small-list-digest Tuesday, January 5 1999 Volume 02 : Number 368



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

FTE Small - Re: Car Music
FTE Small - Platinums
Re: FTE Small - Platinums
FTE Small - ADMIN: TruckTough.com
RE: FTE Small - Car music
FTE Small - Strange Ranger starting problem
FTE Small - Engine Performance
Re: FTE Small - Car music
FTE Small - Speakers, etc.
FTE Small - Car Music

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Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 15:12:07 -0600
From: "John Cheyney RN, BSN, CCRN"
Subject: FTE Small - Re: Car Music

>in a car, the background noise is higher than the tape hiss and

>eliminates the main advantage of CD's over cassettes.


I disagree. Even though there is road noise to contend with the difference in quality between CD's and cassettes is still audible, at least to my 32 year old ears...



Also mostly I

>play a whole cassette all of the way through on trips and do not need to skip around tracks.


But I'll bet if you have the option you will take advantage of it. It takes one button to skip tracks on my CD player and I can hit all of the buttons with my right hand on the shifter.


>A further argument in favor of cassettes in a car is that I can purchase

>a CD, dub it to a tape for the car and if the tape is damaged (hot sun)

>or stolen I can replace it easily.


I used to do that. I have found it much easier to skip the middle step. Even a brand new cassette loses a certain amount of quality and the wear and tear of sitting in a hot car degrade it very quickly. CD's are only slightly more expensive than a cassette so the cost of replacement (if necessary) is negligible.

>

>I have never had a CD player in a car and there may be advantages that I

>am not thinking about.


I was initially going to replace the AM/FM/Cassette player in my 1993 Ranger XLT Supercab with a better cassette unit of the reason you stated above. A friend of my talked me into a CD player and it was a very good decision. I agree with you that new speakers are the way to start but I definitely think a CD player is the way to go.

John Cheyney RN, BSN, BA, CCRN

1213 McHam

Irving, Texas

75062


Email: cheyne19 idt.net

jcheyn childmed.dallas.tx.us


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11
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Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 20:25:15 EST
From: Blest25913 AOL.COM
Subject: FTE Small - Platinums




My '96 Ranger came with the older Platinums in it. They only lasted about 65K,
when I had to replace them. I don't know if they were Bosch or not. I put in
copper plugs. I understand that I will have to replace these more frequently
than plantinums. The plantinums were shot. The gap was about twice what it
should be. The center electrode had burned almost completely off.
Happy Holidays!
Ron 'Grampy' Trampe


series? The theory behind the 4 electrodes (vs. 1) seems impressive. Stay
tuned
Ken>>>>>>>
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>>
I'm talking about the older Platinums. They only had two electrodes.
Ron Trampe
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Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 19:53:50 -0700
From: "Ken St.John"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Platinums

Well so far, with these new Platinum + 4 plugs, my engine has run incredibly
smooth! My gas mileage has increased from 20 mpg to 22 mpg (but this has
only been in two tankfuls of gas). I haven't noticed an increase in power
but have noticed that the intermittant pinging is gone. Now for the big
question, how long will they last (I bet not the 100K they promise).
Ken
- ----------
From: Blest25913 AOL.COM
To: small-list ford-trucks.com
Subject: FTE Small - Platinums
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 20:25:15 EST





My '96 Ranger came with the older Platinums in it. They only lasted about
65K,
when I had to replace them. I don't know if they were Bosch or not. I put in
copper plugs. I understand that I will have to replace these more frequently
than plantinums. The plantinums were shot. The gap was about twice what it
should be. The center electrode had burned almost completely off.
Happy Holidays!
Ron 'Grampy' Trampe


+4
series? The theory behind the 4 electrodes (vs. 1) seems impressive. Stay
tuned
Ken>>>>>>>
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trucks.com/faq.html>>>>>>>

>>
I'm talking about the older Platinums. They only had two electrodes.
Ron Trampe
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------------------------------

Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 21:51:05 -0500
From: Ken Payne
Subject: FTE Small - ADMIN: TruckTough.com

Dear Ford Truck Enthusiasts list members:

We have a new sponsor on our web site. Since the beginning,
our practice with web site sponsor has been to make a brief
announcement for 2 days (this is day 1 of 2).

This sponsor is a little different from the others we've had...
they're having a $1000 giveaway!!!!!!

