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Questions on a 2002 Sports Trac


Mazda

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Hello all,

I have a few questions about a 2002 Sport Trac a friend is buying for her 16 old son. I was looking over the vehicle for her and it's in pretty good shape for a 02 and 220,000 miles.

The truck has been lifted a bit but I really don't know how they did it. I have never owned a 4x4 and really don't know how you guys lift these. To me it looks like they fliped the rear leaf springs and then just did a torsion bar tighten. I looked at the rear leafs and the pins are missing from the holders?

68432

68433


Also, I just wanted to ask what you guys recommend for shocks. Keep in mind a 16-year-old and he won't be off-roading any at least for a while.

Thanks
 


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franklin2

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220,000 is lot of miles. It's going to need work occasionally. If they have to pay a mechanic to work on it, I would not buy it.
 

rumblecloud

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I have an 02 4by with 230 on it. Lots of freeway miles. I really haven't had any major issues to speak of. Rust is stating to work it's way in on the seams. And of course the "running board/rails" are getting really rusted. Brakelines were replaced, rotors and normal wear stuff. The passenger side plug at the firewall is a b*tch. You have to go thru the wheel well. But it's been a real trooper. It's my wife's now and she loves it so much she won't let it go. It's covered and tucked in the pole barn now for the winter - she's saving it for special. :rolleyes:

Post some more pics if you egt a chance.
 

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The most risky part of those vehicles from that era were the auto trans. Make sure it shifts firmly and not mushy, because they tended to develop leaks in the gasket on the valve body. That made the engagement pressure too low and resulted in slipping and then they need a rebuild. I would hope by now that would have been taken care of on this vehicle, but you want to confirm.
 

don4331

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An '02 Sportrac should have the 4.0 SOHC, so personally, I would want to know if it has had the cam tensioners done. It's in the years where they were suspect and an engine rebuild would be a real let down.
 

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my dad loved his sport trac, it was around that year. his had over 200k also. when it got killed by a deer, he tried to find another but couldn't so he got a titan. he still talks about how he wishes he had that sport trac still
 

Mazda

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Thanks all for your replies. a little more info:

The timing chain or belt was done when it got a new transmission about 25,000 miles ago. It runs great. No problems there. She bought it for $4500 so I thought it was a good deal. New tires, passed smog her in California with flying colors. Thanks for the input.
 

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Can't tell from your pics, if rear leaf springs are mounted above\below the axle?
Factory springs are below the axle; if rear springs are above axle, that's the rear end lift.
My 2001 has ~250kMiles now, with original Engine+Tranny (knock wood).
Tranny is one of several weak links; need ATF+FilterChange+BandAdjust every 33kMiles or will suffer early death.
Tranny Rebuilt ValveBody with ImprovedGasket is available for $300~$400; slipping & slow to engage are omens.
Engine OilPressurized TimingTensioners is another weakness; originals need replacing ASAP, then every 75k~100kMiles.
Engine Oil+Filter needs to be changed every 5kMiles or TimingComponents\Block\Heads will suffer early death.
Factory ThermoStatHousing + Radiator + HeaterControlValve are junk leaky Plastic; install Aluminum\Metal versions before burning up your engine.
Consider deleting 5/16"PCVCoolantLoop.
You've got PreHEC InstrumentCluster (that's good); clean + replace bulbs (avoid LEDs) + lube Speedo\OdoMeter every 100kMiles.
OverDriveToggleButton+Cable in the ColumnShift is notorious for shorting; Clean+Lube the Button, DoubleInsulate the Cable.
Assume Plugs+Wires+CoilPack+OxygenSensors+FuelFilter need replacing.
Assume DiffGearOil+TransferCaseFluid need replacing.
Assume FrontBearingHubs need replacing.
Drain\Flush\Suction+Refresh all fluids+filters.

As was noted already, if owner\driver can't do this work themselves, having to pay a mechanic will break the deal & make this vehicle nonviable.
 
