small-list-digest Thursday, January 21 1999 Volume 03 : Number 016



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

FTE Small - ADMIN: Pigeon Forge show
FTE Small - That Famous Radio Lightbulb, again
FTE Small - Radio Display: That Famous Lightbulb
FTE Small - Explorer thingy
FTE Small - Re: Blinking Headlights
FTE Small - re: Alloy wheels and brake dust
FTE Small - My Aerostar Stinks!
FTE Small - BII engine rebuild
Re: FTE Small - My Aerostar Stinks!
FTE Small - RE: Accessibility (Was that famous lightbulb ...)
Re: FTE Small - BII engine rebuild
FTE Small - Cargo light
Re: FTE Small - explorer upgrades???

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Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1999 17:04:55 -0500
From: Ken Payne
Subject: FTE Small - ADMIN: Pigeon Forge show

Fellow FTEs:

Ford Truck Enthusiasts plans to attend the 21st annual F100
Supernationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennesee this year. Don't
let the name fool you, this show features not only older
F100s but also new trucks too (last year was the first year
for new trucks). Over 800 Ford trucks were featured. This is
the largest Ford truck show in the country and its a blast.

Last year we had 30 list members attend the show. We have
more than twice as many list members this year and hope to
have 100 in attendance. If you're interested in going, send
an email to me (kpayne ford-trucks.com) and I'll add you to the
email list.

We're working on a group discount for the hotel and a
Saturday breakfast. We're hoping to have a pavillion at the
local park too. Peggy is getting in contact with the promoter
to get a booth.

We're going to have a bulleting board featuring several list
member trucks. This is a good way to show your truck if you
can drive it there. If you want your truck featured, whether
or not you attend the show, send a picture to:

Ford Truck Enthusiasts
Attn: PF Show Photo
PO Box 422
Lilburn, GA 30048

Include a detailed description of the truck.

The show dates are Thursday, May 13th until Sunday, May 16th.
Many vendors are there as early as Monday. We plan to be there
starting Wednesday.

Last year was great and helped to solidify many friendships
amoung list members. We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,
Ken Payne
Admin

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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 09:58:39 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - That Famous Radio Lightbulb, again

Tim Bowman wrote:

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.

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

In one of my posts on this subject, I mentioned something that I think
we've (including me) overlooked: there aren't many of us who drive
around at night with our dash lights on full-bore. We have them dimmed:
in other words, we're feeding reduced voltage to the dash lights, and
note that the radio illumination bulbs in the average car stereo,
including Ford's very own (probably Chinese) units run off the dash
light dimmer, too. So in typical use, the radio bulb is dimmed.
Further, this bulb's voltage is dimmed even more when your headlights
are on, with lower voltage than even the dash light circuit provides. I
mean, Ford has really put some thought into what goes into this
lightbulb (seems uncharacteristic of them to be so considerate).

But, whoops! I just remembered that that bulb is always-on with full
charging voltage in the _daytime!_. After all, the radio is also your
clock. That bulb only goes off when you turn off the key and go out the
door.

Whoa!: Hey, dig it: The illumination bulb in your car stereo has more
hours logged onto it than any other lightbulb in your vehicle! No
wonder the damn thing burns out. I've got no cure for this whatsoever,
and advise all of you to invest in one of those Ford Radio Removal Tool
thingies. I don't recommend using a higher-voltage bulb (imagining that
one is available, which it undoubtedly is not) because this would reduce
the brightness, and you can't see it enough under some conditions
already.

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

Me -----------------------------------------------------------------
Well, it does seem that Ford has a corporate mental block about repair
access, and has no ability to put themselves in their customers' shoes
(or to comprehend the staggering repair costs of an Aerostar due to this
attitude).

Sadly, I must also report that it has become customary in the consumer
electronics manufacturing world to design products with the same
thoughtlessness.

