small-list-digest Sunday, January 10 1999 Volume 03 : Number 005

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

Re: FTE Small - radio display out
FTE Small - Transmission Additives
FTE Small - Stereos
Re: FTE Small - Car music
Re: FTE Small - Your stereo and my ears
FTE Small - Strange Ranger starting problem
FTE Small - RE: radio display out
Re: FTE Small - radio display out
Re: FTE Small -knowlegable explorer owners please..i need help...
FTE Small - are Metrinch wrenches any good?
Re: FTE Small - radio display out
Re: FTE Small - Strange Ranger starting problem



Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 05:52:47 -0800 (PST)
From: Bill Ciocco
Subject: Re: FTE Small - radio display out

..The radio display in my '88 Ranger went out a few years back.
..If I look very closely, I can make out the digits but only just the right light.

I lost my radio display in my BII a year or so ago after having the
dash out for another issue. I checked all of the wires and still could
not find the problem. It made me glad I was out of the business and
not working on a customer's vehicle ;)

While I am writing, I was hit in the rear last week and it destryed my
tailgate. Is $475 the normal price for this as a used part? Is an
aftermarket available?



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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 11:35:36 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Transmission Additives

I have a '92 Aerostar with A4LD transmission, bought a 14 months ago.

Soon after I bought it, I noticed that reversing up my steep driveway
was accomplished with some juddering. I took the beast to my mechanic
for a fluid/filter change, and of course was treated to the usual
incomplete fluid replacement.

Now, there's just a hint of judder. I am eager to try the elegant
"pump-it-all-out" method described enthusiastically here in the list,
but I must take the vehicle elsewhere since there's no level surface
here. So, in the meantime, I've armed myself with two additives. The
idea is to churn up the goop and then drain it all out.

One is "McKay (/Mechanics Brand) Trans Tune". The other is "K&W

Any suggestions?


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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 11:28:18 -0800
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - Stereos

We sure got into a great, lively discussion here. I learned some things

>From Burnett ------------------------

>Richard wrote:
>> 1. Almost all tape car stereos....
>> 2. Virtually all commercial music tapes are Dolby-encoded.
>> 3. Playing a Dolby tape on a non-Dolby ....
>> 4. Similarly, the sound will be mis-equalized....
>> 5. On most car stereo systems, regardless of price, tapes....
>> 6. Tape quality has improved.....

>Seems like an awful lot to deal with just to listen to music.

Nah. If you have a Dolby car stereo the problem is solved. All the home
decks have a Dolby switch.

> Why not just
>buy a good CD system? Sounds good in your car, sounds good in my car,
>sounds good in my neighbors car, etc.

> listening to rock music in a truck cab and you can hear the hiss, >either
> the system is the typical mismatch job, or something else is wrong.

Or maybe you're just on one of the quiet sections between tracks, which
>when I thought the hiss was most audible anyway!!

Of course, but not if the Dolby is switched in. If I don't notice it
with much-more-demanding classical music and you do with rock, I'd say
something is wrong with your reproduction: like a bad Dolby chip!

Yes my Dolby-C and >bias
>switch equipped car tape deck has audible hiss.

Commercial tapes are made with Dolby B. Dolby C is essentially two
Dolby B circuits connected back-to-back. "C" is good, but not
universal. I don't bother with it, since I can neatly overload "Chrome"
tapes with impunity during recording. Again, a "B" tape played with "C"
is a mismatch and sounds exactly as bad as un-Dolby'd played on a Dolby
B machine.

Hiss and background noise
are areas where CD easily outperforms tape and without a lot of
tuning and calibrating on the part of the listener.

No complication here: just flip the switch.

CD is good. Some audio experts and musicians, however, maintain that
many CDs sound wretched with certain kinds of music. I've not noticed
problems with the more recent ones (yet). A lot of the older ones sound
truly disgusting when the music gets quiet; also when the echo is dying
out. My former bench technician is also a serious cellist. He just
complained that "CDs don't sound good." And he's the guy who
recommended my Luxman CD player because of its "musicality." It isn't
appropriate to go further in this truck list.

>I admit that I
>sometimes miss the days when I had to match tapes to the deck and take >the
>deck in for realignment periodically.

>Hey, and who doesn't remember the
>heated arguments over TDK vs. Maxell vs. Brand X tape?

TDK makes the "standard" tapes used to set up machines in the factory.
Some Maxell formulations don't match the TDKs.

