>From kpayneford-trucks.com Sun Oct 4 06:10:32 1998
Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 06:10:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: owner-small-list-digestford-trucks.com (small-list-digest)
To: small-list-digestford-trucks.com
Subject: small-list-digest V2 #279
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small-list-digest Sunday, October 4 1998 Volume 02 : Number 279

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

FTE Small - 2.9 info
FTE Small - Towing Capacity
FTE Small - A few automatic tranny questions
Re: FTE Small - Towing Capacity
FTE Small - ADMIN: T-shirt contest



Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 07:29:57 PDT
From: "Bryan Snyder"
Subject: FTE Small - 2.9 info

I cannot remember specifically if it was 89 or 90 that the heads were
improved. The world power heads are even better and will allow SLIGHT
porting. JET, Superchip and Hypertech all make chips. I believe Erson
and Camcraft camshafts make cams for it. If you have the "bad" heads and
don't want the extra expense of new ones try flushing your system and
using a bottle of REDLINE waterwetter, this will allow about another 20
degrees cooler running, and should make you fine. It was constant
overheating that killed these heads, keep them cool and there is no
reason to replace them unless you already killed them. I also forgot to
mention that I had a Gibson Cat back on my truck, sounds real nice and
the whole thing took 20 minutes to put on and cost $260.

Hope this helps more,

Bryan Snyder

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Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 14:54:45 -0400
From: pcjohnsonpol.net
Subject: FTE Small - Towing Capacity

What can a Ranger 4x4 with the 3.0L V-6 realistically tow?
The dealer says 1600 lbs.
If this is so, why can a Nissan or Toyota tow twice that with a smaller
Do manufacturers tow ratings mean anything?
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Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 13:09:22 -0700
From: Richard
Subject: FTE Small - A few automatic tranny questions

Re: Mark Biederbeck's post of 9/30/98.

1. Does anyone make and has anyone used synthetic tranny fluid?

In addition to the smaller companies mentioned in another reply to your
post, Mobil makes a synthetic "Mobil 1 transmission fluid" that meets
modern Ford specs. Based on my outstanding results running Mobil 1
motor oil for many years in my '74 Honda Civic, I'd say, "Go for it!"
Mobil has a web site where you may download material on this product.
Upon request, they may mail you a technical research paper on it. They
sent me such literature during the 70s about their motor oil, which is
what sold me on it in the first place.

3. What about these "full flush" services that some places sell (costs
$100 to replace fluid in pan & converter? Anybody recommend this be

I would. In fact, Ford now recommends that a complete flush be done.
Not only that, but there's a simple official procedure that you can
easily do yourself, using the transmission itself as the pump that
pushes out the old fluid and draws in the new. I'd assume that there's
enough residue left on the surfaces so that no damage is done during
this quick replacement.

Your issues were addressed, I believe here, just a few days before your
post. That poster included the entire DIY flush process in his
message. If you can't find it, I'll be happy to repost it here for you.

4. Should the transmission be periodically serviced (bands, filter)?
owner manuals don't list anything specific.

Mine does only to say something like "inspect and adjust the linkages."
I asked my mechanic at the time, and he said "Don't do it. If it needs
the bands adjusted, you need a rebuild anyway." He seemed really
spooked about Ford automatics, and this guy's been at it a long time.

Frankly, I'm confused here, too. Anyone have anything to add?

5. Any other recommendations to promote a long & healthy tranny life?

Yup. Drive sensibly. From all the posts I've seen about the A4LD
transmissions, they'd appear to be extremely trouble-prone: very touchy
indeed. And expensive when they go. When I worked in audio repair, I
used to tell my customers who came in with Sanyo, Fisher, and most Sony
products that they'd bought very lightweight merchandise; but that they
could extend the life of these products by treating them gently. I'd
say the same for the Ford automatics.

It's obvious that when a transmission shifts roughly, slams into gear,
etc., that damage is being done with every such shift. Learn to drive
your vehicle so that rough shifts are minimized. With some automatics,
it is possible to back off the gas just before that "slam," and let the
transmission gently make the change. My Aerostar doesn't seem to get
the message, however. But a classic "partial" fluid/filter change
worked wonders.

Secondly, when reversing direction, always bring the vehicle to a full
stop before shifting. You can feel when you blow this one. Always note
when something goes "clunk" or slams, and, as the doctor would say, "So,
don't do that."


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Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 19:49:49 EDT
From: RReed44450aol.com
Subject: Re: FTE Small - Towing Capacity

Beware of a salesman's perception of towing capacities. Most salesmen that I
have had contact with don't have the foggiest idea about towing capacities.
Usually, when asked what the towing capacity of a vehicle is, they say "What
are you towing? A 20 ft. boat, no problem, it will tow that."

I just bought a 98 Explorer. When I asked the salesman what the towing
capacity was, he said the above. Then he said, oh, about 6,000 lbs. Well, the
98 explorer comes with several rear gear ratios and a couple of engine

I would consult the manufacturer's owners manual for the towing capacity and
figure it by Combined Gross Vehicular Weight, keeping in mind this includes
the trailer and the weight of the vehicle with passengers. This is what the
insurance companies are going to look at if you plow into another vehicle
while towing something. If you are over the MCGVW, don't count on being paid

'98 Explorer Sport
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Date: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 23:42:03 -0400
From: Ken Payne
Subject: FTE Small - ADMIN: T-shirt contest

The web page for the t-shirt contest will be delayed until
later this week. I had some medical problems and was on
bedrest under doctors orders until this evening.

Ken Payne
CoAdmin, Ford Truck Enthusiasts
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End of small-list-digest V2 #279

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