small-list-digest Wednesday, November 25 1998 Volume 02 : Number 327



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

FTE Small - 84' bronco2
FTE Small - 93 Ranger Brakes
Re: FTE Small - 93 Ranger Brakes
Re: FTE Small - White marks on paint...
Re: FTE Small - Vehicle dynamics and ABS braking
Re: FTE Small - About that ABS...
Re: FTE Small - Vehicle dynamics and ABS braking
Re: FTE Small - Lowering ranger 4wd
Re: FTE Small - 84' bronco2
Re: FTE Small - Bed weight for winter driving

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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 06:41:33 +0000
From: william c lewis
Subject: FTE Small - 84' bronco2

Information dealing with a 1984 Bronco2, 2.8 V6. The 2.8 engine that's in the Bronco2 is really weak. I've adjusted the valves several times and makes no
difference. The solid lifters are noisy and adjusting them is no fun matter. I've looked around and thought about a V8 switch but decided this isn't the
ticket for me. The 4.0 sounds fair but what information I've found indicates lots of changes. (Gas tank, fuel lines, computer and all the wiring, ect.)
Does anyone know what improvements may be gained if placing a 4.0 in the engine compartment. Will the intake manifold from the 2.8 fit and operate the 4.0.
I've heard the 4.0 is a strong engine and reliable. Any input from this prospect would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Billy1


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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 10:14:23 -0800 (PST)
From: Jay Mazzetta
Subject: FTE Small - 93 Ranger Brakes

I recently bought a 93 Ranger and had the brakes done because I
thought they were too sensitive. Even after the brake job, the brakes
are still very sensitive. (Just touching the brake pedal lightly is
more than enough to stop abubtly) I was told by the brake mechanic
that this is a characteristic of the 93 Ranger. Is this correct????

Is there a way to fix this problem, or at least improve the brakes??

Thanks for any suggestions!

Jay




_________________________________________________________
DO YOU YAHOO!?

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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:20:59 -0500
From: "Bill"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - 93 Ranger Brakes

I have a 93 Ranger, but do not have the braking problem you described.

Bill
kiteflyer earthlink.net


- -----Original Message-----
From: Jay Mazzetta
To:
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 1:13 PM
Subject: FTE Small - 93 Ranger Brakes


>I recently bought a 93 Ranger and had the brakes done because I
>thought they were too sensitive. Even after the brake job, the brakes
>are still very sensitive. (Just touching the brake pedal lightly is
>more than enough to stop abubtly) I was told by the brake mechanic
>that this is a characteristic of the 93 Ranger. Is this correct????
>
>Is there a way to fix this problem, or at least improve the brakes??
>
>Thanks for any suggestions!
>
>Jay
>
>
>
>
>_________________________________________________________
>DO YOU YAHOO!?
> >
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>

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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 10:27:32 -0800
From: bvmk3 juno.com (Bill Knight)
Subject: Re: FTE Small - White marks on paint...

try a small pencil eraser for the removal of the white marks. first try
in a non noticible area because of the clear coat and the oxidization on
the paint. i woul not recomend using fine grit sandpaper most cars have
a thin coat of clear added after the paint job and this fine grit can
most often remove the clear coat and cause daamage to your paint. a
friend told me to use some wd40 on a rag and apply it to the white paint
marks also. be sure to wash and wax the car after all trials to protect
the finish. good luck

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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 15:50:10 -0500 (EST)
From: EI - Michael Ioco
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Vehicle dynamics and ABS braking

> From amh ccis.com Sun Nov 22 11:06:12 1998
> From: "Alan Heaberlin"

> safer knowing my wife has ABS in her Explorer.
> Whether it was a good idea or not, installing rear ABS on trucks and
> sport-utes was an attempt to replace a tendency to oversteer with understeer
> in hard braking maneuvers. Obviously they have decided that 4-wheel ABS is a
> better option.

Good point Alan. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the
4-wheel ABS are better than rear wheel ABS. So why is Ford still offering rear
ABS only, when the new GM fullsize offer 4 wheel ABS standard?

About the weight in the back, I got thrown in the ditch with when 150 lbs of
unsecured rock salt slid across the rear luggage area in my first Explorer
during a slight swerve.

I believe in adding weight to the rear of our light weight pickups, but make
sure it's secure!!!



Mike in Michigan

99 Explorer Sport 4x4 SOHC
98 Ranger SC ORP 4x4
97 F-150 SC ORP 4x4

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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 20:24:41 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - About that ABS...

Richard wrote:
>
> 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
> up.
> That is your ultimate braking point and you will still be able to turn.
>

And unfortunately takes a driver willing to learn what *should* be basic
skills.. At least the average idiot with 4xABS can just jam the brakes
as hard as he can and (sort of) maintain a degree of control rather than
flat-spotting the tires. Admittedly a proper ABS *may* stop even
shorter than a skilled driver can without it, but I'd trust the pro
withOUT the ABS behind me over most people WITH ABS. :-)

> 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.
>

Yep; ask any Highway Patrol officer what he had to learn/unlearn in his
driving tactics since the advent of ABS. (If he's friendly ask him what
his instructors say about FWD Vs. RWD tactics! With the demise of
full-size RWD's a lot a depts. are going to SUV's.)

