small-list-digest Wednesday, January 20 1999 Volume 03 : Number 015



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

FTE Small - Head lights blinking
Re: FTE Small - Head lights blinking
Re: FTE Small - Power(4.0)
RE: FTE Small - auto vs standard
FTE Small - ADMIN: FTE T-shirts answers
Re: FTE Small - Power
FTE Small - That Famous Lightbulb
Re: FTE Small - License Plate Lights
Re: FTE Small - Power
FTE Small - Re: auto vs standard
FTE Small - wrecked '94 Explorer
Re: FTE Small - Alloy wheels and brake dust
Re: FTE Small - Power
Re: FTE Small - wrecked '94 Explorer
Re: FTE Small - That Famous Lightbulb
Re: FTE Small - RE: Cracked head problem
Re: FTE Small - 1st gen Explorer suspension
Re: FTE Small - Hi Everybody!
Re: FTE Small - small rad
Re: FTE Small - Power
Re: FTE Small - My Aerostar Stinks! Round Two (Tim, are you there?)
Re: FTE Small - Radio Display: That Famous Lightbulb
Re: FTE Small - Head lights blinking
Re: FTE Small - Re: auto vs standard
RE: FTE Small - Re: auto vs standard
RE: FTE Small - 1st gen Explorer suspension
Re: FTE Small - That Famous Lightbulb
Re: FTE Small - Power(4.0)
RE: FTE Small - Hi Everybody!
RE: FTE Small - Power

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Date: 19 Jan 99 06:56:58 EST
From: CharlesASkarsaune eaton.com
Subject: FTE Small - Head lights blinking

I've got an 87 Bronco II that's just developed an interesting
habit of blinking the head lights. It seems to happen right
after they are switched on or right after changing from hi beam
to low beam (or vice versa). I'm thinking it is a) the hi beam / lo
beam switch or b) the head light switch but haven't torn into it
yet. Any body seen this before?

Thanks,
Chuck

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 05:50:26 -0800 (PST)
From: Bill Ciocco
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Head lights blinking

Blinking headlights on a Ford tells you that the circuit breaker in
the headlight switch is bad. As far as I know, the switch needs to be
replaced.

Bill





_________________________________________________________
DO YOU YAHOO!?

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 09:14:22 -0500
From: "Mike McNany"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Power(4.0)

On Mon, 18 Jan 1999 "Eric Davis" wrote:


already have an exhaust system and a K&N. But what else can you do that does
not cost over a $500. Thanks>

Eric, you might want to check out the JET module manufacturer's site,
www.superchips.com. On the 4.0 in a 92 explorer they claim an increase of
17hp and 32ft-lb. torque. They will also move the 103-109mph speed cutoff
up if desired. The downside is you must run premium and it costs $245.00. I
haven't got one yet cause I'm sinking money into other items on my
expedition. You can also get a free flowing intake plenum from K&N. There
is another intake plenum maker but I can't remember the name. They run about
$160-200.
Mike

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 07:45:44 -0700
From: Dave Armbruster
Subject: RE: FTE Small - auto vs standard

I believe that has to do with Ford's lack of confidence in the driver more
than a difference in transmissions. They probably figure (and it's most
likely a safe generalization) that Ranger owners are less likely to be able
to use a manual to tow very well or are first time truck owners.


> -----Original Message-----
> Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 21:59:52 -0500 (EST)
> From: Sean MacLennan
> Subject: FTE Small - auto vs standard
>
> Hi all,
>
> I always thought that a standard transmission was stronger than an
> automatic due to the simplier design. Yet when I look at the specs for
> the Ranger, I notice that the auto has a much higher GCWR (7,500 vs
> 6,000). Is the auto that much better?
>
> Thanks,
> Sean
> - --
> Sean MacLennanJust crank that volume to the point of pain.
> Ottawa, CanadaWhy waste good music on a brain?
> http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://www.storm.ca/~seanm(Spinal Tap)
>
>
>
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 10:00:10 -0500
From: Ken Payne
Subject: FTE Small - ADMIN: FTE T-shirts answers

After yesterday's posting about the new Ford Truck
Enthusiasts t-shirts, I received about a dozen emails
asking about security of ordering over the Internet.
I'm going to outline the measures taken:

1. If you use a browser that handles secure transactions
(Netscape and Internet Explorer are amoung these)
then your order from your browser is sent to our server
using either 128 or 40 bit encryption. Your browser
should indicate with a lock or key symbol somewhere on
the screen (usually the bottom) when you get to the
final order page that the transaction is secure.

