small-list-digest Monday, January 25 1999 Volume 03 : Number 020



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

FTE Small - Last year for Aerostar
FTE Small - Explorer
FTE Small - ADMIN: Nov & Dec archives
Re: FTE Small - Last year for Aerostar
RE: FTE Small - Re: BII engine rebuild -- Misc questions
RE: FTE Small - Explorer
FTE Small - Your stereo and my ears
FTE Small - Son Of My Aerostar Stinks!
FTE Small - ADMIN: Web site updates
Re: FTE Small - looking for info on explorers
Re: FTE Small - Son Of My Aerostar Stinks!

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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 07:29:31 -0600
From: "Gary Snook"
Subject: FTE Small - Last year for Aerostar

Last year for Aerostar was 97. I ordered a 97. I love it. Sorry Ford
Discontinued it. It has the newer A4OD tranny. I have never seen a 8
passanger version, however. I have owned several Aero's, and 2 of them were
7 passangers (2 in front 2 captains chairs in middle, and 3 in back). I did
see an Ast*o ad in Popular Science claiming 8 passanger seating for that
vehicle. I am curious how 3rd seat access is obtained in that
configuration....

Gary


>Think they came out in 84 and last year was 95 (I'm sure some one will
>correct me).


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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 10:05:16 EST
From: Bakend AOL.COM
Subject: FTE Small - Explorer

Hi all,
Well, we just bought a 95 Explorer and it looks great in the garage next to
the Ranger! Finally convinced my wife to go with a Ford! The Explorer has 35K
miles on it and seems to be in excellent shape. It's got all the whistles and
bells that you can get, I think. The question I have is what to watch out for
as far as trouble spots, and should I take out the extended warranty? I have
about 500 miles to decide on the warranty. My nature as a shade tree mechanic
is to go without it. The comments on this list about the transmission have me
a little concerned though. It is the automatic 3 speed with OD and the 4.0
6cyl. The wife loves it so far! And I want to keep it that way! Any comments
or suggestions from this knowledgeable and experienced list?
Thanks
Dennis Baken
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 14:59:26 -0500
From: Ken Payne
Subject: FTE Small - ADMIN: Nov & Dec archives

November and December list archives are now on the website.

Ken Payne
Admin, Ford Truck Enthusiasts
http://www.ford-trucks.com
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 14:44:32 -0700
From: "Ryan Penner"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Last year for Aerostar

We owned a Astro for about 1 year (Biggest piece of Junk) and it had two
captains chairs up front, then two benches each one seating 3 people... for
a total of 8.

- ----- Original Message -----
From: Gary Snook
To:
Sent: Sunday, January 24, 1999 6:29 AM
Subject: FTE Small - Last year for Aerostar


> Last year for Aerostar was 97. I ordered a 97. I love it. Sorry Ford
>Discontinued it. It has the newer A4OD tranny. I have never seen a 8
>passanger version, however. I have owned several Aero's, and 2 of them
were
>7 passangers (2 in front 2 captains chairs in middle, and 3 in back). I
did
>see an Ast*o ad in Popular Science claiming 8 passanger seating for that
>vehicle. I am curious how 3rd seat access is obtained in that
>configuration....
>
>Gary
>
>
>>Think they came out in 84 and last year was 95 (I'm sure some one will
>>correct me).
>
>
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>

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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 16:56:57 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Re: BII engine rebuild -- Misc questions

Keith Christensen wrote:
> |JBA Cat4Ward Headers ... This is what I'm going for first! I looked at

If you're not in a hurry check out James Duff Inc. They have a set of BII
headers on the way in Feb. or Mar. They told me by phone that they're
shooting for a price of $250/pair vs. $600/pair for the JBA headers. They
might be worth a look!

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

Burnett
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 17:03:34 -0500
From: Burnett
Subject: RE: FTE Small - Explorer

Bakend AOL.COM wrote:
>
> bells that you can get, I think. The question I have is what to watch out
for
> as far as trouble spots, and should I take out the extended warranty? I
have
>
> a little concerned though. It is the automatic 3 speed with OD and the
4.0
>

Here is a repost of my earlier post. I decided not to edit it even though
the years and equipment don't all apply to you:

According to the Spring 1996 edition of Open Road 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.

Regards,

Burnett
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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 19:29:26 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Your stereo and my ears

Burnett wrote ------------------------------------

If the Ranger is like my Bronco II, the
door has a factory location down low that will hold a 6 1/2" speaker.
Since
mounting a coaxial down there just kills the imaging, why not rig a way
to
mount your coaxes (or even separates) higher up on the door...

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

Imaging in a motor vehicle? Surely, you jest.
On the other hand, talking plain English now, mounting speakers low
typically causes blockages and an indirect sound path. This muffles the
sound, with progressively more muffling with higher frequencies. The
sound sure changes in my Aerostar depending on whether the back seats
are up or down.

Richard

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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 19:23:45 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Son Of My Aerostar Stinks!

"Mike McNany" wrote & quoted---------------------

Ed Minner states" I live in Australia and I have no idea what an
Aerostar
is,
...
I have a 1997 Ford Explorer and it does
not stink, as a matter of fact I love it. I think Fords are the best
cars,
trucks, whatever on the road."

Well Ed, I don't think anyone would bother being on the list if they
didn't
feel the same way.

