Transmission Replaced. (After I had attempted to pull a tree stump...shhh) Fully-Covered by my 3rd-Party 100,000mi Extended Warranty.
Tie-Rods 2x. Covered by my 3rd-Party 100,000mi Extended Warranty, had to pay for a dealership's alignment each time.
Power Steering Pump. What Ford DOESN'T have a noisy PS? Replaced, but PSP still whines from time to time. My Taurus had the same problem. Ford characteristic?
Firestone Tires (Recalled RIGHT at the time I was about to purchase a new set, so, Woo-HOO!) Goodyear Eagle 255's on now. More tread on the road, better traction, 'nuff-said.
Front Center Armrest replaced 1x, then ran out of original Ford warranty. $200 US is tough to justify for a stupid armrest, if you ask me, so we deal with it.
We've had this Explorer as our primary family vehicle (Wife, two kids 9/5, and myself) since 1999. In 2004, we find ourselves ~92K miles, and this bad boy just won't quit.
We've run NOTHING except Mobil 1 10W30 Synthetic Oil (Except for the original oil it was sold to us with) and are religious in changing our fluids on time/mileage. We run Chevron & Texaco "Plus" unleaded fuel and periodically run some Chevron Techron fuel additive quarterly, and have zero engine knock and smooth operation nearly 100% of the time.
The transmission replacement was a result of a *ahem* grossly-mis-calculated guess that enough of the roots had been uprooted prior to attempting to remove the stump. For all I know, the transmission would have been fine to date.
The tie-rod replacements I write-off to wear & tear from some of the not-so-nice roads I frequent.
Overall, it's a sturdy SUV/Grocery-Getter, and I see no immediate need to replace it, short of an accident. The engine is well-maintained, the chassis is in top condition inside and out. I love this truck.
My only REAL gripe: That darn front center armrest.