2. The transactions are then further encrypted with PGP
using 1024/512 bit RSA encryption and stored on our
server.

3. Each evening these transactions are downloaded to our
system in encrypted form and we decrypt them on our
system. At no time is your personal information sent
over public lines unencrypted.

4. Nova, the Visa/Mastercard/Amex processor, runs a credit
check on both Ford Truck Enthusiasts and my personal
credit. Credit requirements for an Internet business
are tighter than non-Internet businesses to help insure
ethical transaction practices.

5. Nova requires a publically stated return and shipping
policy and we supply this on our order form.

Concerning the Ford truck club that is being formed (still
working on the Constitution for it)... if you join the
club and have ordered a t-shirt, the club member t-shirt
discount will be applied to your club membership fee. More
on this later....

Ken Payne



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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 10:44:16 -0500
From: Garr&Pam
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Power

Eric Davis wrote:
>
> Does anyone know what is a good way to get more power out of a 4.0L. I
> already have an exhaust system and a K&N. But what else can you do that does
> not cost over a $500. Thanks
>
> Eric Davis
> 98 4x4 Ranger,
> Edlebrock muffler, K&N.
>
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A custom burned chip on a dyno! A bigger throttle body, headers, new
cam!
Chris
94 Lightning #381
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 09:58:44 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - That Famous Lightbulb

Tim Bowman wrote --------------------------------------

If there were a long life bulb for this job, I would definately take
that option. The job is rather a nuisance at a minimum and time
consuming at best.

Me ----------------------------------------------------

I got out of my custom stereo business over ten years ago due to
constant problems with suppliers, especially lousy qc from component
mfrs (had an excellent customer following). Therefore, I've not kept up
with electronic parts much. We'd often find burned-out expensive
esoteric bulbs in products brought in for repair. Typically, the
designers had specified bulbs with a working voltage just matching a
nominal 6- or 12-volt supply. However, that supply voltage originates
from a transformer, whose output will vary depending on real-world
outlet voltage. I won't go further into this here, except to say that
the early bulb failure was due to overvoltage. Our fix was to use
8-volt bulbs for a 6-volt original; a 14-volt bulb for a 12-volt
original (when available). We'd lose a tiny amount of brightness, but
would save the customer some bucks over the years.

In a vehicle, the nominal 12-volt electricity is, in fact, quite a bit
higher. Right off the bat, a typical battery delivers 12.6 volts, not
12.0. The battery is charged by constantly feeding it voltage higher
than it can deliver. This voltage is supplied to all components in the
vehicle.

I dynamically-measured the cigarette lighter (system) voltage while
driving around under lots of conditions with a car battery that had one
bad cell (it could not come up to design voltage). The regulator put
out over 15 volts at times, perhaps induced by the battery. But if that
15 volts is typical, this could certainly lead to failure in a lightbulb
whose design does not take reality into account: that automotive
electrical components, including lightbulbs, must in fact be designed
for constant use at 15 volts, instead of the nominal twelve. And since
we usually run this bulb at lower voltage (we drive around with dash
lights dimmed, including the radio's), this points to faulty
specification at the design end: like a few other Ford parts, this one
can't withstand normal use.

Richard

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 12:37:54 -0600 (CST)
From: Sandman
Subject: Re: FTE Small - License Plate Lights

I got a pair of them for my 89 ranger at Autozone. They had plenty of
them when I went to get one. My guess is most auto parts stores should
have them. I just looked up the part number in the book inside of the
store.