TruckTough.com will enter you into their contest simply for
filling out a truck survey. I already did.... :-)

Their site features:

Surveys, knowledge, contests, trivia games, and information about
all brands of full size pickup trucks - You could win $1000 dollars!
Also: other prizes, sweepstakes, etc.

They can be found at:

http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.trucktough.com/start.cfm

If you enjoy their site, we would like to you to let them know you
heard about them via Ford Truck Enthusiasts.

Now returning you to our regularly scheduled program...

Ken Payne
Admin, Ford Truck Enthusiasts

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

Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 22:44:04 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Car music

Robert Craven Jr wrote:

> I am going to upgrade the sound system in both of these cars. For both
> of these cars I am going to start with better sppeakers in the stock
> locations.

Absolutely!! Some people say that up to 50% of your budget should go into
your speakers. This is for home systems, but I generally see no reason that
car systems should be different. Although car speakers tend to be
proportionately less expensive, this is because YOU have to provide the
enclosure. Note that with the Explorer, Ford offered a factory premium
system with powered sub-woofer. If you intend to add a sub, you might want
to find where Ford mounts theirs to see if they made any provisions for
mounting/enclosing it.
>
> Here is something I want to ask the group. I want to stay with
> cassette playing head units when I do change them.

Go with a CD unit! (Unless you ONLY listen at lower volumes where some
sonic detail and the background noise of the music will always be buried by
road noise.) I originally planned to go with a cassette unit with controls
for a CD changer. A knowledgeable dealer convinced me to go with a
similarly priced CD only system, reasoning that once I got used to the
convenience and sound quality of CDs in the car I wouldn't use the tape
deck. He was right!! I haven't made a tape (either a dub or a compilation)
since I bought the system! Not even for my other vehicle which I
desperately want to upgrade from tape to CD.

Even given the background noise in a car, the better sound quality of CD is
easily heard. You could come close to matching this with an excellent home
tape deck/car tape deck pair, but it would cost you many hundreds of
dollars more to accomplish.
>
Finally, let me say that the CD format is the only one that has ALMOST
convinced me that convenience is more important than sound quality. In a
car or truck, especially one with a CD changer, it decreases the
distraction encountered when changing to a different recording or when
trying to listen to a favorite song JUST ONE MORE TIME!!
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------------------------------

Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 21:40:18 -0600
From: "scott"
Subject: FTE Small - Strange Ranger starting problem

I have an 89 Ranger with the 2.9 engine. 190,000 miles on the OD. When I
turn the key, it starts to turn over (maybe I get 1/4 RRRR). Every time I
turn the key I get the same thing. If I sit with the key on for about 25
seconds, then it will start up like it did when it was new. RRRRRRRRRR and
then start right up. Even if it sits on the charger all night, it does the
same thing when I try to start it in the morning. Or during the day.
Temperature outside does not matter. Happens in the Winter and in the
summer. I just replaced a lot of stuff because it had gotten got so bad
that it would not even do the 1/4 turn RRRR at the beginning. Then it would
only start if I sat for 30-35 seconds with the lights on bright and the fan
on high and then when I turned the key the solenoid would start to chatter
like they do when the battery is real low and then it would start up. I
replaced the solenoid, the starter, the battery, and all the cables. I do
not think the alternator could be the problem because it does the same thing
after sitting on a charger for 10 hours. Anybody got any ideas ?

Scott Fischer
800-255-0298

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

Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 22:57:05 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: FTE Small - Engine Performance

While in the process of installing a remanufactured 2.9L engine in my '89
Bronco II, I would like to make some performance enhancements. Anything I
do has to be emissions legal (or possible to undo). Also the engine has a
warranty and I don't want to void this (which rules out most any machine
work!)

I definitely plan to add headers, a chip and a K&N air filter. The engine
should gain about 30 lb./ft. of torque from these mods. If possible, I'd
like another 10-20 lb./ft. Are there any other emissions friendly upgrades
I should consider?

(Note: I've followed the Kunz Korner tech board for ideas, but would like
to hear from this group.)

