small-list-digest Wednesday, November 18 1998 Volume 02 : Number 320



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Ford Truck Enthusiasts - Ranger, Explorer, Bronco 2 and Aerostar
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In this issue:

FTE Small - VIN decoding
Re: FTE Small - VIN decoding
Re: FTE Small - K&N air filter
Re: FTE Small - VIN decoding
FTE Small - Tauri and Aerostars
Re: FTE Small - Tauri and Aerostars
Re: FTE Small - 1991 2.3L oil pump...bearings, etc.
Re: FTE Small - 93 Ranger Hydraulic Clutch
Re: FTE Small - leaded gasoline affects
Re: FTE Small - Tauri and Aerostars
FTE Small - Radiator Question
Re: FTE Small - Radiator Question
Re: FTE Small - K&N air filter
FTE Small - 96 Exploder

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Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:51:01 -0600
From: "John L. Winkler"
Subject: FTE Small - VIN decoding

Hi -

Based on the VIN of my 1993 Explorer, can I determine the rear
end gear ratio? I looked on the ford-trucks web page, and didn't
see anything on VIN breakdown - does anyone have that info?

Thanks,

JLW
(jwinkler tivoli.com)
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 10:41:07 -0500
From: "Bill"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - VIN decoding

According to Chilton's Shop Manual, the rear axle ratio can be found in two
places.

The first is on the Safety Certification Label attached to the left driver's
door lock post. The code appears as a number/letter code in the "axle"
column of the label The second is stamped on a metal tag hanging from the
axle cover to carrier bolt at the 2 O'clock position in the cover bolt
circle.

For the Bronco II
it shows the following possibilities:

Code 42,44,47 is Regular 3.45,3.73, and 4.10 Ratio respectively.
Code D2, D4, D7 is limited slip in 3.45, 3.73,and 4.10 Ratios respectively.

Again, this is according to Chilton's Shop Manual.
Hope this helps,

Bill
kiteflyer earthlink.net
get high on the wind...

- -----Original Message-----
From: John L. Winkler
To:
Date: Tuesday, November 17, 1998 9:59 AM
Subject: FTE Small - VIN decoding


>Hi -
>
>Based on the VIN of my 1993 Explorer, can I determine the rear
>end gear ratio? I looked on the ford-trucks web page, and didn't
>see anything on VIN breakdown - does anyone have that info?
>
>Thanks,
>
>JLW
>(jwinkler tivoli.com)
>== FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>

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

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:56:22 -0700
From: BJ Tiemessen
Subject: Re: FTE Small - K&N air filter

I just bought one of these from my local parts store for $43.00. K&N claims
10 hp and I believe it! I never thought that an air filter could make so
much more power. If you realy want some power cheap add the K&N, remove the
air muffler and baffle, and remove the exaust muffler. Visit my site for
more info.
http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://rangersrule.webjump.com

Joe Mitchell wrote:

> Hi once again. i was wondering about how much is one of these is? I've
> seen about 12 different K&N air products ranging from 50-200 bucks, and
> for use on different engines and exhaust. Which one is the air filter
> that most people upgrade to? I just have a stock 2.3 and stock
> exhaust... I'm not sure which one I need... Thanks in advance.
> --
> Joe
> --
> I'd push a Ford before I drove a Chevy, but I don't need to.
> --
> http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.angelfire.com/tx/tru2datank/index.html
>
> ______________________________________________________
> > == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html

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Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 12:30:38 -0000
From: "John Becker"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - VIN decoding

my 98 is marked on the rear end

- ----------
> From: John L. Winkler
> To: small-list ford-trucks.com
> Subject: FTE Small - VIN decoding
> Date: Tuesday, November 17, 1998 2:51 PM
>
> Hi -
>
> Based on the VIN of my 1993 Explorer, can I determine the rear
> end gear ratio? I looked on the ford-trucks web page, and didn't
> see anything on VIN breakdown - does anyone have that info?
>
> Thanks,
>
> JLW
> (jwinkler tivoli.com)
> == 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

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

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 11:48:55 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Tauri and Aerostars

Here's an open question to Tim Turner, the "Manic Mechanic."