On Mon, 18 Jan 1999, Joe Mitchell wrote:

> On the subject of lights, does anyone know where I could find a
> replacement bulb for one of the two license plate lights. My Service
> Manual has a number for it, but I'm not too sure where to look to get
> it. Since I am boycotting my local Ford dealer, I was just gonna check
> and see if any other stores might carry it. Thanx in advance.
> Joe
>
> ______________________________________________________
> > == FTE: Uns*bscribe and posting info http://www.ford-trucks.com/faq.html
>


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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 12:55:34 -0600
From: "Greg Hopper"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Power

>Eric Davis wrote:
>>
>> Does anyone know what is a good way to get more power out of a 4.0L. I
>> already have an exhaust system and a K&N. But what else can you do that
does
>> not cost over a $500. Thanks
>>
>> Eric Davis
>> 98 4x4 Ranger,
>> Edlebrock muffler, K&N.

if you are using the K&N that fits in the factory airbox, you can drill a
bunch of holes in the airbox (i frequently see this referred to as
"swissing"). we did that to my dad's 4.0L, and it did net some improvement.
you might think about avoiding cutting the side facing the motor, though, to
avoid drawing hot air off the motor...
dave

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 15:45:01 EST
From: BFunk33 AOL.COM
Subject: FTE Small - Re: auto vs standard

It's not the tranny itself, it's the clutch.
It seems that the clutch is difficult to build so that it operates well with a
large range of load inputs. IOW, if made to handle the heavier load, it will
grab under light load; if made to not grab under light load, it will chatter
under a heavy load. Thus, the lesser load range.
BTW, autos do require less maintenance than a standard, given that the clutch
is considered part of the standard transmission.
Bill

ORIGINAL MESSAGE:


Subject: FTE Small - auto vs standard

Hi all,

I always thought that a standard transmission was stronger than an
automatic due to the simplier design. Yet when I look at the specs for
the Ranger, I notice that the auto has a much higher GCWR (7,500 vs
6,000). Is the auto that much better?

Thanks,
Sean >>
============================
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 16:14:55 -0500
From: Harry Trafford
Subject: FTE Small - wrecked '94 Explorer

I previously posted info about parting out a friends fully optioned 4WD
'94 Explorer that was in an accident last week.

On Jan 19th. the GEICO insurance adjuster offered him a substantial
amount of money for the claim, as they considered it a "total". The
owner asked what it would cost him to keep the truck. GEICO's answer was
30%. Since this is almost $4K, that's the price John would need to sell
the wrecked Explorer for. While this is a nice truck, he doesn't think
anyone would pay that amount. GEICO will haul it away on Wednesday or
Thursday.

Many thanks to those that inquired about it. Sometimes things just don't
work out in our favor.

Harry
Homestead, FL

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 16:22:27 EST
From: Bobby D Herring
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Alloy wheels and brake dust

I have a '93 Ranger with the factory alloy wheels. The front ones tend
to stay dark from the brake dust coming off the pads. I replaced them
at the end of last summer and used the semi-metallic pads.
Was that correct or should I have stayed away from that type?
Is there something that will take this off, easily?

Bobby Herring
'64 F100 short-wide, 292 Y-block/3speed, motor in pieces, make me an
offer
'72 F100 400/C6 in progress
'93 Ranger V6/Auto/Super cab
'97 Explorer XLT 4.0 Auto

___________________________________________________________________
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 16:22:27 EST
From: Bobby D Herring
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Power

There was a thread a while back about this. There was a mention about
removing the air "silencer" from the breather assembly helping some on
the power. Can someone tell me where this is located and if it will cause

any problems to take it out?

Bobby Herring
'64 F100 short-wide, 292 Y-block/3speed, motor in pieces, make me an
offer
'72 F100 400/C6 in progress
'93 Ranger V6/Auto/Super cab
'97 Explorer XLT 4.0 Auto

>>> Does anyone know what is a good way to get more power out of a 4.0L.
I
>>> already have an exhaust system and a K&N. But what else can you do
that
>>>does not cost over a $500. Thanks
>>> Eric Davis
>>> 98 4x4 Ranger,
>>> Edlebrock muffler, K&N.
>if you are using the K&N that fits in the factory airbox, you can drill
a
>bunch of holes in the airbox (i frequently see this referred to as
"swissing").
>we did that to my dad's 4.0L, and it did net some improvement. you
>might think about avoiding cutting the side facing the motor, though, to
>avoid drawing hot air off the motor...
>dave


