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Great Van. My wife's '92 has been great and super reliable. Minor problem is the steering rubs on air con hose which eventually burst, but the replacement part was designed to avoid this. Ours is a 3.0 v6 which is adequate around town, but for some freeway entry ramps could use a few more horses. Full size Ford van is problem fitting in garage because of tight roof clearance.
Sorry, I can never remember the message I am responding to and then see more after I post. I like the full size van and actually have tried talking my wife into trading up. As for Aerostar tuneup, I don't sweat it--my mechanic does! Wish I could put a 300 inch inline six in that Aerostar. Then it would really haul.
I have had several one 91 with a 3.0 short and it was great for around town and with the kids, than in 96 we got a new one an extended with a 4.0 this motor kicks a-- it pulled my 24 foot trailer loaded ok, which for a mini van was great. Though the tune ups are a pain, they only need them once a in a while.
That was my problem. We got a 1700 lb trailer and it was too much for the little 3.0. Check engine light on much during highway towing. Hard to maintain speeds over 60 and a bear on hills. One thing good though was that the trailer (16 footer) tracked like a dream behind the Aerostar. I believe that was because the hitch ball is so close to the axel (I have the short body van and the ball was only about 4 inches behind the bumper. Your 4.0 must have a beefer tranny, though. My 3.0 had a hot oily smell while towing and it wasn't motor oil. When we got back from a 2000 mile trip the tranny fluid needed to be changed (was changed 24000 miles before). Seems the ('92) Aerostar only needs a tuneup about every 50,000 miles.
The early A4LD had many problems, in the 4.0 they made some improvements that allowed a better set up. The power difference between the 2 motors is quite a bit more out of the 4.0. I was very impressed with the towing capability of the 4.0. My trailer wieght is about 4,500 pounds. And though up hill was a struggle, I did tow it to a race in Tecate Mexico one year as my truck was being overhauled. I did not fly up there but on the flat lands it would tow it about 60 mph. I would not recomend to anyone who has this big of a trailer to use an Aerostar all the time, as when I got there the rear end was very hot and same thing when we got back the rear end was hot. The trip however was over 275 miles on way.
Guys, I have asked this question several times now and have gotten no replys: I wonder if we can put a 289/302(5.0) into an Aerostar, using the kits made for Rangers, I think this would be a killer swap, and would get all the needed power for towing, or acceleration, keeping in mind certainly that the Aerostar chassis shouldn't be taxed over its "recomended" towing capacity.????
Hey Rick, I don't think that idea would work, as first off there is not enough room to put a small block V8 into an aerostar. Also if you are not familar on how the engine comes out you might after I tell you that to remove the engine on one of these requires you to pull the trans first and drop the engine out the back side as the core support is not removable. We have done several in our shop and not a fun job at all.
My dad has a 86 Aerostar theat i helped him rebuild (rollover) when I was 3yrs old.Someday i hope to put a blown 302 c6 and 9 inch in it.It is a beautiful van.I honestly hate working on the thing with its tiny engine compartment.I think the 302 will need an Econoline doghouse!Anyone ever tried this?I read an article that some guy measured it up and it was pretty close.Ill get her to fit.Right now im going to start working on my dads 79 F250 super camper special.Quite the truck!FORD
I ordered my 88 Aerostar with the trailer towing packeage and after towing my SCCA race car and car trailer, total weight with tools etc. 4800lb
I found the 3.0 engine with the 3.73 axle and limited slip just the ticket. It handeled hills well and by leaving it in drive instead of OD got pretty good mileage to boot.
About engine swaps in Aerostars, the only one I ever came accross was in one of the truck magazines which had a story on a shop van of Boyd Coddingtons company(Boyds Wheels etc.) in which the installed a 3.8L supercharged Thunderbird V-6 engine and transmission. The 3.8L apparently fit in place of the 3.0 pretty well but it's doubtful anything bigger would fit.
MarkP: does your 88 3.0 aerostar have a stick? My wife's 92 3.0 auto with 3.73 rear (not limited slip) towed great but for highway speeds (60 ) where it was hard to maintain speed. Overall, it was a real workout for the little 3.0 and our trailer is only 1700 lbs plus whatever we packed. As noted in earlier post above it had some other indications of problems on the trip. With a performance chip, maybe it would have been OK, but I took advantage of the opportunity to get a newer pickup to tow it instead.
Mines an automatic. Ford doesn't recommend towing over 2700 lb with a 5 spd manual and 3.73 axle with the Aerostar in their 1988 towing guide. 5000lb with automatic and 3.73 axle. They also recommend leaving the automatic in drive with the OD off. I tried driving with the OD on a couple of times inadvertently and as soon as hills came along the trans started hunting between gears.
I usually tow with the cruise control on and anticipate hills by over riding it and building up a bit of speed to get up easier. Towing at 65 mph on level roads got me 13 to 14 mpg with no head wind, but I wasn't trying too hard.
>MarkP: does your 88 3.0 aerostar have
>a stick? My wife's 92
>3.0 auto with 3.73 rear (not
>limited slip) towed great but for
>highway speeds (60 ) where it was
>hard to maintain speed. Overall,
>it was a real workout for
>the little 3.0 and our trailer
>is only 1700 lbs plus whatever
>we packed. As noted in
>earlier post above it had some
>other indications of problems on the
>trip. With a performance chip,
>maybe it would have been OK,
>but I took advantage of the
>opportunity to get a newer pickup
>to tow it instead.
for those interested. 1988 3.0 automatic 3.73 limited slip. Trailer weight 4900 to 5100 lb depending on car and equipement in trailer. 500 lb tounge weight. Surge brakes on trailer. Dead weight trailer hitch with no sway control used.
My '92 manual says max towing 2000 lbs with automatic 3.0 and 3.73 rear. Also says max trailer frontal area no greater than van (< 50 sq ft), whereas my trailer is 1700 lbs and closer to 60 sq ft frontal area. Anyway, maybe I was just babying it but the check engine lght was on a lot at freeway speed, though we did maintain 60 to 65 mph and there was this hot oily/rubbery smell. Trans fluid was ready for change when we got back (24000 miles on it anyway). I will say that the trailer handled beautifully. You would forget it was back there as far as handling went. I had the ball only about 3 inches behind the back on the short wheelbase van which put the ball less than 3 feet behind axel centerline (the closer the better for handling). The estimated 230 lb tongue weight had the back slightly lower than the front of van but still could see over top of tires from side.
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