In a recent post, you gave the advice:
>Sell the Taurus!!! If you dont know by now they're money-pits.. if I
>was paid a percentage I'd love Taureses (Taurusi? Tauri?)

Now I have this gnawing doubt about my buying a '92 Aerostar XLT, normal
length, 3.0, rear AC, with 68,000 miles on it. It now has 73k. In the
year that I have owned it, I've had to repair a sticking power window,
replace the handbrake cables and ratchet assembly, put in a new heater
core, and get a head gasket/valve job with most cooling system parts
replaced or serviced for "insurance." All of this cost well over
$3,000. In addition, there's been the usual routine fluid changes,
etc. Now I think I'm hearing wheel bearing noise.

I'm experienced with mechanical work (mostly involving audio, as well as
working on my own cars in the past). The "feel" of this vehicle seems
good. My gut sense is that my Aerostar is in essentially good
condition, and that the repairs I went through were fairly normal for
this machine.

But, I'm also getting the sense that Aerostars rival the Tauri as money
drains. Because assemblies are severely obstructed, repair costs are
very high. And because some of the components seem to be flimsy, one
gets to repair them more often than, say, in a Toyota.

There's an added drawback, too. There's a tendency for many mechanics
to become impatient when having to work in cramped spaces. Hell, it's
only human. The experience for the mechanic will be uncomfortable,
awkward and painful. The result will be that he may be inclined to do
sloppy work, and especially to damage one or more of the assemblies that
he isn't working on -- like what he mauls with the back end of the
wrench.

So, Tim, did I get this right? Is an Aerostar a bottomless money pit?
Secondly, is there an intelligent way to own an Aerostar?

For instance, occasionally people would bring me a broken Sanyo or Sony
product, with a broken underdesigned or overstressed part. They'd ask
me if they had made a bad purchase. I'd say, "Well, yes. But it will
work very well for you for many years if you get it cleaned and lubed,
and treat it gently." Can this kind of logic be applied to a motor
vehicle?

Richard

- ---
!! NOTE: TO REPLY, REMOVE THE STRING: "REMOVE.THIS.TO.REPLY" FROM MY
ADDRESS !!

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

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 18:03:29 -0600 (CST)
From: Sandman
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Tauri and Aerostars

On Tue, 17 Nov 1998, Richard wrote:

> Here's an open question to Tim Turner, the "Manic Mechanic."
>
> In a recent post, you gave the advice:
> >Sell the Taurus!!! If you dont know by now they're money-pits.. if I
> >was paid a percentage I'd love Taureses (Taurusi? Tauri?)
>
> Now I have this gnawing doubt about my buying a '92 Aerostar XLT, normal
> length, 3.0, rear AC, with 68,000 miles on it. It now has 73k. In the
> year that I have owned it, I've had to repair a sticking power window,
> replace the handbrake cables and ratchet assembly, put in a new heater
> core, and get a head gasket/valve job with most cooling system parts
> replaced or serviced for "insurance." All of this cost well over
> $3,000. In addition, there's been the usual routine fluid changes,
> etc. Now I think I'm hearing wheel bearing noise.
>
> I'm experienced with mechanical work (mostly involving audio, as well as
> working on my own cars in the past). The "feel" of this vehicle seems
> good. My gut sense is that my Aerostar is in essentially good
> condition, and that the repairs I went through were fairly normal for
> this machine.
>
> But, I'm also getting the sense that Aerostars rival the Tauri as money
> drains. Because assemblies are severely obstructed, repair costs are
> very high. And because some of the components seem to be flimsy, one
> gets to repair them more often than, say, in a Toyota.
>
> There's an added drawback, too. There's a tendency for many mechanics
> to become impatient when having to work in cramped spaces. Hell, it's
> only human. The experience for the mechanic will be uncomfortable,
> awkward and painful. The result will be that he may be inclined to do
> sloppy work, and especially to damage one or more of the assemblies that
> he isn't working on -- like what he mauls with the back end of the
> wrench.
>
> So, Tim, did I get this right? Is an Aerostar a bottomless money pit?
> Secondly, is there an intelligent way to own an Aerostar?
>
> For instance, occasionally people would bring me a broken Sanyo or Sony
> product, with a broken underdesigned or overstressed part. They'd ask
> me if they had made a bad purchase. I'd say, "Well, yes. But it will
> work very well for you for many years if you get it cleaned and lubed,
> and treat it gently." Can this kind of logic be applied to a motor
> vehicle?
>
> Richard
>
> ---
> !! NOTE: TO REPLY, REMOVE THE STRING: "REMOVE.THIS.TO.REPLY" FROM MY
> ADDRESS !!
>
> == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>