___________________________________________________________________
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------------------------------

Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 16:40:28 EST
From: Bobby D Herring
Subject: Re: FTE Small - wrecked '94 Explorer

On Tue, 19 Jan 1999 16:14:55 -0500 Harry Trafford
writes:
>I previously posted info about parting out a friends fully optioned 4WD
>'94 Explorer that was in an accident last week.
>
Just out of curiousity, will the Explorer seats fit in the Rangers?
Bobby Herring

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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 99 16:36:26 PST
From: don neomagic.com (Donald Paauw)
Subject: Re: FTE Small - That Famous Lightbulb

>Tim Bowman wrote --------------------------------------
>
>If there were a long life bulb for this job, I would definately take
>that option. The job is rather a nuisance at a minimum and time
>consuming at best.
>

According to my package, the #74 bulb is rated at 14 volts.
This should last longer than a bulb rated for 12 volts.
- -- Don
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 20:17:51 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - RE: Cracked head problem

mike fenwick wrote:
>
> I wrote about the cracked heads for the 2.9 V6 and requested solutions

> only companies such as machine shops
> or auto repair shops can deal with them. If any one has any info on who
> exactly I can go through to get in touch with them I would appreciate
> it.


Refer to my earlier post re:2.9 heads with better reliability.

The gist of it was you can try calling the machine shop we use here in
Wilmington NC; Edwards Machine Shop 910-675-1108. John Edwards is the
owner and quite friendly. :-)

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 20:42:24 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - 1st gen Explorer suspension

"John L. Winkler" wrote:
>
> At the risk of being castigated by the hard-core off-road crowd,
> can someone make recommendations for shock absorbers/springs to
> take some of the bounce out of my 93 Explorer's ride and make it
> (gasp!) more car-like?

You fool you!!

> I got the Explorer to tow, and for its
> carrying capacity, and in about 7 weeks, it will become the family
> station wagon (when we become a family, and no longer DINKs).

I think the first thing I'd try would be some good progressive rate
springs from NAPA/J C Whitney/whoever for a softer ride unladen but
still good carrying capacity and possibly some different shocks oriented
towards comfort rather than on-off-road.

Good luck and keep us posted on what works for you!

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC

PS: Using the air pressure that's posted on the door pillar will make a
marked difference in the ride and handling Vs. the 35PSI everyone seems
to stick in 'em.


>
> Thanks,
>
> JLW
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 21:08:28 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Hi Everybody!

Chris Rutledge wrote:
>
> Hello Everyone! I am new to the list but I have been watching it for a few
> days to get a feel for it. (a good practice in my opinion)..

Agreed! Welcome to the list(s) You might want to check out the
off-road and perf. ones also :-)

> It is the 4X4, which I am very proud of! : )

Enjoy it! Just remember the old axiom that 4WD means youre 4 times
further away and 4 times as stuck when you DO get stuck. (And you WILL
get stuck..) ;-) I've suggested on the list before to keep a 'Franklin'
or two in the glove compartment for the high dollar tow that will be
necessary at some point. Many other pointers as well; if you're
interested e-mail me or if others want I can post 'em here in the list.

I would not voluntarily drive anything but Ford equipment and I like
this one a lot.

Anything beats walking! But I try to avoid the 'C-word' :-)

>
> OH and by the way, the paint on the hood and roof is faded (if you can call
> if that, it looks more like a rash!) I assume this is due to 9 Texas
> summers. If anyone else has an idea as to what causes Fords to do this ( I
> have noticed it on many Ford vehicles) please let me know.


Ford and Great Mistake both have had problems off and on with the clear
coat 'popping off' especially in the darker colors; Often the original
owner can get it repainted free if it happens within so many years, but
other than that there's no option but to repaint. :-(


Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 21:12:25 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - small rad

Sean MacLennan wrote:
>
> I have a '98 Ford Ranger XL with the 3.0 V6, 5 speed standard, and the
> optional suspension package. It has a second very small rad under the
> main rad. Does anyone know what it is for? I would guess it is for the
> transmission fluid but I didn't think you needed that with a standard
> transmission.

