perf-list-digest Thursday, May 6 1999 Volume 02 : Number 107



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Ford Truck Enthusiasts - Performance
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In this issue:

FTE Perf - clutch problems
FTE Perf - Valve settings
Re: FTE Perf - Valve settings
RE: FTE Perf - Valve settings
Re: FTE Perf - clutch problems
Re: FTE Perf - The Country Mechanic and the City Mechanic

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Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 06:13:17 -0600
From: nightcrawler
Subject: FTE Perf - clutch problems

I need help solving my clutch problem.
I just installed a new clutch in my 78 f150 with a 351m engine and 4 speed over
drive trans.
The problem is that I have no adjustment left when I adj. the slack out.
The only things that were replaced was the clutch pack and the release bearing fork.

The parts are the right ones listed for my vechicle. And there is no part of the
linkage broke or damaged.
I installed a clutch eight months ago from the same parts company , in the same
truck, and had no problems.

Then why do I need another inch or two of adj. this time.

So what is causing the adj. problem, Everyone that I have talked to, has no clue.
I am thinking that the pressure plate is wrong in though it came as a sealed kit.

Rob

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Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 10:02:01 -0400
From: am14 daimlerchrysler.com
Subject: FTE Perf - Valve settings

Sleddog writes: >>What i have been doing for my roller cam in my pull truck, is
using a
remote starter button bump the engine as normal. but i took a destributer
cap and drilled large holes inside of each termainal, allowing a view of
the rotor as it points to each cylinder. When it is pointing to each
cylinder i adjust that cylinder's lash. all you need is an old cap, drill
the holes and i also marked the rotor with some yellow paint to make it
easier to see. It is also just as easy if the plugs are out, to turn the
crank with a wrench

Sleddog - You are a wonder. Thank you very much. Every engine I've ever owned
has paint marks all around the top edge of the distributor housing where the cap
fits down on. Now I have an easier way. Heck, I must have half a dozen old
dist caps laying around somewhere. A great idea and not just for roller cammed
vehicles either. I did remove the plugs for easier turning, but the holes in
the cap are a great new idea.

Thanks again.

Azie
Ardmore, Al.


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Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 09:26:56 -0500
From: William S Hart
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Valve settings

>remote starter button bump the engine as normal. but i took a destributer
>cap and drilled large holes inside of each termainal, allowing a view of
>the rotor as it points to each cylinder. When it is pointing to each
>cylinder i adjust that cylinder's lash. all you need is an old cap, drill
>the holes and i also marked the rotor with some yellow paint to make it
>easier to see. It is also just as easy if the plugs are out, to turn the
>crank with a wrench
>


Just out of curiosity, do you set the dist back to 0, or just not worry
about the advance you have dialed in ?


Thanks,
wish
73ish F-1?? 4x4 360-->390 http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.public.iastate.edu/~wish/truck.html
96 Mustang GT
http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.public.iastate.edu/~wish/mustang.html

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Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 13:08:13 -0400
From: Sleddog
Subject: RE: FTE Perf - Valve settings

my advance is generally at 38 deg btdc at the destributer. But, since it
is on the compression stroke, and my cam isn't THAT big, both valves are
closed, completely on the base base circle.

not that it is important, but i set my valve lash real tight, .021/.022. I
was told this is too tight, but the engine wants a much bigger cam, and so
far no problems. I actually would like to try a tighter setting yet, but
then i may get into problems i do not want.

sleddog

- ----------
From: William S Hart[SMTP:wish iastate.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 10:26 AM
To: perf-list ford-trucks.com
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - Valve settings

>remote starter button bump the engine as normal. but i took a destributer
>cap and drilled large holes inside of each termainal, allowing a view of
>the rotor as it points to each cylinder. When it is pointing to each
>cylinder i adjust that cylinder's lash. all you need is an old cap, drill
>the holes and i also marked the rotor with some yellow paint to make it
>easier to see. It is also just as easy if the plugs are out, to turn the
>crank with a wrench
>


Just out of curiosity, do you set the dist back to 0, or just not worry
about the advance you have dialed in ?


Thanks,
wish
73ish F-1?? 4x4 360-->390 http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.public.iastate.edu/~wish/truck.html
96 Mustang GT
http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.public.iastate.edu/~wish/mustang.html

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Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 22:00:46 -0400
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - clutch problems

nightcrawler wrote:
>
> I need help solving my clutch problem.
> I just installed a new clutch in my 78 f150 with a 351m engine and 4 speed over
> drive trans.
> The problem is that I have no adjustment left when I adj. the slack out.
> The only things that were replaced was the clutch pack and the release bearing fork.
>

Was the release bearing changed also?

Tim
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Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 00:16:12 -0400
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Perf - The Country Mechanic and the City Mechanic

First off.. Ouch. Sad tale.

"C. K. Hartline" wrote:
>
> Some of us are not able to work on our own vehicles, I can't do it much
> anymore due to a rare muscle disease. And this leaves us facing an arduous
> task of finding a good mechanic who is honest and will take care of
> the vehicle for us at a reasonable cost.

You're certainly not alone there! I'm a professional wrench and of the
many I've met I wouldn't need my toes to count the ones I'd trust to
really service any of my vehicles full time.

>
> A year ago I bought a used van from a family friend

First mistake! ;-)

> My complaint, and now
> confirmation is that. The transmission pan was 'NEVER' dropped since now
> they perform a system 'purge' through the radiator lines

This actually *IS* a better service as all 12-16 Quarts of fluid get
changed rather than the measly 3-6 you get from dropping the pan. The
traditional service is akin to changing the oil filter without draining
the oil.

> saying there is no
> longer a need to change the filter if the fluid is changed regularly.