>I have heard horrible distortion from systems that weren't very loud, >and to me this was maybe more annoying than a loud clean system. Combine >them both - loud and distorted - and I'll grab my shotgun!

Oh. I forgot about that Kraco garbage from the chain auto parts stores.
So easy nowadays to make the amplifier stages cheap and fairly good,

>However, the 8's have a more
>uniform response and are almost impossible to provoke into mis-behaving.
>The 12's will rattle and be raspy even before they reach max. volume.

A number of years ago, a British speaker mfr. named Hartley wrote an
interesting article in Audio Mag. about why the 8" is the best driver
size. Something about linear piston movement. The car stereo field has
actually driven household woofer designs forward, so that there are some
very exciting speakers now that use smaller woofer (6", etc.)

>If a
>pair of 8's (or 6's) don't satisfy you, two pairs (yes 4!!) might - >while
>taking up less space than a pair of 12's.

I should have mentioned this. Multiple speakers (woofers, especially)
can produce superb results. You have to be careful to wire them so that
you present the amplifier stages with the right impedance. An electronic
organ mfr. once used 32 full range speakers in each of three arrays to
simulate the sound of a pipe organ. And the sound was awesome. This
might be just the ticket for a Ranger or Aerostar (I'm itching to try it
in my Aero).

>How can a recording engineer account for the acoustic properties of my
>stereo, listening environment and personal tastes?

He cannot. But he can definitely assume that you will not be listening
in an environment the size of a concert hall! As a amateur musician,
I'll bet that you might like to get the original multiple tracks and
engineer the mix yourself. Put all the equalization, echo, "ducking,"
compression, etc., etc., onto every source track the way you want it.
But for release products, other people have done this complicated work
for us. The producer, session manager, engineer (etc.) are a part of a
recording's aesthetic production. Sort of like the conductor.

> My opinion is that >the
>engineer should capture the subtlety and power of the music with as much
>clarity and accuracy as possible. In other words, exploit the >capabilities
>of the CD. It's then left to my tastes and budget to recreate the music >to
>my liking - whether I'd like to be 'on stage' or I'd like to hear an
>orchestra from the back of the symphony hall - all in my favorite 4 >wheel

Perhaps that will come in a few years. Some people will be overwhelmed
at the prospect.

>The issue of close-miked vs. minimalist vs. what-ever-else recording
>techniques is a whole different subject. I have heard excellent, and
>horrible, recordings made with each.

In my experience, most recordings are sloppily made in one or more ways
once they have left the production stages. FM broadcasting also squishes
the music around via the use of fancy limiter devices.

A few times in my life, I have given up on high-quality sound
reproduction in disgust. I also don't recommend that anyone who loves
music (rather than audiophilia) invest in esoteric equipment. Most of
the recorded performances that I've liked have been released with
compromised sound from the source. And my super English FM tuner is
sitting in the closet because there's no point in using it.

>I hope others have found this as entertaining, and possibly informative, >as
>I have!

Been some ride here, huh?

>From Tim Turner----------------------------------------

>Something that hasnt been addressed yet is the AURAL damage to the
>owner. I'll be interested to see what percentage of the US population
>is hearing impaired 20 years from now Vs. 1985. Maybe I should invest
>in stocks of hearing aid manufacturers for my retirement portfolio.

I have a few times. The especially nasty thing about accelerated
permanent hearing loss due to high-pressure sound is that it sneaks up
from repeated exposure.

I'll repeat: A few months ago, I saw a rock musician emerge from my ENT
doctor's office yelling that he was instantly returning to acoustic
music because of the damage he'd already suffered.

I'm very concerned about the high sound levels that many of us now
consider normal! Especially in our vehicles.


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Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 16:36:54 EST
From: FrdRngrLvr AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Car music

Best but does not sell calrion..and ford stock is Pioneer just so everybody

I alos have a question on the side of my truck there is a big sticker that
says "wave" now it is a this the 4bager version of the splash or
does antbody have any clue

96 Ranger
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Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 16:45:03 EST
From: FrdRngrLvr AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Your stereo and my ears I said before, I do not turn it up around residential areas, only
on places like "the strip" As aslo in Illinois it has it's loudness laws too,
now unlike most Slammers "FYI slang for a competition stereo vechicle" I
listen to country, so just so you rest eariser knowing that not all people
with good systems are shaking your walls at night

96 ranger
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Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 15:59:26 -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

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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 18:56:39 -0500
From: Harry Trafford
Subject: FTE Small - RE: radio display out

I have a '90 B2, and mine is the exact same way. I finally got the radio
out, but couldn't see how to fix it. I just assumed it was an LED backlight
on a pc board. Sure would like to know the details on how to fix it.