If it's about the size of an envelope it's probably a P/S cooler. :-)
Follow the lines coming out of it and see where they lead to ID it.

Tim
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 21:18:38 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Power

Eric Davis wrote:
>
> Does anyone know what is a good way to get more power out of a 4.0L. I
> already have an exhaust system and a K&N. But what else can you do that does
> not cost over a $500. Thanks
>

A 'chip' will get you some extra boost without much labor involved,
Nitrous would be an option for the $$ you suggest, but for 2K you can
add a supercharger! You might want to start checking the 'performance'
list here on FTE; there's been quite an interesting discussion about
'bang for the buck' going on lately.

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 22:03:38 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - My Aerostar Stinks! Round Two (Tim, are you there?)

FYI (all) Sun & Mon I'm off-line so sometimes it takes me a day or two
to catch up on all the various places I habit. :-) (Avg 100-140 E-mail
on Tuesday evening to deal with rather than the usual 50 or so.)

Richard wrote:
>
>
> "Hmmmm," I said to myself. "A rich mixture, huh? I wonder if my air
> filter is clogged (that'd enrich the mixture, all right).

Reminds me of an old story I read once in a trade journal.. Car towed
in for extremely poor performance and it turned out the air filter was
still in its shrink-wrap!

> it revolved freely. Uh-oh: I know that feeling! Sure enough, the screw
> was set into something that was loose.

A nut set into the plastic originally.. I KNOW that feeling well.

>A resourceful mechanic had
> conjured up a fix by jamming a round plastic foot from a TV onto the
> lower end of the screw, where it would go no further. It holds the
> housing cover loosely in place.

I think a cable tie might have worked better! A smaller dia. bolt and a
nut works well, but you always lose the nut when you check the filter.
I've seen small vise-grips used as well... lots of 'cures' I've seen
over the years for the FI 'panel' type filter box strip-outs.

>
> The TV foot is surrounded by obstructions and recessed on the down side
> of the flange (this is an Aerostar, with obstructions inspired by
> Sony). Being round, a wrench is useless. I went out to Pep Boys, and
> picked up a long, 90 degree pliers for the next attempt.

Cut off the top of the bolt/screw and let the mess drop.. secure by
whatever means you like. :-) The bent needle nose are REAL handy to
have in any case; great for removing hoses, use the leverage against the
item it's attached to with the jaws against the hose.

>
> Here's the interesting part. I clipped the housing shut with a paper
> clamp and drove off to Pep Boys, and ran the heater during the entire
> 3-mile trip.

Hmm.. does your A-* have a MAF or MAP? If you have a mass airflow
sensor (MAF) you could have a problem with the ducting from the sensor
to the throttle body; an air leak AFTER the sensor admits un-measured
air and will cause a myriad of strange problems.

> I could swear that the odor is gone. Am I imagining
> this? Does the PCV recirculate into the air filter housing,

*IF* it's working properly the PCV draws it's (filtered) air from there
and then goes through the crankcase picking up vapors and then goes
through the PCV valve into the intake manifold and burned from there.
If the PCV valve was plugged then yes some crankcase vapor would
'back-up' as it's got to go somewhere but It usually doesnt create a
noticeable odor; just makes leaky valve covers, oil in the filter etc.
(An aside to all.. whenever you fix an oil leak check the PCV valve; if
it's bad it creates pressure in the crankcase and helps blow
gaskets/seals.)

>
> I have to go a few miles on the freeway tomorrow (Tues), a 40 mile rt
> Wednesday, and 110 miles on Thursday. I'll report soon. Meanwhile, I'd
> sure like some feedback.

Please do! I'm interested as well :-)

> I also need to find a mechanic who I can trust,

Try iATN.com (I think); it's made up of mech's that are on-line and use
each other for advice/chit-chat. There's a section on the site that
lists members by area; of course it's no guarantee that he/she is
competent, but at least it shows intent. IMHO ASE is the same; it shows
interest in looking good, but means not much since the study guides are
readily available to pass said tests.

