perf-list-digest Thursday, July 30 1998 Volume 01 : Number 045



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Ford Truck Enthusiasts - Performance
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In this issue:

FTE Perf - RE:Explorer Pinging.
FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
FTE Perf - Octane Too Much?
Re: FTE Perf - Octane Too Much?
Re: FTE Perf - RE:Explorer Pinging.
Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
FTE Perf - Even more 2150 carb talk
FTE Perf - MMT

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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 07:54:12 -0500
From: ballingr ldd.net (William L Ballinger)
Subject: FTE Perf - RE:Explorer Pinging.

>
> Thanks for the replies.
> After reading your confirmation of my suspicion, I called another dealer's
> service dept to make an appointment. He said that it was pinging because I
> was using too high of an octane. He said the Explorer's engine computer was so
> advanced it had "learned" to run on my 93 octane and when I switched to 87, it
> got mixed up. He said it would take 50 tanks of 87 to teach it to run on 87.
> I asked him if that were true, why does it not quit pinging when I use 93
> again? He paused and said my computer was "all mixed up right now." (yeah,
> and you're not?)
> So I called a third dealer's service dept.. He said he could not begin to
> guess why it was pinging and suggested I pay him $60 so he could test drive it
> and try to figure it out.
> 3 dealers, all thinking I fell off the trunip truck (which I would trade for
> if it didn't ping like this one does). How do these guys stay in business?
> Are people really so stupid that these dealers can make money off of them like
> this?

On thing that comes to mind is the 3.8 aluminum head V6. They warp
heads and blow head gaskets (almost always out of warranty) enough that
our local dealer has a man who does nothing but them at $1200 a pop.

I think that people will eventually get tired of $60 per hour visits to
the dealer to not find anything wrong, or to not fix anything but pay
$500. As much as we pay for the damn things they should include a
lifetime warranty anyway.

BTW, did he tell you that if you unplug the battery for 30 minutes and
have it relearn it's settings it might get it "unmixed up?" You might
give it a try. The idle will hunt and the tranny will shift funny for a
day or so, but it goes through "relearn" and might eliminate some factor
that's contributing to it.

Another thing you definitely want to try is to find someone who can do a
Motor-Vac Carbonclean on it. The results can be dramatic after one. My
brother-in-law does them and I've seen first hand how they improve
drivability and economy. I had one done on my Contour (85,000 miles)
and it runs like new again. Make sure to find a guy who sprays the
decarbon solution down the intake runners (this is the part that will
help you most) and runs it exactly according to the instructions. I'd
almost bet that you have carbon build up.

Another cause of ping can be a malfunctioning EGR valve. They usually
don't give trouble, but if resetting your ECM and decarbonizing it don't
help, then you might get it looked at. I'm not sure, but I think that
emission controls have to be covered by a special warranty, longer than
the regular one. That may be why you aren't getting any cooperation from
anyone.
- --
Come on over to my Back Porch
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Ballinger
ballingr ldd.net
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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 08:49:38 -0500
From: ballingr ldd.net (William L Ballinger)
Subject: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer

> Sounds like the third dealer is the honest one. If its not under
> warranty, $60 is fair to diagnose the problem. Never begrudge
> a man's pay for honest work. If it is under warranty... well,
> I wouldn't pay the $60.

You make a good point, Ken. My brother-in-law works 10-12 hours a day 6
days a week to keep up, most of it chasing diagnostic anomolies. He's
had customers balk at paying for diagnostic time, asking why he doesn't
charge flat rate, to which he replies that flat-rate encourages parts
replacement and doesn't allow for diagnosis. He prefers to be up front
about what he does. What he will usually find is a bad ground, or a
poorly installed cell-phone, no parts involed, but two hours tracking it
down. If they had gone to a dealer there would have been something
replaced whether it neeeded it or not to cover their diagnostic time.
He's spent thousands of dollars on Mitchell On-Demand information
systems for up to date information, up to date scan tool cartridges,
waveform diagnosis, refrigerant recovery, high-speed air tools to speed
up the work process. He's keeping up, but it is difficult to get what
your time is worth without replacing parts. He tells people up front
that he charges for diagnosis, and whatever he believes the job should
cost to fix based on his 30 years of experience. His approach works
because he has a very strong sense of ethics, and if a customer turns
their vehicle over to him for repair, he believes that they should get
what they are paying him to do. It works for him, check out his work
load in the first paragraph.

