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Anything I should know?

04-08-2014, 10:57 PM
I will be inheriting a '94 Explorer XLT 4x4 from my dad who passed. I learned to drive in his previous Explorer, but then he got this one some time after I moved out. The last one was a '92.

It is basically the same mechanically, from what I understand. This '94 has many options, one that vexes me is that, after tinkering, I think it may have keyless entry, but no fob (the green anti-theft light flashes when the door is open). I'm a GM guy (typically), so the other thing is the engine.

I notice a metallic rattling noise at highway speed when accelerating between two and three thousand RPMs, it doesn't seem to affect how it runs or performs, but I have heard it could be the MAF or rockers. Not sure, but any advice is great! It's in awesome shape otherwise, and I plan to keep it a while.

04-08-2014, 11:45 PM
Welcome to the forum, fellow Iowan. I guess I'm supposed to ask you where in Iowa you're from.

Sorry to hear of the means with which you inherited your Explorer.

The "Anti-theft" light that is flashing is probably just for the passive anti-theft security system. Basically if a locked door is opened by a means that does not involve a key, the horn will honk and lights will flash. It may disable starting the vehicle too. The person with the correct key will need to enter the vehicle and turn the ignition to Run to get the security system shut off.

The metallic rattling noise you are hearing very well could be the catalytic converter heat shield. It's a pretty common noise for cars of this vintage and the inexpensive solution would be to purchase a couple of really large hose clamps (pretty easy to find these days) and use them to clamp down the heat shields on the converter. You don't want to just remove the heat shields unless you are looking for a way to destroy the Explorer by fire.


04-09-2014, 12:07 AM
Thanks! I had read somewhere that the anti-theft light in the first-gen Explorers was indicative of the keyless entry option. I hear you can tell by removing the panel on the left in the back and looking for a connector you have to jump with a paper clip to program. Easier than it sounds, I think. That is, if it indeed has the feature.

I thought heat shields too, didn't pop into my head when typing that post! Thanks! I would LOVE for that to be it. Cheaper than MAF or rockers to fix.

Are there any known issues to look out for? It has about 160k on it, at the moment. Dad did take care of it, but he IS the second owner, and sometimes things have a habit of popping up later (I speak from experience with several of my vehicles. I took great care of them, but issues from previous neglect surfaced after a while).

04-09-2014, 07:55 AM
Looking over the factory wiring diagram, the Anti-Theft indicator in the instrument cluster is driven by the Anti-Theft Controller Module. Inputs to the ATCM are just switches for the doors, liftgate, and hood. The liftgate ajar switch is also plumbed over to a separate Keyless Entry module. The Keyless Entry system is listed as "Limited Edition and Electronic Group only".

The Keyless Entry module is located behind the interior panel at the driver's rear of the truck, but be aware that's also where the Anti-Theft Module is located so you'll want to make sure you're looking at the correct unit. They are basically directly above the rear wheel hump.

As for known issues, I'm not very familiar with the 1994 model year. Automatic transmissions seem to have always been a weak point for modern Fords, so servicing the transmission would be something to consider. Since you don't know the history from at least the first owner, you might consider avoiding any sort of transmission flush service, but rather stick with the fluid and filter change. It wouldn't be a bad idea to also change the fluid in the differentials and transfer case as well.


04-09-2014, 12:36 PM
Thanks! Transmissions make me paranoid. I agree, flushes can be the beginning if the end for older ones. Thanks for the info on the keyless! I will have to look for the module.

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