If there is a time for someting to go wrong...it is in winter!
Well now my friends I've been absent of late. I trust you will all forgive me. It's deer season and I've just finished up most of the work on the kitchen as well! Now, so's not to stray too far from the original subject, let me offer up some thoughts to all y'all Ford fans. Folks if the weather never got cold and it never snowed chances are we'd never have a problem with our beloved trucks. Winter has a way, it seems, of bringing out any problems that do not surface any time the weather is warm and we have time to waste. Harrumph! Do yourself a favor and do a full-service check-up of your truck before the weather turns to ++++! Change the oil and filter...the air-filter and ALL the fuel filters before winter. Most of our trucks have at least one fuel filter inline along the frame rail..(drivers side) and another hidden..that most never find. Go to the FTE 80/86 forum and they'll tell ye where it's at. Next item..check/change/and top off the radiator with appropriate fluid for your area. Do the same for the windshield washer fluid! Yup..water might have worked this summer. Right now it'll freeze up tighter'n Tom Thumbs **** and gammahooch the pump, turn the lines hard as concrete and expand and break the fittings and expand and explode the holding tank! And make sure the pump is working and the nozzles ayre pointed in the right direction to clear that windshield! More to come..thought I'd make this a multi-part post so's no one gits bored. Audie..the Oldfart..
Ahhh...Part 2! I trust by now all have serviced their coolant system and the windshield washer system as well..eh? Now..rip off them 10yr. old wipers ya cheapskates and go buy a new pair and put'em on. Don't wait till they're slappin' uselessly side to side as yer honing down I-80 at 90mph behind a semi and making scratches in a very expensive (if it is even available) replacement windshield. Now lets do a little walk-around and check all the lights. Not just the headlights and tail-lights...check 'em all!! When yer spun-out sideways in the road that uncoming snowplow cain't see yer front..or yer back! Make sure them side marker lights is workin' if ya have 'em! Dome light? (check!) Cargo light? (check!) Lift the hood..is the engine-bay light working? No? Do ya really think yer gonn'a have a flash-light handy when everything turns to crap? Fix it! Next item..."All things electrical will fail in the winter!"..trust me! I speak from experience! And here in south-central Pa. winter doesn't always mean sub-zero weather! Last week (45 degrees) I went out and jumped in the Ford (86 F150..4X4..302..AOD) and jabbed the key into the switch and just knew something was amiss! Folks, every time I put that key in there and turn it I hear 3 warning buzzers. Don't know what they all mean..don't care. One goes BUZZZ!...one goes...BEEEP!...and one goes..GRRRRP! Hmmm? As I rotated the key forward I detected the GRRRP!..was missing! I turned the key to the START position and...nothing. Silence. Nada. Zip. In hindsight I think the first warning buzzer tells me the door is open. I always start the vehicle up with the door open. Just in case somethings gonn'a explode. Ya just never know! I want to be blown outside the vehicle..not up-inside it. Call me paranoid. The second buzzer is prob'ly the seat-belt buzzer. Hmmpf? I'll put the seatbelt on just as soon as I'm sure the vehicle isn't going to blow up. O.K.? The final "grrrrp" I would assume is the fuel pump forcing 35/40lbs. pressure of highly flammable gasoline thru several attending lines...and with one final twist of the key I'll send several thousands of volts of electricity into a small chamber to ignight an explosion about 4ft. in front of my body...to start the engine. Well..call me paronoid if you will. That day I turned the key and..no grrrrp!.. I exited the vehicle like Elvis Left The Building! And so a long rant on the care and feeding of electrical needs. Coming shortly. Audie...the longwinded Oldfart..
Okey Dokey folks...I know this is running into overtime but I'm gonn'a keep preachin' since I'm on the pulpit. Folks if there's anything that's gonn'a turn to crap and break down in the cold of winter it's the electrical system. Rest assured A.C. current works better as the temps drop..... D.C. current does not! Our vehicles run on D.C. current. As the temps drop, it acts like corrosion/resistance on every terminal. The colder it gets..the more problems. Take a few minutes and go out yonder and pop the fill-caps off that battery. I don't care if it's new or old...maintenence-free or guaranteed. Look down in the cells and if any appear to be low fill them up with pure distilled water. No cheatin' now..distilled water. Ya kin buy it at any grocery store for about $1 a gallon. You should be using this in yer coolant system as well.. and for the same reason. No minerals etc. in the water. No..water from your tap is not the same...even if you have a water softener or U.V. light. "It'll void my battery warrantee!..you fret. Calm down..maintenence-free batteries are only meant to last X numbers of years. Usually 2 to 4 years..and they're pro-rated. A pro-rated replacement will cost you more than the full price of the new battery. Clean the terminals off and snug down the connections. Now..check that tire pressure. Every drop of 10 degrees in temp causes a tire to lose 1lb. of air pressure. And..it doesn't come back when the temps rise! It's gone! Doesn't sound like much..but over the course of a winter our tires go from a full and fit 35/40lbs to a flabby 15 to 20lb. gas sucking donut! Tires wear out sooner, steering and traction fail and gas milage drops. And it's more work on tie-rods, bearings and brakes. Check that tire pressure at every other fill-up of gas. Well...nuff of my preachin'. Audie....jeeze this is starting to look like a handbook!..
WAGH! I almost forgot! Mind ye some time back I said I turned the key and ..nuthin' happened? Yeah..I kind'a got lost in that thought too. Anyways..jumped in the Chevy and while running errands I picked up a new battery for the Ford. I dropped in the new battery and kept the hood up on the Ford and just as I hit the key I spied a puff of smoke come from the right-hand side of the engine bay! Right there where the solonoid is fer the starter...passenger side of the fender. Hmmm? Still wouldn't start..no click no nuthin'! Turned out to be the terminal on the right side of the solonoid..that which goes to the starter..was loose! Go figger! Fellers, every time ye hit the key to start yer truck the solonoid "goes hot" in more ways than 1. Yup, it sends D.C. current to the starter. It also gets hot..literally. It expands as it gets hot and contracts as it cools down. In time it can/will loosten up the terminal connections. Well, 'twas time to replace that 6yr. old Interstate Battery anyways. I gotter done. Audie..the oldfart...