My bench technicial used to rail about "planned obsolescence," but I
think that the cause is bottom-line-fever to go for the cheapest
assembly costs and to hell with you after you've bought it. It was
upsetting to see Sony getting a reputation for quality, when they were
making their stuff almost impossible to physically work on without
destroying assemblies (this design is called "packaging engineering").
And the other companies quickly followed suit. We got to the point
where we would no longer work on Sony products. So, that's the reason
that I get so burned up when I have to deal with the same kind of design
in a motor vehicle: I know that it would have cost me $150 instead of
$650 to change my heater core if they'd given a damn.

On days like that, I vow to buy a Hundai and drive it into the ground.

Ruchard


Tim Bowman
Burien, WA

>
> 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' fi


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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 09:28:49 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Radio Display: That Famous Lightbulb

(In case you tuned in late, the subject involves replacing the LCD
Display illumination lightbulb in a Ford radio, and perhaps in other
Ford radio models, too)

Tim Bowman wrote:

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.

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

Naw. I looked in the Radio Shack catalog and the bulb isn't there. I
think that we've figured this one out pretty good: although the Ford
radios are electronic products, and logically would use a panel
lightbulb from the electronics galaxy, Ford has instead opted to use a
bulb from the automotitive nebula made with a push-on base. This is why
you must buy the bulb at Hub Cap Boys Auto Supply rather than from Joe's
Electronics Technician Heaven or Blast-em To Hell Car Stereo and
Obnoxious Alarm Shops.

To recap: The radio bulb is an automotive item, not an electronics item.

Richard


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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 13:31:02 -0800
From: Thom Cheney
Subject: FTE Small - Explorer thingy

Hey gang,

please don't take this as spam, I'm not going to mention a product or
service to toot my own horn, but see for yourself:

http://www.ford-trucks.com//lc/lc.php?action=do&link=http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=58710392

- --
Thom Cheney
tcgrafx... among other things
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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 16:31:55 EST
From: Jmgerhart AOL.COM
Subject: FTE Small - Re: Blinking Headlights

We have a 1985 Ford F350 4x4 that was turned into a brush truck for our fire
department. The headlights blink after being turned on for about 20 minutes
or after the "wig-wags" have been on. Our Ford dealer was unable to locate
the problem. It is really annoying at 3 in the morning coming back from a
fire!

John Gerhart
Bear, DE
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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 99 17:26:33 EST
From: CONAN RALVM8.VNET.IBM.COM
Subject: FTE Small - re: Alloy wheels and brake dust

>>Is there something that will take this off, easily?

First, try a little dishwashing soap and bleach in warm water.
If that doesn't get it, there is a commercial product (maybe by Armor-All?)
but I forget the name. A friend of mine sells it at (919)872-2002 - Auto
Sport Gallery (Raleigh NC). Comes in a spray bottle and seems to work well.
Ed in NC
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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 14:37:52 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - My Aerostar Stinks!

Ken Payne wrote-----------------------------------
Its the gas you're buying. Some gas has a high sulfur content.
Last time this happened to me, I switched brands and it went
away within one tankful.

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

I forgot the obvious:

Ken, please tell me where in the USA you live and which brands of gas
you've been buying that aren't smelly. If you're in my part of
California, I can probably assume that the gas formulations are pretty
similar within individual brands.

I realized that when I switch from my usual Arco today, it would be good
not to fill up with an equally sulfurous brand for the test.

Thanks

Richard

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Date: 20 Jan 99 08:43:03 EST
From: CharlesASkarsaune eaton.com
Subject: FTE Small - BII engine rebuild

Tim wrote...
>I just got an old '79 LTD to drive while I rebuild my 85 B-II's
>engine ...
>
>Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
>Custer Auto Repair
>Wilmington NC

Hey Tim, what made you decide to rebuild your BII motor, vs. a reman.
engine or a swap?
And, what made you decide to rebuild it - performance loss, leaks, ???
I'm driving my BII to keep miles off my 96 F150, plus I want to see how
many miles I can put
on before it blows up! (149.5K and counting on original motor & trans -
several clutches, 1
thermostat, 1 water pump, lots of driveline components due to severe 4wd
abuse in
younger days).
Just curious,
Chuck

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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 19:55:18 -0500
From: Ken Payne
Subject: Re: FTE Small - My Aerostar Stinks!