> and will do a little maintenance myself in self-defense. Really
> appreciate the input from you guys.

The actual number of service bays in the US has been decreasing for
several years; the more you can do yourself the better off we'll ALL
be. (Scenario: If Tech's are doing UN-profitable oil changes rather
than profitable brakes/performance/etc then the labor rate must go up
accordingly to meet overhead..) As a business owner would you rather
have me do 4 oil changes in an hour for maybe 5-10 bucks gross profit or
2-3 tune-ups at maybe 40--60?

>
> Richard

Keep posting Richard! I'm curious as to what the final fix is gonna be
too. :-)

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 22:08:03 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Radio Display: That Famous Lightbulb

Tim Bowman wrote:
>
> Richard:
>
> The lamp in my radio was considerably smaller than a standard
> dashboard light. As I suggested in my very first post on this topic,
> I recommend taking the unit apart and removing the bulb and taking
> that to an auto parts store.
>
> If there were a long life bulb for this job, I would definately take
> that option. The job is rather a nuisance at a minimum and time
> consuming at best.

I think I'd try 'Radio-Shack' first.. there's only some 10-15 types of
bulb bases and a good salesman ought to be able to find what we're
looking for.

Tim
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 22:31:09 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Head lights blinking

CharlesASkarsaune eaton.com wrote:
>
> I've got an 87 Bronco II that's just developed an interesting
> habit of blinking the head lights. It seems to happen right
> after they are switched on or right after changing from hi beam
> to low beam (or vice versa). I'm thinking it is a) the hi beam / lo
> beam switch or b) the head light switch but haven't torn into it
> yet. Any body seen this before?

There's a circuit-breaker in the switch; funny I see this message
tonight. I just got an old '79 LTD to drive while I rebuild my 85 B-II's
engine and it'll flash the lights when on Hi-Beam but not low. I
suspect the switch but if it's NOT I'll post the fix here when I do get
the bug swatted. (Just got the thing tonight so I havent had a chance
to look at it.) I've seen dirty contacts on the combo-switch do this
also (Just a delay switching rather than off-on-off-on etc though.)

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 22:39:41 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Re: auto vs standard

BFunk33 AOL.COM wrote:
>

> BTW, autos do require less maintenance than a standard, given that the clutch
> is considered part of the standard transmission.

But I can replace a BUNCH of clutches myself Vs. the cost of the
inevitable rebuild of an shifltess tranny used for towing. Add a cooler
and ideally a trans. oil temp. guage if you want to tow heavy stuff.
For me I'll always take the 'real' tranny over the auto.

Tim
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 22:53:33 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Re: auto vs standard

BFunk33 AOL.COM wrote:
>
> BTW, autos do require less maintenance than a standard, given that the
clutch
> is considered part of the standard transmission.

Don't you mean MIGHT require less maintenance? While a well designed
automatic might last the life of the vehicle, many are underdesigned
(probably to meet packaging requirements) and failure prone. I've had or
heard about several automatic equipped vehicles that needed a rebuild in
the 40k-60k mile range. This is a $1600 job! A well cared for clutch can go
100k miles or more, and only costs around $500 to replace. Of course a
blown manual tranny can cost almost as much as an automatic to rebuild.

The other thing to consider is that fluid changes on an automatic or often
required more frequently. They also cost about twice as much to have done
(including filter.)

Still, if Consumer Reports or other sources indicated a particular model
was free from unusual problems with its automatic transmission, I'd
probably go with the auto.

Just my $.02 worth!!

Burnett
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 23:05:31 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - 1st gen Explorer suspension

Either Monroe or Gabriel makes an adjustable air shock that's supposed to
give you a decent ride unloaded while allowing a firmer ride with a heavy
load. The shocks have a fitting that allows you to adjust the air pressure
with a standard tire pump/compressor. It night be a bit of a hassle if
you're constantly switching from heavily loaded to unloaded, but they might
be worth a try.