Those repairs do not sound normal for an aerostar. My parents had a 96
aerostar, 3.0L ext. van, and nver had one major problem(other than the
a/c) with it. THey recently traded it in on an Expedition, and the
aerostar had about 105K on it. It was driven normally, not too hard. The
only thing that sounded like it would need some work when they got rid of
it was the timing chain. Maybe we were just lucky, but I don't think
having those type of problems at that few miles is normal.

sandmanx ghg.net

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

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 19:08:20 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - 1991 2.3L oil pump...bearings, etc.

Dave Schultz wrote:
>
> Mainly to Tim..... THANKS!

Quite welcome Dave! :-) Nice to see a note like that after a 'not so
good' day of work; improved my mood right off the bat.

> My question is this: When my friend repair my oil pressure problem he did
> two things that I am not so comfortable with in an engine that may have a
> new lease on life:
>
> He modified the oil pickup so that the screen area is the size of the
> pickup disc. (original problem was screen clogged)

I'm not familliar with that mod. but sounds OK to me.

>
> He installed a Melling high volume oil pump.
>
> My oil pressure a 2000 RPM, cruising, engine hot is 58 psi with 5W30 oil
> Startup oil pressure, engine cold can reach 80 psi until engine starts to
> warm.

OOF.. be glad he installed the high VOLUME and not the high PRESSURE one
then! Seriously though the pressure is controlled by a relief valve in
the pump (basically just a spring loaded valve) and 80 sounds a tad
high, but not alarmingly so. I think oil filters will handle in excess
of 120-150 so no worry there. The main purpose for a HV pump is just to
assure a good constant flow of oil through the engine, but I havent seen
too many oiling failures on the 2.3 (other than the one I ran outta oil
and blew a rod! ) so your choice on going back stock or not. I'd be
inclined to leave it in place, just make sure the cold pressure isnt
higher with the new bearings; if so suspect a sticking relief valve.
Your warm pressure may be higher after the rebuild since the bearing
clearance might be less than now. (Use Plastigage and make SURE that ALL
bearings have the specified amount.. I've seen cranks stamped wrong
and/or bearings boxed wrong.. expensive mistake!)

>
> Should these mods have been done? This guy is a hot-rodder and build
> performance engines

Well.. HP engines create even more demands on the oil, but I'd rather
have more oil than I need than not enough!

> but we all know the 2.3 is closer to my lawn mower that
> a performance motor.

You'ld be surprised what you can do with the right cam and twin
sidedrafts! There's a whole bunch of these 2.3's in racing boats.

> I could install a standard pump and pickup tube when
> I put the engine together again.

I'm unsure about the pickup mod, but I'd probably reuse the pump after
checking/cleaning the relief valve.

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
manic1 bellsouth.net
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 19:24:15 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - 93 Ranger Hydraulic Clutch

Bill wrote:
>
> Hi all,

> I replaced the clutch master
> cylinder and reservoir, and bled the crap out of the system, but am unable
> to get any response when depressing the pedal.
> When you disconnect the tranny via the quick disconnect, does that not
> create a closed line?

Assuming the QD doesnt leak.

> And wouldn't this lack of pedal pressure with the
> slave cylinder out of the circuit prove that the master cylinder is the
> culprit?