My beef is that most of my experience with dealer service had been bad.
They are in the parts replacement business. They are dishonest about and
misrepresent the balance of work to diagnosis rate they are charging,
and many times don't even spend time to find what caused a part to go
out in the first place. There are certain cars (i.e. the 3.8 V6) that
should be recalled. That isn't the dealers patch of ground of course,
but after fixing a few hundred do you think they would intervene and
suggest that they quit screwing these poor folks?

Oh yeah I almost forgot to add some FTE content, I poured some ATF in my
390's cylinders and ran it last week. The ring seal is getting better,
but I still have too much blow-by for a fairly new engine. It's tuned
well though, and now runs better than any FE I've ever had. Too much
piston noise and blow-by though.
- --
Come on over to my Back Porch
http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.ldd.net/scribers/ballingr
Ballinger
ballingr ldd.net
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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 09:05:38 -0500
From: Mike Harms
Subject: FTE Perf - Octane Too Much?

>Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 10:49:20 +0000
>From: "Gary, 78 BBB"
>Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Octane Too Much?
>...

>I agree that if you don't need it you are wasting your money but I also
believe
>that you can have too much octane for most efficient operation in a low

>compression engine. Ford engineers seem to agree with this....

>...The fact that some engines seem to need
>premium to run well and get better mileage on it is an indication that
there is
>detonation taking place even though you can't hear it IMHO in which
case I
>would say you should be using it. ...

The latest generation of engine management systems from the big three
all support detection of detonation and the ability to adjust engine
parameters to eliminate it. Thus, if the owners manual recommends 92
octane fuel, that really just means that for optimum performance that
fuel should be used. Anything less will require the EMS to adjust
engine tuning to eliminate detonation, if it is detected. This means
that following the owners manual should get you the optimum results from
the engine. If you have to use less then recommended you "may" see a
reduction in performance as the engine adjusts it's properties to
eliminate any detonation it sees.

That was how it was explained in an article I read regarding the
benefits of higher octane fuel.
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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 10:41:58 +0000
From: "Gary, 78 BBB"
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Octane Too Much?

From: Mike Harms
Subject: FTE Perf - Octane Too Much?
Date sent: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 09:05:38 -0500

> >...The fact that some engines seem to need
> >premium to run well and get better mileage on it is an indication that

> parameters to eliminate it. Thus, if the owners manual recommends 92
> octane fuel, that really just means that for optimum performance that fuel
> should be used. Anything less will require the EMS to adjust engine
> tuning to eliminate detonation

I was refering to the habit of some people to run high octane in low
compression engines which are rated for 87 octane and claim better
performance. In these cases, if they are not just fooling themselves there is a
problem with the engine which needs correcting. I bought a 70 Montego
with 250 6 banger that absulutely refused to run on regular but it was rated
for this. The 70 vintage just happened to be one of those years where the
feds were ahead of the manufacturers and they just couldn't seem to get it
right so I ran premium in it after trying all manner of adjustments to timing
and mixture. I even took all those hokey plastic stops off of everything in an
attempt to get better performance but it spark knocked on anything less than
premium no matter what I did.

If I had this car now (carbed version of course) I could probably find a
solution even if it meant a new cam but back then I didn't know as much
about it. As usuall they were trying to satisfy two opposing requirements
and the compromise just didn't work much as it doesn't really work today for
the same reasons.

78 F-150, 2wd, 460, C-6, 235's
78 Bronco 351M, Np 435, Np 205, 33's
78 LIncoln Town Car, 460, C-6, 19.5' long!
9000#, in ground vehicle lift, Woooo Hoooo!