Burnett
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 20:04:41 -0800
From: Tim Bowman
Subject: Re: FTE Small - That Famous Lightbulb

Richard:

Thanks for the informative reply. I forgot that there is 14.6
charging volts at the battery and constant application of the voltage
to the bulb has got to be hard on it.

Not only should the engineers spec better; an easier design to replace
this illumination would be in order.

Tim Bowman
Burien, WA
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 23:29:31 EST
From: Ding060297 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Power(4.0)

To eric davis your 4.0 is a good little engine just in need of some pep...I
know people have offered you the chip or module route but i've installed one
in my 96 explorer with the 5.0 v8 and it did make it a little more peppy but
for $245 bucks and now i have to run 93 octane or it'll ping like crazy.almost
not worth it .Plus you in most cases like mine have to change the thermostat
to 160 degrees which in my opinion is kinda low especially if you live
anywhere cold like me you have to take it out because you'll have no
heat...which means you have to take the chip out too and now you only have
summer performance (basically)..Other than that if you did exhaust and k&n air
filter you might wanna look at the basics, Look into a electric fan take out
your power robbing fan and intall a electric fan it'll give you a few ponies
and check out your rear end gear ratio it'll be a code on you drivers door
sticker ..If you up it to a 373 tha'll pep it up a bit too.......Maybe a
bigger throttle body and higher volume fuel pump..They'll all make a few
horses more and should keep you around the $500 area ding.........
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 23:36:34 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Hi Everybody!

Chris Rutledge wrote:
>
> purchased a 91 Explorer and I love it very much, is there anything I
should
> be on the lookout for or can maybe take some preventative measures for?
It
> has 81K miles on it. The shocks and brakes and tires are new. It is the
> 4X4, which I am very proud of! : )

According to the Spring 1996 edition of Open Magazine and the general
scuttlebutt I've heard, the following areas require special attention:

1. Heads are prone to crack on '91 and early '92 models. (If this problem
is similar to the one on Ranger/Bronco II 2.9L engines, keeping the engine
cooling system in tip-top shape is very helpful in preventing cracking.)

2. 5-speed manual tranny in '91 model is prone to failure (again similar to
Ranger/Bronco IIs.)

3. Explorers are hard on front brakes. Have them inspected, and the brake
caliper slides lubricated, every 15k miles. There is no audible warning
when the pads are worn.

4. Run the A/C for a few minutes every month (even in winter) to keep the
seals lubricated. (I've heard this is true with all cars. I've also heard
that running the defroster cycles the compressor, so frequent defrosting
serves the same purpose.)

5. Engage the 4WD monthly to keep everything working properly. The magazine
article suggests engaging the system while moving in a straight line at
less than 10mph. After a few feet disengage 4WD but DON'T unlock the hubs.
Drive 25-100 miles with the hubs locked. Then back up 2-3 car lengths to
unlock the hubs. (While I've heard that the system should be engaged
monthly, I don't know about driving 100 miles with the hubs locked. I do
know that I haven't done this and I recently had to have the front
driveshaft u-joints replaced. While this was relatively inexpensive, I
suspect I could have avoided it altogether.)

Also, Ford's 4WD system works a little differently than others, so read
your manual carefully before using the system. If you don't have the manual
on the 4WD system, post a message - you'll get lots of helpful info.

> OH and by the way, the paint on the hood and roof is faded (if you can
call
> if that, it looks more like a rash!) I assume this is due to 9 Texas
> summers. If anyone else has an idea as to what causes Fords to do this (
I
> have noticed it on many Ford vehicles) please let me know. If this topic

I've seen this on certain color Fords and on many other makes. Like Tim
said, it's the clearcoat popping off. The best prevention for it is
frequent washing AND waxing. I've kept this at bay for almost 9 years on a
silver BII. Silver used to be one of Ford's least durable colors. I have
seen signs recently that I'm gonna have trouble soon. Then again, I've been
neglecting the waxing since the 3-year-old came along ;-) Funny how that
happens!!

Burnett 89 BII
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Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 23:52:26 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Power

Eric Davis wrote:
> Does anyone know what is a good way to get more power out of a 4.0L. I....


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