IF all the air is out yes; but see below.

>
> What am I missing?

All the air trapped in the master by the odd angle it sits at! I dont
remember ALL the details of the TSB's concerning this but the gist of it
is to pre-bleed it on the bench in a level attitude and I believe by
depressing the center of the QD then install and bleed master and slave
per normal. Try this and see what happens, also if you can get a copy
of the TSB locally give it a look. If you cant get any co-operation give
me a call at 910-791-4440 10-17:00 EST and I'll grab a copy. (Also the
person that wanted a copy of the B-II tailgate TSB e-mail me again; I
lost your original in a hard drive crash.)


Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC

>
> Bill
> kiteflyer earthlink.net
> Get high on the wind.

^^^^^
I see a LOT of people having fun with those on the beach.. always
meaning to try it.. :-)

TT
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 19:38:30 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - leaded gasoline affects

CBadgerJr AOL.COM wrote:
>
> I have an 84 Bronco II with the 2.8 V6. It has a checkered past.

Dont they all? My '85 was a former beach buggy owned by a 'not so good'
DIY'er. :-)

> catalytic converter was removed (new parts on order to replace the exhaust
> including hte converter) somtime in the past, probably so the farmer that
> owned it could use regular leaded gasoline that he ran in his tractors and
> avoid paying the road tax. What side affects can I expect? Would this affect
> the O2 sensor, other sensors? Thanks.

Lead kills O2's REAL quick! On the plus side the valves should be in
good shape. I wouldnt expect any other bad effects from it's 'diet
supplement' though.

There's a ton of little problems with the 84's and 85's but nothing
major; count on replacing a few of the sensors here and there to cure
drivablity problems. Another little known thing is that the valves are
NOT hydraulic on the 2.8's (2.9's ARE), so they do need attention
periodically.. expect it to be noisy even AFTER the adj. though!

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 22:18:12 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Tauri and Aerostars

Try this again.. I locked up about 40 minutes into the first reply. :-(

Richard wrote:
>
> Here's an open question to Tim Turner, the "Manic Mechanic."
>

And an open and honest answer I hope.


> Now I have this gnawing doubt about my buying a '92 Aerostar XLT, normal
> length, 3.0,

Sound engine given good proper care and feeding.

>rear AC,

.. I hope you live in a cool climate. Stay with R-12 as long
as you can afford it in this one.

> with 68,000 miles on it. It now has 73k. In the
> year that I have owned it, I've had to repair a sticking power window,

Not uncommon for ALL makes.

> replace the handbrake cables and ratchet assembly,

Not too uncommon there; use the parking brake once in a while to keep it
freed up (ALL vehicles need this especially with rear disc brakes unless
you WANT to replace the rear calipers every brake job..)

> put in a new heater core

Also common; at least it's a lot easier than MOST Ford vehicles.


> and get a head gasket/valve job with most cooling system parts
> replaced or serviced for "insurance."

Uncommon there; I havent done one (yet), but good decision on replacing
the water pump et-al so it doesnt need to be done again any time soon.


> etc. Now I think I'm hearing wheel bearing noise.

Also common to the breed..

>
> I'm experienced with mechanical work (mostly involving audio, as well as
> working on my own cars in the past). The "feel" of this vehicle seems
> good. My gut sense is that my Aerostar is in essentially good
> condition, and that the repairs I went through were fairly normal for
> this machine.

Stay with it then!

>
> But, I'm also getting the sense that Aerostars rival the Tauri as money
> drains.

I'm really NOT a Ford-Basher people; I even wear work boots with Ford
emblems.. BUT.. yes the A'star is probably second to the Taurus in that
dept. Some of the reasons are discussed further on in your well said
post.

> Because assemblies are severely obstructed, repair costs are
> very high.

If I actually *did* charge extra per cut Aero's and Astro's would
account for a lot of that 'blood money'. Regardless of how unhealthy
they might live otherwise most Tech's are current on their tetanus
shots!