- -- Gary --
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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 07:58:49 -0700
From: "Bill Beyer"
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - RE:Explorer Pinging.

Explorers with 3.8s? 3.0 yes, 4.0 yes, 5.0 yes, 3.8 I don't think so. BTW
Ford does have a recall for replacing head gaskets on the 3.8s in
Windstars. So regardless of mileage there wouldn't be any charge.

- ----------
> From: William L Ballinger
> To: perf-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: FTE Perf - RE:Explorer Pinging.
> Date: Wednesday, July 29, 1998 5:54 AM
>
> On thing that comes to mind is the 3.8 aluminum head V6. They warp
> heads and blow head gaskets (almost always out of warranty) enough that
> our local dealer has a man who does nothing but them at $1200 a pop.
>

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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 08:44:15 -0700
From: "Bill Beyer"
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer

Well if it is under the factory warranty which is doubtful the dealer
wouldn't charge anything. If a part is bad and it's covered by the
emissions warranty then
the dealer would probably ask for a commitment of some diag $ up front
until the problem was determined, then roll the whole thing into the repair
cost and not charge the customer anything. Emissions warranties don't cover
adjustments.

As far as the quality of dealers work goes I can tell you when I worked at
a dealer we spent allot of time redoing work done by fly-by-night,
incompetent independents whose idea of "special tools" consisted of an air
chisel, a 5 lb sledge and 6 tubes of RTV!

As I said in a previous post Ford is stepping up to the 3.8 issue, Bill is
right, it isn't the dealers "patch" to determine what gets recalled,
they're in the business to make money, they do that by fixing vehicles.
What can they do tell the customer "Well you're head gasket is bad it's
gonna be $1200 but hey, maybe if you wait awhile Ford will recall it and it
won't cost you a dime!"

As for dealers being in the parts replacing business, well the factory
warranty covers defective parts and the time it takes to replace them. They
HATE paying diagnosis time and consequently the dealers have to jump
through a number of hoops to get the factory to pay for it and then they
still come under the baleful eye of the auditor. Parts swapping is quicker,
less risky and more profitable. I don't claim this is right, it's simply
the way it is.
- ----------
> From: William L Ballinger
> To: perf-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
> Date: Wednesday, July 29, 1998 6:49 AM
>
> > Sounds like the third dealer is the honest one. If its not under
> > warranty, $60 is fair to diagnose the problem. Never begrudge
> > a man's pay for honest work. If it is under warranty... well,
> > I wouldn't pay the $60.
>



> My beef is that most of my experience with dealer service had been bad.
> They are in the parts replacement business. They are dishonest about and
> misrepresent the balance of work to diagnosis rate they are charging,
> and many times don't even spend time to find what caused a part to go
> out in the first place. There are certain cars (i.e. the 3.8 V6) that
> should be recalled. That isn't the dealers patch of ground of course,
> but after fixing a few hundred do you think they would intervene and
> suggest that they quit screwing these poor folks?
>


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Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 14:26:32 +0000
From: "Gary, 78 BBB"
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer

From: "Bill Beyer"
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
Date sent: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 08:44:15 -0700

> As far as the quality of dealers work goes I can tell you when I worked at
> a dealer we spent allot of time redoing work done by fly-by-night,
> incompetent independents whose idea of "special tools" consisted of an air
> chisel, a 5 lb sledge and 6 tubes of RTV!

I understand your point but we, the starved, mistreated customer, have a
point too, dealer service sucks, plain and simple most of the time. So much
so that they have a reputation for doing poor work or replacing parts
unnecessarily or putting you off till the warrantee runs out etc.. Last car I
bought I told them where they could stick their warantee and still feel that
way to some extent. I can spend hours on it and not find the problem too
and it doesn't cost me anything and I don't need expensive equipment to do
it either or even any training :-)

I think it's really sad when the customer knows more about the technical
bulletins than the service rep or mechanics. We have to go look it up on the
internet and pour through pages of lists to find it, they have it handed to them
on a platter and still don't know about it. Personally I think that's pretty sad.