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I used to have a 2005 Sport Trac which is mostly the same. If the timing chains and trans were already done, so much the better.
The common lift on Gen 1 Tracs is to turn the torsion bars up 2" or so in front and use 1.25" extended shackles in the rear, I used Warrior p/n WAR-153.
I put Monroe Sensa Trac shocks on mine.
Check for rust on the door bottoms, rocker panels, and lower rear cab corners. The third brake light cover can leak and water runs down inside the roof around the rear window, pools in the lower rear cab corners, and causes rust.
I would change the oil, coolant, trans fluid, rear axle lube, and if it's a 4x4 the transfer case and front axle lube, brake and power steering fluid, air filter, fuel filter, plugs and wires, and just drive it. Gen 1 Tracs use the fuel filter that requires a special tool to remove, it only costs a few dollars but it's still a pain in the butt.
 

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I used to have a 2005 Sport Trac which is mostly the same. If the timing chains and trans were already done, so much the better.
The common lift on Gen 1 Tracs is to turn the torsion bars up 2" or so in front and use 1.25" extended shackles in the rear, I used Warrior p/n WAR-153.
I put Monroe Sensa Trac shocks on mine.
Check for rust on the door bottoms, rocker panels, and lower rear cab corners. The third brake light cover can leak and water runs down inside the roof around the rear window, pools in the lower rear cab corners, and causes rust.
I would change the oil, coolant, trans fluid, rear axle lube, and if it's a 4x4 the transfer case and front axle lube, brake and power steering fluid, air filter, fuel filter, plugs and wires, and just drive it. Gen 1 Tracs use the fuel filter that requires a special tool to remove, it only costs a few dollars but it's still a pain in the butt.
Thanks, JohnnyO

I'll have to see when the rear and transfer case fluid was done. Oil and air filter change was done before she bought the truck. Transmission and the timing chains were done about 25K ago. Not sure about the rear and transfer case but ill do those when I put new shocks on in a couple of weeks. Power steering looked bad but I can do that too. Does ATF go in that instead of PS fluid? Yes, I things that's how they did the lift, at least that's what it looks like to me. So California car so no rust that I could see.
 

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ATF MerconV for both PowerSteering & 5r55e Transmission.
ATF MerconLV (not MerconV !) for the 1354 TransferCase.
70w140 (FullSyn AmsOil Preferred) for the Rear Diff, add FrictionModifier if it's LimitedSlip.
70w90 (FullSyn AmsOil Preferred) for the Front Diff.
DOT3 Standard, DOT4 Preferred for the Brakes.
LiteGreen\Gold\Yellow Non2EHA Coolant, Peak#10x\pkpb53 or Zerex#zxg05ru1 Preferred.
 

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Thanks, JohnnyO

I'll have to see when the rear and transfer case fluid was done. Oil and air filter change was done before she bought the truck. Transmission and the timing chains were done about 25K ago. Not sure about the rear and transfer case but ill do those when I put new shocks on in a couple of weeks. Power steering looked bad but I can do that too. Does ATF go in that instead of PS fluid? Yes, I things that's how they did the lift, at least that's what it looks like to me. So California car so no rust that I could see.
I use Mobil 1 ATF for the power steering and transfer case. The transfer case is easy to do yourself if you have a suction gun or hand pump to fill it, just don't crank the plugs super tight because the case is aluminum. Snug is fine.
The front diff is impossible to change with the diff in the truck because the cover is so close to the crossmember so I would take mine to the Valvoline Qwicky Lube where they do it with their suction machine. The rear on a Gen 1 Trac does not have a drain plug so if you're comfortable taking the cover off then go ahead, if not then have Valvoline do the rear too. Pro tip: Use a Lube Locker diff cover gasket if you do it yourself. My Gen 2 '08 Trac had a drain plug on the rear, I would still take it to Valvoline for the front every 50k because it had the same issue with the crossmember.
 
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DILLARD000

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1354 TransferCase has both a Fill plug & a Drain plug on the back side, both 1/2"NPT, so MerconLV fluid change is easy.
4x4ShiftMotor (on TransferCase rear) & 4x4ControlModule (in the Cab) are both notorious failure items;
be prepared to replace those, part cost is $75~$100 each, but relatively easy to do.
Best to excercise TransferCase (2WHi~4WHi~4WLo & back) once a month or so, to keep it available when you need it.
 


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