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

I'm the guy with the stinking Aerostar. Unfortunately, due to my
experience with my Aerostar, I'm on the list and I can find no
excellence whatsoever in the design of my Aerostar. After the last few
cars, this thing is a real kick in my butt.

Mike: The stench was literal not figuratively on the Aerostar.

Me: Well, Mike is correct. It is literal in that I've been suffering
with the foul odor of rotten eggs and dried burning sewage in the
cabin. However, I do mean a double entendre: when mechanical work is to
be done on my vehicle, I assure you that I feel that the design truly
sucks. For example, just yesterday, after struggling with the flimsy,
cheap plastic air filter housing for over an hour, I was unable to
install a new filter due to the sadistic design of the assembly.
Further, I found that a previous mechanic had cross-threaded one of the
two housing screws, and ripped it out of the plastic.

Mike -------------------------------------------------------------
I had an 88 and traded it on a 92
explorer. Very roomy 8 passenger unit, rear wheel drive. Both rear seats
removed so it had great versatility. Loved it, not one problem, wouldn't
have traded it, even for the explorer but suddenly became single again.
Great tow vehicle for up to 6,000 lbs.

Me ---------------------------------------------------------------
Pretty much true. People seem to like it for a tow car. And the Aerostar
has more cargo room than the competition. The price for all that space
is that the engine and associated components are all stuffed into an
inadequate space. The enormous windshield comes at the expense of a
teentsy-tiny hood, which covers layers of obstructions. It takes a
professional mechanic two hours to replace the spark plugs, and in order
to do almost any repair, much has to come apart in an agony of
convolution on the part of the mechanic.

There is a liberal use of overstressed plastic assemblies and some
electrical parts are flimsy, failing early, with fasteners ripping
through the plastic. Mine is a '92.

While the vehicle is new enough, it can be a pleasure to own. I really
like driving mine. The forward visibility is excellent and the handling
is remarkably decent for a truck. Visibility to the sides and the rear
inspire true fear. Bumpers are worthless: the typical cost of body
damage from hitting a pole in the back is $1,800 US.

A few people have great luck with their Aerostars. Once repairs become
more frequent, as they do with any vehicle, the maintenance costs are
documented to be extremely high. Transmissions are famous for dying,
emgines are famous for blowing head gaskets. Ignition switches of older
models are known to set the vehicle on fire. Consumer's Union has
placed Aerostars in their lowest "do not buy" category.

I feel that Ford has created a product that places unconscionable
maintenance difficulties and expense burdens on their customers. I have
a "love-hate" relationship with my Aerostar, which is mostly "hate."
For my vehicle, which I feel is in essentially good condition,
maintenance costs over a nine month period were over $3,000. And I've
lots more to do as things seem to fail faster than I can get them
fixed. I stress that I believe that my experience is typical, and
perhaps even better than many have been through.

I still have a black cloud over my head from that air filter housing
yesterday.

Richard
- ----


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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 22:42:01 -0500
From: Ken Payne
Subject: FTE Small - ADMIN: Web site updates

- - We now host the "Snake Oil" article directly after getting
permission from the publisher. This is a good article
dispelling the myths about Slick 50 and other oil treatments.
Go to the main page and click on the misc member contributions
link.

- - 30 new trucks added to the pictorial

- - 5 new links added to links pages

- - New article added to misc section (funny)

- - Event added to events section

Ken Payne
Admin, Ford Truck Enthusiasts

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Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999 22:51:55 EST
From: Ding060297 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - looking for info on explorers

I've been looking for a email address all nite looking to inquire some
information on the 1996 explorer awd drive set up that i have...My question is
if i have all wheel drive why don't all wheels drive....Its not even three
wheel drive i got stuck on a hill and only the two right side tires spun the
left side just sat there...I have the 373 rear axle with limited slip and it
still doesn't make both rear wheels move...If i knew this i wouldn't of bought
the truck...I intentionally bought the truck thinking the truck would have
power sent to the wheels with the most traction... Or at least sent to the
axles with the most traction that would lock and make both wheels on that
axle spin evenly....I have the v8 and i'm confused it has the tow package and
all that other good stuff, is there any other options available that i'm not
aware of like some kind of lockers......any info is appreciated........ding
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Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1999 01:44:38 -0500
From: "Anthony Rifici"
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Son Of My Aerostar Stinks!

>I still have a black cloud over my head from that air filter housing
>yesterday.
>
>Richard


I'll second the troubles with the air-filter housing. I had a screw
cross-thread on my 94 Ranger 4.0L last summer, stripping the metal insert
out of the plastic. I had just picked up a K&N and decided to pop it while
at a friends house instead of waiting till I got home. Turns out that the
screwdriver I used to get the cover off was about the only tool he had.
After a long hour and alot of damage to my hand, I got the insert off of the
bolt. Luckily, the bolt is longer than the plastic housing and the insert
is mushroom shaped, mounting in the housing with the fat end down (or maybe
it was up). Anyway I was able to take the insert and thread it into the
screw from the bottom of the stripped out housing and the fat end of the
insert held it together like a bolt. We found another screwdriver, which I
used to wedge into the insert and get the thing as tight as it was before
this all started. It holds together so well that I haven't bothered to fix
it yet. Probably at the next filter change when one of the others....


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