> And because some of the components seem to be flimsy, one
> gets to repair them more often than, say, in a Toyota.

But I'd still rather have the Ford..

>
> There's an added drawback, too. There's a tendency for many mechanics
> to become impatient when having to work in cramped spaces. Hell, it's
> only human. The experience for the mechanic will be uncomfortable,
> awkward and painful.


THANK YOU!! You'ld be amazed how many people dont understand that
simple concept. Being a smoker I'll unfold myself and walk away for a
smoke before I get too stressed since I'm not paid by hours turned.
(And THATS a topic for another place.. reward the short-cuts and punish
the meticulous.)


> The result will be that he may be inclined to do
> sloppy work,

I *hope* not, but I'm sure the temptation is there especially if time is
an issue; be it hourly rate OR an anxious customer with an appointment
elsewhere. (And being rushed is the surest way to disaster.. bolts
snap, wrenches fall into crevices.. etc.)

> and especially to damage one or more of the assemblies that
> he isn't working on -- like what he mauls with the back end of the
> wrench.

Usually my HAND is between that wrench and the offending object!
Seriously though a little thought about what will happen when (not IF!)
the tool slips prevents a lot of that; if there's no good way to prevent
bodily damage it's preferable (to me) than secondary damage to the
vehicle. It does happen though.. in my current case it's "oops.. we
need to get a *I* broke it" rather than the all too often
heard "Hey this cat needs a it's busted" Tech's are human and we
DO break things.. I or my shop will eat it rather than BS around and
sell it.

>
> So, Tim, did I get this right? Is an Aerostar a bottomless money pit?
> Secondly, is there an intelligent way to own an Aerostar?

Not botomless.. I've a customer with 246,000 and no major engine work on
the 3.0 A'star, just the usual items and sensors here and there. I'd
prefer it to the 1st gen. Taurus by far! A/C is the largest problem I
see on these things especially the dual units, other than that pretty
average with known faults here and there and plenty of TSB's.

>
> For instance, occasionally people would bring me a broken Sanyo or Sony
> product, with a broken underdesigned or overstressed part. They'd ask
> me if they had made a bad purchase. I'd say, "Well, yes. But it will
> work very well for you for many years if you get it cleaned and lubed,
> and treat it gently." Can this kind of logic be applied to a motor
> vehicle?

That's a VERY nice anaology Richard and it's nice to see someone that
would understand. Other than the head gasket problem it seems pretty
normal and hopefully you/your mechanic did a good job on that and it
wont be a problem for many years to come. The tranny is a somewhat weak
spot so keep it full of clean fluid..


Okay then.. everybody tired of reading my long replies?

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 20:48:09 PST
From: "kimm miller II"
Subject: FTE Small - Radiator Question

Greetings and Salutations to one and all.
This is my 2nd post with this question, everyone can probably figure
out I haven't heard anything yet. I have a '88 Bronco II with a
351W in it (I did the swap). The radiator I bought from James Duff
Enterprises out in Washington when I was out there. According to
them, I had to use this 4core specially made for BII/Ranger V8
conversion radiator to get enough cooling. In the latest issue I saw
of Summit Racing, someone wrote in with the radiator question and
was told by the "Doc" that a standard Ranger radiator would work
fine. The one I have now is leaking and giving me some problems
and I need to know if this is true. Anybody help?
Kimm
Miller
"Nuttin'
Much"

______________________________________________________
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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 00:01:46 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Radiator Question

kimm miller II wrote:
>
>> was told by the "Doc" that a standard Ranger radiator would work
> fine. The one I have now is leaking and giving me some problems
> and I need to know if this is true. Anybody help?

Dont know for *SURE* but a unrestricted stock rad would probably work
for normal light duty driving.. I'd stick with the HP rad you have and
get it repaired/rodded/recored as required to be on the safe side.

TT
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------------------------------

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 00:15:31 EST
From: FrdRngrLvr AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - K&N air filter

Hey..I had a K&N in my last ranger and i was impressed with the....


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