> My reply --------------------------------------------------
>
> 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.
>

Actaully that describes the 'Traction Control Systems' now becoming
popular. (More on this below)

> So, these questions:
>
> 1. Does the ABS really kick in when the cruise control senses a
> significant overspeed?

No. There's a VSS (vehicle speed sensor) at the transmission for the
primary input to the various computers and speedometer; the VSS in the
rear diff. is used to sense speed differential; too much
difference=wheelspin/lockup, but there is also a BOO (brake ON/Off
switch) involved as well to translate what's happening to the rear and
if ABS activation is required. Possibly if the BOO was bad wheelspin
might trigger activation? This is all that Traction Control Sysytems
do, monitor all 4 wheels looking for excessive speed and applying
moderate braking to the offending wheel(s) as necessary. Probably nice
in 'average' 4x4 work but I think I'd rather have 'Lockers' for the
really rough stuff.

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

Actually I think Chrysler was the first to mass produce 'load sensitive
braking' on trucks, the supposed advantage was good brake performance
regardless of load as opposed to designing for the 'average' load.
RWABS was the next logical (?) step without the expense of 4WABS

> 3. Is there any advantage to rear ABS?

Other than having roughly the same performance fully loaded Vs. unloaded
in a 'panic stop' not really. (Given a skilled driver of course!)

> 4. Would those of use who are "Rear ABS Impaired" be better off if we
> were to disable our ABS systems?

NO!

> 5. Why not?

Imagine if you were to hit someone; they sued and it came out in court
that a 'vital safety system' was disabled.. Have fun! You could do it
of course; but I doubt you'll find any technicians to tell you how..
Most of us wont even disable airbags even WITH the proper paperwork from
the NHTSA. (I sure as hell will though.. as long as *MY* butt is
covered; air bags are for those even stupider than need ABS.)

> 6. Is there a way to get the most out of our rear ABS systems, reliably?

In a SAFE manner use it.. practice.. loaded and unloaded. Just as a new
4WD owner needs to learn IT'S capabilities, so too does the owner of
really ANY newer vehicle and it's 'safety' systems. (Except the airbag
of course! Facial rubs from an airbag are NOT any fun..)


Of course all this is just my opnion and doesnt reflect my shop, etc.
etc. dont try this at home.. ad naseum and mumbo-jumbo to protect
everyone.


Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 21:04:31 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Vehicle dynamics and ABS braking

Alan Heaberlin wrote:
>
> I have followed the threads about adding weight to the Ranger's bed to
> improve traction and about ABS with equal amusement.

Amusing to me too Alan.. :-) I stayed out of the weight one.

> Any discussion about vehicle handling and control must be accompanied by an
> understanding of vehicle dynamics. The (extremely) basic terms here are
> those of understeer (front wheels lose traction first) and oversteer (rear
> wheels lose traction first).

Or very simply.. do you hit the ditch nose first or ass first?

> Detroit automotive engineers have been designing more and more understeer
> into our vehicles for years now. This is because it is inherently safer
> (especially for inexperienced drivers) to have the front wheels skid first,
> the car travels in the direction of its inertia and then stops of its own
> volition or hits something with the front end.

And lets the airbag deploy etc.. if you hit tail first the airbag doesnt
help too much.

> >From my own experience, Rangers, Bronco II, and Explorer are all with a
> tendency to oversteer. Rear wheel drive and high center of gravity all
> contribute to this. This is why wrecks with these vehicles often end in
> rollover and side impact collisions (from end-swapping oversteer).

But yet our 'Driver's education' classes still seem to teach 'drive into
the skid' and for most FWD vehicles that's NOT neccesarily the proper
course of action. My OWN perference would be just a small amount of
oversteer from 'neutral' handling in RWD/4WD and a small touch of
understeer in FWD. For the knowledegable there ARE ways to alter the
handling to your preferences via suspension changes I wont go into here.

>
> In spite of one opinion I read, ABS is not for "stupid people." Everyone
> doesn't have the opportunity to learn advanced threshold braking. I feel
> safer knowing my wife has ABS in her Explorer.

OK.. the average driver that doesnt care to learn 'accident avoidance'
or 'performance' skills then; not stupid, just ignorant of anything
beyond (R)ace and (D)rag, turn the wheel to change direction etc. Just
like my adjustable wrench it's a tool.. used properly it's helpful, used
wrong it's a knuckle-bustin' nut rounder. MOST drivers dont even know
what an ABS assisted stop feels like; I've had plenty of people come in
for a brake check after a panic stop for a 'pulsating pedal'.. Gee..
wonder why?

> I'm very sure that our trucks were designed for optimal handling (and
> economy) with no load in the bed. Otherwise the owner's manual would direct
> you to load 300 lbs. of s**t in your truck before driving in the snow.

