really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
0 miles

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problem #1

Feb 082002

Mountaineer 4WD

  • miles
My son was making a turn in boulder when the car slid into the curbing. This was on a icy road and the car was traveling at less than 5 mph. After stricking the curbing, the car would not track so he took it to the dealer for evaluation. It was identified that the rear tie rod end had broken off and that a new assembly must be installed. My son called me and I requested the part be sent to my attention. I am an automotive engineer and I know that this is not an normal failure mode for this part. I also need to point out that there were no marks on the tire and that the wheel was not damaged in the event. Upon receipt of the failed part it became very apparent that a manufacturing problem exists. The tie rod is threaded on the rod and then swedged to hold it in place. In order to swedge the part the wall thickness has been reduced to less that 1/8" and in the swedging process, the material is streched over the shoulder between the solid mass of the tie rod and the drilled out (reduced wall thickness)section of the tie rod that is then threaded and swedged in-place. The part also has rust present on the inside of the break which is an indication that a crack was present that was most likely created by the high mechanical stresses in the swedging process. I am concerned that this problem is present on all the new 2002 Ford Explorer/Mountaineer. This is a new suspension system for 2002. A large bump in the road at any speed above 30 mph could be catastrophic! I have not made contact with Ford and still have the part in my possession. Please advise what the next steps should be.

- Novi, MI, USA