97up-list-digest Tuesday, May 18 1999 Volume 02 : Number 131



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Ford Truck Enthusiasts - 1997 and Newer Trucks and Vans
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In this issue:

FTE 97up - a question about towing
FTE 97up - Trimming Posts
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
Re: FTE 97up - question about truck weights
FTE 97up - FYI: V10,4.30 milage towing
RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing
RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing
FTE 97up - Loose Turbo Bolts on the F250 - Where?
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing
FTE 97up - Re: Loose Turbo Bolts on the F250 - Where?
FTE 97up - Ford Blanket
RE: FTE 97up - Ford Blanket
FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
RE: FTE 97up - lightning
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (Swap that tranny)
FTE 97up - snowplow package
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
FTE 97up - 2000 Explorer Changes
Re: FTE 97up - F450/550 in 2000
Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)
Re: FTE 97up - 2000 Lightning
Re: FTE 97up - snowplow package

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 08:19:15 EDT
From: Ccdolf aol.com
Subject: FTE 97up - a question about towing

i was wondering about towing. why can an automatic tranny tow more than a
manual tranny?
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 09:01:46 EDT
From: JDavis1277 aol.com
Subject: FTE 97up - Trimming Posts

Mike & Kent,

Re. your posts on suspension noise.

Your series of posts on suspension noise were interesting and informative.

But, is it necessary to repost every word of each post on the subject in
every short note you post? :=) It would save a lot of scrolling for me and
others when reading the posts if only the relevant portion was repeated.
BTW, it might save some band width, too.

For those of us on AOL, it would also help cut down on the number of times we
have to download the digest in order to read it, a real pain.

Thanks, Butch

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 08:29:15 -0500
From: Glenn S See
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

The explanation I got was the Mazda manual transmission used in F-150's
is a lightweight, among other cost savings it utilizes a smaller diameter
clutch plate than one would expect in a truck.......I haven't pulled the
transmission to verify this, though.

Steve

On Tue, 18 May 1999 08:19:15 EDT Ccdolf aol.com writes:
> i was wondering about towing. why can an automatic tranny tow more
> than a
> manual tranny?
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 08:24:50 -0500
From: Glenn S See
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - question about truck weights

Just double checked my '98 owner's guide, page 114....

F-150 4x2 manual transmission SuperCab
Engine 4.6L
Rear axle ratio 3.55
Max GCWR 7800 lbs
Max Trlr Wt 3300 lbs

with automatic the towing wt listed on page 113 is 7000 lbs

for the 4.2L 5spd SC w/3.55 rear-----3400 lbs (towing wt)

I was surprised to find the big difference between the manual and the
auto. I would like to find that it was a misprint in the 1998 book, but
I don't think I could be so lucky.... maybe I should have held out for a
'99! wanna swap??? hehe

Steve

On Mon, 17 May 1999 20:06:28 -0700 "Larry Drum"
writes:
> Steve,
>
> I don't want to start a flaming session, but I too have a 5spd
> (1999) and it
> is 7500# for mine... Sure you are reading the right numbers???
>
>
> Larry Drum
> Captain, CHP Explorer Post #834
> Needles Area
> Webmaster - www.chpexplorer.org
>
> '99 F-150 XL, Bright Red, 2WD, 4.2 V-6, 5 Spd. 3.55 LS, BugFlector
> II, Vent
> Visors, Rhino Lining Bed Liner. Maxon 40 Channel W/10 Channel
> Weather CB.
> Maxon "Through the Glass" CB Antenna (Awesome Performance) W/Weather
> Band.
> (Lowering Kit Coming Soon :o).
>
> Sound System :o) -
>
> Alpine In Dish 6 Disk Changer/Receiver Head Unit (Alpine Model #
> MDA-W890).
> 4 Infinity Kappa Series 5 X 7 Door and Rear Panel Speakers. 2
> Cerwin Vega
> Stealth Series 12" Sub Woofers in a Custom Enclosure Behind the Seat
> (Regular Cab). 1 - Sherwood 250 Watt x 4 Channel Amplifier Bridged
> to 500
> Watts X 2 Channels Pushing the Subs, 1 - Pioneer 75 Watt X 4 Channel
> Amplifier Pushing the Infinitiy's. All Cable and Wiring by Monster
> Cable.
> Power Distribution Blocks by Monster Cable.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From:owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com
> [mailto:owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com] On Behalf Of Glenn S See
> Sent:Monday, May 17, 1999 6:04 PM
> To:97up-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject:Re: FTE 97up - question about truck weights
>
> >
>
> Check the owner's manual.....I have a '98 F-150 w/4.6L V-8 & 5-spd
> manual, the automatic max. rating for towing 7500#, the manual is
> 3300!!
>
> Steve
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info
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>
>
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:07:00 -0400
From: Bill
Subject: FTE 97up - FYI: V10,4.30 milage towing

For those that may be interested. Just came back from a
short trip towing 9200# 5th wheel. 175 miles going, no head
wind, 20 miles of hilly road, 95% was 60 to 65 MPH freeway,
rest was mostly 45 to 55MPH highway. MPG towing only, was
9.1. Trip back same roads execpt for very strong head winds
for 70% of trip, MPG towing only, 8.9. Pickup is 1999 Ford
F-250 SD SC, 2wd, V10, 4.30 axle, auto trans. On the trip
going with no head wind it dropped out of overdrive 3 times
on the hilly section. Return trip drove mostly with
overdrive off, as it shifted up and down do to strong head
winds. Using the cruise control, speed varies about 2MPH
even on hills. No complains from me. Pickup now has 1725
miles on it. Bill
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 09:12:42 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing

> The explanation I got was the Mazda manual transmission used
> in F-150's
> is a lightweight, among other cost savings it utilizes a
> smaller diameter
> clutch plate than one would expect in a truck.......I haven't
> pulled the
> transmission to verify this, though.

this is factual. i have the same setup. the mazda 5 speed what comes with
the f-150 2wd. I beat the hell outta my '98, but I can smell the clutch
burnin' whenever i go to reverse with a load, or starting uphill with load
on... i expect to replace clutch's often..

