I too had the misfortune of owning an Exploder, and I too had vulgar aromas from the ductwork. No amount of spray cleaner/anti mildew worked.
When I finally replaced the thermostat (temperature gauge was always reading low), the odor went away. I assume it never got hot enough in the heater core to kill mildew that formed there.
Then my transmission went, the front diff started screaming, and the thing needed new rotors every pad change. Piece of crap!
Variable speed wipers do not work. Only have one speed.
Have also had brake problems.
I own a 2000 Ford Explorer Limited. So far the wiper motor has failed, there is an electrical shortage in the steering column causing it to smoke, there is a hole in the exhaust gasket off the manifold and now our leaf spring has broken. Oh did I mention the lumbar adjustment button does not work and we had to have the electrical fixed in the stereo. All this on a "Top of the Line" vehicle with 65,000kms on it.
My wife purchased a 2000 Ford Explorer from an individual, familiar to both of us, with approximately 40,000 miles on the vehicle. The vehicle appeared to have been maintained very well as the individual owns a well known oil company franchise in the area. The car was driven daily by his wife. My wife drove this car approximately 30,000 miles without incident. Then, at approximately 68,000 miles she took the car in to have an alignment both lower ball joints, according to the Ford dealer, needed to be replaced before they could align the wheels. Less than 2,000 miles later, at approximately 70,000 miles, the transmission would not allow the car to move in reverse. The fluid was checked and appeared to be clean and was at the proper level. We called the local dealer and his service manager stated that they had observed this problem on a few occasions and could fix it for approximately $500.00 or $600.00 but not to quote him on that price. I asked him about a recall on this problem and he said there was none. Hopefully, in the near future Ford will fix that situation.
2 years ago I bought a used 2000 Explorer XLS with 65,000 miles on it. It ran fine for 9 months. Then one day the truck starting shaking severely immediately after I filled up the tank with a different (name brand) gas. The check engine light has been on ever since. Ford wanted me to pay $1,600 for them to take apart my cylinder heads to see if they were cracked! And if they're not? I'm out $1,600!! I have been driving with the check engine light on for more than a year. This bucket will catch fire and explode in a ball of flames before I pay another dime to the Ford coorporation.