small-list-digest Sunday, November 22 1998 Volume 02 : Number 324

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

FTE Small - Explorer Rear Wiper Blade Assembly
Re: FTE Small - Bed weight for winter driving
Re: FTE Small - Bed weight for winter driving
FTE Small - About that ABS...
Re: FTE Small - About that ABS...



Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 09:14:13 -0500
From: "Jim Bielecki"
Subject: FTE Small - Explorer Rear Wiper Blade Assembly

Can anyone tell me how to remove the rear wiper blade assembly from a '93
Explorer? I don't mean the wiper blade itself, but the entire rear arm
assembly that appears to be attached directly to the motor spindle. Are
these things just pressed on? Or is there a hidden release catch someplace
that I can't find?

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Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 07:37:24 -0700
From: Dave Armbruster
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Bed weight for winter driving

I used to use weight in the back of my truck, at least the first winter I
had one. I have since stopped because of the increased risk of damage and
injury from a flying load. Even bags of sand or gravel can cause a ton of
damage in a wreck and forget anything else that might get airborne and go
through a cab window. It is very possible that anything you carry in the
bed will get airborne and at the level of the cab, say when you run off in
a ditch, then the tailgate is suddenly at the same level of the back
window. I guess one good point to carrying sand or gravel is that you can
use it to throw under the wheels if you do get stuck.

I have found that in general that you'd have a add a lot of weight to
accomplish anything, which _will_ increase stopping distance and reduce gas
mileage. I figure that 4wd, a good set of tires and chains (I live in CO)
should get me anywhere I need to go. Pickups are designed to have a short
duration load, and it should be as far forward in the bed as possible,
which are both opposite to what you'd need for extra traction.

my $.02,

"Patrick Frazer" wrote:
>Hi everyone,
>Living in north central Ohio, I'm looking at another season of driving
>in the evil white stuff. I bought my '95 Ranger XLT extended cab at the
>end of last year's snow season, so I don't have a whole lot of
>experience driving the truck in the snow. Here's my question:
>What is an appropriate amount of weight to put over the rear axle to
>help with driving on snow/ice? What effect does the added weight have
>on stopping distance?
>Thinking back to college physics, I'm concerned that adding weight will
>increase traction a little, but increase the stopping distance more.
>One could consider the extreme example -- imagine having a couple cords
>of wood piled in the back. You'd get great traction, but you'd also
>turn the truck into a giant curling puck if you ever got above 35 MPH on
>a slick road.
>Any thoughts?
>- -Patrick
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Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 14:56:46 EST
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Bed weight for winter driving

Growing up in sunny Vegas my first winter in Missouri was a real learning
lesson. My Ranger is 4WD which I thought was enough, but it isn't. You DO
need more weight over the rear. What I did was cut a plastic 55 gallon drum
in half and screwed it to a 2X4 wood frame that in turn bolted to the bed of
my truck right over the rear axle. For ballest I added bags of salt, which
come in handy if you do get stuck as it can be used to melt away some of the
ice/snow. Total I had about 300 lbs and never have gotten stuck.

In a message dated 98-11-21 09:37:43 EST, you write:

duration load, and it should be as far forward in the bed as possible,
which are both opposite to what you'd need for extra traction. >>

Hello... what about towing a trailer cross country? Trucks are designed for
loads to be at the rear, otherwise the bed wouldn't be so light in the first
place. Sorry but I disagree with your statement.

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Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 11:21:10 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - About that ABS...

BJ Tiemessen wrote re: his Ranger -------

if you want to stop DON'T count on ABS. ABS was
invented for stupid people. Have you ever heard of threshold breaking?
This is where you hold your brakes at the point just before they lock
That is your ultimate braking point and you will still be able to turn.

I only have rearABS and the time that I didn't use threshold breaking
and tried to use my ABS I ended up at the side of a steep ditch and the
truck was lying on the drivers side. Through all that I just got 3
dents smaller than my palm, I love this truck.

My reply --------------------------------------------------

Hmmm. Funny thing about that rear ABS. I'd read a couple of posts from
people with Aerostars who unexpectedly sailed halfway through
intersections. And then it happened to me! I braked moderately in the
wet and slid way out into the intersection, accompanied by the
unmistakable ABS "fast judder" noise. Of course, it was disconcerting.
Worse, it is a lousy feeling to know that I can't trust my brakes. I
mean, that's how I feel about my rear ABS. Perhaps I have it wrong.

Before moving to California, I drove in eastern Connectcut with old cars
with mostly drum brakes, and was taught by a racing driver to "jab
brake," and to feather the brakes (like what you were writing). Those
techniques always served me well. But with the Ford system, I sometimes
feel that I can't employ those techniques reliably.

Also, I could swear that I felt and heard the ABS automatically slowing
my vehicle when the cruise control was on and I was coming down a
mountain on the freeway. I read that the cruise control gets its speed
reference from the rear ABS. It is logical for it to be able to rein-in
the horse using that system, too. I'm sure that I felt this system go
to work, but I've never read anything to corroborate this.

So, these questions:

1. Does the ABS really kick in when the cruise control senses a
significant overspeed?
2. What was on Ford's mind when they made it only for the rear end?
3. Is there any advantage to rear ABS?
4. Would those of use who are "Rear ABS Impaired" be better off if we
were to disable our ABS systems?
5. Why not?
6. Is there a way to get the most out of our rear ABS systems, reliably?

- --

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Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 00:25:28 -0800 (PST)
From: Tim Allen Smith
Subject: Re: FTE Small - About that ABS...

- ---Richard wrote:

> 2. What was on Ford's mind when they made it only for the rear end?

I think that some Ford engineers were trying to correct a notorious
problem of rear brakes of a truck locking up on wet pavement. I can
tell you that it can be a problem on my '88 4X4 s\c if I am not


'88 Ranger 4X4 XLT SC 2.9L 5sp
'97 Taurus LX 3.0L Duratec


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