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  #1  
Old 12-03-2004, 03:34 PM
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Five Hundred or Freestyle Owners?

Are there any Five Hundred or Freestyle owners here? What are your opinions on the CVT so far?
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2004, 03:42 PM
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Don't own one, but as a Ford Technician... I haven't heard of any problems yet. I hear they're really funny to drive (not bad, just different). Honda tried a CVT back a few years, didn't they? If it works right, it should work out pretty well for ford.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2004, 09:36 AM
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Following up on sandrat's comments, I don't own one either ... but I sell them. I've had a chance to drive the Freestyle with the CVT and was very impressed with the way it performed. Universal approval by customers too.

I've set up a test drive route for my customers and part of the drive is a "freeway ramp merge" where you get to "put your foot in it". When you hit the pedal to the floor the tach jumps immediately to peak torque and stays there! The speedometer climbs like a tach, smoothly and very quickly. One of my customers commented it surprised/scared him when it hit nearly 90 so quickly that he had to back off.

We're all pleased that there doesn't seem to be major bugs although I have heard of a few failures, but with a new production that can be expected. At this point ... if I had the money ... I'd buy one.

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Old 07-05-2005, 01:21 PM
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Are there any updates on this. I am considering moving from an 05 escape to an 06 freestyle. I do have a cargo trailer that is 1000 lbs empty. With the freestyle I can put up to 1000Lbs in it as it is rated for 2000lbs. this is less than the escape but overall I like the freesytle better even though it has less ability to tow. I am concerned whether the freestyle is up to the task.
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Old 07-05-2005, 04:23 PM
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The trailer weighs 1000 lbs empty? What the heck is it? I've got a 10' Wells Cargo that weighs about 400 lbs empty.
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:25 AM
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It is a cargo mate trailer. It is 6 x 10 with the extra height package double barn doors and side door.
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:52 PM
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Ah. One good thing is I double checked ours- it weighs 880 lbs empty (more than I thought). I still can't imagine the Freestyle having a problem with it. I'll second the "we haven't seen any problems with them" comment, but I can't recall seeing one with a hitch either.
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:56 AM
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I rented a Freestyle for a 3 day trip. Four people and luggage. Loved everything about the vehicle, except...............should have more power. If they fix that, we'll trade the Escape for one.

The tyranny worked as expected. Never even noticed any difference.
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Old 07-10-2005, 11:16 AM
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I'm on the more power crusade too (actually wish they could just drop the Buick 3800 in there and call it good). But- I put a few thousand miles on a AWD Freestyle Limited, and found out it feels slower than it actually is. With the transmission, the engine can be slowing down while the car's speeding up. When you mash the throttle, though, it picks itself up and flat scoots. The other thing I noticed is that it gets substantially better gas mileage than a V6 Escape.
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
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Honda tried a CVT back a few years, didn't they?
Gee, I don't know about that. But I do believe that Nissan use it in the Murano SUV.
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Old 07-10-2005, 12:54 PM
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History of the CVT

Great story about the CVT. It was invented by a Dutch Company (DAF) in the late 50's as an efficient means to put an automatic transmission in a small car. It also worked really well, and DAF found it's own little niche as the maker of small, economical shiftless cars. DAF later sold out to Volvo, who stopped making DAF's and built the smaller Volvos in their place- but still held the patent.

Ford later bought Volvo, but the CVT patent continued to collect dust in the archives until the nice people from Honda showed up one day, inquiring about licencing the patent. I can pretty much guess what happened next- Ford sold them the licence (probably just to see what they'd do with it), while engineering frantically searched through Volvo's Corporate archives to see what was so special about this nutball transmission.

What was so special about the CVT was it enabled the motor to stay in efficient operating ranges most of the time, without a power-robbing torque-convertor (basically a hydraulic pump). Remember, DAF built little, fuel-efficient cars (about 750cc)- a conventional Automatic would have been almost impossible to use. BTW, if anyone's questioning the durability/reliability of that system, DAF successfully rallied their cars in Europe for years, and they were nigh indestructable. The beauty of the CVT is in it's simplicity.

edit: I am a veritible encyclopedia of automotive trivia.

Last edited by polarbear; 07-10-2005 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 07-10-2005, 06:45 PM
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Honda offer CVT cars here in Australia, as does Mitsubishi and Audi...
DAF also still sell OTR semi tractors here too...

The CVT is used in some Tractors as well (John Deere and Deutz Fahr)

I like the idea of it, and am sure about its reliability, but as a personal preference I still prefer to shift gears myself.
I am actually driving my cousins Honda Jazz CVT at the moment - she needed to borrow my Ranger. Dang good little car.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the potential for increasement in torque capacity.
In theory all you have to do is get the belts to grip the cones more to transfer more power, which just means finding a belt with a greater friction.
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianCrew
It is a cargo mate trailer. It is 6 x 10 with the extra height package double barn doors and side door.
don't forget to factor in wind load with any tall trailer.
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Old 07-11-2005, 05:32 AM
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They're using the 3 liter right? It may just be that they are working on a CVT that can handle the horspower and torque from the 4.2.. Now that would be cool.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:54 AM
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There is a 3.5L Duratec engine in the works that is slated for the Five Hundred/Montego/Freestyle, but I've heard that Ford is first going to make it an option when the Fusion debuts, and at the same time it will also become an optional in the Lincoln Zephyr and Mercury Milan. I've seen a lot of speculation on HP and torque numbers for this engine, usually in the range of 220-250.

I've also heard that, in light of the above, Ford might be putting off the 3.5L as an option in the Five Hundred/Montego/Freestyle until a these lines get a material "facelift", maybe sometime in '07 or '08.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:54 AM
 
 
 
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