- -snip-
>
>I forgot the obvious:
>
>Ken, please tell me where in the USA you live and which brands of gas
>you've been buying that aren't smelly. If you're in my part of
>California, I can probably assume that the gas formulations are pretty
>similar within individual brands.
>
>I realized that when I switch from my usual Arco today, it would be good
>not to fill up with an equally sulfurous brand for the test.
>
>Thanks
>
>Richard

I live in Atlanta. I've done well with Amaco, Shell, Quicktrip,
Chevron, BP and Texaco. Speedway, 7-11 and a chain called "Golden
Gallon" have all caused this problem. Its even worse if your
vehicle runs a little rich.

Ken

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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 18:27:44 -0800
From: Tim Bowman
Subject: FTE Small - RE: Accessibility (Was that famous lightbulb ...)

Richard:

Re: your comments on accessibility for repairs, I couldn't agree
more. I would probably own a small Ranger p/u; except I just did most
of the work on my son's Ranger transmission replacement and have
observed his replacement of the valve covers. It's like they
sandwitch a full size engine/tranny in a 2/3 size vehicle.

I think I'll stay with my 71 Ranger where with it's 360 I can stand
inside of the engine compartment and work. Fortunately it's not a
daily driver so I can afford to feed the 360 vs the little V6.

On the flip side, some of the engineering of the recent 10-15 years is
better than the 70's and 60's.

Tim Bowman
Burien, WA
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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 22:46:58 -0500
From: Tim Turner
Subject: Re: FTE Small - BII engine rebuild

CharlesASkarsaune eaton.com wrote:
>
> Tim wrote...
> >I just got an old '79 LTD to drive while I rebuild my 85 B-II's
> >engine ...
> >

>
> Hey Tim, what made you decide to rebuild your BII motor, vs. a reman.
> engine or a swap?

It's what I do! Seriously though.. I was planning to rebuild with some
performance goodies but with emission laws the way they are now I'm
really leaning towards a long block from NAPA as I've done the numbers
and it'll be cheaper than doing everything but machine work myself.
(and quicker!)

> And, what made you decide to rebuild it - performance loss, leaks, ???

Smoke at start-up, MPG down to 11 from 18 (in town), front seal pouring
(between all this it's 50 MPQuart), doggy performance, 153K miles of
hard use (I play as hard as I work!) Etc. etc.

> I'm driving my BII to keep miles off my 96 F150, plus I want to see how
> many miles I can put
> on before it blows up!

That's what I'm trying to avoid! No core credit/rebuildable unit. I'd
much rather have it done before a catastrophic failure. (Like the 302
we pulled today with a broken crank and a cracked block...)

(149.5K and counting on original motor & trans -

Lots of good miles left in it :-)

Tim Turner/Manic Mechanic
Custer Auto Repair
Wilmington NC
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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 19:36:19 PST
From: "Joe Mitchell"
Subject: FTE Small - Cargo light

Well, well, well, you thought all of the "light" discussions were about
to die, did you? Not quite :) Okay, I was wondering if my cargo lamp
(one of back of cab) is supposed to come on when I open either the
passanger or drivers' side doors. If I turn my light switch to the left
(as if I were turning the inside light on), it will come on, but not if
I open the doors. I was just wondering because on my sisters' old truck
(an 86 Chevy), it does, as well as her new truck (98 Chevy). My Dads
truck does as well (99 Dodge) and a friend of mine has an F-150 that
does it. So, are Rangers' just deprived of this or is it just my truck?
Any info appreciated. Thanx.
Joe

______________________________________________________
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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 23:59:35 EST
From: Ding060297 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - explorer upgrades???

I'm looking to do a little beefing up on my 96 explorer xlt with awd v8 I
already took out the air box and put in a k&n air filter and left it open.I've
also installed a hyperchip and dropped the thermo to 160 degrees to keep it
from pinging to death...And so far the truck runs impressively good.. I'm now
looking into installing an exhaust, the truck has a very tough note now as it
is so i can only imagine how it will sound with a performance free flow on
it...My question is i've only seen some systems offered and they were all cat....


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