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:07:49 EDT
From: RAMWORKER aol.com
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

Hmm, so this must be the infamous M50D tranny that's been so maligned by
myself and others. I've learned some more things about this tranny since I
last posted about it. There are two things wrong with it, according to my
local transmission shop. Number one is the fifth and reverse package problem
which doesn't afflict the newer trucks since they already have that expensive
upgraded parts package installed. Number two, they tell me that virtually all
of the failures they see with this tranny are related to it being out of
lubricant. John says that the shifting forks are on top of the transmission
housing and that the seals commonly leak/seep, but you won't realize it
because the vast majority of the leaking occurs while you're driving, because
it's a dynamic rather than a static leak, there will be very little evidence
of a leak on your driveway, and over a period of time you can lose enough
lubricant to cause a failure. So, if you want to keep that transmission
alive, check your fluid periodically. I have no idea if Ford or Mazda have
done anything about the leakage, so this may or may not be a problem for the
newer trucks, regardless it's always a good idea to check fluid levels.

Best Regards,
Robert

In a message dated 5/18/99 6:31:39 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
sseeplane juno.com writes:

> The explanation I got was the Mazda manual transmission used in F-150's
> is a lightweight, among other cost savings it utilizes a smaller diameter
> clutch plate than one would expect in a truck.......I haven't pulled the
> transmission to verify this, though.
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:00:28 -0500
From: "C. K. Hartline"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

Mazda transmission in a full size truck?!! If this were true, I'd be willing
to look elsewhere for a truck manufacturer...I just ran across a note last
night on the web from Ford about saving costs on production, and if this is
what they meant. I would be insulted, not as an American consumer, but as a
full size truck buyer expecting the norm from a vehicle whose history
reflects great service, not inferior transmissions for the job!! One of the
reasons I have turned to Ford was because of their committment to make a
more heavyduty truck, and the information I found on the beefing up of their
4 speed automatic transmissions strengthened that opinion. I would think
wholeheartedly that a manual transmission would be even stronger than an
automatic, OR EQUAL in towing capacity. I would be more than angry if I
bought a truck and found out that I could not even tow half the bumper's
capacity, because of the company putting in an inferior transmission. We
are paying over 20,000 for these machines!!!

Just my dimes worth this time,
C.K.

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 09:42:09 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing

or just replace the truck in 3 years/36000 miles and let the next guy worry
about it ;-)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com
> [mailto:owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com]On Behalf Of RAMWORKER aol.com
> Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 9:08 AM
> To: 97up-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
>
>
> Hmm, so this must be the infamous M50D tranny that's been so
> maligned by
> myself and others. I've learned some more things about this
> tranny since I
> last posted about it. There are two things wrong with it,
> according to my
> local transmission shop. Number one is the fifth and reverse
> package problem
> which doesn't afflict the newer trucks since they already
> have that expensive
> upgraded parts package installed. Number two, they tell me
> that virtually all
> of the failures they see with this tranny are related to it
> being out of
> lubricant. John says that the shifting forks are on top of
> the transmission
> housing and that the seals commonly leak/seep, but you won't
> realize it
> because the vast majority of the leaking occurs while you're
> driving, because
> it's a dynamic rather than a static leak, there will be very
> little evidence
> of a leak on your driveway, and over a period of time you can
> lose enough
> lubricant to cause a failure. So, if you want to keep that
> transmission
> alive, check your fluid periodically. I have no idea if Ford
> or Mazda have
> done anything about the leakage, so this may or may not be a
> problem for the
> newer trucks, regardless it's always a good idea to check
> fluid levels.
>
> Best Regards,
> Robert
>
> In a message dated 5/18/99 6:31:39 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> sseeplane juno.com writes:
>
> > The explanation I got was the Mazda manual transmission
> used in F-150's
> > is a lightweight, among other cost savings it utilizes a
> smaller diameter
> > clutch plate than one would expect in a truck.......I
> haven't pulled the
> > transmission to verify this, though.
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info
> http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:06:46 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing

the towing cap. is misstated in someones post. my '98 4.2 litre, 5 speed
f-150 stepside regular cab is rated at 5000#+ with the mazda tranny.

the prime reason the f-150 uses the mazda tranny is because its a good
drivable tranny, and MOST people who drive f-150 never put anything in the
back except the piece of furniture they but every other year, or the lawn
mower every summer for its tuneup...

remember the f-series is the best selling vehicle of any type in the U.S.
and much of what has been done has been done for
marketing and demographics.. like the dealer told me when i said i was going
to tow 6000# a few times a year and 2000# every weekend with it "buy an
f-250"....

im now on the waiting list for a '00 F-150 Lightning... ;-)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com
> [mailto:owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com]On Behalf Of C. K. Hartline
> Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 10:00 AM
> To: 97up-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing
> WHAT?!!>
>
>
> Mazda transmission in a full size truck?!! If this were true,
> I'd be willing
> to look elsewhere for a truck manufacturer...I just ran
> across a note last
> night on the web from Ford about saving costs on production,
> and if this is
> what they meant. I would be insulted, not as an American
> consumer, but as a
> full size truck buyer expecting the norm from a vehicle whose history
> reflects great service, not inferior transmissions for the
> job!! One of the
> reasons I have turned to Ford was because of their
> committment to make a
> more heavyduty truck, and the information I found on the
> beefing up of their
> 4 speed automatic transmissions strengthened that opinion. I
> would think
> wholeheartedly that a manual transmission would be even
> stronger than an
> automatic, OR EQUAL in towing capacity. I would be more than
> angry if I
> bought a truck and found out that I could not even tow half
> the bumper's
> capacity, because of the company putting in an inferior
> transmission. We
> are paying over 20,000 for these machines!!!
>
> Just my dimes worth this time,
> C.K.
>
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info
> http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 10:15:56 -0500
From: "David Moore"
Subject: FTE 97up - Loose Turbo Bolts on the F250 - Where?