I will say that recently the dealers I have dealt with seem to be a bit more
friendly and helpfull than in years past but it still stinks when you have to
baby a poorly designed electronic shift AOD and they offer no help at all to
offset the cost of repairs. I bet there are hundreds of lurkers on this and a
few other ford lists that will agree with that one :-( Remember the bible
passage the says fully packed and well shaken down with referance to a
container of grain being purchased? Hard to find that anymore, anywhere :-(

So the AOD thing isn't a dealer problem but have they asked for any
assistance on behalf of their customers? Anyone know? If you were selling
a product and noticed a flaw in it wouldn't you?

I buy two year old cars now and don't worry about warantees because in my
experience they aren't worth the paper they are misprinted on :-(


78 F-150, 2wd, 460, C-6, 235's
78 Bronco 351M, Np 435, Np 205, 33's
78 LIncoln Town Car, 460, C-6, 19.5' long!
9000#, in ground vehicle lift, Woooo Hoooo!

- -- Gary --
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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 13:44:11 -0700
From: "Bill Beyer"
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer

Now wait a minute, I'm a "starved, mistreated customer" also, the
difference is that I do know the "ins & outs" of the business a little
better than most. Which is why I don't even buy new cars anymore, I lease
'em. There is no better warranty than the factory warranty. The only things
not covered are maintenance and abuse. Basically fill it with gas, change
the oil every 3K and drive like a semi normal human being and turn the SOB
in after 2 years. Short of buying a vehicle for cash outright there's no
cheaper way to keep a shiny blue oval in your driveway on a regular basis.

Now I've been working in or around car dealers for the past 16 years and
I'm the first to admit that many have a loooong way to go to even see the
beginning of customer satisfaction. All I was saying in my previous post is
that I've seen with my own eyes some of the butcher jobs done by these
independents who have no one to report to except themselves. At least with
a dealer service department if you have a problem or feel like you could
get more satisfaction from a higher authority you can go to FoMoCo.

No, most dealers don't take the time to report to the factory when they see
the same repair happening again and again. But I can assure you that the
factory does track each and every warranty repair done in every dealership
across the country and the world and they know when they have a weak/faulty
design. It's simply becomes a matter of whether or not it makes fiscal
sense to step up and fix it for no charge. Both dealers and FoMoCo have
special codes for factory "assistance" in cases where the consumer has been
inconvenienced, it just takes a little work on the consumers part to get
it. I won't quote the bible but the bottom line is "the squeaky wheel get
the grease."

I absolutely agree with you about the extended warranties. Those are
basically garbage. Having said all that I still love my 79 F250 and gettin'
greasy is half the fun!

- ----------
> From: Gary, 78 BBB
> To: perf-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Re: Pinging Explorer
> Date: Wednesday, July 29, 1998 7:26 AM
>
> I understand your point but we, the starved, mistreated customer, have a
> point too, dealer service sucks, plain and simple most of the time. So
much
> so that they have a reputation for doing poor work or replacing parts
> unnecessarily or putting you off till the warrantee runs out etc.. Last
car I
> bought I told them where they could stick their warantee and still feel
that
> way to some extent. I can spend hours on it and not find the problem too

> and it doesn't cost me anything and I don't need expensive equipment to
do
> it either or even any training :-)
>
> I think it's really sad when the customer knows more about the technical
> bulletins than the service rep or mechanics. We have to go look it up on
the
> internet and pour through pages of lists to find it, they have it handed
to them
> on a platter and still don't know about it. Personally I think that's
pretty sad.
>
> I will say that recently the dealers I have dealt with seem to be a bit
more
> friendly and helpfull than in years past but it still stinks when you
have to
> baby a poorly designed electronic shift AOD and they offer no help at all
to
> offset the cost of repairs. I bet there are hundreds of lurkers on this
and a
> few other ford lists that will agree with that one :-( Remember the
bible
> passage the says fully packed and well shaken down with referance to a
> container of grain being purchased? Hard to find that anymore, anywhere
:-(
>
> So the AOD thing isn't a dealer problem but have they asked for any
> assistance on behalf of their customers? Anyone know? If you were
selling
> a product and noticed a flaw in it wouldn't you?
>
> I buy two year old cars now and don't worry about warantees because in my