The *average* load is 1 175 Lb.person in the drivers seat and minimal
baggage in the rear. This is also what alignment specs are based on; if
you have more/less than this on average you'll have different results.
(Yes you really *DO* need to align the vehicle with the driver in it if
he/she is in excess of 250-300 Lb. and usually drives alone for optimal
tire wear.. my 145Lb. makes about .25 degree change when I sit in my
truck.)

>
> My advice is to go to a high performance driving school for an introductory
> class in vehicle dynamics. Get a ride in a skid car if you can and take your
> wives and kids too. You will think differently about driving when you have
> some knowledge about how it really works.

Damn good advice! Failing that try some autocross. :-) (NOT in your
SUV though!) A vehicle on the edge of it's traction limit is an
interesting beastie.

>
> My expertise and knowledge comes as an Automotive Engineering Technician
> (Test Driver) with "B" certification for speeds of 150 mph. My employers
> were Kett Engineering, Honda America and Mercedes Benz.
>

It shows.. Need any employees in the Wilmington NC area?

>
> "Law is a matter of statistical probability and truth is finally
> a matter of whichever of the many geometries best suit your needs."
> George Elliot

Fitting tagline...

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 21:13:03 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Lowering ranger 4wd

CharlesASkarsaune eaton.com wrote:
>

> No, no, no, no. 4WD's were meant to be LIFTED, not lowered!
>
>
>

Umm.. I've had posts/threads deleted in other forums for my views about
lowering trucks so all I'll do is agree and step aside before I get in
trouble again...

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 21:38:50 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - 84' bronco2

I'm in the same boat with an '85 2.8


william c lewis wrote:
>
> Information dealing with a 1984 Bronco2, 2.8 V6. The 2.8 engine that's in the Bronco2 is really weak. I've adjusted the valves several times and makes no
> difference. The solid lifters are noisy and adjusting them is no fun matter.

At least you know they ARE adjustable; even a lot of mechanics think
it's hydraulic! Mine were out to .045" when I did it at 145,000 Miles.
They'll be noisy regardless. All that work for no real gain
other than sealing the valve cover leaks back up.

I've looked around and thought about a V8 switch but decided this isn't
the
> ticket for me. The 4.0 sounds fair but what information I've found indicates lots of changes. (Gas tank, fuel lines, computer and all the wiring, ect.)

Other than a few less adaptors needed it's just as much fun as popping
in the V-8. :-(

> Does anyone know what improvements may be gained if placing a 4.0 in the engine compartment. Will the intake manifold from the 2.8 fit and operate the 4.0.

Not even the 2.9 is a good swap; both manifolds are different (intake
AND exhaust). I'm trying to find some leads on good 2.8 performance
parts since these were in Pintos/Capris'/Mustangs in the '70's.. If I
find any I'll post 'em! At 152,000 my 2.8 is using a quart every 150 or
so but I dont want to open it up until I can find some HP parts to use
during the rebuild.

> I've heard the 4.0 is a strong engine and reliable. Any input from this prospect would be appreciated.
> Thanks,

The 2.9 OR the 4.0 drive out well, but the mod's involved arent to be
taken lightly. Even being a technician for the last 13 years I'm
probably going to stick with the 2.8 unless I cannot find anything
beyond a 500 CFM Holley 2-BBL for extra "guts". If your budget permits
then I'd suggest the V-8 swap with 'Advance Adaptors' parts rather than
one of the V-6's, but that's beyond *my* budget.

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 28 Aug 1956 06:21:58 -0600
From: Dave Armbruster
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Bed weight for winter driving

>
> 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.

Unless you are carrying your trailer in the bed of the truck, you're
putting realtively little weight on the rear axle of the truck with a
trailer, just the tongue weight. Besides, a trailer is a short duration
load. Reagrding the weight of the bed, for every pound heavier they make
the truck, that's one less pound in payload you can carry.

Ford designs the truck to have a certain handling characteristics, based on
an assumption of loads. What do you think they assume that the MOST common
load is? I would think in a private, recreational compact truck, it will
be nothing, maybe a full cooler or a dog once in a while. So, if they
assume that you are carrying nothing more than the weight of a bedliner in
most cases, then the brakes and handling will be set-up that way. OK, they
then take the case of having a load, probably the maximum payload of the
truck of about 1,000 lbs, and design that as a worst case so that you can
still stop and turn without flipping. This is the reason they put the
secondary overload springs in, so that the suspension will stiffen up when
you put stuff in it. But, those are not supposed to be used in normal
daily duty.

You might check with (1) your owner's manual to see where they recommend
you put the load or (2) someone who has owned a pickup for a long time.
Ford will tell you weight should be at the front of the bed so that it
doesn't get thrown through the back of your head in a panic stop and it
distributes the mass better over both axles.

>ice/snow. Total I had about 300 lbs and never have gotten stuck.

I used to live in Missouri and now live in Colorado. My Ranger is a 4wd
SC, with no auxiliary weight, and I haven't ever really gotten stuck (now
my luck is ruined, though). IMHO, most people just don't use their 4wd
early enough or often enough to keep from getting stuck. Even 4wd isn't of
much use after you get stuck, so the key is to keep from getting stuck in
the first place. You see knuckleheads in Cherokees and Blazers in a ditch....


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