Can anyone let me know where I should be looking for the "all to common"
loose turbo bolts on the F250SD 1999?

Thanks,

david

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:00:52 -0500
From: "C. K. Hartline"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

Precisely why I'm looking at the F-250 SD for my next truck....and I'd still
expect more than that from a F-150...there should have been a dealer
declaration on these trucks that they were not intended to really tow
stuff...but just a daily driver and a light hauler....they say you get what
you pay for, but I think the truck owners got jipped with that manuever....

C.K.

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:02:09 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing

> Precisely why I'm looking at the F-250 SD for my next
> truck....and I'd still
> expect more than that from a F-150...there should have been a dealer
> declaration on these trucks that they were not intended to really tow
> stuff...but just a daily driver and a light hauler....they
> say you get what
> you pay for, but I think the truck owners got jipped with
> that manuever....

keep in mind that neither dodges or chevys entry level stick is any
better....

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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 12:03:10 -0400
From: Jean Marc Chartier
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

"C. K. Hartline" wrote:
>
> Mazda transmission in a full size truck?!! If this were true, I'd be willing
> to look elsewhere for a truck manufacturer...I just ran across a note last
> night on the web from Ford about saving costs on production, and if this is
> what they meant. I would be insulted, not as an American consumer, but as a
> full size truck buyer expecting the norm from a vehicle whose history
> reflects great service, not inferior transmissions for the job!! One of the
> reasons I have turned to Ford was because of their committment to make a
> more heavyduty truck, and the information I found on the beefing up of their
> 4 speed automatic transmissions strengthened that opinion. I would think
> wholeheartedly that a manual transmission would be even stronger than an
> automatic, OR EQUAL in towing capacity. I would be more than angry if I
> bought a truck and found out that I could not even tow half the bumper's
> capacity, because of the company putting in an inferior transmission. We
> are paying over 20,000 for these machines!!!
>
> Just my dimes worth this time,
> C.K.
>
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html

C.K.

Prepare to be insulted. Ford has the Mazda M5OD in the
F-150 & 250 Light Duties. If you look at the trend most
vehicles sold are automatics. The Light duties are becoming
more like the family vehicle than a truck. The ride is more
car like than before the interior can be quite comfortable.
I have a 97 F-150 4x4 with a 4.6L and a 5 speed. The dealer
has replaced the tranny once and also the rear end. Make
them cheap sell them high. That is business. If you want
brute strength you have to go to the Super Duty.
Unfortunately I like the look of the 150 but would like the
strength of the Super Duty. My next truck will be a hard
choice to make.

Regards

Jean Marc Chartier
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:49:51 -0500
From: "C. K. Hartline"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

Meaning in an effort to compete with today's economic markets the truck
manufacturers are compromising the standards of the past with inferior
parts?
Not a worthy excuse in my book, not for the price we are paying for these
vehicles.
An old school teacher I had still drives his 1953 Ford Truck, with 832,000
miles on it. His advice was to buy a simple machine and take care of
it...can't do that these days if the simple machine won't do the trick to
start with.

C.K.

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 12:02:12 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing

> Meaning in an effort to compete with today's economic markets
> the truck
> manufacturers are compromising the standards of the past with inferior
> parts?

where do you get "inferior"? the transmission is a good tranny. if the
customer is so stupid they spend
$15,000 on a vehicle without knowing what they are getting, then it serves
them right. ford backs thier trucks with a strong warranty, and uses parts
from other manufacturers when they cant build one better for less.

if some idiot buys a truck expecting to tow more with it than the rating
which is plainly posted on the sticker, then thats thier problem, not Fords.

> Not a worthy excuse in my book, not for the price we are
> paying for these
> vehicles.

your paying that price for four reasons.

1) THE PUBLIC WILL PAY THAT PRICE!!! ford sells all the trucks they can make
at the higher price.. why drop it?

2) Dimwitted lazy american union labor wants the union to back thier slack
butts, instead of putting a fulls day work in for what they earn.

3) Protectionist policys designed to "protect" the american vehicle market
only drives prices up.

4) leasing. since leasing became popular the average price of a new vehicle
has tripled, yet costs associated with production have only increased 1.8
times. people can "buy" a vehicle they cant afford, and the rest of us pay
for it.


> An old school teacher I had still drives his 1953 Ford Truck,
> with 832,000
> miles on it.

yea yea yea... my first honda had 220,000 miles on it when i bought it used,
i put another 90k on it, and its still being driven by the person i sold it
to... and it wont tow 7000# either...


> His advice was to buy a simple machine and take care of
> it...can't do that these days if the simple machine won't do
> the trick to
> start with.

find me ANY vehicle manufactured today "simply".. no auto trannys, no
aluminum, no plastic, no feul injection, no computers, etc etc etc.

keep in mind that a 1953 truck was a "TRUCK". untill the mid eightys, truck
people and car people were distinctly different markets. trucks had stiff
rides, handled like crap, leaked, were loud, etc etc etc... with the
redesign of the chevy truck in the late eightys, they designed the half ton
truck for a new market.. the urban suburb dweller who used to buy station
wagons/full size cars with frames. (no car made in america today has a
"frame", so you cannot buy a car today that will tow 5000#) the half ton
truck was designed to replace the full size car market, dividing it between
the SUV and the half ton.

the dodge came second with its redesigned Ram.. and ford sealed it with its
f-150. its designed for a market who wants a car, but needs a truck, and
think SUV's are a big waste of money.