- ----------
From: (Donald Paauw)

The radio display in my '88 Ranger went out a few years back.
If I look very closely, I can make out the digits but only
in just the right light.

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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 17:04:47 -0800
From: Tim Bowman
Subject: Re: FTE Small - radio display out

To all who wrote re: how to replace the bulb in your factory stereo
radio, the article I referred to is the January, 1997 issue of Mustang
Monthly, p. 70. There are many pictures.

The key piece of information is how to remove the head unit from the
dash. There may be (depending upon your installation 4 small holes in
the radio face plate. You need either the special tool (two pieces of
wire for about $5.00, or make your own) that is inserted in the 4
holes at the same time to permit removal of the plate. The faceplate
then comes off which exposes the underside (don't pull it too far out
and break the ribbon cable), remove and replace the bulb, and

It's actually much easier done than described.

If you have more specific questions, let me know.

Tim Bowman
Burien, WA
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Date: Sat, 9 Jan 1999 21:40:02 EST
From: Ding060297 AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small -knowlegable explorer owners please..i need help...

To explorer owners: Jsdean home wrote: The only time front and rear wheels
will spin together is if the axle is locked....My question is i bought the 96
explorer with all wheel drive and only the right side spun when i got
stuck...Shouldn't both wheels spin at least at the rear, the manual says i
have posi -rear 3:73 axle ratio..(Its suppost to put power to the other wheels
the Ones that aren't spinning) right !!!
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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 19:18:16
From: Don Paauw
Subject: FTE Small - are Metrinch wrenches any good?

Argh.. I'm running into a mixture of English & metric on
my Ranger and am losing track of all my sockets.
Has anyone used Metrinch wrenches or just have an opinion.
These are the wrenches that have a bulge that contacts the
flat of a nut, rather than the corner. This is supposed to
allow the wrench to be used on English and metric sizes, a
well as rounded-off nuts. It sounds good in theory but I'm
a bit skeptical.

Also, J.C.Whitney has a 62 piece set for $100. Is this a good
price or just typical?

- -- Don

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Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 22:34:02
From: Don Paauw
Subject: Re: FTE Small - radio display out

At 10:15 PM 1/8/99 -0800, Tim Bowman wrote:
>There was a great article on changing the bulb in Mustang Monthly a
>year or so ago and it gave me the inspiration to change the bulb in my
>87 Tempo which probably has a similar radio. Essentially all that you
>need to do is to remove the face place and the plastic cover over the
>dial. Behind that is an extremely small bulb (I used small needlenose
>pliers to remove it). Get new bulb and reverse the disassembly.

Thanks Tim.
I found the aforementioned bulb, although it wasn't easy. For my '88 Ranger
I had to remove the instrument panel pad. The radio didn't have any holes
in the faceplate. The radio was attached by two mounting ears that covered
two screws, one on each side, that held on the faceplate. There was also
some bodaciously sticky duct tape on the top & bottom that was also holding
on the faceplate. With all of that removed, the faceplate was loose, but
was sticking on something internal. This turned out to be the control knobs
but, not wanting to damage anything, I decided to remove the radio & take
it apart on the bench. Disconnecting the wiring required removing a plate
on the top of the dash that covers the premium sound amplifier and removing
the amplifier. Through this hole I was able to disconnect everything & get
the radio out. Once on the bench, it was obvious that the knobs were the
culprit & this time I pulled on them with pliers, rather than my fingers.
The faceplate came off & there was the bulb. Since it's nighttime & I don't
know where to get another bulb tomorrow, I'm going to try to break open the
bulb to save its base & solder a yellow LED (light emmiting diode) with a
540 (or whatever's close in my parts bin) ohm resistor. If that's not bright
enough, I'll add another LED in series since the bulb pocket is fairly large.
Hopefully, that should eliminate this job in the future.

- -- Don

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Date: Sun, 10 Jan 1999 02:37:04 EST
From: Bakend AOL.COM
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Strange Ranger starting problem

In a message dated 99-01-09 17:11:17 EST, you write:

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....

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