Burnett '89 BII
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------------------------------

Date: Mon, 4 Jan 1999 10:17:45 -0600
From: "Mike"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Car music

I have bronco II and I upgraded the sound system and now it sounds about 3x
better, I have 2 10's in the back for the low bass and some pioneer premier
5 x 7's in the back replacing stock. I put a cd player that is 35 x 4 watts
so its plenty of power. I was considering getting a good tape deck w/ cd
changer. As long as you have 30+ x 4 watts on you deck it will sound much
better even w/ tape.
- -----Original Message-----
From: Burnett
To: 'small-list ford-trucks.com'
Date: Monday, January 04, 1999 9:48 PM
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Car music


>
>
>Robert Craven Jr wrote:
>
>> I am going to upgrade the sound system in both of these cars. For both
>> of these cars I am going to start with better sppeakers in the stock
>> locations.
>
>Absolutely!! Some people say that up to 50% of your budget should go into
>your speakers. This is for home systems, but I generally see no reason that
>car systems should be different. Although car speakers tend to be
>proportionately less expensive, this is because YOU have to provide the
>enclosure. Note that with the Explorer, Ford offered a factory premium
>system with powered sub-woofer. If you intend to add a sub, you might want
>to find where Ford mounts theirs to see if they made any provisions for
>mounting/enclosing it.
>>
>> Here is something I want to ask the group. I want to stay with
>> cassette playing head units when I do change them.
>
>Go with a CD unit! (Unless you ONLY listen at lower volumes where some
>sonic detail and the background noise of the music will always be buried by
>road noise.) I originally planned to go with a cassette unit with controls
>for a CD changer. A knowledgeable dealer convinced me to go with a
>similarly priced CD only system, reasoning that once I got used to the
>convenience and sound quality of CDs in the car I wouldn't use the tape
>deck. He was right!! I haven't made a tape (either a dub or a compilation)
>since I bought the system! Not even for my other vehicle which I
>desperately want to upgrade from tape to CD.
>
>Even given the background noise in a car, the better sound quality of CD is
>easily heard. You could come close to matching this with an excellent home
>tape deck/car tape deck pair, but it would cost you many hundreds of
>dollars more to accomplish.
>>
>Finally, let me say that the CD format is the only one that has ALMOST
>convinced me that convenience is more important than sound quality. In a
>car or truck, especially one with a CD changer, it decreases the
>distraction encountered when changing to a different recording or when
>trying to listen to a favorite song JUST ONE MORE TIME!!
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>

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

Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 20:43:08 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Speakers, etc.

I'll try not to delve too deeply into psychoacoustics. I mean, the
subject here is trucks (Ken, please provide some guidance if you feel
I'm going too far off topic).

In Burnett's post,
> > Tim Turner wrote:
> >
> > No louder than the vehicle *NEXT* to you at the stoplight I hope!

consideration
> for your 'neighbors' is important.

Absolutetly! Forcing one's musical taste down another person's throat
isn't exactly a friendly gesture.

In fact in some areas, the police carry
> SPL meters to enable ticketing of drivers who violate noise ordinances.

In California, a mobile stereo user is breaking the law if his sound is
audible 50 feet away.

If it's annoying
> ME
> > then you're probably damaging your hearing.

I second this.

>
> What you're hearing is probably "under-damped" and not "over-amped."

No. Regardless of whether the sound is distorted or not, loud is loud.
Granted that we perceive distortion (and a couple of other musical
parameters) as more intense than undistorted waves, but this phenomenon
is mostly an effect noted in ranges above the bass region. You are in
medical trouble well before you feel the pressure as painful.
We are less sensitive to lower frequencies. Thus, when we sense the
bass as being "loud," we're exposed to very high pressure levels.

Your notes on distortion caused by improper speaker mounting are
correct.

> As a side note - many people find that, when listening to music on a really
> good system, increasing the volume seems to make the music more clear and not simply louder.

Only at very low levels, where the "loudness phenomenon" is at work.
>
> For many people, clean accurate reproduction is key. Add to this realistic
> or 'concert level' level volume and things change a little.

Concert-hall levels are usually undesireable for musical enjoyment. The
job of a skilled recording session manager, producer, or engineer is to
create the most enjoyable experience in a home, which is not a concert
hall. He or she is an aesthetic participant. That's why a studio mixing
panel has all those knobs. For realism, you just put a couple of
microphones out on the stage and go for a walk.

>in a car you have to compete
> with wind and road noise as well as other background noise from surrounding
> traffic.