I personally LOVE my f-150. it handles well, my (70 year old) mother (who
HATES trucks) says it rides better than her sebring convt or her merc 500,
its peppy and sporty, looks "right" either parked at the golf club, or
hauling greasy jeep parts. it towed my jeep across the country and the
rockies on a flatbed with no problems other than excessive fuel consumption,
and best of all it fits in my garage (a 4x4 super duty will not.. too tall
;-))

sorry for the rant and rave, i just hate it when someone calls something
"inferior" because they failed to buy the correct part.. or truck.



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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:59:03 -0500
From: "Charles Abraham"
Subject: FTE 97up - Re: Loose Turbo Bolts on the F250 - Where?

Four 8mm 12pt bolts. Where? I'm hearing two places, the four that connect
the pedestal of the turbo to the exhaust, and the four that hold the two halves
of the turbo unit together.

The former is viewed from the passenger side and the later from the driver's
side. (You can only see the top two passenger side bolt heads, you have to feel
for
the bottom ones with an offset wrench.)

The dealer's fix right now appears to be high temp lock-tite, torque to 18 ft.
lbs.

The Navistar part number for the bolt is #1822779-C91; don't have Ford's.

Not completely sure if it's 99s and 99.5s or just the 99s affected.

How much of the above is accurate I can't tell you; maybe Nathan can help.

Hope this helps.

David Moore wrote:

> Can anyone let me know where I should be looking for the "all to common"
> loose turbo bolts on the F250SD 1999?
>
> Thanks,
>
> david
>
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:56:20 -0500
From: "Charles Abraham"
Subject: FTE 97up - Ford Blanket

Ford is sending out to F-Series truck buyers, a blanket with
the Ford logo on it. I took delivery of my truck on April 6th,
and received the blanket in the mail May 15th. (I also got a
Ford sweatshirt from the dealership.)


> William Street wrote:
>
> > Ford blanket???? What might that be?
> >
> > == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html


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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 12:47:52 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - Ford Blanket

wow.. i got mine on april 14th, and havent recieved a blanket.. i DID get a
nice letter and a 50th ann. patch.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com
> [mailto:owner-97up-list ford-trucks.com]On Behalf Of Charles Abraham
> Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 11:56 AM
> To: 97up-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: FTE 97up - Ford Blanket
>
>
> Ford is sending out to F-Series truck buyers, a blanket with
> the Ford logo on it. I took delivery of my truck on April 6th,
> and received the blanket in the mail May 15th. (I also got a
> Ford sweatshirt from the dealership.)
>
>
> > William Street wrote:
> >
> > > Ford blanket???? What might that be?
> > >
> > > == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info
> http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>
>
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and
> posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:07:29 -0700
From: "Rob Bryan"
Subject: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)

Buried in the various posts below is one of the reasons F-150 trucks tow
less with manuals than with automatics.

First off, realize that an automatic transmission has a torque converter,
which serves to greatly multiply torque off the line. Therefore, with
approximately the same first gear ratio as the M5OD, you can tow
significantly more.

Heavy duty trucks (like the 350SD) use a manual transmission that has a very
low 1st gear ratio (on the order of 5.5:1) vs the approx 3:1 ratio of the
M5OD. This ultra-low 1st gear is virtually useless unless moving a load
(redline is reached at about 10-15mph, depending on final drive gearing). SO
you usually start out in 2nd gear on these trucks. That is why with a SD the
tow ratings are the same for both auto and manual trans vehicles. If the
F-150 had a transmission available with a 1st gear this low, it would be
able tow the same with both types of transmissions.

Finally, the clutch size has a lot to do with it. A 350SD with a PSD or V10
has a very large clutch. This requires more pedal force to acuate and
requires more engine power to spin up. This clutch, on say a F-150 with a
4.2L engine would sap too much power and the clutch effort would not match
what is expected from a 1/2 ton truck.

Someone was whining that the M5OD was made by Mazda. That shows quite a bit
of ignorance. First off, there is nothing wrong with sourcing components
from other vendors. Dodge and GM uses the New Venture Gear NVG4500 behind
their HD trucks and Ford sources the M5HD and M6HD from Zahnradfabrik
Friedrichshafen (ZF) in the SD and sources transfer cases from NVG or
Borg-Warner. This is not a new concept. Second, Mazda has had a
long-standing reputation for making excellent manual transmissions. The
units in the RX7, Miata (5-speed), and MX6 have excellent reputations in
regards to shift quality and having the ability to stand up to power levels
signifincantly greater than stock. I see no reason why they can't build a
decent transmission for a 1/2 ton truck, and having their transmission in a
vehicle certainly doesn't mean that it is a lower-quality product.

Someone also said that the clutch was downsized for a truck. Well, the
current clutch is the same size as the one I once changed on a '68 F-100 I
once had, so that has not happened. Another said that the transmission "used
a smaller clutch plate" to reduce costs. For one, a clutch is not part of
the transmission. It is a seperate component. You can use a larger clutch
with this transmission, as long as it fits within the bellhousing. And the
diameter of that component is based on the mounting surface of the rear of
the block, not of the transmission behind it.