The filter is designed for well in excess of 100K miles. Out of the
many filters I've hacked open the only ones with any significant debris
already had problems that a 'service' wouldn't cure or were in for a
rebuild to begin with. I'll admit the shop in question probably should
have offered you the option of having the filter replaced at extra cost
though.

>

Not that I'd imagine.. Most if not all of the 'fluid exchanging'
machines I've seen also use powerful cleaners before hand to loosen the
crud that comes out with the old fluid.

> The filter had a return piece
> that went up to the pump in the transmission which had broken off and was
> laying in the bottom of the pan. Because the mechanic was too lazy to drop
> the pan,
> service until after I had to have repairs on the transmission> I had to
> replace the transmission entirely.

OK.. that's an isolated incident, but how did it get broken to begin
with? Probably during the installation of *that* filter. Ideally you
would have been offered the choice of:

1) Complete fluid exchange

2) Traditional service

3) Complete + filter.

I do all 3, but usually suggest 1 & 3 based on many factors for any
given vehicle. I *might* have suggested the third in your case given
the needed reliability, but without X-Ray vision I cant see a broken
piece in the transmission. (or elsewhere!)

>I complained for months that the engine
> idled like it had a vacumn leak, I was told that I needed a new carb. A
> new carb that cost me well over 800 dollars
> that!!!>

That's pretty damn high.. I can replace my variable venturi carb on the
LTD for less than that at list price! I'll admit that lots of mechanics
will look for anything other than what you think is wrong ("Try to tell
me what's wrong.. %* ^# I'll make sure it's something else!), but it
sounds like you need to look elsewhere!


> and then the engine ran even worse than ever before. New timing
> chain, new heater hoses, new new new new...

Things like this make my blood boil.. I hope for and support strict
licensing/testing for mechanics. We're human and do make mistakes but
knowing when to quit or ask for help is vital. With resources like the
iATN and other lists similar to this FTE one for technicians and the
availability of manuals on CD-ROM there's not much excuse for more than
1-2 wrong guesses on any given vehicle. Sadly the cost of needed tools
to diagnose 'drivability' problems has gone up by a bunch, but hopefully
this will weed out the people that dont need to be doing it. About 25%
of my weekly check goes to tools and has been this way for 15 years now;
maybe this explains why my vehicles are crap but I usually fix the
vehicles I see in the shop in short order.

> until the tranny went south and
> they said, gee we don't work on those, take it to this place...go to this
> place and they want 1100 dollars to rebuild my transmission,

Unlike the carb that was a decent price if done properly.

> which had the
> mechanic replaced the screen in the tranny would have saved me the trouble
> to start with.

Of course if the last filter had been installed correctly it wouldn't
have mattered.

> I say 'sorry, I just can't afford any more'. I've been
> averaging 500 dollars a month on this van since I purchased it in May of
> last year.

Yike!

> Ok, now get this, he puts in
> the transmission, puts in a different starter, fixes the idle on the engine

> ,

That should have been caught by shop #1.

> before I get home I notice I have no cruise control.

Human too ;-)

> When I get home there
> is a call on my answering machine, it's him, he's realized he was distracted
> by another customer's needs

And that's one of the many reasons I do NOT want you around when I work
on your vehicle! My father had a close call in his aircraft after being
distracted by air traffic control and neglecting to lower the flaps as
that was the point he was at in the checklist before the interruption.

> and failed to hook it up, when can I get it back
> to him? Take it back, he fixes it, looks at some other things, fine tunes.
> I ask him what do I owe you for the other stuff you fixed? Nothing, glad to
> fix it for you.

That's the way it should be.. :-)

> I buy him lunch,

Nice of you; being behind a restaurant i get that offer once in a while
but usually decline since I got tired of it's food many years ago.

> we come back to the shop, he's still
> listening to the engine. Tells me we need to get to some more of those
> hoses, but says he would rather let a friend who specializes in vacumn on
> these engines take a look at it. And I'm thinking, I did the same thing in
> the city and the service doesn't even compare,

Believe it or not there's probably a city shop that'll do it; just
really hard to find.

> considering I've had to rent
> a car on several occasions and this country mechanic was willing to give me
> his car while he fixed the transmission.

I cant go that far, but close. Still haven't seen the fire extinguisher
I loaned the gent with a gas leak from the injectors 2 months ago come
back. Hopefully it's just gone rather than used! (And hopefully I dont
need it off-road since it's not there..)

> Can someone tell me is this the
> norm, cus if it is, I'm moving. I'm from the country, miss the country, and
> when I told him how much I was gonna have to pay to get it fixed, he said
> they would linch someone down home for charging a man that much to fix a
> common vehicle like that.

Doesn't matter where you are. There's mechanics that can change a
water pump in 1/2 book time and there's technicians that can diagnose a
drivability problem in their sleep. Not a lot of cross-over between the
two either; I'm much better at problem solving than I am at the parts
changing.


>
> I saw for myself today just how bad the vacumn lines were ,

Quite normal; I keep spools of vacuum hose in stock.

> I know first hand that the screen in the transmission wasn't
> changed, and I lost a good 4 speed automatic as a result.

I still dont fault the first shop for that; obviously THEY didnt break
the filter. Yes dropping the pan might have revealed the problem, but
if it hadn't been changed prior it wouldn't have been botched.

> This place was a
> truck and van specialist shop, Who in the world can I trust to take care of
> my vehicle?

No one.

In all honesty trial and error, calling around and talking to the BBB
may help but still isn't much of a guarantee. Hopefully a few more
years will make this problem easier but will also result in higher costs
and more down time due to the shrinking number of 'qualified' mechanics.

....


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