And this is precisely why it is absurd to attempt to create a realistic
musical performance in your Volkswagen! Spend all that money on a great
set of tires.

it's interesting to note that the music that is most difficult to
> reproduce at 'concert level' is often classical music.

Don't forget that classical music typically presents a very wide dynamic
range. An orchestra can thin out to a single unacompanied flute. What's
demanding in classical music reproduction is to capture the entire
dynamic range, including the quiet. In a car, you're always turning the
volume up and down to hear the notes. Compressed sound would be a
kindness in a vehicle. In other words, completely accurate sound
reproduction can be a drag! If I were designing good car stereo, I'd add
a compressor circuit to even out the levels. Think about this.

Chamber music is easier in the dynamics, but perhaps more demanding in
terms of ability to reproduce subtlety. Jazz comes after classical in
reproduction requirements. Rock music is actually fairly easy. For one
thing, the original sound all comes out of loudspeakers to begin with.
Thus, there's no acoustical original whatsoever to try to emulate.

Live Rock and R&B
> usually maintain a consistently loud level,

I'd say a more even level when reproduced; the concerts do tend to be
loud.

> but the peaks in live classical
> music produce some of the highest measured SPLs.

My subjective experience both in audio and from a listening (and
performing) point in the middle of a few symphony prchestras (with the
trombones aimed at my head!) is that classical music simply does not
approach the _amplified_ levels that are commonplace at rock concerts.
I have occasionally experienced physical pain from the sound levels at
live rock performances. And note, again, that hearing damage occurs well
below the pain threshold. No more rock concerts for me; I'll enjoy my
rock music reproduced.

>
> This is just my opinion, but in a Ranger cab, a good basic system would
> consist of a Radio/Cassette/CD system of choice hooked to a good 35-50Wx4
> amp (preferably with built-in crossover) that feeds a set of 2-way speakers
> (coax or separates) and a pair of 8 inch subs in a proper box. This system
> could be done for a fair price and would meet the needs of many people.

I'd forego the subs. In fact, 35w x 4 of clean power is plenty ample in
this listening room which is smaller than a bathroom.

I agree with Burnett's emphasis on clean sound. I'd add, though, that
most high power amps sound pretty rotten at low levels, where they
reveal their own gobs of noise and switching distortion. In a home,
many audiophiles and critical music listeners prefer fairly low-power
(35 wpc) amps for this reason.

Richard


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

Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 21:05:03 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Car Music

> FTE Small - Car music
Robert Craven Jr wrote:

> Here is something I want to ask the group. I want to stay with
> cassette playing head units when I do change them. My reasoning is that
> in a car, the background noise is higher than the tape hiss and
> eliminates the main advantage of CD's over cassettes. Also mostly I
> play a whole cassette all of the way through on trips and do not need to
> skip around tracks. When I'm driving I feel I should pay attention to
> the road and not be messing with the programming on a CD.
>
> A further argument in favor of cassettes in a car is that I can purchase
> a CD, dub it to a tape for the car and if the tape is damaged (hot sun)
> or stolen I can replace it easily.
>
> I have never had a CD player in a car and there may be advantages that I
> am not thinking about.
>
> What do you think?

Bobby, you've got it right!
(I've reposted most of his message because he's talking sense.)
I'll add this:

Good super-cheap cassette mechanisms are available nowadays. I can't get
over how difficult it used to be to tweak tape decks to get the
performance of todays $17 walk-man. When a car stereo's cassette section
goes bad, the technician can often simply replace the transport as a
unit.

A CD player may be affordable and cheaply built, but it is very
sophisticated and mini-precise. Hit a few of those basher-bumps while
the thing is playing, and you may be looking at a repair bill close to
the thing's original price. Remember that regardless of price, consumer
electronic products are designed for rock bottom assembly cost, not
repairability. And OEM parts prices can be staggering (geesh, this
sounds like my Aerostar).

You are almost right about the ambient noise level in a vehicle
overriding tape hiss. But, I'd encourage everyone to pass up any radio
or "head unit" that doesn't have a Dolby switch. Commercial tapes are
all made with Dolby encoding; they don't sound right when played on
non-Dolby machines. You'll have to look hard to find a car stereo that
has Dolby; most companies are too cheap to spend the $1.60 to provide....


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