However, in the case of the F-150 the clutch does become the limiting
factor. Towing loads greater than rated with the manual (as long as it is
not greater than the rated load for the automatic) will not damage the
engine, chassis, or axles. And more than likely, it will not damage the
transmission either (be it made by Mazda or not). It will, however, put a
significant dent in the life of the clutch. To make up for the lack of a
auto transmission's torque converter or the ultra-low "granny" 1st gear of
the SD's transmission, you will slip the clutch considerably to get the load
moving. That is why someone that was towing with this setup was smelling
burning clutch. This is the reason why if I were towing greater than rated
loads with a F-150 manual, I would replace the clutch with a HD aftermarket
unit when the stock one is worn out. These HD parts should last longer under
this abuse than the stock clutch.

Also, FWIW, the GM and Dodge tow ratings for LD 5-speed (non-"granny" geared
units) are similar to Ford's. I.E. they are lower than with the same engine
and an automatic.

Hope this helps!
Rob

> this is factual. i have the same setup. the mazda 5 speed what comes with
> the f-150 2wd. I beat the hell outta my '98, but I can smell the clutch
> burnin' whenever i go to reverse with a load, or starting uphill with load
> on... i expect to replace clutch's often..

> The explanation I got was the Mazda manual transmission used in F-150's
> is a lightweight, among other cost savings it utilizes a smaller diameter
> clutch plate than one would expect in a truck.......I haven't pulled the
> transmission to verify this, though.

> Hmm, so this must be the infamous M50D tranny that's been so maligned by
> myself and others. I've learned some more things about this tranny since I
> last posted about it. There are two things wrong with it, according to my
> local transmission shop. Number one is the fifth and reverse package problem
> which doesn't afflict the newer trucks since they already have that expensive
> upgraded parts package installed. Number two, they tell me that virtually all
> of the failures they see with this tranny are related to it being out of
> lubricant. John says that the shifting forks are on top of the transmission
> housing and that the seals commonly leak/seep, but you won't realize it
> because the vast majority of the leaking occurs while you're driving, because
> it's a dynamic rather than a static leak, there will be very little evidence
> of a leak on your driveway, and over a period of time you can lose enough
> lubricant to cause a failure. So, if you want to keep that transmission
> alive, check your fluid periodically. I have no idea if Ford or Mazda have
> done anything about the leakage, so this may or may not be a problem for the
> newer trucks, regardless it's always a good idea to check fluid levels.

>> i was wondering about towing. why can an automatic tranny tow more
>> than a
>> manual tranny?
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 15:45:49 -0400
From: Jean Marc Chartier
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)

Rob Bryan wrote:
>
> Buried in the various posts below is one of the reasons F-150 trucks tow
> less with manuals than with automatics.
>
SNIP
>
> However, in the case of the F-150 the clutch does become the limiting
> factor. Towing loads greater than rated with the manual (as long as it is
> not greater than the rated load for the automatic) will not damage the
> engine, chassis, or axles. And more than likely, it will not damage the
> transmission either (be it made by Mazda or not). It will, however, put a
> significant dent in the life of the clutch. To make up for the lack of a
> auto transmission's torque converter or the ultra-low "granny" 1st gear of
> the SD's transmission, you will slip the clutch considerably to get the load
> moving. That is why someone that was towing with this setup was smelling
> burning clutch. This is the reason why if I were towing greater than rated
> loads with a F-150 manual, I would replace the clutch with a HD aftermarket
> unit when the stock one is worn out. These HD parts should last longer under
> this abuse than the stock clutch.
>
> Also, FWIW, the GM and Dodge tow ratings for LD 5-speed (non-"granny" geared
> units) are similar to Ford's. I.E. they are lower than with the same engine
> and an automatic.
>
> Hope this helps!
> Rob
>

Rob,

Excellent post. I have a 97 F-150 4x4 with the 4.6L and
M5OD Mazda tranny. I semi-seriously call it a POS. It
shifts like the syncros were not functioning properly. It
tends to grind the gears ever so slightly. I do not dispute
Mazda's ability to produce excellent components but I do
question Ford's reasoning for using a Mini truck
transmission in a Full size truck. This is my first
personal truck and I use it for occasional off road use. My
dealer has already replaced one tranny under warranty. It
would wine in all forward gears, mostly in 2nd and 3rd. I
wanted a manual and I would have preferred the increased
power of the 5.4L but Ford doesn't produce this
combination. I am one of the odd ducks that wants gobs of
power and a manual tranny. To get this my next truck will
have to be a SD with a V10. A 260-300 HP 5.4 in an F-150
body with a manual tranny would be my dream truck. I can
only wish Ford would build one.

Regards

Jean Marc Chartier
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 14:52:14 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Douglas R. Floyd"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)



> A 260-300 HP 5.4 in an F-150
> body with a manual tranny would be my dream truck. I can
> only wish Ford would build one.

Take a look at the F-150 Lightning. ;)

>
> Regards
>
> Jean Marc Chartier


- --
Douglas R. Floyd | Mirror Mirror on the wall
| True hope lies beyond the coast
Disclaimer: | You're a damned kind can't you see
I speak for myself, not IBM. | That tomorrow bears insanity -- Blind Guardian
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 16:11:55 EDT
From: ATUMLAW aol.com
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)

In a message dated 5/18/99 3:49:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
jmc.chartier sympatico.ca writes:


power and a manual tranny. To get this my next truck will
have to be a SD with a V10. A 260-300 HP 5.4 in an F-150
body with a manual tranny would be my dream truck. I can
only wish Ford would build one. >>

I'm an odd duck too. The same truck would be my dream truck, but it's made
of unobtainium. I started having trouble with the 5 speed in my 97 4x4 4.6,
therefore, my 99 is the 260 hp 5.4 w/the autoshifter. I considered getting
the F-250 SD w/V-10 and a 5 speed but that is just too much truck for me,
besides I wouldn't be able to use all the parts from my 97 f-150 like I did.
I would give just about anything to have been able to get some sort of heavy
duty 5 speed manual with the 5.4. Better yet a supercab lightning 4x4 with a
5 speed manual. You listening Ford?

