I have a 98 Ford Explorer XLT 173000 miles runs great I'm
just wondering for maintenance and parts what year/
model would be most compatible?
If you have to purchase a replacement part, purchase one designed for the make and model of your vehicle. Stay away from junkyard mechanical parts. Body parts? OK. Resist the urge to turn your vehicle into a Frankenford.
Would 1992 Ford explorer parts fit a 2002 Ford explorer XLT?
92 is first gen explorer while 02 is third gen. I would try to stay with the same generation if possible. Some parts to carry over a generation, but very few tend to carry over 2 generations and 10 years.