> experience they aren't worth the paper they are misprinted on :-(
>

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

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 15:24:48 -0600
From: "Dave Resch"
Subject: FTE Perf - Even more 2150 carb talk

Yo Gang:

OK, I have some preliminary performance results from the Mustang carb swap.
I'm posting this to both the performance list and the 61-79 list, since it
seems like it might be relevant to both lists. (Sorry for the duplication
to multi-list subscribers.) Sorry for the length if you're not interested.

First the basics so you know what I'm talking about:

1980 F250 4x4, 6750 GVW (approx 5100# w/ accessories, tools, fuel, driver)
351M, stock cast iron intake, stock cam (4 degrees retard), stock DuraSpark
II ignition w/ Mallory ProMaster coil and Accel 8.8 spiral core wires,
stock exhaust manifolds w/ stock single cat and custom single 2.5" exhaust
system w/ Dynomax muffler
NP435 tranny, 3.50/3.55 gears in Dana 60 full-floater rear
LT235/85R16 tires at 65psi

Original stock carb: Motorcraft 2150 2V #E0TE-BSA (300-325 cfm rating)
New carb (stock '82 Mustang GT): Motorcraft 2150 2V #E2ZE-BAA (369 cfm
rating)

So far, mileage is up significantly from the stock truck carb (which only
had about 17K miles since its previous rebuild), and that's even w/ my
twitchy , fun-lovin' right foot. Average over last 500 miles w/ the old
carb was 10.2 mpg. First tank w/ the Mustang carb produced 12.7 mpg (1/3
highway, 2/3 city driving). Second tank was a less impressive (but still
improved) 10.8 mpg w/ all city driving. Again, if I could keep my foot out
of it, I'm sure it would be even better.

I just got the new e-test a couple weeks ago and the results were
interesting there, too. I have to go back over the last 3 tests to get a
valid picture, because last year, I just got all the vacuum/emissions stuff
working on the engine before I went in for the test. Last year was the
first test I've had w/ a working EGR system, and the EGR trashed the
emissions at higher rpm.

The Colorado e-test for '81 and older vehicles (back to '73) is just a
visual check (AIR pump, cat, filler neck restriction, etc.) and a tail pipe
sniffer looking for CO (%), HCs (ppm), and CO2 (%) at idle and approx 2500
rpm. Standards are set only for CO and HCs at idle. (Idle must be under
1000 rpm; they don't check timing.) Standards for my 1980 truck (under
8500 GVW and w/ catalyst) are 1.5% CO and 400 ppm HCs.

I must say that since I first bought the truck and it would barely pass
emissions (poor CO and terrible HCs), it has always run much cleaner than
the standards. The worst emissions I've seen since I started maintaining
the truck were the 2500 rpm HCs (217 ppm) and CO (1.55%) w/ the EGR system
hooked up last year.

Here are the sniffer e-test results from the last 3 years:

1996 (approx 6K miles since carb rebuild, no EGR)
at idle (897 rpm) 0.01% CO, 42 ppm HC, 12.7% CO2
at 2500 (2474 rpm) 0.02% CO, 19 ppm HC, 11.7% CO2

1997 (approx 12K miles since carb rebuild, w/ EGR working properly)
at idle (892 rpm) 0.04% CO, 59.3 ppm HC, 13.34% CO2
at 2350 rpm 1.55% CO, 216.9 ppm HC, 11.43% CO2

1998 (w/ fresh Mustang carb, no EGR)
at idle (906 rpm) 0.03% CO, 50.5 ppm HC, 12.91% CO2
at 2383 rpm 0.23% CO, 44 ppm HC, 11.45% CO2

I'm throwing in the 1997 test just for grins. I think the wild results w/
the EGR system hooked up are interesting. A more direct comparison of the
two carbs is the '96 and '98 reports.