VTY

Atilla Babacan
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 15:26:29 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - lightning

>
>
> > A 260-300 HP 5.4 in an F-150
> > body with a manual tranny would be my dream truck. I can
> > only wish Ford would build one.
>
> Take a look at the F-150 Lightning. ;)
>
> >
> > Regards
> >
> > Jean Marc Chartier

my '00 SVT lightning should be in my possession in november...

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 14:15:12 -0700
From: "Rob Bryan"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)

JMC wrote...
>(snip)
> I do not dispute
> Mazda's ability to produce excellent components but I do
> question Ford's reasoning for using a Mini truck
> transmission in a Full size truck.

A good question would be do you call this a mini-truck transmission just
because it is made by Mazda? It certainly looks much bigger than the
transmission that was used by them on their B2600. Also, remember that Mazda
makes much larger trucks (than the mini B2600) for markets other than North
America, and some of these are powered by turbodiesels with substantial
torque ratings. This "Ford M5OD" could be from one of these vehicles, if it
wasn't designed and made to Ford's specs in the first place.

> I wanted a manual and I would have preferred the increased
> power of the 5.4L but Ford doesn't produce this
> combination. I am one of the odd ducks that wants gobs of
> power and a manual tranny. To get this my next truck will
> have to be a SD with a V10. A 260-300 HP 5.4 in an F-150
> body with a manual tranny would be my dream truck. I can
> only wish Ford would build one.

Actually, you can get a 5.4L with the HD ZF 5-speed, if you get a SD. Since
at least the mid 1980's, Ford has not allowed you to get a manual trans with
the largest V8 (5.8L or 5.4L) in the F-150 chassis, but with the HD or SD
chassis, those engines were offered with HD manuals (BW T-18 4-spd or ZF
M5HD 5-spd). Interestingly enough, you could get a F-150 or Bronco with a
4.9L or 5.0L engine mated to the ZF HD 5-speed back in the early 90's. (In
fact, one of the projects I want to build is an old (say '68-'72) F-250 or
F-350 and swap in an EFI 4.9L I-6 and one of these transmissions. Why they
don't offer that transmission now behind the 4.2 and 4.6 beats the heck out
of me, as it would allow for full towing ability. My guess as to why they
don't offer a manual with the 5.4 in the F-150 is would be something to do
with emissions (you can't get a GM 1/2 ton with a 5.3 and a manual either).
But a 5.4/M5HD combo would be a great swap into a truck that currently has a
4.6/M5OD (if it is out of warantee).

Rob
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 17:06:26 -0500
From: "C. K. Hartline"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)

My comments earlier about the Mazda tranny making the F-150 an inferior
truck are based on comparisons to trucks before the new design...I still
don't really care for the new F-150's and feel strongly that Ford needs to
build a truck that outlives it's owners, rather than a few years and a few
hundred thousand miles, but Chris Patrick is very correct when he points out
that across the industry they are producing 'family ride' trucks the public
wants. The sad thing is that if you want a truck worthy of the title that
isn't going to have limits like today's F-150s, Chevys or Dodges, you have
to pay a premium price
price>. I'm not belittling F-150 owners. As Chris also put it, without
actually saying it, we get what we are willing to pay for and we are
responsible for whether or not we read the fine print on transmission specs.
Most people who are buying these trucks are not in fact towing with them.
I, like Jean Marc Chartier, believe that a truck should have a very strong
engine and a transmission with more than enough power and pull to do the job
whether you ever need it or not. As a previous F-150 owner,
my Dad last year> I feel let down by Ford's inability to put a big engine in
a regular truck anymore. Sure they've come up with new engines that have
'more power' so they say, but where is the design for a 400 sized engine, or
a V-10 in an F-150 type truck, with a stronger frame of course. Or go on a
dealer lot sometime and see if you can find a manual transmission in
anything that has a/c on it...it's getting to the point where you have to
special order a manual transmission, and then sorry to say, depending on the
truck, you may or may not have the same capability as the automatic in the
same vehicle. I don't begrudge Mazda as a transmission manufacturer, on
the contrary, I've heard nothing but good reports on most of their light
trucks. I would still question putting a small truck tranny in a full size
truck, even if it is considered light duty. I'm probably one of the few who
could give a flip less about gas mileage and would rather have his 460 back
or a 400 in an F-150 with dual exhaust. Try getting dual exhaust legally
now days on a new truck. In Missouri it is illegal to alter the exhaust
design from the factory on a new vehicle. And even with dual catylitic
converters is not supposed to pass inspection if it is not in line with
factory specs. And try getting duals on your truck from the factory. I
humbly withdraw the 'inferior Mazda/Ford F-150' statement, they're a great
truck/transmission combination if that is what you're looking for in a
truck.

I on the other hand am still looking for the right combination, and the
right price for me.

C.K.

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 17:15:36 -0400
From: GEORGE CROLL
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (Swap that tranny)

If anyone cares. It is possible to swap in a heavy duty tranny into the F-150 if you are willing to pay the price.
Advance Adaptors, Novack engineering and other companies ahve been doing this for years in all kinds of vehicles,
particularly jeeps, toyota FJ-40's, and old Broncos.

For example, The Super Duty 5 speed and bellhousing probably bolt up to the 5.4 engine with no modifications other
than possibly changing the flywheel. I am assuming that the 5.4 and 6.8 have the same bellhousing pattern. The
clutch operation should also be easy to modify as it ts a hydraulic unit. For a two wheel drive application this could
be done in a weekend or less.

