic Ford Explorer Limited. For 2000, XLS replaced XL as the base trim (introduced as an appearance package for 1999).

    In contrast to five-door Explorers, second-generation three-door Ford Explorers shifted to a separate trim nomenclature. While the XL remained the base model (largely for fleets), most examples were produced under a single Sport trim level (again equipped similarly to the XLT). For 1995, Ford replaced the 3-door Eddie Bauer with the Expedition trim; in anticipation of the full-size Ford Expedition SUV, the trim line was withdrawn for the 1996 model year.

    For 1998, all three-door Explorers became Explorer Sports; the model was produced alongside the third-generation Explorer through the 2003 model year.

    Epilogue
    Outside of North America, this generation of the Explorer was marketed in right-hand drive configurations[citation needed] As of 2018, RHD countries (such as Japan) export used examples of the Explorer to other countries (such as Australia and New Zealand) where there is demand for right-hand drive SUVs. Due to Japan's strict Shaken Laws, used vehicles tend to have low mileage with detailed repair histories.

    In the United States, the second-generation Ford Explorer has the (dubious) distinction of being two of the top five vehicles traded-in under the 2009 "Cash for Clunkers" program, with the 4WD model topping the list and the 2WD model coming in at number 4.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 09-23-2021 at 01:04 PM.

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