The Mustang carb is jetted richer than the old truck carb (Mustang #58 vs
truck #53), and has a richer high-speed metering system. I believe that
accounts for the Mustang carb's 20% higher HC emissions at idle and 220%
higher HC emissions at 2500 rpm. CO is also higher w/ the Mustang carb (10
times higher at high rpm), but there are so many other things that affect
CO output that I think the difference may not be significant. Even though
the Mustang carb shows a little more HC emissions than the original truck
carb, it is well w/in the standard for this year truck and still pretty
clean. I think I may have the idle mixture screws a little too far out,
and if they were tweaked, HC emissions at idle might get back down to the
same level as the old truck carb.

So how does it run?

Two thumbs up from the old "seat-o-the-pants" dynamometer! Just swapping
in the 5/8" phenolic spacer that came w/ the Mustang carb really seemed to
open up the stock M-block's top end. Before the spacer, it seemed to run
out of breath at about 3200 rpm. W/ the spacer alone added to the stock
carb setup, it would rev to 4K easily (seemed to have some left above that)
and throttle responsiveness seemed improved throughout the rev range.

The new carb increased throttle response even more. (Some of that because
the Mustang carb has a shorter throttle lever than the truck carb, so an
equal amount of pedal travel produces more degrees revolution of the
throttle shaft.) W/ the Mustang carb, a little nudge on the pedal produces
a noticeable surge at almost any rpm. The engine "feels" smoother at the
higher revs (over 3K) than it did w/ the old truck carb. Maybe that's
because the high-speed metering system is more sophisticated in the Mustang
carb, and it seems to feed fuel to the engine a lot better at high rpm than
the truck carb did. The acc pump lever (on the throttle shaft) is also a
lot different on the Mustang carb. The lever travels farther before it
hits the stop. The truck carb would max out the acc pump by about 55-60%
WOT, the Mustang carb continues to pump up to about 85-90% WOT. The lever
length looks similar, so discharge rates are probably similar, but the
total discharge volume is probably greater w/ the Mustang carb.

In low gear (2nd on the NP435), nailing the pedal will get the engine to
rev well past 4K rpm (to 4250 or so) and produce fairly brisk acceleration
all the way from 0 to 30 mph! I haven't tried measuring a 0-60 time, but
w/ the revs I'm getting out of the M-block now, I'll bet I could do it w/
just one 2-3 shift on the old NP435.

This is still a mostly stock, 170K miles old M-block, so I'm reluctant to
push it too hard (at least until I can finish building my next 400). Even
so, just having substantial power up past 3K rpm is a real treat for me.

Costs:
Used Mustang carb E2ZE-BAA: $45.00 (incl. shipping, phenolic spacer, and
assorted emissions doo-dads)
Carb tune-up kit: $21.50 (mostly gaskets, power valve, acc pump diaphragm,
needle/seat, etc.)
New carb float: $8.50
Can of Berryman ChemDip: $12.00
Stainless all-thread for homemade carb studs: $3.75

TOTAL out of pocket: $90.75

Bang for the buck on the ol' Dave-O-Meter: 99.5%

Dave R. (smilin' M-block devotee :-)


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

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 21:35:52 -0700
From: "Chris Samuel"
Subject: FTE Perf - MMT

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 18:25:44 PDT
From: "Don Jones"
SNIP

OK.. I think I know the reason here. Ethyl Corp (remember the Lead
people?) have began to market a new octane boosting additive in the last
year or so containing manganese. There is currently some legal battles
as to whether or not the stuff should be imported into Canada. In one
news reports they had a spokesperson from Ford who said the stuff
shouldn't be used in some vehicles because it messes up the engine
management systems.
Since its fairly new as an additive it could be the reason why the
problem began suddenly. Maybe it has already damaged your sensors or
maybe a different brand of hi-test would work...
any opinions here???

Don Jones.

In researching the mechanism that causes oil to knock in the engine, I ran....


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