The problem will likely be in 4x4 applications mating the tranny to the stock F-150 t-case and differences in tranny
length requiring driveshaft mods. The SD tranny to F-150 t-case might not be a direct bolt up. Several options exist
for this. Use the heavy duty t-case from a super duty. Use an aftermarket t-case like the Atlas or Atlas II from
Advance Adaptors. Or get an adaptor from Advance Adaptors or Novack Engineering. Many companies sell custom
driveshafts for about $250 or so. the other problem is with the F-150 front end. I do not know how an aftermarket
t-case would work with the front axle disconnect. If it were my truck I would just wire a switch that engaged the
front axle disconnect and use it when i shifted into 4 wheel drive. I would have to look closer at the driveshaft
connections on an F-150 to make sure it would work.

I have done these types of mods to several jeeps that I have owned over the years and also to an old 76 chevy 4x4
which I swapped 1 ton running gear into. I changed the Axles t-case, and tranny. If ford wont do it do it yourself.
George Croll
EPA-OAR-ARD
(202)564-0162
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 17:27:45 -0400
From: "Karaus, Dick"
Subject: FTE 97up - snowplow package

I don't have my F250 SD yet. Missed the deadline. Gonna wait for the 2000.
Anyway, I will be ordering an F250 SD SC 4x4 XLT V10 with snowplow and
towing packages. I won't be getting my plow for a while. My question is
since I won't have the plow equipment on the truck, will the snowplow
package affect the ride, handling, etc? Also, I read somewhere that the
snowplow package adds about 2 inches to the height. Is this true?

I've been enjoying the ford trucks questions and answers for awhile now.
Thought I'd try it once. Can't wait to order my SD. I've been a ford man
from way back.


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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 16:49:20 -0500 (CDT)
From: Sandman
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing

Yeah, I know all about the leak. Mine basically did that and I never
knew on my 89 Ranger. Around 150K miles on it when it happened. Luckily
I noticed the clutch slipping and only had to replace the clutch on it and
not do a rebuild. I can't believe they use that manual tranny on a F150
though. That tranmission has made me decide to get an auto F150 unless
they pick a new tranny before I buy one, I hate it in my Ranger. I have
always personally prefered manual trannys over auto, but in this case, I
don't think I can live with another mazda trans.

On Tue, 18 May 1999 RAMWORKER aol.com wrote:

> Hmm, so this must be the infamous M50D tranny that's been so maligned by
> myself and others. I've learned some more things about this tranny since I
> last posted about it. There are two things wrong with it, according to my
> local transmission shop. Number one is the fifth and reverse package problem
> which doesn't afflict the newer trucks since they already have that expensive
> upgraded parts package installed. Number two, they tell me that virtually all
> of the failures they see with this tranny are related to it being out of
> lubricant. John says that the shifting forks are on top of the transmission
> housing and that the seals commonly leak/seep, but you won't realize it
> because the vast majority of the leaking occurs while you're driving, because
> it's a dynamic rather than a static leak, there will be very little evidence
> of a leak on your driveway, and over a period of time you can lose enough
> lubricant to cause a failure. So, if you want to keep that transmission
> alive, check your fluid periodically. I have no idea if Ford or Mazda have
> done anything about the leakage, so this may or may not be a problem for the
> newer trucks, regardless it's always a good idea to check fluid levels.
>
> Best Regards,
> Robert
>

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:09:21 -0500
From: "Union Auto"
Subject: FTE 97up - 2000 Explorer Changes

- ----- Original Message -----
From: Union Auto
To: Ford Truck list
Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 5:43 PM
Subject: 2000 Explorer Changes


> Colors Added
> Chestnut on Limited
> Black on Limited
> Colors Deleted
> Autumn Orange
> Bright Red
> Charcoal Green
> Medium Platinum
>
> Interior Changes
> Color keyed 2 spoke leather wrapped steering wheel w/ aux. radio, climate
> and speed control on Eddie Bauer
>
> Functional Changes
> Trailer towing now standard on 5.0L equipped 5.0L XLT Sport, Eddie Bauer/
> Limited
>
> Nomenclature
> XL is now a fleet only series
> XLS replaces XL appearance as base retail model
> XLS Sport replaces XLS as base retail model with sporty styling.
>
> Nathan Bernard
> Union Auto, INc
>
>

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 11:08:01 -0500
From: "Union Auto"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - F450/550 in 2000

The changes are minimal, same as other Super Duty's (Wood trim on Lariat,
Dual alternators available on Diesel, Color changes, etc.)Also the
telescoping trailer tow mirrors are going to be available. We're located in
the middle of Iowa.

Nathan Bernard
Union Auto, Inc
Union, IA 50258

- ----- Original Message -----
From: j arnold
To:
Sent: Sunday, May 16, 1999 8:33 AM
Subject: FTE 97up - F450/550 in 2000


> For Nathan or whoever knows,
>
> I'm planning on buying an F450 or F550 strictly for trailer towing. Any
> information on changes for 2000? Any ideas or recommendations? I live in
> the Louisville, Ky area, but have considered going to San Antonio, Tx to
> buy the truck because I've dealt with them before and know some of those
> boys. Where are you, Nathan? I would just as soon buy this truck in the
> midwest.
>
> Stoney
>
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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 17:10:16 -0500 (CDT)
From: Sandman
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)

This is exactly what I want for my next truck as well. I love having my
manual tranny and I wanted the 5.4 engine. Looks like I will have to
settle for an auto unless this option becomes available in the next 2-3
years, when my 89 Ranger has 250K or so on it. Unfortunally, i doubt
there will be a 5.4 manual. My mazda 5 speed hasn't given me much trouble
in my 2.3L Ranger, but it does a lot of rattling and in shifts rather
sloppy.

On Tue, 18 May 1999, Jean Marc Chartier wrote:

> Excellent post. I have a 97 F-150 4x4 with the 4.6L and
> M5OD Mazda tranny. I semi-seriously call it a POS. It
> shifts like the syncros were not functioning properly. It
> tends to grind the gears ever so slightly. I do not dispute
> Mazda's ability to produce excellent components but I do
> question Ford's reasoning for using a Mini truck
> transmission in a Full size truck. This is my first
> personal truck and I use it for occasional off road use. My
> dealer has already replaced one tranny under warranty. It
> would wine in all forward gears, mostly in 2nd and 3rd. I
> wanted a manual and I would have preferred the increased
> power of the 5.4L but Ford doesn't produce this
> combination. I am one of the odd ducks that wants gobs of
> power and a manual tranny. To get this my next truck will
> have to be a SD with a V10. A 260-300 HP 5.4 in an F-150
> body with a manual tranny would be my dream truck. I can
> only wish Ford would build one.
>

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 17:15:34 -0500
From: "Chris Patrick"
Subject: RE: FTE 97up - a question about towing (long)



> As Chris also put
> it, without
> actually saying it, we get what we are willing to pay for and we are
> responsible for whether or not we read the fine print on
> transmission specs.
> Most people who are buying these trucks are not in fact
> towing with them.

keep in mind that ford responds to market changes... what we are driving now
is what is selling for ford.



> I feel let down by Ford's inability to put
> a big engine in
> a regular truck anymore. Sure they've come up with new
> engines that have
> 'more power' so they say, but where is the design for a 400
> sized engine, or
> a V-10 in an F-150 type truck, with a stronger frame of
> course.

blame your clean air laws and federal feul milage requirements. its your
government, not ford that have killed the bigblock 1/2 ton truck. my v-6
has 210 hp, and 260 ft/pounds of torque... more than my 78 chevy with the
400 small block was rated at.. but its all at 3000+ rpm....

> Or go on a
> dealer lot sometime and see if you can find a manual transmission in
> anything that has a/c on it...it's getting to the point where
> you have to
> special order a manual transmission, and then sorry to say,
> depending on the
> truck, you may or may not have the same capability as the
> automatic in the
> same vehicle.

dealers will stock only what sells. i bought my truck as the last '98 on the
lot. its an XLT stepside regular cab , fully load with all options, but with
the 6 cyl and the 5 speed., and the STX package this truck was special
ordered for a customer who backed out of the deal... i got it for a steal...
the dealer was NEVER gonna sell that truck because people who buy upscale
XLT trucks opt for v-8's and automatics....


> Try getting dual
> exhaust legally
> now days on a new truck. In Missouri it is illegal to alter
> the exhaust
> design from the factory on a new vehicle. And even with dual
> catylitic
> converters is not supposed to pass inspection if it is not in
> line with
> factory specs. And try getting duals on your truck from the
> factory.

actually, i live in st. charles, MO, and in missouri you CAN alter the
exausust with no problems, legally.. headers and everythign are avail
legally, but the particular model you get must be DOT approved. on my
bosses jeep grand cherokee ('98 model) we just got mopar performance
headers, exaust system, computer, etc, all factory warrantyed and certified
missouri emmissions legal.


on a new truck, you cannot just cut the exaust off and build your own,
unless you make allowances for all emmissions related stuff such as o2
sensors and other crap they put inline on the exaust system. I just ordered
my low restriction cat back dual exaust system for the 6 cyl, which is
certified missouri legal. my buddy is a liscensed state inspector, and i
have the current MO book on hand...

> I on the other hand am still looking for the right
> combination, and the right price for me.

and thats the bottom line.. i would have preferred the v-8 automatic, but i
bought my current truck for $4500 less than dealer invoice on the same truck
with an automatic and the 4.6...

check out the '99 lightning.. 5.4 litre 300hp v-8, with the 5000# towing
capacity retained... my deposit is on my '00 model ordered exactly the way i
wanted.....

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 18:17:44 -0500
From: "C. K. Hartline"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - 2000 Lightning

Chris,
Did your dealer have the specs on the 2000 Lightning yet or is a price
not actually set yet? I would like to get ahold of the 2000 specs and
pricing so I can determine what I want and what it will cost me.

C.K.

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Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 19:15:46 -0400
From: "Keith Veren"
Subject: Re: FTE 97up - snowplow package

I did get the snowplow package for my '99 F-350 SuperDuty / 6.8L V-10 / 4X4
/ XLT / SuperCab / Longbed / Factory Snow-Plow Package / Tow / Class V /
4-Wheel OTF / Cloth Captains 1-power / Off-Road / SRW / Power TT Mirrors /
Automatic w/Power-Take-off. However, it only comes with the standard 2-leaf
springs on each side up front. I asked the dealer "where's the spring-pack
for my snowplow package?" he said all they do for the package is use
basically the same springs with a higher load rating (5,800 # I think).
Well, after I added my 8' Fisher Plow (875 lbs.) and drove around a little,
it was obvious to me that the truck needed more beef in the front to carry
the plow so it would not looklike a dog sniffing the ground with it's tail
high in the air. So I checked around, did some research, and added the
Tuff-Country 3.5" Lift Kit to the front with the 8,000 series high-pressure
gas shocks all around (4). What a difference! Now the truck sits way up
high but dead level (remember, my '99F-350 was built before Feb. 15, 1999 so
it has the 4-inch rear blocks whereas all the ones built since then have the
2-inch blocks and sit lower in the rear). Now when I put on the plow, the
truck still sits practially level, may losing an inch in height up front
when I lift the plow off the ground. Driving with the lift-kit is great,
yes it is stiffer than stock, but the new shocks seem well tuned to dampen
out any potential harshness that you might expect with a 6-leaf spring pack
up front.

All in all, I could not be happier with the truck, the V-10 is smooth as
silk - power is strong and starts way down low around 800 RPMs and just....


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